Republican Gov. Paul LePage is renewing his push to make significant changes to Maine's welfare programs.
The Republican governor is introducing a bill that would require Temporary Assistance for Needy Families applicants to apply for three jobs before getting benefits, bar the use of benefit cards outside of Maine and prohibit people from using benefits on certain purchases.
LePage sought those changes last session, but they were killed in the Democratic-controlled Legislature. He said Tuesday that Republicans' success in the November elections proved that residents are "demanding reform."
Democrats are taking a more tempered approach after fiercely opposing some of those provisions last year. House Speaker Mark Eves says that Democrats are open to LePage's proposals and are hopeful that the two parties can find common ground this year.