Bettie K Harris-Howard, Democrat
Office Sought: Representative - District 20
Occupation: Retired Nursing Home Administrator, LPN
1967 Graduate of Traip Academy Kittery, Maine
1969 NH Vocational Technical College, Diploma, LPN
1975 Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill, Ma Associates in Science
2001 University of Massachusetts Lowell, Bachelor of Science
2001 University of Massachusetts Lowell, Masters of Arts
Married to Ellen Harris-Howard with blended family. Including daughters Linda Fitton 46 of Lebanon Maine, Liza Palmer 45 of Wasilla, Alaska, Sons, Matthew Palmer 43 of Stoneham, Ma. and Eric Howard 42 of Marlboro, Ma. We have 5 Grandsons and 3 great grandchildren.
Why are you running for office? I have always been passionate about helping people. I have worked as an LPN and a Nursing Home Administrator and done research in Domestic Violence. I believe that everyone deserves their fair share and should pay their fair share. I want to work with other legislators towasd that goal and be the voice of the voters in district 20 in Augusta. I believe I have had the experience to make a difference and help improve the lives of Mainers.
Maine State Democratic Committee 2012 - present; Maine State Democratic Platform Committee 2014; Democratic Campaign 2012, 2014; Emerge Graduate 2013; Lebanon, Maine Budget Committee 2012, 2013, 2014; Lebanon , Maine Appeals Board 2012 - present. Chair 2014
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
Medicaid Expansion would not only cover an additional 70,000 Mainers and treat their chronic conditions, and provide preventive care, it would reduce healthcare costs for those Mainers, Hospitals would benefit from decreased losses due to unpaid bills for services they had to provide for emergency care. The State would require more trained healthcare staff to provide services thus increasing jobs and the economy. Medicaid Expansion is a win-win for everyone.
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?No
What, if anything, would you change about welfare?I believe all DHHS programs should be evaluated for effectiveness with an eye toward reducing some programs and increasing others. Welfare to work programs should be evaluated dependent on each individual, and the resources of their area of the state. Training programs and company buy in's need to be in place and funded. We should continue to identify fraud at different levels without condemning everyone who is in need of these programs.
Do you support raising the state’s minimum wage from $7.50 an hour?Yes
By how much?I believe we should provide a living wage, we have proven that those making minimum wage are not just entry level jobs. Families can not support themselves on one or even 2 minimum wage jobs. Providing a living wage would allow families to lift out of poverty, decrease their dependence on social programs, there by reduce the need for tax money for these programs and add more to our economy.
Would you support legalization of marijuana?Yes
Please explain your position on legalization?I believe that legalizing marijuana with strong laws and careful regulation could add to our economy and decrease the expense of arrest, prosecution, and incarceration. Too many lives have been permanently damaged by the classification of this product as a level four drug.