Anne Graham (D)

Age: 53

Hometown: North Yarmouth

Occupation: Pediatric nurse practitioner

Political experience: Member of the Maine House of Representatives, elected 2010, member of the North Yarmouth Board of Selectmen 2007-2010.

What do you think the three most important issues facing Maine are?

Jobs and the economy, affordable health care and reasonable taxes that don’t hurt the middle class. Property taxes continue to go through the roof, which is unfair to middle class families. Taxes are not being cut, they are being shifted to local communities. The state should fulfill the promise of funding education at 55 percent.

What do you think can be done to address those concerns?

The bonds that have been approved by referendum by popular vote of the people of Maine should be released. These bonds would support building infrastructure, encourage research and development and business growth. This will in turn create jobs. Maine should fully adopt the Affordable Care Act and stop making health care a partisan issue.

Do you support same-sex marriage?

Yes, I support same sex marriage as long as churches can refuse to marry same sex couples. If two people love one another they should be allowed to get a marriage license and get married.

Sue Wilkinson Austin (R)

Age: 63

Hometown: Gray

Occupation: Formerly a management assistant at Marden’s

Political experience: Former House District 109 representative

What do you think the three most important issues facing Maine are?

A balanced state budget, regulatory reform and health care reform

What do you think can be done to address those concerns?

Balanced state budget: For a strong healthier state economy that will sustain and foster new job growth, balanced financial sheets are essential to the sound functioning of a state’s responsibilities to its citizens, service providers, vendors and to maintaining a healthy credit rating. Advocacy for sound and prudent expenses that are within the revenue streams anticipated by state government is fundamental in a truthful and transparent budget. Wise budgeting practices also ensures a predictability to local government back in our communities that allows them to budget for their respective high cost centers such as school funding and municipal payrolls.

Regulatory reform: Regulations are meant to give oversight; not to overburden business, commerce, professions and trades. Overweight restrictions constrict economic growth in our state. There is an old saying of “everything in moderation.” The weightiness of layers of paperwork, reports, filings that make up regulatory policy is costly to comply with and continually report on. Nonsensical regulation can have a destructive nature and outcome. It not only slows production and hikes costs, but it strikes a blow at the very heart of the human spirit striving for success.

Health insurance reform: Maine is scratching the surface on reform. It will take additional policy work to improve healthcare insurance coverage and bring the competitive edge back to this state. Competition will be a driver to lower premiums and offer families more diversity of plans, be it buffet style or full complement of options. Regulatory mandates on insurance carriers need to be addressed to allow more personal options in creating one’s own insurance plan. In doing so, a healthy competitive industry will evolve, lowering costs for each of us. Another goal of reform is to seek reasonable, commensurate reimbursement payments to care facilities, doctors and dentists for state MaineCare patients’ services. This will help hospitals, nursing homes and medical professionals achieve a healthier balance sheet. With more liquid assets they will be able to invest in their services, their present staffs and add new positions to meet the needs of our people.

Do you support same-sex marriage?

I have always been open to the legal union of same sex couples. Based on experiential information regarding state’s that have passed marriage for same sex couples and my experience with a strong percentage of our district on this issue, I will not be supporting marriage outside the traditional form of the institution between a man and a woman.

Election 2012
Anne Graham

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