An Act To Build Greater Accountability into the General Assistance Program by Increasing the Penalty for Falsely Representing Information on an Application for General Assistance
Sec. 1. 22 MRSA §4315, first ¶, as amended by PL 2015, c. 312, §1, is further amended to read:
Whoever knowingly and willfully makes any false representation of a material fact to the overseer of any municipality or to the department or its agents for the purpose of causing that or any other person to be granted assistance by the municipality or by the State is guilty of a Class E crime and shall reimburse the municipality for that assistance. Further assistance may be denied until that person reimburses the municipality for the assistance or enters into a written agreement, which must be reasonable under the circumstances, to reimburse the municipality or that person has been ineligible for assistance for a period of 120 days 24 months, whichever period is longer.
Sec. 2. 22 MRSA §4315, 3rd ¶, as amended by PL 2015, c. 312, §2, is further amended to read:
If the overseer of any municipality or the fair hearing officer finds that a recipient made a false representation to the overseer in violation of this section, that recipient is required to reimburse the municipality for any assistance rendered for which that recipient was ineligible. The recipient is ineligible from receiving further assistance for a period of 120 days 24 months or until that person reimburses the municipality for the assistance or enters into a written agreement, which must be reasonable under the circumstances, to reimburse that municipality, whichever period is longer.
This bill increases the ineligibility penalty for falsifying a general assistance application from 120 days to 24 months.