Maine is the oldest and one of the poorest states in the country. As a result, we have a large portion of the population requiring social services. It is difficult to say Maine is too generous with social services when there are schools in my district where nine out of ten children are food insecure. Overall the system is protecting those who need assistance. The problems we face are mostly due to the abuse of the system; not the system itself. There are always ways the system can be improved, but only if we are willing to work together. Until we improve our economy, this trajectory will continue.
Hard working middle class Mainers have carried the tax burden for too long. I support reducing the income tax. We should make up the revenue difference by increasing our sales tax and expanding it across a broader range of services. This can be done without a net change in tax revenue.
I support the legitimate use of medical marijuana and would likely support future bills that legalize marijuana. However, I am not currently supportive of the ballot initiative. I dont think enough has been done to ensure that children are not negatively impacted. Moreover, I am concerned about how it impacts our job creation efforts. I have had several small businesses that work with heavy machinery express concern about how legalized marijuana would impact safety and insurance costs. These concerns must be addressed before we legalize marijuana.
We have been underfunding schools for decades. We need new sources of funding so that we can ensure that we are producing the educated workforce of the future.
We can support our hunting tradition, while closing gun show loopholes. We can make sure that Maine is not home to gun trafficking. We can also ensure that criminals, the severely mentally ill, and terrorists cannot use loopholes to obtain guns in Maine.
Individuals working 40 hours a week shouldnt be living in poverty. Half of minimum wage workers are women over the age of 35; many are single moms. In turn, these individuals are forced to rely on a social net. Studies show that when we raise the minimum wage and place it into the hands of a breadwinner, the breadwinner will in turn spend the money within the community. As a result, the local economy improves. This referendum question is a win-win for Maine. If one is serious about welfare reform, they will support raising the minimum wage so that working people can lift themselves out of poverty.
I am happy to be a member of the host committee for this issue. Rank choice voting ensures that everyone is elected by a majority.
Candidate did not answer this question.
By the legislature
The only rationale for reducing the size of the legislature is to save a relatively small amount of money. In turn, each legislator will represent more individuals and have less of an opportunity to interact with their constituents. There are states that have over 400 legislators and states that have around 100. Where we are at now, works for Maine. In terms of pay, the current level prohibits most working Mainers from serving. As such, we are disproportionately represented by the financially independent and retired individuals.
My grandmother used to remind me that, Fine eloquence consist in saying all that should be said, not all that could be. Thats good advice for everyone, but particularly for those in leadership positions. In addition, elected officials should embody common sense, historical perspective, sound judgment, and have a depth of wisdom to draw from. We should be held to a higher standard of excellence and lead by example. When someone violates basic rules of ethics, they should be held accountable.
I dont generally support casino efforts. The Maine Indian Tribes have been trying to build a casino in Maine for decades. They have been rejected at every turn. Nevertheless, two casinos have been built. Its my opinion that if any group should be able to build a casino, it should be the tribes.
There are a number of barriers, but most pressing is our dwindling work force. We are loosing young people and have a stagnant population growth. We need to change that. I'm thrilled to see the progress that organizations such as Maine & Co, Maine Startup & Create Week, and Maine Accelerates Growth have done. These groups are bringing fantastic jobs to Maine, but its just a start. Let's build on the positive energy and continue to keep moving Maine forward. To do this, let's ensure our infrastructure is up to par. We have 44,000 miles of roads, bridges, and rail that need to be well maintained.
We should welcome diversity, increase out of state enrollment in our university system, encourage Maine college graduates to participate in loan repayment programs, and attract young entrepreneurs to the area.
The Department of Health and Human Services is not functioning properly. We are not prepared to deal with a major disease outbreak or the effects of a major disaster, whether it be natural or terrorist driven.
In addition, we need to address the crisis in our mental health system. Riverview Hospital remains unaccredited. As a result, we are loosing millions in Federal support that would help improve our system.