Maine governor threatens to halt federal food stamp program

AP News
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Posted: Jun 21, 2016 1:58 PM

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Republican Gov. Paul LePage is threatening to halt Maine's administration of the federal food stamp program if he can't ban recipients from buying products such as Mars bars and Mountain Dew.

LePage wrote to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack criticizing the agency for denying Maine's request for a waiver to institute such a ban.

The federal government has never approved such a waiver. It instead supports incentives that encourage recipients to eat healthy.

LePage claims President Barack Obama's administration polices school menus but kowtows to powerful food groups by letting taxpayers finance junk food.

Citing Maine's rising obesity and diabetes rates, LePage said he'll seek "to implement reform unilaterally or cease Maine's administration of the food stamp program altogether."

He suggested the federal government should administer Maine's program.