Maine bill would use $150 million in federal surplus to aid the poor

AUGUSTA — House Speaker Sara Gideon says she wants the state to use about $150 million in existing federal funds to expand public assistance and help ease the burden of poverty for about 30,000 Maine children.

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During a news conference Monday, the Democratic leader from Freeport unveiled a bill that would increase access to public assistance for some families and children, create several pilot programs and increase earned-income tax credits for families living in poverty.

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