Candidate did not answer this question.
We need a progressive fair share tax plan, in which we close wasteful tax loopholes and everyone pays their fair share according to what they can afford. We need to broaden our tax base but ensure that we do not create a more regressive system that penalizes the poor for purchasing basic necessities. Eliminating the income tax will cause property taxes to increase. We need to do all we can to reduce property taxes, which are some of the most regressive taxes, to make sure Mainers are not taxed out of their homes. We need to build from the middle out and make sure our tax code reflects what Maine families can afford to pay.
I am still undecided and learning on this subject. If marijuana should be de-criminalized, I do believe that it should be done at the federal level and I am frustrated by the federal government's inaction on this matter and their desire to leave this up to the states. We need strong research on the recreational use of marijuana. I have heard first hand accounts about medical marijuana and how many of my constituents have benefitted greatly. I'm also frustrated by the sheer waste of federal and state funds that are used to lock people up over marijuana possession. We need to do as much as possible to take this substance out of the hands of drug dealers and legalizing marijuana might be the best step. I am trying to learn as much as I can between now and November 8th. Question 1 is something I'm hearing a lot about from my constituents and I urge them to continue contacting me on the subject.
Universal background checks are a common-sense approach to help prevent firearms from getting into the hands of criminals or those who should not possess them. The proposal on the fall ballot closes the loophole but also preserves private family transfers. This is a smart measure that will keep all of us safer and will not infringe upon the second amendment rights of Mainers.
Our current minimum wage has not kept pace with the true cost of living in our state. Increasing the minimum wage would make Mainers more prosperous. Increasing the minimum wage to a livable wage would help a family break the cycle of poverty and move into the middle class. Fair pay is also a gender issue, as two thirds of minimum wage earners are women, and women are as likely to be the sole supporter of their families as men.
No. We need to do more and we need to have a balanced approach, that includes treatment, enforcement, and education. Our community has lost too many loved ones to the opiate epidemic that is plaguing our state. The cuts that have been made to our treatment programs have greatly hurt our ability to reverse this damaging epidemic. We need increased access to proven quality treatment programs. Addiction is an illness and we need to make sure those who are suffering can get the help that they need. Our law enforcement officers also need to have access to the resources they need. I have been following the success of Operation HOPE and would like to see that program be replicated throughout the state. I am grateful that the legislature also increased access to naloxone, a non-addictive medicine that halts the overdose process. Allowing family members, law officers, and others to have access to this life-saving medicine will help save lives of many Mainers.
The current system requires legislators to cast a secret ballot to elect our constitutional officers. This means that they do not know who are their supporters or by what margins they won the vote. This ensures that they are not beholden to anyone. I looked into this issue a lot when it came before the legislature and very few states use the process Maine does. I think our system helps keep big money out of these important offices. Also I get nervous when constitutional officers, especially the Attorney General, have to run for office. I think this distracts them from their work and also potentially creates conflict of interest if they have a large donor who comes before them in their work. We should keep our current system.
Both of these are questions that need to be answered by voters statewide and not by those of us who are currently in the legislature. We need to also carefully evaluate the actual time that is spent by legislators working. Once we know that we can use it to reflect and decide if the salary is equal to the work and if it has kept pace with the cost of living.
Yes. We need a method to properly censure members when their behavior is unbecoming of their office. I believe strongly in free speech but I also think that being an elected official requires a certain amount of civility.
No. I oppose efforts to erode workers rights.
I evaluate each casino proposal individually. I am willing to hear more proposals but need to see a lot of support and research. There needs to be strong evidence that the casino would not compete too much with existing ones and that the some of the proceeds support education. Also there needs to be inclusion of programs to address gambling addiction.
Maine has a multi-faceted problem that involves the big four: the economy, jobs, education, and the environment. They are all interrelated. We have all of the right ingredients in Maine to move forward, but it will take a bipartisan effort in the Legislature. This cant occur unless we provide our citizens with the education and skills to be competitive in a 21st Century job market. One of our biggest assets in drawing businesses and employees to our state is our quality of place. While working to expand our economic opportunities we need to stand strong on protecting Maine's precious environment, which brings people here. We also need to lower energy costs, strengthen and repair our aging infrastructure, and create incentives for businesses to relocate to Maine. Our state has so much potential and if re-elected I will continue to work tirelessly to improve our economic outlook.
We are facing a demographics winter and we need to do all we can to reverse this trend. We need to attract young professionals to this state and encourage them to raise their families here. To reverse this trend we need not only inward migration but we need to attract highly skilled individuals who can help contribute to and boost the economy. Immigration is one way to help solve this problem. I would also like to see the state help young Mainers who have moved away due to jobs move back to their home state. There are a plethora of ways to do this and we should try as many as possible. Personally I am interested in some sort of method that helps skilled young professionals manage their college debt. Also we should work with employers to help market and recruit the best folks and find out what we can do together as a public/private partnership.
Education. The best and most important investment we can make as a state and a community is in education! The state and school districts have to be partners in this endeavor. The state needs to meet its obligation to fund our schools at 55%. As a member of the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs, I have fought every budget cycle to do so, and we have made progress, but we are woefully behind at meeting our state funding goal. Meeting that funding level would not only help our schools, but potentially help decrease regressive property taxes. I firmly believe in the power of education and that education is a right, not a privilege. Also we need to do all we can to help Mainers achieve a post-secondary education. Whether it is a degree, an apprenticeship, or vocational credential, we need to make sure that Mainers have access to higher education that helps get them a good job.