December 12, 2018
Politics Latest News | Joyce McLain | Ranked-Choice Voting | Anthony Cipolle | Today's Paper

Here’s where the Maine House of Representatives candidates stand on key issues

Robert F. Bukaty | AP
Robert F. Bukaty | AP
State Rep. Erin Herbig, D-Belfast, foreground, looks up at the results of a vote in the House Chamber, Wednesday, May 5, 2018, at the State House in Augusta, Maine.

Ahead of the Nov. 6 election, the Bangor Daily News put the same eight questions to every candidate on the ballot in each of the 151 Maine House of Representatives districts, getting their stances on the economy, health care, infrastructure and other issues.

[Where the Maine Senate candidates stand on the economy, health care and more]

Click on your House district number below to jump to the responses from your local candidates, which are being published unedited. Don’t know what your district number is? Search for the name of your town; we’ve included maps for each district to clarify towns that are divided into multiple districts.

District 1: Kittery | District 2: Eliot, Kittery, South Berwick | District 3: York | District 4: Ogunquit, Sanford, Wells, York | District 5: Berwick, North Berwick | District 6: North Berwick, South Berwick | District 7: Wells | District 8: Kennebunk | District 9: Biddeford, Kennebunk, Kennebunkport | District 10: Arundel, Dayton, Lyman | District 11: Biddeford | District 12: Biddeford | District 13: Old Orchard Beach | District 14: Saco | District 15: Saco | District 16: Buxton, Hollis, Saco | District 17: Lyman, Waterboro | District 18: Sanford | District 19: Sanford | District 20: Acton, Lebanon, Shapleigh | District 21: Alfred, Limerick, Newfield, Parsonsfield, Shapleigh | District 22: Buxton, Limerick, Limington, Standish | District 23: Standish | District 24: Windham | District 25: Windham | District 26: Gorham | District 27: Gorham, Scarborough | District 28: Scarborough | District 29: Scarborough | District 30: Cape Elizabeth | District 31: South Portland | District 32: Cape Elizabeth, South Portland | District 33: South Portland | District 34: Westbrook | District 35: Westbrook | District 36: Portland | District 37: Portland | District 38: Portland | District 39: Portland | District 40: Portland | District 41: Portland | District 42: Portland | District 43: Falmouth, Portland | District 44: Falmouth | District 45: Cumberland, Gray | District 46: Durham, North Yarmouth, Pownal | District 47: Chebeague Island, Long Island, Yarmouth | District 48: Freeport, Pownal | District 49: Brunswick | District 50: Brunswick | District 51: Brunswick, Harpswell, West Bath | District 52: Bath | District 53: Arrowsic, Dresden, Georgetown, Phippsburg, Richmond, Woolwich | District 54: Topsham | District 55: Bowdoin, Bowdoinham, Richmond | District 56: Lisbon | District 57: Greene, Sabattus | District 58: Lewiston | District 59: Lewiston | District 60: Lewiston | District 61: Lewiston | District 62: Auburn | District 63: Auburn | District 64: Auburn, Minot | District 65: New Gloucester, Poland | District 66: Casco, Poland, Raymond | District 67: Casco, Frye Island, Gray, Raymond | District 68: Baldwin, Cornish, Naples, Parsonsfield, Sebago | District 69: Bridgton, Denmark, Harrison | District 70: Brownfield, Freyburg, Hiram, Lovell, Porter | District 71: Norway, Sweden, Waterford, West Paris | District 72: Mechanic Falls, Otisfield, Oxford | District 73: Buckfield, Hebron, Paris | District 74: Jay, Livermore, Livermore Falls | District 75: Leeds, Livermore, Turner | District 76: Belgrade, Fayette, Mount Vernon, Rome, Vienna, Wayne | District 77: Oakland, Sydney | District 78: Benton, Winslow | District 79: Albion, Benton, China, Unity Township | District 80: Augusta, Somerville, Vassalboro, Windsor, Hibberts Gore | District 81: Monmouth, Readfield, Winthrop | District 82: Litchfield, Monmouth, Wales | District 83: Farmingdale, Gardner | District 84: Hallowell, Manchester, West Gardiner | District 85: Augusta | District 86: Augusta | District 87: Alna, Pittston, Randolph, Wiscasset | District 88: Chelsea, Jefferson, Nobleboro, Whitefield | District 89: Boothbay, Boothbay Harbor, Edgecomb, South Bristol, Southport and Westport Island | District 90: Bremen, Bristol, Damariscotta, Newcastle, Nobleboro, South Bristol, Monhegan Plantation, Louds Island | District 91: Friendship, Union, Waldoboro, Washington | District 92: Cushing, South Thomaston, St. George, Thomaston, Matinicus Isle Plantation, Criehaven, Muscle Ridge Islands Townships | District 93: Owls Head, Rockland | District 94: Camden, Isleboro, Rockport | District 95: Appleton, Hope, Union, Warren | District 96: Belmont, Liberty, Lincolnville, Montville, Morrill, Palermo, Searsmont | District 97: Belfast, Northport, Waldo | District 98: Frankfort, Searsport, Swanville, Winterport | District 99: Brooks, Burnham, Freedom, Jackson, Knox, Monroe, Thorndike, Troy, Unity | District 100: Corinna, Dixmont, Etna, Newport, Plymouth | District 101: Hampden, Newburgh | District 102: Glenburn, Kenduskeag, Levant | District 103: Carmel, Etna, Hermon | District 104: Charleston, Dexter, Exeter, Garland, Stetson | District 105: Cambridge, Canaan, Hartland, Palmyra, Ripley, St. Albans | District 106: Clinton, Detroit, Pittsfield | District 107: Madison, Skowhegan | District 108: Fairfield, Mercer, Smithfield | District 109: Waterville | District 110: Oakland, Waterville | District 111: Madison, Norridgewock, Solon | District 112: Anson, Avon, Carrabassett Valley, Carthage, Kingfield, New Portland, Phillips, Starks, Weld | District 113: Farmington, New Sharon | District 114: Chesterville, Industry, New Vineyard, Strong, Temple, Wilton | District 115: Roxbury, Rumford, Sumner, Woodstock, Milton Township | District 116: Canton, Dixfield, Hartford, Mexico, Peru | District 117: Andover, Bethel, Byron, Eustis, Gilead, Greenwood, Hanover, Lovell, Newry, Rangeley, Stoneham, Stow, Upton | District 118: Athens, Bingham, Caratunk, Cornville, Embden, Harmony, Jackman, Moose River, Moscow, Wellington | District 119: Abbot, Beaver Cove, Bowerbank, Greenville, Guilford, Monson, Parkman, Sangerville, Sebec, Shirley, Willimantic | District 120: Atkinson, Brownville, Dover-Foxcroft, Medford, Milo | District 121: Alton, Corinth, Hudson, Milford | District 122: Old Town, Penobscot Indian Island | District 123: Orono | District 124: Bangor, Orono | District 125: Bangor | District 126: Bangor | District 127: Bangor | District 128: Brewer | District 129: Brewer, Clifton, Eddington, Holden, Veazie | District 130: Bucksport, Orrington | District 131: Dedham, Orland, Otis, Penobscot, Prospect, Stockton Springs, Verona Island | District 132: Ellsworth, Trenton | District 133: Blue Hill, Brooklin, Brooksville, Castine, Sedgwick, Surry | District 134: Cranberry Isles, Deer Isle, Frenchboro, Isle au Haut, North Haven, Southwest Harbor, Stonington, Swan’s Island, Tremont, Vinalhaven | District 135: Bar Harbor, Lamoine, Mount Desert | District 136: Gouldsboro, Hancock, Mariaville, Osborn, Sorrento, Steuben, Sullivan, Waltham, Winter Harbor | District 137: Amherst, Aurora, Beddington, Bradford, Bradley, Deblois, Eastbrook, Edinburg, Franklin, Great Pond, Greenbush, Lagrange, Northfield, Passadumkeag, Wesley | District 138: Addison, Beals, Cherryfield, Columbia, Columbia Falls, Harrington, Jonesboro, Jonesport, Marshfield, Milbridge, Whitneyville | District 139: Cutler, East Machias, Eastport, Lubec, Machias, Machiasport, Roque Bluffs, Whiting | District 140: Baileyville, Calais, Charlotte, Passamaquoddy Indian Township, Passamaquoddy Pleasant Point, Pembroke, Perry, Robbinston | District 141: Alexander, Burlington, Chester, Cooper, Crawford, Danforth, Dennysville, Lakeville, Lee, Lowell, Mattawamkeag, Meddybemps, Princeton, Springfield, Talmadge, Topsfield, Vanceboro, Waite, Winn | District 142: Enfield, Howland, Lincoln, Maxfield, Woodville | District 143: East Millinocket, Medway, Millinocket, Patten | District 144: Amity, Bancroft, Haynesville, Hodgdon, Houlton, Orient, Weston | District 145: Bridgewater, Crystal, Dyer Brook, Hammond, Hersey, Island Falls, Linneus, Littleton, Ludlow, Merrill, Monticello, Mount Chase, New Limerick, Oakfield, Sherman, Smyrna, Stacyville | District 146: Blaine, Castle Hill, Chapman, Mapleton, Mars Hill, Perham, Wade, Washburn, Westfield, Woodland | District 147: Presque Isle | District 148: Caswell, Easton, Fort Fairfield, Hamlin, Limestone, Presque Isle, Stockholm | District 149: Caribou, New Sweden, Westmanland | District 150: Frenchville, Grand Isle, Madawaska, St. Agatha, Van Buren | District 151: Allagash, Ashland, Eagle Lake, Fort Kent, Masardis, New Canada, Portage Lake, St. Francis, Wallagrass |

House District 1: (Map) Kittery (part)

Deane Rykerson (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Lack of planning. We need to look at the future and invest in statewide broadband and renewable energy.

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Rep. Deane Rykerson (right), D-Kittery, sings an original protest song during a rally calling for an investigation into possible wrongdoing by Gov. Paul LePage in 2015 in Augusta.

2. 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?
Budget surplus.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
A safety net for all Mainers.

4. 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?
Yes, mileage and weight fee rather than increased gas tax.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes. Renewable energy creates jobs, lessens health problems, enhances Maine’s environment, stops money from leaving the state for fossil fuels, and slows the effects of climate disruption.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Loosened. Access for all who need it.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
For Question 1. There is no reason the wealthy should pay less percentage of taxes than the middle class.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes, ranked choice worked well in primaries.

Andrew Howard (G)

Did not respond.

House District 2: (Map) Eliot, Kittery (part) and South Berwick (part)

Dan Ammons (R)

Did not respond.

Michele Meyer (D)

Did not respond.

House District 3: (Map) York (part)

Lydia Blume (D) – Incumbent

Did not respond.

Allyson M. Cavaretta (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Maine’s economic development barriers are workforce and infrastructure. Demographically, we have been an aging state for over a decade and our state needs to continue the work around technology and educational systems to attract innovation and growth to Maine. I know Mainers have the hard work in them to make a bright future possible.

2. 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?
The funding of Medicaid expansion will be an important issue for the next Legislature and one with potentially significant impact to the state budget. We must focus on taking care of those most in need and find a sustainable, balanced solution. The next legislature working with the new Governor needs to find adequate dollars within the state budget. It’s worth looking across ideas such as the exchanges and the Healthy Maine Fund if they can fit into a sustainable, fiscally responsible answer.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
To me, welfare reform means providing solid routes back to self-sufficiency. Assistance to Mainers in need is important – and part of that is being a bridge to independence. It makes fiscal sense to move people from dependency to self-sufficiency. There are opportunities to implement work search and volunteer requirements on Temporary Assistance For Needy Families recipients would comply with federal law. We want and need adults returning to work.

4. 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?
Reviewing how roads and bridges are maintained thru town, county and state funds is part of addressing Maine’s infrastructure needs. We know that the gas tax approach is under pressure from fuel efficiency and electric vehicles, as well as just normal inflation. We need to look at how roads are paid for and what is needed for us to get the bridges, roads and transportation system we need today and for tomorrow that won’t over burden the most vulnerable among us.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Incentives for renewable energy technologies as part of Maine’s overall energy portfolio is a worthwhile discussion as long as one recognizes that incentives cannot come at the expense of rate payers. Since Maine is a net energy exporter, the market is doing a good. The price of transmission has increased 250% over that same period and that may bear looking at.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
At this time, Maine has a balanced approach to respecting the decision made in Roe v Wade

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I will be voting no on Question 1. There are many concerns with this initiative – from oversight to wait list issues, from the incredibly high tax burden to privacy concerns. It’s an example of why it is imperative that Maine return to the legislative process. Aging in place is an important conversation that deserves a better solution for Maine’s seniors.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I am not in favor at this time of a constitutional amendment to allow rank choice voting. We are at a time where we want to encourage more voting – not make it more complicated and in many ways, ranked choice deprives voters of an informed choice. Plurality has a long history in Maine and exists for good reason. The best solution isn’t an expensive change to the way we vote, it is to vote. It’s our responsibility.

House District 4: (Map) Ogunquit, Sanford (part), Wells (part) and York (part)

Patricia Hymanson (D) – Incumbent
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Rep. Patricia Hymanson, D-York.

Did not respond.

Bradley S. Moulton (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
barriers to job training and sufficient efforts to reduce them. As one small step, secondary schools need guidance counselors tracking all students, not just college bound, and ensure completion of certificate and other job training resulting in jobs that pay a livable wage. The Legislature needs to take direction from all stakeholders as to how to achieve results, different than the type of top down approach employed in 2011-12, that is frustrating many school systems just for education.

2. 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?
use of dedicated funds, such as tobacco settlement funds, is not appropriate, nor is dedicating income tax from a specific income group. It will require taking back income tax cuts for higher income families rather than slashing education and other state programs. No magic pill here, folks.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
I studied the social welfare system as a social work major in college, along with two internships, Child Protective Services, Region 1 (Portland) DHS in the 1970’s. One of the larger problems currently is the cliff between welfare and employment for people to transition successfully. That should be included in the term quoted in the question along with a whole lot more space than permitted here.

4. 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?
Finally, someone asked the question besides a constituent for whom I promised a bill. As over 33 other states have done, we need to increase the gas tax plus employ a mileage basis for non-gas and hybrid vehicles, and initiate a “transportation cost fairness credit” on the Maine income tax form to lessen the regressive tax burden for lower income Mainers.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Lessening of reliance upon fossil fuels and breaking down electric service into more manageable regional units striving to work towards a balanced, or zero, energy consumption should be incorporated in any long-range energy program for the state. That would also include solar and wind, but a whole lot more.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
We need to do a whole lot better raising our children reducing the need for divorce and abortion, especially for children undergoing the trauma of breakdown for too many families. This problem goes way beyond a legislative fix and falls squarely upon our families, communities, and society to address. As a legislator, I reluctantly voted against five of six abortion-related bills because they were defective and would not have directly addressed the individual decisions resulting in abortion.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
My vote is no better or worse than anyone else’s for a referendum question brought from outside the legislature, and therefore, not relevant. I do however, find many flaws in funding and operation that I cannot detail in the space provided for the ballot question produced by an agenda-driven special interest organization.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
No, as an attorney and voter, I do not believe it would ever comply with the principle of one person, one vote, as found currently in our constitution. All that I see is manipulation and playing games creating an unequal playing field worse than the choices voters must make at the polls without ranked choice voting.

House District 5: (Map) Berwick and North Berwick (part)

Beth O’Connor (R) – Incumbent

Did not respond.

Charles Galemmo (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
What companies are not looking for tax breaks for the wealthiest or deregulation. We have done that and are 36 in the country for economic growth. Business is looking for low property taxes on the parcels they build their stores, factories and other businesses. They are looking for good infrastructure and a workforce with the skills they need. They are looking for communities with good services and schools. They also want middle class people with money to spend at their locations.

2. 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?
The legislature passed a bill that addressed those concerns. The Governor’s veto was wrong. Their is plenty of money in our budget. It simply needs to be made a priority.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
It means ensuring low income seniors and children do not go hungry or cold in the winter, that they have access to healthcare and a roof over their heads.

4. 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?
It would be better to have infrastructure maintenance on a schedule and paid for out of the general fund. We can only borrow for so long and the interest payment is wasted money.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes. There are more solar jobs in Massachusetts than coal jobs in the US. Maine has the lowest number of clean energy jobs per capita of any state in New England. Further, renewable energy on the micro-grid is much less expensive than building large generating plants and power lines.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
A women’s right to choose is between her, her doctor and those she chooses to confide in. The government should not be involved in this most intimate and challenging of decisions. If we are to reduce the number of abortions we do so by mitigating the economic concerns which are the leading reason women opt for the procedure and improve access to birth control.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I am in favor. Whether the question ultimately passes or fails, we must deal with this issue and make it so seniors can retire in their homes with dignity. Passage of the question will only force the decision.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes. First it is the will of the people and government must adhere to that will. Second I believe that after people get accustomed to it third party candidates will have a better chance of winning allowing more varied views in our political discourse.

Noah Cobb (U)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Better, more adaptive education is the best method to achieve economic development. This includes University, Community College and Trade Schools.

2. 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?
Maine already has a growing rainy day fund that is not being used, which means we have a surplus of tax funding as it is.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
Stream lining current programs so that there is less waste, less abuse and tax payers are getting more benefits for the money spent.

4. 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?
Yes it should. It should probably be a combination of transportation taxes that address the loss of gas taxes. That way the loss or lower of one does not undo the system and none hurt the average person too much.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
I believe in the technologies but until they are more efficient the state should not be subsidizing. The free market should decide.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I think they are correct as is in Maine.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
Against. It is too much policy in a citizen initiative that should be worked out by lawmakers. The question as is will create as many problems as it claims to solve.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes. RCV is the best way to make sure peoples preferred ideals are expressed through out an election. It gives people a piece of mind that they are not throwing away their vote on a Candidate with less of a chance. Maine has amended its constitution 173 times. One more is not as big an issue as people make it out to be.

House District 6: (Map) North Berwick (part) and South Berwick (part)

Manley Grove (R)

Did not respond.

Tiffany Roberts-Lovell (D)

Did not respond.

House District 7: (Map) Wells (part)

Daniel Hobbs (D)

Did not respond.

John Howarth (R)

Did not respond.

House District 8: (Map) Kennebunk (part)

Christopher W. Babbidge (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Businessowners’ concern statewide is the same: workforce, workforce, workforce. More engineers are needed from UMaine and USM. We must help professionals come here and stay here. More public-private partnerships through community colleges can give trainees immediate high-paying jobs. Retiring baby boomers can contribute by sharing their expertise. Many CEOs want to live here, but to open a branch in Maine they need internet connectivity and an educated labor force to make it work.

2. 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?
We already have the money. This investment has a 9-to-1 return. I support a general fund obligation, not dedicated funds. M.E. will cover our most vulnerable working Mainers, help healthcare institutions remain solvent, and protect our healthcare workforce. $500 million in federal money for the Maine economy helps us all. Most states, including those governed by Christie and Kasich, put peoples’ needs first. We must do the same, acccepting the 9-1 match as Mainers directed in referendum.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
Helping the young, the old, and severely challenged is good for ALL of us. They then pay taxes and buy goods and services. Welfare reform means efficiency and effectiveness to give a hand up, and REPLACING what isn’t working with something better. It is NOT irresponsible across-the-board cuts that hurt good and necessary programs, force caregivers to redirect their professional lives elsewhere, and leave our most vulnerable alone to figure it out. We can do this AND be fiscally responsible.

4. 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?
Most transportation dollars come from transportation bonds and the gas tax, the latter a dwindling figure due to the success of federal CAFÉ standards. All of us get better mileage than we used to. Mainers who step up and pay extra for a high mileage vehicle or hybrid car are voluntarily emitting less carbon pollution, and we must not de-incentivize responsible choices. We need to examine taking a bigger piece of Maine Turnpike tolls which are paid in part by out-of-staters.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Renewable energy is good for Maine’s air quality, the respiratory and skin health of our children, and new business growth. We should promote incentives permitting lower-income Mainers to also benefit. Community solar should be expanded. The U.S. is in danger of falling behind in the technology race to harness solar and wind, but Maine’s solar entrepreneurs and the University of Maine’s ocean wind initiative are positioned to be industry leaders if Maine government permits their growth.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
We must improve access to reproductive healthcare for low-income Mainers, and protect the healthcare professionals who serve them. All-male legislatures throughout history have outlawed birth control and abortion. Sex education and birth control are essential for women to decide. No woman should be forced by government to carry an unwanted pregnancy. I fully support a woman with mental, physical or financial health issues who wants to get herself in a better place before becoming a parent.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
Sadly true: Social Security deductions are taken only from middle-class levels of income. But this proposal has consequences and opportunity costs that I don’t yet know. The new Board may have conflict-of-interest concerns and no real legislative oversight. This 15-page bill has not undergone the scrutiny integral to the legislative process: sponsorship, public hearings, work sessions, committee votes, press coverage with constituent response, floor debate, and final enactment vote.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Majorities have been oppressive & resistant to reform, causing constitutional freedoms to be created. It’s bad that a few voters for an extremist 3rd candidate, by their 2nd choice in RCV, can override the plurality winner.But governors should have a mandate as expressed by a majority vote. I will vote for wording that simply requires a majority. Run-off elections are clean and simple, but ranked-choice voting is 2nd best, and is preferable to the status quo in expressing the people’s will.

Bradley Ducharme (R)

Did not respond.

House District 9: (Map) Biddeford (part), Kennebunk (part) and Kennebunkport

Diane M. Denk (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Many Maine students leave to pursue better paying and high tech opportunities in other states. We are not attracting or retaining companies that could create these jobs. Maine must shore up current and start-up businesses by offering tax incentives, providing renewable energy credits, and refurbishing facilities. Students who remain or return should be assisted in paying down student loans. With our expanding senior population, healthcare jobs will grow, so school loan assistance is win/win.

2. 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?
Medicaid expansion benefits hard-working people in low-wage jobs without health insurance. While Gov. LePage refused this, 17 other states with Republican governors (including then Indiana Gov. Mike Pence) approved it. Billions of federal dollars were not taken. Mainers without coverage have no checkups and do not seek help when ill. They use the ER, the most costly treatment. This can be eliminated through expansion. Providing quality healthcare should never be a political battleground.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
The term “welfare reform” often implies failure and prejudges without knowing the facts about the recipient. Many are mothers of small children, or men and women who may be disabled, or those in low paying jobs, or workers whose skills do not match current needs. Requiring adults who are able-bodied without small children to work, train, or volunteer is appropriate to continue to receive assistance. We must keep our minds open to assist those in genuine need.

4. 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?
Our Governor and legislature often use bonds as a reward/punishment tool. Bonds are an undependable method of infrastructure upkeep. We have borrowed $832 million in this century alone! We must revisit our gas tax, tolls, obtaining Federal dollars, and methods of transportation. Improving rail transport and our ports would further remove traffic from our roads. New construction adds jobs which improve our economy and the quality of our lives and that of our tourists.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
The days of dependence on fossil fuels must end. Burning oil is costly and bad for the environment. We must turn to green energy such as wind, solar, and hydro. We should protect our natural resources, our forests, our water quality, our shoreline, and our wildlife before they are further harmed. Providing tax credits to homes, businesses, and farms that go green and weatherize will result it a healthier state. We also must never elect another Governor who denies climate change.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Maine must grant access to abortion free of judgment, restriction, intimidation, and harassment in a safe, comfortable, affordable environment. The decision a woman makes for ending a pregnancy is difficult enough without the intervention of hostile, harmful groups. Funding assistance through Medicaid should not be denied and even be increased to make abortion accessible to all women. We cannot ever return to the days where women were punished and even died seeking unsafe abortions.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
A false assumption is that area elderly are comfortable and require no help. I meet seniors in lovely homes who live alone without help who are house poor. I also see those who are not wealthy who are in dire need. An elderly Wells woman died and her body was not found for 2 years! Universal care would ensure our seniors and disabled have proper assistance, would grow jobs, and help our economy. While it is not perfect, I nevertheless support this program.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Mainers pride themselves on being independent. Many refuse to be identified with a political party. Consequently, we frequently have a three or even four-way split where the person who wins may do so without receiving a majority of the votes. LePage won with 37.6% in 2010 and 48.2% in 2014. Having ranked-choice voting allows for the true majority of voters to designate a winner in excess of 50%. This is a much fairer system and one I would support with ranked-choice voting.

Roger Seavey (R)

Did not respond.

House District 10: (Map) Arundel, Dayton and Lyman (part)

James Booth (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
As long as Maine is in the top 10 in every Tax category ,economic development will lag behind. The Legislature could start by adopting some of NH tax structure. NH has no Income tax or Sales. Property taxes are close for Maine #9 and NH #7 for highest in country.

2. 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?
Reduce the state budget by the exact amount that is needed to fund the expansion.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
Reforming welfare means people that really need welfare should not be on a waiting list. And adults with no children and aren’t themselves handicap should not receive Welfare.

4. 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

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Expanding incentives means taking money from one area and putting it in another. I don’t want to take money from our most vulnerable just to subsidized millionaires.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Parents should be notified before access to abortion.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
No, Small Business killer! If this passes a lot of people will leave the State and we will be the Number 1 State for Taxation.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
No. With the primary in June as an example who in they’re right mind would want RCV? Took two weeks to determine the winner and now Mr. Dunlap needs more money because of the cost overruns due to the RCV. If elections aren’t broken why fix it?

Henry Ingwersen (D)

Did not respond.

House District 11: (Map) Biddeford (part)

Ryan M. Fecteau (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
A significant portion of the Maine workforce is reaching retirement age. We need to double down our efforts to train and retain our young people. I’ve sponsored legislation to send a bond to voters that would invest $40 million in our vocational schools. Maine’s 27 vocational schools have not received an injection of state resources since a 1998 voter-approved $5 million bond.

2. 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?
The legislature in June of this year approved $60 million in funding for expansion. The figure was based on the LePage Administration’s estimate which was higher than independent studies. Even though Gov. LePage continued to say there was no funding to implement expansion, he vetoed the very bill that would fund expansion. It’s clear that we need leadership in Augusta that respects the will of voters and implements expansion. There are numerous studies that suggest expansion will pay for itself.

3. 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 reform refers to policy changes that ensure the most vulnerable in our state have access to the safety net that provides them the opportunities to get back on their feet. In addition, there has been a focus on ensuring there are more programs for persons to be trained in sectors that provide more bountiful employment than perhaps what they had prior to falling on hard times.

4. 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?
This is obviously a very challenging issue since vehicles are becoming more and more fuel efficient; yet, road and highway usage is still significant. In 2013, Virginia passed a reform package regarding how they fund transportation infrastructure that I think is worth exploring. The Federal Highway Administration has offered states technology that charges users based on miles traveled. We definitely need to think outside the box on this issue.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Absolutely. We are falling behind many other states that have recognized the economic opportunities that solar and wind generation offer. In fact, we are losing young people to employers in other states that have been provided incentives to grow and implement their technologies. The average median wage in the solar industry, for example, is $26 per hour and a national census reports that 79% of companies do not require a bachelor’s degree for new hires.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Any proposal to restrict a woman’s right to make her own decisions concerning her reproductive health should be defeated. I strongly believe that individuals should be able to make these decisions in good conscience.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I’ll be supporting Question 1. First, I should say that I do not agree with all the mechanics of the proposal and believe the legislature will have an obligation to make adjustments when implementing the law. However, I know that taking care of an elderly family member has a real financial and psychological toll on too many Mainers. We cannot expect Mainers to work full-time and take on the full-time job of caring for elderly family. Not to mention, our seniors deserve dignity as they age.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes. Voters have twice approved ranked-choice voting for our elections and the constitution should be amended to reflect this.

Emily Rousseau (R)

Did not respond.

House District 12: (Map) Biddeford (part)

Victoria Foley (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
We need to put policies in place that encourage young people to settle in Maine and contribute to our economy. Our education system needs to set students up for success – training today’s youth for tomorrow’s economy, including the trades and careers that support our aging population.

2. 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?
The members of the House need to work together to find a way to fund the expansion voters have approved.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
Social services are necessary to assist our neighbors who are in need, providing people training, support, and a path back to independence. Children and our most vulnerable populations deserve our compassion and caring, which means appropriately funding social service programs.

4. 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?
Funding our roads, bridges, and other infrastructure is imperative to the growth of our economy. We are in a transformative period in transportation and communication, and we have to find better ways to structure the funding. I don’t yet have solutions, but I am strongly in favor of acknowledging that improvement is possible, and I am eager to be part of the discussion of new options.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes. Diversifying the sources of our energy is beneficial for jobs, for the environment, and for our energy security.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Women should be able to make their own healthcare decisions, and make those choices free from harassment and intimidation.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I will be voting against Question 1. We need to do all we can to help our elders remain in their homes and age in place. It is not clear that the initiative as written can be implemented in a way that ensures the funds are managed with accountability to the Mainers paying into the system.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Voters have made it clear they support ranked-choice voting, and the Legislature needs to continue to work to clarify how that looks within our state election system.

House District 13: (Map) Old Orchard Beach

Lori K. Gramlich (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
A significant barrier to economic development is the lack of trained and skilled workers in health care and the trade industry. The Legislature can and should provide solutions to advance workforce training for health care workers and trades jobs. Additionally college tuition costs have soared. Providing incentives for reducing costs for college, workforce training and student loan forgiveness are all possible remedies to addressing this issue.

2. 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?
It is the legislature’s responsibility to follow the will of the voter. Many individuals face barriers to the care they need, and businesses are struggling to provide coverage for their employees. Medicaid expansion will provide a 90% match in funding from the Federal Government – something other states have done through the ACA, and have already seen the benefits of relative to funding. Additionally, there will be less uncompensated/charity care provided in our state, with expansion.

3. 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 has historically been intended to provide safety net supports to get through unforeseen circumstances whether it is a lack of housing, food, clothing, or jobs. Examining current programs built on the achievements of our past provides a basis for determining changes to meet social service needs. Policies using a strengths-based perspective will provide better outcomes for both cost effectiveness and will provide individuals the tools and resources they may need to get back on their feet.

4. 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?
Yes, the state needs to re-examine infrastructure funding. While bonds leverage additional federal funding, we need a funding mix to meet the needs of our state. Obtaining input from experts in the field and examining successes from other states relative to infrastructure funding is a first step. State gas tax rates have not been evaluated for nearly a decade. These rates could be evaluated annually and go back to being indexed to the rate of inflation to accommodate transportation funding.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Absolutely. Providing incentives for renewable energy technologies are investments in our future – not only are these evolving technologies good for our climate and environment, they are also sound economic development initiatives, in that new jobs are created due to these advancing technologies. We need to shift our reliance from fossil fuels to emerging renewable resources.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Women’s decisions regarding her health and health care should be between her and her doctor. I support all women having access to affordable healthcare.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
As Mainers are living longer, more engaged lives, the importance of insuring our residents are able to live out their lives in their own homes is imperative. It is more cost effective for folks to stay in their homes than it is for them to live in facilities. To that end, I support providing home care services, not only for our seniors, but also for other folks with challenges which might otherwise prevent them from living enriched, independent lives and will be voting for Question 1.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
While previous legislatures have been apprehensive of amending our constitution, the people of Maine passed this referendum and the constitution should reflect that. Ranked choice voting is a way to build consensus for a candidate instead of a candidate winning who is not supported by the majority of Maine voters.

Sharri MacDonald (R)

Did not respond.

House District 14: (Map) Saco (part)

Donna Bailey (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Keeping and attracting workers. Public/private partnerships between local industries, to train workers in those areas that industry leaders identify as future needed skills. Expand our tax incentive programs for those willing to move to and work in areas of the state that are underserved. Tax incentives to businesses that offer programs to pay for workers education, re-training, relocation to the State and/or student loan debt relief. Support the Opportunity Maine Tax Credit Program.

2. 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?
One of largest parts of any state budge, is the ongoing need for social services to help give a hand up. In addition to dedicating money to the Rainy Day Fund, dedicate a separate fund for social service programs, including MaineCare. The Social Services Fund, like the Rainy Day Fund, should be added to during times the state enjoys a surplus, and would be there when there are insufficient funds, in the General Fund to fully fund the State’s share of ongoing needed social service programs.

3. 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 reform means the continuing examination of our social services programs to see where and how we can improve them, both in outcomes and delivery. We also need to insure those that need the help receive it, but those who don’t are not allowed to defraud the system. It may also mean eliminating some programs, while adding others, as times change, and needs change. Social service programs, like societies themselves, are not static.

4. 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?
Adequate and predictable funding to maintain our roads and bridges is crucial to our safety, prosperity and economy. Relying on borrowing to fund our infrastructure is passing our responsibility on to future generations. Distance based user fees, with an initial yearly amount exempted for Maine residents; in combination with managed lanes in highly congested areas is the direction we should be exploring. Borrowing should be reserved for more big investment projects.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes Maine should do everything possible to encourage renewable energy technologies. Almost every survey indicates the lack of affordable energy is an impediment to more businesses locating in the State. We need to expand and invest in our renewable fuel and energy alternatives to lower our energy costs, both for homeowners and for businesses. Renewable energy jobs are also a fast growing industry that we should expand and attract more of to the State.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I believe a woman’s right to choose should be respected and maintained. Such a personal decision should be made by a woman in consultation with her doctor, family, friends, and faith, as she chooses. Curtailing access to abortion and reproductive health services does not decrease the numbers of abortions; it only increases the number of unsafe abortions.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I will be voting for Question 1. Although I think the funding mechanism in the initiative will need to be re-examined by the Legislature, it is crucial that we look at this crucial issue for our Seniors. It does not make sense that we are willing to spend thousands of dollars to place someone in a nursing home, but we are not willing to spend the same or even less money to provide the needed care for them in their own home.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes I support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative elections, because the voters have been clear that is the system they would like.

Frederick Samp (U)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
We have a demographic problem here in Maine – an aging population without enough younger people moving to or remaining in Maine to support this population. Two recent studies completed under the auspices of several organizations make a number of Legislative recommendations designed to grow the size of Maine’s workforce, improve the skills of Maine’s workers, improve high speed broadband access and make Maine a leader in health care cost containment, health insurance coverage and public health.

2. 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?
The Legislature approved funding in 2018, but the Governor vetoed the measure out of misplaced concern for long-term funding sources. The potential benefits to Maine of expansion are so overwhelming that State funding should not be a serious concern, and with a new Governor and Legislature, the expansion should be in position to move forward.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
The term “welfare reform” should be limited to the search for improvements to programs designed to deliver an agreed level of services and to meet stated social goals as efficiently as possible. Many have publicly used the term to describe individual beliefs that the level of services should be increased or decreased or that social goals should change.

4. 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?
An increasing share of state and federal gas taxes should be dedicated to improving the infrastructure for alternatives more efficient than the private automobile. As the measurement technology develops, it will become necessary to rely more on user fees to fund the maintenance of roads and bridges.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
The development of renewable energy technologies will become increasingly important as the public becomes less tolerant of the drawbacks to traditional fossil fuel-based energy sources and as governmental responses to climate change require major technology shifts. As these changes take place, the cost differential between renewable and traditional technologies will likely diminish and the need for incentives will be reduced. Nevertheless, incentive programs will probably still be necessary.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Maine has very few laws that actively restrict abortion access, and I would not advocate further restrictions.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I will be voting against Question 1. The underlying legislation is long, complex and covers a number of subjects. It includes three new taxes – a personal payroll tax, a corporate excise tax and an individual income tax. It makes a major change to Maine’s labor laws and sets up a complex governance structure. Citizen initiatives do not work well when they cover so many disparate subjects. The question printed on the ballot does not begin to describe the legislation adequately.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I support such a constitutional amendment. The advantages of ranked-choice voting in reducing the need to engage in strategic voting and in elevating the level of political discourse during campaigns are well documented. The experience in recent primary elections in Maine demonstrates that ranked-choice ballots can be simple and easily understood.

Stephen R. DuPuis (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Taxes are the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine. Roll back the top tax rate to between zero and five percent.

2. 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?
There needs to be a longer term, sustainable funding without increasing taxes and without stealing funds from more needy needs in the State such as School Funding and existing MaineCare programs.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
The welfare reform means we need to improve the way we deliver aid to the most needy citizens in our State and make sure that the funds that we do spend are used by the citizens they are intended for and not by those that are capable of working in some capacity.

4. 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?
There is no easy and quick solution to the infrastructure funding mechanisms. I feel that it is something we need to explore further. I would survey what other States have done to address this problem and see if any of these solutions have potential here in Maine.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
One thing the State of Maine should do is allow Small Wind Energy systems and home solar projects to sell all of there excess power to the grid and not just allow a credit against their usage. This is the case in New Hampshire and allows the economics of renewable power to not only benefit the homeowners but allows the rest of the consumers of the electric grid to benefit from renewable energy.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I don’t believe any State funds should go to organizations that perform abortions here in the State.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I will voting against Question 1. I believe that this referendum question is illegal. All funding bills must start in the Maine House of Representatives, not in the referendum process. This is a job killer because it would raise the State income tax rate above 10 percent and drive wealthy residents to leave. The only group left to pay the tab, would be the middle class here in Maine.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I would not support a constitutional amendment to allow ranked choice voting here in the State. The current system of plurality works well, is simple and straight forward.

House District 15: (Map) Saco (part)

Margaret O’Neil (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Strengthening our workforce: There are great jobs available now, and employers are struggling to connect with workers to fill those openings. The legislature must continue to partner with Maine employers to tailor our education system to prepare Maine students for jobs that are in demand and will continue to be in demand such as nursing, engineering, and the trades. We must also continue our work to attract newcomers to Maine through student loan credits.

2. 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?
Last year, the governor requested dedicated funding from the legislature and then vetoed that funding once the legislature provided it. This November, Maine voters have the opportunity to elect a governor who will implement Medicaid Expansion. I will be ready to take necessary legislative action to support this effort.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
Regardless of party, the governor and legislature should seek to increase efficiency as we work toward our outcomes each year. We have much work ahead to make sure our investments at the state level best serve the people of Maine and to ensure that limited public dollars go to most effectively benefit the least fortunate among us. As for the term “welfare reform” itself, it’s time to create a new way to discuss efficiency as we support Mainers working to lift themselves out of poverty.

4. 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?
Our state has significant infrastructure needs across all of our regions. The city of Saco is a great example with our longstanding commuter traffic. I am open to new funding methods that will help us invest in the infrastructure that serves us and helps us get where we need to be safely.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
We should absolutely encourage renewable energy technologies in Maine. After missed opportunities in the previous legislature, particularly with solar, the next legislature has no time to waste.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I will not support policies that seek to restrict a woman’s access to reproductive healthcare. Such decisions are personal and made between a patient and her medical provider.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
This is a tough issue for me. Seniors and Mainers with disabilities should be able to remain in their homes whenever possible. I speak regularly with constituents who are having a hard time keeping themselves or a loved one in their home due to the cost of care or the time away from work. That said, I won’t be supporting question 1. I have concerns with the funding mechanism. The next governor and the legislature must have the political will to address this through the legislative process.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I did not personally vote for Ranked Choice at the ballot box. However, as a legislator, I have supported a constitutional amendment because the people of Maine voted to establish a ranked-choice system, and I heard from many constituents who asked me to support such an amendment. It is my top priority to represent my district in the legislature as I make decisions.

Joseph Lynch (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Governor LePage has set the stage by cutting back regulations and taxes but we need to continue to foster the growing economy.

2. 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?
We cannot just spend money we don’t have. As an accountant I understand bills need to get paid.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
Stopping the abuse in the system.

4. 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?
I am not a big fan of borrowing but since the cost of construction continues to grow faster than the interest rates we pay it doesn’t make sense to put off projects until we have the money.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Too many of these are schemes to pay off politically connected people with tax dollars and have nothing to do with conservation.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
The laws should be restricted. We should provide funding for resources and education to men and women to prevent pregnancies.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
Against, I think it needs more work before it can be put into action. Unfortunately, I feel it leaves a lot of opportunity for misuse and poor oversight.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
No, just look at the primary elections. It is just another ploy to confuse voters who are unfamiliar with the process before voting and took too much time and additional resources to come to a conclusion.

House District 16: (Map) Buxton (part), Hollis and Saco (part)

Donald Marean (R) – Incumbent

Did not respond.

Dave Durrell (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
The single biggest barrier right now is population stagnation. We need to work to keep our young people in Maine and to attract more people to the state. Educational diversity for the good job opportunities we have and wage growth are key to those goals.

2. 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?
The legislature proposed several methods of initially funding it, all of which the governor rejected. The funding should ultimately come from the general fund, as part of the DHHS budget. That would have been difficult this year, as the second year of a bi-annual budget, which is why the legislature sought more creative means of funding this past year. The governor was disingenuous in this regard, and he got the House GOP caucus behind him, costing the state hundreds of millions of dollars.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
The DHHS aids and protects the most vulnerable of our people, including children and the elderly. We have a moral societal duty to do this, and in the case of children we are also investing in our own future. We obviously want to do this as efficiently and cost effectively as possible, but not by cutting caseworkers or harming people. In terms of general aid, the term is often used negatively. Certainly we should vigorously prosecute welfare fraud but others do really need aid.

4. 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?
I believe the gas tax is still a viable way to fund roads and bridges- most vehicles still do use gas. I do think it needs to be updated, as it hasn’t changed in years, even for inflation or reflecting greater mileage efficiency. The gas taxes should be funding more of the bill. Going forward chances are that electric or other energy means will increasingly power our vehicles. As that occurs we need to be reassessing our tax sources to ensure they stay relevant and fair.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes! We let a great opportunity with wind power get away a few years ago, but Maine still has abundant sources of wind, solar and tidal power available. We should be encouraging their development, which ultimately means investment, jobs and dollars in our state.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I believe that a woman has the right to choose what to do with her own body, and that includes terminating a pregnancy. I do not favor any law restricting this right.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
This addresses an issue of import to all of us- keeping seniors in our homes, which is also a more cost efficient solution than nursing homes. I am concerned about some of the details of this bill, including the funding mechanism and the regulatory body that it sets up. The funding source is the income above the limit taxed for Medicare. However, Congress is not stepping up to address that, so this remains uncaptured revenue. The regulatory issues can be addressed. I am voting yes.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes. We did vote for it, so it is the people’s will, and it is fair and allows greater choice. Some people are uncomfortable with it because it is “new”, but as we learn that it works and works well I believe more people will embrace it. We do need to work to make the results quickly known. I believe that is critical to people’s acceptance of it.

House District 17: (Map) Lyman (part) and Waterboro

Dwayne Prescott (R) – Incumbent

Did not respond.

House District 18: (Map) Sanford (part)

Anne-Marie Mastraccio (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Maine needs to formulate a long range economic development strategy. We have high paying jobs available right now that are going unfilled because of the lack of a skilled workforce. This plan might include; job training for displaced and underemployed workers, state policies that attract and support legal immigrants to our state, enhanced career and technical educational offerings, targeted student debt relief and a focus on growing the small businesses central to our economy.

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Rep. Anne-Marie Mastraccio, D-Sanford.

2. 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?
Maine Taxpayers are already paying for the uninsured. The legislature provided a mechanism to pay the portion that would leverage the 90% due from the Federal Government. All of the data now available seems to prove that states that expanded state Medicaid programs under the ACA, have lower rates of uninsured adults and lower costs overall for health care and insurance premiums for everyone. I believe we will see these benefits once the law is finally implemented.

3. 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 reform means ensuring the social service programs we have in place (food stamps, subsidized housing) are accessible for those who need help and part of a larger program that lifts families out of a life of poverty.

4. 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?
State and federal gas taxes are insufficient to fund our infrastructure needs. Congress needs to take on this task and until they do, our best option is bonding. As a legislature, we need to work with our congressional delegation in formulating a long range plan to invest in our roads and bridges.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes, I believe renewable energy technologies have the potential to be an extremely viable sector of our economy and incentivizing these businesses helps us all. Renewable energy sources are a necessary part of any plan to address climate change.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I think women deserve to have all options available to them when deciding issues around their bodies and their health.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
While I agree that we need to do more to help seniors remain in their homes, I do not see Question 1 as the answer. Before we put in place a completely new framework and funding model for home care delivery services, we would be better served by properly evaluating and funding the agencies already in place. When the legislature does not do its job, you see questions like this appear on the ballot.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes. I think the voters have been clear in their support for ranked choice voting and I respect that vote.

Pamela Buck (R)

Did not respond.

House District 19: (Map) Sanford (part)

Matthew A. Harrington (R) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
There are a couple of barriers to economic development in Maine. We need to lower electricity costs, lower healthcare costs, reduce taxes, and address our labor shortage. We must embrace CTE and vocational education programs, and partner with our school systems through apprenticeship programs to ensure that students can be placed in employment situations. We also need to focus on growing our population, and recruiting people to raise live, work, and raise their families in our great state.

2. 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?
Voters passed the law and it is our responsibility as the Legislature to appropriate the funds. We need all stakeholders to gather around the table to talk about a responsible and sustainable funding mechanism for Medicaid expansion that does not include raising taxes, cutting funding for education, or raiding Maine’s rainy day fund. We need a long-term funding solution so we do not end up with massive debts owed to Maine hospitals that resulted from the last expansion.

3. 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 reform means maintaining a strong safety net for our most vulnerable citizens including our elderly, disabled, children, and veterans. Welfare should be a hand up for those who have hit a bump in the road, not a permanent hand out. We must continue to require individuals who can work – to work, volunteer, or participate in training to acquire skills to get a job. We must make sure welfare dollars are not spent on gambling, cigarettes, alcohol, or other illicit activities.

4. 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?
Bonding can be an effective way to improve our infrastructure. However, it cannot be the only way we fund it. We must develop a long-term, strategic plan, to address our infrastructure shortfalls. In addition, we must also prioritize infrastructure in our state budget by cutting out the waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer dollars. We need to identify redundancies in our state budget and work to eliminate them, ensuring tax dollars are spent as efficiently and effectively as possible.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Maine needs a comprehensive energy strategy. We need to stop picking winners and losers and embrace a wide range of energy technologies. If we want to continue to grow our economy, we must lower electricity costs. I support renewable energy technologies that lower costs, and protect our environment. I do not support broad-based government subsidies for technologies that are not commercially viable, and only increase costs for Maine families and small businesses.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I am pro-life. However, Roe v. Wade is the law of the land and we all have to live under it. I support abortion being a choice in instances of rape, incest, and the life of the mother. I oppose the use of taxpayer money for abortions, and support common-sense measures like parental notification for minors. As science develops with regards to the viability of the fetus, we must continually assess our abortion laws and restrictions to ensure that we are protecting the sanctity of life.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I am adamantly opposed to Question 1. Many of our existing home-care workers don’t event support this extreme initiative. We need to protect our senior and disabled citizens. However, we cannot continue to grow Maine’s economy by dramatically increasing taxes. Outside billionaires cannot continue to come into Maine and pour money into these liberal referendum questions, and use Maine as their test site. We need referendum reform to ensure all Mainers are adequately represented.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
No. Ranked-choice voting is both expensive and confusing. These last primary election results show that the result under ranked-choice voting would not have been any different than using a plurality of the vote. Ranked-choice voting has serious constitutional implications, and is largely unsupported by our hardworking town clerks who are responsible for administering our elections.

Jeremy Mele (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
A lack of a protected workforce. Maine unemployment is down, yet we have a so many jobs that go unfilled. This is due to a lack of incentives for workers to come to Maine. We need to attract workers to Maine in order to fill jobs and spur economic development. The legislature can do that by working to guarantee healthcare for all, establishing a student loan forgiveness program to attract college graduates, and upholding the gains we have made for the minimum wage.

2. 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?
I was disappointed when the governor vetoed the bipartisan funding bill for the Medicaid expansion. To my mind, using Funds for a Healthy Maine and a small portion of the surplus just made sense when we had a surplus of $175 million. Healthcare is a human right, and the legislature needs to guarantee that right for Mainers. I support the aforementioned funding pathway because working and low income Mainers are dying due to lack of healthcare, and the legislature needs to combat this.

3. 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 reform” is often code for “ignoring the needs of the most vulnerable”. I don’t think we should be in the practice of gutting important and necessary social services. Doing so would leave thousands of working Mainers without vital support systems. Instead of “reforming” welfare, we should be expanding social programs, like Medicare, to cover everyone.

4. 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?
Providing safe and efficient infrastructure is one of the most important jobs of the government. We need safe roads and bridges for the day to day operations of society, and it will be my priority to make sure that funding for such infrastructure is secured. Bonding should be an option for funding large-scale projects, but we also need to explore how other states have begun to fund infrastructure upkeep, learn from them, and apply best practices in our communities.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes. Climate change is real, it’s happening now, and if we do not divest from fossil fuels and transition to clean energy in a prompt manner, we risk ecological destruction. That sounds apocalyptic, but we have seen the dangers of climate change from increased tropical storms just recently with Florence in North Carolina. If we don’t incentivize the transition to clean energy, our coastal communities will be at serious risk from rising ocean levels and storms.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I believe that people have the right to autonomy over their own bodies. A man should not be making decisions over what a woman should or should not do with her body, and neither should the state be in the business of infringing on the bodily autonomy of its citizens. Abortion is an important part of healthcare for so many, and, in order to protect the health and autonomy of Maine women, I do not think the state should be restricting access to it.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
For. We all get old, and many of us become disabled. When we do, we deserve to receive the care we need, and we deserve to receive that care in a way that lets us stay in the homes we’ve worked hard to own. Question 1 will ensure that the elderly and the disabled, many of whom are veterans, can receive the care they need while lifting a financial burden off of working Mainers who might otherwise struggle to afford and/or find time out of their work schedules to care for their relatives in need.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I am supportive of Ranked-Choice Voting in general; I think it provides Mainers a more accurate way of voicing our opinion of who we think should represent us in the government. In this way, it is a boon to, and a refinement of, our democratic process. Furthermore, the voters of my district approved Ranked-Choice Voting in 2016 and again during this year’s midterm. A representative needs to represent the will of the voters of their district.

House District 20: (Map) Acton, Lebanon and Shapleigh (part)

Daniel Lauzon (D)

Did not respond.

Theodore Kryzak (R)

Did not respond.

House District 21: (Map) Alfred, Limerick (part), Newfield, Parsonsfield (part) and Shapleigh (part)

Heidi Sampson (R) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
The legislature needs fiscal responsibility. The tax burden on businesses are deterrents to new businesses coming to Maine. We need an energy plan to ensure viable, sustainable, affordable and reliable energy. Burdensome business regulations need to be relaxed. High Speed Internet throughout the state is a must. Education, K-12, CTE, Community College and University systems need to be streamlined and strengthened. We need to explore capital incentives for college students to stay in Maine.

Micky Bedell | BDN
Micky Bedell | BDN
Rep. Heidi Sampson, R-Alfred, at the statehouse in Augusta in 2017.

2. 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?
Without a constitutional amendment requiring referendum bills to go to the Appropriations committee, the entire system is upside down. In order to fund this expansion, we must have a long-term sustainable funding source. I do not support raising taxes, using the state’s rainy-day fund or spending gimmicks.

These able bodied, childless adults who will benefit, should have skin in the game; contributing to their own healthcare cost. If not, the health care costs will continue to rise.

3. 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 was intended to help those in need get back on their feet again, a hand-up, not a hand out. It was never intended to be a lifestyle. The ‘T’ in TANF stands for TEMPORARY. When people need help, this system is in place and designed to be a safety net. It was also intended to help those who are genuinely and permanently unable to care for themselves. Anything that falls outside of this should be subject to re-examination and should be re-tooled or reformed.

4. 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?
Constant borrowing is a problem and sets up our next generation to pick up the tab. We should revisit the means by which we fund our infrastructure.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Maine’s energy exportation wholesale prices have been stable for years, however our price of transmission has increase 250% during the period. We should also continue the course of maintaining one of the nationally top cleanest energy producers.

Hidden fees raising the electric bills of all rate payers including low income and elderly Mainers is not acceptable. If people want solar panels on their house they’re free to do so. State government should not force their neighbors to pay for it.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I am not in favor of loosening access. Public funds should not be used for abortion access.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
No to Q1. Why was this bill denied a public hearing? What is being hidden?

The shadow-government board this bill proposes, will allow funds to flow through a publicly funded, unaccountable 9-person private, union-backed board, who will determine the spending of $300 million annual funds. Additionally, this board will have $15 million to spend on themselves. SERIOUSLY? The private information of individual state home care providers will be accessed without consent. This is unacceptable.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
No, I do not support this. Ironically, the proponents of RCV seek a constitutional amendment. Yet they oppose a constitutional amendment requiring equal number of signatures from the First and Second Congressional District to allow a question to be on the ballot. Fixing the referendum process must come first. RCV cost this state an additional $300,000 above the costly projected budget. These schemes always cost more than projected. This is a highly irresponsible abuse of public funds.

Justin Reinhardt (G)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
The biggest barrier is that the jobs dont pay what the cost of living here is. We need a workforce and the issue is quite simply no one can afford to work here.

2. 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?
It’s funny to me that no one asked this question when general dynamics was given a 45 million dollar tax break and fired 26 people afterwards. Id say walk back the tax breaks starting from there. 45 million buys a lot of healthcare.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
Theft of the insurances we the public pay for, so that the oligarchs can get a bigger tax break on their private jets.

4. 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?
Absolutely. A publicly owned infrastructure program to include water power gas and broadband with a state run single payer healthcare system would be a good way to start. Lots of jobs investing in ourselves as opposed to letting private industry take control of our resources.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Absolutely becoming clean energy independent even as a state should always be a priority.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I am pro choice, I wouldn’t want someone making a decision for me and I would assume the same respect to anyone else.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
In favor of. Im a big fan of treating people with dignity and respect, in home care offers that to elderly mainers who mat have issues getting care they need.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Absolutely. The people have spoken and it is morally reprehensible that the legislature cant seem to honor the will of the people.

Kelcy McNamara (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
The barriers to economic development differ for large and small businesses in Maine. A lack of workers is affecting businesses of all sizes. With our natural beauty and quality of life Maine is well positioned to attract an increasingly mobile workforce. We should be focused on building excellent public schools, reliable statewide broadband internet, and a state government that is effective, cooperative, and respectful of each other and its constituents.

2. 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?
The people of Maine, the state legislature, and Maine courts have all made it clear the Medicaid expansion is law and will be implemented. The funding is available, the long-term cost savings are clear, and it is the responsibility of the next Legislature and Governor to implement the roll-out without devolving into partisan fights and government shutdowns.

3. 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 reform priorities differ for Democrats and Republicans but share some of the same goals. Policies meant to help those in economic need should be both evidenced based and have the long-term interests of the state and it’s economy in mind.

4. 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?
Low interest rates have made larger, much-needed investments in our infrastructure possible, but they are not long terms strategies. As cars become more fuel efficient and account for a decreasing amount of fuel tax, we need to consider new ways to fund our infrastructure that are both fair and cost effective.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
The renewable energy sector is one of the fastest growing in the country and Maine. It is responsible for thousands of good paying jobs that cannot be exported. Renewable energy could become a critical new foundational economy for Maine that would have huge benefits for rural and suburban communities across the state. We should stop throwing up borders to renewable energy and should support it with reasonable, short-term investments which studies show offer excellent long-term returns.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I believe in a woman’s right to choose and support policies that allow them to do so in a safe and healthy manner.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I believe we should do all we can to support seniors who want to age in place—their place—with dignity. I support and will work hard to accomplish the goal of Question 1 but am generally not for aggressive tax policy by referendum. In fact I think this highlights the importance of implementing the voter-approved Medicaid expansion.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Ranked Choice Voting achieves the same fair result that run-off elections used all over the country accomplish. But it does so in a more cost effective and timely way. If our governor and legislature were all elected by a majority, I think we would see far more civility and a lot more getting done in Augusta.

House District 22: (Map) Buxton (part), Limerick (part), Limington and Standish (part)

Mark Blier (R)

Did not respond.

Richard Fitzgerald (D)

Did not respond.

House District 23: (Map) Standish (part)

Lester Ordway (R) – Incumbent

Did not respond.

Timothy Goodwin (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
The state needs to provide the infrastructure that makes business work and the education that makes for a ready workforce. Broadband is essential for both business and education, making it an important part of needed infrastructure improvement.

2. 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?
Every dollar Maine spends on Medicaid expansion will be matched with $9 from the federal government, $9 that will be spent in Maine paying salaries and fees for services rendered in Maine, and re-spent by the medical staffs and businesses who receive the salaries and fees. If Maine can’t recoup the investment through revenues generated by the infusion of money into the local economy, the state is doing something wrong.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
I believe there is a mistaken perception that there is an epidemic of professional welfare recipients. Despite a unemployment rate under 3%, nearly a third of Mainers don’t make enough to meet monthly bills. Welfare recipients aren’t generally able-bodied individuals who refuse to work, they are under-employed or under-paid workers. We need welfare not because people are lazy but because capitalists are greedy and exploit workers such that a job often doesn’t provide enough income to get by.

4. 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.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
The state should not subsidize private industry, but should take part in developing clean energy technologies for Maine and reducing Mainers’ dependence upon fossil fuels.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
No.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I will be voting “yes” on Question 1 because I believe we should help seniors live in their homes for as long as they want, both for the happiness of the people and because in-home care is generally less expensive than alternatives.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I support Ranked Choice Voting because it has the potential to reduce the domination of the two-party system and because the results will be more reflective of what a majority of the people want.

House District 24: (Map) Windham (part)

Mark Bryant (D) – Incumbent

Did not respond.

Thomas Tyler (R)

Did not respond.

House District 25: (Map) Windham (part)

Patrick Corey (R) – Incumbent

Did not respond.

Jennie L. Butler (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
The biggest barrier to economic development in Maine is the lack of enough trained workers in specific fields like health care and skilled trades. The Legislature can encourage and should provide incentives for reducing costs for college/workforce training and student loan forgiveness.

2. 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?
Full implementation and funding Medicaid expansion will be a top priority of mine. The Legislature and next administration need to honor the will of the voters.

3. 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 should be a program to help people get through unforeseen circumstances whether it is a lack of housing, food, clothing, or a job. Current programs should be evaluated to see if and where changes could/need to be made. We need to work with welfare recipients so they can get back on their feet whether that means providing education/job retraining, child care services, health care, or food/shelter.

4. 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?
Yes. This needs to be done with input from experts in the field and look at what other states have done to change their infrastructure funding. The state gas tax has not been increased since 2011 and a modest increase could be part of the overall plan. State gas tax rates should be evaluated annually and go back to being indexed to the rate of inflation. There are many electric and hybrid cars on our roads now and there should be a way to access a road usage fee for them.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes, incentives for renewable energy technologies should be expanded. We need to rely less on fossil fuel based technologies because of the impact on our climate and environment.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Women’s health decisions should be between a woman and her doctor. All women need appropriate access to healthcare regardless of income and geographic location

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
Although Maine needs to do a better job at supporting senior citizens in their homes and it is significantly cheaper to help them in their homes instead of placing them in facilities, I am concerned about making tax policies via referendum. I will be voting against Question 1.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes. The people of Maine passed the referendum and the constitution should reflect that. Ranked choice voting is a way to build consensus for a candidate instead of a candidate winning who is not supported by the majority of Maine voters.

House District 26: (Map) Gorham (part)

Maureen Terry (D) – Incumbent

Did not respond.

House District 27: (Map) Gorham (part) and Scarborough (part)

Andrew McLean (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
The biggest barrier to economic development in our state is not one issue, but instead the way we govern. Instead of thinking in two-year increments, we need to think long-range, and develop economic plans that look ten, twenty, and thirty years out. For too long the legislature has taken a spitball approach to economic development. We need to develop long term policies that integrate all areas of our economy into a plan to sustainably grow our economy.

2. 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?
Maine voters overwhelmingly approved Medicaid expansion, and we owe it to the 70,000 Mainers who would benefit to immediately implement the new law. Depending on the federal government match, we should incorporate any necessary funding into the state budget. It may come at a cost to other programs, but any increase in funding should be done through the budget process.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
Social service programs are a critical lifeline for many Mainers; however, there are reforms we can undertake to make the system work even better. Unfortunately, these reforms have been hindered by those who have turned reform into a political issue. Good people on both sides should come together to work on the reforms that will promote work, encourage individual responsibility, and ensure that those among us who need help are able to get that help.

4. 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?
Every year, the DOT says we need $160 million more to keep up with basic maintenance. This is unacceptable. If there’s anything government is responsible for, it’s to ensure Maine people and businesses have safe roads and bridges. During my six years in the Legislature, I have submitted bipartisan bills to try and solve this issue. While bonds play a role in funding infrastructure, we must identify sustainable, predictable funding that doesn’t rely on borrowing to ensure the system’s longevity.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes. While we must still invest in traditional sources of energy, such as natural gas, we must begin investing in clean renewable energies. Not only is it good for our air and water, it also creates good paying jobs. From research and development to construction, a clean renewable energy sector could yield thousands of new jobs, particularly in areas of Maine that are in need of new jobs.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
The issue of abortion is a difficult one for many people; however, it is a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution, and should remain so. The only people making decisions about this procedure should be a woman and her doctor and, in that light, we should be enacting legislation to ensure that any woman who elects to have an abortion is doing so fully-informed and in a safe facility. We do not need laws that make it harder for women to have an abortion.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
The goal of ensuring that our elderly get the care they deserve is an important one. However, I believe that tax policy should generally be set by the legislature because it provides an opportunity to amend bills before they get enacted into law. The best tax legislation gets written when many people have the opportunity to have input, and that is not the case with this referendum. The legislature should take up this important issue when it returns in January.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes. Maine people twice voted to support ranked choice voting, even after the legislature voted to repeal the law. Genuine questions of constitutionality arose during the campaign; however voters chose to enact-and then keep-this new way of voting. We should ensure that the system for which they voted gets used in the gubernatorial and state legislative races. The legislature should send a constitutional amendment out to the people for ratification.

Roger E. Densmore III (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
High taxes…however, within the last several years, Maine has seen a slight decrease in the income tax. At the same time, Maine has been experiencing some of the lowest unemployment rates in years. The flip side to this is, is businesses have been unable to find and hire capable/skilled employees. There are many Maine businesses that are losing out on millions of dollar’s worth of new work because they are unable to hire workers who are skilled in the appropriate trades.

2. 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?
My understanding is that normally bills passed by the legislature send funding requests to the appropriations committee to see how it fits into the budget. When the Maine voters approved Medicaid expansion, it was done without a long-term, sustainable funding source that does not raise taxes or deplete Maine’s rainy-day fund. It took the Governor many years to pay back the hospitals and get Maine out of the debt from the last Medicaid expansion, we must learn from this history.

3. 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 Reform to me should be an ongoing effort. We should make sure those who need the social service programs have full access to them while those who are using them as a manner of convenience do not. Those who are able to work and choose not to are just taking away valuable resources from those in need while taking hardworking tax dollars. Numerous welfare reform proposals have been submitted by Republicans and rejected by Democrats on how individuals can use the money ie alcohol, tobacco

4. 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?
I feel if the revenue generated by each towns vehicle registration excise tax was used the way it was intended, rather that put into a general fund used to fund other shortfalls in the towns budgets, along with toll revenue, there would be plenty of funding for Maine roads and bridges. If there continued to be revenue shortfalls for what was needed, I’d prefer an increase in tolls at he border so visitors to the State would fund a majority of infrastructure/transportation repairs.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
We should not be subsidizing any energy resources or any renewal technologies, if it means raising electric bills or taxes on Maine residents to fund it.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I am pro-life. I believe in the sanctity of human life, from conception to natural death. I support prohibiting the use of state funds for abortion or activities that run counter to the sanctity of human life.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I will be voting no on Question 1, as it will impose massive tax increases on already overtaxed Maine families and businesses. It will undermine programs for the poor and funding would be open to everyone, regardless of income. The referendum process has been hijacked by out of state money that does not have Mainers best interest in mind. The unelected and unaccountable committee will have upwards of 300 million dollars worth of taxpayers money to do whatever they want with.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I do not support amending the constitution to allow ranked-choice voting. I believe in 1 person, 1 vote. Ranked-choice voting is not only a waste of time, it is a waste of tax payer’s money. We should be focused on ways to improve the referendum process.

House District 28: (Map) Scarborough (part)

Christopher Caiazzo (D)

Did not respond.

Linwood Higgins (R)

Did not respond.

House District 29: (Map) Scarborough (part)

Karen Vachon (R) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Workforce shortages because baby boomers retiring, people dying of drug overdose, high taxes and high energy prices. We need to get our young people suffering from addiction into treatment. We need to incentivize young talented people to settle in Maine; with an emphasis on bringing Maine bred children who left the state – back to Maine. At the same time, promote a proud Maine brand that young children growing up here, never want to leave.

2. 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?
First – no question should be allowed to go to citizen referendum without a price tag and a method to pay for it. People don’t like to go to restaurants that don’t put the price on the menu; citizen referendums should not be absent a price tag either. Second – healthcare is very complex, and is something every Mainer needs. A two-sentence referendum question with no price tag is a completely irresponsible way to introduce healthcare policy.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
We must provide safety nets for our most needy, debilitated, intellectually challenged people who cannot care for themselves. Welfare should not be a way of life. People falling on hard times, should be extended temporary assistance with a hand up; rather than forever reliant on a hand out. Welfare programs should incorporate work, volunteer, or continuing education elements, with an emphasis that supports community engagement, self-sufficiency, productivity, and financial independence.

4. 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?
Our roads and bridges are crumbling. All vehicles who use the roads, should pay. Increasing the gas tax and usage fees for electric vehicles are ways to increase revenue.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
No. Already, Maine produces 40% more energy than it uses. I don’t support subsidies. There is an appetite for renewable energy by consumers – we should let the free market invest in this technology in a fair and sustainable way. Renewable energy needs to compete and stand on its own merit. Maine should put pressure on Massachusetts to expand the pipelines for low cost natural gas. Maine should not expand wind to benefit Massachusetts.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I respect the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death. It’s ironic that PITA wanted to erect a monument to honor the death of a truck load of lobsters. It’s ironic that we go to great lengths to protect our piping plover population. But we don’t protect the life of an unborn human being. In our efforts to protect our environment, why aren’t we protecting the highest form of life: human life? There’s a disconnect.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
No. A 3.8% increase in income tax to people earning $128,400/year is a bad idea. It will send high wage earners out of state; it will deter high wage earners from moving to Maine. It will attract more aging seniors to our state. The US Department of Health & Human Services estimates that 70% of seniors over age 65 will need long term care services. The revenue raised from this tax, will no be enough to provide the care it promises. Addressing healthcare and opioid epidemic take priority.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
No. I support the current plurality voting system. It is clear and easy for everyone to understand and participate: the person with the most votes wins. Why over complicate voting? It confuses the voter, costs more, and takes longer to determine the results.

Shawn A. Babine (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
POVERTY! For the last eight years we’ve been living through a war on poor people, when we should be waging war on the issues that cause poverty. Increased funding for education, Medicaid expansion and improved access to healthcare, investments in workforce planning and skilled training programs – those are the fights worth fighting for. Education is the ladder that helps every Mainer out of poverty.

2. 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?
There wasn’t a lack of funding – the Maine Legislature identified a funding source. Medicaid expansion didn’t happen because of a lack of respect for the Maine people by the LePage administration and a lack of leadership from the House republicans.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
The fact is general assistance (e.g. welfare) is needed for very diverse reasons while “”welfare reform”” is a goal of reducing the number of individuals dependent on government assistance; hopefully by keeping the welfare system affordable and by providing resources that give each recipient the opportunity to become self sufficient. It’s time we stop the current war on poor people and start finding solutions on what causes poverty.

4. 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?
This is a complex issue that I am not familiar with yet and would need more information in order to provide a specific response.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Most renewable energy investments are spent on materials and workmanship to build and maintain the facilities, rather than on costly energy imports. Renewable energy investments are spent within the same state, and often in the same town. This means our energy dollars stay home to create high paying skilled jobs (jobs that a new generation of highly skilled young workers are leaving our state for) and fuel local economies, rather than going overseas.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
A woman has the right to an abortion, and no government, law or person should interfere with her exercising her rights.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I believe how a citizen votes in the ballot box is private and personal even if they are a legislator. I will share I am somewhat undecided. I believe the intent of the citizen initiative is admirable and with the failure of the legislature to override the Governor’s veto of medicaid expansion further supports why this is so needed. I am concerned about creating another dysfunctional oversight agency within DHHS, when the solution is universal healthcare and medicare for all.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
As a Legislator I would support a constitutional amendment; Maine voters have been very clear – they want ranked-choice voting.

House District 30: (Map) Cape Elizabeth (part)

Anne M. Carney (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Maine has strong economic potential, but we’re limited by workforce and skilled labor shortages. The Legislature can encourage business growth by adequately funding the technical and community colleges that train Mainers and build the workforce our economy needs. Our agriculture and forestry industries would similarly benefit from additional resources being directed toward U Maine, to support research centers and educational programs that bring growth and innovation to Maine’s economy.

2. 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?
Let’s put the question into perspective. Mainers’ federal taxes currently fund Medicaid expansion in 32 other states. With expansion, Maine will see over $500 million in federal funds per year, and the creation of over 5,000 health care jobs. Maine can initially fund our 10% share of the program from the Fund for a Healthy Maine. Thereafter, the Legislature will fund expansion using the normal appropriations process. We only pay 10% to receive $500 million annually, so I consider it a priority.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
I don’t like to use the term “welfare reform;” it’s stigmatizing toward people who participate in publicly-funded programs. Additionally, each of these programs stands on its own two feet, and should be evaluated according to the benefits it provides. If a program doesn’t achieve its intended purpose, the Legislature should improve it – but I don’t consider that “welfare reform.” I consider it good governance and smart use of tax dollars.

4. 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?
Maine should rethink how we fund transportation. We all benefit from the transportation infrastructure, but gas tax is most burdensome to people in rural communities. And the system isn’t sustainable – as we improve fuel efficiency to protect the environment, the money available for infrastructure dwindles. Maine should consider combining the current fuel-based system with a per-vehicle tax based on value. This both increases funding and more fairly balances the cost of maintaining our roads.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Keeping current incentives, like net metering, is fair to homeowners and businesses that have already invested in renewable energy. By modernizing our laws to allow larger cost-effective community solar projects, we can save Mainers money while protecting the environment. These incentives don’t impact the state budget, and growing Maine’s renewable energy sector creates jobs all over the state. We should spend our energy dollars in Maine, on Mainers, rather than send that money out of state.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Americans have a constitutional right to safe, legal abortion care – but this right is not accessible to all. A person’s ability to obtain an abortion often depends on factors like where they live and their financial resources. I support laws that help Mainers overcome these barriers, and oppose laws that create new ones. For example, I would support amending Maine law to allow licensed and qualified physician assistants and advanced practice registered nurses to provide medication abortion.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
After much research and thought, I’ll vote against Question 1. It provides benefits to people who can afford to pay for home-care themselves. Meanwhile, Mainers in need could be denied benefits if funds are used up. And Question 1 double-taxes some families, because the 3.8% is based on family income while social security tax applies to individual income. Question 1 is really nine pages of complex changes to Maine’s Health and Tax laws that, to me, don’t add up to an effective benefit program.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes. Maine voters have twice spoken loudly on this issue, and it is clear that they want ranked-choice voting. As a legislator, my role would be to represent my constituents’ interests, and I strongly support a constitutional amendment to allow ranked-choice voting in Maine’s general elections.

Charles Rich (R)

Did not respond.

House District 31: (Map) South Portland (part)

Lois Galgay Reckitt (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Workforce shortages and the necessity for specialized training. Training initiatives are particularly important for people emigrating to Maine whose credentials may not be entirely compatible without changes in current requirements or updates through training.

In addition, workers laid off from Maine’s Forest Products Industries may need similar training and updates to adapt to different job opportunities. The Community College System should be leading the way on this issue.

2. 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?
We need a new Governor who will not repeatedly stymie both Legislative and citizen efforts in this area.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
Providing family supports, child care initiatives, education and training opportunities could eliminate the subsidies currently required by many in Maine. Those are some of the “welfare reforms” that are needed.

4. 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?
For one thing, we need to put the bonds that have already been approved on the market! But further, we need a graduated, strategic and comprehensive plan for all aspects of our declining infrastructure…and get to it. And that plan needs to be done in a statewide and comprehensive way.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Absolutely, the future of both Maine and the planet depend on it.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Public and insurance based funding should be available for all who choose to make this difficult decision.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I am not yet sure. I understand the necessity of home based care as well as the need for public/governmental subsidies. However, the devil is in the details and I have not yet studied them. I am however sure that if the Question passes, the Legislature may well change/try to fix it if they feel that needs to happen.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Absolutely. I have supported the process even before it was an issue in Maine. I have run elections with 3000+ participants in the national nonprofit sector and have watched it both work to give all participants a meaningful voice – and decrease rancor.

Kenneth Decatur (R)

Did not respond.

House District 32: (Map) Cape Elizabeth (part) and South Portland (part)

Christopher Kessler (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Our economic system has created an environment where the cost of health care, housing and education has risen out of control. Relieving the cost burden of these needs will free up resources to be spent on expanding and strengthening our economy. This requires a fairer tax system that requires the wealthy to contribute more.

2. 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?
There is funding from the recent tobacco settlement fund to pay for the initial outlay, and then should come from the General Fund afterward.

3. 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 Reform” to me is a term used by people that wish to cut benefits and services from those who need them. To me, it is a loaded phrase that implies that there is something wrong with our welfare system.

4. 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?
I do not believe a gas tax is an outdated way of funding transportation.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Absolutely. It is a matter of economic and energy security: Maine is the most oil-dependent state in the nation. We must also do our part to lessen the impact of human activity on the climate.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
No.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I am voting for Question 1. The initiative addresses one of the most pressing needs in our society: providing basic care to our elders in the oldest state in the nation. Paying for this care is out of reach for many families. A 3.8% tax on individual income above $128,400 is reasonable, in my opinion. I see it as a step toward eventually providing universal health care to all Maine residents.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Absolutely. Ranked-choice voting is a better way to do elections, eliminating “spoiler candidates” and truly having an accurate pulse on the sentiment of the voters. It has been proven to work worldwide and has shown to work well in Maine thus far.

Tammy Walter (R)

Did not respond.

House District 33: (Map) South Portland (part)

Victoria Morales (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Maine lacks vision and planning. As one of the oldest states with our young people leaving for opportunities in other states, we need strong leadership to change that narrative. I will work with the private, public, and nonprofit sectors to invest in workforce training, public pre-k and schools, student loan relief, and to support small businesses. As a parent of three children, ages 8, 12, and 14, and a small business owner, this issue is extremely important to me.

2. 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?
Yes, funding concerns should be addressed, however the program comes almost fully funded. The Medicaid expansion program offers Maine the opportunity to provide health care to 70,000 low income Mainers at only 10% of the cost of the program. This means for every dollar spent, the federal government pays 90 cents. This is an incredible financial investment considering the benefits to Maine people and the economy, including a healthier workforce and new health care jobs.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
The term welfare reform unfairly paints folks in need of this temporary safety net as lazy. I was fortunate to have a family safety net to help with my college tuition. But for so many, these family safety nets do not exist. Consistent with my belief that government’s role is to provide for the health, safety, and welfare of its people, providing people temporary support to make a better life for themselves and their children is not only the right thing to do, it is also good for our economy.

4. 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?
Yes, as a former MeDOT employee, I am intimately aware of the challenges to maintain and keep safe our over 8,000 miles of roads and bridges. We fund projects with vehicle fees and taxes, federal funds, and bonds. Bonds leverage federal funds and spread the infrastructure cost over many generations. As the demand for alternative fuel vehicles and transit increases, I am interested in exploring user fees and other sources to fund infrastructure improvements.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes, Maine should expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technology. Once the political will is favorable and we have a renewable energy policy, I am optimistic that we will see an influx of new projects and jobs in this area, as well as partnerships with the private sector to expand services such as broadband to rural Maine along with each new project. Furthermore, adding more competition into the energy and utility sector will create a healthier and more balanced market.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I believe that medical decisions should be made by women and their medical professionals. The global data on this issue is clear. For countries that remove barriers to contraception and abortion, the abortion rates drop significantly. For countries that restrict access, abortion rates rise. For these reasons, I support loosening restrictions to contraception and abortion.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
The wording of the ballot question indicates that the 3.8% income tax increase to support the home care program will apply to individuals and families meeting the income threshold. While I support the intent behind the referendum, I am very concerned about funding the program with a tax increase on middle class families. If this initiative does not pass, I am interested in keeping this discussion going to find other funding solutions to the home care problems.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes. I support RCV because it is an efficient election process that allows for more voices to be heard. Moreover, RCV reduces the need for costly run-off elections and candidates being elected with less than 50% of the vote. Maine voters have expressed strong support for RCV and the legislature should move forward with a constitutional amendment.

Christopher Hoy (R)

Did not respond.

House District 34: (Map) Westbrook (part)

Andrew Gattine (D)

Did not respond.

House District 35: (Map) Westbrook (part)

Ann E. Peoples (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Infrastructure including the electrical grid ( 3 phase power) and high speed internet.

2. 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?
Funding has been identified by the democratic legislators but blocked by the Executive.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
S**ew you, Jack! I’ve got mine!

4. 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?
Sooner rather than later! Vehicle Miles Traveled is one option that brings us back to the philosophy that “user fees” paid by “users” should pay for upkeep!

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes. It’s going to happen inevitably so we would be wise to be ahead of the curve!

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Laws around abortion access should be left the heck alone!

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
Sad to say, against. I’ve been a caregiver so I really do understand the need, I just don’t think this solution has been well thought out.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes! Here we go again this year with the risk of having good candidates turned into spoilers.

James Bourque (R)

Did not respond.

House District 36: (Map) Portland (part)

Michael Brennan (D)

Did not respond.

Samuel Ledue (R)

Did not respond.

House District 37: (Map) Portland (part)

Justin Benjamin Pollard (U)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
The biggest barrier to economic development in Maine is our failure to provide appropriate education and training in the knowledge and skills that entrepreneurs need to grow small businesses and that employees need to obtain good jobs. The Legislature would do well to expand workforce training programs, especially those aimed at recipients of social services, and increase free and low-cost online learning programs through the University of Maine System and regional vocational schools.

2. 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?
Since Maine citizens approved Medicaid expansion the Legislature must implement the voters’ will and provide funding through the general budget. A first source of funding would be any savings that can be achieved by streamlining other state programs. If necessary, additional tax revenue could be raised from the wealthiest residents of the state. The state should limit Medicaid expenditures by working to improve economic conditions to help citizens afford to pay for their own health care.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
We need to reform social service programs so that they are successful in transitioning most people off of dependence on state assistance, rather than serving as a permanent source of income, housing and food, as they are for many people. There are some members of society who, because of mental illness or other disability, require public assistance on a permanent basis, but many more would be well served by programs that require them to work in exchange for the public benefits that they receive.

4. 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?
Maine should become a leader in the nation and world by implementing significant carbon taxes which would create incentives for reducing carbon emissions and changing people’s behavior. Roads and bridges should be paid for primarily through state and federal taxes on the gasoline used to power the vehicles that use them. Rather than pay more interest on transportation bonds Maine would do well to increase investment on infrastructure in the general budget.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
The state should expand incentives to encourage appropriate renewable energy technologies, especially solar power. Because solar power does not generate carbon dioxide emissions or other air pollution, it has fewer negative externalities — costs passed on to society and the environment — than burning of fossil fuels. Most importantly, the state should invest in energy conservation programs and education, and we should learn to change our habits and consume far less energy than we do now.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
The life of a girl with distinct genes from her mother begins when a sperm cell fertilizes an egg and her gender is determined. A boy’s heartbeat can be detected within seven weeks of development within his mother’s womb. A fetus is not a part of a woman’s body, it is a unique human being inside a woman’s body. I support mandatory sonograms and 24-hour waiting periods for women seeking abortions in the hope that these requirements will help them decide not to end their children’s lives.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I will vote against Question 1 because this type of decision should be made by the Legislature, not through a referendum. 3.8 percent of the income of a large number of Maine residents is too great a portion of revenue to be specifically earmarked for the single purpose of home care. Households with a combined income of over $128,400 are not necessarily wealthy enough to afford this much additional taxation if they include two wage earners with children.

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Rep. Matthew Moonen, D-Portland, in August 2018.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I support a constitutional amendment allowing ranked choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections because it would enable citizens to vote for the candidate they most support without fearing that they would be inadvertently helping the candidate they most oppose. Ranked choice voting would help candidates from outside the two major parties win election to public office as many independent and third-party candidates would be the second choice of Democrats and Republicans.

Jane Frey (R)

Did not respond.

Richard Farnsworth (D)

Did not respond.

House District 38: (Map) Portland (part)

Matthew Moonen (D) – Incumbent

Did not respond.

House District 39: (Map) Portland (part)

Mike Sylvester (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
The biggest barrier is the inability for regular Mainers to have access to the startup capital and expertise to start and maintain new, small business. The Legislature can implement the strategy recommendations proposed last year to the Committee on Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development.

2. 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?
The funding in the short term already exists. It also exists in the long term if we chose to make healthcare for Mainers a priority.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
Usually, Welfare Reform means denying help to someone trying to get it to make short term political gains. True Welfare Reform would focus on long-term goals of truly moving people back into the work force and not merely claiming victory when we send them off to fend for themselves and the rolls shrink as a result.

4. 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?
Yes. Infrastructure is a necessity for the success of the state. Like so many things, we leave improvements to municipalities or to another day. We need to improve our ability to move people and products In energy efficient ways.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes. We could be the producers of this technology but instead we coddle the fossil fuel industry to maintain the status quo. We could be leaders in these industries but we choose to bicker about whether to follow.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I am satisfied with the laws as they exist.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
Workers in the home are industry can not afford to hold these jobs. As question 1 will give them a raise, create entry level jobs statewide and take care of the elderly, I will vote for it.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes. I’m pretty sure the people have spoken twice on this. I don’t believe that I am smarter then the voters.

Peter Doyle (R)

Did not respond.

House District 40: (Map) Portland (part)

Micky Bedell | BDN
Micky Bedell | BDN
Rep. Rachel Talbot-Ross, D-Portland, at the statehouse in Augusta in 2017.
Rachel Ross (D) – Incumbent

Did not respond.

House District 41: (Map) Portland (part)

Erik C. Jorgensen (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
By far the most important economic development issue facing Maine is the aging population, which is starting (and will continue) to have a profound effect on the workforce. We need to: (1) Keep the state’s vocational and higher ed systems vital and affordable and attractive to students from outside Maine (2) Work to support immigrant new Mainers and get this educated and qualified population assimilated and into the workforce; (3) Create an artciulated economic development plan for the State.

2. 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?
The funds are available now and they have been made available in the past. I am certainly not opposed to tapping a new dedicated source of revenue to pay for Medicare, but to say that the funding has not been provided is simply inaccurate. For this and other challenges facing the state we need to start returning to a process whereby the executive and legislative branches actually collaborate.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
We want to assure that these funds are going to to support people who need them, and if fraud exists it should be prosecuted. Most studies, however, show that levels of fraud are wildly overstated. “Welfare reform” is, in general, a code term for adding barriers, providing less support for the poor or finding ways for private companies to make money providing government services. I want to see welfare programs (and Medicaid is not welfare) run by the state, efficiently, fairly, transparently.

4. 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?
Maine’s fuel tax has failed to keep up with the cost of roads, so in recent years that revenue has been increasingly augmented by bonds. Bonding for this ongoing purpose uses resources that could otherwise be used for urgent non-road, capital projects. We should have raised the fuel tax when the price of gas was extremely low a few years ago and it would not have been painful. We still should still do this and consider indexing the tax. Tolls are only paid by road users. I like those too.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
The failure of the state to assure the growth and success of the renewable energy sphere, especially solar, has been my biggest disappointment in six years. Maine should “lay the table” for growth in solar and other alternative energies. That said, alternatives are not enough, and we need to assure that conventionally-generated energy remains available in the amounts needed to provide backup for alternatives. We also need to provide better incentives for conservation.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I do not support changes in any of the laws relating to abortion access in Maine. I think health care decisions should be made solely and exclusively by patients, in consultation with their health care providers. I also think that better access to public health and heath education (around contraception and STD prevention) will reduce the need for abortion and other medical interventions in the first place.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
Against. I am not sure why home care, which is admittedly important, rises above all other important issues for the state. I don’t support having a special tax to fund only home care that would give Maine one of the highest top marginal tax rates in the country. In general I would support adjusting, modernizing and broadening the tax code, maybe adding a bracket. But I want to see Maine “in the pack” of states, with regard to tax burden, as opposed to being at the top. I don’t support surtaxes.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
The citizens voted clearly to adopt ranked-choice voting, and such an amendment is necessary to make this voting method constitutionally workable for all state offices, so I would support such amendment in order to realize the intent of the voters.

House District 42: (Map) Portland (part)

Benjamin T Collings (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Oldest, whitest state in the U.S. Most of Maine with stagnant economy for years. More training for skilled labor, encourage immigrants and refugees to move here for unfilled jobs and have children for future workforce. Invest in broadband, roads, bridges.Free community colleges and two years of free University. Invest in early childhood and K-12 education for a more prepared workforce. Alternative energy economy. More assistance for small businesses to expand. Ecotourism investment.

2. 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?
We already have the money available to get things going today and revenue forecasting indicates we will have money going forward to fund this. The federal government will pick up almost the entire cost, it would be ill advised from an economic and moral standpoint to refuse the federal money and not invest the modest amount that we already have available to fund the program.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
If we have true welfare reform, we should look at corporate welfare as well. True well reform also starts with guaranteed health care, affordable housing and a living wage. Without that, many working people will be forced to take public assistance.

4. 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?
Yes. Also need to invest in more public transportation like rail, we need to plan for the future. I need to study more before advising on mileage tax and other financing strategy.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes. Reduce carbon footprint and provide long term efficiencies. Look at a state like VT, you see solar frequently off the highway. No reason we can’t do the same. Solar prices have come way down over the years. Benchmarks for alternative energy could also provide new jobs throughout the state.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Government should not interfere with the decisions of a woman and her doctor.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
As I support the concept, I am leaning towards supporting the initiative. Like many of these referendums with good intent, the language may have some flaws. In the Legislature we would have to make sure certain aspects are taken care of like individual not combined household income are taxed. It would be a lot of work to fix if is passed, but regardless, we have to do something. Taking care of our Elders is one of the biggest challenges we face and we can’t kick the can down the road any further

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I publicly supported the referendum for RCV and voted for full implementation in the last session. I believe in a majority of votes, not a plurality. Don’t see Republicans every joining Democrats to deliver a 2/3 vote to amend anytime in the near future.

Susan Abercrombie (R)

Did not respond.

House District 43: (Map) Falmouth (part) and Portland (part)

W. Crockett (D)

Did not respond.

House District 44: (Map) Falmouth (part)

Teresa S. Pierce (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Have an educated workforce. Work with Community Colleges and UMaine System to provide the education and skills building for current and future needs of Maine.

2. 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?
Should be included in all budgets going forward.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
We must look for ways to effectively give services to those in need.

4. 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?
Yes, solutions could include a small increase in the gas tax, looking at the possibility of increasing gas tax during high tourism months in Maine.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes, renewables energy technologies not only address the issue of climate change, but also can be job creators right here in the state.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
We must protect a women’s right to choose.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
Against. This is a worthy initiative, but the incorrect funding model.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes, the people have spoken and we should work toward that goal.

Sarah Sandlin (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Maine’s graying population. For Mainers of all ages to thrive, we must retain and attract young people to build careers and raise families in Maine. To achieve this, we must make Maine an affordable place to live and do business in by reducing taxes and eliminating unnecessary regulations.

2. 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?
We need a budgeting process that funds key priorities first – including our obligations for healthcare, education, and public safety. We need to build trust on both sides of the aisle so that we are working from a common set of facts and estimates. Through increases in communication and trust we can work to fund our priorities.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
We need to empower people to be the best version of themselves. The state should encourage TANF recipients to thrive independently by imposing work search requirements.

4. 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?
We need to ensure that the economic activity generated by updates to infrastructure pays back interest by targeting bonds to programs that work, are efficient and have economic value to them.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes, the renewable energy sector has incredible potential for economic development. Expansion and innovation within this industry also goes hand-in-hand with preserving Maine’s natural beauty for generations to come.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I support women’s reproductive freedom. We must protect these rights in the interest of women’s safety and privacy. Women’s well-being and freedom is inextricable from the ease of accessibility to these services.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
No. We can’t get people to stay here if we continue to do things to make them go. Who the tax policy is defining as a “wealthy” would be considered middle-class anywhere else in the country. To think that something so far-sweeping could appear on the ballot – without any type of strategic long-term plan attached – underscores the need for reform of the referendum process.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I support efforts to make the voting process more democratic. That being said, we have yet to see whether changing our constitution truly empowers people to vote their conscious.

Kathryn Schrock (G)

Did not respond.

House District 45: (Map) Cumberland and Gray (part)

Dale Denno (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Our biggest economic challenge is having the skilled workforce to enable entrepreneurs to start and to grow their businesses. We need to encourage young people to stay in Maine, and attract people to move here. That includes college debt relief. Low-income families need health care and nutrition so that they and their children can become productive citizens. We also need to support the integration of immigrants, the disabled and the elderly into the workforce.

2. 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?
Medicaid expansion is not up for debate; it is the law of the land. The Legislature passed a bill to fund expansion, which the Governor vetoed. Every dollar Maine spends on expansion will bring $9 into the state, funding thousands of jobs and taking enormous economic pressure off of struggling hospitals. Maine’s current revenue projections show we can fund expansion without new taxes. Many Republican governors have done the math and realized that expansion is a good deal for the states.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
As a former Director of Maine’s public assistance programs, I believe that we should start with the principle that work and independence are important to all Mainers. Every person who can work should get the support and training to find a job. Persons with obstacles to working, such as substance abuse issues, should have those issues directly addressed. Our goal should be to support families to become independent, and to enable them to raise healthy children who can become productive citizens.

4. 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?
Yes, our current approach to funding infrastructure through gas taxes is becoming increasingly outmoded as energy technology advances. To the extent that we want to pass the costs of infrastructure on to the users, we need to evolve more sophisticated means to measure user impacts. Weight and mileage of vehicles, for example, might be a better proxy for user impact than gas usage.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
The critical threshold question is whether we accept the scientific findings of global climate change. Not only are fossil fuels an increasingly depleted energy source, but their use is contributing to the destruction of the planet. It is irresponsible for Maine not to support investment in all renewable energy sources. Maine trails far behind every other New England state in supporting renewable energy investment. It’s time for Maine to take steps to become energy independent.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I do not favor changing current law. What we do know is that there always have been abortions. The only question is whether they should be safe and legal, or whether they should be driven underground. Abortions are becoming rarer with the wide availability of contraception, and that is a positive trend. Everyone can have their own beliefs about the issue, guiding their own actions. But no one, woman or man, should have politicians telling them what they can and cannot do with their own bodies.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I will be voting no on Question 1, but not because I don’t agree on the critical need for better pay for direct care providers. We are not paying enough to the people we count on to take care of the elderly and disabled, with the result that people in need are not getting the services to which they are entitled by law. My objection to Question 1 is that I feel strongly that drafting tax laws is a complex legislative process, requiring careful consideration of all of the impacts and incentives.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes, I support taking the actions that comply with the express will of the voters. When ranked-choice voting was before the voters, the constitutional question was unresolved. But it is very clear what the voters intended, and amending the constitution would simply be acting to carry out the will of the people of Maine. Disregarding the stated will of the people is, to my thinking, a very unfortunate recent trend in the Legislature.

Tamsin Thomas (R)

Did not respond.

House District 46: (Map) Durham, North Yarmouth and Pownal (part)

Paul B. Chace (R) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Uncontrolled spending and tax burden on business. It is hard to do business, and extremely hard to expand. People from away come with more money than the average native can spend, and expectations of urban utilities and lifestyles in rural areas is expensive. Business opportunity is greater elsewhere, our kids will follow the jobs. We have to let businesses operate, that’s what creates jobs. More jobs means more tax payers. Retirees lose money staying in Maine. Freeze taxes until sale.

2. 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?
Maine voters were told they were expanding healthcare, not Medicaid. Ask anyone if they thought they were voting for healthcare or increased welfare, you will find many believe that it was a healthcare bill. Having operated businesses through these expansions, Medicaid expansion does not foster personal growth or opportunity. I suggest we put tapered benefits tied to work experience, and as salary and benefits grow, state assistance disappears in a sliding scale. Instead we slide backwards.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
As I previously touched on – adding work incentives and benefits that taper allowing freedom from welfare. Currently there is little incentive for a Medicaid recipient to work, and may actually cost them to take an entry level job. There are many good paying jobs available. Adding a work requirement will help folks upward. Those that medically just can’t, and that is what Medicaid is for, not able bodied single adults between the age of 18 and 59 which Medicaid expansion provides benefits.

4. 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?
I believe that continually bonding for transportation funding is inadequate, and should be in the state budget. Do we need all of the administration in both the Maine Turnpike Authority AND the Department of Transportation? The administration side has expanded, and the toll roads now support that administration instead of being the surplus money we saw years ago. Align the two, streamline, and put transportation in the state budget. Use tolls for entering the state.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
No. The Federal rebates are very good, costs for renewable energy sources are coming down because with any free market model, supply and desire will lower prices for renewable energy products. Solar fixed costs have dropped several fold percent in the past 10 years, and will continue to do so. Incentivize these companies and their employees through business tax reform and income tax reform so that the business remains competitive and viable as a free standing business venture.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
The proverbial third rail question. The definition of loosening and restricting can be wide and variable. Access from the standpoint of ability for one to go to a clinic, I believe is not restricted. So then is loosening access mean providing tax payer money to PAY for services? I don’t believe I should spend other people’s money on something they did not choose. IF you buy alcohol, you pay an alcohol tax. No one else pays it. Same with cigarettes.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
Against. If folks want the social security tax percentage continually withheld beyond the limits of what they can receive in social security benefit at retirement. The social security withholdings stop at $128,000 income because they will never receive a benefit commensurate with their contribution as lower income workers do. Like highway spending, it should be in the budget, not on the backs of hard working Mainers.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?No. I vote for my best candidate. I don’t even want to think about second or third place, because my research and preferences are to chose one person. If my choice loses, then so be it. IF I have to do further analysis after that I will, but it should be in a run off where I can apply more focus to the next choices. I am not prepared to list 1,2,3, and in many cases, may not even want 2 or 3. Ranking creates a way for a non popular candidate to get in. Where is the logic in that?

Braden Sharpe (D)

Did not respond.

House District 47: (Map) Chebeague Island, Long Island and Yarmouth

Janice Cooper (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Lack of skilled workforce for available jobs and young adults. Encourage apprenticeship programs, tuition forgiveness and other incentives to bring young people back to Maine

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Rep. Janice Cooper, D-Yarmouth, in August 2018.

2. 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?
There is enough money available to use the normal budget process. Dedicated funds are LePage’s excuse for inaction

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
Historically, monetary support for families with children. Now used by Rs to apply to any social service aiding low income Mainers to stigmatize the program and its benificiaries.

4. 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?
Combination of bonds and higher gas tax, which is fair because reflects usage of roads, and reasonable because gas prices are down significantly since last change in rate.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes. Effect on climate change and creation of good jobs. Maine is far behind the other New England states in renewable jobs per capita.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Remove restrictions that have been added since Roe v. Wade.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
Yes, but with the caveat that if enacted, the legislature should make changes to funding source, accountability, eligibility requirements and add a means test. If voters approve the measure, it will force the legislature to take up this neglected need.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes, that is what the people voted for.

Dennis Ward Welsh (U)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
First barrier-taxes. Referendums that push for more taxes on working Mainers – the economic drivers of our communities and employers that hire Maine workers. Second-uncertainty. It’s difficult for business leaders to plan for the future based on the climate in Augusta. Put people ahead of partisanship that is stifling Augusta. We must create an environment where start-ups want to plant their flags here. Fair taxes, a strong workforce, great education and a healthy environment in which to live.

2. 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?
I believe that once Medicaid expansion is enacted in Maine, many of the funding concerns will self-correct and here’s why – less emergency room visits, better access to healthcare for those most vulnerable, more stable and predictable hospital systems, lower healthcare costs and increased economic grown through an increase in nearly six thousand new jobs. This is an overall net gain for all of the people of Maine.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
I truly believe that our social services are in place for those that struggle, either temporarily or permanently, in our society. Addressing the temporary first, it’s important to help those in need, strengthen their foundation and get them back out on their feet again quickly and efficiently. It’s in all of our best interests to do this. For those most vulnerable that need continued care, it is a reflection of who we are as a society when we care for these people. We must do it well.

4. 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?
With the advent of electric cars and more fuel efficient vehicles, state and federal taxes levied on gas are going down. Hopefully fuel efficiency will continue to improve and I’m sure we will be seeing more electric cars on the road every year. This is the trajectory we want to be on. As far as maintaining our transportation infrastructure, we will absolutely have to revisit how we model that need. We will need to create a new and fair system for all users of our roads and bridges.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
In short, yes I believe Maine should continue to incentivize renewable energies here in Maine. Environmentally it’s the right thing to do. Economically, it’s a sector that’s growing with tremendous employment opportunities. However those incentives must be tethered to measurable benchmarks for success and impact.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I would keep the laws around abortion access the same.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I will be strongly voting against Question 1 this November. Home health care is something we all want, but this specific referendum is flawed in a number of ways – the most egregious are the surtax on middle class families, the privacy issues, the eligibility issues, and the oversight issues. This referendum needs to be torn down and rebuilt from the ground up by experts that come from all sectors of this industry.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I do support a constitutional amendment that would allow RCV in gubernatorial and legislative general elections. It would mandate a majority rule winner, it would eliminate vote splitting and it would discourage candidates from going negative. I watched it closely in this year’s primary and was favorably impressed.

House District 48: (Map) Freeport and Pownal (part)

Sara Gideon (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
There are three concerns that I’ve heard repeatedly when talking to business owners and entrepreneurs, regardless of size or industry. The first is the lack of a trained and skilled workforce. The second is access to capital. The third is reliable, high speed internet. There are countless strategies to address these barriers, but it will take all of us – Republican and Democrat, Executive and Legislative, and cross-sector partnerships – to create the environment where businesses can thrive.

Ashley L. Conti | BDN
Ashley L. Conti | BDN
Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives Sara Gideon in 2017.

2. 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?
I have always supported efforts to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, just like the thousands of Maine voters who made this law. It is absolutely disgraceful that nearly a year later this program is still being stymied by our Executive branch. In June 2018, both chambers of the Maine legislature sent a funding bill that would cover the administrative and the claims cost to the governor’s desk. I still support this legislation.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
Maine’s economy is recovering from the great recession at a slower rate than our New England neighbors. Based on that, here’s the welfare reform I want to see -good paying jobs everywhere across this state, training and education to help transition people out of welfare and into the workforce, affordable childcare and family leave to ensure that workers can be successful in getting to work and staying at work. This is the welfare reform I believe in and what I will work towards.

4. 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?
To put it simply, the way that we currently fund our roads and bridges doesn’t work. In order to have high-quality, dependable infrastructure, we need to look for new, sustainable revenue streams. This will not only ensure that our roads and bridges are properly funded, but will also free up bond commitments for other priorities. The Transportation Committee has worked on a bipartisan approach in the past, and I hope that they are finally successful in the next Legislature.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
As a past member of the Legislature’s EUT Committee, I have always worked to lower energy costs, encourage increased energy efficiency and promote clean and renewable energy, including wind and solar, to capitalize on Maine’s natural resources and build a clean energy economy. Our energy consumption is only increasing and that the states who embrace and harness abundant, clean and renewable energy sources from our environment, will be the states that reap the rewards of energy independence.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
With the rights of women to make their own decisions about their reproductive freedoms under assault, I will always be a strong advocate for all providers of the full range of family planning and reproductive health services, including Planned Parenthood. When looking at legislation regarding abortion access, I will always ask myself if it allows women to safely make their own health decisions and control their own futures. If it does meet that critical requirement, it will have my support.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I will be voting against Question 1 on this year’s ballot. While I recognize the challenges facing families who need home health services, my view is in line with the AARP and the Home Care & Hospice Alliance of Maine who believe this initiative simply isn’t the answer. Moving forward, I want to work collaboratively to ensure that home health care services can function for all Maine families and that the hardworking Mainers who do it on a daily basis are adequately compensated.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
The Australians have used ranked choice voting successfully for 100 years. It has not done away with hyper-partisanship but has generally helped move political debate to a rational middle ground as opposed to the extremes. Thus far Maine’s ground-breaking experience with RCV has been worthwhile. I support the expansion of ranked choice voting to all our state and federal elections.

Paul Schulz (R)

Did not respond.

House District 49: (Map) Brunswick (part)

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Rep. Matthea Daughtry, D-Brunswick, in 2018.
Matthea Daughtry (D) – Incumbent

Did not respond.

Michael Stevens (R)

Did not respond.

House District 50: (Map) Brunswick (part)

Ralph L. Tucker (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Barriers include an aging demographic and remote geography. We need healthy, well-educated and trained work force and a stable political environment. Health care & public schools should be broadened & better funded, plus we should reestablish the state planning office and expand broadband. These efforts should retain & attract workers and businesses.

2. 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?
The extra $1 million, plus, in federal dollars per day for people’s health care is worth the appropriation of 1/10 that amount as our state share. Health care coverage is not only a moral right, but smart economics in the long run. The cost would be less than recent revenue losses due to income and estate tax cuts for the very most privileged and wealthy.There are enough current revenues to cover the cost, in any case.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
As currently thrown around, “welfare reform” is often used as a dog-whistle code for welfare CUTS through statutory creation of red tape for applicants. This is unfortunately an effective and potent political tool to capture votes by whipping up voter resentments against those who may be in family or economic trouble due to no fault of their own. The voters are being cynically manipulated. Fraud can be managed by competent administration. Better to focus on the causes of economic dislocation.

4. 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?
The annual highway bond should be funded in the biennial budget as an ongoing need. Bonding should be reserved for new capital projects. I am not expertly familiar with the revenue formulas and sources that underlay our transportation needs.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes. Because we here in Maine and over the entire Earth are choking on carbon pollution. Conservative politicians and the carbon-based fuel industry are denying a scientific reality. Short term private interests are preventing progress for the long term health of the Earth and the human race.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I support the pragmatic Roe v. Wade consensus. I also strongly support access to reproductive health care, including sex education and contraception, which will reduce the abortion rate far more than any law, no matter how restrictive. This whole abortion debate originated not primarily from religious faith, but from cynical politicians gleefully manipulating and carefully nurturing it as a wedge issue.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
Undecided. The energy devoted to worthy goals such as this would be better spent in electing a sympathetic governor and a true majority legislature, rather than overriding the legislative process, especially with highly technical and controversial initiatives.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Undecided. We should see how negative and divisive the current ranked-choice campaigns pan out (Congress), compared to traditional campaigns (Governor).

Michael J. Lawler (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Keeping our young in Maine. The legislation;ature needs to craft incentives that will curb the out migration of our young men and women.

2. 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?
Maine has finite financial resources and I believe that first priority must be to assist the aged and disabled. There should be no assistance to able bodied Mainers until, the needs of the elderly and the disabled have been adequately funded.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
The term is pigeon speak. It means nothing to me.

4. 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.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
No – only the wealthy can afford these renewable solutions.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I believe that it’s a disgrace that our Nation not only allows abortions, but in many ways actually encourages abortions. There will come a day when everyone will agree that abortion is murder, and we will be ashamed of ourselves for allowing it to go on for so long.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I will vote NO because retirees filing joint returns are going to get hammered on their retirement incomes and social security.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
NO – it’s a preposterous proposition.

House District 51: (Map) Brunswick (part), Harpswell and West Bath

Joyce McCreight (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Our workforce challenges mean we need workers of all types: health care professionals, STEM-trained workers, those skilled in the trades, those working to provide direct care and those who work in our tourist and service industries. We need to improve access to education, training and retraining. We need an approach that looks at the many factors involved in creating the problems and could benefit from the reestablishment of the State Planning Office.

2. 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?
The legislature provided funding requested by the governor but he chose to veto that bill. The influx of funding through Medicaid expansion will greatly benefit our state by improving access to care with long-term benefits that are much less costly that not providing care. It makes economic sense to expand Medicaid for better quality of life and economic security, and because the influx of funds will help our entire economy, particularly our rural hospitals. So called “free care” isn’t free.

3. 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” has become a hot-button term, unfortunately. While really a neutral or positive term, it has evolved to be a divisive one. “Welfare reform” has come to mean cutting out the safety net that any of us could need at a time of crisis through job loss or illness while simultaneously blaming those in such crises. Rather than eliminate or reduce availability of programs and services by creating barriers to access for those most in need, we need to vigorously address any misuse or fraud.

4. 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?
Precisely because our funding mechanisms, i.e. gas taxes, are not meeting the obvious and predictable need to maintain and expand our critical infastructure, we need to address these needs through the budget process, addressing the issue in a more planful, comprehensive way. Recent attempts to address the changing needs by taxing fuel-efficient vehicles is not the way to fix the problem.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Absolutely. We need to be innovative in meeting our energy needs and move away from fossil fuel dependency. We can learn and grow from exploring models in other states and countries for innovative technologies, funding and incentives. We need to stop ignoring and denying the problem. As we move forward, though, me must also address the social aspects of new technologies to retain quality of life.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Access to reproductive health care for women and men should not be the political battleground it has become. Decisions of this kind, and other health care decisions, must be between the individual and the health care provider and not the purview of politicians using them for their advantage. The irony is that rather than improving access to contraception, accurate sex education, and family planning which can reduce numbers of abortions, we focus on barriers to a woman’s right to her choices.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
The goal of Question 1 is laudable for the help it intends for those with disabilities and for older adults. If it passes, I expect the legislature to address the issue of who would qualify through some level of income requirement and addressing workforce needs. Referenda have been put forward in recent years to address needs not met through legislative process. I look forward to an environment that is more constructive and which truly addresses the needs of vulnerable Maine people.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I am cautious about enacting a constitutional amendment particularly when we can analyze the recent primary election (gubernatorial and a few legislative) and the upcoming congressional elections. We have the opportunity to evaluate and contemplate the impact before we make such a significant change and that seems the most prudent route.

Sean Hall (R)

Did not respond.

House District 52: (Map) Bath

Jennifer DeChant (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
A trained and prepared workforce is one of the large barriers to economic development. Our state needs to attract and keep young workers. This includes workers with vocational training. The legislature can support business trades education and training that is more closely aligned to the real time needs of manufacturers and tech businesses.

2. 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?
Funding sources have already been identified.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
It is always relevant to improve social service programs and enhance delivery systems. Therefore, reform in a consistent, equitable and efficient manner while ensuring that the neediest among us are given a fair shot at success is important reform to pursue. DHHS administers many of the social service programs and there is great opportunity reform program delivery in that context.

4. 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?
The current approach to funding infrastructure improvements needs to be updated especially since indexing state gas tax ended in 2012. Right now we mostly depend on bonding to patch and improve the roads and bridges that we all depend on and that are essential for commerce. However, a bipartisan approach on behalf of the Transportation Committee and expertise of that committee is needed to develop the options possible.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
We need to move away from dependence on fossil fuels that is underscored by our old housing stock that mostly heats with oil and the rural nature of our state that requires driving long distances. Maine is uniquely positioned to be a leader in renewable energy. Short term investment to develop renewable energy industries will lead to long term efficiencies and wider availability.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I support reproductive rights.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
This is an extremely important issue that should be vetted through the legislative process and be funded through the general fund.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
A Constitutional Amendment is required to implement RCV in those state races. I will continue to support the will of the voters.

Bil Weidner (R)

Did not respond.

House District 53: (Map) Arrowsic, Dresden, Georgetown, Phippsburg, Richmond (part) and Woolwich

Jeffrey Pierce (R)

Did not respond.

Allison Hepler (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Work force training for current and future jobs. This requires better educational opportunities at all levels from high school through community colleges and our 4 year institutions. Also, we need investment in infrastructure, including broadband, a handle on energy costs, and better access to health care. We need to continue to foster Maine’s traditional entrepreneurial spirit. This includes fostering the ways we’ve always used our natural resources to make a living while also preserving them.

2. 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?
Expanding Medicaid is the number one issue I have heard from voters of all ages. There was a funding plan passed by the legislature but vetoed by the current Governor. That should be revisited. I’m committed to working on this. We can’t afford not to. Our state’s long-term social and economic health depends on it. Too many people spend too much time struggling with decisions about how to care for their family’s health needs and also pay the bills. Let’s strengthen families, our best resource.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
I have seen how state and federal assistance has benefited my students, whether it was access to Maine Care, or TANF, or food stamps, the vast majority of which has been short-term, in order to get through a divorce, a job layoff, an accident. Can we do better to make sure people do not take unfair advantage of these safety nets? Of course. The goal is to empower people to take control of their lives. Education, good job training, access to health care, and reducing childhood hunger are needed.

4. 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?
We rely on roads and bridges to get to work, to church, to school. Given limited public transportation possibilities in my district, bonding seems sensible, given that these are long-term capital investments. The federal gas tax has not kept pace with inflation but we should be leveraging federal dollars, although the latest plans have flipped the local-federal split, from 80% federal to 20% federal, which unfairly burdens states. That said, I’m interested in working on developing other options.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes. We are already feeling the effects of climate change in Maine — sea level rise, warming seas — and we need to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. This is a long-term process, but given our high energy costs, expanding incentives to encourage local, renewable energy can eventually bring those costs down. This is the future we need to build for our kids and our grandkids. We know Maine is a good candidate for solar power, even given its geographic location. Same with off-shore wind.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I support Maine law, which allows abortions before viability, and post-viability to preserve the life and health of the mother. Public funding is allowed to save the life of the mother or in cases of rape or incest. However, in a state as large as Maine, access can be a major barrier, and as a safe medical procedure, we need better access. Supporting women and families through better education and easier access to contraceptives is key to reducing abortions, which is a deeply private decision.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
The referendum question as written is flawed. However, as a private citizen, I will be voting for this to force the legislature to deal with the larger issue of home health care for our elderly, and for our aging state. We need direct care workers, and for them to be better paid. We also need to support aging-in-place initiatives. I am committed to being part of the solution.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes. It is something that the voters have supported. Other countries, such as Australia, have done this successfully. Still others, like Brazil, have run-off elections. Some states have run-offs.

House District 54: (Map) Topsham

Denise Tepler (D) – Incumbent

Did not respond.

Leon Brillant (R)

Did not respond.

House District 55: (Map) Bowdoin, Bowdoinham and Richmond (part), plus the unorganized territory of Perkins Island Township

Seth Allan Berry (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Demographics. Just 34 babies per day are born here. Some leave, and others never realize their potential. Even if every young Mainer both stayed and succeeded, we’d have only half the workforce our employers need.

We need to restore the safety net and ladder of opportunity for young families, so more can contribute. We also need to be more open to solar, offshore wind, and meaningful public-private investment in broadband, to attract and retain young people in well-paid jobs.

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Rep. Seth Berry, D-Bowdoinham, in August 2018.

2. 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?
Funding concerns have already been addressed. The obstacle has been the Governor’s refusal to accept the funding provided by the Legislature, and to obey and implement the law passed by Maine people. 70,000 people are waiting to have health coverage. Further delay costs lives, costs jobs, and is unacceptable.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
Originally, “welfare” meant “well-being” — the good fortune, health, happiness, prosperity, etc., of a person, group, or organization.

I represent many people in dire poverty; most through no fault of their own. I’d like to see them have access to basic health care, decent housing, and food security so they and their children can more easily be productive citizens.

4. 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?
Yes. For now, we need to stop the addiction to borrowing and update the gas tax to account for inflation. In the long run, a mileage-plus-weight based fee system may be the solution, but its design and implementation will be tough.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Every energy source is subsidized, and Maine would do well to increase its share of jobs in this fast-growing sectors. That said, we don’t need more incentives. What we need is a level playing field, a predictable regulatory environment, a well-trained workforce, and a governor who is not hostile to renewables.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
They should remain as is.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I will vote yes. As I write this, seniors I represent are dying prematurely and without adequate home care.

Most seniors want to stay in their homes for as long as possible. Research shows it keeps them happier and healthier. Yet the average home care worker makes $12,500 per year. We are are not meeting our needs.

Incomes below $128k pay into social security. Why can’t incomes above it pay into home care?

Clarifications to address opponent concerns are easy to add in the next Legislature.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes. RCV allows us to vote our hopes, not our fears, and helps prevent extremist candidates on any side from winning. It empowers the voter rather than the political parties, and has worked well in Australia for a century.

Guy Lebida (R)

Did not respond.

House District 56: (Map) Lisbon

Richard G. Mason (R) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
We have jobs available, but many times not enough people with the proper skills to fill them. We need Mainers to be able to fill jobs in emerging industries and bring former Mainers back home to help with the work shortage. If we can do two of those things businesses can grow because they are getting more done. Maine has a great future if we can press towards getting people to work.

2. 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?
Medicaid expansion is projected to cost over $150 Million in the next biennium. A way to pay for it was not included in the referendum language. The writers of the expansion should have been more thoughtful in their approach if they truly wanted expansion to be a success. Mainer’s pockets are not bottomless. We can only afford so much. The next Governor will submit a budget for the legislature to consider. We will have to see what their priorities will be and proceed from there.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
I believe in a social safety net, but it shouldn’t be a safety hammock. Many of the reforms championed over the past few years have been a remarkable success. In fact they have been heralded nationally for their ingenuity. In the legislature I will continue so support welfare to work, cutting down on cash benefits that cannot be tracked, and working with our federal partners to make favorable adjustments to our participation in federal programs.

4. 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?
I believe that we have to revisit how we fund transportation. As vehicles get more efficient due to federal standards and technological advances less money goes into the highway fund. We have to start by supplementing the highway fund with general fund revenues until we find a permanent solution.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
I believe in an all of the above approach to power. We should not favor one form of energy over the other. Energy prices are calculated on a second by second basis. Maine’s energy laws need to be as flexible as possible and adapt to the cheapest possible energy production and delivery method. It doesn’t make sense to lock ourselves into long term contracts as is the case with some renewables like solar and wind. All energy should be able to stand on its own prices and merits.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I am pro-life and will advocate for that position.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I will be voting No on Question 1. Special interests have stolen our citizens initiative process and this is another example of that. There is no means test, residency requirements, or accountability of funds. Hundreds of millions of dollars would go to special interests groups as defined by law. This is a gross abuse of our process and is being used by people from outside of Maine to line their own pockets. I advise voters to read the legislation before voting on November 6.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I do not support Ranked Choice Voting for many reasons and would not support a constitutional change. I would support a full repeal of RCV and a return to the voting system preferred by our constitution and our founders.

Martha Poliquin (D)

Did not respond.

House District 57: (Map) Greene and Sabattus

Thomas H. Martin Jr. (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
With a strong history as a small business owner, it is imperative that we work for solutions to address our skilled worker shortage. We need to come together and work proactively to entice those that are already in the state to stay, and attract those that would like to work and live our wonderful Maine lifestyle. We will get there with improved and increased access to affordable health care, lower taxes, stronger wages, less red tape, and a vibrant educational system.

2. 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?
We need a solid, long term funding plan for sustainability. The people’s referendums are a dangerous way to legislate, there is no accountability of how to fund them, and a burden is put on the legislature to make money appear when there is none. More responsible use of the dollars we spend would allow us to expand to those additional people in need.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
We need to work across the aisles to continue to reduce/eliminate waste (both internal and external). We need to make every effort to make sure resources are used to their fullest potential and allocated for programs reporting success in supporting vulnerable people. We need to work as a team to solve this issue.

4. 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?
We need to get away from borrowing from Maine’s future. It should be one of our top priorities; to figure out a funding mechanism that keeps up with our infrastructure needs and should be driven from General fund, Registration, and gas tax revenues. Every single person benefits from our infrastructure. The heaviest users of the system, should be paying a fair share of the cost. The most effective way to collect these funds is by reinstating the gas tax and allow it to be indexing.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Renewable energy is a business. It is not a business that is being disrupted by foreign competition, Weather event or labor shortage. They should be playing by the rules afforded any business trying to make their way. While I do encourage renewable energy technologies research and development. We should not be subsidising companies that are designed to make a profit.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I believe in choice.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I will NOT be voting for Question 1. The question is misrepresented. The math is incorrect. It will cost the taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars of hard earned income.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I do not. A vote is a vote.

Eryn Gilchrist (D)

Did not respond.

House District 58: (Map) Lewiston (part)

James Handy (D)

Did not respond.

Denise Mary Hurilla (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
With near full employment and a growing economy, the biggest barrier to continued success is our workforce. As your state representative, I will work to create job opportunities by investing in trade skills and workforce training. To be competitive, we must train our children and those looking for work to fit the jobs of our future economy.

2. 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?
As your representative, it is my priority to ensure that families have access to affordable, quality health care. While voters approved Medicaid expansion, the question that still remains is how to properly fund the program without abusing tax dollars. In the next Legislature, it will be the job of your representative to work across the aisle to find a funding solution that our state can afford long-term. As your state representative, I will always be at the table willing to work together.

3. 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 reform is ensuring that our social services programs are free of fraud and abuse. It is ensuring that your tax dollars are used for Maine families in need and not those who are taking advantage of the system. Most importantly, welfare reform is providing those families who need help at the moment a path to a job and opportunity toward prosperity.

4. 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?
The state needs to continue with infrastructure improvements without passing an increased bill to the Maine people. Due to the build up of the “rainy day” fund and strengthening our economy over the past 8 years, we have seen a surplus in the state budget. This allows borrowing to be apart of the conversation. I would focus new ways to save expenses, such as, merging the MTA with the DOT, and working to dedicate general fund dollars, ongoing, to improving our infrastructure.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
We have a duty to protect our environment. However, I do not believe the State should play a role by subsiding companies to expand the technology of that time, making them wealthy and leaving the state always a step behind. Technology is moving quickly, and we must look to the future and what is coming and make a long term strategic plan for our state’s renewable energy portfolio. When it comes to any energy policy, I will ask one simple question, “How much does it cost the Maine taxpayer?”

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I am pro-life.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I will be voting no. I believe Mainers should have access to affordable, quality healthcare. Heavily taxing families to put millions of dollars into a program with little oversight, and no direction on how to administer is unacceptable. Put this through the proper legislative process to ensure it is funded properly, it is set up with accountability measures, and it doesn’t abuse taxpayers. Another example of out of state special interest groups trying to tell Mainers what is best for them.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
No. The Constitution provides voters the right to one vote. I believe in the system that our founding fathers designed and believe we should focus our time on ensuring Mainers are educated on the issues with the goal of improving our voter turnouts. That is the true way to give everyone a voice in our democracy.

House District 59: (Map) Lewiston (part)

Margaret Craven (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
A trained workforce, young people need to be trained in engineering, technology, and mathematics. We need to create a method for students to reduce or eliminate their student debt. Good public public transportation, and infrastructure would also help.

2. 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?
Tobacco moneys in maine has been shifted away from preventive care, I think this should be used to expand Mainecare as far as it would go. Otherwise the expansion will eventually save dollars because we will have a healthier workforce who will be able to work.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
I think it is a derogatory term to demean people who receive a hand up.

4. 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?
Yes, gas tax is not adequate, and we all need to go places. I think we could add a VAT tax to items we buy especially items that are brought in from other states. This would also help to remind people to buy local.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes! climate change is the biggest threat we face in our generation.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I think a woman’s body is hers, and that it is much more destructive to restrict access to care.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I am worried about the bill as written. Taxes should be vetted and levied by the Legislature. We do need to restructure Home Care services, it is going to take a lot of planning, and that includes paying a living wage to workers.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes, it gives more choice and eliminate the problem of people being elected with a minority vote.

John Reeder (R)

Did not respond.

House District 60: (Map) Lewiston (part)

Kristen Cloutier (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
We need to attract and retain new workers and families to address our current and future labor shortages. This means (among many other things) making healthcare affordable – one of the top reasons workers cite for not changing jobs or starting new businesses is the inability to maintain health insurance; expanding training opportunities for those interested in skilled trades; and providing student debt relief so that Mainers are able to get the education they need to fill the jobs available.

2. 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?
Mainers voted to expand Medicaid and that expansion needs to be implemented. Beginning in 2020, states that opt to expand Medicaid will receive 90% of the funding from the Federal government (more than 90% prior to 2020). If the State then taxes the extra economic activity (wages, supplies, etc.) generated by that Federal funding, and we factor in the savings from reduced state spending on traditional Medicaid, then we should be in a position to cover more than the State’s 10% share.

3. 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 reform” is a phrase that is too often used to defend limiting access to our social safety net and cutting benefits to our most vulnerable populations. What I believe the phrase should represent is a commitment to revisiting our social welfare programs regularly and consistently to determine their effectiveness. I fully support eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse while ensuring we continue to protect these services for those who need them.

4. 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?
I am not opposed to borrowing money to maintain and improve our infrastructure through bonds, but that represents only one tool we should be using to fund improvements to our roads and bridges. While the Federal gas tax is becoming outdated, it also hasn’t been increased since 1993, and now may be the perfect time to implement such an increase. In addition, we should consider changes that would add efficiency to the complex approval processes that slow down projects and increase costs.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes. Maine should be decreasing its reliance on fossil fuels in as many ways as possible. The benefits of renewable energy include improved public health through better air and water quality, the provision of future electricity needs, job creation and economic development, stable energy costs, and reliability. It is imperative that we support these technologies not only for the economic health of our state, but for the physical health of our children.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I believe every woman has the right to choose a safe abortion, and that lawmakers should not be impeding that choice, but rather upholding established law. Nearly 87% of US counties, including many rural counties in Maine, do not have an abortion provider, leaving a significant portion of Maine’s population without access to safe abortions and at risk of related negative health consequences. I would support increasing the qualifications of NPs, CNMs, and PAs to allow them to provide abortions.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I support the theory behind this initiative 100%. My mother passed away from Alzheimer’s Disease this year. As the disease progressed, we were forced to move her to a facility because having a homecare worker was too costly. However, my concerns with this initiative include the cost, the fact that it did not and will not ever receive a public hearing or a hearing before the Maine Legislature, and my belief that our priority should be on funding the Medicaid expansion already approved by voters.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes. I believe this was the original intent of the initiative that Maine voters approved and that the will of Maine voters should be honored. Personally, I see a lot of value in ranked-choice voting because it requires candidates to get a majority of votes to win. I also believe that it creates a more engaged and informed electorate, and led to more positive campaigning by primary candidates who recognized the need to earn second- and third-choice support from voters.

Leslie Dubois (R)

Did not respond.

House District 61: (Map) Lewiston (part)

Heidi E. Brooks (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
The Legislature needs to improve lifelong learning opportunities for all members of our community. One of the biggest barriers we face is lack of a trained workforce. We can do better with apprenticeship programs, community college and higher education. We need to retain and recruit community members to fill positions that provide at least a livable wage with benefits. If people are paid a more fair wage, they will have more income to invest into the community.

2. 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?
The administration’s refusal to expand MaineCare is probably its biggest failure. Accepting federal funds for MaineCare several years ago would have saved lives, prevented suffering, and would have infused our healthcare system with much needed resources. MaineCare could have been funded through the next biennial budget. Future Legislatures and a new administration need to come together to prioritize healthcare.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
Over the past several years our social service programs have deteriorated. The public health nursing program is just one example. Public health nursing positions were dramatically cut. There was a bill brought forward by Senator Brownie Carson to help restore some of these critical nurses. It became law over a veto; however, the implementation has been poor. The Department of Health and Human Services has suffered from cuts and hiring freezes. “Welfare reform” has had negative consequences.

4. 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?
Yes. We need safe roads and bridges. Finding sustainable ways to fund our infrastructure is critical. The transportation budget could be improved by having the corporations using large trucks that cause the most wear and tear on our roads pay a more fair share.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes. We need to be doing more to address the reality of climate change. We need to move to renewable energy as soon as possible.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
A woman’s right to access healthcare needs to be preserved.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I support the universal home-care initiative. Our aging and disabled population needs to be treated with dignity and respect. Our population is aging and we need to address our home-care crisis. Providing modest home-care support can greatly improve a person’s quality of life and can help them stay in their homes for as long as possible.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections because I have heard from a large number of Mainers that they would favor more choice when voting.

Michael R. Lachance (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Our high property taxes and cost of living are coupled to a government that is self-destructively pre-occupied only with coddling to non-profits, socialism, social services and so many other profitless entities that drain our tax dollars, lower standards of living and perpetuate blight. If we want economic development we will have to get over the fact that developers won’t develop where they aren’t welcome. So long as this bizarre fixation remains, Maine will never see true economic development.

2. 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?
When Bills are not financially viable, they typically die in committee. Yet when referenda are not financially viable we expect a different outcome? Voters approve Bonds to fund Highways and Roads, yet do not present a means of funding a financially reckless Medicaid expansion. Question 1 will be no different if passed. This exposes real and critical flaws in our referendum process. It is for good reason we are a Constitutional Republic with a Representative Government and not a Pure Democracy.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
A hand up or a hand out? Ronald Reagan summed it up in 1987 when he said “It’s now common knowledge that our welfare system has itself become a poverty trap—a creator and reinforcer of dependency.” When we chose to de-stigmatize welfare we ignored the reality of human nature. So long as we award participation trophies to capable individuals who choose to sit out the game of life, we will never see true welfare reform.

4. 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?
Bonding in perpetuity should be discouraged. Maine needs to continue to prioritize our roads and highways without relying so heavily on bonding. Our transportation infrastructure is far more critical to the economic vitality of Maine than many other programs and expenses that are rarely bonded.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
No. Let the private sector invest private dollars in these pie-in-sky (literally) ventures. Our tax dollars are spread thin enough as it is.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Outside of the debate over abortion itself, the practice and industry of abortion should not be funded with public taxpayer dollars.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I oppose Question 1. All 4 candidates for Governor also oppose this Maine Peoples Alliance scam. Question 1 is reckless, flawed and sets dangerous precedents. Bad policy, bad for Maine and at catastrophic taxpayer expense.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I oppose Ranked Choice Voting. I also agree with the Maine Supreme Judicial Court’s 2017 opinion that Ranked Choice Voting is unconstitutional in Maine and that “when a statute – including one enacted by citizen initiative – conflicts with a constitutional provision, the constitution prevails.”

Luke Jensen (I)

Did not respond.

Kimberly Pfusch (G)

Did not respond.

House District 62: (Map) Auburn (part)

Gina Melaragno (D) – Incumbent

Did not respond.

House District 63: (Map) Auburn (part)

Bruce Bickford (R) – Incumbent

Did not respond.

Brian S. Carrier (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Regulation and taxation. Make sure that the regulation aren’t to onerous and that taxes to strangle the development.

2. 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?
Priority in funding in the budget and savings in programs.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
Changing Welfare program to Work Progress Program. That way people get a hand up not a hand out.

4. 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?
Yes, looking at dedicated periodic transfers from the general fund, public private partnerships, special fuel taxes dedicated to projects, and infrastructure banks to consider just a few.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes. Over the years oil and gas has received incentives and tax breaks. Renewable energy should be granted the same incentives. In the future as resources dictate it will be a combination of all the resources available to supply our energy needs.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
It should remain as it has since Roe v Wade with only certain restrictions for late term abortions

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
Voting for. I would prefer changes to certain the bill regarding personnel and income restrictions.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I would support changes to the constitution allowing ranked choice voting.

House District 64: (Map) Auburn (part) and Minot

Bettyann Sheats (D) – Incumbent

Did not respond.

Michael Travers (R)

Did not respond.

House District 65: (Map) New Gloucester and Poland (part)

Misty L. Coolidge (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Red Tape. Being a small business owner I dealt with and am still dealing with the red tape of starting a small business. Strict guidelines that don’t fit your business, inflated fees, lack of communication or poor communication, etc. We need to focus on growing small Maine businesses that feed our economy instead of hindering it. We need to keep jobs here, keep students in our State after graduation, and therefore keeping our money here.

2. 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?
What we need to get us started with expansion is there. The rest needs to be worked into the budget. The 1-9 ratio makes sense to me. Expanding medicaid has so many benefits including lessening the burden on taxpayers, getting people the preventative care they need, helping keep our older generation in their homes, providing care for those with addictions, etc.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
Reforming or making changes to the current welfare systems to prevent abuse. I believe we need to work with people to help them get back to work. There should also be a gradual slide as they lose their benefits instead of just cutting people off. Studies show that once welfare reliant people get back to work there is a huge success rate in keeping them working and that means less money out of taxpayers pockets.

4. 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?
Yes, just as you budget for expenses in your home, we need to budget for the maintenance of our infrastructure. Annual borrowing and bonding only adds to our debt and paying it back usually means making cuts elsewhere.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes, we need energy independence. Other sources of power has so many benefits by stabilizing energy costs, putting money back in our pockets, and keeping money in our State grows OUR economy.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I think they should remain as they are.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I will be voting against it ONLY because the percentages are too high and imposes too much of a tax on just a select few hard working families. I believe this should go back to the legislature to be reworked because I DO believe there is a solution in helping us keep our aging population in their homes.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
At first I wasn’t sure I supported this, but change is good as we continue to improve our processes. I do like how this allows us to choose the best and more importantly the worst candidate for the job.

Amy Arata (R)

Did not respond.

House District 66: (Map) Casco (part), Poland (part) and Raymond (part)

Jessica L. Fay (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Maine does not have a state-wide economic development plan. By assessing Maine’s strengths and weaknesses and setting goals, we can better understand where we should be focusing our economic development resources. Additionally, investing in Broadband infrastructure will allow entrepreneurs to create new businesses and allow remote workers to live where they choose, particularly in rural areas. Workforce training for the jobs of the future will provide an opportunity for new business to thrive.

2. 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?
The Legislature voted to appropriate the funds necessary for administration of the program in the last session, though the Governor vetoed that bill. The state has current revenue available to fund the program until we address ongoing funding through the traditional budgeting process. Drawing down the federal $1-$9 match will help stimulate the economy in the health care sector, potentially creating thousands of new jobs.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
To me, “welfare reform” means that we incentivize work through our social services programs, assuring that there aren’t barriers to work. The cost of childcare, transportation, and a loss of benefits based on a too low income threshold are barriers to work. Tapering benefits in accordance with reasonable income thresholds and making sure that education and training are incentivized would be “reform” that would pay long term dividends.

4. 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?
Bonding to maintain our transportation infrastructure is not a sustainable solution. By bringing all stakeholders together to suggest ideas about how we might accomplish a long-range maintenance schedule, and listening carefully to every idea, we may be able create innovative funding streams. We shouldn’t rule out any suggestion, and we may find that there are multiple opportunities for infrastructure funding.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Energy independence for Maine could add significant jobs and contribute to a more robust economy across the state. Currently, we subsidize fossil fuel consumption for energy and the impacts on our environment are not well factored into those costs. If we invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency, we could save a great deal in the long term on both heating and electricity costs.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Maine’s abortion access laws appear sufficient at this time.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
Question 1 is the beginning of an important conversation, long overdue, about how we will help older people age in place in Maine. Unfortunately, because of the language in the referendum and concerns over the funding mechanism, I can’t support it.

The Legislature will be able to begin to address the issue in the next session. Looking ahead, there are some programs already in existence through the Federal government that Maine might look to as a model.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I supported such an amendment in the 128th Legislature after voters overwhelmingly approved the measure in 2016.

Gregory Earl Foster (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Businesses have left Maine or are not interested in locating here in part due to the higher cost of doing business. The legislature needs to reduce costly government imposed burdens and taxes. Lack of Broadband is often mentioned as a hindrance to conducting business in many parts of Maine. There probably is a roll for the Legislature to assist in some manner in getting this service extended, and I would entertain some kind of state partnership getting that done.

2. 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?
I believe Governor LePage is correct, that Medicaid expansion should be sustainably funded without increasing taxes, funding gimmicks, or limiting coverage to those currently on Medicaid. The Legislature needs to establish priorities for funding, which may mean cutting funding to other programs to pay for the expansion.

3. 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 reform is when the state is in an economic position where fewer people need welfare to exist. This is accomplished when we lower the cost of government by reducing taxes and government imposed burdens for business and individuals, resulting in higher retained income and a lower need for welfare.

4. 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?
I find it interesting that this paper considers gas taxes to be “increasingly outdated”. It seems quite appropriate that taxes from gasoline are used for transportation infrastructure maintenance. If revisiting the way to fund infrastructure means creating a new tax or tax method, such as the Janette Mills tax by the mile, then I expect the old tax or tax method to disappear. Revisiting transportation funding should consider avoiding borrowing money and thus the extra cost of borrowing.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
No. Any new energy sources should become available because it is cost effective. When renewable energy costs are competitive with existing energy sources, the public will use them and demand products that use them. Additionally, we are yet unable to sustainably fund Medicaid expansion, and lots of other things. Why should we continue to find more ways to spend the peoples money, when out of the fifty states Mainers are third from the bottom in average income?

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Abortion laws should be more restrictive. Laws pertaining to the counseling of risks and alternatives in advance of committing to kill an unborn baby, are reasonable.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?I will be voting against question 1. It creates an unconstitutional fourth branch of government answerable only to board members who are accountable to nobody. There is no over-site by the legislature, the peoples only recourse for directing how their money is being spent or who is on the board. There are many other undesirable aspects of this proposal whereby it deserves to be called a SCAM.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I will not support a constitutional amendment allowing Ranked choice voting. It is a convoluted system that already has disenfranchised voters. A plurality of the vote has and will continue to work.

House District 67: (Map) Casco (part), Frye Island, Gray (part) and Raymond (part)

Susan Austin (R) – Incumbent

Did not respond.

Anne Gass (I)

Did not respond.

House District 68: (Map) Baldwin, Cornish, Naples, Parsonsfield (part) and Sebago

Richard Cebra (R) – Incumbent

Did not respond.

Janice Barter (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
The lack of broadband internet access is a great barrier to bringing companies to Maine or allowing Maine residents to telecommute. Currently the ConnectMe Fund is supposed to ensure expansion and improvement of broadband service by charging a 0.25% fee on all phone bills. In contrast, the Maine USF surcharge to ensure that all Mainers have basic landline phone service is 2.1% of all phone bills. The legislature could inject more money into broadband access by revising these fee structures.

2. 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?
The tobacco settlement money could be used in the short term to fund Medicaid expansion. In the long term, the legislature needs to look at the total budget expenditures and develop priorities in the spending of tax dollars. Certainly, given that greater than 57% of voters approve of the Medicaid expansion, that should be given top priority.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
Generally welfare reform means cutting social services. Instead, I’d like to see more of an emphasis on counseling and training of recipients. I think the focus needs to be on reviewing the barriers for obtaining and keeping a job. Is it transportation, workforce training, medical issues, children at home? Programs such as ASPIRE should be expanded to enable more people find jobs that will pay them enough so welfare is no longer necessary .

4. 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?
Maine has 47,000 miles of roads funded by a 30 cent per gallon tax. By contrast, the Maine Turnpike is only about 300 miles and is funded by the tolls collected from Kittery to Augusta. Considering that everyone on the turnpike must exit onto local roads, it’s time for the Turnpike Authority to start sharing some of its toll revenue to increase the ability to repair and maintain the roads most of us travel on every day.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
The state should expand incentives for renewable energy. Often, the expensive one time cost prevents many people from looking at the long term savings. As new energy technologies are used it helps to lessen our reliance on fossil fuels. And, as an added benefit, it helps to lessen air and water pollution.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I don’t believe there should be any change in the access to abortion that Maine law currently allows.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I will be voting against Question 1. As the law is worded, approximately 25% of the taxes generated would be for administration costs. The Question requires a whole new Agency be created with its own board to manage these funds. I don’t think we should be adding more to the existing State bureaucracy.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes. If the state is doing ranked choice voting in one race, it should be consistent in other all of the races. If it means changing the constitution, then it should be done.

House District 69: (Map) Bridgton, Denmark and Harrison

Walter N Riseman (U)

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.”

Tony Lorrain (R)

Did not respond.

House District 70: (Map) Brownfield, Fryeburg, Hiram, Lovell (part) and Porter

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Rep. Nathan Wadsworth, R-Hiram, in August 2018.
Nathan Wadsworth (R) – Incumbent

Did not respond.

Warren Richardson (D)

Did not respond.

House District 71: (Map) Norway, Sweden, Waterford and West Paris

Doretta M. Colburn (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Attracting new and young workers to Maine and/or to stay here is a significant aspect of economic growth. Strengthening our education system, offering incentives to new businesses, and developing improved technology to meet the daily needs of local businesses will help bring economic change.

2. 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?
The Legislature needs to look at the benefits from implementing Medicaid expansion – a significant amount of federal funding, increase in job opportunities, support for our rural hospitals, as well as preventative care. It seems reasonable that working together, a solution for continued funding will be found and needs to be found.

3. 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 reform” is about seeking more efficient and just ways to assist those in our communities who need extra support and in some cases provide incentives to help individuals stand on their own.

4. 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?
A strong infrastructure is vital to Maine’s economy making it important to have a thorough review of current spending and future needs alongside other funding possibilities.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies is a win/win. With the right approach, it will make energy more affordable, bring new job opportunities and increase quality of life through a healthier environment.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
A woman’s reproductive rights should not be controlled by state or federal law, therefore laws that inhibit a woman from making those choices for herself should not be permitted.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I agree improved home care is needed, however I do not agree that targeting a particular tax bracket is the answer. A more thorough plan needs to be looked at and a more responsible means of funding it.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections should become the norm. It is a responsible and fair means of voting allowing for a greater participation and opportunity for all.

H. Millett (R)

Did not respond.

House District 72: (Map) Mechanic Falls, Otisfield and Oxford

Kathleen Dillingham (R) – Incumbent

Did not respond.

Dennis M. O’Connor (U)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Maine has traditionally relied on textiles, paper products, and shoe manufacturing. Those times are past. We must now innovate and evolve to new industry, hemp. Hemp can be a great cash crop which is usable for clothing, medicine, oil, livestock feed, bio-degradable plastics and pharmaceuticals. The market is there, develop it.

2. 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?
We are the only country in the modern world to not have universal healthcare coverage for all. People without coverage use the emergency rooms for primary care, which costs us all dearly. I believe in a system of Medicare for All, with reasonable rates for all. Treat it like auto insurance, whereby all pay into the system and all are covered.

3. 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 reform is a dog whistle that has been thrown about for years by politicians, meaning ‘you’re lazy, get a job’. The truth is, many people either can’t work or can’t find a job. People are suffering, and to blame them for needing help is heartless.

4. 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?
With the advent of fuel efficient vehicles and electric vehicles, gas taxes will no longer pay the way. While I don’t really care for tolls, making people pay for what they use is , to me, the fairest way to subsidize infrastructure improvements. Why does I-95 have tolls from Kittery to Augusta, yet nothing beyond. The southern portion of Maine is paying for the rest of the state, while still maintaining the roads.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes. People say that wind turbines are noisy and kill birds. While that may true, until you have walked the mountain trails and seen the damage from fossil fuels, we need renewables. I have, and I’ll take renewables any day.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I believe that a woman’s right to choose what she does in a decision that not only is a lifelong commitment, but a very traumatic decision, is no one else’s business but hers. For others to think otherwise is wrong, it’s not your right to demand otherwise.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
For. With the baby boomer generation coming to the end of life, we must realize that nursing facilities that are underfunded and understaffed will not be able to handle the load. Keeping people in their homes as long as possible is not only humane, but cost effective.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes, I do. It not only makes elections more accessible to minorities, but makes thge broken 2 party system more accountable. It gives independent candidates a more even chance of success. We have for years been voting for the lesser of 2 evils, put forth by the political parties, RCV levels the playing field.

Raymond Cote (D)

Did not respond.

House District 73: (Map) Buckfield, Hebron and Paris

Robert Faunce (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Lack of state economic development focus on rural areas of the state. Economic growth in greater Portland, Bangor and LA has only marginal impact, at best, in western and northern Maine. Its too far too drive daily, transportation infrastructure is insufficient and skills don’t match up well.

2. 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?
The Legislature needs to make funding the top priority among many other priorities. The federal government will provide most of the financial support and, especially in rural areas, better health care will mean healthier communities and, financially, healthier hospitals and other medical providers.

3. 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 cannot be a static program without never changing to meet the needs and challenges of Maine today. It means recognizing some of the more significant barriers to work, such as lack of affordable childcare and a depressingly low minimum wage, and working to correct those situations so folks who want to work can and those who don’t are treated accordingly.

4. 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?
Infrastructure is almost always a capital item so funding by bonding makes good financial sense. The gas tax needs to be revised to address the situation of electric and hybrid car drivers not paying their fair share for use of roads. My wife and I have two hydrids and we are more than willing to pay our fair share.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Of course. The solar and off-shore wind industries are ready to explode in growth and need the same types of incentives that many other states provide. Not only will they provide solid alternatives to more traditional electrical generation, they represent terrific employment opportunities for our residents and investment opportunities for our Maine-bred entrepreneurs.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Remain as it is.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
Yes. Under almost any circumstances, in-home and community support services are less costly than nursing homes. While the referendum question may not be perfect, if approved by the voters it would represent a quantum leap in keeping senior citizens and those with disabilities in our communities and neighborhoods.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes. I think it is a terrific idea. The choice among candidates is not always black and white. Ranked choice voting allows me to select an order of priority among candidates. A vote for one does not automatically represent rejection of another candidate since I can still support the second candidate as my second choice.

John Andrews (R)

Did not respond.

House District 74: (Map) Jay, Livermore (part) and Livermore Falls

Christina Riley (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Too many people in our rural areas make too little money, because the manufacturing sector has dwindled. We should revitalize the State’s forest-products economy by investing more in bringing new technologies, like nanocellulose products and cross-laminated timber, to the market, so that Maine can be on the forefront of their production. The export of locally-manufactured forest products is a powerful economic influence, and we are in prime position to capitalize on the opportunity.

2. 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?
The Governor vetoed the funding the Legislature allocated. Considering that he also proposed to cut taxes by more than the expansion’s cost, it is clear that sees that the funding is available, but he prefers to cut taxes rather than complying with the law. Mainers have chosen repeatedly via the Legislature, and in a general vote, to expand Medicaid, and it is the Governor’s sworn responsibility to faithfully execute that law using the funding the Legislature provided.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
We need to balance the needs of the downtrodden with those of the more fortunate, in order to have a livable society for everyone. Creating good policy depends on understanding economics, human psychology, and history, rather than responding strictly to populist impulses. People with disabilities and other difficult circumstances should be employed as fully as possible, but regardless of their ability to work, they should have what they need to live satisfactory lives.

4. 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?
It is urgent that we do. Like any tax policy, it is complicated, and the angles evolve as technology and trends change how we live. The funding plan needs to reduce our dependence on bonds for infrastructure needs, while balancing the impact on taxpayers and those who use the roads. The burden should not fall inordinately on business, as the pass-through effect of the tax only makes it harder for certain Maine industries to compete.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
All energy is subsidized; I support shifting subsidies from fossil fuels to renewables, partly because it is an economic opportunity for Maine, which has no fossil fuel resources. Renewable energy is a natural resource that we should manage just like we manage our forest resources, with a strong mandate to protect the natural environment. We should prioritize the types of installations that bring the greatest benefits to ratepayers as a whole, such as community solar and grid-scale storage.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
We should make every effort to prevent unintended pregnancies, but I generally will not support measures that will make it more difficult for a woman to exercise her right to control her fertility. When we do that, wealthy women travel for abortions and poor women risk mutilation. Given sufficient access to education and effective birth control, people are better able to avoid unplanned pregnancies, and our public policies should encourage that.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
This initiative would help my own family, but I cannot support it. People who are older or who have disabilities should have the support they need to stay in their homes as much as possible. But this initiative would create legislative gridlock much as the school funding initiative – Question 2 of 2016 – did. It is not sound tax policy. We have existing programs that could better serve the need if funded properly, but those funds should come from the general fund, not a surtax.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I do. The initiative passed, showing that Mainers do want this style of voting. If two-thirds of the Legislature passes the amendment, that question will also go to voters. This is the only path to fully implement what started as a citizens’ initiative, and unless there is a pressing reason not to fully implement it, which I do not see, we should respect that. No one is forced to use ranked-choice if they prefer not to.

Robert Staples (R)

Did not respond.

House District 75: (Map) Leeds, Livermore (part) and Turner

Joshua K. Morris (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Workforce training, there are many jobs available in the trades but we have a shortage of workers to fill them. We need to encourage and incentivize Mainers that want to pursue a career in the trades.

2. 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?
I believe there needs to be a long term sustainable funding source attached to the medicaid expansion. I don’t believe in using one time sources or gimmicks is the way to go. We also need to prioritize so that Maine’s most vulnerable are at the front of the line rather than able bodied adults with no children.

3. 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 reform means requiring people that are able bodied to search for a job. We should judge the success of welfare by how many people we move off the rolls. We need to crack down on those that have used EBT cards out of state in vacation destinations such as Disney World or Las Vegas.

4. 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?
One of the great successes of the last 8 years has been our bond rating has improved from when Baldacci was in office. This allows us to borrow money at a lower interest rate. I would support bonding for essential projects as long as there is no pork in the bill.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
I don’t believe in subsidizing any energy resources by raising the electric bills of low income and elderly Mainers. If solar and wind power can compete in a free market, I am all for it. I don’t believe state government should subsidize it.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I am pro-life, and believe that life begins at conception. This is an issue that has become far too polarized in American politics. I know good people that I respect that feel differently. As far as laws, I would support restrictions on abortions when the baby is viable outside the womb.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I will be voting on on question 1. I believe that it is a tax on job creators that will cause those people to leave Maine. I also don’t like that it creates a shadow government board that is not accountable to the taxpayers of Maine. It is another example of why we need to fix the referendum process to make it harder for out of state special interests to accomplish their goals.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
No, I am opposed to ranked choice voting along with 57% of the voters of Leeds, Livermore, and Turner. I believe in one person, one vote. If I am elected I will represent their voice in Augusta, not Portland and out of state special interest groups.

John Nutting (D)

Did not respond.

House District 76: (Map) Belgrade, Fayette, Mount Vernon, Rome, Vienna and Wayne

Carol Carothers (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
The aging population of Maine. Create service, apprenticeship, job training and other opportunities to retain/recruit young people to work in Maine.

2. 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?
This is now law and it is up to the Legislature to fund it through the state budget process.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
The term often means measures designed to remove people from the state’s entitlement programs.

4. 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?
Bonds are legitimate ways to fund infrastructure and should be used now, before interest rates climb. In addition, there should be a broad discussion about the needs of the future and if there are additional sources of revenue.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes. Fossil fuels contribute to global warming and are finite. We need a comprehensive energy plan for Maine. The expansion will also create jobs.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Neither.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
Against. It is not a long term solution to the issue that we face.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes. This is the will of the voters expressed through the referendum process.

Dennis L. Keschl (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Barriers are Maine’s high tax burden, high cost of energy, and lack of qualified applicants for available jobs, and an infrastructure geared for the 19th and 20th century not the 21st century. The Legislature can reform our tax system, provide incentives for infrastructure investments, invest in our community colleges focused on STEM courses and collaborative efforts between our businesses and community colleges, and broaden the use of alternative energy sources to include nuclear energy.

2. 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?
Medicaid expansion passed by a citizen initiative process became law without identifying a funding mechanism. To fund it, in part, the Legislature must look at its current budget and seek reductions. We may have to reduce scope of existing programs or completely eliminate them. We cannot look to the “rainy day fund” or an increase in taxes. A review of our current tax structure and tax expenditures, included a broadening of our sales tax may provide funds necessary.

3. 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 reform means making those changes in our societal support system that are necessary to ensure that it is a true “safety net” and not a way of life for those who are participating in it, and those who are participating in it should be limited in what they can purchase and where they can purchase it. The State should provide support and help recipients to become self-sufficient without relying on the state.

4. 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?
Yes we should revisit it, however, bonding will be part of the mix that is used to fix our highway infrastructure for some time into the future. Maine should “think out of the box” for ways to enhance current federal and state taxes that raise money through the sale of energy needed to fix and maintain the our highway infrastructure, up to and including new GIS locational technology.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Encouraging renewable energy using incentives that put more cost on low-income Mainers is not right. If there are people who want solar and wind energy project for their residential dwellings…they should purchase them. Large scale solar and wind are not environmentally friendly nor do they provide base power load which we need. Maine should look at it current policy on supporting modern, modular nuclear power plants development.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
The issue of access to abortions is settled law through the Supreme Courts decision on Roe vs. Wade.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I am voting no on Question 1 for many reasons, including issues involving its constitutionality, problems with the body overseeing its implementation, potentially significant HPPA violations, and the fact it is a job killer. People writing these initiatives promise so much when in fact they deliver little, but cost Mainers significant time and money. As I currently understand it, not one of the four gubernatorial candidates supports this question.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
No. Ranked Choice Voting is a scheme that promises to deliver a majority that is not a majority of the total vote cast, thus it disenfranchises voters. I believe that there are strong constitutional problems with it, including the violation of a basic principle…”one-person/one-vote. It is a terrible law that is subject to gaming.

House District 77: (Map) Oakland (part) and Sidney

Michael Perkins (R) – Incumbent

Did not respond.

House District 78: (Map) Benton (part) and Winslow

Catherine Nadeau (D) – Incumbent

Did not respond.

Benjamin B Twitchell (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Taxes and energy costs. Cut unnecessary spending and invest in renewable energy.

2. 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?
Reduce spending on unnecessary items .

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
I believe in a hand up, not a hand out .

4. 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?
If the fuel taxes were spent on infrastructure which it was mean for we wouldn’t need to bond every election cycle.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes. It is an endless available resource.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I am pro life and feel that taxpayers should not be held responsible. Aga

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
Against. People are taxed enough.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I believe in one person one vote. We are the only state with rank choice Voting. A lot of out of state money was put into this plan.

House District 79: (Map) Albion, Benton (part) and China, plus the unorganized territory of Unity Township

Timothy Theriault (R) – Incumbent

Did not respond.

Dawn Castner (D)

Did not respond.

Lindsey Harwarth (I)

Did not respond.

House District 80: (Map) Augusta (part), Somerville, Vassalboro and Windsor, plus the unorganized territory of Hibberts Gore

Richard T. Bradstreet (R) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Businesses consider several factors in deciding where to locate and how much to invest. Among these are taxes, regulatory environment and a trained workforce. The Legislature should establish a tax structure that is more attractive than that of other states, enact regulations that are stable and predictable, encourage private sector employers to work closely with our educational institutions, and always keep in mind that it needs to listen to job creators when setting public policy.

2. 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?
Funding should first of all be sustainable. Using one time resources is not the answer. Requiring able-bodied people to work or be on the path to employment and also paying at least a small portion of the costs should be included. We will need to choose what other programs may have to be curtailed in order to pay for it since Maine does not have an infinite supply of funds, We will have to prioritize so that the elderly and others who are the most in need to not get overlooked.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
Some welfare reform has already begun and it needs to continue. It should be stressed that for most people, welfare is a temporary situation and there always needs to be a path out of it, probably through a tiered program towards economic independence. Any recipient who is able should be required to seek work or be in a a training program that will lead to gainful employment. We should also refine the list of what is eligible for welfare payment so that only real necessities are included.

4. 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?
We should rely less on borrowing, especially a interest rates are rising. Money spent on interest is money that can’t go directly towards improving our infrastructure. We may need to revisit the gas tax, but by no means should we allow automatic escalators to increase it every year. We should also charge fees on electric vehicles so that their owners pay their fair share of fixing our roads. We should also continue to find more ways to stretch every tax dollar we take in.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
I am all for renewable energy as long as it is competitive in price. I am generally not in favor of more incentives since they are in essence subsidies, and subsidies normally mask the true costs of anything, including energy. It is unfair to ask poor people to pay parts of the electric bills of people who are often much better off financially than they themselves are. We shouldn’t ignore the fact that some of the alternative energy construction is an eyesore to many people and hurts tourism

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I am pro-life and do not want abortion access laws loosened. We need to respect the value of human life more, even for the pre-born. Any abortion clinics should be required to meet licensing requirements similar to other medical facilities. Counseling on alternatives to abortion should be required, a waiting period established, and in the case of minors, parents need to be involved.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
No. Proper care for the elderly and disabled should be the goal, but this is not the answer for a number of reasons: there is no needs requirement so that very well off people would get free care; there is no residency requirement; there is an unlawful invasion of privacy regarding people’s health records; the huge income tax increase would drive many high tax payers to other states; and there is absolutely no accountability to any oversight agency, making it rife for abuse.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
No. It violates the principle of one person, one vote by allowing a voter’s 4th, 5th, or whatever choice it may be to have the same weight as my first choice. We should remember that the original referendum question setting this in motion did not pass by much, and many parts of the state, including my district, voted against it. It is another example of how a well-funded outside group can force its will on others. The entire issue of the referendum process needs to be addressed.

Stephen Ball (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Health care. This affects the entire chain from ownership to workers. A broken health care system means that Mainers are making some sort of compromised decision about hiring, expanding, paying rent, buying food, paying electricity bills, etc.

2. 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?
I disagree that there is a lack of “dedicated funding”. This is largely because of a desire by the previous Governor to not support “dedicating” the money. We’ve got money to last through 2019. This is, for many Mainers, a dire situation made worse when nearly six out of ten voters of Maine voted to approve this. The fact that we’re still not putting this into action is a display of ideological and bureaucratic choice. I would fund this beyond 2019 by budgetary means.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
I believe that the welfare system requires fundamental change. The basis for support must be transformed to incentivizing work rather than punishing the poor. We require investment in targeted training and mentorship. To be angry at welfare doesn’t make the problem go away. We also need to allow people to wean themselves off of support in a manner that does not make going unemployed a better option than working in any level of work.

4. 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?
Yes. The fuel tax in America has not been raised since 1993 and it is not indexed to inflation. We need to seriously look at raising the fuel tax and updating the new legislation in ways that account for use by electric/hybrid vehicles. In addition, Maine needs to consider a comprehensive long-term infrastructure improvement plan. While this is costly, I would argue the associated benefits to commerce, economy, jobs and communities far outweigh increased short-term expense.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes! Utilities are changing and our laws and economy have not caught up. We need to support incentives to consumers and businesses to transition to renewable energies. Not only is this sound policy in support of Maine’s precious resource, its environment, but it also can stimulate and enhance Maine’s reputation and position nationally and internationally in research and manufacturing in renewable energy sciences and industries.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I believe the current laws are adequate and proper. I believe that medical decisions about a person’s body are between them and their physician.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I will be voting against it, however, I will be working to address what the referendum is trying to accomplish, healthcare and home services support for elderly in Maine. I would say that the Referendum is another case of desperately trying to find a solution to a complex and dire problem that is not being responsibly addressed by the Legislature.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes. While I’m not sure it would pass, I think we really do need to consider and debate the state of our elections in Maine. Most of what RCV attempts to address is that lack of broad consensus, and thus support, when there are more than two candidates for leadership in Augusta.

House District 81: (Map) Monmouth (part), Readfield and Winthrop

Craig Hickman (D) – Incumbent

Did not respond.

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Rep. Craig Hickman, D-Winthrop, in August 2018.
Aubrey Knorr (R)

Did not respond.

House District 82: (Map) Litchfield, Monmouth (part) and Wales

Kent Ackley (I)

Did not respond.

Randall Greenwood (R)

Did not respond.

House District 83: (Map) Farmingdale and Gardiner

Thomas A. Harnett (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
The biggest barrier to our economic development is a failure to realize what makes our state so special and a lack of creativity about how to capitalize on our assets in the modern economy. The lack of broadband is inexcusable. People can work from anywhere today, but not in most places in Maine. Given the quality of life possible here, we should be doing all we can technologically to make Maine the gold standard. Broadband would help our students, attract investment, and increase population.

2. 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?
Funding could be addressed in at least two ways. One, revisiting the tax cuts passed over the past 8 years to see if they are fair and reflect a progressive tax system. Two, again looking at our assets, we should consider raising our lodging tax. If Maine is Vacation land, and it seems to be, tourists will continue to visit. The resulting expansion in revenue could help fund the voter approved expansion of access to health care.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
How a society treats those who are struggling and in need, defines it. We must continue to help those who cannot help themselves, while looking to make sure that people can find opportunity and escape poverty. True welfare reform is about making prosperity possible for all through education, training, and some support.

4. 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?
Knowing that nobody likes taxes, sometimes they need to be updated and increased where appropriate. The quality and safety of our roads and infrastructure is not a partisan issue; at least it should not be. State and federal gas taxes have not come close to reflecting inflation for far too long. If we do not look at them, we are being incredibly shortsighted.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes. Climate change is real if one looks at and believes science. I do. Our reliance on fossil fuels is a major cause. Solar power and responsible wind power development can decrease reliance on the fuels that fuel climate change. We have traditionally incentivized fossil fuels because private players make money. The cost for renewable energy benefits the public and our planet.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
A woman’s choice about her healthcare should be made by her and her medical professional. The state need not play a role other than insuring access to health care.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
While I do not think Question 1 is perfect in its current form, I support it and will vote yes. Maine is the oldest state in the nation. Maine, as does our country, has a broken health care system. We need radical changes. People should have the option of aging in home when possible because it is good for them and the economy. Nursing home care expenses far exceed targeted home care supports. Sometimes a referendum is necessary to prod the legislature to do what is right. See marriage equality.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I support rank choice voting in state elections because that is what Maine voters have said they want. It is their call. I am not certain if an amendment to our constitution is needed to make the will of the voters law.

Denis Coutts (R)

Did not respond.

House District 84: (Map) Hallowell, Manchester and West Gardiner

Charlotte Warren (D) – Incumbent

Did not respond.

Earle McCormick (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
For businesses to expand in Maine or relocate to Maine, we must have an available work force with the skills necessary for that business. I support making the Technical Centers and Community Colleges available to more students and working with private sector businesses to ensure their skill needs are met.

2. 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?
Implementing this referendum requires a significant long-term funding source. This would have been simpler if the referendum question included the funding source. Do the voters who approved this expansion expect it to be paid for by reducing funding to other programs, raising sales taxes, raising income taxes?

3. 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 Benefit programs are put in place to provide assistance for those in need. Each comes with qualification guidelines and expectations for use. If data shows the benefits are being used for illegal activities or requirements are not being met, then the Program may need to be reformed to correct the problems.

4. 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, maintain current process for now.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
I support the current Federal and State tax incentives for people who want to install renewable energy technologies on their homes and property.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I would support the availability of more education and guidance on the alternatives to abortion.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
Against. The $300 million income tax increase would make us a less attractive State for people to live and work. The private Board created to spend these funds would be subject to little, if any, public accountability. Clearly there are many needs in this area, but we must get all the interested parties together at the table to create legislation to resolve these issues.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
No. I want to listen to all the candidates and vote for the one who best reflects my priorities and values.

House District 85: (Map) Augusta (part)

Donna R. Doore (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
A trained workforce. We need to find a way to get our young graduates to stay in Maine to work. Perhaps loan forgiveness at our State colleges, if they stay in Maine to work for so many years, regardless if they are a engineer or a plumber.

2. 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?
We have the funding to start the Medicaid expansion. If people had insurance they would receive preventive care and Maine would save money by not leaving people any choice but to use the ER for health care.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
I believe as a Legislator I committed to taking care of all the people of Maine. As we make new laws we try to address all Mainers with respect and dignity and to make their struggles ours so we can better help them.

4. 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?
I would leave this question and answer to the Transportation Committee. They are the experts but obviously study the issue when presented.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes. Solar power is a great green clean energy.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Roe vs Wade is working.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
Yes. It only effects individuals making more than 128,000. Maine is one of the states with the oldest population. I believe by keeping people out of nursing facilities for as long as possible will save the state money and allow our older residents to have a better life at home.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I support rank choice voting but any constitutional amendments concerns me.

James Glusker (R)

Did not respond.

House District 86: (Map) Augusta (part)

Jennifer Day (D)

Did not respond.

Justin Fecteau (R)

Did not respond.

House District 87: (Map) Alna, Pittston, Randolph and Wiscasset

Jeffrey Hanley (R)

Did not respond.

Jason G. Putnam (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
The lack of potential employees with necessary degrees and /or certification to fill 21st century technical/scientific positions. The Legislature should increase support for public schools and make it easier for anyone to attend college.

2. 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?
The Legislature needs to find and sustain a dedicated revenue source for public healthcare.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
The term means many things depending on who is using it. It can be positive and well-intentioned and the opposite. I would like it to mean making changes to help as many needy people as possible, in the most efficient manner that is fair to all citizens.

4. 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?
The state should continually revisit how it funds infrastructure and everything else it funds. Reflection and assessment is vital to innovation and efficiency. A good place to start would be researching funding methods from other states or countries.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes. Maine needs to encourage innovation to meet the energy needs of its people to save money and our natural resources.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I firmly believe in a women’s right to choose whether or not to birth a child. It is currently legal and should stay legal. So, no.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
Against. As Question 1 is written, the income threshold is too low, especially for married people. We must find another way to fund this important need.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I am not sure. While I think ranked choice voting is positive generally, I would need to learn more before deciding to amend the constitution.

House District 88: (Map) Chelsea, Jefferson, Nobleboro (part) and Whitefield

Chloe Maxmin (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
I see four pieces that contribute to economic development: 1) Access to broadband in all communities for connection and job access. 2) Investing in sustainable, skilled, good paying industries, like the renewable energy economy. 3) Access to transportation options in rural Maine. 4) Keeping young people in Maine by electing young people. Policy reflects the perspectives of those who craft it. We need youth input in Augusta to fight for all of us.

2. 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?
I have thoroughly researched this issue because of its importance to District 88. Federal funding supports 90% of the program. That source is not in jeopardy. There is enough money in the General Fund to implement and fully fund Medicaid expansion through the end of the next biennial budget in 2019. The state operates on a 2-year budget. When the new budget is implemented, we can determine a dedicated funding source. But, right now, 70,000 Mainers can and should have access to healthcare.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
To me, welfare reform means helping Mainers move off of welfare and toward financial independence. The best solution to welfare is a good paying job. We need solutions that support those in need while reducing welfare fraud and ensuring responsible use of taxpayer dollars. Here are some solutions that I support: eliminate the welfare cliff, ensure living wages, and promote transparent use of welfare programs.

4. 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?
Yes. Infrastructure is vital to our rural state. We need bonds and other dedicated revenue streams to support our state. I have talked with many voters who want to see better tax alternatives than a gas or mileage tax. I do not have the silver bullet answer, but I do know that we need an updated system that does not penalize efficient vehicles or folks with long commutes.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Absolutely. I see the renewable energy industry as a way to bring sustainable, skilled, good paying jobs to our state. I have devoted much of my life to addressing the climate crisis because it threatens to undermine the very well-being of Maine, our economy, our history, and our future. We need to transition to 100% renewable by 2050 in line with scientific mandates. We may be impacted by a changing planet, but we can also lead the solutions while building our economy.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Government should not dictate what a woman does with her body. Maine has an “A” grade from NARAL pro-choice America for our abortion and women’s health laws. Still, 55% of Maine women live in counties with no abortion clinic. All women deserve affordable and safe access to healthcare. We also need expand access to birth control to prevent unwanted pregnancies, especially for women battling substance abuse.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I am voting against Question 1. I support the intent behind the question: we have a Senior care crisis. Everyone deserves to age with dignity and at home if they want. We also need to raise the wage for in-home care-takers. However, the potential tax on joint and individual incomes—instead of just individual incomes—threatens middle-class Mainers. The legislature must prioritize bipartisan solutions next session.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes, I do. I support ranked-choice voting because I think that anyone who is elected should have a majority of the people’s support. It is also the will of the voters. I do not think that constitutional changes should be a regular avenue for policy progress, but ranked-choice voting warrants a change since voters have supported this initiative twice.

Michael Lemelin (R)

Did not respond.

House District 89: (Map) Boothbay, Boothbay Harbor, Edgecomb, South Bristol (part), Southport and Westport Island

Stephanie Hawke (R)

Did not respond.

Holly Stover (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
The Legislature needs to address the outdated and underperforming infrastructure with rural upgrades and finding new solutions through improved technology. Maine must increase broadband access to sustain and attract businesses. Improved access will allow Maine to have updated business systems, growth in our workforce and increased small and corporate business development.

2. 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?
The funding for Medicaid expansion is available through the State’s General Fund. The will of the voters is to move forward with Medicaid expansion and it is now state law. It is the responsibility of the Legislature to use available funds and move forward with full implementation.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
We will always need to provide financial assistance to individuals and families who are unable to meet their basic needs. These programs (TANF, Food Supplement, Medicaid, Parents as Scholars) need to provide incentives for people who demonstrate self sufficiency. We need a greater emphasis on training and education so people can increase their skills and higher earning potential.

4. 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?
Maine must continue to seek transportation bonds to fund our deteriorating roads and bridges. The State and Federal gas taxes are high and are not a viable source of infrastructure funding. We must continue to utilize funds that are in place and available through existing sources, such as the Highway Fund.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes, Maine must increase and expand incentives to businesses and homeowners. One of the barriers to attracting new industry to this state is the high cost of utilities. Maine needs to allow net metering to increase the financial benefits of using renewable energy so that homeowners and businesses realize a greater return on investment.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I think that the existing laws are sufficient.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I respect and support the intention Question 1 but will vote no because I believe that the funding mechanism needs to be reexamined. I support increasing wages for direct care workers. I worked in direct care in my early career days and know first hand how difficult those jobs are. The 3.8% tax on individuals and families adjusted gross income of $128,400 is unreasonable and would have a negative impact on the Maine workforce.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I support rank choice voting because it ensures that the person elected has the majority of votes.

House District 90: (Map) Bremen, Bristol, Damariscotta, Newcastle, Nobleboro (part), South Bristol (part) and Monhegan Plantation, plus the unorganized territory of Louds Island

Michael Devin (D) – Incumbent

Did not respond.

Richard Van Knowe (R)

Did not respond.

House District 91: (Map) Friendship, Union (part), Waldoboro and Washington

Abden Simmons (R) – Incumbent

Did not respond.

Jeffrey Evangelos (U)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
There are several barriers. We need to support work force development. I support livable wages and affordable health care. We need to invest in infrastructure improvements. And taxation need to be fair so the burden comes off the property tax, so that our businesses can thrive.

2. 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?
Maine ended the year with over $150 million dollars in surplus. The Medicaid Expansion cost only 1/3 of the surplus to get the program running. $55 million in state funds will leverage $550 million in federal funds. So the money is there. 70,000 people will receive health care when the expansion is implemented. Putting $150 million dollars into a rainy day fund when 70,000 people lack health insurance is simply a disgrace. 59% of the people voted to support this program in 2017.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
It means those that need help should qualify for it, those that are able to work should be assisted in finding a job with a livable wage. Those that cheat should be prosecuted.

4. 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, the current system is working, although we should be open to exploring a State Bank like North Dakota has.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes, we should be supporting solar development.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
The current framework is working, I trust that our Doctors will act within the law and with their patients interests in mind.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
The referendum has some problems the way it is written. I’m currently studying it, but the wording around the taxes and the board oversight provisions present a real problem.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes, and if it doesn’t work out, we can move to abolish it. The people voted for it so I’m willing to give it a try.

House District 92: (Map) Cushing, South Thomaston, St. George, Thomaston and Matinicus Isle Plantation, plus the unorganized territories of Criehaven and Muscle Ridge Islands Townships

Ann H Matlack (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Lack of a statewide, robust communications infrastructure; ie, a fully functioning broadband system across Maine. I support expanding broadband throughout the state, which will provide a strong linchpin for small businesses that want to stay local and need access to highspeed internet services to stay competitive. This effort should be broad-based, not piecemeal, and it should be independent of any specific industry or technology. A properly supported ConnectME would be helpful in this effort.

2. 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?
The Legislature should develop an expanded Medicaid program to address the needs of our residents. Several states, including Arkansas, Colorado, Michigan & Maryland, found expanding Medicaid reduced costs for substance use & mental health care, corrections & payments to hospitals for uncompensated care, & increased revenues through job creation & a healthier workforce. Maine’s program could include Medicaid buy-in, generic drug programs such as Civica Rx & revising Maine’s reinsurance program.

3. 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 reform should mean finding innovative ways to help families and individuals who live in poverty obtain secure housing, nutritious food, and the skills necessary to find better jobs and improve their lives. But many people living in poverty still have barriers to well-paying, full-time employment, including homelessness, lack of childcare, lack of reliable transportation, low educational levels, mental or physical disabilities. Welfare reform needs to be reformed.

4. 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?
In Maine, we rely heavily on gas-tax-based funding for road & bridge repairs. Participation in the I-95 Corridor Coalition to investigate regional efforts for road construction funding & evaluating options such as Road Use Charges instead of gas taxes are examples of how we can look at funding our roads & bridges as we continue to use less gas & diesel to fuel our cars. We should also continue funding for town roads since there are few options to pay for road repair aside from property taxes.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes, Maine should expand incentives to encourage the use of renewable energy technologies to offset the high cost of energy. We need a broad array of energy sources and encouraging solar, wind and tidal power will allow us to be less dependent on coal and fuel oil over time. We should provide more funding to Efficiency Maine and other efforts that encourage renewable energy production and also assist homeowners and businesses in reducing their energy usage and costs.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Every person has the right to make their own medical decisions, including a woman’s decision to have an abortion. Legislation that is intended to restrict a woman’s access to abortion, restricts her right to seek appropriate medical care and interferes with her ability to fully make her own medical decisions.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I will be voting no on this bond issue. While the goals of this ballot question are laudable, I am skeptical about creating a stand-alone trust fund that is not integrated into the Department of Health & Human Services. Establishing a new agency is expensive and redundant; not collaborating with other agencies in the implementation of this program is not cost-effective. There should be a better way to provide in-home care to our seniors and to those with disabilities.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I support a constitutional amendment to allow Ranked-Choice Voting. Twice, voters have said they want to use RCV in our elections. RCV gives voters more choice by allowing them to prioritize candidates. RCV encourages candidates to appeal to a broader range of voters and highlight common issues rather than differences, and it discourages negative campaigning. Since the courts have decided RCV does not comply with the Constitution, an amendment is needed to allow it to be used in state elections.

Justin Thompson (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
The biggest barrier to Economic development, seems to be be a lack of Innovation and Education. The Legislature can do three things; Encourage, come through on past promises, and promote a positive atmosphere for growth in both of these areas. The Strength of this State lies within the youth. We as a people, must try to commit to leaving this place better than when we came in. Barriers are broken when we work together, and I’m ready to break this one down.

2. 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?
This entire thing has become a political football, at the expense of the needy. We need to address those concerns from the bottom up. Who is affected? How can we help? What will it cost, and where does it come from? We must remember our most vulnerable, without hesitation. I’m going to take this thing head on. I’m ready to do the work needed, reach across the aisle, and make sure we get this out of the way so that we can move on to one of the many other issues at hand. Let’s do this.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
Some folks look at, “welfare,” as a dirty word. It’s not. The Constitution of the United States addresses our, “General Welfare.” To me, those terms together, “Welfare,” and “Reform,” seem out of place. We can call it a million things, but what we’re talking about here is, our Social-Safety services that came to a fruition post Great-Depression, and are now engrained as a way of life for many, it also could mean we better keep our promises to the elderly and vulnerable.

4. 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?
Yes, we should have a look at this. I’m sure there’s a better way to do it than the archaic consumption tax system that picks favorites. I have no silver bullet on how to fund the highway system. Though I know we waste a great deal on bureaucracy at some levels, and in my experience, the best way to get things done is from the bottom up. We’ll need to hear from all parties affected and make a thoughtful decision on this that we’ll need to live with. There’s a way through hard work.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Sure. I think that any chance we have to break away from Foreign Fossil Fuel dependency, we should. That said, I do like local up the best, and would strongly encourage a town to town program to have folks seek out better ways to conserve. In St. George we recycle over 75% of our trash and we have solar power on the roof of the Transfer Station. It’s become a cultural thing, and that’s where this stuff starts is at home. As far as Maine Aqua Ventus, they were not right for us.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
No.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
No. I’m not a big fan of telling people what to do, again we should be able to take care of our own from the bottom up. As Hawaii currently tries something like this, and it’s not coming out well, we should try to learn from past mistakes. I think we had better take a deep breath. Read the fine print, ask about how to pay for it. Also, we must realize that we should strive to fund Education at 55% as promised the right way, handle the Medicaid funding, and get to work on promises made.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
No. This process seems to convolute a basic system that has been in place for eons. Most people seem confused at best. Please, make no mistake, I’m all for innovation/progression, and moving forward. This, however, seems like the most trivial of fights to take up. I’m not a believer, I’ll look at everything a third time, but this isn’t something I think we need to change The Constitution for. Let’s deal with Education, Maine’s vulnerable, and the Opioid Epidemic first.

House District 93: (Map) Owls Head and Rockland

Anne “Pinny” Beebe Center (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
The blame and shame environment whuch excludes many if the people in Maine.

2. 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?
As they have been. The leguslature oassed funding and tbe governor vetoed that funding

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
Shrink government and cut spending at all costs, which makes anyone who relies on a government subsidy a “welfare” recipient.

4. 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?
Yes. People arent using as much gasoline, the tax realized from that has shrunk. We need to look at different funding sources to maintain our transportation infrastructure

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Absolutely

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
No

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
For. Because the option to age in place is a humane option and the people who come to the homes to allow that deserve a liveable wage

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes because it allows you to select who you believe in, and makes voting positive.

Maynard Stanley Jr. (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
The biggest barrier to economic growth remains our state income tax rates, which remain above the national average. We don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. Over spending causes higher taxes, higher taxes make people move away and start their business or work in a different state. I also think that Trade schools should be encouraged as an option for more people.

2. 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?
Eliminate fraud for a start. Aid of any kind should be available to US citizens; you cannot withdraw money from an account when you never made a deposit. It should be illegal to take money and benefits out of the accounts like (social security) of people who have been making deposits most of their lives, to give to those who have not; that’s just plain stealing. If Medicaid expansion is necessary, the money should come from currently funded programs that are not important or necessary now.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
I heartedly support “temporary” assistance for the unemployed and the truly needy and necessary assistance for the disabled, but not a lifestyle for the lazy. I would encourage the hiring of investigators to seek out fraud of all types and prosecute. I think it is still too easy to “game” the system.

4. 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?
I would start by verifying that all the money for the roads and bridges is being used for roads and bridges and used properly.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
It is not the job of the state to take taxpayers money to fund private enterprise. If the idea has a good Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) and the project has merit, they won’t have any problem getting funding from private investors.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I am pro-life; killing babies as a form of birth control because of carelessness is barbaric.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I will be voting against Question 1, It is not funded.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
No it is confusing way to vote that allows some peoples votes to be thrown away and then some peoples votes to be given to candidates that they did not vote for. The only people that would vote for this either don’t understand how it works or they understand very well and intend on exploiting the system to their advantage.

House District 94: (Map) Camden, Islesboro and Rockport

Owen Casas (U) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
How slow and cumbersome government is. We are not nimble and able to react to changes in markets. There is usually a time lag between when government becomes aware of a market shift and when it reacts to that shift. Often regulations and policies are implemented after certain trends have already played out, not providing the maximum economic impact. Having built in flexibility to facilitate an environment where business can thrive is key.

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Rep. Owen Casas, I-Rockport, in August 2018.

2. 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?
My hope is that the legislature will work to find the funds necessary to implement the expanded program in the short term and that this infusion of resources will facilitate new action by the legislature to address the medical needs of our state. I look forward to working with Democrats and Republicans on what is clearly the biggest factor in sustaining a Medicaid program: bringing down the cost of prescription drugs and medical coverage.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
I think your question is more trying to get at what my opinion is on welfare, my vision. Generally speaking I think welfare should be somewhat easy to get on and somewhat difficult to stay on. Programs and services should be aimed at having folks move away from governmental services and into gainful employment.

4. 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?
I am a big fan of the state regularly reviewing its funding models, programs, statutes etc. We live in a world where technology and markets are evolving very rapidly. Building in “sunset” style reviews, on appropriate timelines, seems like a smart practice when facing this new and ongoing challenge. Infrastructure is not my area of expertise so I look forward to collaborating with knowledgeable folks to craft the best solution.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes. Not only is it necessary for the long term health of the planet that sustains our very existence, it is good for economic growth. On balance, traditional fossil fuel sources have “incentives” that create an uneven playing field for renewable energy. I remain a strong supporter of expanding and assisting growth in renewable energy while being realistic about the current needs our energy systems. Fossil fuels are just to precious to burn for energy.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I do not think that abortion laws need to be changed at this time. I am comfortable with how Maine has currently structured these laws.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I will be voting against Question 1, which is regrettable. Providing home health options for folks with additional challenges is a great goal to work toward and achieve. That said the entire structure of the board administering the program is a significant concern of mine. I also have concerns about the taxation required to fund the program.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes. Ranked Choice Voting was voted in by the majority of Mainers and when the legislature rolled back this advance, the Citizens vetoed that decision. It is a good forward looking election style that fits well with the character of Maine.

Victoria Doudera (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Our shrinking workforce, caused by a declining population and a lack of trained workers. We need training in place along with incentives for young people to stay or return to the state. We must continue to improve broadband and other infrastructure in this state to make it easier for businesses to thrive, and put the welcome mat out for people from other places who wish to work here and make Maine their home.

2. 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?
70,000 Mainers are in need of healthcare, and nearly 60% of voters last November supported the ballot initiative to expand it. Medicaid expansion will help our rural hospitals, create jobs and strengthen the economy. The Legislature appropriated the funds to cover costs and expenses through 2019 — and additional funds can be provided through the supplemental budget process should there be a shortfall.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
It’s appealing to say that our safety net of services should help only the disabled, elderly, and children while able-bodied adults help themselves, i.e. “workfare” rather than “welfare.” At issue is that some who cannot work struggle with addiction issues, homelessness, health problems, domestic violence, or the trauma of living in poverty with their children. These people end up with no safety net at all. Instead of penalizing people, let’s connect them to services that will help them succeed.

4. 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?
Transportation in Maine is underfunded as anyone who uses our bridges and roads well knows! Yes, I think it is time to revisit the way infrastructure is funded, especially in light of decreasing gas tax monies as cars become more fuel efficient. The funding of ferries is another area that needs scrutiny, especially in light of the MDOT’s new fare structure for the Maine State Ferry Service, which doubled rates for the island of Islesboro.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes. I am a staunch supporter of clean, renewable energy – solar, wind, tidal, turbine, and wood — because these industries not only move us away from our reliance on fossil fuels, but they create good-paying jobs for skilled laborers and attract investment to the state. The state should definitely be forward thinking and encourage renewables with incentives because the economic and environmental benefits of these industries will build a brighter future for Maine.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I’m concerned about women’s access to reproductive health care in Maine. I support expanding the presence and services of reproductive health centers so that women throughout Maine can get the health care they need, regardless of where they live or how much money is in their pocketbook. Obstetrical and maternal care is declining in rural parts of Maine and that is a concern as well. Certainly we should not put any more restrictions on a woman’s right to access her own health care.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I am voting no on this question. While I think taking care of our seniors and people with disabilities is important, I’m not supportive of the way it will be funded. Whenever possible, our tax system needs to be comprehensive and fair.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes. I believe ranked-choice voting is a much-needed election reform.

House District 95: (Map) Appleton, Hope, Union (part) and Warren

Paula G. Sutton (R) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Our biggest barrier is difficulty finding ample and skilled employees. Maine does not have an inviting and welcoming reputation with the business community due to our punitive overall tax structure and relatively high energy costs. The lowering of taxes and fine tuning of tax and energy policy are solid solutions that reach across the aisle and are well within our grasp.

2. 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?
Health care costs are one of the top concerns I hear about. We are all aware of how these have skyrocketed, especially since the ACA. Expanding Medicaid at the ballot was not responsible because it did not include any funding or price tag. Health care is complex and worthy of more discussion than a few sentences on a ballot. We need to be cautious when addressing funding. The federal government, who we are expecting to reimburse us for a portion of our costs, is over $21 trillion in debt.

3. 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 reform should include maintaining and restoring the dignity of those receiving a helping hand. We need to make sure that while receiving benefits, people who are able, have an opportunity to receive training and support, partnerships with area employers and education. Extending a benefit with no expectation on the part of recipients not only devalues the benefits provided but has also shown to erode into a person’s sense of self-worth.

Welfare Reform also means setting priorities.

4. 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?
Maine borrows to maintain our infrastructure partly due to other state department’s cannibalizing a large portion of the overall state budget. Education and DHHS consume around 78 % of budget and as a result other areas, like our roads and bridges are underfunded. Bonding to pay has become an alternate way to deal with the situation but in no way is it ideal.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
No, business needs to stand on its own. It is my belief that when certain businesses depend upon government to exist it sets up the dynamic for abuse, favoritism and for crony capitalism to develop. Maine already generates more power than it uses.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Late term and partial birth abortions are infanticide and ought to be against the law.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I will be voting against. First, it creates a new tax and people in Maine already pay too much in taxes. We have a spending problem and not a revenue problem. Second, we cannot even take care of the people we have on wait-lists on our existing programs so it makes no sense to create a new quasi-government agency. We need to focus on what we already have.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
No, I do not. There is nothing wrong with how we have been voting and having a winner based on plurality works just fine.

William Pluecker (U)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
The biggest barrier to economic development in Maine is the lack of year round, high paying jobs with benefits. We have a limited population in Maine, but when we are able to pay our workers well, their ability to buy and participate in our economy is increased. We have been loosing our young, qualified workers when they leave Maine after school to find higher paying work in other states. Our small businesses and industry need these workers to expand. Let’s support small business development.

2. 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?
The legislature passed funding for the Medicaid expansion, as the voters asked them to do in 2017. The funding bill made use of surplus funds and tobacco settlement money and didn’t touch the rainy day fund, just as the Republican party required. We expect overall healthcare costs to go down once we have the program in place. We will know exactly how much taxpayers will save once it is in place, and we can continue to lower healthcare cost for everyone.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
We are tired of the ineffective implementation of benefit programs in our state. We pay our hard earned wages in the form of taxes, and we need responsible government that looks closely at how these programs are run and make sure that the money is being spent where it is needed. We see food insecurity and healthcare costs continue to increase while our taxes go up. It is time we effectively reduce hunger, and the cost of healthcare, not just throw money at the problem.

4. 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?
The constant borrowing in the form of bonds to fund our aging infrastructure is not sustainable. In our private lives, we know that when we take a loan to pay for something, it costs more than paying with cash. Other funding sources,that we could use to address our degrading roads and bridges, are fees on heavy vehicles, because they are the ones doing the most damage to our roads, and diverting some of the sales tax from new vehicles to the highway fund.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Our state is poised to start creating new jobs in this industry. We have been held back by the policies put in place by the governor and Public Utilities Commission that have put new taxes on our ability to generate power from the sun. It is time that the government gets out of the way of industry in Maine. The old approaches have been proved ineffective. We need to look to innovative new technologies and thinking to build our way into the future.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I believe in the rights of the individual to make their own healthcare choices. As an elected representative of the district, I cannot believe that I have the right to tell anyone what choices they should make when it comes to their own healthcare. At the same time we want to reduce the reliance and prevalence of abortion in our lives, which means increasing safe sex education and access to contraceptives.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I will be voting against it. I do not feel that the additional tax on middle income families is good for economic growth in our state. I question the intelligence of putting so much money and power in the hands of a board that does not have adequate oversight. Our state is getting older and many people are dependent on the work of home health care aids. The legislature should work to make sure these are good paying jobs that people will want as we get older.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
As a State, we are looking for our elected representatives to move toward the center and stop taking extremist partisan positions. Ranked choice voting encourages that. It makes people running for office not just appeal to the edges but also the center of our political spectrum.The roll out of ranked choice voting has been confusing and difficult, but with experience and education, we can make it a system that works for Maine.

House District 96: (Map) Belmont, Liberty, Lincolnville, Montville, Morrill, Palermo and Searsmont

Stanley Paige Zeigler (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Infrastructure and labor force size are the biggest barriers. Infrastructure is not just roads, airports and train facilities, but also telecommunications, health institutions and education. Our state is large and rural which makes building and maintaining any of the necessary infrastructure more expensive. We need to properly fund all aspects so that we can have a trained healthy workforce with access to modern technology.

2. 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?
At this date we have enough funding for expansion to last until May of 2019. We need to allow people to register for assistance now. The issue around the necessary funding is of a political nature and not a financial nature. When the next budget is being written in January of 2019, the 129th legislature will be able to find the funds necessary for the expansion.

3. 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 reform means that first of all we make sure that the people who need assistance receive it. Reform also means that the assistance we give is not only helping people dealing with a crisis, but preparing them for the future. There was a bill which allowed a person who was receiving assistance to be able to continue with it for a limited time once they start to earn a wage. This would allow them to get their legs under themselves as they start a new life. That was welfare reform .

4. 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?
I don’t think bonding is the best path ahead. We wind up paying interest on the loans.There are ways to develop fee structures that would help with infrastructure. One is a possible “use fee”. Instead of increasing gas taxes, one could pay a fee on actual mileage when you pay your excise tax. This way, people who use the roads the most and use less gas still pay their fair share. Poorly maintained roads cost us in vehicle repairs.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes! I personally have been working on developing a low interest loan banking system. Our state is last in New England for developing an energy policy that supports a portfolio of a variety of energy sources. Going into the 21st century we need to lower our carbon output and make ourselves energy independent to reduce costs and protect our citizens’ health.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I believe the laws should not be restricted further. I feel this is a decision that a woman has to make because the ultimate responsibility lies with her. One way we could address the access for rural and low income women is through allowing Nurse Practitioners to perform the medical procedure. Education and access to contraceptives is more the issue in preventing unwanted pregnancies.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
We have to address that our population is the oldest in the nation and will be needing assistance. This squeezes middle class families who want to help their parents. The mean income in our state is about $50,000. If we can’t pay a decent wage for care workers in a market that is having a hard time finding those workers, we will lose them to other states. The legislature can fix the issue around couples filling taxes jointly. This referendum helps the middle class.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes. Right now we have an election process where half of the elections are ranked-choice and the other half are not. This causes confusion and extra costs. Maine citizens voted for ranked-choice elections and we should honor that by passing a constitutional amendment.

Robert M. Currier (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
The biggest barrier is taxes on small businesses and not being their for businesses who are just starting, we want a competitive job market but in order for that to happen we need to continuously be a competitive state for businesses and company’s to want to come to as far as taxes and additional charges. We need to make sure that our taxes on businesses are friendly and are not high enough to deter future potential employers from coming to Maine.

2. 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?
As fiscally as possible. Medicaid expansion is a good idea and covers those who need the care as long as its funded appropriately and without increasing the burden on taxpayers. we cannot keep increasing the funding where we have to borrow money to pay for it.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
It means reforming welfare so there is less fraud, stricter regulations and making people work for state money that they need. we need to keep the people responsible for themselves if they are able bodied instead of supporting laziness and giving handouts.

4. 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?
we should look at all possible revenues to make sure that we have appropriate funds for maintaining our infrastructure. Borrowing money is not sustainable and has the potential to hinder Maine’s improvement. we need to look at potentially new ways of revenue and possibly increasing certain ones wthout breaking the taxpayers backs.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes and no. Incentives are wonderful if people are biting along with rebates for cleaner energy, but we cannot keep increasing the budget for incentives and having out taxpayers who do not benefit pay for it.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I think abortion is something that can save a life even though it means potentially taking one. My concern is abortion being used for a type of birth control by people who do not want to take responsibility for their actions.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I will be voting Against question one. Increasing taxes in Maine to pay for expansion of this program would not alleviate the stress on the taxpayers. we cannot keep raising our budget without a reliable way to count on the revenue. Im not about to vote for something that has the potential to put seniors let alone anyone out of a home because they cant afford to live here. we want people to come to Maine not leave because we think taxing them to the max is an appropriate way to fund a budget.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
no. One person one vote. It should not be that hard for someone to campaign to the Maine people regardless of party and recognize that they are for the people. We need to focus more on the grass root Maine problems when it comes to Maine elections.

House District 97: (Map) Belfast, Northport and Waldo

Janice S. Dodge (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
I believe the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine is the lack of broadband. This communication deficiency reduces marketing options, restricts the employee pool, stifles innovation, limits student/worker education and prohibits businesses from locating in Maine. These and other negative effects are magnified because we are such a large rural state. Legislation and funding that address this lack of 21st century infrastructure must be part of our planning and budget process.

2. 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?
The will of the voters has been expressed in support of Medicaid expansion. It is a now the responsibility of legislators to use the designated federal funds and knowledge of possible state funding mechanisms to develop those for inclusion in the budget to help our most needy citizens.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
To me, “welfare reform” means evaluating the current guidelines and qualifying criteria to insure we are assisting our most vulnerable citizens and providing the necessary mechanisms and pathways to improve recipients levels of self sufficiency.

4. 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?
Yes, Maine should revisit the way we fund infrastructure. We recognize the need to invest in our roads and bridges by supporting referendum questions, yet current funding is not enough to accomplish needed repairs, upgrades and replacements. Beyond safety concerns, our economic health depends on efficient transit and maintaining our state as a desirable tourist destination. Deferring repairs and new construction increases costs. We all benefit and must contribute to this investment.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes, Maine should expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies such a solar and wind power and we certainly should not penalize those who invest in clean energy. We must respect the science and applaud those who are providing jobs and expanding our understanding and innovation while improving and protecting our atmosphere, children, state and planet.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I believe we should protect a woman’s right to make reproductive health care decisions with her medical professionals. I would work to protect this right from any restrictions at the federal or state level.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I will be voting for Question 1, the home care citizen initiative. Remaining in the comfort of home and in the proximity of family and friends is almost always the preference of our seniors and is less expensive than residential care. This could expand options for those of varying income levels. If passed, I will respect the vote and encourage careful consideration of the benefits vs. fiscal impacts as the specifics of implementation are negotiated.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I support a constitutional amendment that would utilize RCV in gubernatorial and legislative general elections. Citizens gathered signatures, put this on the ballot and through their votes indicated their support of this process and necessary changes to Maine’s Constitution. It is the duty and responsibility of elected leaders to uphold and enact RCV based on the voters’ decision.

Bevelyn Beatty (R)

Did not respond.

House District 98: (Map) Frankfort, Searsport, Swanville and Winterport

Brian Kresge (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
It’s easy to say corporate tax rates, but I’d say the state’s interest in private sector R&D is underfunded, clearly within the Legislature’s wheelhouse.

2. 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?
It’s not a popular answer among Republicans, but accepting the Medicaid expansion may be the only near-term relief we can manage. I predict it will be before 2020 before we see any significant moves on healthcare from the federal government, so anything we do now will be a holding action.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
I don’t like the popular definition of either party, to be honest. I reject the notion that the taxpayer has a responsibility to fete every ostensibly compassionate spending endeavor, but I also don’t like arbitrarily doing away with social safety nets, especially in a state with such an aging population. To me, it means reducing waste, increasing efficiencies, and looking for places where non-profits and other non-governmental organizations may be more effective than government.

4. 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?
We definitely should avoid a “bond issue can call it a day” solution. We have the framework for an excellent solution in the form of the NHS State Infrastructure Bank. Maine’s limited funding and state law can only really afford municipalities loans for infrastructure, but if we had help from our Congressional and Senate delegation, increased federal capitalization could make this truly viable for major infrastructure work.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
I think we’d be missing the bus if we didn’t invest in renewables, but what, and how much would be my answer a question with a question. Cost of solar and wind installations has gone way down, enough that pensiun funds see some renewable sectors as viable, stable funds. It’s here, it’s serious, and if the cost-benefit analysis skews in favor of Mainers, we absolutely should consider this against any environmental moral calculus we have to make.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I’m generally pro-choice, albeit in a libertarian way. No gov’t funding, no compelling individuals to fund it in healthcare offerings, but also in that government shouldn’t involve itself in the healthcare of women. A question put to me was whether nurse practitioners should be allowed to perform abortions, which I have no problem with. So it depends. If increasing access involves public funding, no. If increasing access involves decreasing regulatory oversight, maybe.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I will vote against. For my household, which runs close to the gross figure for the 3.8%, this would be close to $5000 in new taxes a year. What a disincentive to live here! It harms the goal of attracting professionals to the state of Maine. Many of us at the lower end of those income levels would certainly feel $5000 as we put our kids through college or struggle with insurance premiums. This kind of ill-conceived, pathos-driven nonsense is hazardous.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I’m profoundly indifferent. Speaking as a former judge of elections in Pennsylvania, I generally believe both the perceived horror stories and the perceived boon are cut from whole cloth. It’s simply a different approach, and if it works or doesn’t work, we can always try something else later, so long as we protect the integrity of the individual vote, which I believe is adequate.

Scott Cuddy (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
We lack a workforce that is big enough and well trained. The legislature can direct money toward the community college system to support the increased need for tradespeople, nurses, etc. We also need to find ways to attract new residents to Maine. Our employers are hurting for people to hire.

2. 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?
The law should be implemented immediately with the money currently available. Funding in future years will be done through the regular budgeting procedure, just like nearly every other program. Considering the budget surpluses we continue to run, there is ample room in the budget for this law to go into effect.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
It depends on who is using it. Some people use it to mean reducing what how much is spent, regardless of how that affects outcomes. Others use it to mean improving the system for Mainers by making changes. When I use it, I would mean improving outcomes for the people of Maine.

4. 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?
Yes, although borrowing for infrastructure is not necessarily a bad thing. Investments that pay dividends to the state are the best reasons to borrow. The gas tax hasn’t kept up with the times. As vehicles use less gas to travel the same number of miles, we’ve lost the revenue that used to keep our roads and bridges safe.
We all use the roads and depend on them for work, school, family, and fun. We all need to find the best way to pay for them, regardless of how much gas we buy.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Absolutely yes! In particular we need to expand access to solar to as many people as possible. Solar installation is done by local workers and companies and reduces our reliance on foreign oil sources. The current tensions with Saudi Arabia and Iran highlight how dangerous that dependence is. Additionally, solar and wind power will help in the fight against Climate Change, which is one of the great challenges we face today.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I support a woman’s right to choose. The decision to terminate a pregnancy is one that is best left between a parent and doctor.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I support Question 1. We need to do better by our retired neighbors. There are things I would support changing in the law after it is passed, but we need to pass it in order to change the conversation around how we care for the elderly.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes. The people have been clear that Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) is what they want, and we need to enact it fully. RCV has a huge number of benefits and no downside. We have already successfully used it in the primaries with no problems, and will soon use it in both the U.S. Senate and U.S. Congressional Races. There is no good reason to hold it back from being used to select a Governor and Legislators as well.

House District 99: (Map) Brooks, Burnham, Freedom, Jackson, Knox, Monroe, Thorndike, Troy and Unity

MaryAnne Kinney (R) – Incumbent

Did not respond.

April Dawn Turner (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
The biggest barrier to economic development in Maine is healthcare. Working families have to chose between high deductibles with huge co-pays or have a large portion of their pay go towards healthcare premiums. The Maine Legislature can address it by first funding the Medicaid Expansion that Mainers have already approved. After that, we can create a healthcare system that provides coverage for all Mainers and provides physical, vision, dental, hearing, and mental health care.

2. 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?
Other states that have utilized Medicaid Expansion have utilized funding from the Affordable Care Act, this same funding source is available to Maine. We already pay taxes that provide for this utilization. Additional funding will come for our state’s budget. A 10% investment to ensure that families and individuals have access to healthcare is one that we cannot afford to continue to fight over. Our family and friends deserve better!

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
As a foster parent I have seen the results first hand of “welfare reform”. Children sit on wait list for services for months. Children are put into foster care because their parents cannot access the mental health services they need. The term “welfare reform” has become a negative term, a way to create distance between the “haves” and the “have nots”. It feeds into the belief that anyone getting social services are lazy, freeloaders, that are not worthy of respect and dignity.

4. 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?
To maintain our infrastructure we should continue to utilize bonds as part of our financial planning as this allows repayments to be shared will all road users , but given the decrease in state and federal gas taxes we should also look at how we view transportation as a whole- we need continued investment in public transportation and expanded revenue sharing with towns. Public transportation reduces total traffic on the roads and equitable revenue sharing allows towns to maintain their roads.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes, we have the potential to be a leader in renewable energies. These industries can provide valuable jobs to Maine. Renewable energies provide less negative environmental impact. Solar and wind power can maintain the beauty of Maine and the health of Maine’s citizens.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I think that healthcare should be provided to all Mainers, through this change we can provide better education and support around pregnancy prevention, pregnancy support, and parenting and child development. Reproductive health and a woman’s right to chose is a very personal and private decision that I don’t think should be restricted anymore than it already is.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
Many people are in a situation where they are caring for an elderly parent or partner, having home-care available to this population is greatly needed. When I think about this question I think about what I will someday want for my mother-in-law and that is access to healthcare that will ensure that she has her wishes met. If she should want to remain home rather than enter a nursing home it is my hope that home-care will be available for her. I will be voting yes.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I would support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections because I believe that is what the people of Maine wanted when they voted in favor of ranked-choice voting. To leave these races out of the ranked-choice voting system creates confusion and may limit participation in our voting process.

House District 100: (Map) Corinna, Dixmont, Etna (part), Newport and Plymouth

Danny Costain (R)

Did not respond.

Frederick Austin (D)

Did not respond.

House District 101: (Map) Hampden and Newburgh

David Haggan (R) – Incumbent

Did not respond.

James Davitt (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
An educated and trained workforce. By increasing a means for graduates to work in Maine and receive credit for their students loans we can keep more trained and qualified workers in the State.

2. 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?
The funding is available but has been held hostage by the Governor and his supporters in the House. A change in the Blaine House should solve the problem.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
It means to make welfare a means to an end, not a stigma to keep people in poverty. Even if we have a decent living wage for all who can and who want to work we will need welfare for those who are disabled, raising children as single parents, and those who cannot afford the simple necessities.

4. 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?
The simple answer is to raise the gasoline tax to start.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes. Clean energy is renewable and pays for itself. Disclaimer: I have solar power.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
They should not be restricted.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I am currently undecided. It sounds lie a good idea but I am not sure thatches initiatives are the way to force financing of causes, no matter how good they might be.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes. It seemed to work very well in June and would sure solve the problem of a governor with only a minority base.

Robin Downs (G)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
The greatest barrier to economic development in the state is the environmental impact of air pollution and electro smog.

Legislation to tackle this pollution problem is available, needed immediately and is the main reason I am campaigning in this election.

2. 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?
The proposed Geoengineering bill will generate revenue for funding as well as cleaning the environment. This alone will ease funding problems.

3. 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 reform” is a one size fits all mentality. There must be different guidelines for those with chronic health problems.

4. 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?
We need to increase the state’s productivity and tax revenues. Put people to work cleaning up the environment while fining polluters. Currently pollution is poisoning our people while draining
resources from the state.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Photovoltaic lenses (solar panels) should be on every house building, to help homeowners and business owners benefit from lower energy cost. Super Cuts in Brewer gets its energy from solar panels is a great example of a clean building.

Wind turbines are not efficent, nor are they good for wildlife, people, and the natural environment.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Maine law should be loosened to allow woman to choose who provides them with care as would be the case with any other health care need.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
It is a moral obligation to help the elderly, the veterans, and the disabled. I will be voting for the home care intiative.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes, i support the amendment. It opens up the playing field for candidates with important platforms in what is now a battlefield limited to Republicans and Democrats.

House District 102: (Map) Glenburn, Kenduskeag and Levant

Abigail Griffin (R)

Did not respond.

Kimberly Hammill (D)

Did not respond.

House District 103: (Map) Carmel, Etna (part) and Hermon

Roger Reed (R) – Incumbent

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

The greatest barriers to economic growth in Maine are high taxes, too many regulations and high energy costs. We need to continue to reduce taxes, encourage more business opportunities by reducing regulations and find a way to develop good energy at more reasonable prices.

2. 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?

This is once again the work of the Maine People’s Alliance. They say this won’t cost the state anything because the Federal Government is going to pay 90 percent of the cost. That still leaves the state to cover a considerable amount of the remaining costs and to cover the cost for all of the bureaucrats who will be needed to run the program. All of this money to be added to the general fund. They use the number as 70,000, but it will most likely be much more. Because the state doesn’t sell shoes or automobiles, the obvious method of funding would come from raising taxes on the Maine taxpayers, who are overly taxed already.

3. 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 reform” to me means finding an equitable way to deal with our welfare needs. And this means taking care of those who truly need assistance and are not able to care for themselves. I don’t support taking care of those who are not citizens who have come to Maine because we are a soft target for welfare. There also should be limits on how long one can receive welfare payments, and there should be job-looking requirements as well.

4. 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?

We really need safe roads and bridges. I generally do not vote in favor of bonds of any kind, but if I did, it would most likely be for roads and bridges. Perhaps better than always floating bonds, and depending on higher gas taxes to pay for our roads and bridges, it would be wiser to cut some entitlement programs and put the money into the general budget to pay for roads and bridges.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?

I am not an advocate of either wind power or solar energy because neither has shown to be an efficient form of energy for Maine. Windmills all across our highest hills are disgustedly ugly and the winds are too intermittent to be efficient as a form of energy.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?

More restrictive! I am prolife and an advocate for protection of our unborn children. I am amazed that we can abort a child, which is a gift from God, in the name of freedom.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?

I will be voting against it! Nothing more than another attempt on behalf of MPA to redistribute the wealth. It is a bad idea to punish those who have worked hard to fulfill their part of the American dream.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?

No! I don’t approve of ranked-choice voting in any form. I don’t believe in adjusting votes to get a majority decision when the state constitution requires that our elections will be decided by a plurality vote. If this is to be used, it should be by a constitutional amendment.

Candace Augustine (D)

Did not respond.

House District 104: (Map) Charleston, Dexter, Exeter, Garland and Stetson

Steven D. Foster (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
The high cost of doing business in Maine, including: taxes, energy, government regulations, development of skilled employees.

Most decisions made in Augusta affect businesses positively or negatively. In order to help existing Maine businesses and attract new ones, we need to consider this when crafting any legislation. Improving the business climate in central and northern Maine will help increase good jobs, improve local economies, and address many societal issues.

2. 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?
Funding this expansion without large tax increases will be extremely difficult. I would not support such tax increases.

In order to meet the needs of the elderly and the physically or mentally disabled, I think a funding method requiring those capable of joining the workforce and participating in the cost for their coverage should be looked at.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
Those capable of working to provide for themselves and their families should be encouraged to do so. This will reduce the tax burden on those already doing so. It will also improve the overall well being of those currently dependent on government programs.

4. 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?
Along with an appropriate level of bonding, the state should look at the mix of gas taxes, vehicle excise taxes, energy efficient vehicle tax rebates, etc. to find a fair balance in order to fund sate and municipal highway infrastructure.

In a poorer rural state with miles of roads to maintain it is difficult to place all this cost on Maine resident vehicle owners. All citizens depend on a reliable highway infrastructure.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
No. I believe any energy source’s viability needs to stand on its own financial merits without being propped up by taxpayer dollars.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I am pro-life. I am against spending tax dollars to provide abortions. Those considering abortion should receive information on all available options for the mother and the unborn child. I believe our current laws should protect life when it is viable, according to the latest medical developments and information.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
Against. This is another ill conceived referendum that would force tax increases to fund a proposal developed without full consideration of its negative affects on Maine and its economy.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
No. I’ve heard from many in District 104 who were not in favor of it and/or were confused by it. Also, I think an argument can be made that this process does not meet the one person, one vote standard.

House District 105: (Map) Cambridge, Canaan, Hartland, Palmyra, Ripley and St. Albans

Joel Stetkis (R) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Even with Republicans reducing taxes over the last 8 years in Maine,( much less than what we proposed due to Democrat resistance) we remain toward the top of almost every list of worst taxed states in America.

Simple math, Maine is far less competitive in attracting business, professionals and investment because of the tax burden in Maine

Eliminating the income tax in Maine would put us at par with New Hampshire and several other states and at a competitive advantage over others.

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Rep. Joel Stetkis, R-Canaan, speaks in Augusta in 2016.

2. 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?
There is a substantial amount of tax dollars wasted in State government that could be used to fund programs of high priority.

I would say that prior to this being funded we should first finish funding our mentally disabled citizens and ensuring our direct care workers and nursing homes are funded before young healthy people receive “free” healthcare.

A vibrant economy in Maine with good paying jobs will bring in more revenue to help pay for necessary programs and services.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
I’ve have spent my life serving my community.Whether in the U.S Airforce, volunteer firefighter, scouting, planning board or Legislature, helping my neighbors is in my bones.

Helping people who truly need it and preserving our limited resources for them is the priority.Ensuring that working peoples hard earned income is also protected from waste.

For 8 years Republicans have proposed dozens of bills to ensure the proper use of funds only to have Democrats reject over 90% of them.

4. 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?
We should stop borrowing these and many other funds and paying tens of millions of dollars in interest. Not paying the interest alone would make an impact.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Past legislation attempting to incentivize these sources of energy placed the added cost on rate payers.
Maine already has one of the highest costs of energy in the entire Country, once again making us less competitive.
As we all know Maine also has the highest percentage of seniors in the Country.Alot of our seniors are already having a difficult time paying their bills and staying in their homes.
I will never support increasing the burdens on our seniors.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Killing babies is and always will be immoral
There are so many families looking to adopt, that many of these children would have happy families and wonderful lives.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
Against.
Increasing income taxes to the highest in the Country in Maine will be destructive.
Forcing a family who husband and wife maybe a teacher and nurse to pay even more in tax will certainly chase many out of our state and prevent even more from coming here.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
No. Ranked Choice voting is a bad idea.
1 person 1 Vote
People should not have their vote thrown out because they didn’t choose the correct candidate first.

John R. Clark (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
There are several, but statewide broadband and cellphone service would have a huge positive impact.

2. 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?
As someone running for the first time, I’m not an expert on what, exactly is available, how much of a gap really exists and what the down the road costs will be. Frankly, the entire healthcare system is a train wreck and I’m in favor of a single payer system for ALL Maine citizens.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
A full analysis of the human services system in Maine is long overdue. I favor a case by case look at those receiving benefits, creating a mutually agreed upon plan to get recipients to a better place (those who are unable to work or complete training due to age, physical limitations or mental health issues should be exempt) and dropping anyone unwilling to be involved in such a plan from receiving benefits. Harsh, but necessary.

4. 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?
Probably. There are innovative ways to build roads, and possibly bridges, that have them last longer. I’m a big proponent of investing tax dollars as opposed to simply spending. For example, in Great Britain, they’re using recycled plastic as an additive to pavement with promising results. Why aren’t we looking at things like that in Maine?

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Absolutely. I’m more of a solar than wind proponent, but both work in Maine and solar technology is continually improving. Add in large capacity storage batteries and the system is even better. State government placing unnecessary roadblocks in the way of local solar development shouldn’t be happening. Anyhow, I think the improvements in technology are ultimately going to make some incentives impractical.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Government at any level has no business regulating personal choices like abortion or sexual preference.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
For, unless I see a compelling argument that sways me…and signs exhorting me to ‘stop the scam’ only make me think of Trump.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes, but we need to do a far better job of explaining it to Maine citizens. I’ve encountered many residents who were unclear and/or frustrated about the process. I wish Tim Sample could do a video presentation on it like he did to promote the MARVEL databases when they became available.

House District 106: (Map) Clinton, Detroit and Pittsfield

Scott Strom (R) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Their are a number of barriers but the biggest thing we need to do to help with economic development is to lower our income tax so we are more competitive with other states. We must also address our high energy cost and improve our infrastructure.

2. 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?
I did not support Medicaid expansion at the ballot box but it is now the law. I will support funding it. However I will not support raising any taxes to do so, or by raiding our rainy day fund. It mush me funded with existing funds in the DHHS budget.

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Rep. Scott Strom, R-Pittsfield, in August 2018.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
We must make sure welfare programs for healthy working age adults are for temporary assistance. These programs must be used to help lift people up in times of need, not for years of financial support.

4. 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?
Absolutely, providing funding for our infrastructure is one of the true responsibilities of our State Government. I believe we need to send all sales tax collected on automobile sales, and auto parts and tires to the transportation budget instead of the general fund. We need more than just the gas tax to fund our roads, and I do not support raising the gas tax.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Not if these incentives drive up the cost of electricity to Maine’s ratepayers. I am a firm believer in the free market. We must also start including hydropower when we discuss renewable energy.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
First I must say that the State Legislature has no ability to outlaw abortions. That being said I am a firm believer in parental consent for a minor to get an abortion. I also believe we must take a serious look at a point in the pregnancy when the baby becomes viable and prevent abortions from happening after that point.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I will be voting no on question 1. I do not support anymore tax increases in our state.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I do not. Rank choice voting only benefits a voter who has multiple candidates they like on the ballot. It makes the ballot of a person who only likes one of the three or more candidates count less than other voters ballots.

Stanley Byron Short Jr. (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
The biggest barrier to economic development in Maine is that we do not provide businesses with competitive incentives in comparison to many other states. I believe it will take a mix of ingredients to make Maine more appealing to businesses. Some of the things that I believe we need to consider are 5 years tax free for new and growing businesses, such as manufacturing, tech and electronics and renewable energy, logging, seafood, and tourism. We also need to make financing easier to obtain for these types of businesses. These things will help move Maine forward without harming its beauty.

2. 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?
The Maine voters have spoken and now it is up to the legislature to make it happen. Other states have funded Medicare expansion by making hospitals help, using money from their general fund and by increasing cigarette and liquor taxes. I would want to explore each of these options as a way to help fund the expansion of Medicare. We also should look at to using moneys from settled lawsuits.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
I believe that the term Welfare Reform means, making changes to social service programs in an effort to find a balance of providing guaranteed benefits while promoting self-sufficiency. It also means, I believe, finding ways to expand programs that will better serve our poor.

4. 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?
The State should revisit the way it funds the maintenance of our infrastructure. One avenue that we need to explore is carving out part of the budget to provide funding for the continued maintenance that our infrastructure requires. The infrastructure of a state is looked at very closely by businesses before a decision is made on whether or not to invest in that state, so we must address this issue.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
I strongly believe that our state should expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power. Doing so will make Maine more appealing to businesses, which in turn will create good paying jobs that will give the young people of Maine to stay in Maine.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
When it comes to whether or not Maine’s abortions laws should be loosened or restricted, I would have to say loosened. However, Maine’s abortion laws are fairly liberal currently and if there was a third choice to leave as is, that would be the chose that I would make at this time.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I will be voting for question one because providing additional home care is better and more cost effective than nursing home care. We must take action regarding this matter as our state population continues to grow older and that calls for more workers to provide home care increases. We need to provide the home care and we need to pay those that provide that care with a living wage.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I do not favor a constitutional amendment that would allow rank-choice voting in the gubernatorial and legislative general election at this time. I believe that we need to give the dust time to settle concerning our current laws on rank choice voting first before we take another step.

House District 107: (Map) Madison (part) and Skowhegan

Betty Austin (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Broadband and education and training

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Rep. Betty Austin, D-Skowhegan, in August 2018.

2. 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?
There are several ways that have been suggested but refused by the Governor

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
To me it means finding ways to help people off incrementally. Job training etc…

4. 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?
Yes. There are multiple ways which will take a lot of work. There is no one answer.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes .. depending on how and where. We need to be less dependent on fossil fuel

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Neither

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
No , but I do think that homecare access needs to be worked on.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Needs to be worked on but I am concerned about doing a constitutional amendment

Anne Amadon (R)

Did not respond.

House District 108: (Map) Fairfield, Mercer and Smithfield

Shelley Rudnicki (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
I believe taxes are the biggest barrier to economic development. Income taxes have been reduced over the last 8 years but we still need more reductions. We also need to work with high schools and our community colleges to train skilled workers and partner with private sector businesses.

2. 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?
There needs to be a permanent funding stream that doesn’t add to taxes or use the rainy day fund.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
I believe in offering a hand up not a hand out. Welfare is suppose to be temporary. Welfare benefits should not be used for alcohol, tobacco, lottery etc. Implementing work search or volunteer requirements for TANF recipients will bring Maine into compliance with federal law.

4. 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?
We should certainly look at the funding stream. We need dedicated funding sources so that we can maintain and improve our roads.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
No, if the industries can not make it in the free market we should not be subsidizing them by raising the electric bills of low income and elderly Mainers.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I don’t believe in public funding of abortion. I am in support of LD 327 which families would be allowed to sue negligent actors (Drunk Drivers) for the death of an unborn viable fetus.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
Against. The referendum question is misleading and bad policy. It taxes Mainers that make over $128,400 both individuals and households. It creates a private board with no government oversight that would control public money. It forces the state to turn over private information of disabled and elderly, without their permission, to lobbying organizations so they can pressure these citizens for control of the board.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
No. One person one vote.

Aaron Rowden (D)

Did not respond.

House District 109: (Map) Waterville (part)

Bruce White (D)

Did not respond

Karen Rancourt-Thomas (R)

Did not respond.

House District 110: (Map) Oakland (part) and Waterville (part)

Colleen Madigan (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
We need invest in keeping young people here and attracting more young workers. We can do that by investing in new technologies and by expanding broadband access, especially in rural areas. New innovative businesses need access to fast internet to grow and compete. We also need to invest in training for the jobs we need now and in the future. Many of our skilled tradespeople are nearing retirement age, plumbers, electricians, etc. We should be working on getting our young people into these jobs

2. 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?
The funds for the administrative start up costs for Medicaid expansion are in the Medicaid budget. We can also use funds from the tobacco settlement fund. Medicaid expansion will bring more jobs in the healthcare sector, thus increasing tax revenue as more people enter the workforce and pay taxes. In addition, more people getting a diagnosis and early treatment for serious illnesses, instead of expensive emergency room care is more cost effective for Maine taxpayers.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
I think “welfare reform” is sometimes used to describe cuts. I am in support of real reforms that help Maine people- taxpayers and recipients alike. I support reforms that move Maine people out of poverty and into the workforce to the jobs we need. We need more plumbers, electricians, etc as many in those fields retire. I am not in support of things called “reform” that make it more difficult for seniors to receive assistance they need or increase children living in poverty or hunger.

4. 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?
Safe and modern roads and bridges are critical for Maine’s economy. Transportation bonds, coupled with federal funds have been a part of funding these. Funding for these infrastructure projects is necessary and provides jobs. I would support looking at other ways to fund infrastructure as long as safety and jobs are not compromised. In addition, I would like to see the federal government honor its commitment to address infrastructure.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes. Renewable energy technologies are the future. We need to invest in these industries of tomorrow. This can attract more young people and innovators to our state. This is an opportunity for us to become leaders in our region.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I think the laws are fine now

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I will be voting yes on Question 1. We need to do something to help our seniors stay in their homes as long as possible. A few weeks ago, I talked to a constituent. Her husband died earlier this year in a nursing home. She could not continue to care for him at home by herself any longer, so he spent his last few months in a nursing home. I realize this is a contentious issue, however we need to do something because we are one of the oldest states in the nation.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I believe we should honor the results of voter referendums. I have not agreed with every voter referendum. Ranked-choice voting won in a state-wide voter referendum. I support an amendment to the state constitution that allows it.

Mark Andre (R)

Did not respond.

House District 111: (Map) Madison (part), Norridgewock and Solon

Philip A. Curtis (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Broadband availability in rural Maine.

2. 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?
It must be paid for without increasing taxes and not on the backs of the hospitals.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
That we as a society meet the needs of the needy and not the wants of the greedy.

4. 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?
Yes, but not increasing the gasoline tax.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes, as long as it includes Hydro-electric development.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Restricted. Encourage Adoption rather than aborting.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I will vote against question 1 as it is another increase in taxation.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
No! It is unconstitutional/ one vote per person.

Katherine Wilder (D)

Did not respond.

House District 112: (Map) Anson, Avon, Carrabassett Valley, Carthage, Kingfield, New Portland, Phillips, Starks, Weld and Sandy River Plantation, plus the unorganized territories of East Central Franklin (including Freeman, Madrid and Salem Townships), and Perkins and Washington Townships

Thomas Skolfield (R) – Incumbent

Did not respond.

Cynthia Soma-Hernandez (D)

Did not respond.

House District 113: (Map) Farmington and New Sharon

H. Landry (D)

Did not respond

Paul Brown (R)

Did not respond.

House District 114: (Map) Chesterville, Industry, New Vineyard, Strong, Temple and Wilton

Maitland Lord Jr. (U)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Taxes and Regulations, common sense and we all know this, is to make the way we conduct business less complicated. Much more can be done with less funding.

2. 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?
The tax payers of Maine are already spending enough money to fund healthcare. Legislators must hold insurance companies, drug companies, and health care providers responsible for better practices.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
This term is used to explain that party line politicians haven’t giving folks a very good path forward. Maine has a lot of abuse in our welfare system. The folks collecting it fraudulently need to be taking off the system with jobs that are more desirable to them. Nobody wakes up in the morning looking for a hand out ,society pushes them in that direction.

4. 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?
Funding our transportation system is not the problem, the bureaucracy of getting the work done is the problem. We need less red tape to getting the projects done. No we do not need to change the way we fund transportation.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
The State needs to make sure anyone that produces electricity ,large or small, business or homeowner recieves compensation for the power they produce. People would have incentive enough then. Common Sense!

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I believe abortion access should be available when needed, although the cost should be approached in two directions. If a physician finds the health of the pregnant individual is in danger or the fetus has serious problems, our medical insurance should pay. If the individual decides not to give birth they should be held financially responsible.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I will vote No. I believe if business practices in the healthcare industries were brought in line, we would already have enough resources to fund the home healthcare. Home health care alone should save tax payer dollars.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
No!. I did consider it a good way of voting, then after seeing it in practice I realized how expensive and cumbersome it will be.

Cherrieann Harrison (D)

Did not respond.

Randall Hall (R)

Did not respond.

House District 115: (Map) Roxbury, Rumford, Sumner and Woodstock, plus the unorganized territory of Milton Township

John Madigan (D) – Incumbent

Did not respond.

Josanne Dolloff (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
As a former school board member, I’ve always believed that increasing vocational and technical training opportunities has to be a priority. While the River Valley will receive an $111 million dollar investment for the mill, the State of Maine has to make it easier for businesses to compete.

2. 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?
Proposals to fund this expansion have to be responsible with taxpayer money… the reason why the Legislature hasn’t approved funding is because no-one has come forward with a sustainable plan.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
Lawmakers have an obligation to make sure that tax dollars are being spent wisely, and going to those who truly need them. Welfare Reform, to me, means ensuring that waste, fraud and abuse are eliminated from the system to be best of our ability.

4. 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?
Not only should we be improving roads and bridges, but there are some great opportunities for the region with rail upgrades as well.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
I think that renewable energy should only be allowed where it is invited. Local control still applies.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I would need to listen to testimony in order to find out more. Sometimes these bills start out with the goal of patient safety in mind, but turn into restrictions.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I’ll be voting NO on ONE. The funds raised won’t go to the truly needy. All four candidates for Governor agree that Question 1 is a bad deal for Maine.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
NO– I have always believed in one person one vote.

House District 116: (Map) Canton, Dixfield, Hartford, Mexico and Peru

Richard Pickett (R) – Incumbent

Did not respond.

Benjamin S McCollister (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Historically, Maine has lagged behind the other New England states because of geography. The internet changes that variable. We have seen the impact of Governor King’s internet trunk line. Southern and Coastal Maine have experienced an economic explosion because of it.
The rest of Maine has been left behind, languishing in the decaying economy of the last century. Republicans have blocked extension of high-speed internet to rural Maine… Passage is the top priority for Maine’s economy.

2. 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?
I wonder at this question, why should there be any doubt? The voters have spoken. The state has its orders. Funding problems are excuses for inaction. Once we accept that we have been required to fund the program, we can settle the partisan bickering and set to solving the matter.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
Reform is twofold. One is to work with recipients to gain the skills to get a sustainable living wage. Two is to bolster enforcement, to ensure that only those in need are getting the help. There will always be those that are disabled or unable hold more than a part time job, that is why we help them, it is our duty to care for our brothers and sisters.

4. 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?
The formula to solve this is not clear to me. Reform is required and must be thoroughly investigated so that we install a sustainable solution. Highways are essential to economic health, this has to be a priority.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Absolutely. Currently the incentives are focused on the affluent, they are not available to the majority of Maine citizens. This must change. The strength of Maine’s ability to be energy independence relies on a grassroots foundation… a broad and granular energy production plan.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Politicians should never come between the personal decisions a woman makes with her doctor.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I am undecided. I approve the aim of the proposal but I do have questions regarding implementation.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
No. Election rules have always been a matter of statue. I see no reason to raise this to a level of constitutional law.

House District 117: (Map) Andover, Bethel, Byron, Eustis, Gilead, Greenwood, Hanover, Lovell (part), Newry, Rangeley, Stoneham, Stow, Upton and Plantations of Coplin, Dallas, Lincoln, Magalloway and Rangeley, plus the unorganized territories of North Franklin, North Oxford, South Oxford (including Albany and Mason Townships), and West Central Franklin

Frances M. Head (R) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
W need to expand workforce development programs as early as high school, create a business-friendly environment with lower taxes and energy costs, and to expand efforts to recruit and retain blue and white collar workers.

2. 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?
Its all about sustainability– can we cover more people at a cost that is responsible to the Maine taxpayer? I haven’t seen anyone come forward with a responsible spending plan, but will certainly keep an open mind.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
When I first came into office, you could purchase lottery tickets, alcohol and tobacco products with EBT benefits. As a member of the Joint Standing Committee on Health and Human Services, we worked across party lines to end this practice and many others which lead to waste, fraud and abuse.

4. 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?
Bonds are up to the people, but the Legislature has an obligation to make sure constituents are fully informed along the way before they support a spending package. Maine’s economy doesn’t work if Mainers can’t get to work, and that is why investing in roads and bridges is a critical priority. Specifically for the Bethel area, we need to look a promoting options for rail as well.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes– I will support commonsense solar policy as long as it doesn’t hurt other ratepayers.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Bills like these usually have to do with regulations which are currently in place for other medical facilities. While I haven’t seen drafted legislation for next session, I would be especially interested in seeing how Maine compares to access in other states.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I’ll join all four candidates for Governor and will be voting no. We can’t afford this proposal, and it will only take resources away from Maine’s most vulnerable.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
No– we should abide by one person one vote.

Stephanie LeBlanc (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Our shrinking working age population and the lack of skilled/qualified workforce are the biggest economic barriers the state faces. We must build human capital, encouraging young talent to stay in Maine. Efforts should focus on building statewide workforce expansion plans that include marginalized community members, expand trade and technical programs, offer state college incentives and establish loan forgiveness programs. Market Maine as a great place to live, work and raise a family!

2. 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?
Maine is leaving $3.1 billion on the table by not expanding Medicaid. Addressing funding concerns must be a bipartisan process, we need work across the aisle to devise a funding plan that is sustainable. To do this, we must review reimbursements rates, reduce “cost shifting”, control unnecessary health care costs and focus on incentives that promote healthy lifestyle and preventative wellness. Mainers voted in favor of Medicaid expansion, it is time to get innovative with a funding solution.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
Effective welfare reform works to reduce the number of able bodied citizens that are dependent upon government assistance and increases incentives to get people back to work. The focus of welfare reform should be to provide support and opportunity to all citizens, promoting self-sufficiency and personal responsibility. All Mainers should be provided opportunity and encouragement to work and contribute within their communities, whether through cooperative work experience and/or volunteerism.

4. 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?
In 2016, Maine received a grade of C- on its infrastructure report card. The maintenance and improvement of Maine’s infrastructure is essential to economic development and public safety. With future generations in mind, we must be strategic and innovative in how we invest in our infrastructure. Infrastructure planning will require good public policy with a diversified funding formula, including state tax, federal funding, user fees, and private investments.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Maine should continue to support clean and renewable energy. It is in the best interest of Maine to reduce carbon emissions and invest in clean power. The cost of renewable energy continues to decline while fossil fuels fluctuate in cost. We must expand energy security and diversity. Of critical importance, is finding the balance between promoting renewable energy and protecting our public lands and wild-life, ensuring we preserve Maine’s quality of place and natural beauty.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Women should have the right to safe, private and legal abortion, with less invasive, non-surgical means of abortion available. The decision regarding abortion is extremely personal, and women should have the right to make this difficult decision without the threat of intimidation and harassment.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I agree that we need to address the needs of our aging population and expand access to aging in place options. It is essential to identify a fiscally sustainable option to fund home care services, but question 1 DOES NOT adequately address such. First, we must address the current workforce crisis that impacts staffing existing home care programs. Second, we need a thorough cost analysis for funding such a program, including drafting public policy for program effectiveness and accountability.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I support ranked choice voting for primary and general elections. Ranked choice voting restores balance in the voting process, allowing majority rule and the broadest spectrum of Maine voters to be represented. Ranked choice voting gives Mainers more choice and more voice. Ideally, ranked choice voting will encourage civility and reduce negative campaigning, because every vote counts.

House District 118: (Map) Athens, Bingham, Caratunk, Cornville, Embden, Harmony, Jackman, Moose River, Moscow, Wellington and Plantations of Brighton, Dennistown, Highland, Kingsbury, Pleasant Ridge, The Forks and West Forks, plus the unorganized territories of Concord, Lexington and Wyman Townships, Northeast Somerset (including Rockwood Strip), Northwest Somerset and Seboomook Lake

Chad Grignon (R) – Incumbent

Did not respond.

John Thiele (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
The lack of Broadband availability statewide. The legislature should see the funding is available to make broadband services available in all Maine communities.

2. 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?
Monies from the Rainy Day Fund AND the current surplus which is over $100,000,000 should be used.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
That term is usually used by the less enlightened members of society to signal a coming attack on the safety net necessary for the most vulnerable.

4. 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?
Yes, and I would favor use of Maine’s progressive income tax in funding transportation.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes the State should encourage the use of renewable energy. My property taxes dropped with the creation of a wind farm in my community.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
They should not be restricted.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I will vote For. Maine already has a population that is older than all other states. We also have a shortage of health care providers in rural Maine. We should start now to address the needs of Maine’s elder population that we know will be with us.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I support. My constituency supports ranked choice voting and so I will support the amendment.

House District 119: (Map) Abbot, Beaver Cove, Bowerbank, Greenville, Guilford, Monson, Parkman, Sangerville, Sebec, Shirley, Willimantic plus the unorganized territories of Blanchard Township, Northeast Piscataquis (including Barnard and Elliottsville Townships) and Northwest Piscataquis

Paul A. Stearns (R) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
The single largest barrier to economic development in rural Maine is the lack of a truly robust broadband network. Broadband should not be confused with high speed internet. Fast, reliable broadband internet connection is no longer a luxury; it is fundamental infrastructure required to live and conduct business. Rural area of the state will require investment, beyond “free market” thinking, in order to grow and flourish.

2. 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?
Funding for Medicaid should go through the routine process of budget development. The Department of Health and Human Services should include the operational expenses in their budget that is presented to the administration just as they do any other required expense. The legislature will then consider this when making final budget appropriations.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
To me, “welfare reform” means directing more funding and services to only those that are unable to fend for themselves. It means that we must require those that are able to work in any possible way to do so. It means that there should be a visible difference between the lifestyle and possessions of those that, by poor choices, are receiving benefits and those that choose to work. (please note: “by poor choices”) – I do not mean those that have circumstances beyond their control.)

4. 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?
Transportation infrastructure is essential to all. Other areas of the state budget, that are less global in their impact, should be trimmed in order to increase general fund revenues for highway improvements. Incrementally increasing annual general fund targets should be developed and adhered to.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
No. Industrial Wind in the interior sections of Maine should be stopped before we lose more of our mountains and viewsheds in order for southern New England to feel good. Carbon emissions as a result of current electricity production in Maine amount to a very small portion of the New England total. Solar is very close to being able to stand on it’s own.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
neither loosened or restricted

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I will be voting “no”, along with nearly every clear thinking voter in Maine. The State Constitution says that the legislature shall never relinquish the power to tax. The chaos caused by tax policy referenda such as this should be obvious, and we must take immediate measures to increase the threshold by which such measures may be passed.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
No. While I remain intrigued by by the concept I do not feel that the “need” for change meets the high bar of changing the constitution. Any change of this magnitude should be fully vetted via the legislative process.

Tyler Adkins (U)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
The lack of universal broadband access in rural Maine means prospects to build businesses, access markets, and work remotely are limited. The legislature must devise and fund a plan to work with the private sector to ensure all Mainers have the ability to connect to the 21st century economy, regardless of where they live.

2. 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?
The legislature has already voted to fund Medicaid expansion with money from the surplus and tobacco settlement funds.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
We need to take a hard look at Maine’s social services programs to ensure that the system promotes positive results, not multigenerational poverty. Most wages don’t pay enough to cover the loss of benefits from getting a job, which is a failure of policymakers to ensure our safety net offers Mainers a real path out of poverty.

4. 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?
Bonding to pay for roads and bridges is also an outdated way of funding transportation, which results from a lack of long term vision and accountability by our elected leaders. We need a real multi year strategic plan that allows us to make smart investments in infrastructure, and budget accordingly.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Renewable energy is the cheapest unsubsidized form of energy on earth, even in Maine. We do not need additional subsidies to promote renewable energy, we need to eliminate subsidies for fossil fuels and unfair policies that prioritize corporate profits of utility companies over the interests of Mainers. When renewable energy is able to compete on a fair playing ground, it will win every time.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I believe in privacy and do not believe it’s the government’s role to tell women what to do with their bodies. Rather than focus on abortion, we should be working together to reduce unwanted pregnancies and improve the adoption system. Every child deserves a loving home and there are many families who would welcome them with open arms.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
Against. I support the aim of the initiative and would support legislation implementing the program. However, I have concerns about the specific funding mechanism and don’t believe we should be funding individual initiatives through referenda.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes. The Maine people have twice voted in support of ranked-choice and the legislature should implement the will of the people.

Jaco Deertrack (G)

Did not respond.

House District 120: (Map) Atkinson, Brownville, Dover-Foxcroft, Medford, Milo and Plantation of Lake View, plus the unorganized territory of Orneville Township

Norman Higgins (U) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
We lack a plan for economic development plan. Currently it is whatever legislation is submitted. We have a mishmash of workforce development initiatives to address employment demands. Our Career and Technical Education System is outdated, underfunded and not forward looking to meet the demands of business and needs of students. However, the lack of support for broadband is number #1 in rural areas and keeps us from developing a new economy.

2. 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?
The dispute between the political parties made it difficult to determine actual additional costs and practical savings. The first thing is to determine actual costs and then identify possble revenue sources. It would make sense to capture revenues from those business who directly benefit from Expansion.
The public expects the legislature and the administration to work together to determine the best mix of resources.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
It means the two political parties continue to battle fail to consider common sense approaches. I spent a quarter of my life in poverty and know first hand what “ there isn’t anything to eat” means. My success in lifetimes made it impssible stands on the foundation of community support, dedicated teachers and a strong family. Many of those we berate lack that support structure. We need to create support structures, incentives and pathways to a success. We need political consensus.

4. 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?
Yes. We have experienced the financial impact of increased fuel efficiency. Our lack of a constructive policy to address the shortage of funding for highway projects, like Route #7, deteriorating bridges, improvements to our rail system forces us to borrow and issue bonds. Responsible bi-partisan discussion can lay out a number of options for consideration. There is not one answer but several ways to resolve this perpetual unresolved issue.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Why? Our current solar project under design in Milo is based on a below wholesale market price. The 70,000 panels will generate electricity that is under contract to the PUC and will be sold only in Maine benefiting ratepayers. Community solar is expanding because of the positive paybacks to communities. Our comprehensive solar ammendment in 2016 would have expanded clean energy, created new tax revenues and enhanced the enviroment. It is time for a comprehensive energy policy in Maine.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I believe this is a personal decision where family, not government, is the decision maker.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
No. As a senior I can understand the need. A survey conducted out of state listed the greatest fear we seniors have as not being taken out of our homes. The need for us in state government and our communities is to address this clear need but the funding mechanism is destructive to our workforce needs and our economy. We need a better financial solution.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes. Our current two party system is in grid lock even in Maine. I also support
Open primaries and sharing power in the Legislature between parties.
The rise of Independents is the result of divisive politics. Currently the system needs an outside catalyst to bring people together.

Richard Evans (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Education is the surest way for Maine to reduce its poverty level and develop and promote future careers that are needed in our changing economic and work environments. Education is what drives our economy, improves the skills of workers, and offers the necessary credentials for our young people to meet the needs required for new job sets.

2. 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?
To say that there are funding concerns that are preventing Medicaid Expansion in Maine is both disingenuous and misleading. During its last session, both houses of the legislature voted to approve funding to extend Medicaid to an estimated 70,000 Maine residents through an agreed upon plan to pay for the state’s share of the costs associated with Medicaid Expansion. Not implementing Medicaid Expansion from the start was purely an ideological decision that has hurt many Maine families.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
Simply put, the term “welfare reform” is a metaphor for the concerted effort to re-define and justify the gutting of and/or the complete elimination of well-established and much needed social programs such as Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security, the sole purpose of which is to continue to ensure payment availability for tax cuts for those who need these cuts the least.

4. 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?
State legislatures will need to prioritize infrastructure projects, weighing their value against other state needs. By expanding Medicaid, Maine would be able to use monies saved at the state level for other priorities. Many states have neglected to invest properly in education, health and quality of life. Some revenue sources such as tolls, fall more heavily on low-income taxpayers. So yes, the way we have been doing business in the past, may not be the best practice going forward.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Absolutely. Aside from its economic impact on job creation, the greatest advantages of renewable energy is that it is renewable. Both solar and wind power are environmentally safe, generating energy that produces no greenhouse gases as with our continued use of fossil fuels. It stands to reason that the use of solar and wind power is a win-win situation, both from public health and economic impacts for our state.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
In 1994, the Maine State Legislature passed The Reproductive Privacy Act which affirmed a woman’s right to end a pregnancy until viability, and beyond that, when a woman’s life or health is endangered by continuing the pregnancy. There can be no question, nor further restrictions that women are not capable of deciding and making the best decision for themselves on all medical decisions, regarding their personal healthcare, including but not limited to their decisions regarding abortion.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
Question 1 raises a very legitimate concern faced by far too many elderly patients. It is obviously not an easy Yes or No question. It is a concept that we should strive to achieve. The end results of this question are certainly results that I strongly support. Given the current wording without clarification as to who will be impacted, be it individual or combined family income as the source of the proposed revenue stream, the question itself could very well result in unintended consequences.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes. Ranked Choice Voting allows for a more democratic system for voters. It allows for the candidates with the best ideas, not the biggest bank accounts, to have a chance to participate in our political process. Voters will no longer have to vote for the “lesser of two evils” when there is another candidate that one likes better.

House District 121: (Map) Alton, Corinth, Hudson and Milford, plus the unorganized territory of Argyle Township

Bonnie Lee Young (U)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Regulations are the barrier for economic growth. Example: Hemp is good for the farmers, good for the environment and would put our mills back in production. Maine.gov states “As industrial hemp seed certified by AOSCA or other official seed certification programs becomes more available, the department will review and revise our policies and issue stricter guidelines for acceptable documentation of seed certification.” Regulations should be limited to safety and environmental issues.

2. 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?
The goal of expansion was to provide medical care for people who currently don’t have insurance. Previous expansions have proven unsustainable. The federal government changes the amount they will fund the state. People in my district have suggestions on how to meet the overall goal. Some suggestions include; sliding scale clinics, mobile clinics, and visiting nurses. Whatever we do, it must be sustainable.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
It means changing the way we assist people. I would end corporations and political welfare (subsidies, incentives, clean money) and would like a true hand up in personal assistance. Example: if someone works a few extra hours, that added pay puts them over the assistance level and costs them all of their assistance. What if we reformed it to for every $3 over, we reduce your assistance by $1. Then the working person actually gets ahead and works their way out of the need for assistance.

4. 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?
I do not currently have enough information about the process to have a plan to address our infrastructure. I would like to find a way that does not include raising taxes, tolls, or penalizing people who drive hybrids. We need to think ‘outside of the box’ maybe with limited billboards, funds from them could pay for the roads/bridges? Could unfunded mandates monies be used? LUPC’s adjacency revision is going to add more roads and bridges until we know the funding for those it should be stopped.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
I am in favor of renewable energy, but against incentives (welfare) to corporations. If it’s profitable the free market will do it. If the taxpayer pays to put windmills or solar farms in Maine, then the power from those should come to the Maine people. If the companies pay for it themselves, then it’s up to the local people if they wish for their zoning to allow said farms in their area.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
It’s the wrong question. The question should be “why there are so many unwanted pregnancies?” We need to address that question. Abortion should not be viewed as birth control. As a foster/adoptive parent, I’d like the birth parent honored rather than stigmatize for giving a child up for adoption. I don’t believe taxpayer funds should be used to pay for abortions; as of May 1, 2018 public funding for abortion is only available in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I am against any tax increases. I am against the majority forcing the minority to pay for something the majority is not willing to pay for. For those two reasons, I will be voting against Question 1. If a family member is caring for their relative, keeping them at home rather than a facility, I can see providing them with Medicaid.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
The people of Maine voted for RCV – twice. The people of Maine want this. Being a Libertarian (running as unenrolled) the state has made it very hard for a 3rd party to be recognized, maintain status, and run for office. 3rd parties are at a large disadvantage and the people of Maine saw this and brought in RCV to level the playing field. RCV allow people to vote for whom they want rather than against whom they don’t. Yes, I’d vote for the amendment.

Gary Drinkwater (R)

Did not respond.

Terri Casavant (D)

Did not respond.

House District 122: (Map) Old Town and Penobscot Indian Island, plus the following blocks in the Penobscot River: Block 1015 and Block 1045 of Tract 026500 and Block 1058 of Tract 031000

Michelle Dunphy (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Maine’s connection to the world is our greatest challenge. In a global economy, it shouldn’t matter if a farmer or small business is centered in Old Town or in Shanghai–but it does, because we lack sufficient broadband and transportation infrastructure in order to bring that economy to our doorsteps. We need access to convenient transit (I sponsored legislation to bring passenger rail to Bangor my first term, and I still think that’s a bold solution worth entertaining) and high-speed internet.

2. 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?
Maine voters have spoken and voted Medicaid expansion into law and I believe wholeheartedly it should be 100% funded. Starting with leadership from the Executive branch and with a co-operative effort with the Legislature. I believe a new Governor who isn’t hostile to health care for our most vulnerable populations will bring a fresh start.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
We want accountability in any program that uses tax dollars to lift people up. But the many restrictions that have been proposed and instituted have made access to vital programs for the very people that need them the most, a challenge. To me, it has meant at times like a shaming of the poor.

4. 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?
Yes. The Highway Fund, when established, made a great deal of sense, but the dedicated funding mechanism has not kept up with the needs in a large, rural state like Maine. We need to identify resources to upgrade and support our transportation network that don’t rely on dwindling dedicated resources. I am not in favor of more toll roads, as has been adopted in other states.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Absolutely. Our energy costs are among the highest in the region–a source of frustration, given that we generate far more electricity than we use. In that climate, our electrical rates are held at an artificially higher rate to balance out the needs and pocketbooks of other users in the region. For the homeowner, home-based solar panels can save a ton of money. My own family has done this with immediate benefit.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I don’t think there’s any denying that any woman’s need for an abortion is a heartbreaking event; but how that decision is made should remain solely within the of the woman. I am fully supportive of a woman’s right to determine her choice for an abortion.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I support the goals of the Home Care initiative, but I do wonder at the future costs and lack of means testing to access the program (many citizens have the financial resources to obtain such services on their own) in the face of so many other pressing needs we are facing.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
The use of ranked-choice voting was successful in the June primary, thanks to the hard work of our election officials. Many people I have spoken with were very impressed with the system and gratified to be able to use it. I believe that if we are going to use ranked-choice voting, that we should offer the voters to expand its use through amending the Constitution.

Delaina Toothman (R)

Did not respond.

House District 123: (Map) Orono (part)

Ryan Tipping (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
The biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and our country is the obscene wealth gap. We know economic policies that lift up working- and middle-class families create more local investment and spur job growth. We need to build a fair tax system and fully support changes like the current increase in the minimum wage. We must focus on policies that lift up working class Mainers, not blindly pursue more giveaways to wealthy families and out-of-state corporations.

2. 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?
This question is built on a false premise. It is downright criminal that the Governor has not yet implemented this law. The legislature sent a funding package to his desk that he vetoed. Now he and his allies are trying to muddy the water while people are literally dying for lack of health care. We can and will provide funding again in the next biennial budget.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
On this topic, my focus in Augusta has been on the millions of dollars of corporate welfare that our state loses every year. During my time as House Chair of the Taxation Committee, we have worked across the aisle to implement the tax expenditure review process and include taxpayer safety measures in our corporate tax reforms. We must force companies who benefit from tax breaks to agree to stringent reporting and verifiable job creation, or else they should return the money.

4. 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?
Yes, we must revisit the way we fund infrastructure. Some of the LePage-era reforms caused even deeper cuts to our transportation fund. We should re-evaluate what is working, what isn’t, and what successful states are doing to meet this challenge. We must also make investments to grow broadband access across the state. Rural Maine can thrive again, and it is Augusta’s job to make sure we have the infrastructure to support that growth.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Absolutely. The evidence to support man-made climate change is clear. We must do everything in our power to address our contribution to carbon pollution and part of that is to support sustainable power generation. Encouraging solar power also leads to increased economic development right here in Maine by supporting local installers and citizens who want to build their own energy independence.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I have not put in any bills to weaken or strengthen Maine women’s abortion rights. I think abortion should be safe and accessible to those in need of it. I am very much against politicians getting in the middle of a discussion between a woman and her doctor.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I will vote in favor of Question 1. It closes a tax loophole enjoyed by the wealthiest individuals (those with personal income over $128,400 a year) and will provide care that our state desperately needs while creating good home care jobs in rural Maine. We are facing a looming demographic crisis that we must confront with legislation like this ballot measure. We cannot ignore the thousands of Maine seniors who will be forced from their homes if we fail to act.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes. I voted for this before and I will vote for it again. The people spoke in favor of this reform using the referendum process. We should give them a chance to vote on it again by sending out a constitutional amendment to expand it to general elections for governor and the legislature. Voters should have the final word.

Derek Andrew Jones (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Many of our young people leave the state to pursue opportunities elsewhere. This creates a skills gap at all levels that harms Mainers and Maine businesses. We need to invest in our community colleges and professional programs in the University of Maine System to train Maine’s future workers and to provide incentives designed to keep them in the state. Finally, reducing our tax burden is crucial to making Maine more attractive to workers and to businesses.

2. 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?
The Medicaid expansion bill was passed via referendum without a funding source attached to it. If it had gone through the Legislature, the Appropriations Committee could have weighed it against the other priorities in the budget we would not have the problem we have now. That said, we need to find a long-term sustainable funding source without raising taxes or using the rainy day fund.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
Protecting and supporting people in need is a cornerstone of any civilized society. That said, these protections and supports need to be goal oriented. We need to focus on getting people back to work if possible. Bills to add work search requirements, limit spending of assistance funds to necessities, restrict the use of assistance funds out of state, and the like would help get people back to work and ultimately save the state money.

4. 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?
Ultimately, taxes pay to maintain our infrastructure. A tax based on fuel consumption is fair because the more one uses the road, the more one pays in taxes. However, this is less and less effective as gas mileage increases. People travel the same distances causing the same wear and tear but fewer funds are collected. If the state has to use borrowed funds, which bear interest, to bridge this gap, that increases costs to all tax payers. Thus, we need to find another way to tax miles driven.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes. Maine does not have any fossil fuels. We do have renewable energy sources. Our universities and other organisations are doing a great job developing such technology. That work should continue. If we can invest in and develop those to be more efficient and cost effective, that will ultimately benefit Maine in the future by keeping dollars in Maine. However, we also must be careful not to increase energy costs such as to burden Mainers or Maine businesses.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Roe v. Wade is the law of the land and took much of the abortion debate outside the purview of the state legislatures. Current Maine law attempts to strike a reasonable balance between conforming to the requirements of Roe v. Wade while also protecting the fights of the unborn and the health of women.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
Against. Maine’s tax burden is already too high and we already have difficulty keeping professionals and business owners here. Raising taxes on them would only make that problem worse.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I think the current process works. I think the money that would be spent changing it would be better used elsewhere.

House District 124: (Map) Bangor (part) and Orono (part)

Aaron M. Frey (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Increasing access to broadband for both individuals and businesses would significantly increase economic development opportunities in Maine. In the same way that the railroads in 1800’s and the interstate highway system in the 1900’s transformed the economy, broadband would allow Maine citizens and businesses to access education, goods, and services (as consumers and providers) that are driving today’s economy.

2. 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?
It was estimated by Maine’s nonpartisan budget office that there is enough money already appropriated to pay for Medicaid expansion through mid-May 2019, which is most of the fiscal year that ends June 30, 2019. The remainder may easily be covered by the significant surplus in revenues that Maine is receiving over budget projections. After that, Medicaid costs would be dealt with like any other program through the budget process. I do not expect new taxes or fees would be necessary.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
It is important that Maine maintain a safety net for citizens that ensures that available resources for social service programming are prioritized to help Mainers deal with emergencies or economic crises. Public dollars used to support the safety net should be used for the purpose of getting Mainers back on their feet. Reform efforts should be addressed to ensure providers are providing services for which they are billing and to ensure consumers use resources to regain independence.

4. 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?
The state should assess the appropriateness of funding transportation infrastructure in different ways. The assessment should include a look at the merits of a direct General Fund appropriation, the reasonableness of the present state gas tax, and the merits of moving to a tax on miles driven instead of fuel consumed. Additionally, if the state returned to full revenue sharing for municipalities, local transportation infrastructure would benefit.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Human consumption is causing climate change, particularly when it comes to our need for energy. The change in climate is leading to erosion of Maine’s shoreline, detrimental impacts on Maine’s economy (warming oceans and ocean acidification), and more severe weather patterns. I support incentivizing renewable energy sources, in particular solar, as one way to address climate change.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I believe that a woman has the right to choose what is best for her, her body, and her family. I believe Maine law is presently sufficient to protect this individual right and I do not think any changes are necessary at this time.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I may vote for Question 1. In-home care is critical to allowing seniors to age in place and individuals with disabilities living independently. Furthermore, in-home care professionals need to be adequately compensated. At the same time, this priority setting is best done through a state budget process, and not the citizen initiative process. Single-issue referendum do not balance competing priorities and may unfairly benefit or disadvantage citizens.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Ranked-choice voting was passed into law and a constitutional amendment is needed for the law to take full effect. I voted in favor of a ranked-choice constitutional amendment as a legislator in this past session and, if re-elected, I would vote in favor of a ranked-choice constitutional amendment, again.

Daniel LaPointe (R)

Did not respond.

House District 125: (Map) Bangor (part)

Victoria Kornfield (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
We must concentrate on workforce development. The Community College System is particularly poised to fill this need by developing courses and training in the most needed sectors. Also, we must invest in innovation and startups because this is where the future jobs will be found. However, without investment in high speed internet we continue to limit citizens’ ability to work remotely from here.

2. 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?
We have seen better than expected revenues in the state. Right now the Appropriations Committee predicts there is enough money to expand Medicaid for the next two years. Janet Mills says we could use the money in the Fund for Healthy Maine. There is money to get it started then we have time to make it sustainable.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
The most common person on welfare is a single mother with children, and the average length of time a person is on welfare is between 2 and 3 years. The welfare system is designed to give these people help to get back on their feet. To me reform means to also help with education and job training and to provide childcare costs while the training is going on. Then the person will be able to start or resume a productive life.

4. 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?
This is a great opportunity for research and development. For example, the Advanced Structures and Composites Center at the University of Maine is working on developing new materials to cover our roads and build our bridges. The environment here is rough on our infrastructure, and the replacement costs are very high, which is why I am hopeful that engineers like those at the innovative Composites Center will come up with more long lasting materials that would save us money in the long run.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Of course we should encourage the use of renewable energy. It is obvious from a conservation, economic and global perspective. We cannot maintain our current reliance on fossil fuels.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I am a pro choice candidate and think that we should get the politics out of choices women make about their own bodies. We can not know the complexity of their decisions or the intricacies of their lives.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I probably will vote for Question 1, but I am not in favor of single issue initiatives. Should home-care services for the elderly and the disabled be funded? Yes, it should but so should supporting schools at 55%. If we deem these are worthy causes, then we should all pay our fair share to fund them, including the very rich who too often hide behind loopholes or tax dodges unavailable to the rest of us.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I am for ranked choice voting, as it can prevent a candidate who receives only a minority of votes from winning an election.

Cody Blackburn (L)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Over taxation and over regulation

2. 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?
Expansion should not go forward without fiscally responsible and sustainable funding, not from temporary budget surpluses or tobacco settlement money

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
Reworking the system to teach people how to fish instead of offering them something for nothing at the expense of Maine taxpayers

4. 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?
Yes, the state should revisit funding sources. Auditing state agencies for waste or shifting taxation away from income to more broad-based sales taxes to lessen the burden would be a good start

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Lowering taxes on businesses across the board would go a long way to incentivising such industries, it is not the state’s job to pick winners and losers in any industry

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
The abortion laws in Maine are sufficient as they stand

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I will be voting against Question 1 as it is not sustainably funded for the long-term and will place an unneeded burden on Maine taxpayers

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I support ranked-choice voting because it levels the playing field for both Independent and 3rd party candidates by dispelling the “spoiler” myth. Competition is a good thing

Gary Capeheart (R)

Did not respond.

House District 126: (Map) Bangor (part)

John C. Schneck (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Maine’s future depends on replacing our aging workforce by incentivizing individuals to remain in and return to our state. Our top priority should be making Maine more attractive to workers of all stripes and young people who have left the state. This can be accomplished through programs for student debt relief and targeted tax credits as well as by generating higher paying quality jobs. As a state, we need to invest in education and infrastructure, including access to expanded broadband.

2. 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?
Voters approved the expansion of Medicaid in 2017 that would extend healthcare to 80,000 low-income Mainers. This expansion has been stalled by the unwillingness of the Governor to follow the law and by refusal of a group of House Republicans to consider any solution other than repealing the will of the voters. Viable funding plans that include a mix of surplus funding and tobacco settlement money have been proposed and vetoed. It’s long past time to move this forward.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
Safety net programs are as important as ever. They help put food on the table for hungry children. They provide working families with critical services such as healthcare for their children as well as supports including affordable child care and education and job training services. Recent changes to public assistance have meant more children living in poverty and going to bed hungry. Many thousands of Mainers have lost food assistance causing a sharp rise in food insecurity. We must do better.

4. 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?
Maine’s reliance on annual borrowing, as part of its plan to maintain roads and bridges, is a necessary evil. However, our transportation system is in dire need of much greater investment. A comprehensive approach is required to greatly reduce borrowing, this entails putting road usage and indexing fuel taxes back on the table. A new approach should offer tax credits to rural workers who travel substantial distances to get to their jobs in order to offset any increases in fuel tax.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Maine should expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies. Nearly all of the world’s climate scientists agree that it’s long past time for a collective effort to combat global warming. I think we can all agree that increasing support of renewable energy brings with it opportunities for new technologies and more high quality state-of-the-art jobs. Solar and wind technologies are available to us now and should be pursued with benefits to the environment and economic development.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
In my opinion the decision as to whether or not to terminate a pregnancy is one of the most intimate and personal decisions an individual can make. Our Constitution tells us that we have a right to privacy. In light of this, I support every woman’s right and I find fault in those states that have imposed regulations which solely limit access to safe and legal procedures including overall women’s healthcare opportunities.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
As much as I am in favor of the Universal Home Care Program outlined in Question 1 on the November 6th ballot, I believe that a more comprehensive funding approach is necessary. For all its good intentions, I believe a legislative solution should be sought.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
The voters have spoken more than once telling us that they want Ranked Choice Voting opportunities for Maine. My record shows that I have supported the will of the voters 100% of the time. RCV for gubernatorial and legislative races requires a constitutional amendment requiring a 2/3rds majority in the Legislature to be sent to the voters for approval. We have not been able to attain that. We trust our voters to vote for us, shouldn’t we trust them to do the right thing for RCV?

Joshua Hiatt (R)

Did not respond.

House District 127: (Map) Bangor (part)

Barbara A. Cardone (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
There are several barriers: lack of statewide broadband coverage, deteriorating roads and bridges, and lack of access to the programs provided in our technical colleges to maintain a skilled workforce are a few. The Legislature needs to provide funding for universal broadband coverage, reparation and upkeep of our infrastructure, and low interest student loans and financial aid for those who want to pursue degrees at out technical colleges.

2. 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?
MaineCare expansion is not in place because of the stonewalling by the LePage Administration, not because of the Legislature’s failure to fund it. The Legislature passed bills funding the claims process and the workers needed for the expansion; they were vetoed by Paul LePage. Like all State activities paid for from the general fund, our next state budget should include these funds for all aspects of the MaineCare expansion program to be implemented.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
To me, “welfare reform” means improving our system so that we have an accountable, effective, and efficient delivery of services to those in need of assistance. No service delivery system is perfect, but we can improve by studying the inefficiencies in the system and try to improve upon them.

4. 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?
The fuel tax is not as reliable as it once was as a gauge for the users and beneficiaries of our transportation system. Before we look at alternative funding sources, we need to have a better understanding of who benefits, directly and indirectly, from our system. Only with this information can we match the true beneficiaries of the system with an appropriate revenue source to fund the system.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes. Not only are these energy sources renewable and environmentally healthier than fossil fuels, but Maine has the capacity to produce them within the state (including off shore locations) and to be an exporter of these energies. Development of these technologies would be a boost to the entire state economy. If we can bring the initial costs for this development down, all Maine citizens stand to benefit in the future from cleaner energy and a profitable state industry.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I do not believe that there needs to be any change in Maine’s abortion access laws at this time. The situation may need reconsideration if constitutional protections are rolled back at the federal level.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
Question 1 presents a difficult issue for Maine voters. I believe the State should be doing more to assure that seniors remain at home as long as it is in their best interest to do so, both because of the humanity of this approach and because it is likely the most cost-effective way to deliver the necessary services. On the other hand, a dedicated tax limits the ability of the Legislature to allocate and appropriate the necessary program funding from available sources of revenue.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes. I believe that result of the referendum vote should be respected, and the only way to comply with result is to put out a constitutional amendment to the voters.

Carrie Mae Smith (U)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Taxes. We have the third highest tax burden in the U.S. Our out of control referendum process is being taken advantage of by out of state special interest groups funding their ideology with massive tax increases on the citizens of Maine and Maine businesses. The legislature can address our economic barriers by lowering taxes and reforming our citizen initiative process and giving the power back to the Maine voters.

2. 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?
Maine voters approved Medicaid expansion through our citizen initiative process. This was passed with no long term funding plan. As a single mom I personally used Medicaid for myself and daughter. I understand the importance but I also understand the tax burden we already face in Maine. The funding concerns should have been worked out before this question was on the ballot. We should not raise taxes. This leaves us with the choice of what programs to cut so that we can fund this one.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
The term “welfare reform” means a few different things to me. As a single mom at age 18 I was on welfare, I needed that helping hand to get me on my feet. I think we need the reform that keeps folks honest. This money should only temporarily fund your needs. I do also think that we need reform so that when a welfare recipient gets a job and is trying to better themselves their benefits do not immediately go away. A small grace period would set someone up for a better chance to succeed.

4. 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?
We can all agree that in Maine we pay a lot in excise tax, defined by the State is “a tax levied annually for the privilege of operating a motor vehicle or camper trailer on the public ways.” I would first like to see how much the cities/state take in from excise tax and if that amount could provide enough funds to fix the roads we are privileged to drive upon. We live in a state with a climate that is hard on our infrastructure, this is definitely an area that needs appropriate funding.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
I would support expanding incentives if the renewable energy was helping our state. Currently most of our renewable energy resources are going to Canada and Massachusetts. We need the help with energy costs here in Maine.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
The law is the law and I will support it. I hope life is always the choice, I chose life at 18 and my daughter is now a nurse in Portland getting married next year. I also volunteer at a homeless shelter for pregnant women and miracles are happening there every day.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
Against. This is again one of those citizen initiative questions funded by out of state big money special interest groups. This is not about what is best for Maine citizens and to fund this would create a huge tax increase on our local businesses and Mainers. All 4 candidates for governor also say no.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
No. One person one vote. This is another citizen initiative question pushed by out of state interests. They are pushing for this constitutional amendment on ranked choice voting and they are the same people that oppose a constitutional amendment that would allow an equal number of signatures from the First and Second Congressional Districts to get a question on the ballot. We should focus our efforts on fixing Maine’s broken referendum process, not our electoral process that works as it should.

House District 128: (Map) Brewer (part)

Garrel Robert Craig (R) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Taxes and regulations – recently we have seen proof how these variables have been cut and it promotes economic development nationally and state wide. Skilled workforce – Tech schools and Community College programs offer fantastic opportunity for people to fill staple economic positions. Outside mandates – These are imposed on the business community that drive up the cost of goods sold without increasing production or efficiency. Survey shows economic development is a priority for Brewer.

2. 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?
Maine people have been taken advantage of again. This is another example of trying to legislate by the referendum process. To put a “law” into place with no sustainable funding mechanism is reckless to say the least. Not to mention, wrongfully putting these abled bodied people in front of Maine’s disabled and elderly. The funding should be addressed in the Appropriations Committee process like any other bill. Only about 2,000 people in Brewer voted and it was a virtual tie.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
Compliance with federal law in relation to creating work search and volunteer requirements. In state only use of EBT cards (unless and outstanding situation – case by case). Prohibit TANF funds for being used on alcohol, tobacco, tattoos, bail, lottery…Welfare reform was the 2nd biggest topic to Brewer voters last cycle.

4. 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?
Yes. I think we should revisit funding or perhaps there are ways to redirect funding. Can we learn from other states? Can we lower our interest expense? Can we self-finance some projects? Bonds cost extra because of interest and may not be the best use of funds. I am not a fan of Janet Mills idea to track people’s milage on cars and trucks as that may create and unintended consequences on businesses, trucking and other things.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
I don’t support taxpayers or utility rate payers (consumers) subsidizing costs for somebody else. If I want a solar panel, then I should pay for it out of my own pocket, not my neighbor. I’m reaping the benefits of it, not my neighbor. The retired lady next door on a fixed income is not responsible for my solar panel.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
This topic is personal for me as I am adopted and glad I was not aborted. I am for human rights regardless of age or ability to communicate.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
NO on Question 1. Survey shows Brewer wants to eliminate or at least lower income tax. This will create the highest income tax in the country. Constitutionally questionable because of tax. NO financial requirements so Maine taxpayers may be paying even for somebody wealthier than you. No residence requirements so when they can visit for the summer and you pay for this. Third party entity that will have $15 million to spend with no accountability. Both sides of the isle are against this.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
NO. Brewer voted this down. One person one vote. This simple process has been effective for our Constitutional Representative Republic years before any of us were born. Now, all of a sudden we have a new and improved way of voting? NO. This is like Common Core Math in our education system. So simple Secretary of State made videos and cartoons to explain it. No additional funding. Ooops, AFTER the election they notified the legislature they spent an additional $330,000. Bad deal for tax payers

Arthur C. Verow (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Inability to attract and retain qualified workers. Need to fund job training and vocational education.

2. 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?
Needs to be done. Legislature must come together on funding.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
Need to provide assistance to those in need. Also, important to monitor program to prevent fraud. Nobody likes a cheater.

4. 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?
Should look at what other states are doing to address funding. Large trucks should pay more. Also, look at a user fee system.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Investments should be geared to supporting programs that give the best bang for the buck.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Review all proposals to expand or restrict.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
Opposed. Funding formula is problematic. Legislature should come up with better proposal.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Voters must decide on this.

House District 129: (Map) Brewer (part), Clifton, Eddington, Holden and Veazie

Peter Lyford (R) – Incumbent

Did not respond.

Tammy Perry (D)

Did not respond.

House District 130: (Map) Bucksport and Orrington

Richard H. Campbell (R) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
High cost of energy, high taxes and an increasingly high demand for a skilled and dedicated work force.
Encourage ALL forms of energy production, lower income taxes and create good paying jobs to keep and repatriate our youth to Maine.

2. 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?
The Legislature should fund it but dedicate itself to finding resources to maintain ALL its promises past, present and future when Federal finds run out without raising taxes.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
Eliminate the fraud and abuse, provide a welfare to work incentive and maintain a system for those who need it but not for those who abuse it.

4. 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

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
NO
If the product can’t sustain itself in the marketplace we shouldn’t subsidize it.
Government shouldn’t pick winners and losers.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Restricted.
Life begins at conception.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
Against.
It’s a scam!

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Absolutely NOT
It’s extremely confusing to voters and just another way to munipulate outcome.

House District 131: (Map) Dedham, Orland, Otis, Penobscot, Prospect, Stockton Springs and Verona Island

Nathalie Arruda (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
It’s hard to narrow down to one specific issue. Lack of good quality jobs is a huge issue, and that’s tied in with our rapidly aging workforce and the outpouring of young people leaving the state. One immediate action should be to support the development of more trade schools and certification programs for jobs available right here in Maine. We should also work to expand broadband connections into rural communities, so those towns can access resources in business, education, and healthcare.

2. 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?
The most important part in this solution is to elect representatives that can prioritize this and work towards making it happen. It’s critical that we accept the federal funds for expansion, and for the state’s share set the appropriation of these funds as a priority. This requires strong and courageous leadership and the ability as an administration to work together toward the will of the people, who have spoken loudly and clearly on this issue.

3. 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 derogatory term used to “otherize” people in already difficult situations. There is not actually a program called Welfare, but there are programs to help people who qualify for help with healthcare, food, heating oil, childcare, and so on. The problem with “welfare reform” is that these programs guidelines have been rearranged so that fewer people qualify. Cuts to these programs and fewer people using them are not a true reflection of the number of people living in poverty in Maine.

4. 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?
Maine has a backlog of roadwork and bridgework, and the harsh winters make it hard to keep up. I also believe that broadband internet should be included in plans for infrastructure, since getting online is critical in this day and age when it comes to keeping up, with education, business, and medicine. It’s always a good idea to fund outright rather than borrow, and I would support an examination into whether there’s a way that makes more sense to fund our critical infrastructure.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes, I think it’s important to make these technologies accessible to people, businesses, and communities. Further development of renewable energy generation moves us toward Maine’s goal of reducing petroleum usage. Solar companies are make clean and independent energy available in a state with harsh weather and frequent power outages, and they attract young workers to our area – this is a good move for our economy and our environment.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I think it’s important for women to always have the full right to make independent decisions about our own healthcare, and to have access to the facilities needed to access that care. I recently read about a proposal to have nurse practitioners authorized to provide abortion services. If this is something that makes sense to the NPs and they feel ready and willing to do, then it makes sense to me. I think all forms of healthcare, including abortion services, should be more widely available.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I’m still actively researching and haven’t fully made up my mind. I’m leaning towards voting yes but I still have some concerns. This is one I’ve been asking a lot of voters about, interested to hear people’s thoughts. I feel strongly that we need to fix our healthcare system, first by expanding Medicaid and then continuing to develop a healthcare system where all Mainers have access to high quality care, and that would help with many of the problems in our system of elder care.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes. Ranked choice voting is a process that makes sense, has been shown to work effectively, and can help shape a more efficient and truly representative system by making way for a more accurate consensus among the voters.

Sherman Hutchins (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Keeping an eye on over regulation and taxes and energy costs, will encourage stable growth and increased employment. The idea is to encourage free enterprise with the freedom to let people follow their dreams. These businesses will continue to make Maine better and stronger for all

2. 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?
I know Sen. Kim Rosen has a proposal to dedicate funds from alcohol and marijuana sales. I think that type of thing might be the way to do it and you’ve got to have a money stream that is going to be something that is going to be predictable. I think we’ve got to get there because the people of Maine want it, but you can’t just do it if you don’t have the funding.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
That’s a good question because it’s something people say when they’re trying to find a better way to fund welfare programs, but they don’t have a good answer for it. I think I agree quite a lot with what the governor has said, but it depends on who you’re talking with as to what they mean by reform.

4. 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?
Yes, I think they should. I think a lot of time, what happens in the Legislature is we fund the feel-good things and then put out for referendum the things we actually have to do, which is backwards. What we should probably do is fund the mainstay items and if there isn’t enough for some of the feel-good legislation, that’s when you might do the referendum on those.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
They have reached the point where they need to stand on their own as much as possible. Wind power is the one in my way of thinking that has the least chance of being successful in the long run and I think solar power because you know the sun is going to shine and it doesn’t wear something out at the same speed that wind power does.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I think we’re going to get fewer and fewer abortions not because of laws and regulations but because of technology and a better understanding of what the young person is going through. I don’t see it as one with an easy solution on the legislative side of things.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
That is easily the worst of all of the trying to drive people away from the state who have combined incomes over $128,000 and it isn’t just that part of it. There are so many holes in the piece of legislation that are so poorly thought out. Being run by a 15-member board that has no accountability to government alone should defeat it because that’s an extremely poor idea.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
No. If we want to have people elected by majority, there’s a simple way to do it and that would be runoff elections. That’s something that is understandable and if people wanted to do that, I could understand that. But ranked-choice voting is so confusing.

House District 132: (Map) Ellsworth and Trenton

Mark S. Remick (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Healthcare and opportunities for career advancement can be addressed with an atmosphere of strong business development. The Legislature can be involved through tax relief measures and through an aggressive approach to resolve issues in Healthcare access and in cost.

2. 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?
Finding the money and making regulatory changes that would make it more reasonable for service providers to work with the system. One area to be explored is in how can MaineCare and Medicare can work cooperatively, to reduce duplication of effort and expenses for processing and administration.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
To better prepare people to move up and out of the system, to enhance and develop services and educational opportunities in ways that encourage people not penalize them through a transitional time in their lives.

4. 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?
Infrastructure maintenance and development should be a regular part of the budgeting process.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
In a business development model, where effort and innovation are encouraged there is a balance between new endeavors and existing business that must be respected. Careful not to favor something different over people and business who are contributing to life in Maine.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
NO.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
Yes, There must be a better developed plan.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Not at this time. I think we are still a society of one person -one vote. and unless we learn from experience that this experiment better reflects the will of the people than the system as we have had. I do not support this change.

Nicole Grohoski (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Maine has been diversifying its economy, and Ellsworth is a shining example, from the expansion of the Jackson Lab to the revitalization of our downtown. In many places, housing costs hinder businesses’ ability to attract and retain a workforce. Homeowners and renters feel the burden of high property taxes and energy costs. The legislature must fully-fund local schools and reinstate municipal revenue sharing as mandated to offset housing costs, as well as invest in infrastructure like broadband.

2. 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?
Medicaid expansion is a top priority for me, as mandated by voters. The legislature must sustainably fund this law, while keeping a balanced budget. One option is to use tobacco settlement money, others involve rebalancing taxes. We must comb through the budget for surplus. If 70,000 more Mainers get healthcare, we will likely see an increase in good-paying jobs and improvement of the financial well-being of our hospitals, further bolstering our tax base and strengthening our communities.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
I believe in welfare as it was originally intended, short-term assistance at a transitional point in a person’s life. The state must do more to help individuals who have fallen on hard times get back on their feet. I do not agree with abruptly cutting people from social services, without providing a transition to success in our economy. With targeted job training, childcare subsidies, and livable wages, more people would find it economically viable to work in our communities.

4. 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?
Yes, always. Just like any savvy homeowner or vehicle owner should always be looking for refinancing, we have to keep our eyes open for the smartest ways to leverage and invest our money. I know the state surplus has allowed Maine to obtain better interest rates for lending; we need to determine how we can use our position to the greatest advantage.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes, while being mindful of the economic and environmental impact. In the long-term, renewable energy generation will put money in the pockets of small-business owners and homeowners and give Maine a competitive advantage. Maine can set an example and invest in measures to preserve and protect our environment for future generations. We must also consider our energy use and invest in weatherization to make our homes and businesses more efficient, affordable, and comfortable in the winter months.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I believe in a woman’s right to make all health care decisions with her healthcare provider. Women should have access to the family planning and health care resources necessary in order to make safe and informed decisions.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I support home-care, which is often less expensive than a healthcare facility. However, I am concerned with the oversight and funding in Question 1. Unlike many initiatives, I am not sure this was considered at the legislative level. The goals of this initiative might be better crafted into a viable, affordable in-home care program through the legislative – rather than the initiative – process. We must also help the elderly with transportation and social options, so that they are not isolated.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes – the government must support a constitutional amendment for ranked-choice voting to fully implement the substance of the law that Mainers have supported at the ballot box twice. RCV ensures that our leaders are elected by majority rule, which is the foundation of democracy. Many recent referendum questions, RCV included, were the result of years of legislative inaction. A functional legislature passing laws desired by the people would reduce the need for so many referendum questions.

House District 133: (Map) Blue Hill, Brooklin, Brooksville, Castine, Sedgwick and Surry

Nancy Colwell (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Higher taxes and finding a skilled workers. We need to invest in our community colleges. This District particularly needs plumbers, heating techs, and electricians. Those fields all offer good paying jobs with benefits. Whether you are working for Plumbing & Heating company, a Contractor or one of the many boat yards in the area.

2. 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?
This was passed without a funding source attached to it. This is where our referendum process causes problems for all taxpayers in this state. If this had been passed through the legislature it would have gone to the Appropriations Committee where funding would have been prioritized along with and against other State needs. The Medicaid expansion provides healthcare to able bodied Mainers with no children and they are being skipped ahead of the line in front of our disabled and elderly.

3. 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 reform means getting people off the system so they can be self sufficient. It is meant to be a hand up not a hand out.

4. 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?
It never hurts to review to see if things can be done differently as long as the different is a better idea. We also have to make sure that the gas tax and other funding for transportation/infrastructure is being used for that purpose.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
No. The people who can least afford alternative energy are the ones who pay for the incentives in the electric bills they already struggle to pay. From what I have seen the largest percentage of people who are using alternative energy are the same people who could afford it without an incentive.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
The current laws are adequate.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
VOTE NO. There are no income guidelines, no residency requirements. HIPPA violations galore. If you are taking care of a parent you would have to join the union. There is a payroll tax that will affect a great number of Mainers. $130,000. combined income is not rich. I can see the cars lined up from the mass exodus of people leaving the state. We need people to come to the state not leave. This is bad for Maine.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
NO, our Constitution clearly states one person one vote. This is getting the cart before the horse and should have been done before it came to the voters. This is a prime example of out of state special interest groups using our weak referendum process to dictate how Mainers should live. The same people who want this are the same people who want to deny us in the 2nd District an equal say in the referendum process. We in the 2nd District do not want Portland dictating our way of life.

Sarah Arline Pebworth (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Our economy has stagnated. We need to have a ready workforce. Vital to this are retraining and vocational programs that assist tradesmen and small businesses. I would support using tax incentives, that are job-creators and closely monitored, to bring new business in and help existing businesses expand. Maine must also expand broadband. The Legislature should invest in research and development to help manufacturers and prioritize federal policies that benefit middle- and working-class people.

2. 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?
Expanding Medicaid is the fiscally responsible decision to make–for every $1 we invest, the federal government invests $9. We should capitalize on this return. Tobacco settlement money and surplus funds would release those federal funds into Maine, helping to improve the health of tens of thousands of Mainers while creating jobs and boosting the economy.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
Many Mainers are concerned that social services programs are inadequate, open to abuse, or inefficient. Welfare reform reflects the commitment the Legislature must make to the neediest here in Maine and to the taxpayers, to use the funds and programming available in the most judicious and prudent manner possible.

4. 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?
The Legislature must be prudent in the amount of debt the state carries. Many of these critical projects release additional and substantial federal funding making them wise investments. An increase in the gas tax or a miles-traveled fee system ought to be considered in conjunction with annual borrowing. A strong infrastructure is necessary to a strong Maine and must be funded at appropriate levels.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Absolutely. Renewable energy technologies are a way for Mainers to stop relying on outside energy markets while investing in local resources and workforce, creating good jobs right here.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
The current laws around abortion for the state of Maine are adequate. It is imperative women have the freedom of personal choice.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
Home-based assistance is usually a win-win situation as it is cost effective and generally a strong preference for seniors and those with disabilities. But there are still questions about the initiative that must be answered. Who will provide oversight? Is this the most efficient manner in which to increase the number of and wages for home care workers? Maine already has a severe shortage of employees for these low-paid jobs. How does this 3.8% tax increase fit into the overall tax burden?

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
The voters of Maine have supported RCV repeatedly and I agree with them. This system is the fairest and most logical manner for voters to have their voices heard. With RCV, winning candidates receive a majority, or more than 50%, of the votes. As we have seen, RCV has now been used in Maine with minimal problems.

House District 134: (Map) Cranberry Isles, Deer Isle, Frenchboro, Isle au Haut, North Haven, Southwest Harbor, Stonington, Swan’s Island, Tremont and Vinalhaven, plus the unorganized territory of Marshall Island Township

Genevieve McDonald (D)

Did not respond.

Philip Brady (R)

Did not respond.

House District 135: (Map) Bar Harbor, Lamoine and Mount Desert

Brian Hubbell (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
At present, Maine’s economic development is hampered by having too few skilled workers and by the absence of a comprehensive state plan to support sectors with the prospect of real growth such as renewable energy and research, development, and commercialization in the life sciences. Maine needs to strengthen its public education system from pre-K through college, welcome new Mainers with professional ambitions and skills, and champion a new economy based on knowledge, innovation, and technology.

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Rep. Brian Hubbell, D-Bar Harbor.

2. 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?
Current state revenues can support the state’s share of expanded Medicaid funding which will bring in nine dollars of federal funding for every dollar that the state expends. While I would welcome a thoughtful discussion about restructuring Maine’s taxes, the best way to ensure stable revenues is by expanding jobs. That requires a healthy and educated workforce and a climate that welcomes entrepreneurs.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
Reforms to the necessary network of social service programs should always be measured by their effectiveness in alleviating need.

4. 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?
I would support restoring the indexing of fuel taxes in order to provide capital funding for infrastructure.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes. The economic benefits of locally-generated energy are compelling on their own. Moreover, inaction on stemming catastrophic climate change will incur enormous public costs and economic disruption.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
All reproductive health decisions should remain between a woman and her doctor.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
Referenda created by citizen initiative frequently have fundamental flaws. While the goal of improved access to elderly homecare is a good one, I am concerned that this initiative should be better sharpened to meet real needs.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes. Voters were empowered by rank choice voting in the primaries and federal races and they find it confusing that method is constitutionally prohibited for the state general elections. Ranked choice voting was enacted by citizen referendum. The same voting method should apply to all races.

Maurice Marshall (R)

Did not respond.

House District 136: (Map) Gouldsboro, Hancock, Mariaville, Osborn, Sorrento, Steuben, Sullivan, Waltham and Winter Harbor, plus the unorganized territories of East Hancock (part) and Fletchers Landing Township

Kylie Bragdon (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Declines in the Maine’s labor force pose a significant barrier to our economic development. An aging population requires us to retain a younger workforce, which can only be achieved by providing rewarding work opportunities for future generations. If elected to the legislature, it will be my priority to catalyze educational reform so that students will be better prepared to enter the work force, and the “real world”, upon graduation.

2. 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?
In order to adequately meet the fiscal demands of Medicaid expansion without over burdening Maine’s residents, I find it necessary to explore alternative options for funding. When considering immediate options, I feel it would be beneficial to utilize a portion of the surplus revenue the state has accrued to accommodate this need. In regards to long term planning, increasing the tobacco tax may also help offset the cost of this expansion.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
In my opinion, “welfare reform” refers to the implementation of changes that would insure that all individuals in need are able to receive the necessary services and aid to improve their quality of life. I am especially in favor of initiatives which support individuals in becoming more financially independent. I also find legislation that will create greater levels of accountability and transparency in current programs, as well as, those that discourage welfare fraud to be especially valuable.

4. 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?
At this time it seems it is necessary for us to reevaluate funding for transportation, however, current proposals seem to disproportionately place this economic burden on consumers. If elected, I would like to utilize my creative problem skills to find alternative means of funding.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
I feel it would be incredibly beneficial for the state to expand incentives to encourage renewable energies. In addition to creating new industry and employment opportunities, I believe these initiatives are the first step in securing a cleaner, healthier tomorrow.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I support the current Maine laws which allow abortions before viability, and post-viability to preserve the life and health of the mother. I find it is pertinent to provide a greater number of safe opportunities for women to access this medical procedure, as well, as better access to reproduction education and contraception.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
Though the demand for in-home care has increased, I am not in favor of Question 1 because I feel it places too much of a financial burden on Maine’s taxpayers and businesses. If elected, I would like to explore alternative sources of funding in order to provide this much needed service to the state’s elderly and disabled populations.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
At this time, I would support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting, because I feel it is necessary to provide voters with a more accurate strategy for identifying the preferred candidates in these races.

William Faulkingham (R)

Did not respond.

House District 137: (Map) Amherst, Aurora, Beddington, Bradford, Bradley, Deblois, Eastbrook, Edinburg, Franklin, Great Pond, Greenbush, Lagrange, Northfield, Passadumkeag and Wesley, plus the unorganized territories of East Hancock (part), North Washington (part), Northwest Hancock and Grand Falls, Greenfield, and Summit Townships

Lawrence Lockman (R) – Incumbent

Did not respond.

Douglas S. Bunker (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
In my opinion Maine has not invested enough time money and resources in Research and Development efforts to identify the barriers to more and better job opportunities for Maine citizens. It seems obvious to me however that our aging workforce, deteriorating infrastructure and inadequate internet access are not selling points for attracting new investments in our state.

2. 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?
I believe the Legislature has adequately addressed the funding concerns expressed by the Governor and House Republicans. While there can be no guarantee of future costs or revenue sources, I think Maine must follow the law and the lead of the other states who are committed to expanding essential health care services to those who qualify for coverage.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
Every state program, welfare included, should always be examined for efficiency and cost effectiveness. Unfortunately this term has come to be used as an excuse to reduce the costs of such programs at the expense of those who should otherwise be benefiting from them.

4. 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?
I do believe that the current system is indeed “outdated” and will only become more so in the future as our vehicles become more fuel efficient. If we are to address the maintenance backlog on our highways and bridges it seems to me that borrowing will continue to be a part of the solution but we must also consider other funding sources including an increase in the gas tax, funding from registration fees and vehicle weight and mileage driven factors.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
The way forward is increasingly toward renewable energy use and generation. I think Maine could be a leader in this field and should be ready to expand incentives in areas that show promise for efficiency and long term profitability. I believe that in 20 years Maine could see thousands of well paying jobs in developing, building and installing such systems.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I feel strongly that laws relating to abortion access should be seen as part of the health care needs of our citizens and should not be restricted.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
My vote will be a reluctant no on Question 1. Although there is no doubt that the needs of our aging population are real and will be growing, I am concerned with the funding mechanism, the lack of means testing for participants and the absence of legislative oversight of the program. Should the proposal pass I will work to address these issues in the Legislature. If it does not pass I look forward to working with those who will continue to advocate for the needs of our elderly.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes. I think the RCV system provides a better reflection of the desires of the voters.

House District 138: (Map) Addison, Beals, Cherryfield, Columbia, Columbia Falls, Harrington, Jonesboro, Jonesport, Marshfield, Milbridge and Whitneyville, plus the unorganized territory of Centerville Township

Robert Alley (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Maine’s economic success depends on a skilled workforce along with large investments, like Sappi and support Maine’s public universities. We need to retain our workforce — students in state and out — to have the infrastructure and resources to recruit. By slowing the minimum wage, will protect Maine’s economy.

2. 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?
The funds were all approved by the House + Senate but funds was never released by the Gov.

3. 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 for people in need. It’s like aid, money, food, clothes. It also means effort made by the Gov’t to improve social and economic conditions within our state.

4. 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?
We might have to have a bond for infrastructure, like on settings or projects and the funding from Fed. gas taxes go to the funding for transportation. Yes, it should be revisited.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Tech. like solar and windpower are cheaper to use. There isn’t any pollution in the air or on the ground. I’d recomend either esp. solar.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
To my knowledge abortions have already been banned, but if it’s a case of rape or there is something wrong with the pregnancy, I would think the women would make the decision to go forward or have the abortion.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
Yes, I will be voting for the home-care initiative.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
No answer received.

Kimberley Robinson (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Taxes-Fight to lower our taxes.

2. 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?
Lets not expand medicaid.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
Restructuring of a program designed to assist needy people regain/establish financial stability within society.

4. 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?
Yes cut spending in non essential programs.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Maybe solar but I do not feel wind is cost effective.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I am pro life so I say restricted.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
Against I do not feel it is fair.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
No I do not agree with ranked choice voting.

House District 139: (Map) Cutler, East Machias, Eastport, Lubec, Machias, Machiasport, Roque Bluffs and Whiting, plus the unorganized territory of Trescott Township

William Tuell (R) – Incumbent

Did not respond.

Lisa Hanscom (D)

Did not respond.

House District 140: (Map) Baileyville, Calais, Charlotte, Passamaquoddy Indian Township, Passamaquoddy Pleasant Point, Pembroke, Perry, Robbinston and Baring Plantation

Anne Perry (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Good paying jobs and keeping our youth. We can invest in higher education in the Community College and University system. Studies show that those educated in Maine tend to stay. One way may be to find a way to give loan subsidy for anyone who choses to stay and work in Maine after graduating.

2. 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?
Is there a lack of funding. I believe That the Appropriations found money to fund at least the first year. Like Any insurance we would need to plan forward with the next biennial budget. I believe this will bring economic benefits. I have had patients who would be working if they did not lose their insurance. more healthy in the work place benefits us all.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
I do not use the “welfare” term as each program has a purpose for a specific population and It makes it difficult use such a generic term.

4. 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?
Yes we need to look at the way we fund our infrastructure. One Idea that has been floated is to administer a mileage tax. I am not sure how this would be accomplished, But as a person who travels a lot of miles in a year I would gladly pay to my amount of use to ensure safe roads.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes these should be expanded. As we are aware that oil is a limited resource and gets more expensive as it gets more costly to extract. Renewable energy offers a safe and adequate alternative and should be encouraged.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Access to Abortion should not be restricted.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I will be voting against Question 1. There many flaws in this referendum – first the development of an agency with no oversight, the targeting one portion of the populace to pay for this, I have questions of HIPPA violation in regard to appointment to the board. The lack of workforce availability as well. I believe there should be an asset test as well.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I would support a constitutional amendment to allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial. I believe this allows for a greater choice in representation and that the leaders in this State have a majority of support from the constituency they represent.

Arthur Carter (R)

Did not respond.

House District 141: (Map) Alexander, Burlington, Chester, Cooper, Crawford, Danforth, Dennysville, Lakeville, Lee, Lowell, Mattawamkeag, Meddybemps, Princeton, Springfield, Talmadge, Topsfield, Vanceboro, Waite, Winn and Plantations of Carroll, Codyville, Drew, Grand Lake Stream and Webster, plus the unorganized territories of East Central Washington (part, including Berry, Cathance, Edmunds and Marion Townships), North Washington (part, including Big Lake, Brookton, Forest City, Greenlaw Chopping, Kossuth and Lambert Lake Townships) and Kingman, Prentiss, Twombly Ridge and Whitney (Pukakon) Townships

Donald Green (D)

Did not respond.

Kathy Javner (R)

Did not respond.

House District 142: (Map) Enfield, Howland, Lincoln, Maxfield, Woodville and Plantation of Seboeis, plus part of the unorganized territory of North Penobscot (including Mattamiscontis Township)

Sheldon Hanington (R) – Incumbent

Did not respond.

Patricia Nobel (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
The biggest barrier to economic development is our rural status. We can Increase the hourly wage, fully support the public schools so young people are well educated to obtain well paying jobs, figure out how to keep employers from gaming the system by only hiring part-time workers to avoid paying health benefits, provide health care for all Mainers so that they can work.

2. 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?
It is unconscionable that we have not yet put in place Medicaid expansion. Several funding formulas have been proposed, but vetoed by those who seem not to care if our populace has access to health care. The funding issue is a rather bogus argument against Medicaid expansion since it would bring in more monies than the State would spend.

3. 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” has developed a pejorative meaning of giving away rewards to undeserving persons. We do need to make sure our social services are working appropriately and perhaps we should get rid of the term “welfare reform”.

4. 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?
We should be looking at how we fund infrastructure and we should not be afraid to consider income taxes to cover valid expenses. Income taxes are much fairer than property taxes and sales (gas) taxes to middle and low income citizens.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes. We need to decrease our dependence on coal and oil, both to combat pollution and to mitigate human factors affecting climate change.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Women should have full access to abortion. Government has no role in deciding these , and other, medical issues for its citizens.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I will be voting for the initiative. We need to support our senior citizens and this is one way we can do this.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes, I would support this. It really allows for the candidate with the strongest support to prevail.

House District 143: (Map) East Millinocket, Medway, Millinocket and Patten, plus part of the unorganized territory of North Penobscot (including Herseytown and Long A Townships)

Stephen Stanley (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
The biggest barrier is the lack of opportunity to the rural areas. Fund opportunities that will encourage job creation in the rural regions of this state. The creation of jobs doesn’t need to be in the urban surrounding communities. Maine has a lot to offer for outside the box economic opportunities. We have the mindset that everything is better in the southern and urban sections of this state. That mindset needs to change.

2. 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?
The 6 thousand jobs created saving our rural hospitals, and providing opportunities for the thousands of our young people who are presently in college training in the health field industry from leaving the state because of no jobs in their respected fields. These issues are important for the economy of Maine. The funding would come from taking a good hard look at what the state needs and don’t need.

3. 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 reform is helping people that need assistance. We need to provide opportunity for people who want to be asset to the state by providing them with the things that are necessary for them to gain self esteem and job training for jobs that increases their median income.

4. 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?
Increasing the gas tax only puts more of a burden on the rural people who travel many miles in order to go to their jobs. Also, the elderly who have to travel for health services would be put in a position of making another choice as to who gets their social security dollar.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
We should be pursuing both options, but at the same time they should be tied to the transmission and distribution as to the source of the electricity. This is another issue whereby the rural regions are getting higher rates because they live in rural areas instead of a more urban area. The sad part is the wind generation may occur a few miles from where they reside, but their source of electricity may be a hundred miles away.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I think that the present laws should remain in place.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I will be voting against this ballot question. It is aimed at taxing one segment of the population. This segment has the resources to up and move for 6 month and a day and not pay any taxes to the state. These people are small business owners who file their taxes with their business. We as a state need to drive business out of business especially in the rural areas.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I have no opinion at this time. I want to see how it plays out.

Galen Hale (R)

Did not respond.

House District 144: (Map) Amity, Bancroft, Haynesville, Hodgdon, Houlton, Orient, Weston and Plantations of Cary, Glenwood, Macwahoc and Reed, plus the unorganized territory of South Aroostook (including Benedicta, Molunkus and Silver Ridge Townships) and Block 4293 of Tract 952900 in the Penobscot River

Ted Sussman (L)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Rural areas in northern Maine have difficulty attracting investment due to its remoteness. There are many areas of my district without adequate broadband or cell coverage. We need to create a workforce prepared for an evolving economy. This would include digital proficiency as well as technical and skilled job training, all while reducing the cost of higher education.

2. 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?
We need to commit to paying for what we wish to have. We can not defer payment to future generations.There is already money to fund Medicaid in the short term. The long term goals would best be achieved by reform of the health care system to provide universal access at the federal level combined with reform of the tax code to eliminate loopholes. This should be supplemented by an increase in “sin taxes”.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
We should always work to eliminate fraud and abuse but the aim of welfare reform should be to prepare people to get back to the workforce in a meaningful way. This recognizes the need for education, training, rehabilitation and addiction treatment. Welfare reform also requires Medicaid reform and since 68 % of Medicaid dollars are actually spent on nursing homes and the disabled, we need to aim to keep people in their homes as long as possible.

4. 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?
We need to have a comprehensive long term plan for infrastructure maintenance. This includes supplementing the gas tax with high speed RFID tolls on more of our major roads and bridges.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes, diversifying our energy technologies would be good for the planet and good for Maine. Renewable energy technologies are more labor intensive than fossil fuel technologies and would result in greater job growth. This is particularly the case in rural areas where solar and wind technologies could be incentivized.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Access to pre-viability abortions should remain available while all attempts to further reduce the number of abortions through education and family planning should be continued. Fortunately the need for abortions in Maine has dropped over the past 10 years and is lower than the national average.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I will reluctantly oppose the initiative as it appears poorly written and formulated. We need a program to keep seniors in their home but I feel that creating a new board to administer it is unnecessary. In addition, a program such as this should be “means tested” so that those that are able would pay for it. Additionally this piecemeal approach to creating tax policy is wrong.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I am in favor of ranked-choice voting as it would allow our elected officials to have the backing of a majority of their constituents. I would delay a constitutional amendment at this time to allow a review of its impact and cost.

Gregory Swallow (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
The overall business climate of Maine which is inclusive of taxes, regulation, state spending and the citizen initiated referendum process. In several surveys, Maine is often ranked one of the highest tax states in the country when ranked by the percentage of state residents’ income that goes to state taxes. These are economic boom times and we are having difficulty funding public schools, funding Medicaid expansion while considering a referendum that will further increase taxes and expenses.

2. 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?
The real issue is the citizen initiated referendum process. The bottom line is that the voters passed this referendum and there are no foreseeable recurring extra funds to pay for it. There have been several suggested methods to pay for this expansion and in the end there will be added costs and taxes. It’s a shell game with winners and losers. Maine has no extra funds and the 2018 federal budget deficit is $779 billion. We need an amendment to change the referendum process.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
Government programs should never be judged by their intentions but by their results. The results over decades show that the current welfare system has caused the breakdown of the family and permanent dependence rather than temporary assistance. There have been studies performed that support this view. Welfare reform requires change in order for people to gradually work their way off the system without fear of losing most or all benefits initially. Also, the system should encourage marriage.

4. 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?
Yes, as we increase our use of alternative fuel vehicles it becomes imperative to review new methods to fund our infrastructure. Many states have increased fuel taxes but this is not a long term solution as more hybrid, electric, biodiesel and other fuels become more common. There are several alternative funding sources that should be reviewed. Some examples include added registration fees for electric vehicles and increased road tolls on out of state vehicles .

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
No, we should not get involved in steering individuals toward particular energy sources through public funding. Maine should have learned its lesson when it promoted biomass energy a few decades ago and it cost Mainers millions when we bought back contracts, paying energy producers not to produce. Maine is one of the cleanest energy generators now. We definitely need lower electricity costs in Maine to be more competitive but solar and wind are not the answer. There are better alternatives.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I am opposed to abortion; however, it’s doubtful that there will be any change in the general law of the land. The laws should be further restricted. There should be no government funding of abortion. Also, Maine should enact legislation requiring parental involvement in abortions with minors.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
Against. The intent of this bill is to raise @$310 million dollars in taxes with an additional payroll tax of 3.8% on households with incomes over $128,400 and up. This would put the state income tax rate at 10.95% on these households, which would likely be the highest in the nation for that level of earner. It creates a private board with control of public money. Also, it forces individual home care providers to identify as state employees for specified purposes without their permission.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
No. It’s unnecessary. The process that we have has worked well in Maine. This will primarily add to the costs of elections and cause confusion for many. This is the perfect example of attempting to fix something that is not broken.

House District 145: (Map) Bridgewater, Crystal, Dyer Brook, Hammond, Hersey, Island Falls, Linneus, Littleton, Ludlow, Merrill, Monticello, Mount Chase, New Limerick, Oakfield, Sherman, Smyrna, Stacyville and Moro Plantation, plus the unorganized territory of Central Aroostook (including E Township)

Chris Johansen (R) – Incumbent

Did not respond.

Laura Farnsworth (D)

Did not respond.

House District 146: (Map) Blaine, Castle Hill, Chapman, Mapleton, Mars Hill, Perham, Wade, Washburn, Westfield and Woodland

Dustin White (R) – Incumbent

Did not respond.

Sarah LeClaire (D)

Did not respond.

House District 147: (Map) Presque Isle (part)

Harold “Trey” Stewart III (R) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
There is no long-term plan for strategic economic development in Maine. This is true across the board in may policy areas, but this is the most glaring area. The legislature needs to empower a collaborative effort to develop a completely non-partisan and non-biased roadmap for a comprehensive economic development strategy. This plan needs to include rural Maine and be able to capitalize on all of the assets in our state, not just the ones in Portland and Bangor.

2. 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?
Due to the fact that states must balance their budgets, if you want a massive new spending program, you’re left with only two options- cut spending elsewhere, or raise taxes. Neither are good options, especially when you consider that Maine is among the top 5 in states with the highest tax burden. This expansion would be largely for able-bodied young adults with no dependents or disabilities. We should focus on how to cover those who are sick and uninsured by lowering costs for everyone.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
Reforming welfare so that people who want to join or re-join the labor force has been a primary focus of mine in the previous legislature and an issue I look forward to continuing to work on next session. We need to ensure that folks realize the incentive to work, rather than getting penalized for working harder. Benefits should be needs-based and on a sliding scale to address the specific problems the individuals are facing and truly be a hand-up and on to a career path, rather than a hand-out.

4. 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?
To me, this question is code for whether we should expand the gas tax. I’ve heard the idea kicked-around a lot at the State House, and my answer is emphatically, NO. Raising the gas tax would be an immediate cost-shift onto the backs of lower- and middle-income Maine families. We need to ensure that whatever option we go with, it’s not on the backs of the working class Mainer. We should also better utilize R&D at public universities to help lower construction costs.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
This is another policy area that lacks a long-term strategic plan and doesn’t favor one industry or company over another. We have a lot of untapped natural and renewable resources in Maine that we should be capitalizing on. However, we cannot take half-baked ideas that subsidize on industry or business on the backs of the average ratepayer in Maine. The ideas that I have seen so far in my time in Augusta are nothing more than cost-shifts to the working-class Maine families that are unacceptable.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
The only bill I recall in the previous legislative session was one that would have given minors the ability to seek an abortion without ever consulting their parents. I think that while the Supreme Court has been clear in its intent to legalize abortion in the US, there still needs to be some standards that are kept in place to ensure parents are involved in the upbringing of their children and are able to engage and help them make difficult decisions such as whether or not to get an abortion.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I think Question 1 is truly a scam and another example of out-of-state interest groups dumping millions into Maine because of our easy-to-abuse referendum process and the fact that we’re a cheap date compared to other states. Question 1 doesn’t have any income thresholds to qualify, meaning that services will be spent on those who can afford to pay for home care, while making us the highest taxed state in the country. Our valuable and limited resources should be spent on the neediest among us.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
RCV is another attempt to use Maine as a petri dish to promote an agenda of an out-of-state special interest group. I heard a lot of frustration from voters who were confused about how RCV worked in the primary election and a lot of people who wanted to vote to eliminate it on the ballot in June, but realized that due to the confusing nature of the question, they had voted the wrong way after the fact. We should have consistency in our election process, not confusion and chaos.

Robert Saucier (D)

Did not respond.

House District 148: (Map) Caswell, Easton, Fort Fairfield, Hamlin, Limestone, Presque Isle (part), Stockholm and Cyr Plantation, plus the unorganized territory of Connor Township

David McCrea (D) – Incumbent

Did not respond.

Katherine Schupbach (R)

Did not respond.

House District 149: (Map) Caribou, New Sweden and Westmanland

John DeVeau (R)

Did not respond.

House District 150: (Map) Frenchville, Grand Isle, Madawaska, St. Agatha and Van Buren, plus the unorganized territory of Square Lake (including Cross Lake, Madawaska Lake and Sinclair Townships)

Roland Martin (D) – Incumbent

Did not respond.

Aaron Cyr (R)

Did not respond.

House District 151: (Map) Allagash, Ashland, Eagle Lake, Fort Kent, Masardis, New Canada, Portage Lake, St. Francis, Wallagrass and Plantations of Garfield, Nashville, Oxbow, St. John and Winterville, plus the unorganized territory of Northwest Aroostook

John L. Martin (R) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
available sources of money including grants-legislature could help to fund part of this,

2. 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?
There is no concern. The states has the money to pay for it.

3. Republicans and Democrats have used the term “welfare reform” to describe many changes to social services programs. What does the term mean to you?
The best welfare reform is to help citizens a job with help from the state to provide training and education.

4. 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?
Need to conduct voter input to see what might be possible.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes we need to do both in order to lower our need on oil.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Maine has to follow the supreme court decision.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I will let the voters make that decision.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I support run-of election, not ranked-choice voting.

Kevin Bushey (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Maine needs a strategic plan establishing goals and objectives toward future economic growth. With a pro-business Governor, the Legislature should approve this plan. When implemented, all bills must be tied to the plan. New Hampshire has a similar model and it works well. If done right, the state can address roadblocks including workforce training, a statewide energy plan, a reduction in taxes and efforts to improve the business climate for small/medium businesses, the backbone of the economy.

2. 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?
Maine must return to adhering to both the Federal and Maine constitutions and also fix the referendum process so that unfunded mandates don’t occur. The appropriations process that is the responsibility of the Maine Legislature must be involved in all decisions requiring funding.

3. 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 was designed as a hand-up, not a hand-out. Welfare benefits are not supposed to a career choice. I believe welfare benefits should be temporary and function as a safety net vs. a career path. There will always be people in our society who need help or a hand up during tough times and we must stop government welfare programs to compete with placing people in jobs.

4. 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?
Maine is not the only state that must deal with transportation funding issues. This issue is another example where a statewide comprehensive strategic plan that addresses economic development that will include transportation needs can be identified for future funding. The next Governor has an opportunity to empower some strategic experts to draft and execute the plan and how to address funding streams to implement transportation requirements.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
The state needs to create a statewide energy plan and focus on fixing things such as clean baseload power generation and ensure Maine rates for energy are competitive with other states in order to attract more business investment to the state. We should not be subsidizing any energy resources by raising the electric bills of low income and elderly Mainers. If people want solar panels on their house they’re free to do so. But state government should force their neighbors to pay for it.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
As a pro-life candidate, I support the efforts to reverse Roe v. Wade and stop all abortions.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
I will be voting no on Question 1, as this initiative is just another gimmick from outside interests to use Maine as their sandbox to experiment with more social programs.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I believe in one person one vote as our founding fathers provided for our country. Let the voter select their candidate and vote for that person, plain and simple. Keep our electoral process intact.


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