Bil Weidner

Bil Weidner

Bil Weidner

Republican candidate for Maine House District 52 from Bath

Running against Jennifer DeChant. View your ballot →

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

It's not about generosity, it's about sustainability. It's not about which benefit should be adjusted up or down, but rather how these benefits are managed regionally based on local need.

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

I would support the discussion, and examine models which project outcomes. From the word go however, it seems to me that all taxes are as high as we want to push them in this economy.

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

No

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

Candidate did not answer this question.

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

No

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

The answer isn't to throw more money at the problem, and you already have my opinion on raising taxes.

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

No

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

This is an issue for the Legislature to handle. In referendum form it creates an unfriendly law that Mainers will either reject or wish they had.

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

No

Please explain your answer. (Not required.)

Maine's economy is fragile and this is not the time to play with the private business sector. This will cause major damage to business who serve our tourists, and due to the effect of having to charge more for goods it becomes a huge cost of living increase that will unfairly hit our elderly on fixed incomes.

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

No

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

This only rigs the system even further.

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 have professional experience with this issue. It requires a two pronged approach. First, improving law enforcement ability to remove the illegal supply coming from out of state, and second improving the pain management and control over opiate prescription diversion within the community. With this, expansion of treatment for addicted patients will not be needed.

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?

Allow the Legislature, your elected representative to their jobs.

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

The number of representatives could be smaller, and with that an increase of salary could accomplished. It is a big commitment and a larger salary would be reasonable, but not too high as the major incentive should remain a desire to serve.

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

Yes.

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

I honestly need to research this issue better. I do know it is not a top priority for me, but I would entertain a discussion on pros and cons.

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

Although I am not a gambler, If a private business wants to invest in a casino and thereby increase the tax base providing more funding for essential services in a rural Maine community then let them.I would have voted yes on the last attempt.

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

There isn't one biggest barrier, and if you are looking for simple solutions you won't find one. The Legislature could do a lot (if there was a Republican majority) to improve the climate for new businesses small and large. Although we have many disadvantages at first glance with our vast geography and limited infrastructure with good leadership these can be leveraged as benefits.

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?

When you say immigration, I think that most people will think you are suggesting immigration from foreign countries. If you are then I'd say these economists are nutty economists. However, if you are suggesting that we increase our younger aged population by encouraging US citizens to move to Maine then I agree. Reducing out of state tuition and increasing internship and job opportunities for young men and women would work. I was born on Long Island in New York and I came to Maine for College in 1985 and fell in love with the state (and a woman who was born here) and never turned back!

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

Trade relations with our neighbors in Canada. We compete with lumber and with lobsters and many other resources and that issue affects many.