Social service spending should be assessed by how successful it is at helping an individual in a vulnerable situation transition to self-sufficiency. With that test in mind, I do not believe the current provision of social services is too generous and I also do not believe benefits need to be increased. Instead, efforts to ensure that social service programming is being administered properly, as well as to make sure that providers and consumers are using the services for the intended purpose, would be appropriate in the short term.
Not at this time. The Legislature just passed meaningful tax relief involving sales tax changes and income tax reductions. Instead, efforts should be made to address the increasing pressure of property taxes being caused by the State 1) failing to fund education at the statutory rate, 2) its withholding revenue sharing funds from municipalities and 3) its decreased funding for county jail operations.
My position is based on public health considerations.
While this proposal is not perfect, I would rather error on the side of caution and require, with the included exceptions, that a background check be performed when a firearm is permanently transferred.
There needs to be a balanced approach of education, treatment and enforcement. These efforts work best when they are used together.
By the Legislature. The current arrangement provides for political accountability to elected members of the Legislature and avoids the problems that may arise from a constitutional officer focusing on raising money or catering to a special interest in order to get elected.
The current size of the Legislature permits its members to be close to the people that they represent. This is important and appropriate. The compensation for this service is appropriate and does not need to be increased.
Yes. Elected officials influence the quality of public dialogue and when one official makes patently inappropriate statements, it threatens the public confidence in government. The sanctioning power should be used sparingly, however, so as not to chill a legitimate exchange of ideas and only when failure to do so would erode the public confidence.
No. These efforts simply reduce the rights of employees, which may translate into lower wages and compromised working conditions.
Increasing access to broadband would help connect Mainers all over the state to employment opportunities, it would help Maine companies expand to other markets and it would make Maine more attractive to business by providing access to goods and services. Maine should support the expansion of broadband networks to places where it does not yet reach by investing in infrastructure and supporting municipal efforts to increase connections to existing broadband networks (i.e. last mile projects).
Many individuals come to Maine to receive an education. Keep them in the state by providing tax incentives for these students to stay and work. Maine should continue its support for programs that help transition individuals from other countries into Maine to live and work. It would also help if we restored a more civil, welcoming tone to our public discourse.
Maine's county jails are filled to capacity with individuals suffering from mental health and substance abuse issues. In addition, county jails are facing serious funding issues. In Penobscot County specifically, these pressures are serious. Not only are more appropriate interventions needed for these individuals (i.e. treatment), but work needs to be done to provide for stable financing of county jails.