While I do not support criminalization for possession, based on the evidence to date and my experience in public health efforts, given our on-going work and expense with the current addiction crisis I am opposed to increasing the supply and availability of marijuana.
While I am opposed to significant increases in taxation for all Maine citizens, I will support referendum question 2 for so long as the State of Maine continues to drive increases in the property tax to fund public education.
I have struggled with this issue and acknowledge that many voters in District 10 oppose this, but I am in agreement with the Maine Chiefs of Police Association and I have yet to conclude that passage would significantly harm or limit the rights of gun owners while offering an increase in the odds for public safety.
While I share small business's concerns for short term consequences and the challenge they might face, findings in other states where the minimum raise has been raised show mostly positive economic outcomes for all. My daughter owns a small business in operation for about a year and a half that employs about 15 workers, and she supports this.
Should Maine prioritize law enforcement efforts to intercept drug traffickers over expanding access to substance abuse treatment, such those that incorporates medications like methadone and Suboxone?
This cannot be about single effort choices or options. Law enforcement and incarceration without treatment will increase our costs while having minimal effect on addiction and crime. Treatment without prevention can be effective but only at much higher expense, and treatment without law enforcement diminishes positive outcomes and also makes such efforts more costly. We need a well thought out and tightly coordinated intervention plan involving and including all parties.
Is the size of Maines Legislature appropriate? Should the pay for legislative service be increased?
I would support a plan to reduce the size of the Legislature, focusing on the House, that would be implemented gradually. I am in favor of increasing the lay level for the position of Governor, but I am not yet convinced that pay for members in the House or Senate should be raised. That could be considered when and if the citizens of Maine enthusiastically support the work of its government.
Would you support a so-called right to work law in Maine?
No. While I have serious concerns about what some of our unions have become in terms of their effectiveness and associated costs, unions historically have made the difference in how our average worker citizens have been paid and treated on the job. Let unions advocate, and let the workers decide.
What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
The biggest barrier is the lack of a real Plan for Maine. I support the recently announced, coordinated efforts of the Maine Development Foundation and the State Chamber of Commerce to build a strategy to effectively grow our workforce. But the continuing distractions offered by too many in state government and the lack of a consensus driven plan that would include an identification of our assets, research and identification into emerging industries, and the supportive coordination of education and training and healthcare have and will stifle our efforts. The increasing gaps in our workforce and our growing inability to replace workers who are retiring represent, to me, one of the top three challenges we face.
Census data show Maines population is aging and decreasing, with some economists suggesting that immigration is the best way to reverse those trends. What should the state do to address this demographic trend?
A thoughtful and coordinated plan to include immigrants in our strategy to grow our economy makes sense to me. All I need to do to support this is to look back at my own family tree and consider the Irish and Italians who came before.
What is the most pressing issue in Maine these questions have not addressed?
An expressed belief that we can in fact do better. We need to move from the distractions of prejudicial statements and conversations that are unhelpful to assertions of hope, compassion, thoughtfulness and growing excellence.