I dont think the question is whether or not Maine is too generous. The question is are the most vulnerable Mainers receiving the benefits they need and are we doing enough to find and prosecute welfare fraud in Maine. When we have severely mentally and developmentally disabled people on waitlists for services and we continue to chronically underfund our nursing homes I think the answer is no. Here in Maine we do not have unlimited resources and we need to do more to make sure our most vulnerable are properly prioritized.
I fully support reducing and even eliminating the income tax. We should let people keep as much of their hard-earned money as we can. Every dollar you send to Augusta, is a dollar that someone will find a way to spend. I believe the people of Maine are better equipped to spend their money than the politicians in Augusta. However, we must be cautious that we are not simply implementing a tax shift and moving the tax burden on to property tax payers. I believe there is a way to significantly lower the income tax by reducing the size and cost of state government. Maine doesnt have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem.
I am not in favor of legalizing marijuana for recreational use at this time. I just dont think Maine is ready for the extra burden this places on law enforcement and the employers out there. We are starting to see some significant issues pop up in Colorado where they voted to legalize marijuana and I dont think this is the right time for Maine to go down this road.
Candidate did not answer this question.
I do not support the drastic raise in the minimum wage proposed in Question 4 as I believe the unintended consequences could be disastrous for our young people, the elderly and restaurant workers. With restrictions and regulations already in place, Maine makes it difficult enough for teenagers to get and keep a job. Employers are not going to pay a teenager $12/hour. The unemployment rate among those aged 16-19 in Maine is already at 14.5%. We should be encouraging our young adults to get a job, not making it more difficult. A minimum wage increase would also cause the prices for everyday items like milk and other groceries to skyrocket. The elderly and disabled among us who live on fixed incomes would struggle even more to make ends meet. It does not solve the problem its trying to solve. Question 4 would also eliminate the tipped credit, essentially doing away with the practice of tipping and replacing it with a $12/hour wage instead. Restaurant owners cant afford that and many of them would be forced to close their doors. Those that remained open would see their employees taking a pay cut. In my heart I truly believe the unintended consequences of Question 4 could be a disaster for the citizens of the district I represent.
One person ... one vote. Period.
This question presents a false choice. Its not one or the other. Last session I supported legislation that added 10 more drug agents to help in the fight to stop the trafficking of heroin flooding over our borders and winding up on the streets of our communities. We also added more than $2 million in additional funding for treatment and education. That is the right approach and we need to stay the course. The solution to this epidemic is like a 3-legged stool. More law enforcement, more treatment and more education are all essential pieces to this puzzle. We need to maintain a balanced approach.
Continue to be selected by the Legislature.
No. the Legislature is to big! It is suppose to be an opportunity for citizens to serve their communities. It has turned into a haven for full time politicians. I personally saw the waste of time and dollars. The House can't even start on time! They leave the public sitting in the balcony while they conduct party business. Committee meetings are held in the middle of the day when folks are working or taking care of their family. I thing the legislature could be cut by a 1/3. No, they should not be paid more. It will only encourage more full time politicians. We tried to get LD16 through last session that would do away with benefits and retirement and they wouldn't let it out of committee. Why should your public servants get better benefits for a part time job than their constituents do?
I think the Maine Legislature should concentrate on passing good public policy that helps the people of Maine. It is not the job of the Legislature to babysit elected officials and slap them on the wrist. If an elected official steps out of line, they can answer to the voters who elect them. There is a reason our founding fathers established three distinct branches of government.
I would support a Right to Work law here in Maine. No one should be forced to join a union as a condition of employment. If we passed this legislation, Maine would be the only state in New England with a Right to Work law on the books. I believe that would go a long way toward making Maine more attractive to businesses looking to locate somewhere.
I have and I do.
Cut taxes, remove unnecessary regulations, provide affordable educational opportunities for our youth and lower energy costs.
The best way to retain and attract young people in the State of Maine is to improve the economy. Our young people are leaving because there just are not as many good-paying jobs here as there are in other parts of the country. We need to lower taxes, eliminate unnecessary regulations and lower the cost of energy to help lower the cost of doing business in Maine. Business capital goes where it's welcome and stays where it's appreciated. The more business and capital investment we can attract to Maine, the more good-paying jobs well have.
I don't think their is a single issue that is more important, there are some issues that we need to continue to address. While we made some significant improvements with Veterans issues last session, their is more work to do. We have to make sure we live up to the promises made to our seniors. We need to continue to ensure affordable education opportunities exist for our youth, and we need to provide lower energy costs ... just to name a few!