AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Republican Gov. Paul LePage says people are using welfare benefits at bars, sports pubs and strip clubs, even though it's prohibited.
LePage said Tuesday that there were more than 3,000 Electronic Benefit Transfer card transactions made at shops primarily selling cigarettes and tobacco products between 2011 and Nov. 2013. He says there have been about 650 transactions at places that primarily sell alcohol, like bars and pubs, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
LePage says the information is "eye-opening and indicates a larger problem than initially thought."
Christine Hastedt of Maine Equal Justice Partners says a DHHS rule went into effect in the fall that largely dealt with the problem and that LePage is using old data to sensationalize instead of offering real solutions for the poor.
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