Barry J Hobbins, Democrat
Office Sought: Representative - District 14
Occupation: Attorney at Law
Education: High School: Thornton Academy (1969)
College: St. Michael's College (1969-1971)
University of Maine, Orono (1973) B.A. Political Science
Law School: University of New Hampshire, formerly known as Franklin Pierce Law Center (1977)
Graduate School: Harvard Kennedy School (Certificate), Senior Executives Program in State and Local Government (2013 )
Family: Spouse: Donna Monson Hobbins
Children: Jonathan (30), Delia (27), Liam (21)
Why are you running for office? It is an honor and privilege to have served in elective office throughout different stages of my life beginning at 21 years of age as a State Representative representing Saco. Public service means a great deal to me and ha played a major role in my life. I seek re-election to the House of Representatives because I want to continue to utilize my life experiences to improve the quality of life for my Constituents and for the State of Maine as a State I believe that I possess a unique blend of business, legislative, public policy, community service and legal experience that is needed to tackle the difficult challenges that face our State. As the former Senate Democratic Floor Leader I know now more than ever Maine needs leaders who are not afraid to take on the politics at the Statehouse. The stakes are high and the challenges are real and I have the proven experience to get the results in these difficult times. As a life-long resident of Saco who comes from modest means, I understand the importance of hard work, a good education and instilled family values that taught me of the importance of giving back to our Community.
House of Representatives, (1972-1984); State Senate (1988-1990); State Senate (2004-2012; House of Representatives (2012- present)
The federal health care law has offered to pay states to expand their Medicaid programs to provide health coverage to low income Mainers. Do you support Medicaid (or MaineCare) expansion?Yes
I voted in favor of the Mainecare (Medicaid) expansion program on 5 votes which would have covered an additional 70,000 Maine citizens. I also voted to override the vetoes of the Governor. I regret that consensus could not have been reached between the Democrats, Republicans in the Legislature and the Chief Executive. Healthcare coverage for Maine citizens should not be used as a "political football" .
Reform of the state’s public assistance programs has been the focus of debates in the State House and on the campaign trail. Do you believe that the state’s welfare programs are too generous?Other
What, if anything, would you change about welfare?I supported a reasonable version of health care reform that did not go as far as the LePage Administration proposal that unreasonably slashed many essential programs that were a temporary safety net for my constituents during times of economic dislocation. I would prudently review program by program to make sure that the services are needed and properly administered. Welfare abuse should not be tolerated and there should be strict enforcement of welfare abuse laws. The Legislature should consider enacting legislation that include stricter civil and criminal penalties to those who willfully scam the system.
Do you support raising the state’s minimum wage from $7.50 an hour?Yes
By how much?I would support legislation that would increase the minimum wage to the proposed federal level to $10.15 graduated over a 2 or 3 year period. I sponsored a minimum wage bill successfully at the age of 22 when the Republicans controlled the Legislature in 1972. Raising the minimum wage is good for the economy and raises the level of a great deal of Americans that justly deserve and need the increase to buy the basic essentials of themselves and their families.
Would you support legalization of marijuana?Other
Please explain your position on legalization?I am undecided about the approach of individual States adopting legalization laws. Unfortunately this State by State approach still leaves possible federal criminal law exposure to those that possess and/or use marijuana in those States. I am also concerned about the loose administration of the regulatory aspect of not having a system of enforcement and a means of uniformity in taxing the product. I would consider voting for a bill that includes a referendum provision. On a personal note I am not convinced as of this date that legalization would not lead as a "gateway" to other illegal drugs.