The Coastal Packet: Paul LePage drives record number of children into extreme poverty

Tuesday, May 24

Paul LePage drives record number of children into extreme poverty

Maine Beacon - Extreme child poverty in Maine is surging—a 50% increase over the last five years is the sharpest of any state in the nation.TA recent brief by the Scholar Strategies Network describes the shift in policy-making that occurred in Maine in 2011. Until five years ago, researchers describe Maine as providing “reasonable assistance to poor families in crisis, helping them gain the skills they needed to achieve economic independence.” But with the inauguration of Governor LePage and Republican legislative majorities after 2010, there began a marked shift towards policies grounded in penalizing poor families instead of solving the root causes that land families in poverty.

Over the past five years, more than half of families receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, including more than 16,000 children, have been cut from the program. Tens of thousands of people have lost their food supplement benefit and over 40,000 Mainers have lost health care due to eligibility changes to Medicaid.

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