Is Maine too generous in providing social services to its residents? Which government benefits should be increased or decreased?
Maine is far from too generous. Maine residents who need help are more likely to be called lazy than to get services that could enable them to become productive citizens(provide a mother with toddlers to work with child care!)
Do you support expanding or raising the sales tax to lower the state income tax? Why or why not?
I do NOT support lowering the state income tax. Income tax is a non -regressive tax, based on 'ability to pay',income! Lowering this raises both sales and property tax which are both regressive taxes and are more of a burden for those with lower income.
I believe this petition as written is unconstitutional. It by-passes the legislature in allocating state tax dollars to the school budget without going through the Appropriations. I took a pledge to support and uphold the Maine constitution. Voting for this citizen petition would violate that oath.
I believe this ballot question as written is unconstitutional. The Maine Constitution says Maine citizens have the right to bear arms and this right shall never be questioned. I took a pledge to support and uphold the Maine constitution. Voting for this citizen petition would violate that oath.
The minimum wage should be increased to $10 per hour not $12. I pay $10 per hour to my employees that work at my small antique shop. Additionally, there needs to be a seasonal wage and a training wage. This petition does not have provisions for these two wages.
I believe this ballot question as written is unconstitutional. The Maine Constitution identifies an election winner as the one that gathers the most of votes. I took a pledge to support and uphold the Maine constitution. Voting for this ballot question would violate that oath.
Is the size of Maines Legislature appropriate? Should the pay for legislative service be increased?
Maine is a large state with a diverse population, to represent them all well, I think the size of the Legislature is appropriate. I don't know about the pay, I do not believe it should be so low no one can afford to do the job.
Why do you limit this question to only elected officials? Anyone who makes public comments that are racial, offensive or prejudicial should be sanctioned. But before any sanctioning takes place the whole story needs to be told and not just what one reads in the newspapers.
What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
We need to be open to 'new' types of economic growth (computer based business, solar power, off shore wind farms, technology based business)and let go of the old mills. Some mills may survive but propping them up with tax rebates is feeding a dying horse. Smaller, environmentally friendly business should be encouraged as well as small farms (we can feed New England if we work at helping the next generation farmers)
Energy costs. We need to look at the cost to deliver energy: Transmission and Distribution cost. We need to understand why they are so high. Additionally we need remove any barriers to the development of micro electrical grids that could be developed around biomass electric generating plants in rural areas.
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?
Immigration is a very good way to rapidly increase the younger population and bring new energy into the state.