Race for Maine Senate District 30

in the 2014 General Election

James A. Boyle

James A. Boyle

9,128 (47.01%)

Democratic - Gorham

Candidate profile


Total raised: $24,680
Types of contributions
Monetary donations: $900
Maine Clean Elections money: $23,580
Candidate self-financing: $200
Loans: $0
In-kind donations: $0
Boyle raised 45.14% of the amount Volk raised.
Donations from inside Maine vs. out-of-state
Donations from inside Maine (excludes self-financing): $800
Donations from outside Maine: $100
Maine Clean Elections money: $23,580
Candidate self-financing: $200
Boyle raised 45.14% of the amount Volk raised.
Correction: An earlier version of this graph incorrectly noted Maine Clean Elections money as from out-of-state.
Amy F. Volk

Amy F. Volk

10,289 (52.99%)

Republican - Scarborough

Candidate profile


Total raised: $54,676
Types of contributions
Monetary donations: $51,909
Maine Clean Elections money: $0
Candidate self-financing: $1,552
Loans: $0
In-kind donations: $1,214
Donations from inside Maine vs. out-of-state
Donations from inside Maine (excludes self-financing): $43,028
Donations from outside Maine: $10,096
Maine Clean Elections money: $0
Candidate self-financing: $1,552

Is Maine too generous in providing social services to its residents? Which government benefits should be increased or decreased?

Boyle
No Maine has the lowest benefits in New England. But we must make sure funds only go to the most needy, and fight fraud. Maine has the lowest benefits in New England. But we must make sure funds only go to the most needy, and fight fraud and abuse. For example, I voted to prohibit the use of TANF benefits for tobacco, liquor, gambling, lottery tickets and bail.

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Volk
Yes Maine needs to conform to the federal welfare reforms signed into law by President Clinton. The issue I hear about the most when talking to voters is welfare. Struggling middle class Mainers are tired of feeling taken advantage of by people they perceive as work-capable. Often, the issue of illegal immigrants comes up as well. In my opinion, many people who seek refuge or protection in the United States are here for the right reasons and we should welcome them to the extent that we can afford to do so. What is really broken is a federal immigration system which takes months and sometimes years to issue a work permit. While they are waiting, refugees and asylees have no other option except public assistance. That is the real problem and I have encouraged our federal delegation to resolve this issue so that Maine can, in fact, benefit from an influx of young, sometimes even skilled, workers from other countries.

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Do you support lowering the state income tax? If so, what state spending would you cut to make up for the loss of revenue?

Boyle
Yes I support reforming our tax system to lower income taxes for middle- and low-income residents by closing corporate tax loopholes. I support reforming our tax system to lower income taxes for middle- and low-income residents by closing corporate tax loopholes.

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Volk
Yes I support comprehensive tax reform which would replace some of the revenue from income taxes by broadening the sales tax. I was a founding member of the "Gang of Eleven," a bi-partisan group led by Independent Senator Dick Woodbury which proposed sweeping tax reform in order to conform the estate tax to federal law, significantly lower the income tax and provide targeted property tax relief to lower and middle income families, as well as the elderly. Our legislation did not address state spending, but broadened the sales tax to include goods and services not currently taxed. Many would consider this form of "consumption" tax to be more fair than our current system, which certainly discourages investment and even residency.

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Should labor unions be allowed to require workers to pay dues as a condition of employment, regardless of whether the worker joins the union?

Boyle
Yes If an employee benefits from the activities of the union, then I think it’s fair to ask the employee to share the cost of that benefit. If an employee benefits from the activities of the union, then I think it’s fair to ask the employee to share the cost of that benefit.

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Volk
No Workers who do not want to be represented by a union or do not share a union's political beliefs should not be forced to pay union fees. Workers who do not want to be represented by a union or do not share a union's political beliefs should not be forced to pay union fees. The state of Maine should definitely not be the unions' collection agency, which is the case for state workers now.

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Would you vote to expand Medicaid eligibility as allowed by the Affordable Care Act?

Boyle
Yes 70,000 Mainers, including 3,000 veterans, depend on it. It’s the right and smart thing to do. 70,000 Mainers, including 3,000 veterans, depend on it. It’s the right and smart thing to do.

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Volk
No At this point in time, I remain against expanding medical welfare benefits. I remain open to the idea of expanding Medicaid in Maine, but not on the terms we have been offered at this point in time. The current terms leave Maine responsible for paying for the claims administration of 70,000 or more Medicaid patients. The Department of Health and Human Services, which is only beginning to get its budget under control, would need to hire an estimated 100 or more new workers. Additionally, because Maine has been generous in the past, covering populations not covered in other states, the federal government would only offer 100% coverage of care for a portion of enrollees, not all of them as they are in almost every other state.

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What is the biggest thing Maine can do to attract more jobs to the state?

Boyle
Maine should increase its support for the high technology construction and manufacturing jobs that come from renewable energy. Maine should increase its support for the high technology construction and manufacturing jobs that come from renewable energy.

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Volk
The most critical thing Maine needs to do now is to lift the 100 megawatt cap on hydro-electric power. Electricity costs in New England are out of control. Several years ago, during the Baldacci administration, the legislature decided to prioritize wind and solar over hydro-electric power. This disastrous decision has resulted in cripplingly high electricity, which places a burden on residents and cripples and deters business growth, particularly in manufacturing. Maine cannot change its climate or its geography, but we can take advantage of the cheap, abundant, reliable, and renewable hydro-electric power available in our backyard.

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Should Maine legalize, tax and regulate recreational marijuana? If so, where should the revenues go?

Boyle
Yes It should be regulated strictly like alcohol, and revenue should go to the general fund. It should be regulated strictly like alcohol, and revenue should go to the general fund.

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Volk
No I believe the jury is still out on whether legalized marijuana is working well in other states. I recently had a very interesting and intelligent conversation with a young voter who goes to school in Colorado, where they have legalized marijuana. He made some very good arguments in favor of legalization. However, I believe there are a lot of unanswered questions with marijuana legalization and would prefer to see how it goes in other states before I would be ready to vote in favor of it in Maine. My answer is no, for now.

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Should the governor be allowed to delay the sale of general obligation bonds that have been approved by voters?

Boyle
No The voters approved them and our economy will benefit from the investment. The voters approved them and our economy will benefit from the investment.

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Volk
Yes We have seen Maine's credit ratings improve with the governor's decision to delay the sale of bonds.

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What should the state do to lower energy costs? What commitment should Maine make to renewable technology?

Boyle
In the long run, energy costs will be lowered by investing in weatherization of buildings and installation of renewable energy generated fro In the long run, energy costs will be lowered by investing in weatherization of buildings and installation of renewable energy generated from within our own borders. Investors in renewable energy want to know that Maine supports renewable energy with stable policies and regulations that recognize the long-term benefits of investing in carbon neutral, local energy generation.

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Volk
Maine needs to focus on clean, reliable, abundant hydro-electric power. As evidenced by recent mill closures, electricity costs in New England are out of control. Several years ago, during the Baldacci administration, the legislature decided to prioritize wind and solar over hydro. This has resulted in cripplingly high electricity rates, which place a burden on residents and cripple and deter business growth, particularly in manufacturing. New technology has made it possible for dams to operate in ecologically responsible ways which facilitate fish spawning and migration. Maine cannot change its climate or its geography, but we can take advantage of the cheap, abundant, reliable, and renewable hydro-electric power available in our backyard.

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Should lawmakers make it a priority — even if it means raising taxes — to fulfill the voters' mandate to have the state fund 55 percent of the total cost of K-12 public education?

Boyle
Yes We should make it a priority, not by raising income tax rates, but by closing corporate tax loopholes. We should make it a priority, not by raising income tax rates, but by closing corporate tax loopholes.

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Volk
No We should always make funding education a priority, but I do not believe Mainers want us to raise taxes in order to do so. Maine needs a state-wide discussion about how we administer and fund K-12, as well as higher education. Our current system, with so many different school districts, is very expensive. Outside of New England, school districts are typically administered by county. I would like to see us moving in that direction, centralizing administration and putting the money saved into classrooms. Local control, centrally administered.

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Should Maine have more charter schools?

Boyle
No Charter schools siphon money away from public schools – financed with local taxes - at a time when citizens are struggling financially. The way charter schools are funded siphons money away from public schools – financed with local taxpayer dollars - at a time when citizens are already struggling with finances.

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Volk
No Our charter school law limits Maine to 10 charter schools over 5 years and I agree with that limit at this point in time. Families choose charter schools for a variety of reasons, but what they all have in common is a conviction that the alternative found there will better suit the needs of their learner. Many acknowledge that, for most students, their local school is just fine. However, they see an opportunity for their child to thrive in an alternative environment. I believe that having those alternative opportunities available is a positive thing for Maine. What we do need to address is how charter schools are funded. Nearly everyone will admit that the current funding system makes budgeting very difficult for school districts. I am confident this can and will be addressed in a bi-partisan way in the next legislative session.

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