Maine House District 67

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Name:

Sue Austin

Email address

sueaustin@myottmail.com

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Party affiliation

Republican

Legislative chamber

Maine House

Legislative district

67

Occupation or primary source of income

Community advocate

Community organizations

SAD 15 School Board, five terms; Gray Town Council, one term; Pineland Conversion Committee; GNG Optimist Club Ambassador; Crystal Lake USO Liberty Family Foundation Ice Fishing Derby director; Maine Wildlife Park Advocate; Crystal Lake Association; Liberty Family Foundation volunteer; University of Maine’s New Leadership; Gray Community Bike Pedestrian Committee.

Personal information (hobbies, activities etc.)

Family focused. St. Gregory’s Church member, Parish Council and Eucharistic Minister; avid walker; participant in the Libby Hill Trail Run and Patriot 5K; fresh water recreation; reading.

Family status

Married 44 years with 4 children and 10 grandchildren

Years in Legislature

8

Are you a Clean Election candidate?

No

Committee assignments you want

Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development.

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

No. If you recall Maine owed Maine hospitals for approximately 10 years for Medicaid payments. Those bills have finally been paid. I do not perceive that we can afford expansion at this time and would fear that expanding could put us back into the same debt-ridden posture.

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?

No. In my previous 13-plus years on the Gray-New Gloucester School Board we sought to educate our student body about the health issues of illegal drugs. I support Maine’s current law making marijuana legal for medical purposes.

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. Due to our state’s heightened energy dependence for the long, cold winters, we need more affordable options for our citizens.

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?

No. The premise is that raising the minimum wage will enhance a family’s living. It does raise the hourly wage but it also raises expenses, such as day care costs, Mom and Pop store products, mechanical services, food. It also contributes to shrinking service jobs for our teens/college students.

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

I believe that applying critical scrutiny to government spending and regulation, lowering taxes, continuing to eliminate fraud, creating predictable public policy for business, responsible fiscal management and upholding family values are all issues important to my district.

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

I am an approachable and highly interested/engaged person with people, issues of their concern, policy making and with the well-being of our entire state. I am of a conscientious mind and am accountable to myself and all those around me.

Describe yourself in a “Tweet”

Name:

Bonnie Titcomb Lewis

Email address

bonnietlewis@yahoo.com

Party affiliation

Democrat

Legislative chamber

Maine House

Legislative district

67

Occupation or primary source of income

Educator/development professional

Community organizations

Jobs for Maine’s Graduates (board of directors since 1992); Discreet efforts with organizations dedicated to overcoming youth substance abuse (ex: formerly Fatal Overdose Prevention Program); youth mentoring efforts; Jordan Bay Writers Club; assist organizations in establishing development programs

Personal information (hobbies, activities etc.)

My home is a haven for family and young people. I have dedicated decades to teaching, coaching, advocating and mentoring youth. Through JMG and the Mitchell Institute, I’ve supported professional development and educational opportunity. I teach, coach, paint, garden, and am in the process of publishing three children’s books.

Family status

Mother of three, four grandchildren, surrogate parent to many.

Years in Legislature

6

Are you a Clean Election candidate?

No

Committee assignments you want

Education and Cultural Affairs; Environment and Natural Resources;  Appropriations and Financial Affairs.

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

Yes. Thousands of families across Maine cannot afford to provide their families adequate health care. Hospitals are being crippled with emergency free care and uninsured are using hospitals as primary care. Expansion of Medicaid would create jobs, strengthen the economy, support hospitals and protect the health of Maine citizens.

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, if such legalization is strictly age and location controlled such as with alcohol and tobacco. The legalization would eliminate enormous enforcement/punishment costs, and prevent criminalization of users who otherwise have no criminal intentions. Proper regulation is the key. In addition, legally taxed sales would have a positive economic impact.

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?

Absolutely. Aggressive steps to steer away from carbon producing energy sources is critical to the economic and environmental future of Maine and the planet. Climate change is fast upon us; our weather, air and water have already been visibly impacted, and we must change course by supporting and growing alternatives.

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. No family can survive on $7.50 an hour. I am considering the $10.50 per hour but will await debate on the impact of such an increase in regard to the economy, businesses, families, and the decrease in the need for welfare dollars.

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

The shifting of fiscal responsibilities from the state to municipalities is of immediate concern. Cuts to GPA, Revenue Sharing, state retirement costs,and property tax relief is forcing towns to cut programs and raise property taxes. Add the direct cost of charter school students and the prognosis is concerning at best.

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

I have a long record of community and responsive legislative leadership. As a senator, I sponsored and advocated for significant legislation that has had an important impact on Maine, supporting the needs of municipalities, strengthening the economy, protecting the environment, and improving the overall quality of life for Maine citizens.

Describe yourself in a “Tweet”

Representing with political courage, absolute integrity and knowledge, and always remembering where I came from and who sent me here.

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