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The state of Maine is currently engaged in a battle over how to best allocate the limited taxpayer funds – and illegal aliens are winning.

Maine is classified as a “sinkhole” state by the State Data Lab, an indication that it does not hold enough assets to cover its debt, and legislators in the state capital of Augusta have taken steps to cut spending, including what is called “General Assistance,” but cities are free to continue making GA payments even when the state does not reimburse them.

The issue surrounds a gap in the availability of benefits for immigrants seeking asylum in the United States who cannot be granted work permits for the first six months they are in the country and require some form of welfare to survive during that period.

The “Catch-22” situation has created a future financial crunch for taxpayers when cities make GA payments without reimbursement.

The state’s largest city, Portland, with a population of close to 70,000, is one such city, having increased the amount of GA benefits to immigrants three-fold and to a degree some say is unsustainable.

David MacLean, administrator of Portland social services cited a “change in demographics” and according to DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew, “The folks in the city of Portland want to be able to cover anyone regardless of whether they’re lawfully pursuing status in the United States.”

Portland spent $10 million on GA in 2015, receiving less than half that amount in reimbursement from the state, with the shortfall being only partially covered “through a community support fund,” created by the city government according to Dawn Stiles, the director of Portland Health and Human Services.

Mayhew argues the funds should be allocated to nursing homes and to provide for the large number of disabled, including those with intellectual and developmental disabilities on long waiting lists for services.

“There’s only one pot of money,” she said, “it’s all about priorities.”

Source: WGME

 

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