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Public can weigh in on Maine’s use of welfare funds

July 14, 2018

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The public can offer comment on Maine’s use of federal welfare dollars.

The Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee says it will hold a hearing July 26. A recent Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability report found Maine’s accumulated $148 million in federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Family funds.

The report found groups of Mainers receiving temporary benefits declined 70 percent from 2010 to 2017. In 2011, Maine followed federal law prohibiting families from receiving over 60 months of assistance.

Maine is fighting $20 million in federal penalties because not enough families receiving assistance met work participation rates from 2007 to 2011.

The report found Maine aims to ensure federal welfare funds are spent correctly.

But the report found a lack of documentation about who decides how such money is spent.

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