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Old 04-10-2015, 10:43 AM   #86 (permalink)
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This Is What Happened When Maine Forced Welfare Recipients To Work For Their Benefits

Maine finally took a bold step forward in welfare reform and itís paying huge dividends.

Last year Maine passed a measure that would require recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, otherwise known as SNAP, to complete a certain number of work, volunteer, or job-training hours before being eligible for assistance.

Main Governor Paul LaPage passed the measure last year and the resulting drop in food-stamp enrollees has been dramatic.

At the close of 2014 approximately 12,000 individuals were enrolled in the state assistance program. Keep in mind that these individuals are adults who arenít disabled and who donít have children at home and who are claiming the food-stamp benefits because of a lack of financial resources.

After forcing these individuals to either work part-time for twenty hours each week, enroll in a vocational program, or volunteer for a minimum of twenty-four hours per month, the numbers showed a significant drop from 12,000 enrollees to just over 2,500.

Republicans in the state are calling it a major victory, while Democrats are infuriated and are calling for special measures to roll back some of the strict requirements.

However, even if the requirements lose some of their strictness, once an individual is removed from the Maine food-stamp program they cannot receive benefits from the program for three years.

This is a true victory for welfare reform, and, while opponents are continuing to push back, we can hope that other states will notice the effectiveness of Maineís program.

Meanwhile, for all the naysayers who say that this program is unfairly targeting those in rural or extremely poor areas, letís remind ourselves who this program is really affecting.

These individuals who were benefiting from the food-stamp law and who now canít are able-bodied, capable adults. These arenít people with physical or mental disabilities or raising growing children. These are regular Joes who donít seem to want to get a job.

And while I will say that getting a job can be harder than it sounds, Maineís program solves that difficulty beautifully. If individuals canít get and hold a part-time job of twenty hours per week, they can qualify by enrolling in training program. If that doesnít get them a job, they can still qualify by volunteering.

Do you see what Maine did there? Theyíre making people exhaust their possibilities for employment before giving them a handout. Finally a state government has hit upon a great way to reward people for trying to get jobs and to punish those who sit around feeding off the taxes of the rest of the country.

Now the struggle remains for the rest of the country to work to adopt similarly effective laws.

This Is What Happened When Maine Forced Welfare Recipients To Work For Their Benefits
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