Election 2012

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Benjamin M. Chipman

Benjamin M. Chipman

Party affiliation: Independent
Residence: Portland

On the Issues

How do you propose the Legislature closes Maine’s budget gap?

We could raise revenue than we currently do through tourism. Our lodging tax is 7 percent, lower than most states. We could raise it to 9 or 10 percent and I do not think anyone would cancel their trip to Maine as a result. This could give us the revenue we need to pay for the services that people want.

Do you think same-sex marriage should be legal in Maine?

Yes. Everyone should be treated equal.

Do you support school choice?

I support our public school system and think we should be working to improve it and make it even better.

Do you think Maine's school consolidation program has been successful?

Schools always had the right to consolidate voluntarily. I do not support forcing schools to consolidate.

Do you think Maine should expand MaineCare as proposed by the president under the Affordable Care Act?

Health care is a basic necessity and I think everyone should have access.

What is the biggest thing Maine can do to attract more jobs to the state?

We could provide tax credits to businesses that pay a living wage and offer benefits and improve our public transportation system.

Do you support lowering the state income tax? What state spending would you cut to make up for the loss of revenue?

We can not afford to lower the state income tax right now. I support tax fairness where residents pay different percentage based on their income level.

Are Maine's public assistance benefits too generous? How should they be changed?

I opposed the cuts to MaineCare and other programs. Nobody should go homeless, hungry, or without health care.

What should the state do to lower energy costs?

We should provide more funding to Efficiency Maine for insulation credits and rebates. Most homes in Maine are still under-insulated.

Should Maine place more restrictions on abortion?

No. Government should not interfere with a women's right to choose.