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Maine Republicans Rally for Welfare Overhaul Bills
04/04/2014 2:45 PM ET  

Maine Republican lawmakers continue to push for proposals to overhaul the state's welfare program, but they face significant opposition from majority Democrats.

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) _ Dozens of Republicans gathered outside of the Statehouse Friday to support the measures, which among other things would ban the use of electronic benefit cards to buy alcohol and cigarettes.

Some Democrats sought to amend the bill to soften the penalties for offenders. It received little support in either party.

Republicans called that a "fraudulent compromise" and said Democrats aren't interested in finding common ground.

But Assistant House Democratic Leader Jeff McCabe said his amendment would've given Republicans "95 percent of what they wanted."

The House ultimately endorsed an amended version that would add smoke shops to the places where EBT cards are banned.

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

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