UPDATES & ISSUES
What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
It is hard to point to just one barrier. It is a combination of infrastructure, adequate skilled worker availability, and lack of vision in regards to matching potential industry with existing strengths. The Legislature can help address these issues by working to upgrade highway systems, creating state-wide internet availability, and making available multi-level job training initiatives. Finally, an incentive program needs to be established to attract compatible commerce.
Maine voters approved Medicaid expansion in 2017, but it is still not in place amid a lack of dedicated funding from the Legislature. How should funding concerns be addressed?
Absolutely the state needs to more forward in funding the Medicaid expansion. A prosperous future for the state lies in healthy communities and its potential workforce. If need be, the funding will have to come from re-balancing the tax structure or reserves.
Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
Welfare is a system of safety nets provided to those individuals and families in the most need. It is intended to be a "helping hand," and not a "handout," so that recipients can become a productive member of society in some form.
Maine relies on annual borrowing as part of its plan to maintain roads and bridges as state and federal gas taxes become an increasingly outdated way of funding transportation. Should the state revisit the way it funds infrastructure? If so, how?
No. Funding infrastructure through taxes in combination the borrowing can be a workable method if the state commits to creating and following through on a well thought-out capital expenditure plan.
Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Absolutely yes. The path to a prosperous future for our communities and future generations will come from looking forward for sources of energy technologies which are environmentally compatible and not back to outdated energy forms. We should make available expanded but accountable incentives.
Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
No. They seem to be fair under current circumstances. However we should fight any attempt on the Federal level to restrict laws.
Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
My current position is to vote no, not that I am against the concept. However, we need to have a financially balanced policy in regards to adequately funding a multitude of wellness needs throughout our State. In this case, I am not convinced the bureaucracy that might be created, is well thought out.
Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I absolutely support a constitutional amendment to complete the citizens' desire to implement rank choice voting. I believe a lot of the current partisanship in Augusta is being caused by an election process which elects officials by plurality and not majority. It has led to a candidates being elected who have not achieved a majority of votes cast. Ranked choice worked well in the last election for those races where it was used.
The Independent News
Here's how you can help now!