James “Jim” R. Handy, Maine House 58

Social media accounts:
www.facebook.com/RepJimHandy

Occupation:
Customer service representative.

Education:
Educated in Lewiston public schools; graduated cum laude from the University of Southern Maine, BA in political science.

Community Organizations:
Literacy Volunteers – Androscoggin, board of directors; SeniorsPlus, board of directors; Maine Bicentennial Commission; National Caucus of Environmental Legislators; Maine Children’s Caucus; Maine Seniors’ Caucus; Healthy Androscoggin, former board of directors; L/A Arts, former board of directors; Androscoggin Head Start, former board of directors; American Red Cross, blood donor; Lewiston High School Performing Arts Boosters, former corresponding secretary; Lewiston Elementary School Building Committees, Farwell, Geiger and Connors; National Campaign for Grade Level Reading.

Personal information (hobbies, etc.):
Gardening, cooking, listening to music (especially The Beatles), reading, live theater, self-study of the Holocaust, Boston sports teams.

Family status:
Married, three children.

Years in the Legislature:                                                                                             14.

Committee assignments (if elected):
Appropriations and Financial Affairs, Education and Cultural Affairs.

Q&A

1) What legislation do you support, if any, to address the state’s opiate crisis?
Allow access to Narcan through a pharmacy; control the flow of opioids into the state; invest in local hub-and-spoke treatment models.

2) What legislation do you support, if any, to address failures in the state’s child abuse prevention system?
Reform the broken child protection system, boosting caseworker hiring and wages
and enhance technological infrastructure to ensure children and reports/cases aren’t falling through the cracks.

3) Should schools continue to push forward with proficiency-based diplomas? Why or why not?
I voted to eliminate proficiency-based diplomas. Our schools need to maintain local control of standards.

4) Are you in favor of some type of universal health care for Maine residents? Why, or why not?
Health care is a human right. No one should go broke trying to stay healthy and alive. A universal single-payer system would ensure that no Mainer, regardless of pre-existing conditions.

5) Do you support Question 1 (the 3.8% tax to fund the home care program)? Why, or why not?
In principle I support the idea of having adequate in-home services for our disabled and elderly. I am concerned about the funding mechanism. If passed, the Legislature will fine-tune the bill.

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?                                                                                   Voters are frustrated and upset with the tone of officials and disgusted with how our political process works. I would require legislators to attend The National Institute for Civil Discourse programs.

7) Tell voters something about yourself that they don’t already know, and might surprise them.
I sold a joke to the NBC comedy show “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In.”

Speed Round

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


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