Scarborough state Rep. Amy Volk, the Republican candidate, will vie for Senate District 30 this fall against Democratic incumbent Jim Boyle.

The state Senate seat covers Gorham, part of Scarborough and part of Buxton. The Current asked each candidate one question to help voters decide whom to support at the polls.

Jim Boyle

Age:56

Address: 25 Dundee Road, Gorham

Occupation: Owner of Boyle Associates Environmental Consulting

Political experience: One term in the Maine Senate

Q: How do you plan to make a difference for your communities if elected to the Legislature?

A: It starts with listening to people who live in our communities. I’ve knocked on thousands of doors, listening to the concerns and aspirations of the voters. They want their senator to work with others, regardless of party, to deliver positive results for them. I have a track record of doing just that.

I’ve stood up for restoring municipal revenue sharing so that tax dollars sent to Augusta get reinvested locally. I will work to ensure that resources for our public schools, which hold the keys to opportunity for our children, are protected and strengthened. And, I will always stand by our workers and small business owners to build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top.

There is so much more we can do for our region and for our state. There are 70,000 Mainers, including 3,000 veterans, who will not have health insurance if we do not accept federal funds to expand Medicaid. Most of these people work for a living, but are one health emergency away from falling into poverty. That is unacceptable.

It is also unacceptable to me that Maine ranks last in New England in recovering from the recession. We need to do more to grow our economy and take advantage of the real opportunities that exist in Maine.

And, we need government to be accountable to the people it serves. When you send people to represent you in Augusta, you should feel confident that we are open, transparent and responsive to your concerns. We need to make sure your taxpayer dollars are spent responsibly, and that all fraud and abuse, whether it is with welfare or private contractors, is rooted out.

I own a business, and know what it’s like to work with individuals who have different opinions on what works best. I know that when we have differences, we must sit down at the table to discuss them, understand them and find common ground. We cannot move forward otherwise. I feel that Augusta has gotten away from that, and I’ve made it a point to build bridges in my time there.

I am not someone who will stand and yell on the floor of the Senate every session. Rather, you have my word that I will always listen to you and will always be there, working with others, to deliver real results.

Amy Volk

Age: 45

Address: 4 Elbridge Oliver Way, Scarborough

Occupation: Owner of Personally Yours

Political experience: Current state representative for House District 127; board Secretary of the Root Cellar; and board President for Maine Connections Academy

Q: How do you plan to make a difference for your communities if elected to the Legislature?

A: My two greatest passions are education and tax reform. We have seen a lot of progress in education reform over the last four years, but very little progress in providing tax relief to Maine businesses and residents. I strongly believe that we will continue to struggle to make ends meet on the state level until we invite investment into our state. The most effective way to do that is by lowering our income tax.

In the 126th legislature, Rep. Gary Knight, Sen. Dick Woodbury and I formed a bi-partisan group to develop a plan for comprehensive tax reform. It eventually became known as the Gang of 11. Our goal was to provide income and property tax relief to Mainers. While our bill was ultimately rejected, many felt it had merit. We simply ran out of time before a budget needed to be approved.

Instead of tax reform, the Legislature increased the sales tax in order to avoid a state shutdown. We took the easy way out and I believe that Maine has taken the easy way out far too often during the last several decades – growing government in order to be everything to everyone and expecting taxpayers to foot the bill again and again.

I am dedicated to finding creative ways to lower taxes, especially for those aged 60 and up. Too many Mainers feel compelled to become residents of low tax states in order to stretch their retirement dollars. When that happens, local credit unions and banks, attorneys, accountants, insurance agents and financial advisers, not to mention other businesses and even nonprofits, lose out.

Additionally, if Maine lowers its taxes, residents of higher tax states who own property in Maine may decide to make Maine their legal home and then we will all benefit. Many people want to live and work in Maine and are willing to pay more to do so, but not at the premium we are currently asking. Our cost of living is high and our wages are low. Too many just cannot make it work as things stand.

My record during the past four years is one of listening and responding to the concerns and needs of constituents, as well as working across the aisle to improve our state. I have been active in the Legislature’s moderate caucus for the last four years and have formed valuable working relationships with many across the aisle as we tackled bullying, tax reform and improving our worker’s compensation laws.

After much controversy, I also secured unanimous support for my sex trafficking bill, and it has now become law. I have earned a reputation as a fair, thoughtful and open-minded legislator and look forward to using those attributes in the Senate.

Jim BoyleAmy Volk


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