Bruce A Bickford, Republicanhttp://bruceforhouse.comFacebook Twitter
Office Sought: Representative - District 63
Occupation: sales promotional products
Edward Little High School 1973 Diploma
Married to Margie Bailey Bickford for 29 years. 4 Adult children: Lisa Bickford Parker,34; Adam Bickford, 28; Brian Bickford, 22, and Carrie Bickford 18.
Why are you running for office? After 30 plus years of management in hospitality and retail I determined it was time to give back to the community I grew up in. It was 2005 and local property owners were not happy with the revaluations being completed and property taxes going up. It was time that I became involved. I served 2 successful terms as a City Councilor in Auburn and wanted to do more good at the state level. I then served 2 terms as a State Representative for part of Auburn and part of Lewiston.
2006-2008: 2 terms Auburn City Council Ward 4; 2008-2012: 2 terms State Representative District 70 part Auburn part Lewiston.
In my first term as a State Representative I served on Labor Committee and Government Oversight Committee. While on Government Oversight Committee I was committed to putting the Maine Turnpike Authority under investigation. The ensuing investigation resulted in criminal charges and a wholesale change in future management of the MTA. In my second term as a State Representative I was a member of the Taxation Committee. I was instrumental in helping to develop the largest tax break in Maine's history. I introduced a bill on behalf of small local businesses (Hammond Tractor, Wallingford Equipment) against the big corporate bullies. It passed unanimously through the House and Senate and was signed by the Governor. I stood up for cities and towns when revenue sharing was about to be cut and won my battle by removing a cap proposed revenue sharing relief to cities and towns (saving property tax payers.)
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?No
The best way to allow more access is to mandate that employees accept the coverage offered in the workplace. I know of many times that employees will opt out of employer sponsored plans because Mainecare is just too generous. If we could mandate that coverage be taken when offered there would be plenty of room for the needy.
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?State benefits should never be allowed to pay for candy bars, energy drinks, etc. The biggest fraud with regard to welfare is when a person on welfare lives with his/her significant other that has a good paying full time job and doesn't report the additional income. We need a hotline that whistle blowers can call to report issues when they know fraud is being done.
Do you support raising the state’s minimum wage from $7.50 an hour?No
Please explain your position on the minimum wage.Almost every person employed makes above minimum wage except for your High School student who are just starting out learning how to handle themselves in the working environment. The best way to increase wages is a low unemployment. I know first hand that when unemployment is low the starting wages go up. As employers look for more qualified employees they understand that the more qualified the employee the higher the starting salary. Also raising minimum wage is certainly advocated by the unions. They want a reason to bargain for the same increase to their contract that has already been negotiated in good faith. With the exception of unions raising minimum wage reduces value of other salaried employees.
Would you support legalization of marijuana?No
Please explain your position on legalization?My personal view and probably the only view of mine that can't be changed for any reason.