A Maine Democratic lawmaker has filed a bill that would force Gov. Paul LePage (R) to live by the same rules that he wants to impose on welfare recipients.
WMTM reported that a spokesperson for state Rep. Scott Hamann (D) said that the bill was about increasing transparency of the governor’s expense account, but provisions of the measure bear a striking resemblance to restrictions LePage tried to place on people using SNAP assistance.
A bill pushed by LePage earlier this year would have banned welfare recipients from using their benefits to purchase alcohol, cigarettes, lottery tickets, tattoos and bail. Even lap dances and souvenirs from Disney World would have been banned.
Democrats have already conceded it is not likely that Hamann’s bill will become law.
“Given the hurdle second session bills must clear, Rep. Hamann is focusing his efforts on his Meals on Wheels proposal and his bill to prevent opioid overdose among children and elders,” spokesperson Ann Kim told WMTW.
Adrienne Bennett, a spokesperson for LePage, insisted that the governor was not using his expense accounts for anything questionable.
“Unlike Mr. Hamann, the LePage Administration is working toward real welfare reform, which includes providing more education and workforce training to Mainers so they are able to acquire career skills to move from dependency to economic independence,” Bennett said.
An unscientific survey by the Bangor Daily News indicated on Wednesday that 72 percent of respondents thought Hamann’s bill was a good idea.