Town of residence: St George
Present employment: Retired
Highest level of education completed: Master’s Degree in Public Policy
Previous elected public office(s) held: Prior to serving two terms as Representative for House District 92, served 10 years on Knox County Budget Committee and six years on former MSAD 50 school board.
Statement: I am running for reelection because I want to continue to support issues that are important to the residents who live in the communities of House District 43. From increasing fees on clams harvested by depuration companies, so that funds continue to be available to clean up local clam flats; to supporting assessors in their struggles to apply appropriate valuations to commercial real estate, and securing additional funding for Meals on Wheels, I have responded to local concerns with legislation that targets local issues. I will continue to aid our communities by supporting full municipal revenue sharing for local communities and full education funding for local school districts.
What are your thoughts on proposals to do away with Maine’s income taxes?
Doing away with state income taxes is an untenable idea. We use income taxes to pay for education and affordable and accessible health care; to support the lobstering industry; to deal with PFAS issues and assist agriculture, and to provide other services and support systems the people of Maine have shown they want. Were we to do away with state income taxes, we would have to either fund these services through property taxes or not provide these services at all; both of these options are unacceptable.
When it comes to the state budget, what do you see as top priorities for spending or cuts?
My priorities this session will be women’s reproductive rights and continued access to health care; the
impact of federal regulation and climate warming on the fishing industry; affordable and accessible
housing; sea level rise and community action on climate resilience; and continued support for substance
use and mental health issues and improvements in our broadband system.
How can Maine best make health care affordable for its citizens?
An affordable health care program in Maine should be easy for any Mainer to enroll in and obtain coverage from and accessible to all. It should preserve pre-existing condition exclusion limitations, essential health benefits and community rating; regulate association and short-term medical plans; and provide enrollment assistance to make up for reductions in federal funds. It should address high out-of-pocket expenses such as high deductibles, high coinsurance levels and high prescription drug costs.
What policy changes would you support to protect the environment and respond to climate change?
The Maine Climate Council has laid out a very thorough and thoughtful action plan, along with specific, achievable goals based on comprehensive scientific and technical assessment, to deal with issues of climate change in Maine. These goals include reducing Maine’s greenhouse gas emissions, avoiding the impacts and costs of inaction, fostering economic opportunity and prosperity and advancing equity through Maine’s climate response. I support this action plan and the green bank to fund these initiatives
and the land bank to assist communities in dealing with compromised and abandoned properties, both of which were established by the 130th Legislature.
Would you vote to support a woman’s right to obtain an abortion?
Yes. I support a woman’s right to access abortion care.
What changes would you like to see in the way police do their jobs in Maine?
I would like to see a comprehensive, integrative approach to policing involving mental health and substance use issues, as a regular aspect of community policing. The Knox County Sheriff’s Office has established such a model and it has been successful. We should also support programs that keep people from being incarcerated when what they need is recovery assistance.