Compromise welfare reform among laws to take effect Friday

Compromise welfare reform among laws to take effect Friday


GOOD MORNING, COURTNEY. COURTNEY: GOOD MORNING, DAVID. THESE NEW LAWS TACKLE MANY ISSUES FACING MAINERS, FROM WELFARE BENEFITS TO HEALTH CARE ACCESS TO ISLAND RESIDENTS. TWO OF THESE LAWS ARE AIMED AT PROTECTING RESIDENTS FROM SEX ABUSE. THE FIRST REQUIRES TEACHERS AND DAYCARE WORKERS COMPLETE A MANDATED TRAINING DESIGNED TO HELP PROFESSIONALS SPOT AND RECOGNIZE THE SIGNS OF CHILD ABUSE. THEY’LL BE REQUIRED TO COMPLETE TRAINING EVERY FOUR YEARS IN A COURSE APPROVED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES. THE SECOND LAW HELPS MOTHERS WHO CONCEIVED CHILDREN AS A RESULT OF BEING RAPED. MOTHERS CAN NOW PETITION TO TERMINATE THEIR ATTACKER’S PARENTAL RIGHTS IF THEY CAN PROVE THAT THE CHILD WAS CONCEIVED AS A RESULT OF RAPE. A NEW WELFARE LAW TARGETING MAINE’S ADMINISTRATION OF FEDERAL BENEFITS ALSO GOING INTO EFFECT, THE LAW SETS PENALTIES FOR INDIVIDUALS WHO SPEND CASH WELFARE BENEFITS ON THINGS LIKE ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, AND THE LOTTERY. THE LAW WILL SUSPEND FIRST-TIME OFFENDERS’ BENEFITS FOR THREE MONTHS. AND ALSO INCLUDED IN THE LAW. A STATE WORKING GROUP WILL BE STUDYING HOW TO BLOCK EBT CARDS FROM BUYING PROHIBITED ITEMS IN THE FIRST PLACE. ALSO STARTING TODAY, STATE FERRIES WILL HAVE A NEW FEATURE FOR ISLAND RESIDENTS. THE LAW REQUIRES LOCKED BOXES FOR SENDING LAB SAMPLES TO THE MAINLAND. SUPPORTERS SAY IT ALLOWS ISLAND RESIDENTS TO GET ROUTINE HEALTH NEEDS LIKE BLOODWORK DONE WITHOUT TAKING THE FERRY . GOVERNOR LEPAGE VETOED THE BILL. THE LEGISLATURE OVERRODE IT.

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