December 12, 2018
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Where the Maine Senate candidates stand on the economy, health care and more

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
The Maine State House in 2016.

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 35 Maine Senate districts, getting their stances on the economy, health care, infrastructure and other issues.

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

Click on your Senate district number below to jump to the responses from your local candidates, which are being published unedited. Don’t know what your senate district number is? Here’s a map that shows the 35 different senate districts.

District 1 | District 2 | District 3 | District 4 | District 5 | District 6 | District 7 | District 8 | District 9 | District 10 | District 11 | District 12 | District 13 | District 14 | District 15 | District 16 | District 17 | District 18 | District 19 | District 20 | District 21 | District 22 | District 23 | District 24 | District 25 | District 26 | District 27 | District 28 | District 29 | District 30 | District 31 | District 32 | District 33 | District 34 | District 35 |

Senate District 1

Troy Jackson (D) – Incumbent
Christopher Bouchard | Aroostook Republican
Christopher Bouchard | Aroostook Republican
District 1 Senator Troy Jackson.

Did not respond.

A. Michael Nadeau (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Until the Maine state government creates a long-term plan for taxes, utilities, energy, referendum funding, education goals, specialty training programs and streamlining/ vetting the bills introduced for legislation, we can expect what we are getting. We can do better. Revamping from the top.

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 a part of a comprehensive plan with priorities in place, the Legislature should review all spending, identify needs and obligations, and change the budgeting process to reward departments that return unused funds. A mechanism should be in place to deal with unfunded mandates from referendums like ranked choice voting and expanded Medicaid expansion. There is only so much in the budget. Which programs do you 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?
It means if a person need help, help is available until that person is ready to resume work. It doesn’t become a way of life. The money is spent on necessities, not luxuries. The recipient must be looking for work. It should not be used for vacations or bail. It should be used by recipient only. There should be immediate suspension and lifetime revocation for abusers.

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?
Again, we are looking at this as reactive instead of proactive. When the state is always spending beyond its budget, we are saddled with debt. Planning, saving, and identifying priorities will give us the information needed to fund immediate and future needs. Annual borrowing should be reduced and not be used as an open credit card.

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 (solar, wind, etc.) but they need to be self-efficient, not taxpayer funded. They also need to be part of a statewide plan to reduce energy costs.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I am Pro-Life, and until I see the details on laws or proposed laws if any, I will not speculate.

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 One. I would much rather expand home care services with the home care groups that are already doing it now. These groups have oversight, accountability, HIPPA certification and are on the road already. Expanding what we already have is the best option.

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 process complicates voting and costs taxpayers an additional $300,000 above original costs. The costs of this could have gone to expanding home care for seniors.

Senate District 2

Michael Carpenter (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Certainly workforce development is now and will continue to be a problem. We don’t have enough people trained in the skills of the 21st century. The legislature will need to continue to provide resources to the post-secondary education facilities of the State, in particular the Community College 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?
Currently, there is sufficient money in the budget to implement the expansion and,going forward we will need to budget for the costs.

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 continue to fine tune these programs so that able-bodied adults have to work when they can.

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 continue to look at all options but that the gas tax should be in the mix. Our infrastructure is in need of serious attention over the next few years.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
I believe that there should be an exploration of expanded incentives for alternative energy sources. Renewables need to be a growing piece of our energy mix.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
As long as Roe continues to be the controlling law state legislatures are somewhat hampered in making changes.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
Probably voting No. I have read the underlying bill and it is quite complex. While I don’t practice health care law, I do have some privacy concerns.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Given that it seemed to have to work well in the primary election and that the voters have twice supported it, I would support a Constitutional amendment.

Karen Ann Reynolds (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
High taxes and a limited “skills ready” workforce are factors keeping companies from setting up shop or expanding in Maine. Eliminating barriers will mean continued, improved communication with investors and collaborating with all schools ( high school and beyond) so that everyone wins— best training to produce best workers for the best jobs. I support work ready education and tax reform measures to make Maine attractive to live, work and play.

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 a fiscally responsible conservative, Medicaid expansion must be funded in a way that doesn’t hurt our hospitals or our most vulnerable. We need our local hospitals open to serve our population and they cannot continue to be uncompensated for that care. Maine is a poor state. I do not see how Expansion can go forward unless it has a true identifiable funding source.

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?
Compassion, coupled with common sense. Welfare reform means helping those who are struggling through tough times, while ensuring it is not being abused. Welfare benefits are meant to be temporary. Meaningful work is the objective and cure to most social ills.

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 a cost of doing business in Maine. A strategic plan for funding is crucial for advancing future growth. We must continue to study how other states are successfully funding it, other than simply borrowing.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
I like our innovative spirit and I’m confident that these industries will continue to grow without further incentives.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I am a Pro-Life candidate and believe that Maine’s current law of ( restricting) public funding for abortions ONLY in the cases of life endangerment, rape or incest is 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 NO. It is another expensive, misleading and out of state backed referendum. Like most of these “tax hike” initiatives, it does not appear to be well thought out for the people or future of 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 vote for the person, not the party, and not the process.

Senate District 3

Jeffrey B Johnson (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Several things need to be addressed simultaneously. We need to create much better access to affordable training and skill development to fill good paying jobs that are available right now in parts of the State. Rural Maine is really lagging behind in the creation of good paying jobs. We need to build out our broadband infrastructure to make rural parts of the State, like many of the areas in State Senate district 3, able to compete in a global market.

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 lot of waste in our Medicaid programs that needs to be addressed, most certainly in the layers of administration and unnecessary regulatory red tape that doesn’t improve outcomes. I’ve owned and run companies that do business with Maine Medicaid for the past thirty years. Strong, common sense leadership demanding very attainable efficiencies coupled with federal dollars will create long term sustainable 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?
We all want people to have the help they truly need. There is a small percentage of people that have short term challenges that receive benefits too long. Instead of giving someone a hand up, that small group receives help long term. That’s wrong. And there are people who truly need services now that can’t access them. That’s wrong too. We desperately need more business sense in managing these multi billion dollar programs and much less political fighting.

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 absolutely need to revisit the way we fund our infrastructure. One clear option that other states and communities has leveraged much more than Maine is mini bonds. Mini bonds allow for local private and public investment at lower interest rate payments for those communities. It allows for more local control as to what infrastructure needs to be upgraded, and who is going to be hired to do the work. Local control. Lower cost. We should be accessing infrastructure funds much more this way.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes, we should expand incentives in thoughtful, smart ways. As a state we need to reduce our carbon footprint and do everything we can to have our Maine look and feel to our kids and grandkids the we we experience it. We need an aggressive sustainable energy plan put together by nonpartisan experts. And we need good leadership to work that plan. Strategic planning and good implementation of the plan happens everyday in my businesses. Mainers deserve at least as much.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Personally I oppose abortion. I can’t imagine advising anyone in my family to have an abortion if they were to ask my opinion. However, I feel very strongly that it is the right of a woman to decide what is right for her. I oppose the government intervening in that decision by making abortions illegal. I don’t think access should be loosened or restricted. Our laws 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’ll be voting against it. We all want people to stay in their homes as long as possible. But Question 1 creates an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy and higher taxes.The way to fund in-home supports is to cut the bureaucratic waste within DHHS, Dept of Education, and Medicaid. Ask someone who works in one of those state agencies about waste they see. I’ve been doing business with those state agencies for thirty years. I see it everyday. It’s time for some common sense business decisions

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 a constitutional amendment. The people have spoken via referendum and we now have ranked choice voting for some elections. I say let’s continue to try it and see how it works. Time will tell Maine voters if we like ranked choice voting or not. If we like it then we can talk about an amendment; if not then we repeal it. We have some time.

Bradlee T. Farrin (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Lack of a skilled workforce shortage is a huge barrier for economic development. Businesses looking to relocate or expand in Maine are discouraged from doing so because finding the man power is a struggle. That is why I am such a supporter of expanding access to the trades in Maine’s schools. Maine needs a skilled workforce in order to encourage development and create a state where our young people can 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?
Medicaid expansion is now law, but we need to fund it in a responsible manner. Maine has expanded Medicaid before, and it led to a massive debt owed to our hospitals. Nobody wants to repeat the mistakes of the past. I also don’t want to see those on wait lists for services waiting even longer because funds have been redistributed to Medicaid expansion. We need to find a way to pay for Medicaid expansion so that it does what is was meant to do, help people.

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 common sense changes to programs to ensure that those who need them have access to them, and that the money is used in the most effective ways possible. Welfare is meant to be a hand up, not a hand out. I believe that it should be used when those landing on hard times need help, but it should not be a long term solution for people. I also believe there should be a pathway from getting assistance to independence, instead of all or nothing.

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 is certainly not the preferred method to pay for our roads and bridges. With cars becoming more fuel efficient, we have seen revenue from the gas tax decline. I served on the Transportation Committee in the 127th Legislature and I have a couple of ideas to address this problem. We don’t have a revenue problem in Augusta, we have a spending problem. For starters we need to ensure that money intended for transportation is not diverted to the general fund.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
No. The cost of renewable energy technologies have deceased dramatically. Solar and wind have a place in Maine’s energy portfolio, because a diverse portfolio is a strong one, but I think that those energy sources can now compete on their own without being subsidized.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I think that this issue has largely been addressed by the Supreme Court and is a Federal issue. I don’t intend to introduce legislation concerning this topic.

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, for a number of reasons. It is a bad idea for Maine. This is another example of out of state interest trying to force bad policy on Maine Citizens through the referendum process. As Legislators and Voters we need to fix this process to outside money from influencing how we live our lives.

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. I have never been a supporter of this voting method. I think that it is more costly, and confusing to voters. I believe in one person, one vote.

Senate District 4

Paul T. Davis Sr. (R) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
I have talked to many local businesses small and large, the cost of energy, high taxes and regulations are all job killers.

The State of Maine needs to look hard at regulations that curtail growth. With a new administration Maine also needs to look hard at every program in state government to make sure every dollar is being spent wisely.

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 think the tobacco settlement money should be used for this, along with any surplus we have. if this is not possible than the legislature needs to find on going funding 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?
To me this means a tighten up of the benefits to those getting welfare. Welfare needs to be available only to the truly needy.

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. I think we should look to the general fund to help provide funding for our roads and bridges. Also the sales tax paid on tires, batteries, vehicle parts should go to the roads and bridges. State government should never be allowed to raid the transportation fund.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
I support solar power. However I do not support wind power. Maine should not be a pass through state to bring energy to other states. Maine must receive benefits from energy coming through Maine.

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 oppose question one. . I think to have such a high income tax rate in the tax bracket it is aimed at would hurt the state by driving the folks that create jobs from Maine and keep them from coming to Maine. .

Question one has no income restrictions. Wealthy folks can receive benefits from this idea. I think we should do all we can for the elderly but this is not the way.

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 would support a runoff election between the top two candidates. I think rank choice is far to confusing for most people.

Susan D. Mackey Andrews (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Access to healthcare insurance is the biggest barrier to economic growth and sustainability. Costs are prohibitive; access is limited while the need for healthcare is widespread. Many Mainers work more than one job to cover healthcare costs or defer retirement to keep their healthcare. Expanding Medicaid access is a partial solution, coupled with a long term approach that employs a more universal approach to healthcare emphasizing prevention and early access to comprehensive 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?
Access to meaningful, affordable healthcare is the #1 priority for Maine voters. Let’s fund expansion with state surplus dollars and ensure responsible, future funding to include an overhaul of Maine’s Medicaid program to include participant fees, co-pays and deductibles based upon ability to pay as well as recognition of the savings realized from improved health and worker participation and productivity.

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?
Poverty has always existed, but it has become deeper and more divisive. Today’s “welfare reform” means limiting access, which has exacerbated the “us and them” argument, unfairly punishing many people who legitimately need our help. To me, responsible welfare reform views assistance as temporary but also, as comprehensive – beyond the basics. It should include addressing the whole person and his/her needs in planning and service delivery as well as education, the great equalizer.

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 examine alternative ways to fund our roads and bridges that are within the state’s budget and stop relying on bonds. The latter approach leaves investment in our infrastructure less strategic, integrated and long-term. There should be some relationship to “use” as a factor when assigning cost, and we need to recognize the need for equal investment in our rural and urban infrastructures.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Definitely yes. Solar in particular is an incredibly viable solution to stem the use of fossil fuels and to maintaining our clean environment. Maine should focus on these alternatives with balance, recognizing the importance of our pristine lands within the context of our growing tourism industry. There surely is a balance we can strike here, putting the values of Mainers first, protecting our lands while moving towards increased energy independence for our state.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I support maintaining the current Maine law protecting a woman’s right to access comprehensive healthcare. More unintended pregnancies are prevented through comprehensive women’s healthcare programs, including access to birth control and cancer prevention/detection/treatment. If a woman makes the difficult decision to terminate a pregnancy, it should be a safe and medically available procedure.

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 concept of Question 1 because I know too many families forced into poverty by caring for an aged parent or child with life-long disabilities. Our state budget, like our personal budget, is a statement of our values and if home-care is one of our values, we should ALL participate in financing this. I prefer home-care to be a state funded initiative rather than the current proposal, and will vote against Question 1 for this reason alone.

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 support a constitutional amendment to ensure ranked choice voting in all Maine elections. I believe that ranked choice voting more accurately reflects the vote of the majority and provides more choices to voters beyond the two party system.

Senate District 5

James F. Dill (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
“Keep & attract young folks to work, buy homes & raise families
Student loan debt relief, entice young people to work & live here for at least 5 years in exchange for debt reduction
Better access to quality childcare & support businesses by raising reimbursement rates for childcare providers for eligible working families
Support bonds for post-secondary education to have a system where Mainers can gain more skills and knowledge
Modernize our broadband network, allowing access to the world

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Sen. James Dill, D-Old Town.

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?
Estimates from the Legislature’s Office of Fiscal and Program Review, is that there is funding in the state MaineCare accounts to pay the State’s share of the costs of coverage for the expansion population until the final quarter of FY19. The Legislature passed a bill, LD 837, which prepared us for the ramp-up of enrollees, but was vetoed by funding additional positions at DHHS and updated computer technology. This bill needs to be reintroduced next session.

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 finding the correct balance between making sure our fellow Mainers have a safety net in place for hard times and ensuring that taxpayer dollars are not allocated to those who don’t need them, or would use them fraudulently. I support restrictions on welfare that disallow the money to be used for lottery tickets, cigarettes, and other goods that are not central to Mainers’ health. I support limits on public assistance that remove the incentive for folks to seek 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?
Perfectly, Maine would have money in its Highway Fund to pay for all infrastructure improvements. I don’t want to incur debt, but I worry more about our roads and bridges. A recent report from the Am. Soc. of Civil Engineers gave Maine a C- overall, and a D for our road quality. Many alternative funding sources would amount to another tax, either on drivers’ licenses, hybrid cars, or registrations. I do not want to burden Mainers with more tax. I am also open to public/private partnerships.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes. Renewable, sustainable forms of energy are potentially cheaper, better for the environment, and create jobs. I absolutely support the state incentivizing people to explore alternative energy sources.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I think the laws are right where they should be. This gives individuals the right to choose, hopefully after seeking guidance from resources they trust.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
Probably no. Mainers are already taxed too much, and one of my main objectives in the Legislature has been to reduce property taxes. The Legislature is elected to appropriate existing tax revenue consistent with our shared priorities. I can’t support higher taxes, when the state is trying to lure people here.
I believe our seniors are the backbone of our communities and I should have the best care possible. I sponsored a bill to fund senior assisted living facilities and it easily passed.

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 have consistently voted for a constitutional amendment in the Senate and plan to continue to do so. The voters approved it through a referendum and since it is in conflict with the State Constitution, it needs to be fixed.

Maia Dendinger (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 is capitalism- a system based on the exploitation of workers & the environment to make profits for the 1%. We need to transition to a socialist economy, consisting of worker cooperatives, owned and democratically self-managed by the workers, and committed to meeting community needs. We must enact policies that support worker ownership, and establish a job guarantee program that provides communities with resources to put people to work at a living 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?
It is not a question of whether the financial resources are there, but rather how they are apportioned. If there was funding to give $30 million to General Dynamics, there is money to ensure that sick Mainers receive the care they need. I support Maine Allcare & the fight for universal healthcare in Maine. Because Mainers already pay for healthcare (whether out-of-pocket or in the form of insurance premiums & co-pays) even a commensurate tax increase would ultimately save Mainers’ 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?
I believe we must protect and boster our social service programs. I support food assistance on demand for anyone in need, without invasive testing and wasteful bureaucracy. Every human being should be provided equal access to the necessities of life, including nutritious food, clean water, housing, education, healthcare, and meaningful 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?
We must move away from regressive policies such as the gas tax, which disportionately affects the poor and working class who can least afford to pay such taxes, and instead we must continue to explore alternative sources of funding.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Transitioning to renewable energy is necessary if we want to prevent the worst effects of global warming. Researchers have shown that it is possible to achieve 100% renewable energy in Maine by 2050, creating thousands of jobs in the process. Energy production should be in the hands of communities, not big business. That’s why I support the creation of community-owned energy cooperatives as the basis of a renewable future.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I believe abortion should be free and accessible for anyone who needs those 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?
I will be voting for the home-care citizen initiative because I believe all Mainers deserve access to necessary care. In fact, I believe that this initiative does not go far enough; in addition to providing care for the elderly and disabled, we must also provide childcare for all who need it. Too often, working-class women are forced to provide care-work without pay; we must ensure that care providers are treated fairly and also that elderly and disabled Mainer have access to the 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?
As a socialist, I am firmly committed to the principle of direct democracy and maine’s ballot initiative process. If I am elected as a state senator, I will support any and all citizen initiatives passed by the people of Maine. I also support ranked-choice voting in particular because because it creates space for candidates outside of the two-party system and because I believe we need more democracy and more choice, not less.

Debbi Perkins (R)

Did not respond.

Senate District 6

Marianne Moore (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
I believe we need to take a comprehensive look at our workforce and ensure that Mainers have the skills needed for today’s jobs. I know there are many jobs available that require technical skills our young people lack. We have to encourage more of them to learn the trades. We also have to do more to attract industry 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 people have spoken on this issue, and I do believe we need to expand Medicaid. But we need to find a reliable funding source for it. That’s going to require rolling up our sleeves and getting creative. Perhaps tapping the tobacco settlement fund would be a viable option.

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 we need to take a look at the system, as a whole, and come to a conclusion about who should and shouldn’t be on welfare. Clearly, we need to care for the most needy among us. For able-bodied adults, it should not be a way of life. I also believe there should be a work requirement for able-bodied citizens receiving welfare as part of an ongoing effort to move them away from the welfare system and into the workforce.

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 some borrowing to address needs with our infrastructure and higher education.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
I support the expansion of renewable energies in Maine. But as a Washington County resident, I am concerned about offshore wind development. If we are going to pursue these projects, we have to ensure they do not interfere with marine life and our fishing industry which is so important to our economy.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I am pro-choice and do not favor additional restrictions, although this is, for the most part, a federal 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?
I will not vote for Question 1, and I encourage everyone in Maine to vote no. There are multiple problems with this proposal, the biggest being the costs. The way I understand it, there are no means tests or residency requirements for those who would benefit from passage of this ill-conceived idea. People I’ve been meeting with while campaigning are very confused about this proposal.

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. It’s very confusing, and frankly, unnecessary. We will be asking Maine citizens to use two different voting systems when they go to the polls on November 6. I think this is wrong.

Christina M. Therrien (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Lack of adequate infrastructure. Invest more in transportation, broadband expansion, support airport, rail, and shipping improvements

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 supported the expansion and it should be funded. To determine the best way to fund the expansion would require a full review of what is currently being funded and where the revenues are being appropriated towards the operation of current government. I don’t think it is wise to propose where the funds should come from without looking at the whole picture.

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 to evaluate all social programs currently being provided and look for efficiencies, duplication of services, and fraudulent activity, whether within the state or amongst the program recipients. It can be a chance to provide a better service to those in need and while looking for beneficial savings.

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 vital component of the state and improvements must be made if Maine wants to continue to compete in the global economy. Businesses must have internet access and the ability to move goods/services in a cost effective manner. I am willing to consider different revenue sources to improve infrastructure.

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 working to reduce our carbon footprint and negative impact on the planet.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Neither at this time. I am pro 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?
For. It is more cost effective to keep citizens in their homes whenever possible and most people want to be at home and not in nursing facilities. We must pay people who do this work a fair 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. I believe that whoever serves the people should have the majority of the vote.

Senate District 7

Louie Luchini (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Among the biggest challenges to our economy: building our workforce, keeping/attracting young people in Maine, and lowering healthcare costs. We must develop a 21st century economy that creates good-paying jobs with benefits. We can continue investments in R&D and commercialization, support small business and start-ups, and expand broadband to all parts of Maine. Increased investments in pre-k to adult education will help prepare our workforce, making licenses/credentials more accessible.

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 approved Medicaid expansion and it’s the Legislature’s responsibility to budget for it. Expansion will help rural hospitals by reducing the enormous financial burden of charity care, which forces hospitals to shift the cost to those with private insurance, or balance their budgets by making job cuts. The legislature needs to prioritize expansion in the biennial budget process. A potential source of funding is the millions received annually by Maine’s liquor contract.

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 programs should help Mainers that are truly in need. Reforms should focus on a more efficient delivery of services, while rooting out any welfare fraud. Removing the “cliff effect” will allow people to ease off the programs. Our social services programs must focus on lifting families out of poverty, helping them find work and healthcare, so they can eventually leave the programs entirely.

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 needs to make serious investments to improve our roads and bridges. Bonding is an option for investing in infrastructure, but we should also make larger investments through the biennial budget process, maximizing federal match dollars.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Maine should encourage and incentivize the use of renewable energy, such as hydropower, solar, tidal, wind, and biomass. Not only will this help our environment, but it will create jobs and increase economic investments in Maine. We should be leaders in off-shore wind, utilizing UMaine’s research. Biomass continues to help our struggling forestry/logging industries. Maine should incentivize conservation of energy by weatherizing homes and using more efficient sources of heat, like heat pumps.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I believe current law is sufficient, and I don’t believe politicians should make personal health care decisions for 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?
I have not taken a position on Question 1 yet.

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 supported a constitutional amendment allowing RCV in all Maine elections.

Richard S. Malaby (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Long term our biggest barrier is high costs- for taxes, electricity and regulations.
Short term largest barrier is need for additional workforce.
Legislature could try to lower taxes and energy costs and promote workforce development while making the state more business friendly.

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 be included in the budget if it is a priority. Frankly, the lack of skilled, trained eligibility specialists is an immediate impediment to expansion. The department needs 27 people to achieve normal case loads for specialists (700 cases per staffer). We would need an additional 100 to expand by 70,000. This is a complex job, requiring knowledge of Federal law, significant computer skills and a great deal of training. I just do not see it happening quickly.

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 has a variety of meanings but for the most part people tend to think of it as eligibility for state paid services.

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. While I do not favor a blanket increase in the tax, I could see increasing it if the price of oil falls below a certain benchmark figure-say $2.00 a gallon statewide wholesale. Conversely if the wholesale price stays above that, then I would eliminate the increase in the taxes. I suggest a modest tax increase if that price is below the benchmark.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
I have no problem with renewables, but I do not think the state should be subsidizing investments that do not make economic sense.

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?
I will vote No-it is a sham. Yet another poorly crafted referendum.

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 can not see the need for a constitutional amendment for this issue.

Senate District 8

Kimberley Rosen (R) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
The popular quote “demographics is destiny” applies to Maine’s economy. Employers are wrestling with the challenge of dwindling numbers of working age people. The Legislature should re-design all economic incentives to restrict the benefits to rewarding job creation, attraction and retention, with preference to small Maine based businesses. Also, voters must soundly reject ballot questions like Question 1that drastically increase Maine state tax rates.

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?
Dedicate a portion of the revenue from the sale of liquor, tobacco products and marijuana to fund the Medicaid eligibility expansion as well as providing an increase of resources targeted to add more addiction treatment and recovery 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?
Establish as our top priority the safety net of services for children, the elderly in need and people with disabilities as well as people designated as class members in negotiated consent decree settlements. Services for people looking for temporary support should be tailored to individual circumstances and transitioning off these services should be tiered step by step rather than an abrupt all or nothing cliff.

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?
Borrowing adds interest expense to the overall cost of projects. The additional public funding required to retire the debt results in fewer miles of highway improved. Prudent adjustments to the gas tax will generate direct funding for transportation projects and is preferable to incurring costs associated with heavy borrowing, providing the public and overall economy more bang for the buck. Utilizing debt should be reserved for extraordinary circumstances that require maximum flexibility.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Incentives should be equalized across all renewables including hydro, solar, wind, tidal and geothermal. The current overall level of incentives to encourage investment in renewable energy sources is sufficient but the state should apply them evenly and fairly rather than pitting winners against losers.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Current state laws are appropriate.

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. The 30 pages of new law in this proposal will hurt not help Maine people and damage the Maine economy. It includes the largest tax increase on Maine working households in the history of our state. It creates a shadow-government board with no direct accountability to the taxpayers of Maine. The proposed new law violates personal medical privacy and violates the Maine Constitution.

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 support the ranked-choice voting experiment. I think a run-off process is preferable because voters would easily understand the choices before them. However, the voters have decided the question and rank-choice voting is the law we must operate under. Therefore as Senator I respect that outcome and support sending out for voter approval the necessary constitutional fix required to implement the law.

Beverly B. Uhlenhake (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Roads, rail, and waterways used to be the route for goods and services to be exported out of the state of Maine. Now, much of that commerce exchange happens fully or at least in part over the internet. We have the Three Ring Binder developed; we need to pull the stakeholders together, fund it, and implement it. This is especially important 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?
First, we need to understand that if we don’t fund Medicaid expansion, we’ll need to soon bail out our hospitals who are struggling due to the number of uninsured seeking treatment. Once we realize that we are paying for it no matter what we do, the money will be much less painful to find.

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’ve talked with Mainers in this district throughout the campaign, not a person expressed a desire to completely eliminate welfare. We all agree that we need a safety net. That safety net must be accessible, fair, and easy to understand. It also must be appropriate in the amount of assistance available and safeguards against 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?
On many other issues, we hear that those that use the service should pay for the service. At some point, we need to get over our fear of a gas tax increase. We are paying for infrastructure whether it be through bonds or through an increased gas tax. It’s best coming from those who use it.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
The State of Maine should invest in the research and development to make these technologies more accessible and affordable to the general public. This is exactly the public/private partnership that needs to be negotiated.

We also need to invest in weatherization projects throughout Maine to address the other side of the energy equation. We need to reduce the use, but we can’t do that as heat pours out through the cracks of some of the oldest housing stock in the nation.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I had a great-uncle who happened to be a Catholic missionary priest in Peru most of his life. At the end of his days, he expressed his belief to my grandmother that abortion would happen no matter the legality of it. It is our job to help women stay safe in the process, and we can’t do that in an unregulated market.

I’m also of the firm belief that we need to do all we can to prevent abortions – access to education, reproductive healthcare and birth control are vitally important.

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 know that helping the elderly stay in their homes for as long as possible is more effective, more efficient, and more dignified than the alternatives. But tax reform via referendum is a bad idea. I’ll be voting against this referendum, but I will work toward better options for home care when I get to Augusta.

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 agree with the League of Women Voters (who originally presented this idea in the early 00s) that ranked choice voting leads to more civil campaigns and less need for strategic voting. Ranked choice voting really does offer more choice and more voice to voters.

Senate District 9

Geoffrey Gratwick (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 to our economic development: a.) A broken, much-too-expensive health care system that is ruinous for both businesses and individuals. The Legislature must create a new structure that emphasizes prevention, accessibility, lower prices for medications, a public insurance option, and simplicity; b.) Lack of high-speed internet throughout Maine; c.) We need to keep our young people here with programs that create more and better jobs. Also, we need carefully designed tuition forgiveness programs, paid family medical leave, and pre-K programs.

Micky Bedell | BDN
Micky Bedell | BDN
State Sen. Geoffrey Gratwick

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 a physician I have been a leader in the effort to expand Medicaid for the past eight years. Expansion will provide preventative and other medical care regardless of income for those it covers. Healthy citizens are productive citizens. States that expanded Medicaid after 2008 have done better economically than those that have not. Expanding Medicaid will bring $525 million in federal monies per year at a cost of $25-30 million of state 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?
It means we have to fix the rules so public assistance is a safety net, not a generational life style. We need to modify the current ‘cliff’ which causes recipients to lose all major benefits (MaineCare, food stamps, housing) when their income increases by a small amount. Benefits should be tapered, not abruptly shut off. If people work more, they need to know they will take home more money and escape the cycle of dependency.

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 parents paid the taxes and fees which built the infrastructure that now supports our economy. We should make sure that we do the same for our kids. Roads, bridges, ports, clean water, sewers, and public facilities are essential. High speed internet, the economic highway of the future, has now joined this group of essential public services. Funding should come in part from user fees, in part from public funds but largely from bond issues.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
In a time of rapid technological change, the relative role of wind, solar, gas, renewables, and petroleum will clearly change. We do not know what Maine’s energy mix will be even ten years from now. A constant is our need for conservation, weatherization and smart transportation: these must be as much a priority as the cost per kilowatt hour of electricity. The technology of energy storage is evolving and will undoubtedly lead us down new and currently unknown paths; Maine must study and rapidly adopt new options.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Abortion should be rare, safe and legal; it should not be a state-by-state option.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
Caring for our elderly at home makes social and medical sense. Question #1 has introduced us to the idea of funded home care. Eventually we will look back and wonder why we did not adopt it earlier. I am concerned that, as currently written, the referendum has not been sufficiently vetted. There are too many unanswered questions and too many decisions will be left to the legislature; these decisions will invariably be resented. For this reason, I will not be voting for it. However, the issue is of paramount importance and should move forward; the legislature must iron out its details beforehand, with the benefit of widespread public input and hearings.

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

James LaBrecque (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
As an inventor, technology specialist and businessman for 45 years, the lack of technically trained minds coupled with unrealistic expectations of the young is irresponsible. Legislators should relax their dominant push for liberal arts college and emphasize the critical need for technical training in a growing complex and technologically advanced society. These are the most lucrative jobs for many future graduates.

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 another case where liberal extremists engage in a referendum to hijack and circumvent the legislative process of public hearings. Legislative public hearings with input from citizens and experts is paramount to fair and successful legislation. Bangor incumbent democrats voted together to deny our second district voters an equal voice in allowing such referenda on statewide ballots. How is this in our best interests? Their party votes were against their obligations to represent us.

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 statutory obligation to meet the basic physical and material well-being of people in need. Welfare reform to me means, assuring that the limited resources for those truly needy are not abused by those gaming the system, like those using welfare money for gambling, booze, cigarettes and pot. Welfare reform should mean better identifying those people who are in most need for safe and healthy environments, not entertainment.

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. Adjust the tax rate as needed to meet the needs. Let those who benefit most from the infrastructure contribute more in taxes for maintaining them. Too many private initiatives are allowed to greatly profit from special rules and back room deals whereby taxpayers end up paying more so others can profit. Increase transparency so that all citizens know what is going on. Revisit exorbitant contracts and renegotiate for more honest and fairness. We have seen President Trump do just that.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
No. I know of no other industry that has relied on pushing their product for 45 years through hundreds of special, state and federal laws still in effect today. No additional amount of new laws will result in fulfilling future promises anymore than they succeeded in past performance over the last 45 years. We know Angus King and others made millions from taking advantage of government subsidies. Why would we want to allow others to make millions more off tax and rate paying consumers?

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Any changes in legalized abortions must be addressed by the Supreme Court. Abortion laws are on the books. A woman has a right to choose. I would wish the baby and father had rights as well, but currently the baby in the womb has no voice. There is science regarding at what point a fetus is able to live without the mother. That is a discussion I would like to see advanced. I believe more education and information should be available to the public at large.

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. Again, this is another case where out of state liberal extremists engaged in a referendum to hijack and circumvent the legislative process of public hearings. It is an additional 3.8% on certain Maine families. Maine’s businesses and economy will be devastated by this tax, wait lists for home care will be out-of-control because there is no means test for this program, and the privacy of our seniors and disabled will be at risk. Why would anyone want to vote for this? I certainly will not.

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 man, one vote. Majority rule. These are tenets of our electoral process and remains the ideal way to choose our elective legislators. RCV simply takes the majority vote, if not over 50%, and forces a second tally where a less capable candidate could steal the election. Leaders and legislators should win based upon their principals, character and experience, not on a popularity contest. This is not high school. RCV was not legally funded and a mistake favored by out of state interests

Senate District 10

Bill Lippincott (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Our educational system is not keeping up with the needs of our 21st century economy. We need to have quality education across the state, starting in early childhood; teachers are one of our most important assets, and we need to retain and attract good teachers to our state. We also need to have affordable vocational education and community colleges to train workers in the skills of the 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 federal government still picks up 90% or more of Medicaid expansion, and the population that is covered by Medicaid expansion tends to be less expensive than others on Medicaid and Medicare.  Money from the $35 million tobacco settlement would take care of some of the costs; we should look at what other states are doing or planning, including surplus revenue in the general fund, tapping into tax revenues such liquor sales, making hospitals help, or cutting other Medicaid costs.

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 have a system that enables low-income single mothers a chance to escape the cycle of poverty. There has to be an incentive to take a job without putting a family in worse straits and a transition time before all benefits end. Affordable daycare and vocational training are essential components for any program to get people back into the workforce

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 vehicles become more fuel efficient, gas taxes have not kept pace with the cost of maintaining roads and bridges. Two alternative methods should be looked at: the total yearly mileage of a vehicle, and the impact that class of vehicle has on the wear and tear of our roads. I don’t foresee the elimination of bonds in the near future as a method of funding, but other sources should be examined

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
The state should encourage renewable energy. I agree with 97% of climate scientists that global warming is happening and the cause is an increase in greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels. It’s imperative for our children’s future that we switch to renewable energy sources, such as solar power, and this presents an great opportunity for economic growth as demand for renewable energy increases in Maine and New England

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I support Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion. I also recognize that health care and education help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and so also reduce the need for 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?
We need to support home care for seniors; Maine has an aging population and home care costs about half of what it would cost to house someone in a nursing home, with a much higher quality of life. But I don’t support doing this by referendum; I would like to work on legislation that looks at different funding mechanisms, and looks at what other states are doing as models for what we can do 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?
Not at this time. I would like to see how well ranked-choice voting works in the US Senate and House races this fall before I would support a constitutional amendment

Stacey Guerin (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Work force shortage and lack of capital investment are two of our biggest barriers to improved economic growth. Attracting and retaining workers and capital investment can both be helped by lowering our taxes. We are the third highest state in the nation in tax burden. People and companies are comparison shopping on this costly 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?
CNBC reports our tax burden is 11.02, the third highest in the nation. Clearly, we should not raise taxes to fund expansion. That leaves us with the question of where to reduce spending in other areas such as transportation and education, neither of which I wish to reduce, to pay for expansion. I want to be clear, Medicaid Expansion in no way affects our senior citizens. We must lower healthcare costs for ALL our citizens. More coverage choices would reduce everyone’s healthcare costs.

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?
Putting able-bodied people back to work and preserving our resources for the truly needy is welfare reform. Working gives people a sense accomplishment and a hopeful future. Mainers are known for being self-sufficient, welfare reform encourages that spirit. My own “Casino Intercept” reform bill has transferred nearly half a million dollars to overdue child support payments from parent’s gambling winnings.

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 poor condition of our roads and bridges is a important issue to my constituents. I support moving away from our current funding shortfall system which leads to repeated borrowing with interest. One possible solution would be to apply the 150 million dollars collected in vehicle sales tax to the highway fund. This would give the transpiration department enough funds to virtually eliminate borrowing. Let’s make the condition of our roads a priority!

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Renewable energy resources are important. I encourage both individual and corporate investment in these resources.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
When I was a young women, we were told that a developing fetus was a blob of tissue. Thanks to the advances in medical science, most of us have now seen a pregnancy sonogram. We now know it is a baby, capable of feeling pain. 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 join all of our gubernatorial candidates, regardless of party, in opposing Question 1. It is unconstitutional, extraordinarily expensive and unsustainable.

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. I do not support discarding votes, thus denying the votes of Maine citizens. I also have serious concerns about the cost incurred and security of ballots being transferred away from local oversight.

Senate District 11

Erin Herbig (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Having met with more than 100 businesses in Waldo County this year, I can definitely say the greatest barrier to economic development is a trained workforce. The best employee in the world is a well trained Maine worker. The legislature needs to expand vocational education in high schools and the community college system, particularly in the trades, healthcare and the composite industry, so people can get the training they need without having to travel far from 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?
The legislature has already approved a bipartisan proposal to fund this mandate which is awaiting the Governor’s signature. Medicaid expansion is critical for the sustainability of our rural hospitals as well as the ability of our healthcare workforce to provide direct care to all Mainers.

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 Maine, we look out for our neighbors. That means having programs to support people who are struggling. It is also important to recognize the money used to fund these services comes from hardworking Maine families and we owe them the responsibility to make sure programs are run efficiently and effectively, and are available for those who are truly 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. Rather than borrowing money, routine road and bridge maintenance should be direct line items of the budget. Borrowing money for maintenance is not fiscally responsible and leaves rural Maine behind.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes. Mainers have always been independent and our energy policy should be too. Renewable energy diversifies our energy demands, and diversification is an important part of any investment strategy. We should encourage the expansion of these emerging technologies through tax and policy development.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Our current abortion laws carefully balance the rights and interests of all people. This is an important part of women’s healthcare that should be decided between a woman and her healthcare 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?
While I certainly agree with providing more support for Maine’s seniors and Mainers with disabilities, I do not believe the funding mechanism outlined in this referendum is the best way to proceed. I am committed to working with my colleagues as chair of the Aging Caucus and other interested parties to find solutions to this issue that are right for every Mainer aging in the community they love.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Voters already approved this by referendum and the legislature has a responsibility to make sure it happens. I’ve heard from an overwhelming number of my constituents who support this measure and I am committed to seeing it through.

Jayne Crosby Giles (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Maine needs a skilled and ready workforce. Employers that I spoke to this past year often said that finding able employees is their biggest challenge. My “Learn Here/Live Here” program focuses on inspiring our next generation to launch their careers in Maine by supporting the following legislation: expand career & technical training across Maine, develop business & tech incubators to encourage entrepreneurs and connect rural Maine to better & faster broadband networks.

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 should be funded in the next biennial budget without gimmicks or “one timeÄ funds. The state has a $7 billion biennial budget. The proposed $50 million expansion is .7% of the total budget which we should be able to afford. Additionally, Wellness incentives encouraging people to live healthier, quit smoking & increase exercise should be woven into our Medicaid program. Only 3% of national health care costs are spent on prevention & wellness. Healthier living will reduce costs.

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 all deserve a chance to be successful. Sometimes people need a helping hand due to illness, job loss or other unexpected event. Unless disabled or elderly, government assistance should be temporary with a goal that recipients become financially & emotionally secure. As example, Family Development Accounts (FDA) help low income families budget and save. Enrollees may receive a 4:1 “match” up to $5000 for education, home purchase or self- employment. More programs like FDAs help others 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?
Maine wisely pays off bonds for roads & bridges within 10 years. By repaying the debt relatively quickly, Maine stays ahead of the “useful life” for bridges & roadways. When I served on the Maine Legislature’s Appropriations & Financial Affairs committee, we carefully watched how much debt the state carried in relation to the amount of General Fund revenues that the state receives. I recommend that this approach continue.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Investment in renewable energy technologies is smart investment for Maine’s future. The legislature should encourage additional collaboration with our neighbor Canada that has made significant investment in clean, renewable energy sources. Investment in the businesses and organizations that provide clean energy should include a long range plan so that these enterprises become economically viable & sustainable over time.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I recommend no changes to the current abortion laws. Roe v Wade was decided in the 1970’s and is accepted law. My utmost concem is for the pregnant woman and that she have access to proper care and support as she decides what is the best course for her family & her family.

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 support ways to help families take care of their loved ones, I do not support Question 1 for several reasons. The revenue raised by the tax increase does not have adequate legislative oversight with the funds being managed by a separate board. Plus, the 3.8% tax hits many Mainers, including, doctors, dentists and nurses. These are medical professionals that we need, especially in rural Maine, to provide services. I recommend that the legislature take a closer look at the issue in 2019.

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 having the next legislature review the results of the 2018 elections before expanding RCV further. The June 12, 2018 primary was the first election in which RCV was used in Maine. After the primary, when visiting voters during my door-to-door campaign, I found that there is still a lot of confusion on how RCV works. More voter education is needed and evaluation of the 2018 before RCV is expanded.

Senate District 12

David Miramant (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
We need to embrace people from all over the world to fill our workforce with those willing to work. We also need to support broadband expansion in rural areas and continue to train our workforce for the jobs that are available. These are all happening, but not to the levels necessary to support the demands.

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 a bill request in the Revisor’s Office to fund the Medicaid expansion at 50 million dollars. That will leverage the 500 million that the federal government will contribute thereby reducing the money wasted on high cost emergency room visits, or folks suffering with health issues that could be addressed. This is what the voters have decided and we need to make it happen. This should be expanded to include all Mainers and take our healthcare out of the hands of insurance companies.

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 examining the use of the funds spent on our social programs to make sure they are being administered fairly and efficiently. We have the Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability (OPEGA) that has that role in Maine government and I have supported funding in the past and will in the future. We have been doing that whenever we can and the results have shown that fraud and waste are a rare exception.

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?
Definitely. This is a problem we wrestle with constantly on the Transportation Committee. It is such a waste of money to bond and pay interest when we know we are not meeting our needs. We have had several suggestions such as increasing the gas tax, a per mile charge at re-registration or a dedicated road use fee at registration. We need to bring all the ideas together and work it out in the committee since it is a challenge that will need broad agreement to pass.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes, The real costs of burning fossil fuels are being ignored and those emissions are having serious consequences on our health. There is abundant evidence of climate change and the the need to stop the pollution caused by combustive generation of power. We have endless offshore wind resources and unlimited sun for solar generation. The cost for solar has dropped by 60% in the last 8 years. The companies selling and installing solar are creating good paying jobs that can’t leave the state.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
The law is in place and needs to be honored. No legislature should be allowed to undermine the law and make it unusable.

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 continue to make the hard choices on the bills facing the Legislature and I will consider the question for myself when I go to the polls. This is certainly an issue we need to address in Maine and I am grateful that the referendum is giving attention to that 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, this is a way to have our choices considered throughout the voting process. It also creates a more civil campaign since the ranking of candidates seems to correlate with those who run more positive campaigns based on issues instead of attacks.

Wendy Pelletier (R)

Did not respond.

Senate District 13

Dana Dow (R) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Taxes are too high when comparing to other states. Too many businesses choose to go elsewhere instead of here. Proof: K-12 student population in our schools has decreased 25% since 1970 (240K to less than 180K) as young families have moved out of 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’m against dedicated funding sources. Full Legislature needs to address the same as any bill that compete for limited monies. The solutions must pass the Legislature and survive possible vetoes. This process will assure a stable outcome.

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?
Basing the changes on a sliding monetary scale. Some jobs pay less than total benefit packages and at a certain income, welfare falls off the cliff. Needs a scale to encourage people to go back to work. Welfare is meant to be temporary.

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?
Revisit the gas tax amount. Paying at the pump is better than borrowing and interest continually. Need to investigate per-mile registration fee for low-mileage cars. Everybody needs to pay their fair share.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Not a fan of ugly wind power. Should maintain research and development of solar power so that costs will eventually be reduced. Solar power locally also will reduce transmission costs compared to long distances from powerplants.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I would keep 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?
NO. A very poorly worded initiative fraught with errors. May contain unconstitutional methods of obtaining personal health information. The administration of the funds is not responsible to the government or any legislative agency.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Undecided. Is it necessary? The first trial showed delayed time of picking winners at an extra expense, yet not one single change occurred from normal plurality method in use.

Laura A. Fortman (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
We need to invest in our people (education/skills) and our infrastructure (including broadband). We need to make sure that we expand our labor force by recruiting and retaining workers and investing in education at all levels, including vocational technical training. Also, we must invest in our roads, bridges, and broadband. This will create good paying jobs in the short term and provide dividends for business and Maine people for decades to come.

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 decisively supported Medicaid expansion. Implementing it needs to be a top priority. For every dollar that Maine spends on Medicaid expansion, we will receive nine dollars from the federal government. Medicaid expansion will not only support critical health care services, such as treating substance use disorder, it will shore up rural hospitals by reducing charity care and help create new jobs. If necessary, general fund revenue can be used to fund this expenditure.

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?
While knocking on doors I have had many conversations about “welfare reform”. I heard repeatedly that most people don’t mind helping out a neighbor when they are struggling. I also heard broad support for job training, child care and making work pay by expanding the EITC- things that improve self-sufficiency and reduce poverty. There was deep compassion for children, folks who are aging, or have a disability. Also, everyone agrees – people who abuse the system need to be held accountable.

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 Maine’s current practices make sense to meet our immediate needs. Major investments in our roads and bridges are needed now and interest rates are low. However, more and more bonds and ever increasing gas taxes can’t be our long term answer. Maine is not the only state grappling with this issue. This challenge calls out for a national blue ribbon commission to make recommendations. Failing that, Maine should undertake a study of our own.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
I believe that energy policy needs to transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources. I believe that expanded incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies would be appropriate, but the nature and extent of those initiatives needs to be worked out in the legislative process. Finally, we need to improve efficiency and conservation efforts.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I support the right of Maine women to access safe and legal abortion, as codified in the Maine Reproductive Privacy Act, and oppose any legislation that limits the right of a woman to make the best decision for her 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?
I support the intent of Question 1. Lincoln County is the oldest county in Maine. Developing a long-term care system that meets the needs of older people so that all of us can maintain our independence as we age is critical. The legislature must address this and, if elected, it will be a top priority for me. However, I have concerns about several elements in Question 1 including the proposed funding mechanism and the governance structure. Therefore, I will not 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?
Yes. Again, the voters of Maine have spoken clearly in two separate referenda that they want Ranked Choice Voting (RCV). It was used successfully in some primaries this year. Also, I believe that RCV can help reduce the negative rhetoric in campaigns which would be a very good thing.

Senate District 14

Shenna Bellows (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Infrastructure. Maine is a great place to live, but lack of infrastructure including high speed, reliable Internet, cell phone service and transportation can make it a tough place to start a business. We need to think boldly about building infrastructure, especially technology, as a recruitment tool to attract and retain young people to live and work in our state. Last session I proposed the creation of a public-private partnership to match private and public investments in broadband statewide.

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 an incredible bargain. Maine will receive approximately $9 from the federal government for every $1 we spend at the state level to provide healthcare to an estimated 70,000 additional Mainers. Revenues are strong, and I’m proud that we have run a budget surplus. Now is exactly the time to invest some of that surplus in access to healthcare for more Mainers. In the long run, we may save money in overall healthcare costs when more people can access preventive 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?
To me, welfare reform means working in a collaborative and bipartisan way to ensure that the truly needy, especially our seniors, children and people with disabilities, have adequate food and housing and that everyone who can work does 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. While Governor LePage’s Administration has done an excellent job with maintaining our highways, our broader network of local roads and bridges needs more attention. I support restoring revenue sharing to provide more support to cities and towns for local road and bridge maintenance. Investing in transportation infrastructure is a huge economic development tool to create good jobs.

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 expand incentives for renewable energy because it’s good for the economy and good for the environment. Energy independence is crucial to growing our economy and protecting our state security.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Maine’s laws are well established protecting the freedom of women to make their own decisions about abortion free from interference from the government. I support current Maine law protecting access to abortion and will do everything in my power to support women’s access to a full range of reproductive 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?
I will respect the will of the people, whatever they decide. I have serious concerns about the details including implementation and funding. My mom is a home healthcare nurse, so I know how important home healthcare is to Mainers, and I support the goal of the referendum, but I think the details need to be more carefully planned and thought through.

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 have endorsed ranked choice voting at the ballot twice. Amending the Maine Constitution to return it to its original wording and allow ranked choice voting will ensure that the people are heard.

Matthew William Stone (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Our high energy and healthcare costs combined with an oppressive tax and regulatory structure make Maine an extremely difficult state to do business in. We need more legislators who have private sector experience and understand the economic struggles of both workers and small business owners. I worked for many years at a credit union, helping families and small businesses solve their financial problems. I’m the only candidate in this race who truly understands the economic challenges facing 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?
We need more adults in the room in order to solve this problem. Ideological considerations, whether conservative or progressive, need to be left at the door. Medicaid expansion is what voters wanted, so it’s what they’re going to get. The most pressing problem to solve is the long term viability of the program. There’s no sugar-coating this: we’re going to have to either raise revenues or cut other programs. Once elected, I’m going to listen carefully to my constituents on how to proceed.

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 restoring trust in a vital and necessary public system. Even mere rumors of welfare fraud undermine social trust and hurt our communities. It’s important that our assistance programs are focused on helping the truly needy of our native population: the disabled, single parents, poor elderly, etc. If able-bodied young adults fail to find direction in life, perhaps it’s time the state provides it for them in the form of volunteerism or infrastructure projects.

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 the hybrid and electric car industry markets continue to grow, we must re-examine how we raise revenues in order to maintain our roads and bridges. I look forward to studying this issue further and exploring solutions with all stakeholders.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes. Maine is well-positioned to become a leader in renewable energy technologies, whether it’s in the form of hydro, solar or offshore wind. If Denmark can get 42% of its energy from wind, then so can Maine. For too long, the fossil fuels industry has been able to suppress green energy initiatives through the buying of politicians. As a proud Clean Election candidate, I support expanding renewable energy options, as long as costs aren’t passed on to ratepayers.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
While I believe Roe v. Wade is settled law, I sympathize with those who morally object to abortion on the basis that it’s a violation of the sanctity of life. I strongly support the right to safe and legal abortion in the cases of rape, incest, life of the mother, certain genetic disorders, and even socioeconomic circumstances, but I also oppose taxpayer funding of abortion and “abortion on request.” Even the UK, India, and Japan ban the latter. It’s something to consider.

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. The tax increase alone would drive middle-class working couples out of state and destroy small businesses, further shrinking our tax base and leading to even worse home care for our seniors. There are also potential HIPAA violations in Q1. Even Janet Mills has come out against this referendum. I was disappointed that my opponent declined to answer “yes or no” to this question in a survey with another paper. It’s important that our political leaders give straight answers to these questions.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Maine’s constitution is based on Massachusetts’ constitution, which was written by John Adams. I believe he knew what he was doing when he wrote it. I will not support any amendment that meddles with the fundamentals of our representative democracy, including the grossly unconstitutional and so-called “ranked choice voting.”

Senate District 15

Matthew Pouliot (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Finding skilled employees to fill positions is the primary concern I hear from employers in Maine. To grow our economy, we must ensure that Maine residents are trained with the skills needed for the jobs of today. Supporting career & technical education as well as programming at Maine’s post-secondary institutions is necessary. We also must get serious about attracting people to Maine with incentives to reduce student loan debt through tax credits that match principal pay-down on loans.

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 be addressed through sustainable sources. We must make sure that we do not end up in a situation where we are not able to pay our bills like before.

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?
Ensuring that welfare programs are utilized to help people get a hand up without becoming a long-term handout. Many people do not want to be on welfare, but need certain programs to get by in the short-term and that is ok. Yet for some able-bodied adults it has become a way of life to sustain themselves through social service programs and that is not ok. We must provide these individuals with valuable training and opportunities to improve their skills so they can become gainfully employed.

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 vehicles become more and more energy efficient, the outdated model of using the gas tax is not sustainable. Technology exists to track the amount of miles driven by a vehicle, we should look at implementing a pay-per-mile system as a more equitable way to fund our infrastructure.

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 the incentives implemented do not burden ratepayers. Beyond the environmental imperative, it makes sense to use energy that is renewable because diversifying our energy portfolio provides an opportunity to become more and more energy independent. As technologies improve, the ability to reduce costs and dependence will prove to be beneficial for all Maine people.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I will continue to work to maintain 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?
Against. It is an imprudent way to fund the issue of home care 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?
No. I am hearing from many of my constituents that it is confusing and they feel it should not be in place for any elections.

Kellie Julia (D)

Did not respond.

Senate District 16

Scott W. Cyrway (R) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Maine is facing a workforce shortage. There are not enough workers for the jobs. Sadly so many young people are unable to lead productive lives due to the use of illegal drugs. I think we need to help our young people to make good choices in life so that they can help reduce the workforce shortage. Those good choices might be to avoid drugs or to take more technical courses, but the most important thing is that we encourage young people to stay in Maine and participate in the workforce.

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Sen. Scott Cyrway, R-Benton

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 the voters approved Medicaid expansion, we need to be sure that it is funded. In the past when expansions were funded, a huge debt to hospitals was created. Paying off the hospital debt is one of the best things the state has done recently. We need to make sure that Medicaid is expanded responsibly and that the people on the waiting list are served. We do not want to rob Peter to pay Paul.

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 spent my life trying to help those in need and protect children. Welfare reform means ensuring we help those in need while also helping people help themselves with resources available. It means protecting all of Maine children, no matter their background. Welfare reform means making sure that help gets to those who really need it. When money is handed to those who could do without, we have less for those who are relying on these 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?
Bonding might not be the best way to fund our roads. Cars get much better gas mileage than they did in the past and that means that there isn’t as much money coming in from the gas tax. We should look to see how other states have dealt with this to find a way that works for Maine. Our roads are so important that we need to be sure that the cost is fairly distributed.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Incentives are a great way to encourage starting industries. Solar and wind costs have gone down significantly and they need to find a way to be self-sustaining as they continue to be part of the plan for Maine’s energy needs. We can’t afford to jeopardize industries that are trying hard to bounce back.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Abortion is a federal issue that the Supreme Court has addressed. I am not planning to introduce any bills relating to it, though I am personally 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 am voting “No” on Question 1. Question 1 has the potential to force families and small businesses out of Maine due to high taxes. While it may be well intended, this bill wouldn’t target Mainers who really need the help and would harm middle class families. Maine cannot afford to become the highest taxed state in the country. If re-elected, I will work with my colleagues to help make home health care affordable for Mainers in a responsible way.

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 it. I believe in one person, one vote. The process has proven to be more expensive than expected as we saw in the primary process when there were over $300,000 in unfunded costs.

Karen Kusiak (D)

Did not respond.

Senate District 17

Jan Collins (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
The two most important factors affecting economic development are education and infrastructure. Broadband internet, cell service, well maintained roads and bridges; and skilled workers who can problem solve attract business investment in our communities. We need to insure proper funding for both. The legislature must assure that the state fulfill its obligations to fund schools. Tax cuts to the wealthiest Mainers during the last 8 years have prevented investments in rural Maine 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?
Maine has missed out on over 1.5 billion dollars in federal investment and the 6000 medical jobs those funds would have generated. Every rural hospital in the state is struggling under deficits caused by the number of patients who lack health insurance. The legislature should review the three tax cuts it has made in the last six years to a very narrow segment of the population and consider new revenue streams as identified in the 2009 tax study.

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 means better meeting the material and physical needs of Mainers. To do so, the economy in Maine must grow. To increase work force participation and maximize employment in an ever changing economy, we must have the ability to train and retrain. Job training for the unemployed and underemployed should be vigorous and targeted. It should be done in partnership with employers and should include supports that make it possible for parents of small children to benefit, such as, childcare.

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 revisit how it funds infrastructure creating a reliable source of revenue to avoid the current poor condition of many of the state’s roads and bridges. Revenues from the gas tax and/or bond initiatives, vary according to the strength of the economy. The need for road repair, however, is predictable. Infrastructure investments should be a regular part of the budget and funded from the general fund.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Incentives encouraging solar power should be expanded. Solar expansion boosts local economies. Solar provides local jobs in sales, installation and repair. It creates energy independence, slows the accumulation of greenhouse gasses, and provides clean energy. Solar energy can be stored. Wind power cannot be stored, adds few jobs to the local economy, and requires transmission lines. When placed on mountains, turbines require the mountain top be blasted.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I believe the current laws regarding abortions strike the right balance.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
Maine is the oldest state in the country. We have a shortage of nurses, homecare workers, senior housing, and specialized alzheimer care facilities. We have known the current crisis was coming and have failed to plan appropriately. As I travel around the district I am struck by the number of people who are struggling with the health care needs of an aging parent or partner. They can no longer be ignored. Question 1 is flawed, elder care must be 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?
I support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections. Ranked choice voting insures that the candidate with the broadest support wins. Candidates opposed by a majority of voters cannot win.

Russell Black (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Maine has made tremendous progress in the last eight years by lowering taxes and reducing regulations, but these remain among our biggest obstacles. We need to fix our referendum process so out of state groups are not bankrolling citizen initiatives with proposals that will raise our taxes. I would support legislation to require an equal number of signatures be gathered from both congressional districts in order to get a referendum question on the ballot.

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 have spoken on the issue of Medicaid expansion, but we need to find a sustainable funding source for it that doesn’t rely on gimmicks and one time funding sources. We have to remember that we are expanding a welfare program to able-bodied adults. Meantime, Mainers with mental and developmental disabilities continue to languish on waitlists for services. I believe they and other truly needy Mainers need our attention.

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 approached as a hand-up, not a hand-out, and not a way of life. The “T” in TANF is short for “temporary.” There will always be people in our society who need help during tough times, but the goal should be to move them out of the system and help them become productive members of 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?
I think we should revisit how we fund infrastructure projects and believe that when possible, we should fund such projects within the state budget instead of asking Maine taxpayers to borrow money.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Simply put, we need to support policies that bring the most cost-effective power to Maine for our businesses and homeowners. I support renewable energy sources such as solar, biomass and hydro when they are affordable, efficient, and make sense.

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?
No. Rather than help those in need, Question 1 will create more waitlists for our elderly to languish on, while handing a large budget to a new bureaucracy with very little oversight from taxpayers. It would also make Maine the highest taxed state in the nation. All four of Maine’s gubernatorial candidates oppose Question 1, and that should tell voters all they need to know about it.

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 this. Ranked-choice voting violates the principle of “one person, one vote.” And while it seeks to have a candidate win by a “majority,” it’s a redefined majority by a “winner” after some candidates are completely eliminated from the ballot. There’s also the issue of the cost of ranked-choice voting, which was greatly underestimated during the June primary, forcing the Legislature to come up with more funds to pay for this convoluted voting scheme

Senate District 18

Lisa M. Keim (R) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Maine’s increasing lack of skilled workforce has already begun to cause economic stagnation. We need to keep young people in Maine and attract more here. Marketing to young families with Maine connections and offering incentives is a good place to start. Also, our family structures continue to crumble. Strong families create productive members of society and healthy, vibrant communities. The state should sift all policies through this lens.

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?
Everyone needs health care. We need to find a way to ensure Mainers have access to it, but government-run health care is not the way to go. Maine expanded Medicaid already, and it took years to pay off the hospitals because the state lacked the money to keep up with costs. The Legislature needs to find a stable source of income to pay for this before expansion moves forward. Most doctors and dentists feel it is essential that some amount of co-pay be required of every person.

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?
Most of us, at one time or another, have fallen on hard times. Maine needs to have a safety net that helps people get back on their feet, but it cannot become a way of life. Our priorities should be helping our truly needy, such as the elderly and Mainers with disabilities. I support the recent reforms Republicans backed to crack down on welfare abuse 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?
I have been supportive of some borrowing to fund infrastructure projects and funding for our colleges. However, I believe we should limit our borrowing and find resources within our budget for other initiatives.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Maine needs affordable, reliable energy sources in order to compete with other states and attract businesses and families. I support renewable energy sources to the extent that they make sense, financially and environmentally. However, we cannot push higher electricity bills onto low and middle-class Maine ratepayers to subsidize renewable energy initiatives.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
All life is sacred. As medical science continues to advance, what was once considered only ‘human tissue’ may now be a viable birth. Maine would do well to make adoption a more accessible option for women who find themselves in this difficult situation.

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 four gubernatorial candidates and the Maine Chamber of Commerce, among many others, all recognize this is bad for Maine. It’s a scam, and it would make Maine the highest-taxed state in the nation. There is plenty of Q 1 information in print and online. I urge readers to do their research.

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 has already caused many problems. First, the Maine Supreme Court ruled it’s unconstitutional for state general elections. Now Maine uses two different voting methods. This is confusing. RCV is costlier, less secure, and leaves voters in doubt of outcomes for a prolonged period. The Australian people I’ve quizzed give a very different picture of how this system plays out over the years. I am convinced that RCV does not improve outcomes and do not support expansion.

James Wilfong (D)

Did not respond.

Senate District 19

James Hamper (R) – Incumbent

Did not respond.

Michael McKinney (D)

Did not respond.

Senate District 20

Eleanor Espling (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Maine has record low unemployment and increased state revenues, thanks to sound fiscal management over the last eight years. Businesses that struggled during the recession are seeing more economic success in Maine. When I speak with big and small business owners, the biggest issue they are facing is finding people to work. Workforce development will be a key priority in the upcoming session. Maine can do more to recruit workers as we have so much to offer as a 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?
While I have concerns about the long-term budget consequences of expanding Medicaid, it can only be funded within the scope of the budget. This will require the Legislature setting priorities and making hard choices. A responsible budget would be one that does not increase taxes and does not take money out of 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?
Welfare reform simply means helping the truly needy by ensuring those dollars go to providing for basic needs. A successful welfare program is one that moves someone from poverty to prosperity. The success of a program is one that moves people from dependency to independence, not arbitrarily eliminating people from a program but really working with people to get them back on their feet. We all need help from time to time.

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 all use Maine’s roads and bridges, so I would like to see it a higher priority in using general fund dollars in the highway budget. We take in revenue from multiple taxes on cars and trucks which just goes into the general fund, never to find its way into the highway fund budget. We can do better at funding our infrastructure maintenance costs.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
First we should assess what alternative energy technologies make the most sense in Maine. I have always been open to alternatives in making sure our energy portfolio is as diverse as possible. However, it should not be done at the expense of taxpayers or ratepayers.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I support laws that are both good for the woman and her unborn child. I support a woman having all the information she needs to make an informed decision understanding the other options she may have available to her for support should she want to give birth to the child.

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 a legislator who was named “Advocate of the Year” in 2015 by the Home Care and Hospice Alliance of Maine, I have worked across party lines on home care issues. The Legislature has made home care a priority, so to say we need to invent a new system of delivering that care is unreasonable. The tax will also be detrimental in attracting the young professionals we need in our state to provide care when we already have a worker shortage.

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 changing the state constitution to enable ranked choice voting. Proponents knew it was unconstitutional when it was put on the ballot. If they were truly concerned about the constitutional problems around the initiative, they should have sought to amend the constitution first.

Ned Claxton (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Maine needs an expanding workforce that is ready to maintain what we have and to grow in new directions. There are not enough trained workers now to meet the current needs in the trades – plumbing, electrical, etc., and we need more well-trained and trainable workers to take on new work. To be successful, we need to encourage people to move to Maine, promote strong apprenticeships options and have good job training resources in place for those workers interested in additional training.

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 appears to be adequate funding to initiate the Medicaid expansion – a funding bill was passed but then vetoed. After the first year’s costs, funding needs to be part of the biannual budget considerations. How to fund the expansion should be part of a healthy discussion of Maine’s priorities and funding ability.

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?
All of our welfare programs need periodic assessment to make sure they are accomplishing the purposes for which they were created. Each program needs to be compassionate, focused and effective or it needs to be revised. Reform should follow evidence of under-performance. Just as individuals should be held accountable for their actions, programs should be held accountable to their goals and outcomes.

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 a new way to fund infrastructure funding. Along with many other states, we need to explore options that factor in vehicle weight, miles traveled and vehicle value, to name a few factors. How would a 1% increase in the state sales tax compare to the shrinking revenue from the gas tax? Would that be acceptable to Mainers, given a substantial contribution from out of state visitors? Dedicating those dollars to state and local road repair could decrease the property tax burden.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
We need to continue to develop renewable energy as a step toward lower cost electricity in Maine. This is a key step in moving toward energy independence, decreasing our fossil fuel dependency, and creating a healthy and clean environment to foster economic growth. Newer technologies and infrastructure improvements have been the focus of incentives. In the past. Solar, water and wind are no different. They should be expanded to help avoid degrading Maine’s special environmental qualities.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
The Supreme Court of the United Sates has ruled that access to abortion is legal and a protected constitutional right. Therefore, we should work to assure that all Maine women have equal access to this health care service. That access needs to be supplemented with ongoing education and other efforts to decrease unplanned pregnancies and to promote adoption as an alternative 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?
While I completely support the goal of helping caregivers make a livable wage as they do the important work of keeping people in their homes, I am voting against Question 1. The funding mechanism – a one-time fix for a specific issue, does not address other important state needs. We need to avoid creating a relatively independent, quasi-governmental entity to manage this revenue. This benefit should go only to people who most need it and not to everyone. We need further discussion on funding.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Yes, based on what the voters have said, we should amend the constitution to allow for ranked choice voting in state elections. There is evidence that this process may improve the civility of our elections – something we sorely need. We should respect the voters’ wishes and give it a fair try.

Senate District 21

Nathan Libby (D) – Incumbent

Did not respond.

Nelson M. J. Peters, Jr. (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Lack of qualified workers is the biggest barrier. The Legislature can do at least two things to assist. First, remove all but the most essential barriers so entrepreneurs can thrive in a Maine economic environment. Second, make trade school education inexpensive and easily available to all who will remain in Maine and 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?
All approved referendums come with a cost. The legislature cannot raise taxes to pay for every new program, it just isn’t possible. Other budget items must be cut to pay for the new program. If the Legislature can’t make the cuts then the Governor should have the authority to cut line items from the budget to balance the budget without raising taxes. I think this also helps the voters to set 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?
Welfare should be a temporary safety net for those in real need of assistance. Reform is to assure that welfare doesn’t become a way of life. We certainly should give people a hand up when needed and help them to regain their independence from the 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?
Maintaining infrastructure should not rely on one form of revenue. The funds from the gas tax should go into the general fund and additional general funds may well be needed to assist to pay for the upkeep of the infrastructure. Bonding is a useful technique if used properly but it must be remembered interest is paid on that money borrowed. The Legislature needs to set priorities to pay for what is necessary.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes. Remove barriers and add incentives to move all of us toward renewable resources. It is just the right thing to do.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
The law is this area has become quite settled over the last 30 years. I would suggest we encourage the private sector to provide options and opportunities for women who might wish to have a child adopted as well as expand the opportunity for birth control and education.

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. Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Wathen said it’s deeply unconstitutional in many respects. The Chamber of Commerce says it “over-promises and under delivers.” This legislation is ill-conceived.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
No. Everyone gets just one vote.

Senate District 22

Lois Kilby-Chesley (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
There are many intertwined threads why Maine’s economy has remained stagnant. As a career teacher I see the primary need to invest in education. Research provides a plethora of information on the benefits of early childhood education, adequately funding PreK to grade 12, and providing access to higher education. Without a strong educational system we will continue to fall behind our neighbors. We also need to work to maintain, and grow, our working population through sustainable 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?
There is funding available right now that could get Medicaid expansion started through May 2019. Once the new Legislature is seated it will become imperative to assign dedicated funding to continue helping Mainers in need. This should have begun on July 1, but up to now more than 3500 Mainers have been denied. Again we see evidence of ignoring the will of the voters through the Governor’s veto of $60 million that was allocated by the Legislature.

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 order to reform programs it is important that access is available to the neediest families – a target we often miss. After the economic disaster in 2008 more families with children were drawn into the system. In Maine 1 in 4 children qualifies for free/reduced lunch, an indicator of the severity of the needs. We must be consolidating services to give youngsters and families the leg up to improve their opportunities for success.

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 have never believed bonds were the way to fund infrastructure of roads and bridges in Maine. Over the 10-year life of the bond we pay millions in interest. Just like in our own finances we have reached the point when we should be spending ‘real’ money not depending on bonds. Getting there will hurt in the short-term but be beneficial in the future. I do support raising the gasoline tax to help raise the necessary revenues.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
I am a proponent of solar and off-shore wind energy. Providing incentives for renewable energy is one way to encourage development of an alternative energy grid. I am opposed to CMP’s transmission line from Canada, through ME to MA. Maine needs to view the long-term impacts, and providing incentives now will put us on the path to sustainable energy.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I believe that every women has the right to make decisions for her body, her well-being, her family, her sexuality, including reproductive rights. Choosing an abortion is already a difficult decision and restricting a woman’s choices would force us back to a time when laws decided for us. I believe that every woman has the right to own her body.

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 universal home health care in Maine. At the present time I am personally aware of the problems of home assistance for elderly and disabled Mainers. Care for those who want to stay in their homes, in place of a nursing home, is currently unregulated and quality care is hard to find. Q.1 would make home health care a profession and raise the standard of care.

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 has proven it works. The required constitutional amendment is the necessary next step to expand it to state general elections.

Jeff Timberlake (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
In the last eight years, under Republican leadership, we made the largest tax cut in state history and reduced burdensome, unnecessary regulations. But much more work needs to be done in order for Maine to compete with other states, as well as reduce wasteful state spending. I will advocate for more tax relief for Maine’s families and small businesses. We also need to reform our citizen’s initiative process to prevent outside groups from forcing Mainers to vote on expensive tax schemes.

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 first priority is helping Mainers who are truly in need, including those with mental and development disabilities who remain on waitlists for services. I believe we should focus on them before paying for health insurance for able-bodied, childless adults who would be covered by Medicaid expansion. If we are going to go through with Medicaid expansion, we need to find a way to fund it without raising taxes, dipping into our rainy day fund, or using one-time budget gimmicks.

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 recent years, the Legislature has made significant strides in cracking down on welfare abuse, despite attempts by Democrats to block these reforms. I am not opposed to having a safety net for those who fall on hard times, but we cannot afford to make welfare a permanent way of life for able-bodied Mainers. I believe in the principle of “a hand up, not a handout.” All of our efforts regarding this issue should be focused on guiding people out of the welfare system and into the workforce.

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 generally opposed to borrowing money for projects that we could pay for with existing resources in the state budget. However, in the past I have supported transportation and other infrastructure bonding in order to maintain our roads and bridges. I have also supported bonding for our colleges in order to help keep our young people in Maine.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
In order to be competitive, Maine needs dependable and cost-effective sources of energy. That means expanding our capacity for natural gas and hydro power throughout the state. I am not opposed to alternative power sources such as solar and wind, as long as Maine ratepayers aren’t expected to pay for them. In order to be competitive, alternative energy needs to be affordable.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I am and have always been pro-life. I don’t agree with public funding for abortion, but this is largely a federal matter. I am more focused on improving our economy, lowering taxes, and bringing more jobs to 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?
All four of Maine’s gubernatorial candidates have come out against Question 1, and that should tell us all we need to know. It is an ill-conceived, costly idea that would make Maine the highest-taxed state in the nation. I encourage everyone to lean more by visiting stopthescammaine.com.

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 is a hot mess! Maine’s Supreme Court ruled it was unconstitutional at the state level in general elections, so we’re now only using it in primary elections and for federal offices in the general elections. This is extremely confusing to the voter. RCV violates the principle of “one person, one vote,” and doesn’t even guarantee the “winner” gets the majority of the vote. Further, the cost of ranked-choice voting for the primary in June greatly exceeded initial estimates.

Senate District 23

Eloise Vitelli (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Biggest barrier is our workforce. Our population is shrinking; we are getting older. We need: to attract younger people; a workforce that is skilled & prepared for global economy. Legislature’s role: fund education, pre-k to post-secondary, quality training for existing & future workforce; support public-private partnerships e.g. Maine Spark & goal of 60% of Mainers with credential of value by 2025; make health care available & affordable for all ; affordable housing & expand broadband .

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Sen. Eloise Vitelli, D-Arrowsic.

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 had identified funding within the existing budget, including surplus revenues, to get Medicaid expansion implemented and through the first year. Keeping in mind that state spending draws down significant federal funds, the process for funding Medicaid going forward is the same process used to fund any state spending obligations. The state has to balance its budget; in the future, Medicaid will be considered for funding along with all the other 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?
Our social services programs are designed to assist those in need who, through illness, disability, loss of income , family/ life circumstances, are unable to provide for themselves the necessities of living. Welfare reform is what we should do to be sure our programs are serving individuals in need with respect and dignity, are helping them identify and take steps towards greater personal responsibility, holding individuals accountable while providing them appropriate support and guidance.

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?
As vehicles become more efficient, and as we move away from total reliance on gas to fuel our transportation, yes, we will need to come up with alternative ways of maintaining our existing transportation infrastructure than the current gas tax. I don’t know what the answer is, but I am in support of taking a look at innovative ways we might resolve this issue – sooner rather than later.

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 move past our reliance on carbon based fuels. increase our use of alternative, renewable energy sources and in the process, create jobs and businesses that will employ Maine people and reverse the negative impacts on our environment.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Access to abortion should be protected for all Maine women. Currently, women in rural areas and low-income women, specifically those on Medicaid, are limited in their ability to access an abortion should they choose to do so, either because of distance or cost. I am in favor of taking steps that would ensure all women have access 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?
There is a clear need for home care services. Helping someone stay in their homes is less expensive than taking care of them in an institution.. I am not, however in favor of this initiative. The proposal should have had a hearing before a legislative committee. Developing a complex new program, & a new tax , would be better done in consideration of the broader context of how to best provide services , how we train and compensate workers providing the care, & how we pay for these services.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
If what is required to fully implement ranked choice voting for all elections within the state is a constitutional amendment, yes. I would support that.

Richard Donaldson (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
High taxes are not conducive to attracting new business and skilled workers to Maine. The legislature must work together to reduce taxes on small businesses and working families to encourage economic growth.

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 find a way to pay for expansion without raising taxes or using one-time gimmicks. Our inability to pay for Medicaid expansion in the past resulted in enormous hospital debt. We can’t go down that road again.

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 a safety net for those who are unable to help themselves, while also providing assistance to help people climb out of poverty. I will be a watch dog to ensure that our tax dollars are used wisely and not wastefully.

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?
Maintaining our infrastructure is critical to Maine’s citizens and economy. I am always willing to look at new funding proposals, however I believe that we cannot afford to solve this problem by raising taxes.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Maine’s energy costs are among the highest in the nation. I support incentivizing renewable energy here in Maine through tax credits and low interest loans but I do not believe we should pass this cost on to the ratepayers.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I would not change the current Maine laws surrounding 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?
Maine doesn’t need any additional taxes to lead us to become one of the highest taxed states in the nation. I believe that we need to make home health care affordable for those who need it but this initiative is not the right approach. I will be voting no.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I wouldn’t support a constitutional amendment for ranked-choice voting. The costs are too high and the last gubernatorial primary proved that the benefits are marginal.

Senate District 24

Everett Brownie Carson (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
There are two: Lack of a skilled work force to fill jobs that are open, and the high cost of health care for employers who want to provide it for employees.
We must step up funding and capacity for vocational training at the high school level, and also align skills training at community colleges to the jobs that are and will be open to workers.
We must design and implement a health insurance program that makes quality, affordable health care accessible and affordable for all Maine citizens.

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 sufficient funds now in Maine’s Medicaid account to move forward with expansion–we need to do it. Both voters (by ballot initiative) and the legislature have approved expansion. Healthy citizens will be more productive, and will particiapte more actively in the workforce and in community life. There is NO reason not 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?
To “reform” welfare should mean that public assistance programs provide support services: such as education and skills training, substance abuse treatment, mental health counseling, transportation (as needed to get to a job or medical appt.), and quality child care (as needed), so that recipients have the bast possible opportunity to reach their potential as productive citizens. We need to get away from the approach of penalizing people who need assistance and services.

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. Annual borrowing for transportation infrastructure means we pay the extra cost of interest on each bond. We can and should raise the over-the-road fuel tax, so that our revenue stream meets our needs. When we have a large, specific project (i.e., new bridge over a major river), then borrowing/bonding is justified. We need to improve the condition of our transporytation (and broadband) infrastructure to promote economic development in all regions of Maine.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes. Solar is the best example today of clean, renewble power. Expanding solar capacity will bring clean, renewable energy to Maine while creating good jobs that cannot be “exported.” Our laws, such as limiting the number of participants in a community solar project, are badly outdated. Prices for electricity will be more stable over the long term with clean, renewable solar and wind–making incentives a good deal for Maine people.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I believe that a woman should have unrestricted access to reproductive health services, including abortions, provided by competent, licensed medical practitioners. A woman’s choice about whether to have an abortion should be a decision that she makes in consultation 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 will vote “no.” While I fully support providing home health care for seniors and adults with disabilities, I do not favor constructing such a program outside the structure of a well-integrated, thoughtfully designed comprehensive health care system. Creating and funding such a system is a tall order, but Maine needs to do it, and we all should participate in designing and paying 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. RCV is the best way, short of a run-off between the two top vote getters, to elect the candidate with the broadest support among voters. It may also dampen negative campaign practices over time, but the jury is out on that effect.

Diana Garcia (R)

Did not respond.

Senate District 25

Catherine E. Breen (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Two items: workforce development and access to the internet. We need to make strategic investments in early childhood education through higher education to build a workforce ready for the global economy. And we need to continue to facilitate the deployment of internet access in underserved parts of Maine, where we have enormous potential for local agriculture, aquaculture and many other Maine-based entrepreneurial opportunities.

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 co-authored the bill that funded Medicaid expansion and met all of the governor’s subjective conditions. And he vetoed it. We have a surplus and we don’t need to make cuts or raise taxes to fund this. There is no funding problem. Furthermore, expanding medicaid will bring in hundreds of millions of federal dollars into Maine’s healthcare system. Return on investment is $1 state funds = $9 federal 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?
Welfare reform means smart, targeted investments, based on data and evidence, that help Maine people move from poverty to economic security 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?
Yes. Without any substantial federal transportation funding coming to us, bonding is the most practical way to fund these critical needs. Especially when interest rates are so low, as they are now.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes. Maine’s geographic attributes position us well to take advantage of solar, off-shore wind and tidal power research and development. And climate change – caused by fossil fuel consumption – is already changing the Gulf of Maine in ways that threaten our fishing economy. We can and we must enact policies that give incentives to businesses and homeowners to move away from oil and toward renewables.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Every Maine woman needs and deserves safe, affordable access to a full range of health care services, including cancer screenings, birth control, 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?
While I appreciate our responsibilities to our elderly and disabled family members and neighbors, this bill is not the best way to address this critical challenge. I will be voting No.

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 was the lead Senate sponsor of this bill in the 128th legislature. I will continue to support the will of the voters.

Cathleen Nichols (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Keep the referendum process out of tax issues. We cannot compete with other states to find workers because our income taxes are too high. Pass legislation to prevent outside interests from funding efforts to pass bad laws. Toying with our tax rate creates an unstable and unreliable economy that discourages growth & reduces the ability to increase wages. Both parties see this problem but still can’t agree on a remedy. Assess Maine’s incentives for attracting workers & getting people back 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?
We need to find the proper funding and ensure this won’t bankrupt our hospitals again ($75 million). Health care should not be mandated, and a variety of care should be available in the free market. Health care costs for lower income earners should be reduced at an exponential rate, not at a flat rate which kills a work incentive. Also the cost of health care for others should not increase to compensate for the subsidized health care of others. Taxes should not be the venue for this 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 is including incentive programs for working when social support it provided. There are light work and part time opportunities available for those with physical limitations. Not everyone is employable of course, and I hope that the assessment process to evaluate if people qualify for social services is accurate and under constant review.

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 eliminate duplicate administration whenever possible, such as merging the MEDOT and Maine Turnpike Authority. Also, our toll fees are not competitive with other states. Much of our maintenance and infrastructure needs are a result of Maine’s visitors; we should re-assess if the use:pay ratio is appropriate.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Incentives must be effectively targeted & likely to reduce rates for all ratepayers. I support renewable energy, especially when it is home grown, & I support energy efficiency such as heat pumps, LED lighting & computerized air motor controls. Maine’s energy problems are that others are benefiting more than us. Our power delivery costs from CMP are the highest in the nation; they have a questionable service record, a monopoly on Maine’s energy market, & are owned by a company based in Spain.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Not until we determine if there is enough support for preventing unwanted pregnancies, in particular with substance abuse. We should investigate successful programs used elsewhere, whether it be better access to birth control or educational incentives that would reduce teen & drug-related pregnancies. I believe if girls were physically active we might see fewer teen pregnancies. If there is a correlation between daily PE classes & improved mental health, we’d see girls making better 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?
Against. This CI will bankrupt our state. There are 4 existing agencies that effectively and conscientiously support home-care. This CI has no income limit and would allow non-residents of Maine to qualify. Moreover, in violation of HIPAA, this proposed bureaucracy would disclose the personal information of all people who are eligible to receive in-home care support. People in nursing homes would not qualify. Workers would automatically become government workers and pay state union dues.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
No. RCV marginalizes my vote for my chosen candidate because it allows multiple choices (which are additional votes) to another voter. I don’t believe that everybody’s second choice should be the first choice winner. One voter, one vote, and whomever gets the most votes wins. An election should be won by a candidate who’d beat all the other candidates head-to-head.

Senate District 26

Bill Diamond (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
The state must be more supportive to our existing businesses and provide incentives to attract new 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 options have been established, but the Legislature will have to compromise and the governor will need to provide leadership.

Micky Bedell | BDN
Micky Bedell | BDN
Sen. Bill Diamond, D-Windham.

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 be defined as appropriate assistance to those in genuine need with built-in incentives to help get people off 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?
Absolutely! DOT now depends of borrowing $100M a year just to complete their biennial budget. Mixing General Fund and Highway Fund budgets should be examined.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes, renewable is the answer to our long term energy solutions.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I support the laws that we currently have 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’m voting NO. This is one of the most destructive proposals we’ve seen on the ballot in a long time. The negative impact that this will have on small businesses and middle class families is substantial.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
No, RCV is costly to implement, doesn’t guarantee any candidate will end up with a majority of the vote. This system will be even more cumbersome if both political parties are required to put their candidate through the process unlike what happened in the June primary.

Senate District 27

Ben Chipman (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
We need a multi-pronged approach to economic development. We must start with embracing New Mainers as a key to addressing our challenges. A recent study found that New Mainers pumped $1.2B into the Greater Portland economy in 2016. In Portland, our chief barrier is workforce development – so we must invest in skills training programs. I sponsored legislation this session to provide training for New Mainers. In rural Maine, we must create more incentives for people to start 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?
I have been a strong supporter of Medicaid expansion, and there are already ample funds in the account to get the program started. In the longer-term, repeated studies have shown that in states where Medicaid has been expanded, there has not been an increase in state spending. Taxpayers already foot the bill for people without healthcare who utilize the emergency room. Medicaid expansion will decrease these costs and will also lead to the creation of 4,000 jobs and additional revenue.

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 hear the term “welfare reform,” it is most often in the context of legislation that would increase the hurdles for people seeking to access social safety net programs. Having grown up in a low-income, single-parent household, I know what it is like to go without basic necessities – and I don’t believe anyone should have to.

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 the state should revisit the way it funds infrastructure projects. We should not be borrowing money for basic infrastructure needs, because it unnecessarily costs the taxpayer for the interest we must pay on such borrowing. I would instead prefer to fund regular maintenance of roads and bridges as part of our ongoing expenses in the state budget. High-quality roads and bridges – not to mention rural broadband – are crucial if we want to attract the business we need to grow.

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 absolutely expand incentives for renewable energy technologies. I strongly supported bipartisan legislation that would have created 600 jobs in solar energy throughout Maine, but Governor LePage vetoed it. We should resubmit that legislation with a new governor. Maine should be a leader in solar and wind energy, but right now we are lagging behind the rest of New England. This is a shame, and I will continue to push for investing in renewable energies.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I am proud to be endorsed by Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America, and I will always stand with women and defend their right to make their own reproductive health choices. I believe we should be doing everything we can to protect and expand reproductive healthcare, and that the government should play no role in telling women what they can or cannot do with their bodies. As a Senator, I have worked to defeat all efforts to restrict reproductive 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 for Question 1, because there is clearly a need for more home care services for our elderly and disabled populations. Maine is one of the oldest states in the country and we must provide our senior population with the services they deserve. If Question 1 passes, I will work with the legislature to ensure that the tax threshold only applies to single individuals and not to married couples or businesses. I will also work to ensure the complete privacy of home care patients.

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 for all Maine elections. As a member of the Portland Charter Commission, I brought ranked-choice voting to Maine and I have defended it at every turn. I believe that ranked-choice voting ensures greater representation for people’s electoral choices and that it should absolutely be applied to gubernatorial and legislative elections.

Crystal Canney (U)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
We need to do more to support our small businesses either through innovative programs that attract an educated workforce or incentives that show a direct return on investment. I have talked to a number of small businesses in Portland and most will tell you healthcare costs keep them from being financially able to expand. Affordable access to education is also important to develop the educated workforce. We must start addressing the costs 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?
While I believe the next legislature and Governor will implement the will of the people – if for some reason it doesn’t happen we have to reprioritize the state budget – while living within our means – we can still seek out efficiencies and work towards funding 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?
This is a politically charged question and unfortunately only asked from the viewpoint of the parties. Right now in Maine, Independents or unenrolled make up the largest percentage. That said, welfare reform to me – means getting what is needed to people who have no other options. There are definitely people who need services without question, however, we also need to have a basic standards test as we can’t pay for those who might be able to be more self-sufficient. It is a balance.

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?
Because vehicles are more fuel efficient we have seen in the gas tax. Increased user fees are one example of how to increase revenue. It will take a myriad of solutions including working with our Washington, D.C. delegation to prioritize this issue.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Yes. I am supportive of increasing tax incentives for renewable energy. It is part of a larger picture around climate change. A recent United Nations report on climate change reveals serious changes to the earth within the next 12 years. Maine and everywhere else will face repercussions from climate change. Solar and wind are part of the solution – and wind where it makes sense to do these projects – are a piece of that larger discussion.”

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I believe it is a decision between a woman and her doctor on this issue. I support the continuation of 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 support increased services for our elderly without question. I think this question and process is bad. The question allows a non-legislative board to oversee the money. If passed that board would not be accountable to you or me – financially. This is another case of a ballot measure in reaction to failure in Augusta. The legislature needs to prioritize the elderly and fund these programs through a state budget. If it passes however, I will absolutely support the will of the 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 do. Every election season – we hear the cry of “spoiler” when it comes to independent candidates. Let’s take the argument away – by having Ranked Choice Voting – and just elect the best people to lead our state. There are now more independents in Maine than members of either party. Twice citizens have voted in favor of Ranked Choice Voting and Augusta has failed to deliver.

Senate District 28

Heather Sanborn (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
As our population rapidly ages, we need more young people to move to Maine so that economic growth can continue. The legislature can support this effort with student loan debt relief, high quality public schools, and early childcare programs that will attract young people to move to Maine (or stay in Maine) as they begin their careers and families. We should also enact policies that welcome immigrants from all over the world and help them to quickly become valuable members of our 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 will end up being a net positive for our state economy, pumping more than $450 million federal tax dollars back into our economy each year. Expansion states realize savings in other areas of their budget – particularly in addressing the opioid crisis – by utilizing Medicaid expansion to address critical health needs. With current revenues running far above budget projections, the funding is available right now to implement Medicaid expansion and we should do so immediately.

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 ought to mean that we’re being thoughtful and creative about addressing the root causes of poverty and that we’re being proactive in addressing the needs of individual needs of Mainers who are struggling to make ends meet. This includes ensuring that low-income Mainers have access to high-quality health care (in part through Medicaid expansion), and that they have the food, shelter, transportation, child care, and job training that they need 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?
Yes, the state needs to revisit the way it funds infrastructure. The revenue collected through gas taxes are dwindling due to fuel efficiency gains, but also in large measure because the gas tax is not indexed to inflation and has not be raised in many years. A task force should be put in place to consider indexing the gas tax to inflation, imposing a progressive road usage fee that is tied to the value of the vehicle, assessing a fee for annual mileage, and other creative approaches.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
We must move beyond fossil fuels so that we can slow the climate change that is already dramatically impacting our lives – as our ocean warms and storms impact us with increasing frequency and strength. Right now, our state’s policies disincentivize the adoption of solar power. We should repeal these disincentives, such as the size limit on community solar farms and the new scheme that allows CMP to charge homeowners for “delivering” the solar power that they generate and use in their own homes.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Women should have access to the health care that they need and should be allowed to make their own choices about that health care, including access to safe, effective abortions. Maine laws generally recognize this principle and should continue to do so regardless of any further efforts to undermine 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 vote against Question 1. I believe that complex social programs and tax policy are best hashed out through the legislative process, where public hearings, stakeholder processes, and careful attention to detail make for better outcomes and fewer unintended consequences. I am in favor of Mainers being able to stay in their homes as they age and would work on legislation that provides more supports and incentives to help make that possible.

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 ensures that the will of the voters is respected and that candidates with very marginal support cannot up-end the outcome of a close election.

Senate District 29

Rebecca Millett (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Making higher education affordable is key to strengthening Maine’s workforce. Our economic viability hinges on increasing the size of our population with high-quality college degrees, certificates or other credentials. To help students afford higher education, the Maine state grant needs to double to $3,000 to maintain its original purchasing power. We must continue to invest in the Opportunity Maine Tax Credit to attract and retain college graduates by providing some relief from student debt.

Micky Bedell | BDN
Micky Bedell | BDN
Sen. Rebecca Millett, D-Cape.

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 voted to fund expansion this past session along with a majority of my legislative colleagues. The bill went to Governor LePage, who continued to ignore the will of Maine’s electorate and vetoed the funding. His obstruction of implementation was aided by House republicans who voted to sustain his veto. Should I have the privilege of returning to the Senate, I will support a similar bill and get on with providing 70,000 more Maine citizens with 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?
Welfare reform is about making sure that we are strategically targeting our resources toward building economic stability and opportunities for success for low income Mainers. Mainers are proud, hard working, and want a chance to contribute to our communities and have healthy families. Our job is to make sure there are no disincentives or roadblocks to ensuring Mainers opportunities to build better 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?
Current borrowing is unsustainable. The federal gas tax was last adjusted in 1993, has not kept up with inflation, and is dwindling as a source of funding. With more gas efficient, alternative energy sourced vehicles on our roads, continuing to rely on a gas tax will further degrade our roads and bridges. We need to have honest conversations about these challenges, the importance of maintaining our transportation infrastructure, and the options available including vehicle weight and usage fees.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
For generations we have consumed fuels that leave a legacy of environmental degradation for our children, including contaminated groundwater from strip mines, ocean acidification, and polluted air. As a species, we have damaged our planet more than any other living creature, but we are in possession of better technologies to reduce our impact on the environment and should be using every opportunity to bring those forward for our children’s and grandchildren’s future.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I oppose any attempt to weaken women’s reproductive freedom. The decision to become a pregnant is a profound and personal decision that should be made without political interferenc

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 weighing in on Question 1. Voters can obtain objective information on this and other ballot measures through the Maine League of Women Voters at this link: http://www.lwvme.org/guide.html. As always, I will respect the will of Maine’s voters.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
I voted in support of LD 1624, proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Maine to determine the winner of elections for the offices of State Senator, State Representative and Governor by ranked-choice voting and to send the amendment to Maine’s voters. Undermining the will of Maine voters is undemocratic. A majority of Mainers voted for ranked-choice voting and should have an opportunity to weigh in on a constitutional amendment.

George Van Syckel (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Excessive taxes and 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?
Set up a Go fund me page for Democrats want to contribute more. In a free society you do not use government to force financial extraction on a group of people to fund your own pet projects.

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?
Empowering opportunities for self help building self respect and self worth.

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?
Set up a go fund me page for Democrats to contribute more.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
No! Let private enterprise develop it. Wind power will never cover even it’s initial investment and scars the countryside, just look at Aroostook County. That money should have been used as matching funds for single or small group use.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Education should be done through out childhood development, that life only comes from life. It is not the man’s or the women’s body, it is the baby’s body in and out of the womb. Under 18 requires parental permission. Individual Counciling by Rev, MD, JD, and Ph.D. before Abortion. Nothing after 1st Trimester. Restricted. 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 am against para-government taxation. I am against Question 1.

I hope to initiate an emphasis in Senior care by promoting investors and pre purchasing retirement living. This will free up desperately needed housing for the younger generations. Elder care could be our greatest 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 opposed to a constitutional amendment that would allow Rank Choice Voting . I strongly believe in one citizen with a picture identification , one vote. This last election was proof ranked choice voting is a scam.

Senate District 30

Amy Volk (R) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Workforce. With a growing economy, now is the time to make ME a welcoming place for young workers by controlling what we can at the state level: incentivizing affordable workforce housing, lowering income taxes, continuing to provide direct property tax relief with the fairness credit and improving adult ed, community colleges and universities. We also need to find ways to encourage employers to hire workers with disabilities, the recovery community and people with criminal records.

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 supported Medicaid Expansion after the voters of my district approved it, but funding is a challenge. I hope there are savings in our current budget to be identified by the next administration. We need to consider managed care, as well as implementing co-pays for emergency room visits and prescription drugs. Work requirements are under consideration in several states, including New Hampshire. We should look at equalizing taxes on non-tobacco smoking products as a possible source of revenue.

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Sen. Amy Volk, R-Scarborough

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 taxpayer dollars are spent effectively to guide people to independence. Effective reform must take a “whole family” approach, addressing child care, transportation, education and job training, particularly in our rural areas, increasing the capacity for parents to provide and care for their families independently. When Maine began enforcing TANF time limits, we saw recipient incomes rise 237% in 4 years. Work/training requirements for SNAP yielded similar results.

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 not mind seeing Maine capture more use taxes (non-commercial tolls) for roads and bridges, particularly May-October. In general, I believe our seasonal residents and visitors should be shouldering more of the tax burden in Maine. I have worked on tax reform that would broaden our sales tax and I continue to support doing so in order to create a more predictable and fair system of balancing our state budget.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
The federal government already provides high subsidies to wind and solar, per MWH produced. ME should instead support hydro and biomass, which provide key base load power to the grid. Biomass and hydro are easily adjusted to meet demand. The additional benefit of biomass generation is the market created for waste wood and the sawdust byproducts of our forest-related industries. By contrast, wind and solar are unreliable electricity sources, fine for residential, but not helpful to industry.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Choosing to end a pregnancy is a major decision and one that may stay with a woman for a lifetime. I believe that women should, at minimum, have every opportunity to make a completely informed decision. This includes being offered an ultrasound and/or information on fetal development.

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 do not support Question 1 because it puts many hard-working, middle class, double income families into one of the highest income tax brackets in the country to pay for the care of any disabled or elderly person in Maine, regardless of income or even residency status. Additionally, the quasi-government entity it would create to oversee this care would not be accountable to elected officials and would likely violate HPPA law.

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 increasing the scope of ranked-choice voting. Ranked-choice has already cost Maine taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars while we were struggling to find funding to increase the pay for and number of DHHS case workers. I would prefer to see that money used for any number of better causes, including student debt relief, drug treatment, preventive healthcare, state salary increases, etc. The needs are great. We cannot afford to be spending extra money counting ballots.

Linda Sanborn (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
The biggest challenge facing our community is the lack of opportunity for young people to find quality jobs and raise a family. The challenge of affording higher education and then finding work that pays a fair wage forces young people to move out of Maine. Career and technical education programs lead to good jobs with steady wages and benefits, and the legislature needs to fund CTE programs to make sure that the training students receive keeps up with changing needs in a changing 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?
Implementing an expansion of MaineCare is essential to the health and well-being of Mainers, and Maine’s economy. As the legislature demonstrated multiple times during the most recent legislative session, there is sufficient funding available to expand MaineCare, especially given that this expansion will leverage significant federal matching money into the state to help provide care for the 70,000 Mainers left without access to a doctor by Governor LePage and his legislative allies.

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?
True welfare reform moves people out of poverty and allows them to become more self-sufficient. We must create opportunities for education and training, so that people can get a good job, take care of their families, and be productive members of the community. Supporting programs like Parents as Scholars, that help struggling families get the education they need by assisting them with child care or transportation, have proven to move families 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 current cycle of borrowing to pay for roads and bridges does not do nearly enough to articulate a long-term vision for building Maine’s infrastructure. We need sustainable revenue plans to pay for that infrastructure, and we need to increase our understanding of the infrastructure Maine needs, moving beyond roads and bridges and into high-speed internet access for all of Maine, transportation options that don’t rely on single-passenger vehicles, and updating our aging wastewater facilities.

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. Not only is reducing our CO2 emissions a moral imperative to attempt to stem the tide of climate change, but investing in clean energy is great for Maine’s economy. The only reason to oppose renewable energy technology is to cozy up to the oil and gas lobby, and they know they’re wasting their time with me.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
Particularly given the threat posed to abortion access by the current composition of the Supreme Court, Maine should codify the right to access an abortion and ensure that access to legal health care procedures is available to all, regardless of economic status. Also, advanced practice nurses and certified nurse midwives should be allowed to practice to the fullest extent of their license, including care for women who desire a first-trimester medically induced 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 know that seniors want to age at home whenever possible and assisting them with home care is both economically prudent for the state and greatly improves one’s quality of life. I also believe that it is the legislature’s job to develop a system where all are cared for responsibly. Ultimately, I fear that the legislature lacks the political will to develop, fund and implement such as system, and I was moved by the Maine Council of Churches supporting Question 1. I plan to vote in favor of it.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
On this issue, Mainers voted to approve such a system, and the legislature has a responsibility to legally and fully implement it. For all the logistical hurdles such a system might seem to pose to the legislature, ensuring that Mainers are able to cast their votes in a manner that represents their best intentions and desires at the ballot is a goal worth pursuing.

Senate District 31

Justin Chenette (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
The need for more workers is hindering economic growth. To attract young families and workers to our state, we must ensure folks can afford to buy and stay in their homes. We must make Maine a more affordable place to live. Property taxes and a lack of affordable housing options keep many families away. I led the effort to increase the homestead exemption & expand the property tax fairness credit. We must assist with start up small business costs. As President of Saco Main Street I see the need.

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 only reason Medicaid expansion is not in place is because of Governor LePage. He has held this up every chance he gets. The legislature has outlined several funding sources to cover any costs above and beyond using money in the existing program. We also have a major budget surplus that can be used to expand healthcare to more people and drive down costs in the system. I have supported Medicaid expansion every step of the way and will push for it’s 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?
It means accountability in the system. The real money is in corporate welfare. Taxpayers have been picking up the tab for lining corporate shareholder and CEO pockets. As a Taxation Committee member, I’ve seen this. Hundreds of millions of dollars each year automatically doled out without any oversight in how the money is spent or if it’s yielding benefits for Mainers. We must protect taxpayers by putting in claw back provisions if no jobs are created, taxpayers get their money back.

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 more and more electric vehicles on the road, the less and less the gas tax is a relevant source of revenue for much-needed infrastructure needs like road and bridge repair. As someone who drives a hybrid, charging us a special fee doesn’t make sense as electric vehicles become mainstream. The Transportation Department along with the legislature will have to start researching and analyzing the best way to move to entirely new system. The elimination of the gas tax is inevitable.

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 on the forefront of the energy future for this country. I’ve previously introduced measures to replenish the solar energy program. This offered small businesses and individual homeowners an incentive to convert their places from oil to solar. Whether a tax credit or a rebate, assisting the transition to solar can be a deciding factor in making the switch. Lowering energy costs should be a top priority.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I support a women’s right to make her own healthcare decisions. Interesting that the same politicians that are for ‘smaller government’ are the same ones that want government to come into a women’s life and dictate the terms of what she can and cannot do. I believe current law is adequate by offering protections and access. If proposals to change this would be introduced, I would oppose them.

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 ballot question. It’s proven that home-based care reduces costs in providing care to vulnerable populations. People want to age in place and ability to pay shouldn’t be a barrier. This helps address the need for care. The funding mechanism will need to reviewed if passed. We already had a referendum targeting the cost of education by requiring the wealthiest among us to pay their fair share that hasn’t been implemented yet. I don’t want to pit students against seniors.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Respecting the will of the voters shouldn’t be an option. When a small group of politicians can cherry-pick which election results to abide by, it’s a a slippery slope for our democratic intuitions. Politicians can disagree about a referendum, but they shouldn’t disagree about the outcome of the election. Proposing a constitutional amendment only sends it back out to the people to vote. The public has a right to weigh in on whether they would like to make Ranked Choice Voting constitutional.

Stavros Mendros (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Regulations, red tape and taxes. Love him or hate him, anyone who does not recognize Governor LePage’s amazing success at increasing the standard of living is lying to themselves.

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?
If we are even going to seriously tackle the Opioid crisis we need to provide services to addicts and the mentally ill. Those services will not be given until those people have coverage. They won’t get jobs until they get the help they need. If we don’t give them the care they need, we will be spending a LOT more when they wind up in jail or the hospital.

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?
There are too many mid level managers in state government. They justify their existence by making front line workers do more reports thus giving them less time to provide services and costing taxpayers far too much money. And ultimately, less actual help is given to the people the services are there to help. Social Services need to be help for the needy not a jobs program for bureaucrats.

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?
Construction rates increase annually at a greater rate than the interest on our bonds. So putting off projects until we have money will actually cost more to do and because of the damage not being repaired in time the improvements will be greater. This is truly an example of being penny-wise and pound-foolish.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
This always turns out to be a way to funnel money into the hands of politically connected groups and hasn’t had anything to do with conserving resources in many years.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I oppose government sanctioned killing in any form. Be it a death penalty for murderers or babies. Federal law really ties the state’s hands on this.

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 was the lead House sponsor of a similar bill while serving in the 119th. The parts of the bill that provide funding and take away privacy rights need to be amended but I like the concept and am leaning in favor of this.

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 have voted for this twice. As an elected official how can I not respect the will of the voters who put me into office?

Senate District 32

Susan Deschambault (D) – Incumbent

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
We need to give young people a reason to stay in Maine as well as move here–and demonstrate that you can find a high wage job or successfully grow a business here. There are a couple of low hanging fruit: expand broadband, create career pathways and expand retraining efforts for our returning military veterans, expand mentor/internship programs between secondary and post-secondary students with local businesses, and, finally, expand the Opportunity Maine 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?
The Legislature has offered numerous ways to fund Medicaid expansion. At this point, it’s become a political football for a small group of expansion opponents. We could use Tobacco Settlement funds or use funds from the revenue surplus. Meanwhile, for every day that we don’t expand Medicaid, tens of thousands of people are going without health insurance and we’re losing money matched by the feds.

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 as simple as preserving assistance when our neighbors or our families fall on hard times and ensuring that the safety net is transparent and accountable. . A recipient shouldn’t abruptly lose assistance because they’ve received a bump in income. Next, is ensuring that people aren’t gaming the system. Doing so takes money away from those who genuinely need it. Welfare is one way to lift people out of poverty – we have to ensure that the system can 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?
Borrowing every year to pay for regular maintenance isn’t sustainable. Recent projections show shortfalls in the coming years. Increased fuel efficiency and a stagnant state gas tax since 2011, Maine’s gas tax no longer sufficiently covers the needs of our highways. Look at other options such as direct the sales tax from transportation related purchases and devote it to the highway maintenance fund. Make sure we’re spreading the cost among the users of the state’s highways.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
Climate change is a major threat to our natural resources and to our economy. We need to move away from energy sources that increase carbon emissions; instead move toward increasing our use of clean, renewable energy. Incenting renewable energy technologies, we can aggressively move toward clean energy policies like those of our other N.E. neighbors. Wind and solar development can expand our workforce, provide more business for other Maine companies, and make Maine an energy leader.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I support the current laws that support a woman’s right to control their health and fertility–and ultimately their bodies. I would not support any bills that would seek to limit or restrict 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?
Q1 offers a solution that would not be good for Maine. My primary objection is that there’s no means or residency test. If passed, it would take Maine taxpayer money and give it to those who don’t need it. Next, if passed, Maine would have the highest income tax rate in the country-taxing families making more than $128,400/year. Lastly, it sets up a board that’s not accountable to taxpayers or elected representatives. We need to solve for this problem creatively, fairly, and sustainably.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
It makes sense at this point, after the voters have had an opportunity to test it out during the primary and now the general election, that we put the issue of amending the constitution for state races out to referendum and let the people decide. I’ve heard strong opinions on both sides of the issue–including voters who initially supported RCV and have since changed their minds.

Scott Normandeau (R)

Did not respond.

Senate District 33

David Woodsome (R) – Incumbent
Did not respond.
John Tuttle (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
We need to become more innovative with economic development in Maine. I believe that we can go to every town in Senate District 33 and find something that is unique to that community for the purpose of economic development and job growth for that town. We need to increase our efforts to assist the family farm so that young people can come back and continue farming as their families have done for generations. Maine was the bread basket of the country, I feel that we can become that again.

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 the Medicaid expansion Maine hospitals will suffer greatly especially in rural areas. The expansion will also help keep stability for workers in the Health Care industry. Maine is facing a shortage now of nurses and we need to fill those jobs. Federal dollars will cover the vast majority of funding for the expansion. We have seen the economic growth from other states where the program was expanded which will cover the difference. I believe the same growth can happen in 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?
We are all not descended from kings. Coming from a working-class family, I believe that anyone capable of work should work. There are some programs that I think are working well, but there are others that will need to be evaluated in the upcoming years such as the how state funds are used for payment of items other than essentials (food). Contrary to what some might believe, people do not like to be poor. We should help those who cannot help themselves such as the elderly and disabled.

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 should still fund transportation with state and federal gas taxes. However, if a funding gap does exist we should look to other areas of state government for funding. Whether it should be dedicating a certain percent of general fund revenues or dedicating new revenues from internet sales which have not been available to Maine in the past.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
I do believe that renewable energy provides great opportunity for Maine. I believe we need to invest in renewable energy such as the solar power project at the Sanford Seacoast Regional Airport expected to create 200 new jobs and millions in tax revenue.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I am pro-life and a life-long Catholic so I find this difficult to address. The laws as they stand should stay in place as I do not feel that we can take away a woman’s right on their decision making. I do feel that we have opportunities to provide better access to alternatives to abortion including job protections as a means to support them in pro life 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 do support Question 1. I feel that providing home based care for the elderly will save the state money in the long run. It has been proven that home based care costs are far less than putting the elderly in long term care facilities.

8. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow ranked-choice voting in gubernatorial and legislative general elections? Why or why not?
Initially I was undecided as prior Chair of Veterans Affairs, but I do feel that we must accept the will of the people and allow for ranked-choice voting to be used in all Maine elections.

Senate District 34

Robert A. Foley (R)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
Finding and maintaining a well trained workforce has made it difficult for existing businesses to grow and expand. The legislature needs to partner with our education system, both local and higher education, to prepare students for the jobs that are here now and into the future. Technical training centers in association with business entities and educational institutions needs to be encouraged.

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 place guardrails on the eligibility in order to prevent unanticipated cost overruns and incentivize more recipients in the 100% to 138% of poverty to seek coverage in the Exchange. The Exchange provides better coverage and is portable for those recipients. I would use the current hospital tax already in place to pay for the cost of 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?
We need to constantly evaluate each program and whether they are meeting and servicing the needs of those intended. As the economy continues to grow we need to insure that those who can work are and those needing job training in order to work receive those needed skills.

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?
Maintaining our roads and bridges needs to be a priority. Annual borrowing through bonding isn’t the best way to accomplish this goal. I would support looking into using the automobile sales tax revenue as a source along with the gas tax.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
I support the net metering program for solar as it provides electricity back into the grid at a competitive rate. I do not support wind energy as I believe the costs to produce and the damage to the environmental makes it too costly.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
I would prefer to see fewer abortions and more adoptions being offered.

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 believe that the proposal is unconstitutional providing a tax and spending plan outside of the statutory budgetary process with no oversight by the legislature. I believe the proposal violates the federal HIPPA laws, There is no means testing or residency requirement to receive these services. It will take away needed resources and services from those who truly need those services while providing resources to those who do not.

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 believe there is a simpler, less expensive way that insures a true majority winner and that is the instant runoff system where the top two candidates, if neither gets a majority, run against each other in a separate election.

Thomas J. Wright (D)

1. What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?
To point to any one issue and say it is the biggest impediment to economic development would be difficult. During my 2 terms in the State House, I served on the Business and Economic Development Committee where we heard many great ideas. What Maine needs to focus on are the resources we have. Research and development of new wood products, creating jobs with off shore wind and solar and re-energizing our agricultural base are all things we can do now.

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 good bargain and will save Maine money. Having more people with healthcare being able to get regular checkups reduces the cost of emergency care. Doctors, hospitals, and people with healthcare cover the cost of people that don’t have it. Bringing in millions of dollars of federal money will help stabilize the small hospitals serving rural areas. A healthy population is more productive and healthy children learn more.

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?
There will always be a part of society that will need assistance at some point in their lives. The loss of a job, an injury, illness or other unforeseen circumstance will cause someone to need assistance. Unfortunately, many people asking for help are working poor. Many have part-time jobs, sometimes two or three, with no benefits. Paying living wages is one way to help these people, reducing the need for state benefits. Any part of benefit reform needs to include job training to help people.

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 economy depends on a robust, modern infrastructure. Roads, bridges, rail, and ports need to be upgraded to be able to quickly move goods and services in and out of the state. Gas taxes alone are not enough to pay for infrastructure and we need to broaden our tax base. Borrowing can be costly, but necessary. Just fixing the worst bridges and roads would create jobs, and would put that money back into the local economy.

5. Should the state expand incentives to encourage renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power? Why or why not?
The potential available in off shore wind and solar to change Maine’s energy future is enormous. There are proven technologies that the state could use to free us from the importation of fossil fuels. Every dollar spent on expanding our renewable resources keeps more money in Maine and our people working. The new technologies required create good paying jobs keeping our young people in state.

6. Do you think laws around abortion access should be loosened or restricted? If so, how?
A woman’s healthcare decisions and reproductive rights should be respected and the law of the land. To reduce the number of abortions, women and men should have full access to reproductive education so there are no unplanned pregnancies. Teaching people about their reproductive rights and responsibilities will help them make better choices in their lives and eliminate the need for hard decisions later.

7. Will you be voting for or against Question 1, the home-care citizen initiative on this year’s ballot? Why or why not?
Maine’s aging population is putting a strain on our existing safety net for seniors and those with disabilities. At the same time, there are facilities closing all over the state. The bankruptcy rate for those over 65 is soaring, often driven by medical needs. Most people want to stay in their homes to be near their family and friends and could do so with a little help. We need to find a safe, equitable way to help them while respecting their privacy.

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 spoken and ranked choice voting is the law. The first round during the June primary showed it is feasible and it worked well. I would like to see it implemented for all elections and adopted nationally. With ranked choice, we get a winner that is truly the choice of the majority.

Senate District 35

Mark Lawrence (D)

Did not respond.

Michael Estes (R)

Did not respond.


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