Race for Maine Senate District 28

in the 2016 General Election

Mark N. Dion

Mark N. Dion

15,675 (70.71%)

Democratic - Portland

Candidate profile

Karen Elaine Usher

Karen Elaine Usher

6,493 (29.29%)

Republican - Westbrook

Candidate profile

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

Dion did not answer this question.

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Do you support expanding or raising the sales tax to lower the state income tax? Why or why not?

Dion
Yes. The relationship between income tax rates and sales tax schedules should be examined with an intent to recalibrate their consequences on taxpayer burden and the proportions they represent in our anticipated revenue stream.

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Do you support marijuana legalization in Maine, as outlined in Question 1?

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

Dion
No response.

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Do you support raising taxes on Mainers with incomes above $200,000 to increase state aid to education, as outlined in Question 2?

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

Dion
No response.

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Do you support universal background checks for firearm sales, as outlined in Question 3?

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

Dion
No response.

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Should Maine raise its minimum wage, as outlined in Question 4?

Please explain your answer. (Not required.)

Dion
No response.

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Do you support the initiative to use ranked-choice voting to elect state and federal officials in Maine, as outlined in Question 5?

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

Dion
No response.

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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?

Dion
Drug enforcement and substance abuse treatment should evaluated and funded as coordinated strategies. For too long they have been subject to parallel budget tracks that have placed an emphasis on law enforcement as the primary objective of our drug control policy. These two tracks must be merged into a unified approach in reducing the harm associated with drug abuse. Addiction is a process that has an adverse consequence on an addict's neurochemistry which cannot be addressed solely by personal desire and community support for long term sobriety. It is a disease that requires a plan of care that incorporates appropriate medication as a foundation in creating and sustaining a positive outcome for the addict.

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Should Maines constitutional officers -- the secretary of state, the attorney general, auditor and the treasurer -- continue to be elected by the Legislature or by statewide popular vote?

Dion
I do not see any outstanding issue over how the current process functions.

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Is the size of Maines Legislature appropriate? Should the pay for legislative service be increased?

Dion did not answer this question.

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Would you support sanctioning another elected official if he or she made public comments or statements that were considered racist, offensive or prejudicial?

Dion
Racist commentary should always be subject to official condemnation. Boorish speech is best addressed by the court of public opinion.

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Would you support a so-called right to work law in Maine?

Would you support legislation or a ballot question to allow more casinos in Maine?

What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?

Dion
Legislatures do not create jobs but we can invest in rebuilding and expanding our physical infrastructure, Better roads, bridges, airports and waterfronts spur business investment. We should also commit to fully deploy a statewide digital network for the 21st century to promote a more rapid exchange of data and products.

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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?

Dion
We should develop a comprehensive state immigration policy. Our goal should be to minimize barriers that hinder the assimilation of immigrant workers into our economy. We should give particular attention to business visa processing, conditional reciprocity for educational and professional certification, accelerated English language training and expanded apprentice training in technical fields as goals for moving the state forward in realizing a more inclusive Maine economy.

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What is the most pressing issue in Maine these questions have not addressed?

Dion
As we consider our social expectations for an increasingly aging population, one trend we should pay attention to is the seismic shift in how we will be delivering core health care services in the decade ahead. Historically, the platform upon which most of our health care transactions have occurred has been in the public context of a hospital. However, the shift to home based health care is ascending at an increasing rate of growth and may eventually redefine our idea of a hospital and its role in responding to patient needs. Home health care raises key policy questions on who has access to, control over and responsibility for the health and fiscal well being of vulnerable individuals cared for and isolated, in a practical sense, from the broader community by the privacy shield that is their home.

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