Ginette M. Rivard

Ginette M. Rivard

Ginette M. Rivard

Democratic candidate for Maine House District 149 from Caribou

Running against Carol A. McElwee. View your ballot →

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

We have a responsibility to provide for the vulnerable among us. Making cuts for the sake of cutting leaves many in dire situations. When our children go hungry or our elderly have to choose between food and fuel, we are failing them.

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

I would need to study the fiscal and demographic impact of each before making a decision.

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

No

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

I am concerned that this bill does not address safety issues for our children or protection of citizens against impaired drivers.

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)

I have campaigned on the issue of adequate funding for education as I believe our children deserve no less and we, as a community, need a well educated workforce in our future. This is one mechanism that can help us achieve these goals.

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

Yes

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

The most compelling argument I have heard is that far fewer women are shot by their partners in states where background checks are required. Closing a loophole is just plain common sense. I grew up in a family of hunters and gun owners and I know my father would support this measure.

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

Yes

Please explain your answer. (Not required.)

I have campaigned on the need for good paying jobs for our area. Raising the minimum wage is one of the ways we can begin to address this issue.

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?

Prioritizing law enforcement over treatment does not reduce the demand for drugs by person who suffer from addiction. Both approaches have their role. Reducing treatment options will only result in increased demand for law enforcement interventions.

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 support the current system.

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

While the current legislature may appear to be large, past efforts to decrease the number of legislators typically has greater impact on rural areas so I support the current structure. While we are a citizen legislature, the current pay makes it difficult for many to serve. However, I would have a hard time justifying an increase in legislative pay until our minimum wage is increased as proposed in the current referendum.

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?

No

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

Unsure

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

If only there was that one thing that would result in robust economic development! Rather, there are many factors. We need people at every level of government to highlight our strengths at every opportunity. Currently we are viewed in a negative light and this needs to be reversed in order to attract new development as well as growth. Energy costs are often cited as a barrier, yet we failed to pass a solar energy bill this last session. These are but two examples.

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?

Maine's immigrants are hard working and provide essential services in both the private and public sector. Yet they have been portrayed negatively by some and this is unfortunate. I see a two pronged approach to resolving our workforce shortage: increasing opportunities for our immigrant population and ensuring that our young people have the skills for the workforce of the future so they will be able to earn a living and raise their families in Maine.

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

Cost shifting to cities and towns has resulted in higher property taxes.