Is Maine too generous in providing social services to its residents? Which government benefits should be increased or decreased?
The State needs to provide a safety net to its most vulnerable citizens. However, since the State holds a trust to use taxpayer funds prudently, it cannot allow waste and fraud to occur in its benefit programs. To the extent such abuses are occurring, it is too generous.
I think raising the sales tax slightly, if used to lower income taxes, would be an acceptable way to go. The sales tax would hit everyone equally plus add revenue from out of state visitors, as long as some goods may be exempted, especially goods that are necessary. I do not one this to be a burden on the poor, so this would have to be looked at carefully.
I think we should pass this referendum, but that Legislature needs to look very carefully at how to administer it. The tax structure of it, the monitoring of amount of THC and making sure it is free of contaminants are but a few things that need to be addressed.
I think this is a confusing way to get to a majority vote candidate. I think many people will not know what to do with their 2nd and 3rd place votes , what they mean and what if they only choose one person--is there any impact. Just have a runoff between the top 2 vote getters.
I think the size of the Legislature is fine where it is. This gives people the chance to be able to communicate with their Representative or Senator quite easliy. It increases their availability to their constituents.
Would you support sanctioning another elected official if he or she made public comments or statements that were considered racist, offensive or prejudicial?
I would weigh in on the comments in the forum of public opinion where such concerns are to be discussed. If the public official violated another person's rights under the State discrimination laws, I would consider official action.
What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
High income taxes and energy prices are the biggest barriers to economic development in Maine. The Legislature should seek to reduce income taxes further and it should promote Maine's great hydroelectric resources.
Energy costs especially as it relates to transmission and distribution (TnD). A town can have a power plant in it and yet the TnD costs to an individual operation/residence may be more than the cost of the electricity! The Legislature needs to look at these costs as well as alternative sources of electric generation to bring down total electrical costs.
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 build a robust economy to entice our youth to stay and work in our great State.
We need to look at ways to keep our youth in Maine and to attract out of state youth here. Recently, the UMaine System has had an increase in student numbers attend the University, especially at Orono. Some of this is do to increased enrollment from out of state students. Now that we have them here and they see what Maine has to offer as a State--we need to keep them here.