Andrea M. Boland

Andrea M. Boland

Andrea M. Boland

Democratic candidate for Maine Senate District 33 from Sanford

Running against David Woodsome. View your ballot →

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

I don't think Maine is too generous in provided needed social services, with12% of seniors just in Sanford living in poverty, and about 20% of Maine children in poverty, and rampant food insecurity throughout the State. The cuts to target those who unfairly take advantage of the system were clumsily designed, because so many needy and deserving seniors, particularly, lost access to medicines upon which they depend. DHHS may not be delivering services in an effective way, but it appears that Maine is not allocating enough to serve those who have served us as good citizens for lifetimes, and those who have served in the military and are in need, and those so young they can only depend on adults to make good choices for them. I support eliminating those who abuse programs, however -- whether social services or other advantages paid for by taxes..

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

I do not support raising the sales tax, because it hurts those who have the least income to spare. I do not support lowering the income tax until we can return revenue sharing to municipalities, increase support for education, and lower real estate taxes.

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

No

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

I find this looks too much like a plan to drive small caregivers out of business and thereby offer less personal, professional care to those who seek marijuana for health care needs. I support review for appropriate regulation for caregivers, to assure patients of the needed quality and safety of their health products, but not unnecessarily subjecting both to higher costs of additional regulatory structure and meeting testing requirements that I understand do not have a proven base for deciding validity. I have too often seen huge corporate players make big plays to take over markets that small businesses have built, and use doubt, confusion and fear to do it, adding in layers of requiring professional services to further burden their smaller local counterparts.

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

Yes

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

The burden is too great on the public and the children to not ask for help from those with greater financial resources.

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

Yes

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

This is a good neighbor policy. If our gun laws are creating added burdens to neighboring states, I think we should cooperate with them to that extent. We may want additional help from them to help stem the flow of drugs into our state, much as our guns flow into theirs. I regret that some hunters feel the loss of a cultural tradition they have always honored, however.

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

Yes

Please explain your answer. (Not required.)

The unions have always fought for reasonable wages; now the voters need to step up for this very graduated and modest approach.

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

Yes

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

I think it will work for greater voter participation to know that if a voter doesn't get his or her first choice, there is an opportunity to get the second choice.

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?

I always favor proactive prevention, but this problem requires the tools of education/awareness and treatment. I'd prefer immune system boosting to help the body put up its natural fight before adding more drug activity into the mix, but a complete approach must consider all professional advice.

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?

I think the system works pretty well as it is. The legislator is elected by popular vote, so can be expected to favor the dominant party, but no legislator is required to vote any certain way.

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

I think the legislature's size is appropriate. It is supposed to be a part time office, but there is enormous work demanded of it. Also, the State of Maine is so diverse in many ways, we need representation from all areas of it. I have always felt that the pay is awfully modest for the amount of work I do as a legislator; it's far more of a full-time job. That's been true for many years. I think a modest increase would allow more Mainers to consider running.

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

I think we need to maintain and ethical manner of speaking, as public officials, representing the public means representing them in their expected level of civility. I think sanctioning speech that offends their standards is appropriate.

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

No. We cannot ignore that we owe support to those who support us.

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

No. Casinos bring with them enormous political influence over lawmakers.

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

The biggest barrier to economic development in Maine is lack of a united, positive front that is welcoming, listening, reasonable, helpful, and proactive in providing supports that are consistent with the values of Maine people. Infrastructure is key, and securing our electric grid from black sky events that would take it down for very long periods of time would be a powerful motivator for serious private and government businesses to come to Maine and existing Maine businesses to stay. We are seen as the leading state in protecting against extreme solar events and EMP attack, due to my legislation, LD 131, of 2013, and the resulting improvements that have been made to this point. However, we need to require certain robust, low-cost, protective devices be installed, and CMP and Senate Republicans have been blocking them. Getting them affixed, and thereby securing both human safety and business and job growth is a principal goal of my campaign. Top national experts in government, academia, science, and business are watching and hoping we succeed.

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?

Maine needs to be willing to lead in developing new economic sectors. The one I see as having huge potential is protection of our electric grid and electronics, which are very vulnerable to natural or human assault, thieves of personal info, hacking, etc. I believe the future defense of this country and our way of life offers opportunity for entrepreneurs to address this reality. A movement to do this should offer excitement for young people looking for a meaningful career direction, universities' and colleges' STEM and business programs, and those from outside the State attracted by the progressive mission.

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

I think the most pressing issue is the need to address energy security, resilience, alternatives like renewables, distributed energy, and assessment of our natural and other resources for resilience and independent generation within communities and areas.