AUGUSTA — Maine taxpayers are going online to suggest ways the state can save millions of dollars to balance its budget, and while changes in welfare and other social services are the most popular, higher taxes and fees make the list.

As of Thursday afternoon, more than 350 recommendations had been emailed to the Ideas and Suggestions Forum on Gov. Paul LePage’s website.

They included installing more efficient light bulbs in street lamps, eliminating advertising for the state lottery and cracking down on Medicaid cheats.

Many people expressed support for the ideas by voting for them, making a suggestion to require drug tests of welfare recipients an apparent favorite in the very unscientific “poll,” with hundreds of votes.

Administration officials are busy grouping the ideas by subject, then running them by state agencies with expertise on the topics to see if the ideas are viable and can save the state money, said state Budget Officer Donna Lopatosky.

The suggestions then will be forwarded to a task force that is searching for at least $25 million in savings to balance the approved budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

The task force must report its recommendations to the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee by Dec. 15 so lawmakers can consider them during next year’s session.

“I think it’s a real tool for the public to use,” said Adrienne Bennett, the governor’s spokeswoman. “Is there a vetting process? Yes. Some of the ideas do need to be checked out by the various departments to see if legislative action is needed.”

Some people who have sent emails support work-for-welfare programs, and one calls for a way for residents and businesses to report alleged violations of welfare programs.

Other proposals call for limiting the time in which a person can file disability claims, requiring one-year Maine residency to qualify for MaineCare, and more auditing of contracted services, particularly among the social services.

Photo identification should be required for a person to receive food stamps, and more restrictions should be put on what kinds of food they can buy, other suggestions say.

Rep. John Martin, who serves on the task force, said the process of collecting ideas from the public is worthwhile but doesn’t yield much of substance.

“It’s the off-the-cuff, gut reaction people have to human services programs that frankly we’ve been through before,” said Martin, D-Eagle Lake.

Some of the ideas, such as drug testing for welfare, have run into problems in the courts in other states, he said.

Other ideas have been tried but failed, he said, such as reducing the size of the Legislature.