"I want to replace the culture of no with a culture of yes. My focus is on celebrating and enhancing all of the incredible things about Maine, not accepting limitations. It’s a law of nature that what we focus on is what we get more of, so let’s focus on what is good! The economy should work for people, not the other way around.”
My Top Priorities for Maine:
Health Care is a Right. I Support universal coverage—Medicare for all or a New England compact for single payer as we move toward federal coverage. This is my #1 priority; here are some doable solutions:
Fund the Expansion of Medicaid Immediately
Support Universal In-Home Care which will dramatically increase the quality of life of those in need of care, and of the (mostly women) caregivers.
Cut costs by promoting healthy living: sleep, exercise, nutritious food, three free prescriptions!
Increase support to our Community Based Mental Health system to provide the most effective treatment and to avoid ineffective and expensive hospital and incarceration costs.
Support alternative therapies for stress reduction, pain management and addiction such as acupuncture, massage, Reiki.
Buy local, Buy Maine. State government must favor Maine small businesses in purchasing and promoting our business products to the state, country and world. Then state and university cafeterias will serve Maine food. We will support our local farmers with capital investment, joint processing facilities and coordinated marketing in and out of state.
Grow our Economy from the Bottom Up. Create Regional Development Authorities that will develop plans and do the financing on a regional level. State government will decentralize decision-making and resources for entrepreneur help, business assistance, tourism, Main Street development, and innovative business ideas.
Expand high-speed broadband. State government must use its financial resources and its regulatory authority to bring that high-speed broadband to every household in Maine.
Legalize and promote industrial hemp, an industrial business with potential for retooling vacant mills to be productive again.
Go green. Build green. Reduce, re-use, recycle. Make Maine a leader in green economics, increase tourism based on our policies.
Incentivize Corporate/Business policies consistent with Maine values. Use business tax structure as a way to incentivize behaviors, investments and worker treatment that is consistent with Maine values.
Support a $15 Minimum Wage. No full-time worker in Maine should not be able to provide for their family.
Support the unions’ right to thrive. Unions are an important safeguard for workers. As Governor, I will re-open the negotiations between workers and state government and not make employees have to choose between a strong union and a well-deserved raise. I also support responsible contracting for all state funds.
Fair taxation, share the burden. In the last 8 years, the incomes of well-off Mainers grew at a rate 3 times that of low-income Mainers, and yet, low-income Mainers pay a higher proportion of their earnings for state and local taxes than does the top 20%. We will level the playing field.
Civil Rights/Women’s Rights
Protect a woman’s right to choose and reproductive health services.
Support Paid Family Medical Leave and Earned Sick Leave.
Support Equal Pay for Equal Work for women and minorities.
Establish a Commission on Racial Justice and Equality to lead state government in analyzing policies, practices and procedures that result in income, health care, aspirational disparities. then institute the changes necessary for correction.
Support the Civil Rights Team Project in our schools by providing students with the skills and leadership to take on the issues of fairness, respect, bullying and harassment in their day-to-day lives.
Welcome Immigrants. State funding for communities to pay for transition costs of new Mainers—housing, English as a second language, social services—for a fixed period of time (5 years) until new residents have the ability to support themselves with new businesses and jobs.
Environment, Energy, Climate Change
Sign on to the United States Climate Alliance — I will add Maine to the 15 other states who have signed onto an alliance to achieve Paris Agreement climate goals by 2025.
No state money or approvals for more fossil fuel use. No more pipelines, refineries, LNG facilities. Invest in solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, and tidal sources so that Maine is energy independent by 2030.
Create a statewide trails network. Maine is sprouting up local trails across the state. I will direct the Maine Department of Transportation to support local trails and develop connections between trails so that people can hike, run, and bike safely from Kittery to Madawaska.
Support mass transit. Maine pays $4 per capita for mass transit; the national average is $45. Support systems of public transportation.
Bolster the Land for Maine’s Future Program. A political football under LePage, it’s time to let them do what they do well.
Promote electric cars by ensuring charging stations available throughout state; convert state government fleet over time to electric cars; consider rebates for electric car purchases.
Make state government a model green organization using renewable energy, green cars, walkable state campuses, and best sustainable practices.
Give kids a chance at affordable higher education. Provide two years of free tuition to young Mainers in exchange for a year of public service. This will teach young people the virtues of giving back, community engagement, and help them address the escalating costs of education.
Bring Back programs for technical and skills-based education.
Pay teachers better. We are losing skilled teachers to retirement and few are entering the field because of low pay and unfair retirement benefits.
Cut back on standardized tests. Educate for collaboration, innovation, group work and civic responsibility. Our education system was born in the 1920’s and has become about numbers and standardized tests. Instead, let's emphasize teaching strategies that enhance today’s communities and economy.
Make pre-k available to every 3 and 4-year old in Maine, where the most difference can be made in education, as well as affordable day care and developmental services. Let’s invest our money where we know it will work.
Treat opioid addiction as a health issue not a criminal issue, and treat it accordingly.
Move addicts from prison to community-based treatment. Over 65% of prison inmates have addiction and behavioral health problems, and only 11% receive treatment in jail. It costs over $50,000/year to house a prisoner in Maine; let's spend that money on treatment services that benefit both the recovering addicts, their families and communities.
Expand Medicaid to cover 80,000 new people. This is the single biggest, fastest, and most effective step we can take to expand substance abuse treatment in Maine.
Incentivize treatment for the whole person, not just the addiction. We need to look at the life circumstances and the emotional pain that feeds the addiction at its core and provide the services necessary to address those issues.