May 24, 2020

On April 14, I attended a meeting on welfare reform. I was shocked to find that Gov. McKernan was proposing a $23 billion budget cut in the welfare program.

I was given a fact sheet stating that the surtax is no longer in effect and Gov. McKernan wants to return the sales tax to 5 percent.

When the surtax was stopped in December 1992 a family of four earning $20,000 annually only gained 12 cents a week. By returning the sales tax to 5 percent a family of four earning $25,000 annually will gain $1.68 a week. Most people I know wouldn’t even miss that small amount of money.

I feel strongly about these issues because I am an AFDC recipient. McKernan seems to think AFDC recipients are not willing to work. This is not true! Myself and most AFDC recipients that I know would love to go back to work. So what’s the problem? The state makes it impossible. The instant we go to work we lose all benefits.

Gov. McKernan’s budget cuts make no sense to anyone but himself. To get the money he needs he does not need to cut budgets. All that is needed is to reinstate the surtax and raise the sales tax to 7 percent instead of returning it to 5 percent.

McKernan and his staff are the ones who should take a pay cut, not us single women who are already living below the poverty level. Because of the cuts he has made already, I’ve been cut to $324 a month from $337 a month. If it wasn’t for my parents, my daughter and I would be wearing rags. Please stop McKernan from making these budget cuts. There has to be something else that can be done. Marie A. Clift Southwest Harbor

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