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I support lowering the income with the hope to eventually eliminate it. Reducing the income tax would essentially become a raise for all Mainers, a great opportunity to take home more of what they earn. If we move forward with possibility of eliminating the income tax the difficult part will be finding that balance. I am optimistic we can find that balance and will work to improve our tax structure and meet the financial needs of our state.
Our focus and limited resources should be prioritized and focus on the hard core drug problem in Maine. Our heroin and opiate addiction crisis far outweighs the dangers of marijuana usage. I believe that legalization will help hinder access to our young people under the age of 21. Legalization would create a regulatory structure, create a tax revenue on a currently non-taxed transaction and create tax paying jobs for Maine citizens in the growing and sale of marijuana.
Raising taxes is not a stimulus and Question 2 has been poorly written. We can do better but this is not a sensible option for Maine.
I believe Question 3 is a blatant attempt by out of state special interest to eventually create a registry for gun ownership. The United States Constitution is clear on a citizen's right to keep and bear arms and the Maine Constitution is even more clear and states that right shall not be questioned. Background checks are currently in place for all transfers through dealers and shows. This has not been a problem in Maine and this proposal will make law abiding citizens criminals for something a innocent as lending a hunting rifle to your best friend during hunting season. I encourage people to read the full text of the proposed initiative. I have taken an oath to support and uphold the Constitution and will do just that. I proudly endorsed by the Sportsmans Alliance of Maine and the NRA and support our 2nd amendment.
As a small business owner myself, I do not support implementing this particular wage mandate. I believe the increase to $12 an hour is too high at this time as many of our small businesses are already struggling. This proposal does not take into consideration a Training Wage, a Student Wage or a Tip Credit Reduction Wage for tipped employees. To offset this sort of increased cost, businesses will have to either raise the prices on goods and services or eliminate growth in already struggling economy.
It is clearly unconstitutional and I will not violate our Constitution.
The heroin epidemic in Maine was a significant focus during the 127th Legislature. During the last session I was proud to support the effort that added 10 additional enforcement agents to the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency as well as $2 million in additional funding for treatment for those who are addicted and seeking assistance. This issue will remain a priority and I will work to find further solutions to the problem. We need to keep the balance for enforcement and treatment.
This particular issue came before the State and Local Government Committee which I serve on and it deserves more discussion. I heard arguments that a popular vote would make these to political and potentially the Secretary of State overseeing his/her own election. I believe a balance can be met but this need further committee work.
There was a proposal to shrink the size of the Legislature and the concerns heard in my Committee were in the more rural districts it already is a challenge to meet the constituents. One Representative testified it took her 3 hours to just drive through her district without stopping and if it was larger it would be even longer. The more metro areas like Portland and Lewiston this would not be a concern but we need to be mindful and considerate of the entire state. As a new Legislator, it is a challenge to balance private sector employment and Legislative Service. Frankly it costs me money to serve with the loss of income while serving in Augusta, I could not afford to serve for any less. I am not advocating for any more pay and do support the Citizen Legislature over a full time Legislature as was suggested.
Frankly, the citizens have the power to Sanction at the ballot box. The Constitution provides for a remedy if needed and we need to follow the Constitution. The Legislature should be directing policy and should lead by example.
Yes, no one should be forced to join a union.
I am not convinced that Gambling is going to fix our economy but not sure its is going to do any harm either. I believe my district voted by a sizable margin NOT to expand and I will honor that.
The biggest barriers to economic development that we need to overcome are High Taxes, Over-burdensome Regulations and High Energy Costs. If the Legislature could focus real time and energy to addressing these three issues, our economy would grow, creating better paying jobs and increasing our tax base to fund our needs.
Opening the gates to immigration and being a sanctuary state are not how we should lower the age of our states population and improve our economy. I support immigration policies to welcome people here who want to be productive members and assimilate into our communities. We can also increase our population with our younger population and improve our economy so they can afford to stay in Maine and raise their families with good paying jobs. So many of my friends and classmates had to leave Maine to raise their families. We need to reverse the bad policies of the last 40 years and work to make Maine more business friendly. Top three focuses for the next session will be to: 1) Lower Taxes 2) Reduce Over-burdensome Regulation and 3) Lower Energy Costs.
Property Tax Relief. Over the past two years, the Legislature invested an additional $98 million in Education Funding to help with the growing education costs which is one of the largest cost drivers in local property taxes. We just crossed the $1 Billion Dollar mark on Education Spending in Maine.