Ellie Espling

Maine Senate 20

Social media accounts
www.facebook.com/EsplingforSenate/

Occupation:
Self-employed.

Education:
Business degree from the University of Southern Maine.

Community Organizations:
New Gloucester Public Safety Committee.

Personal information (hobbies, etc.):
I enjoy running and reading. Most of my time is spent with my kids at their many activities.

Family status:
Married, two children at home, two adult children.

Years in the Legislature:                                                                                             8

Committee assignments (if elected):
Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee, Energy, or Education.

Q&A

1) What legislation do you support, if any, to address the state’s opiate crisis?
As a member of the Legislature, I pushed the presiding officers to address this issue with a special committee to look at enforcement, prevention and treatment. We need to do more with prevention.

2) What legislation do you support, if any, to address failures in the state’s child abuse prevention system?
The Legislature just acted to make some significant changes to how these cases are handled in addition to funding for more workers to help with caseloads. We will continue to strengthen this program.

3) Should schools continue to push forward with proficiency-based diplomas? Why or why not?
This is a local decision. I encourage families to let their local school boards know what they think of this system in their schools. The Legislature removed this as a mandate.

4) Are you in favor of some type of universal health care for Maine residents? Why, or why not?
I support people having options as to what type of care they want and how to pay for that care. As the federal government gets more involved in this aspect of our lives, costs keep going up.

5) Do you support Question 1 (the 3.8% tax to fund the home care program)? Why, or why not?
In the Legislature I have pushed for home care to be a priority. This new tax will keep young professionals from coming to Maine and the system of care this will set up is riddled with problems.

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?                                                                               Standing on principle is not a bad thing and both sides do it. I respect my friends when we disagree, that’s the key — respect. We all have a role to play, including the media, in maintaining respect.

7) Tell voters something about yourself that they don’t already know, and might surprise them.
At 29 I was diagnosed with cancer. I was always a shy kid with many fears. I have more courage now to do things I never thought I would do, including run for elected office.

Speed Round

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