A program to strengthen Maine's welfare programs started this Monday, despite some advice from the federal government. A new photo ID is to be added to electronic benefits transfer cards (EBT cards), those cards are used like debit cards by welfare recipients.

Governor LePage and Mary Mayhew, the commissioner of DHHS, support the photo ID on the EBT cards, saying that it will help fight abuse and prevent cards from being traded or sold illegally.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture sent a letter to DHHS commissioner Mayhew last week, saying that moving too quickly could put Maine at risk of litigation against the state and of losing federal funding for the programs.

The state plans to mandate a photo ID on nearly all EBT cards by July, disabled and elderly recipients will be exempt.

Maine will join New York and Massachusetts in having photo ID's on EBT cards.

What are your thoughts? Do you support the idea? Do you think it will help prevent illegal use of EBT cards?