Heather B. Sanborn

Heather B. Sanborn

Heather B. Sanborn

Democratic candidate for Maine House District 43 from Portland

Running against Jeffrey W. Langholtz. View your ballot →

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

I do not believe that Maine is too generous in providing social services to its residents. It is critical that we continue to provide support in the form of access to food, shelter, and access to health care for all of our most vulnerable citizens.

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

No, I do not support expanding or raising the sales tax. The sales tax is very regressive -- hitting the poor and middle class in a much higher percentage of their income than it hits the wealthy. We should continue to use the income tax with a progressive tax rate structure.

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

Yes

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

I am generally in favor of the legalization of marijuana, but I do have concerns about the referendum as written. I believe the tax rate is too low and the regulatory framework is too vague.

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 do not favor making tax policy by referendum. However, I am deeply disappointed that the state legislature has not complied with the requirement that the state fund 55% of education costs. For that reason, I will reluctantly vote in favor of question 2. The state legislature seems incapable of meeting its obligations to our children without being forced to by referendum.

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

Yes

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

I strongly believe that background checks should be required for all firearm sales. I think the referendum as written provides adequate protection for families who may want to pass guns down to their children.

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

Yes

Please explain your answer. (Not required.)

I believe the Maine legislature should have taken a proactive approach and raised the minimum wage on its own, so that details such as the tip credit phase-out could have been carefully scrutinized and negotiated. However, it is well past time to raise the minimum wage so I will vote in favor of this referendum.

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?

No, I believe that we need to focus on the demand-side of the drug crisis in order to make any real progress. Medically tested, evidence based treatments should be prioritized.

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?

Maine's constitutional officers should be elected by the Legislature.

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

I don't know.

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?

Yes.

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

At the moment, I think the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine is our governor's negativity and the negative image that he imparts to the state through his racially charged and bullying remarks. I believe that, at the very least, the legislature should, with one voice, call for his resignation.

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?

There are some bright spots in Maine's economy and those spots need to be highlighted and supported. Additionally, developing better broadband infrastructure will enable more people to work remotely -- enabling them to enjoy Maine's exceptional quality of life while working for companies that are far afield -- bringing money back into Maine and keeping their expertise in the state.

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

Access to affordable health care. Maine needs to accept the federal funds that are available by expanding the Medicaid program and moving back toward being a leader in making affordable access to health care a priority.