Saturday 20 December 2014

The Problem

*This section will be updated soon to reflect changes in the 2012 edition of “Fix the System” – in the meantime, please see the full updated report here (PDF)

Maine’s Dependency Crisis

On August 22, 1996, President Bill Clinton signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act. At the bill’s signing, the president explained that the federal welfare reform initiative he was to sign was an attempt to “overcome the flaws of the welfare system for the people who are trapped on it.”  “We all know,” Clinton said, “a significant number of people are trapped on welfare for a very long time, exiling them from the entire community of work that gives structure to our lives.” “From now on,” he continued, “the Nation’s answer to this great social challenge will no longer be a never-ending cycle of welfare; it will be the dignity, the power, and the ethic of work. Today we are taking an historic chance to make welfare what it was meant to be: a second chance, not a way of life.”[i]

Maine’s vast welfare system, however, has indeed become a way of life for many, despite changes to federal law more than a decade ago. Last fall, the Census Bureau reported that Maine ranks second in the nation in the percent of its residents receiving Food Stamps.[ii] In this, the state trailed only hurricane-ravaged Louisiana.[iii]

Households receiving food stamps

The Census also reported that 4.8 percent of Maine households received cash public assistance through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, the second highest rate in the nation and more than twice the national average of 2.3 percent.[iv]

Households on TANF cash assistance

Maine’s Medicaid program is also the second largest in the county, with an astounding 27 percent of the state’s residents receiving publicly funded health care. Only California has a higher percentage of its total population enrolled in Medicaid. Neighboring New Hampshire, by contrast, has only 11 percent of its population in the program.[v]

Maine Medicaid enrollment

Indeed, Maine is so far outside the mainstream in the extraordinarily high number of people trapped in its welfare system that not a single other state ranks in the top twelve for enrollment in all three major welfare programs. The state closest to matching Maine’s level of welfare system dependence is New York, which ranks 13th in Food Stamps, 10th in TANF and 4th in Medicaid. Maine ranks second in the nation in all three.

Percent of Households receiving Food Stamps, 2008

 Source: U.S. Census

Percent of Households with Cash Public Assistance Income, 2008

Source: U.S. Census

Medicaid Enrollment as a Percent of Total Population, 2007 

Source: Kaiser Family Foundation

Rank State Percent Rank State Percent Rank State Percent
1 Louisiana 16.2% 1 Alaska 6.1% 1 California 29.0%
2 Maine 13.8% 2 Maine 4.8% 2 Maine 26.6%
3 Kentucky 13.7% 3 Michigan 3.4% 3 Mississippi 25.7%
4 Mississippi 13.1% 3 Washington 3.4% 4 New York 25.5%
5 Tennessee 12.8% 5 Oklahoma 3.3% 4 New Mexico 25.5%
5 West Virginia 12.8% 6 California 3.2% 6 Vermont 25.4%
7 Arkansas 12.6% 6 Pennsylvania 3.2% 7 Louisiana 25.1%
8 Michigan 12.2% 8 Hawaii 3.1% 8 Arkansas 24.4%
9 Oregon 11.7% 8 Minnesota 3.1% 9 Tennessee 23.4%
10 Missouri 11.1% 10 New York 3.0% 10 Arizona 22.9%
11 Oklahoma 11.0% 11 Vermont 2.9% 11 West Virginia 21.7%
12 South Carolina 10.8% 12 Connecticut 2.8% 12 Massachusetts 21.6%

Confirming Maine’s high rate of welfare dependence, the U.S. Census recently released data which revealed that Maine devotes 30.5 percent of its total state expenditures to funding its welfare system, the second highest rate in the nation. The average for all states was 23.7 percent.[vi]

Maine welfare expenditure

How many Mainers are receiving welfare benefits? According to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, 388,000 Mainers are currently enrolled in Medicaid, Food Stamps or TANF—nearly 30 percent of the population.[vii] According to a recent USA Today report, one in six Americans is now enrolled in a welfare program such as Food Stamps or Medicaid, which is a record high. In Maine, that ratio is closer to one in three.[viii]

Not only is Maine, as CNBC reported in 2009, one of the nation’s “biggest welfare states,” dependence on the state’s welfare system continues to grow dramatically. [ix] In June 2000, there were 170,000 Mainers in the state’s Medicaid program. Today, the number enrolled is approaching a staggering 300,000.[x] As recently as the summer of 2000, there were fewer than 100,000 Food Stamp recipients in Maine. Today, more than 237,000 Mainers receive Food Stamps.[xi]

In this new era of government dependency, enrollment in the welfare system grows even during the good times. In the past, welfare enrollment only grew during economic downturns. Under the Baldacci Administration, though, the number of Food Stamp recipients rose even during periods of economic growth.[xii]

Food stamps enrollments and recessions

Where are these trends taking Maine? As the following chart illustrates, if welfare dependency continues to grow at its current rate, in less than three years there will be more Mainers enrolled in the welfare system than are working in the state’s private sector.

Maine welfare versus private jobs growth

Data from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services suggests that in 28 Maine towns more than half the population is already dependent on TANF, Food Stamps or Medicaid.[xiii]

This level of dependence comes at an astonishing cost. According to the U.S. Census, Maine spent nearly $2.5 billion a year on its welfare system as recently as 2008, up from only $1.4 billion a decade earlier. Even in constant, inflation-adjusted dollars, welfare spending in Maine rose almost 40 percent from 1999 to 2008.[xiv]

Maine public welfare growth

Maine does not spend billions on welfare because our population is more needy than most. Maine is not even close to being the poorest state. According to the Census, just 12.3 percent of Maine people lived below the poverty level in 2008, a rate below the national average and lower than 25 other states’.[xv]With regard to child poverty, Maine is ranked 28th in the nation, again below the national average.[xvi] Only 9.2 percent of Mainers over 65 live in poverty, putting Maine at 24th place, which is also below the national average.[xvii]

Maine people below poverty level

In fact, it doesn’t seem as though spending by the state’s welfare system has had any impact whatsoever on poverty rates. As indicated in the chart below, real, inflation-adjusted spending by Maine’s welfare system has increased, but Maine’s poverty rate has remained more or less constant for the last 15 years.[xviii]

Public welfare spending versus poverty rates

Clearly, poverty is not the driving force behind the exploding growth of Maine’s welfare system. As this paper will demonstrate, Maine people are among the nation’s most dependent not because of economic misfortunes unique to the state, but because state policymakers have consciously enacted policies that make it too easy to become trapped by the welfare system, and too difficult to escape it.

Part 1: Maine’s Welfare System: Designed for Dependence

In a September 2009 Portland Press Herald article on Maine’s Food Stamp enrollment rates, John Martins, a Department of Health and Human Services spokesman, explained why 13.8 percent of Mainers receive Food Stamps, well above the national average of 8.6 percent. The state’s screening system, he said, is “so well integrated” that “when someone goes to one of the regional offices, the staff will check eligibility for 22 support programs.”[xix] Maine’s welfare system is designed, in other words, to maximize dependence.

The design of Maine’s welfare system encourages reliance on government in a number of ways, beginning with how easy it is to get trapped in these programs in the first place.

1. Eligibility limits are among the most liberal in the nation.

The most effective way for the state to maximize welfare dependency is to relax eligibility requirements so more people can enroll in the welfare system. According to the Urban Institute’s Welfare Rules database, for instance, a family in Maine can earn as much as $1,023 a month and still qualify for cash assistance.[xx] Only 12 other states allow incomes that high to qualify. Many of those states, such as Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey, have far higher costs of living than Maine.

High eligibility levels apply to Maine’s child care assistance as well. According to the National Women’s Law Center, a family of three in Maine can earn more than $40,000 and still receive taxpayer-funded child care. Only six other states allow families with such high incomes to receive costly benefits of this kind.[xxi]

Maine eligibility levels for subsidized child care

Eligibility levels for Maine’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) are the very highest in the nation, allowing those considered at risk for hypothermia, such as the elderly and families with young children, to earn as much as 230 percent of the Federal Poverty Limit and still receive benefits. No other state has as high an eligibility limit, regardless of the population being served.  Those not at risk for hypothermia can earn up to 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level and still qualify for LIHEAP, an eligibility criterion higher than that found in 39 other states.[xxii]

Maine’s Medicaid program also has some of the most liberal eligibility requirements in the country. As The Maine Heritage Policy Center concluded in a 2008 report, Medicaid has largely become a middle class entitlement. Forty-six other states, the report found, have “lower Medicaid income eligibility limits for working and non-working parents.” “Maine Medicaid income limits for working parents,” the report continues, are “more than three times the US average,” while income limits for non-working parents “are almost five times the US average.”[xxiii] Maine’s Medicaid even covers non-disabled adults without children, a population 30 states do not provide any Medicaid coverage to at all.[xxiv]

Medicaid Eligibility Levels, Maine versus the National Average

Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, Maine Heritage Policy Center, 2008

National Average Maine
Single person, no children  $               -  $           10,400
Married couple, no children  $               -  $           14,000
Single parent, 1 child  $           8,820  $           28,840
Single parent, 2 children  $         11,088  $           36,256
Single parent, 3 children  $         13,356  $           43,672
Married couple, 1 child  $         11,088  $           36,256
Married couple, 2 children  $         13,356  $           43,672
Married couple, 3 children  $         15,624  $           51,088
Elderly person  $           8,528  $           10,400
Elderly couple  $         11,480  $           14,000

Since the publication of that report in 2008, Maine’s near-highest-in-the-nation eligibility limits for working parents enrolled in Medicaid have actually become the nation’s highest. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s most recent survey, Maine provides Medicaid coverage to working parents earning 206 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, the highest income limit in the country.[xxv]

Medicaid eligibility levels for working parents

Not only does Maine’s welfare system provide benefits to those with higher incomes, it has also been expanded to include entire populations of people that other states do not serve.

For instance, the 1996 federal welfare reform bill limits welfare benefits for most non-citizens. Immigrants in the nation legally, such as “lawful permanent residents” who are issued a green card, are not eligible for federally-funded welfare in their first five years of legal residency.  Federal law does allow states to offer their own programs to these non-citizens, but such programs are exclusively state-funded.[xxvi]

According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, Maine is one of only 7 states in the nation that allows non-citizens to receive Food Stamps, one of only 10 states that offers them taxpayer-funded health care, and one of only 18 states that provides them with cash assistance through the TANF program. Only Maine and five other states provide all three welfare benefits, at state expense, to non-citizens during their first five years in America.[xxvii]

Benefit Eligibility for Legal Non-Citizens Who Are Prohibited from Receiving Federally-Funded Benefits

Source: National Center for Children in Poverty

Provides access to a state-funded Food Stamp benefit

Provides access to a state-funded Medical benefit

Provides access to a state-funded TANF benefit

CaliforniaConnecticutMaine Minnesota 

Nebraska

Washington

Wisconsin

CaliforniaConnecticutDelawareMaine

Massachusetts

Minnesota

Nebraska

New Jersey

New York

Pennsylvania

CaliforniaConnecticutHawaiiMaine

Maryland

Minnesota

Nebraska

New Mexico

New York

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

Tennessee

Utah

Vermont

Washington

Wisconsin

Wyoming

 

The 1996 welfare reform law also contains a provision whereby “persons convicted of certain drug felony offenses are banned for life from receiving TANF and food stamp benefits.”[xxviii] As with immigration policy, however, the federal law gives the states flexibility. States could “opt-out” of the federal ban altogether, and were also allowed to restrict access to those programs by requiring convicts to submit to drug testing or participate in drug treatment programs.

According to the federal Government Accountability Office, Maine is one of only 9 states in the nation that not only allows convicted drug felons to receive taxpayer-funded Food Stamps and TANF cash assistance, but makes no further demands on them whatsoever, such as requiring drug treatment or testing.[xxix]

State Policy With Regard to TANF and Food Stamp Benefits for Those Convicted of Drug Felonies, 2004

Source: General Accounting Office

Provides access to TANF and Food Stamps without restrictions

Provides limited access to TANF and Food Stamps and may require drug testing or treatment

Provides drug felons with no access to TANF and Food Stamps

Colorado (Food Stamps)

Illinois (Food Stamps)

Maine

Massachusetts (Food Stamps)

New Hampshire

New Mexico

New York

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Rhode Island

Utah (Food Stamps)

Vermont

Washington (Food Stamps)

Arkansas

California (Food Stamps)

Colorado (TANF)

Connecticut

Delaware (Food Stamps)

Florida

Hawaii

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maryland

Massachusetts (TANF)

Michigan

Minnesota

Nebraska (Food Stamps)

Nevada

New Jersey

North Carolina

Pennsylvania

Tennessee

Utah (TANF)

Washington (TANF)

Wisconsin

Alabama

Alaska

Arizona

California (TANF)

Colorado

Delaware (TANF)

Georgia

Kansas

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska (TANF)

North Dakota

South Carolina

South Dakota

Texas

Virginia

West Virginia

Wyoming

One of the primary reasons Maine has such a high level of welfare dependence is that it has some of the most—if not the most—liberal eligibility standards in the country. Freeing Maine from dependence on welfare means dealing, first and foremost, with eligibility.

2. Work Requirements are largely unenforced.

Not only is it easy to enroll in Maine’s welfare system, the state apparently imposes few, if any, additional obligations such as a job search or work requirements. According to the Urban Institute, for instance, Maine does not require a mandatory job search as part of the TANF application process. [xxx] In a dozen states, TANF applications are denied outright if job-ready applicants have not participated in work-related activities such as job searches.[xxxi]

There are work requirements for those who ultimately enroll in TANF, but Maine has evidently chosen not to strictly enforce these requirements. According to FY 2008 data from the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, only 11.4 percent of Maine’s TANF-receiving families with work requirements actually completed work activities during FY 2008, far less than the national average of 29.4 percent. In neighboring New Hampshire, by contrast, 47.4 percent of TANF families with work requirements worked.[xxxii]

Work participation rates for Maine TANF recipients

Maine has been trending toward low work rates for some time. While the rate of work participation among Maine TANF recipients was once about equal to the national average, it has plunged in recent years.[xxxiii]

Maine TANF work participation rates

Maine’s TANF families are not even working a little. In Maine, 77.5 percent of TANF families with work requirements had zero hours of work participation in FY 2008. In only one other state that year—Missouri—were fewer TANF enrollees with work requirements actually working.[xxxiv]

These low levels of job holding are not the result of welfare enrollees dealing with disabilities. According to the ACF, only 0.7 percent of Maine TANF recipients also collect disability benefits. 99.3 percent do not.[xxxv]

Work rates are low in Maine even though the state’s TANF program has a very broad definition of “work.”  According to the welfare advocacy organization Maine Equal Justice Partners, among the “activities” that “count” toward TANF work requirements are paid employment, volunteer work at a “public or non-profit agency,” up to six weeks a year of job searching, or participation in various education and job training programs.[xxxvi] For the year ending September 2007, only 25 percent of TANF-enrolled adults in Maine had paid employment. Another 16.5 percent participated in various work activities such as those described above, while the remaining 58.5 percent had no employment or work activities of any kind.[xxxvii]

The high degree of unemployment and underemployment among Maine TANF recipients may be related to the program’s long list of approved excuses for failing to meet work requirements. According to Maine Equal Justice Partners, these “good cause” reasons for “not doing” what the program requires include justifiable excuses such as serious medical problems or domestic violence issues,  but they also include “bad weather” as an excuse, and that “the activity required that you travel more than two hours round trip.”[xxxviii]

As a consequence, the vast majority of Maine’s TANF recipients are not only jobless, they are not even seeking employment. Remarkably, just 23.1 percent of Maine’s adult TANF enrollees were considered “employed” during FY 2008, and 11.6 percent considered “unemployed.” The remaining recipients, a staggering 65.3 percent of the total, were classified as “not in the labor force,” meaning they were not even looking for a job. In only four other states were such a high percentage of adults on TANF considered to be “not in the labor force.”  Nationally, only 27.3 percent of TANF adults were classified as not seeking work in FY 2008.[xxxix]

TANF recipients who are not working

Despite the work requirements imposed by the 1996 federal welfare reform law, those enrolling in Maine’s welfare system seemingly do not need to seek work in order to receive cash assistance.

3. Time limits are virtually nonexistent.

The Clinton-era welfare reform bill imposed a five year time limit for receiving TANF cash assistance, but here again Maine has some of the most liberal policies in the nation. According to the Urban Institute’s Welfare Rules Database, Maine is one of only 7 states that does not impose a strict 5-year limit on TANF.[xl] Even Maine Equal Justice Partners acknowledges that “Maine law allows families to continue to receive assistance after 5 years,” and only imposes the time limit (and only then in a limited way), if “a family member has violated program rules 3 or more times since November 1996.”[xli]

As a result of this policy, Maine has a higher percentage of TANF recipients “that received assistance for more than 60 countable months” than all but two other states. As of FY 2005, the most recent data available, fully 11.5 percent of Maine’s TANF families had been receiving cash assistance for more than 5 years, nearly four times the national average of 3.3 percent.[xlii]

TANF benefits for more than 60 months

Long-term welfare dependency has been an ongoing problem for Maine. The 10.2 percent of TANF families that had been on the program longer than 5 years as of FY 2004 was the second highest rate in the nation that year, trailing only Rhode Island.[xliii] Maine had the nation’s second highest long-term enrollment rate in FY 2003 as well.[xliv]

TANF is not the only welfare program that does not impose time limits. Subsidized housing programs are among the worst offenders when it comes to fostering long-term welfare system dependence. A 2007 study by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) found the average length of stay in subsidized housing to be seven-and-a-half years.  “About one-third” of those in public housing, reports HUD, “have had stays of between 3 years and 10 years.” HUD further calculates that “about 25 percent of all participants stay more than 10 years.”[xlv]

Time limits were included in the 1996 welfare reform bill to discourage ongoing dependence on the system. In Maine, though, there is effectively no time limit on the receipt of welfare, with the predictable result that the state is among the top states in the nation in terms of long-term welfare dependence.

4. Sanctions for violating program rules are the nation’s weakest

Maine’s welfare system is easy to enroll in, and, with the apparent absence of meaningful work requirements or time limits, easy to remain on. Maine isn’t even particularly tough on those who violate the few rules the system imposes.

According to the Urban Institute’s Welfare Rules Database, the maximum sanction Maine imposes on a TANF family that does not comply with work requirements is the loss of the adult portion of the cash assistance for six months or until the family is back in compliance with program requirements, whichever is longer. Only one other state, California, imposes a maximum welfare sanction so weak. In 23 states, the entire TANF amount is withheld either for a certain number of weeks or until compliance.  In 21 states TANF cases are closed in response to repeated rule violations.[xlvi]

Maximum Sanction for Noncompliance with TANF Work Requirements, July, 2008

Source: Urban Institute

Adult portion of benefit is withheld Entire Benefit is withheld Case is closed

California

Maine

AlabamaArizonaColoradoFlorida

Hawaii

Idaho

Illinois

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Maryland

Massachusetts

Mississippi

Nebraska

Nevada

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Tennessee

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming

Alaska

Arkansas

Connecticut

Delaware

Georgia

Indiana

Louisiana

Michigan

Minnesota

Montana

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

North Carolina

North Dakota

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Texas

Utah

Washington

With the violation of system rules being virtually consequence-free in Maine, is it any wonder that so few TANF recipients are fulfilling the work requirements the system supposedly imposes?

5. The state’s rich benefits package encourages dependence.

One of the reasons so many Mainers are enrolled in one or more of the state’s welfare programs is that the benefits available from the system are so wide-ranging.

Maine’s welfare system offers enrollees cash, health care, food supplements, rental assistance, transportation benefits, child care, job training, and subsidies for electricity and heating oil—all funded by Maine taxpayers.  According to Maine Equal Justice Partners, Mainers who are enrolled in the state’s ASPIRE jobs program are entitled to “the services needed” to hold down a job. Those services include, but are not limited to, child care for children under 13 years old, dental care, eye care, reimbursements for travel costs ( including costs for car repairs and car insurance), tuition and school supplies, clothing and uniforms for work, and occupational expenses such as license fees.[xlvii]Under the Maine State Housing Authority’s Weatherization and Central Heating Improvement Program, grants are available to “low income homeowners and renters” for “home energy efficiency” improvements such as “insulation, weatherstripping, and caulking,” and “repair or replacement of central heating systems.”[xlviii] Those enrolled in the SafeLink program, which is automatically available to those receiving TANF cash assistance and Food Stamps, are given a free cell phone and 68 minutes per month in free call time.[xlix]

Maine also has a taxpayer-funded program called “Alternative Aid” which provides eligible non-TANF recipients with vouchers for services such as “car repairs, childcare, uniforms, housing-related emergencies, or even dental work if those things are needed to help them get or keep a job.”[l] Vouchers of this kind have a maximum value equal to three months of cash assistance under TANF (about $1,450), but since enrollment in TANF is not required to receive the voucher, none of TANF’s work requirements apply.  And because the benefit is in the form of a voucher, it does not affect cash income and thus has no impact the receipt of other benefits such as Food Stamps.[li]

Alternative Aid used to be a one-time benefit. As a result of legislation enacted in Maine in 1996, however, those who qualify can apply for Alternative Aid once a year every year and receive the equivalent of three months of cash assistance without having to comply with any of TANF’s work requirements or face reductions in any of their other benefits.[lii]

Even for those Mainers who might be reluctant to enroll in Maine’s welfare system, this extensive list of benefits is tempting. When so rich a benefits package is combined with liberal eligibility requirements, limited work requirements, and lax enforcement of the rules, it is no wonder enrollment in the welfare system is skyrocketing across Maine.

__________________________________________________________________________________

Maine’s dependency crisis did not come about because of the extraordinary needs of Maine people. Rather, it was the result of deliberate state policy that increased reliance on government. Compared to most states, Maine enrolls more people in its welfare system in the first place, requires less of them once they are in the system, lets them stay in the system longer, does less to hold them accountable for noncompliance, and offers them a far more wide-ranging package of benefits. It should therefore come as no surprise that dependence on Maine’s welfare system has exploded.


[i] Remarks on Signing the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act,

http://www.milestonedocuments.com/documents/full-text/remarks-on-signing-the-personal-responsibility-and-work-opportunity-reconci/

[ii] Kim, Ann S., Mainers’ food stamp use second in nation, Portland Press Herald, September 28, 2009

[iii] U.S. Census, http://www.census.gov/prod/2009pubs/acsbr08-8.pdf

[iv] U.S. Census, http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/GRTTable?_bm=y&-_box_head_nbr=R1904&-ds_name=ACS_2008_1YR_G00_&-_lang=en&-format=US-30&-CONTEXT=grt

[v] Kaiser Family Foundation, http://www.statehealthfacts.org/comparetable.jsp?ind=199&cat=4&sub=52&yr=18&typ=2&sort=a

[vi] U.S. Census, http://www2.census.gov/govs/state/08_press_release.pdf

[vii] Maine DHHS, http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/OIAS/reports/2010/geo-may.pdf

[viii] Wolf, Richard, Record number in government anti-poverty programs, USA Today, August 20, 2010

[ix] CNBC.com, http://www.cnbc.com/id/31910310/The_Biggest_US_Welfare_States?slide=15

[x] Office of Fiscal and Program Review, Maine Legislature

[xi] Maine Department of Health and Human Services

[xii] Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of Economic Analysis

[xiii] Maine Department of Health and Human Services, http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/OIAS/reports/2010/geo-march.pdf

[xiv] U.S. Census, http://www.census.gov/govs/state/

[xv] U.S. Census, http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/GRTTable?_bm=y&-_box_head_nbr=R1701&-ds_name=ACS_2008_1YR_G00_&-_lang=en&-format=US-30&-CONTEXT=grt

[xvi] U.S. Census, http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/GRTTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=01000US&-_box_head_nbr=R1704&-ds_name=ACS_2008_1YR_G00_&-_lang=en&-redoLog=false&-mt_name=ACS_2008_1YR_G00_R1701_US30&-format=US-30&-CONTEXT=grt

[xvii] U.S. Census ,http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/GRTTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=01000US&-_box_head_nbr=R1703&-ds_name=ACS_2008_1YR_G00_&-_lang=en&-redoLog=false&-format=US-30&-mt_name=ACS_2008_1YR_G00_R1902_US30&-CONTEXT=grt

[xviii] U.S. Census

[xix] Kim, Ann S., Mainers’ food stamp use second in nation, Portland Press Herald, September 28, 2009

[xx] Urban Institute, http://anfdata.urban.org/databook_tabs/2008/I.E.4.xls

[xxi] National Women’s Law Center, http://www.nwlc.org/pdf/StateChildCareAssistancePoliciesReport08.pdf Eligibility criteria for Texas and Virginia includes regional funding adjustments which result in higher eligibility levels than those in Maine for certain regions of those states.

[xxii] Administration for Children and Families, http://www.liheap.ncat.org/tables/FY2010/POP10.htm

[xxiii] Bragdon, Tarren, Maine’s Choice:  Have Medicaid Take Care of the Truly Vulnerable or Give Away Medicaid to the Middle Class, The Maine Heritage Policy Center, February 25, 2008

[xxiv] Kaiser Family Foundation, http://www.statehealthfacts.org/comparetable.jsp?ind=749&cat=4

[xxv] Kaiser Family Foundation, http://www.dhcs.ca.gov/provgovpart/Documents/Waiver%20Renewal/Expanding%20Coverage%20for%20Low%20Income.pdf

[xxvi] Migration Immigration Source, http://www.migrationinformation.org/feature/display.cfm?ID=40

[xxvii] National Center for Children in Poverty,  http://www.nccp.org/tools/policy/

[xxviii] Drug Offenders: Various Factors May Limits the Impacts of Federal Laws That Provide for Denial of Selected Benefits, United States Government Accountability Office, September 2005.

[xxix] IBID

[xxx] Urban Institute, http://anfdata.urban.org/databook_tabs/2008/I.A.2.xls

[xxxi] IBID

[xxxii] Administration for Children and Families, http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofa/particip/2008/tab1a.htm

[xxxiii] Administration for Children and Families

[xxxiv] Administration for Children and Families, http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofa/particip/2008/tab8b.htm

[xxxv] Administration for Children and Families, http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofa/character/FY2008/tab23.htm

[xxxvi] Maine Equal Justice Partners, http://www.mejp.org/aspire-tanf.htm#anchor152680

[xxxvii] Administration for Children and Families, http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofa/character/FY2007/tab28.htm

[xxxviii] Maine Equal Justice Partners, http://www.mejp.org/aspire-tanf.htm#anchor152680

[xxxix] Administration for Children and Families, http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofa/character/FY2008/tab30.htm

[xl] Urban Institute, http://anfdata.urban.org/databook_tabs/2008/IV.C.1.xls

[xli] Maine Equal Justice Partners, http://www.mejp.org/tanflimits.htm

[xlii] Administration for Children and Families, http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofa/policy/timelimit/2005/tab1.htm

[xliii] Administration for Children and Families, http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofa/policy/timelimit/2004/tab1.htm

[xliv] Administration for Children and Families, http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofa/policy/timelimit/2003/01.htm

[xlv] Thompson, Dianne. Evaluating Length of Stay in Assisted Housing Programs: A Methodological Note Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research, Vol. 9, No. 1, 2007. http://www.huduser.org/periodicals/cityscpe/vol9num1/ch10.pdf

[xlvi] Urban Institute, http://anfdata.urban.org/databook_tabs/2008/III.B.3.xls

[xlvii] Maine Equal Justice Partners, http://www.ptla.org/mej/aspire-tanf.htm

[xlviii] Maine State Housing Authority, http://www.mainehousing.org/PROGRAMSWeatherization.aspx?ProgramID=49

[xlix] Maine Equal Justice Partners,  http://www.ptla.org/mej/Update/14-1/lifeline.htm

[l] Maine Equal Justice Partners, http://www.mejp.org/alternativeaid.htm

[li] Ability Maine, http://www.abilitymaine.org/news/altaid.html

[lii]  Maine Legislature, http://www.mainelegislature.org/LawMakerWeb/summary.asp?paper=HP1294&SessionID=6

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