Letter: Welfare story disappoints Scarborough lawmaker

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I was disappointed to see the mischaracterizations and inaccuracies contained in The Forecaster’s article “Maine cities, towns brace for looming welfare cuts” by Mario Moretto and posted on your website on June 26.

The quotes that were attributed to me in the article are not the statements I made while speaking with Mr. Moretto, and I certainly never said that I voted against LD 1903 because the general assistance cuts did not go far enough. I do not know where Mr. Moretto got that information, and if it is guesswork it has no place in a news article. Instead, what I specifically spoke about was the disproportionate share aspect of that budget, with which I had disagreements.

As a member of the Health and Human Services Committee, I have spent hundreds of hours poring over matters related to Maine’s welfare system and the general assistance program. Information regarding general assistance programs that I learned through this work, and shared with Mr. Moretto, would have been much more beneficial to readers than the inaccurate quotes that were published.

Mainers deserve to hear an accurate portrayal of what their legislators believe and are working on. I will look forward to The Forecaster ensuring this is done in the future, and encourage folks to contact their legislators directly for information regarding their voting records.

Rep. Heather W. Sirocki