Thomas B. Saviello

Thomas B. Saviello

Thomas B. Saviello

Republican candidate for Maine Senate District 17 from Wilton

Running against Joanne F. Dunlap. View your ballot →

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

I would expand Mainecare coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

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

I support any effort that will reduce property tax.

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

Yes

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

Unfortunately marijuana is already here in the State. So it is time we control it and tax it.

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 this petition as written is unconstitutional. It by-passes the legislature in allocating state tax dollars to the school budget without going through the Appropriations. I took a pledge to support and uphold the Maine constitution. Voting for this citizen petition would violate that oath.

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

No

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

I believe this ballot question as written is unconstitutional. The Maine Constitution says Maine citizens have the right to bear arms and this right shall never be questioned. I took a pledge to support and uphold the Maine constitution. Voting for this citizen petition would violate that oath.

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

No

Please explain your answer. (Not required.)

The minimum wage should be increased to $10 per hour not $12. I pay $10 per hour to my employees that work at my small antique shop. Additionally, there needs to be a seasonal wage and a training wage. This petition does not have provisions for these two wages.

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)

I believe this ballot question as written is unconstitutional. The Maine Constitution identifies an election winner as the one that gathers the most of votes. I took a pledge to support and uphold the Maine constitution. Voting for this ballot question would violate that oath.

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?

It cannot be one or the other. We can defeat the substance abuse crisis by using enforcement, treatment, counseling and education.

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?

No.

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

Yes it is the proper size. If the size is reduced rural Maine will voice will be lost in Augusta.

No the pay should not be increase. In fact it should be decreased.

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

Why do you limit this question to only elected officials? Anyone who makes public comments that are racial, offensive or prejudicial should be sanctioned. But before any sanctioning takes place the whole story needs to be told and not just what one reads in the newspapers.

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

No. This should be part of any collective bargaining agreement.

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

I would support this ballot question if and only if the harness racing industry and agricultural fairs benefit from the additional casino income.

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

Energy costs. We need to look at the cost to deliver energy: Transmission and Distribution cost. We need to understand why they are so high. Additionally we need remove any barriers to the development of micro electrical grids that could be developed around biomass electric generating plants in rural areas.

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?

Immigration efforts can help. But we also need to work to bring our kids back home. This can be done by reducing our energy costs and encouraging more manufacturing to stay in and come to Maine.

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

Welfare reform.