Phyllis A. Ginzler

Phyllis A. Ginzler

Phyllis A. Ginzler

Republican candidate for Maine House District 69 from Bridgton

Running against Walter N. Riseman. View your ballot →

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

No. The 127th Legislature increased and re-prioritized social services spending to help the most vulnerable among us: seniors and the disabled. It is not just the amount of spending, however, but the effectiveness of the programs themselves that should determine what to increase or decrease.

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

No, I do not support the raising of the sales tax. My district borders NH and it would be a hardship on businesses to remain competitive and on those in my district who live on a fixed income. The 127th did lower income taxes and ended the fiscal year with a $93M surplus, by the way.

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

No

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

I think we have more work to do before we exempt ourselves from Federal law. I have followed Colorado's experience with legalization and although their tax revenues soared, their social problems (and the cost associated with them) increased. This was no surprise to the law enforcement and judicial sources with whom I spoke.

Do you support raising taxes on Mainers with incomes above $200,000 to increase state aid to education, as outlined in Question 2?

No

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

This a tax hike, pure and simple. Raising the income tax by 3 percentage points will make Maine one of the highest income tax states. That is a distinction we can do without if we want to attract businesses and professionals like doctors to our state.

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

No

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

Question 3 places an unnecessary and onerous burden on legal gun owners in Maine. It does nothing to prevent a criminal from obtaining a weapon.

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

No

Please explain your answer. (Not required.)

No. Today, the median hourly wage in Maine is over $16 exceeding the minimum wage by 113%. That is a result of a free market of supply and demand. Question 4 may hurt more than help those below the median, especially teenagers and those with limited skills trying to enter the work force for the first time. This referendum also places a structural, artificial inflation rate on goods and services. This will hurt seniors and anyone living on a fixed income and will cancel out any hourly gain for the average employee. The best pay raise we can give our hard-working citizens is a sharp drop in income tax rates.

Do you support the initiative to use ranked-choice voting to elect state and federal officials in Maine, as outlined in Question 5?

No

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

No. This is a complex scheme that adds no value to the electoral process. It is also unconstitutional. If Maine citizens wish to replace plurality with majority in our state law, then we can consider requiring run-off elections that would preserve the one person/one vote tradition, which rank choice voting does not.

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?

I disagree with the premise of your question. We can and should do both.

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 would prefer a popular vote.

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

I think we could increase the population size for representative districts without jeopardizing our citizens' right to representative government. For citizen legislators like me, the pay is appropriate.

Would you support sanctioning another elected official if he or she made public comments or statements that were considered racist, offensive or prejudicial?

The only sanction for speech should rest in the hands of the voters.

Would you support a so-called right to work law in Maine?

Yes.

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

I'm not sure.

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

Let's lower the corporate tax rate, continue to remove unproductive regulation and change our liability laws. The Legislature is equipped to do all three. We also need to provide an education that prepares our children for the challenges of a world economy. The Legislature can support parents and teachers with adequate funding for innovative education programs.

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?

I certainly embrace legal immigration of people who want to assimilate as Americans. Their energy and unbounded optimism is a boost for Maine economically and socially.

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

Maine has a shortage of physicians, and especially psychiatrists and mental health care professionals.