Maine is not too generous and there are some services that should be increased. These include support that has either been reduced over the last few years or could have been increased but did not have enough support to over ride the governors repeated vetoes. Just a few examples include regaining lost financial support for early childhood education and expanding MaineCare to the almost 70,000 poor adult Mainers without coverage. Both of these examples will bring funds to support economic development now and in the future.
I do not support increasing revenues from sales taxes to reduce the state income tax, but I do support expanding sales taxes to include services and the use of the expanded revenues to increase the state's revenue sharing with local communities, reinstate the circuit breaker, and increase General Purpose Aid to education. These measures would effectively reduce the burden of property taxes on homeowners and municipal governments.
In addition, I would assess the total amount raised by expanding sales taxes to include services and potentially reduce the percentage rate of taxes on products and services. I would do this with the aim towards reducing the burden of regressive sales taxes on Mainers with low or fixed incomes, as well as some effort to target visitors to the state. This targeting would help import the financing for some of our basic needs.
I am neither for nor against this ballot measure. If this initiative passes, it will be very important for the state to regulate how we implement this new law. I would insist on significant regulation to protect public health and safety, the same way we regulate the sale and use of alcohol and tobacco. We also need to protect our local growers.
I support this ballot initiative. Funding high-quality education for our children is one of my highest priorities
I support the 2nd Amendment and the right for all Mainers to own guns to hunt and to protect themselves and their families. I agree with this expansion of background checks because it is important to avoid selling firearms to felons, batterers, and those with mental illness.
Maines current minimum wage is not a livable wage for Maine families, and I support increasing Maines minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2020 and tracking the cost of living thereafter. Many business leaders support increasing the minimum wage as a driver of improving the states economy. In addition, it an important way to reduce the negative aspects of poverty for many Maine children.
Reforming our electoral process needs to be a priority. I have not yet formed an opinion on this proposal as I am still studying it and welcome feedback.
No, there should be a balanced mixture of law enforcement, treatment, and prevention. Treatment may include medications but must also include therapeutic support. Prevention should include providing evidence based services in schools that can help children and young adults develop the skills to avoid problems with tobacco, sex, alcohol and drugs.
I am greatly concerned about widespread substance abuse, and the devastating effect it has on outcomes in the lives of children living in families afflicted by addiction. We will need an effective mix of strategies to reduce the problem.
I believe the attorney general should be elected by statewide popular vote and the other 3 constitutional officers should continue to be elected by the Legislature.
I believe the legislature is larger then it needs to be and still effectively represent the people of Maine. In addition, reducing the size of the legislature would allow for an increase in individual pay without an increase in the overall cost. This would serve as an inducement for a broader range of citizens to serve. In reality it will not be a worthwhile effort during a legislative session as it would use up valuable legislative time to what has historically failed in all past sessions.
I need more information about what impact the current number of casinos in Maine is having on our communities economically and socially. I would also need a demonstrated reason for more casinos based on past development and realistic expectations.
As in life, there are several parts of this answer. Some of the barriers to economic development include: lack of access to energy for manufacturing that can be cheaper then current energy sources; the increasing age of the work force; lack of youth getting the training to be the work force to support future economic development; and negative policies for legal immigration to Maine.
I would support policies encouraging alternative energies; encourage technical education for high school graduates as an effective means to develop skills for the work force necessary for economic development as well as making college more affordable for working Maine families and graduates; and encourage policies that support legal immigration in Maine to increase the flow of working age adults into our work force.
Positive supports for legal immigrants to Maine to reverse the current policies to deny immigrants local aid until they are able to get permits and the basic skills to work; increase education opportunities for legal immigrants, and support the acceptance of diversity in Maine.
Poverty is an important indicator of potential problems for children. Some policies can reduce the level of poverty, the negative affects of poverty, and reduce poverty in future generations and increase economic development in general. The increase of the minimum wage is one important part of the solution, helping to make work pay. In addition children and families with lower incomes should have access to quality services and supports that ensure our children will be able to reach their full potential.