Is Maine too generous in providing social services to its residents? Which government benefits should be increased or decreased?
NO.We've reduced the number of individuals receiving SNAP even as food insecurity remains a growing concern, especially among children. We need to expand Medicaid and restore services to the mentally ill and disabled.
It makes sense to decriminalize marijuana. My concerns are for clear and enforceable regulations, education that will keep children and all those under 21 from gaining access. The law is complex; I am not sure the DACF is the right place for implementation.
We need to fully fund our schools and ensure that every child has access to a quality education no matter where they live. We also need to take some of the pressure off property taxes which unduly impact those in fixed incomes and undermine support for public education.
Is the size of Maines Legislature appropriate? Should the pay for legislative service be increased?
I would like to look at alternative suggestions and weigh closely the pros and cons. I think the small districts keep our elected officials close to their constituents so something would be lost by increasing the size.
Would you support sanctioning another elected official if he or she made public comments or statements that were considered racist, offensive or prejudicial?
As elected officials we all should be held to the highest standards of civility, decorum and should behave in a manner that is respectful of others and upholds our nation's values of equality and justice. There should be consequences for not doing so.
What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Lack of leadership and a positive spokesperson. We need leaders who promote our assets - our people, place and institutions, in a positive, forward looking fashion. We need to celebrate and support the entrepreneurial activity and energy that exists in this state already. We need to improve our infrastructure - roads, bridges, ports, real and most importantly, broadband so the economic activity of Maine people can reach markets.
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?
we need to welcome immigrants and newcomers to our state; we need to increase efforts to attract our own young people to come back to Maine.( (Live and Work in Maine) See answer to Q 14 - we need to promote our state as the great place it is to live work and raise a family.