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Maine Gov Seeks to Repeal Welfare Work Exemptions
01/03/2014 4:30 PM ET  

Maine Gov. Paul LePage said he's seeking to get rid of some exemptions that allow people to get welfare benefits without working in Maine.

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) _ The Republican governor said he's introducing a bill when lawmakers return next session to repeal a state law that allows people to be excused from a welfare-work program for things like bad weather or illness.

LePage said those overly generous exemptions for Temporary Families for Needy Families assistance, or TANF, mean the state isn't complying with federal requirements and is facing $10 million in fines.

House Republican leader Kenneth Fredette said there's only one exception allowed under the federal law and that's being at home caring for a child.

"The problem here is that the state has truly circumvented the intent of the law," Fredette said.

LePage said the state is facing $10 million in fines.

House Speaker Mark Eves of North Berwick said Democrats will review the proposal but are worried it could be harmful to women and children fleeing domestic abuse.

(Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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