AUGUSTA — Gov. Paul LePage says the caseload for Maine residents on a cash assistance program has dropped more than 40 percent since 2011.

The Republican governor said in his weekly radio address that the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program caseload has decreased from about 15,000 cases in January 2011 to about 9,000 cases this June.

LePage attributes the drop to the administration’s promotion of job preparation and work. He says the state is working with people on welfare to determine what barriers they face in finding a job and finding them the support they need.

He says “public assistance is no longer a lifetime benefit, but an opportunity to become independent after a financial crisis.”

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