As Congress considers welfare reform many are quick to point out the political roadblocks facing actual progress. Although the crumbling welfare apparatus has become a focal point in recent congressional discourse due to the efforts of House conservatives within the Freedom Caucus it will still be an uphill fight to get lasting reforms pushed through at the federal level.
Alternatively to waiting on the national government to create a solution to one of America’s most pressing problems several states have taken the initiative and attempted to create a sustainable welfare model. By embracing the federalist model and utilizing the states as laboratories of democracy lawmakers can see what works and what doesn’t in real time. Already some states have produced promising results.
Legislators in Maine took a bold step in implementing conservative styled welfare reform. Initiated by a Republican governor, Paul LePage, the reforms sought to address the growing number of welfare