Is Maine too generous in providing social services to its residents? Which government benefits should be increased or decreased?
Not necessarily, however, the welfare system needs continual reform, an effort we initiated this past legislative session. We passed a bipartisan bill that tighten the loopholes, increased accountability and saved tax dollars.
Do you support expanding or raising the sales tax to lower the state income tax? Why or why not?
I do no support raising and expanding the sales tax because it disproportionately impacts low income people. Also, there is no guarantee that the extra funds generated from the sales tax increase would be used to lower the income tax. As the former Senate Chair of the budget writing committee (AFA) I know firsthand how funds are diverted for last minute causes and needs when balancing the state budget.
What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Creating good paying jobs throughout the state depends on a healthy business climate, especially for small businesses. The legislature can play a vital role in improving our economy by passing legislation that encourages the expansion of businesses and bringing new businesses to our state. Fine tuning regulations is important.
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?
Doing all we can to incentivize our youth to return/stay in Maine to work and raise their families. Also, be a welcoming state to those who would be first time
citizens to our state.