Russell J. Black

Russell J. Black

Russell J. Black

Republican candidate for Maine House District 114 from Wilton

Running against Guy A. Iverson. View your ballot →

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

I believe the welfare benefits should be tied to the ability to work. I would like to see a tiered system with more local control.

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

My greatest concern with lowering the income tax, is that it could raise property taxes. I would not be opposed in raising the sales tax in some areas.

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

No

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

No response.

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)

I believe the state needs to fund education within the existing budget.

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

No

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

The way this referendum is written, it would create a burden on legal firearm owners.

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

No

Please explain your answer. (Not required.)

I would support smaller increases with exemption for seasonal and part time workers.

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 response.

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 believe we should expand law enforcement efforts to curtail the drug trafficing.

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?

Statewide popular vote.

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

I believe the size of Maine's Legislature is appropriate. I believe the pay would be sufficient if time spent in Augusta was better utilized and more efficient.

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

That would be up to the people in that officials district.

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?

The only casino, I would support would be in southern Maine that would support Maine Harness Racing.

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

A skilled work force and energy cost are two large factors. Create more educational opportunities to train people for certain skilled jobs. To push for more natural gas capacity and cheaper electricity.

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 would continue to use the vetted legal immigration we are now employing, make it easier for businesses to bring in those documented workers. As mentioned in question 14, we need to train more of our workforce, through vocational schools and higher education.

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

Rising property taxes is the number one issue with many of my constitutents.