- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 3, 2015

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Immigrants and advocates are asking Maine lawmakers to dismiss Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s proposed cuts to welfare.

LePage’s administration is proposing that the state no longer provide certain welfare benefits, like food stamps and general assistance, to non-citizens, like refugees and people seeking asylum. It’s part of the governor’s more than $6 billion budget plan.

Sebastien Bukuru (Boo-KOO-roo), who’s from Burundi, told the Appropriations Committee Tuesday that without state assistance that he and his wife use to pay for rent, electricity and food, they would be out on the street.

Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew says that Maine’s welfare programs are more generous than most states and that it must prioritize its services to help the neediest residents. The move is expected to save more than $4 million.

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