James E. Davitt

James E. Davitt

James E. Davitt

Democratic candidate for Maine House District 101 from Hampden

Running against David G. Haggan. View your ballot →

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

The problem with social services is not that it is too generous - it isn't- but that the current administration seems to want to cut all social services. Programs like TANF, Headstart, Medicaid all need to be expanded to meet the needs of those most in need.

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

By definition a sales tax is regressive. While some sales taxes could be raised, including the gasoline tax, they can never replace the income tax as the major source of state funding.

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

Yes

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

Candidate did not answer this question.

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)

No response.

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

Yes

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

Maine has the unenviable reputation of being the gun supplier to gangs in Massachusetts and New York simply because it is so simple to buy a firearm in Maine without any checks. Requiring checks at gun shows and private sales is a step in limiting the flow of guns to those who should never have them. I do not support gun checks on firearm transfers between family members or to close friends.

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

Yes

Please explain your answer. (Not required.)

Even at $12.00 per hour, y 2020 a person would be earning only just under $25,000 per year. That is not a living wage today and won't be in 2020. Unless the minimum wage is linked to the actual cost of living it will never be a living wage.

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)

The past six years are explanation enough.

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. Increased law enforcement does not address the real root of the problem. Until we provide comprehensive substance abuse treatment we cannot hope to limit the use of opioids in Maine. Arresting addicts for possession will not get them treatment but will crowd our overloaded jails and prisons.

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?

They should be elected by the Legislature.

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

The size is about right. No one serves in the Legislature to make money, despite what the Governor claims. Perhaps we should take a closer look at what it actually costs legislators to serve and then reconsider the iossueof pay.

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?

Candidate did not answer this question.

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

With the exception of a casino owned and operated by Native Americans I would not support more casinos in Maine.

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

Affordable higher education. In the 21st Century we cannot hope to compete for new businesses unless e=we have an educated work-force. increased aid to K-12 education and attacking the obscene cost of higher education has to be a priority.

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, just as all states, is a state founded by immigrants. We must encourage more new immigrants to consider living here and adding to the culture and character of Maine. The success of the Somali community is a prime example of how immigrants can - and will - help Maine to grow.

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

Expanded health insurance through the ACA. Such money could be saved if more Mainers had access to preventive care. With better health care more would be able to work, hospital costs would decrease, and we could do much more to treat addictions. It is a win-win situation.