Benjamin S. McCollister

Maine House 116

Social media accounts:
[email protected]; www.facebook.com/McCollisterForHouse2018

Occupation:
Retired.

Education:
Bachelor of Arts, University of Maine at Farmington.

Community organizations:
Hartford Community Church; director of Whitney Brookside Homes.

Personal information (hobbies, etc.):
Gardening, stonecutting, forestry, cooking.

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Family status:
Widowed.

Years in the Legislature:                                                                                      None.

Committee assignments (if elected):
State and Local Government, Veteran Affairs.

Q&A

1) What legislation do you support, if any, to address the state’s opiate crisis?
We must use a balanced approach. We need to pressure the medical industry to manage opiate prescriptions, work with victims to get treatment, and crack down on the criminals who prey on victims.

2) What legislation do you support, if any, to address failures in the state’s child abuse prevention system?
We need to crack down on administrative fraud in DHHS. We need to fully fund DHHS programs, including enforcement. The department needs to ensure that there are sufficient caseworkers and resources.

3) Should schools continue to push forward with proficiency-based diplomas? Why or why not?
First, we must fully fund our schools. Educators need to be allowed to educate. Let’s turn our schools to learning institutions not testing labs.

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4) Are you in favor of some type of universal health care for Maine residents? Why, or why not?
The goal of universal health is noble. It will not happen overnight and will require a concerted effort to assure the implementation of such a program serves all needs.

5) Do you support Question 1 (the 3.8 percent tax to fund the home care program)? Why, or why not?
I am undecided. I approve the goal of the referendum, my concern is the implementation. Should the issue fail at the polls, I feel the Legislature needs to address the need for more home care.

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?                                                                                    I think everyone is fed up with it. For my part, I will not approve personal attacks. My commentary will focus solely on the issues and my vision for the River Valley.

7) Tell voters something about yourself that they don’t already know, and might surprise them.
I enjoy learning to use old techniques for tasks around my farm. I use hand-crank drills, feathers and wedges for stonework, build post and beam wooden pinned structures, and enjoy wood harvesting.

Speed Round

Should voters be required to show ID at the polls?                                                No.


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