Eleanor M. Espling

Eleanor M. Espling

Eleanor M. Espling

Republican candidate for Maine House District 65 from New Gloucester

Running against Elijah Ty Breton. View your ballot →

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

Maine has in place a safety net of resources for the most vulnerable including children, the elderly and the disabled. However, Maine needs to increase funding to the programs that have waiting lists for services.

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

Maine needs to lower the income tax and we need to be careful how we accomplish that. We can't expect to lower taxes if we continue to increase budgets.

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

No

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

I have always, and will continue, to support medical marijuana. However, it would seem to be a contradiction to legalize a drug like marijuana for recreational use in the midst of a drug crisis in this state.

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)

I am concerned that this will drive away young professionals who want to move to Maine and raise a family. We talk about wanting our children to have good paying jobs when they graduate from college so they will stay in Maine but when we have a proposal like this they have a reason to go somewhere else with a lower tax rate. My understanding is the increase in aid to schools may not go to every school district. That's concerning.

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

No

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

I do not support the background check question on the ballot as I believe it goes too far and will only hurt Maines law abiding gun owners and sportsmen.

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

No

Please explain your answer. (Not required.)

The ballot question to raise the minimum wage will only hurt Maine small business. It will also impact restaurants because it removes the tip credit. I am concerned about business passing these extra costs onto consumers on fixed incomes like Maines elderly.

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 proposal is unconstitutional and an overly complicated way of voting which will be a cost to the taxpayer.

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?

While we have increased drug agents and increased funding for treatment, we need to have both short term and long term policies to attack the drug problem. To begin the state needs to do an assessment of what treatment and prevention options work for people. Where are state resources being spent and do we need to better focus those resources on programs with proven outcomes? We need to better understand the epidemic of babies being born addicted to drugs, prescription pain killer use and abuse, and mental health issues so that we can seek policy solutions that truly begin to solve the problem.

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 would be open to the idea of a statewide vote if the people of Maine had concerns over our current method of electing these officers.

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

The size and pay is appropriate for a citizen legislature.

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

Such statements are wrong and inappropriate. As far as sanctions, the actions the Legislature can actually take against another elected official is defined by the Maine Constitution and is limited.

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

yes

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

no

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

Lack of stability and predictability in our state laws is a barrier to economic development. Question 2 is an excellent example of this. If a company is looking to expand in Maine or relocate to Maine, they may reconsider with a proposal like this on the ballot. When simple things like tax conformity become a big fight in the legislature, businesses are watching. Economic development goes where it is welcomed. The legislature can help by bringing forward pro-business legislation not anti-business legislation.

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?

Policies that promote economic development and a business friendly environment will lead to the good paying jobs that we need to keep people here and attract more people. Immigrants are no different, they will go where the work is. By passing business friendly policies, we provide opportunity for everyone. To reverse the census data trend, we need those opportunities to be here in Maine.

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

Maine communities are in the midst of a serious drug crisis. We have increased drug agents and increased funding for treatment in the short term. However, Maine needs to have both short term and long term policies in place to attack the problem.