Quality, affordable health care for all:
As a Registered Nurse, I have experienced first-hand two ongoing & critical public health issues: Uninsured/underinsured patients and Maine’s opioid crisis. As a State Representative, I’ll work to ensure Medicaid expansion is implemented immediately, allowing 70,000 Mainers, many in our own community awaiting access to insurance, make entry in to the health care system for regular doctor’s visits, vaccinations, screening, testing, and treatment.
While the federal health care policy debate continues, consideration might be given to expanding Medicaid further here in Maine, allowing a buy-in program and an option for affordable coverage for even more Mainers.
The opioid epidemic is a complex public health challenge best addressed through a collaborative multidisciplinary approach similar to Vermont’s Hub and Spoke model. A compassionate, comprehensive, evidence-based approach can effectively address the problem: treating and supporting those affected, reducing the prescription of opioids, decreasing addiction rates, and saving lives.
Property taxes/Education funding:
Increasing revenue sharing to our towns in an effort to fulfill the states’ promise of relief for property tax payers as well as increasing the Homestead Exemption by 50% with an added boost for those over 65, and expanding the property tax fairness credit can combine to significantly lower the property tax burden and strengthen our communities. Rising property taxes hurt our hardworking families, low and middle income homeowners, and retirees with limited resources hoping to age in place.
In addition to restoring the state’s commitment to municipalities, we should be pushing to honor voter-approved 55% funding of our local education costs, ensuring a high quality education for all students. Additionally, state funding should be restored to help our school districts raise the minimum teacher salary to $40,000, demonstrating that we value and respect those professionals we entrust to educate our children.
An economy that works for everyone & career path diversity :
Its time to put partisanship aside and work to ensure Maine students and workers have the opportunity to succeed, whether they choose college or technical training, or are switching careers.
Workforce training: Increase scholarship opportunities for training in high-demand fields like nursing and allied health care, building trades, and precision manufacturing
Community and Technical Colleges: Continue to align programs with the demands of employers so students learn the skills they need for the jobs here in Maine
Colleges and Universities: Reduce the cost of earning a 4-year degree by providing student debt relief for graduates that stay in Maine
With smart energy policy reform, Maine can lower energy costs, saving residents and businesses money on their utility bills while growing our work force with good paying jobs in a sustainable, low pollution energy system. Revitalizing our economy while safeguarding our environment must be a priority after years of inaction which, when combined with a new era of federal rollbacks, are threatening our economic and environmental well being.
Womens Health & Economic Security:
I am strongly in support of a woman’s right to make her own healthcare decisions and shape her own future. Federal efforts to drastically roll back women’s health care and family planning services demand pro-choice advocates in Augusta, vocal supporters of Planned Parenthood and all providers of a full range of safe, quality women’s healthcare.
1 in 4 Maine mothers return to work within 10 days of giving birth. Maine families are often forced to choose between a paycheck/health insurance & time at home following the arrival of a child or for care of an aging parent with unexpected medical needs. Paid maternity and family medical leave would eliminate that difficult choice for Maine families.
Maine women earn just 84 cents for every dollar earned by Maine men. Annually that’s an average yearly wage gap of $7650 . I’ll work to close that gap for Maine women and their families and establish stronger workplace protections against this gender based wage disparity
As our Senior population increases, critical deficiencies persist for elders statewide: healthcare, longterm care, hospice, family caregiver support, nutrition, housing and transportation. As the oldest state in the nation, proactive policies are critical- starting with releasing the $15 million senior affordable housing bond blocked by the LePage administration and beginning to address the estimated 9,000 housing units needed now and the 15,000 needed in 2022.