Sidney J. Pew

Sidney J. Pew

Sidney J. Pew

Democratic candidate for Maine House District 117 from Andover

Running against Frances M. Head. View your ballot →

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

We need to integrate social services with medical treatment. Spending on social services such as nutrition and shelter that improve health, decreases more expensive medical treatment and care.

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

Expanding the sales tax is a possible way of generating more revenue.The 10% retail tax and the 5.5% sales tax on legalized marijuana would fund the first $30 million towards school construction and all tax above that to the general fund. In 2012 proposed legislation to lower income tax to 4% would have cut revenues by $600 million. Approximately 75% would have gone to the top 20% of taxpayers which would be unfair to the other 80% of taxpayers.

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

Yes

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

Marijuana should be regulated like alcohol and tobacco. The 10% retail tax and the 5.5% sales tax would fund the first $30 million towards school construction and all tax above that to the general fund.

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

Yes

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

By funding public education at the 55% level the citizens have twice voted for. This will help with the property tax burden towns are faced with to fund their school systems.

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

No

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

I support the need for background checks but referendum 3 leaves the question of temporally loaning a gun to a non family member open to debate as to the implications.

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

Yes

Please explain your answer. (Not required.)

This is a moral issue, all Mainer's should be able to earn a livable wage and increasing the minimum wage to $12 an hour in the next four years would begin to give workers their fair share.

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

Yes

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?

We are in need of more training for medical professionals. Outpatient treatment centers need to be accepted and created or more incarceration and hospitalization will occur. According to Steve Kassels M.D. it can cost up to $50,000 to incarcerate and less then $5,000 for outpatient treatment.

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?

By the Legislature

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

Yes. One political party could control a smaller-sized legislature. A smaller-sized legislature also may increase differences between rural and urban areas.

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

Yes

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

No

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

No

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

Tax cuts are the biggest barrier to economic development as they do not create jobs. Most new jobs are created by start ups and expanding existing business. The Legislature can approve non-partisan bonds that build the infrastructure for transportation and high speed internet throughout the entire state. Organizing higher education not with bricks but with improving what goes into the classroom and by lowering the cost of higher education, and expanding the incentives for college graduates to stay in the state.

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?

Accepting new immigrates is one way we can reverse our decreasing population trend. Education is the most important way to help keep our children from leaving the state.

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

Food Insecurity...According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in Maine 25% of children and almost 6% of seniors are food insecure. Food insecurity is linked to economic insecurity. Sidney supports programs that help low-income families put food on their tables