Maine House District 62

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Name:

Gina Melaragno

Email address

gmelar71@maine.edu

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Party affiliation

Democrat

Legislative chamber

Maine House

Legislative district

62

Occupation or primary source of income

Customer service in health food store

Community organizations

Auburn City Democrats, Maine People’s Alliance

Personal information (hobbies, activities etc.)

Long distance walking and hiking, studying languages, traveling when I can.

Family status

Single

Years in Legislature

0

Are you a Clean Election candidate?

Yes

Committee assignments you want

Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development.

Would you support expanding the state’s Medicaid program, MaineCare? Why or why not?

Access to preventative care keeps health care costs down. And we can all agree that making quality health care affordable for some, but out of reach for others, is unfair. We need to accept the federal funds for MaineCare, and then continue to further improve our system of health care delivery.

Should Maine follow the city of Portland’s lead and legalize the possession of limited amounts of marijuana for adults over the age of 21? Why or why not?

I would probably support moving toward legalization. One reason is that it would free up our police force to deal with more violent crime and property crime.

Should the state of Maine continue to provide incentives for businesses and homeowners to convert or diversify energy sources to those considered renewable, like solar, wind and geothermal?

Yes. We are too dependent on climate-damaging fossil fuels, and Mainers need relief from the high cost of heating our homes with oil.

Maine’s minimum wage is $7.50 an hour. As a state lawmaker would you support increasing that minimum wage? If so, what should Maine’s minimum wage be?

Yes. I support raising the minimum wage. I believe people should be paid fair compensation for their work and should not have to live in poverty. Furthermore, a raise in wages will increase sales for local businesses as more people can afford to buy what they have needed and wanted.

What issue is the most important to voters in your legislative district?

If I had to pick one, I would say staying financially afloat. Whether it’s the inability to find a good-paying job, or to find affordable child care, or the struggle of caring for an aging family member, people seem to be really suffering.

What about you makes you the man or woman for the job?

Everyday I will advocate for what’s best for the people in Auburn. Working and middle class people have absorbed the costs of poor economic policies for too long, and I know it doesn’t have to be this way.

Describe yourself in a “Tweet”

Name:

John Michael

Email address

politicsusa@gmail.com

Party affiliation

Independent

Legislative chamber

Maine House

Legislative district

62

Occupation or primary source of income

Petition drive manager

Community organizations

None

Personal information (hobbies, activities etc.)

Running, basketball, hiking, gardening, reading novels and non-fiction, studying nutrition and history.

Family status

Single

Years in Legislature

14

Are you a Clean Election candidate?

No

Committee assignments you want

Health and Human Services; Education and Cultural Affairs.

Would you support expanding the state’s Medicaid program, MaineCare? Why or why not?

The Republicans are right that we need to protect ourselves from long-term costs and the Democrats are correct that the people need relief. This is why we need more independents like me who will make party politicians listen, work together and put the people first. No more all or nothing.

Should Maine follow the city of Portland’s lead and legalize the possession of limited amounts of marijuana for adults over the age of 21? Why or why not?

Yes. When such a large portion of the state chooses marijuana as a recreational drug, it is irresponsible to force people to buy it illegally. Legalizing marijuana helps put the drug cartels and drug brokers out of business and dramatically reduces drug crime and the budget needed to address crime.

Should the state of Maine continue to provide incentives for businesses and homeowners to convert or diversify energy sources to those considered renewable, like solar, wind and geothermal?

Yes. But, ensure that anyone who wishes to participate in the program is allowed. Important to keep the politicians from only letting their friends and politically-connected to benefit. The incentive program should be a bold start but not so expansive that it undermines the free market which generates prosperity.

Maine’s minimum wage is $7.50 an hour. As a state lawmaker would you support increasing that minimum wage? If so, what should Maine’s minimum wage be?

It needs to be raised with thoughtfulness and wisdom when the economy is healthy, not when you can’t even find a job. Raises that cause job loss are counter-productive. Forbes Magazine says Maine is the worst state to do business in. Be appropriate so to keep Maine’s small businesses open.

What issue is the most important to voters in your legislative district?

Welfare reform and job expansion, and the failure of the Auburn delegation to place Edward Little High School on the state-approved repair/construction list. I will also submit legislation to allow Mainers to opt-in or opt-out of the Affordable Care Act in case they have a better deal already.

What about you makes you the man or woman for the job?

Because I’ve served twice before as an independent, I can pause to reflect on the value or liability of either or both parties’ ideas. The curse of party politics is that none of them can separate loyalty to their party club from the needs of the public or what’s right.

Describe yourself in a “Tweet”

# Independent #Fearless advocate for #Auburn, Experienced at #policy, not partisan games.

Republican candidate Brandon Dickey of Auburn did not respond to the Sun Journal’s questionnaire.

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