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Lepage to Feds: “Wake up and Smell the Energy Drinks”

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“Maine taxpayers see it every day at the grocery store and they are sick and tired of watching their hard-earned money go down the drain.” -Governor LePage

A few days ago, Governor LePage sent a letter to U.S. Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack, in response to the denial of a waiver request for Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services to undertake a pilot project prohibiting the purchase of candy and sugar-sweetened beverages with food stamps in Maine.

LePage argues that this measure is such commonsense that a demonstration project “should not even be necessary.”

He goes on to say that” The Obama administration goes to great lengths to police the menus of K-12 cafeterias but looks the other way as billions of taxpayer dollars finance a steady diet of Mars bars and Mountain Dew. I can think of only one reason why the federal government would refuse to eliminate junk food from the EBT menu: special interests.”

LePage sites Maine’s obesity rate, which has doubled from 14 to 28 percent, and diabetes, which now impacts 9.5 percent of Mainers.

“Beyond the health effects of the federal government’s corrupt food stamp policy is the tragedy of billions wasted in taxpayer dollars that buy candy and soda through a program that was originally designed to reduce hunger.”

Governor LePage concludes that it’s time for the feds to “wake up and smell the energy drinks.” He states that he will look into options to implement reform or cease Maine’s administration of the broken program altogether.

To view the full letter, click here.

About Krysta West

Krysta West is the Communications Director for The Maine Heritage Policy Center. Prior to her time with MHPC, Krysta served as a Legislative Assistant at the National Rifle Association. Krysta is a native of Arundel, Maine, and has served as an aide in the Maine Legislature.

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