New Laws to Take Effect Friday
A new welfare law aiming to restore credibility in Maine's administration of federal benefits comes into effect Friday.
The law, which passed with bipartisan support, sets penalties for individuals who spend cash welfare benefits on alcohol, tobacco, lottery tickets, bail, firearms, vacations, adult entertainment and tattoos.
In 2014, Republican Gov. Paul LePage released a similar proposal that Republicans said would deter misuse. Democrats at the time agreed with the concept but called the measure unenforceable.
The compromise law suspends first-time offenders' benefits for three months.
The law tasks a state working group with studying how to block EBT cards from buying prohibited items in the first place. Other laws coming into effect Friday include an interest-free student loan program for eligible students and several laws targeting the opioid crisis.