Bettyann W Sheats, Democrathttp://BettyannSheats.comFacebook
Office Sought: Representative - District 64
Occupation: Owner of Finishing Touches Glass Shower Doors
I graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering.
Married to George Sheats for 26 years with two children, a daughter in college and a son in high school.
Why are you running for office? I am running for office for my two children who are in high school and college. They need better opportunities for good paying jobs. They love Maine as much as their dad and I, and they someday want to raise their families here. But Maine needs to have more opportunities to keep them and their peers here. I believe I can make a difference. Owning a small business allows me to talk with homeowners and other small business owners regularly. I would like to share their concerns and ideas in Augusta.
I have never held an elected position. However, being a small business owner, a homeowner, a veteran, a landlord, a parent, and a tax payer has informed me on a variety of issues. In addition, I have been an active citizen. I have worked with the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine to pass the Kid Safe Products Act in Maine and on the Toxins Reform Act federally through testifying in Augusta, guest columnist letters and letters to the editor in several newspapers, communication with state and federal legislators and community actions. I have been on the Board of the Maine People’s Alliance and worked with other Mainers on issues of taxpayer fairness and social justice.
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 believe healthcare is a human right. The expansion of Medicaid would cover the "working poor." It would help them to help themselves by providing preventative and restorative care at affordable costs. And it's the right thing to do, financially and morally.
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?The question should not be is Maine too generous, but are its programs effective in addressing the welfare of Mainers. I hope to evaluate each program for its cost versus outcome. We know Head Start programs save the state money on remedial education and high school retention programs in the long term. Funding for this program should not have been cut. Preventative healthcare likewise saves money for the state, the hospitals and families. It also keeps people working and it is morally correct. However, where there is waste, fraud or abuse, it must be eliminated to protect these programs for those that warrant them. We also need to make sure our programs are a hand-up not just a handout. As a long time Advisory Committee Member at St. Mary’s Food Pantry I have supported cooking classes, vegetable gardening, and other educational programs to break the cycle of hunger in our community. But while we work toward a solution, we must make sure no one in our community goes hungry. That is the attitude I would like to bring to Augusta.
Do you support raising the state’s minimum wage from $7.50 an hour?Yes
By how much?Raising the minimum wage can be positive for employers by improving employee retention and loyalty. It has been shown to improve our economy by providing more disposable income to be spent in more business, restaurants..., which helps us all. And it directly helps low earning working families, and thereby significantly helps our state reduce reliance on social services. I would like more input before setting an amount, but I believe it should raise to $10 per hour by 2017. State legislators pay is tied to inflation - minimum wage should be too.
Would you support legalization of marijuana?Other
Please explain your position on legalization?Not yet. There are too many issues still to be addressed. I own an apartment building. How would I keep the odor and effects from one apartment from offending or affecting a family in another? We do need to decriminalize marijuana. We imprison too many people, at great cost, who would be better served with counseling or treatment.