Dorothy L. Caldwell

Dorothy L. Caldwell

Dorothy L. Caldwell

Democratic candidate for Maine House District 131 from Penobscot

Running against Karleton S. Ward. View your ballot →

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

No, it is not too generous. Some Mainers who truly need that safety net still have to choose which to pay among all their most basic of bills. Children's safety and health must be a priority, as well as seniors. Affordable healthcare must be supported. Good training and consistent vigilance against welfare fraud by workers in charge of approving/denying it will insure that those very few who actually commit it are stopped.

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

It depends. All Mainers across the economic spectrum must buy things occasionally to survive, so raising the sales tax would disproportionately impact those who already have little and only spend it on necessities. Expanding it to include a well-considered list of nonessential items, or those detrimental to public health, could be considered.

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

No

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

I will respect the will of the people as determined by the referendum outcome. There are legitimate arguments both for and against both sides, and whether it is passed or not, there are issues that it addresses that will need further attention.

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)

A good education makes for better prepared workers and better informed citizens/voters. This supports a healthier economy, which improves communities. Those whose incomes are above $200,000 will also benefit from a healthier economy and community. Nothing else to date has been put in place to bring us up to that 55% funding for schools.

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

Yes

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

Again, I will respect the will of the people as determined by the referendum outcome. If passed, there may be unintended consequences that will need to be addressed in the future. If not passed, Maine will continue to have the loophole. Public and police safety matter.

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

Yes

Please explain your answer. (Not required.)

This referendum item is the best step yet proposed toward creating a living wage for regular folks who work hard. The more people who can support themselves and their families, the fewer we will have who need public assistance to survive.

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)

No response.

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?

Both are important, but substance abuse treatment needs to be much more accessible to Mainers. Accessible treatment in every county will improve participation in these and other programs.

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?

It is difficult enough for regular voters to know their local senator or representative, let alone a potential officer who may live some hundreds of miles away. For that reason, it is probably best to leave it with the Legislature.

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

It's appropriate to have the number in the Senate smaller than that in the House. Legislative service is public service, so legislative pay should be comparable with that of other public servants, mindful of the time actually required for doing the job.

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

Yes. Our leadership is a reflection on ourselves and our state. I believe everyone deserves to be treated with respect.

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

No. In situations where the majority of workers have come together to form a union to insure their best interests are represented, it is not unreasonable for nonmembers to pay their fair share, as they also benefit from that representation in that workplace.

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

I would not support legislation unless it was thoroughly thought out and requested by our indigenous residents. As always, I would respect the will of the people if that was the decision by ballot question.

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

Worker preparedness for 21st Century jobs, and the infrastructure to support it. Fully funded education and programs to transition students into the workforce need continued and expanded support.

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?

Focused on seniors - increased pay for home health care workers, which will help support them and their families, and therefore help our economy. Focused on construction - affordable senior housing accessible in all areas of Maine can help the seniors, and those who support their care. Focused on immigration - facilitating the immigration of people who are willing to work, and those who may also have the education or special skills that Maine needs, will enhance our economy.

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

The environment. We need to focus on developing clean energy and protecting our environment, while using our natural resources to enhance our economy.