AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine would direct more federal welfare dollars to up to 500 low-income parents seeking degrees under a bill.
Democratic Speaker Sara Gideon and Republican Rep. Deborah Sanderson worked together on the amended bill that creates the Higher Opportunity Pathways to Employment program. The Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee unanimously voted Tuesday in support of the legislation.
The initiative is open to families with incomes at or below 185 percent of the federal poverty level. Eligible parents would be seeking a post-secondary degree or credential in a field with at least an average job outlook.
The bill would be funded using existing federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Family dollars. Low-income parents wouldn’t need to qualify for such assistance to participate.
The bill faces further votes in the House and Senate.