- Associated Press - Sunday, April 22, 2018

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - A leading Democrat hopes a new law will increase the number of highly skilled workers in Maine.

The law uses federal welfare funds to fund a new program to help low-income families pursue post-secondary degrees or credentials.

Individuals eligible for the program would have to have an income at or below 185 percent of the federal poverty level. The degree would also have to be in a field where the job outlook is at least average, as defined by the Department of Labor.

Democratic House Speaker Sara Gideon said the law will address Maine’s pressing workforce shortage.

The bill went into law Tuesday without Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s signature.

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