January 17, 2013

Maine Speaker proposes job training for welfare recipients

Mark Eves' proposal will test his ability to gather support from Republicans.

By Steve Mistler smistler@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

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House Speaker Mark Eves, D-North Berwick.


On Thursday, Eves met with Republican House leader Ken Fredette of Newport to brief him on the proposal.

Quintero said the bill dovetails with the administration's current retraining efforts.

If Eves' bill ends up adding positions to the DHHS, it could be tough sell for LePage. The governor has been reducing positions in state government, including DHHS.

On Thursday, DHHS officials echoed the governor's message, saying better interagency collaboration could mitigate the needs for additional staffing.

Eves' bill also would direct the DHHS to move TANF recipients to the federally funded Supplemental Security Program if they have disabilities that prevent them from working.

The federal program is funded by tax revenues and designed to provide aged, blind or disabled people with basic living needs, such as food, clothing and housing.

More than 36,250 people received Supplemental Security in 2011, according to the U.S. Social Security Administration. The number of recipients has risen over the last nine years. In 2002, there were more than 30,900 recipients. Most recipients have been classified as disabled.

Eves said in a statement that moving TANF recipients to the federal program could save the state money.

The details of his proposal will be released when the bill is cleared by the Legislature's Revisor's Office. Friday is the last day for lawmakers to submit legislation for this year's session.

State House Bureau Writer Steve Mistler can be contacted at 620-7016 or at:



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