Age: 55

Running for: House District 123

Party: Democrat

Residence: South Portland

Family: Husband, Brett, and three grown children

Education: bachelor’s degree in communication, University of New Hampshire

Occupation: Director of business partnerships for the South Portland school system

Rep. Jane Eberle got her start as a community activist volunteering in schools.

Today, she seeks a third term in the Maine Legislature.

The South Portland Democrat is running against Republican Peter Reynolds in House District 123.

Among the issues important to Eberle are education and the environment. Eberle says the economy will take priority in 2009.

Consolidation is one key to cost savings, she says.

Eberle supports consolidating Maine schools, when it can save money and enhance education. She is behind efforts by South Portland and Cape Elizabeth to stay independent “to preserve the quality of education.”

She believes that the state’s consolidation of the prison and county jails will save money. She said that lawmakers will keep exploring consolidating natural resource agencies.

Eberle sits on the Natural Resources Committee and the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee.

She considers a clean environment “an economic driver” for Maine, known for its natural beauty and natural resources.

Eberle says she is proud of her work to keep lawn fertilizers and invasive plants out of lakes and to provide for better shore land zoning.

She supported the Legislature’s chemical oversight policy for tracking and eliminating dangerous chemicals from household products that pose a risk to children.

Eberle supports further cuts to state expenses in response to the faltering national economy. “There is a domino effect in Maine from what happens in the world’s financial markets,” she said. “Every state expense will be looked at in the upcoming session.”

Eberle adds that finding alternative energy sources to costly foreign oil is critical. She wants to explore the “huge potential” for tide, solar, wood and wind energies.

Eberle is open to taking money from the rainy day fund to bolster the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Eberle is most concerned about seniors on fixed incomes. “We do not want anyone to sacrifice their health or wellness.”

Eberle supports the beverage tax to help fund Dirigo, the state’s health plan. But she adds that, “If citizens decide they don’t want it, I’m fine with that. I’m willing to go back to the drawing board.”

House District 123 – Jane Eberle – Backs further cuts to state expenses

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