Susan Wilkinson Austin

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Susan Wilkinson Austin

Maine House 67

Social media accounts

Occupation:
Prior medical secretary/assistant and management assistant

Education:
Associate degree of science

Community Organizations:
LaLeche League International Certified Leader; Gray-New Gloucester School Board; Gray Town Council; Greater Portland Council of Government; Gray Town Election Ballot Clerk; Maine Wildlife Park Advocate; Gray-New Gloucester Optimist Ambassador; Crystal Lake Association; Gray Historical Society; Gov. King appointee to Pineland Conversion Committee; Gray Senior Housing Committee; The Nathaniel Hawthorne Society; Friends of the Gray Public Library; Patriot-Crystal Lake Ice Fishing Derby director; Liberty Family Foundation volunteer; St. Gregory’s Parish Council; Pineland YMCA Advisory Council;
Opportunity Farm for Boys and Girls – Campaign for Girl’s Campus

Personal information (hobbies, etc.):
Avid walker, recycling and reuse enthusiast, home decorating, reading

Family status:
Married 48 years to Ernie, 4 children, 12 grandchildren

Years in the Legislature: 12

Committee assignments (if elected):
Labor, Commerce, Research & Economic Development, Ethics Committee

Q&A

1) What legislation do you support, if any, to address the state’s opiate crisis?
The approach should be: enforcement-treatment-awareness. I supported An Act To Develop a Statewide Resource and Referral Center and Develop Hub-and-Spoke Models To Improve Access, Treatment & Recovery

2) What legislation do you support, if any, to address failures in the state’s child abuse prevention system?
I supported four new bills. The onus will now be placed on what is in the best interest of the child. A challenge is high turnover rates at CPS. The Legislature approved a pay increase for these workers.

3) Should schools continue to push forward with proficiency-based diplomas? Why or why not?
Legislation repealed the mandate for proficiency-based diplomas, which means districts who like the proficiency-based model can keep it. The significance is that the decision will be at the local level.

4) Are you in favor of some type of universal health care for Maine residents? Why, or why not?
No. More health insurance companies coming to Maine that offer varying policies, which our individuals and families can choose from, will provide options that best fit their needs and affordability.

5) Do you support Question 1 (the 3.8% tax to fund the home care program)? Why, or why not?
It’s misrepresented, reckless and disingenuous. The tax impacts families in the combined $125k income bracket. It’s counter to the mantra “what are we going to do to keep our young people here?”

6) Are you frustrated by the political sniping, exaggeration and even lies between the parties and their supporters that have threatened progress usually reached through respect and reasoned compromise? If so, what will you personally do to make the situation better?

The legislative process can be frustrating, but I have experienced a good deal of camaraderie. The biggest hurdle is the propensity with which power is sought at varying times by a few individuals.

7) Tell voters something about yourself that they don’t already know, and might surprise them.
In 12 years of serving in the Maine State House of Representatives I was absent “one” day!”

Speed Round

Should voters be required to show ID at the polls? Yes

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