2014 maine elections
Voters Guide
2014 maine elections
Voters Guide
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Amy J Davidoff, Democrat

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Office Sought: Representative - District 10

Age: 57

Occupation: Professor, University of New England, College of Osteopathic Medicine

Education:

1979 B.A. (Biology and Psychology) Colby College, Waterville, Maine.

1984 M.S. (Zoology) University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island.

1989 Ph.D. (Pharmacology and Toxicology), University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island.

1989-1991 Postdoctoral Fellow, Graduate Hospital and University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

1991-1993 Research Fellow, Division of Cardiology, Brigham & Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

Family:

Domestic partner, Mary Schwanke (University of Maine at Farmington, Professor emeritus). We have been together for 32 years. We own homes in Arundel and Wilton because of our professional careers. No children, just a dog and cat.

Hometown: Arundel

Why are you running for office? Many of our future needs will depend on sensible and sustainable legislative decisions. We need to clearly define our goals, and have measurable outcomes to know if the programs that we put in place are achieving those goals. As a research scientist and educator of health professionals, I feel that I can contribute to rationale decision-making and assessment. I strongly believe in long-term planning (even though the legislative process tends to be very short-term), and that my professional skills can contribute to improving the effectiveness and efficiency of our state government.

Poltical Experience:

I have never run for political office. I have had a significant amount of administrative and leadership experience in my professional career as a research scientist and university professor. In terms of legislative exposure, I serve on two science policy committees through a professional society, where we spend time with federal legislators and provide information on how to achieve our goals of enhancing science education and biomedical research, nationally.

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

When people do not have health care coverage, it costs us all a lot more than it would if everyone were covered (especially over time). Primary prevention is much more cost effective than emergent care. When the hospitals are not compensated for their care, the system (i.e., the rest of us) pay for it, and the care is much more expensive. We are not only losing significant funds from the Federal government for supporting the expansion of Medicaid, but it is also costing the state significantly because we are not preventing/treating chronic diseases. It simply makes no economic sense not to expand Medicaid.

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?We need to take care of our citizens. However, the goals and effectiveness of public assistance programs should be clearly defined with measurable outcomes. Ideally, we should have services that help people/families in need, address acute problems, and have services to allow them to gain their independence. Eligibility should not be cut off abruptly when income rises above a set point. For example, if a person takes on a job, they should not immediately lose their benefits, but rather have the benefits decline gradually over time. This would enable families to have some stability and move ahead, rather than perpetually trying to dig out of a hole. We should have programs that are supportive not punitive. For example, the governor wants to drug test all recipients on public assistance and if they test positive, then they loose their benefits. That does not get us to the goal of having people become productive members of our society. All that punitive measures do is send people underground and put children and other society members at risk. We need a comprehensive strategy, designed to help people break the cycle and help them succeed to the level of their potential. There will always be some members of our society who need assistance and are not going to be able to exist independently. We should be compassionate enough to help them (and their families) have safe and enriching live.

Do you support raising the state’s minimum wage from $7.50 an hour?Yes

By how much?People who work 32-40 hours/week should be able to earn a living wage. By increasing the minimum wage, there would instantly be more money in people's pockets to spend on necessities. It is those people who will continually infuse money back into our economy. I am not an economist, so I would have to spend some time investigating the right amount for Maine (i.e., an amount that is affordable by the employees and employers). I don't agree with the argument that it would put employers out of business, since money would be cycled right back into the economy after the first pay checks were received. However, I would need to review documentation on all sides of the discussion before making a final decision about the amount.

Would you support legalization of marijuana?Yes

Please explain your position on legalization?We should legalize, tax and regulate the sale of marijuana, and establish programs to educate the public about how to use it responsibly and any risks in using it (as we have done with tobacco settlement money for education and promoting smoking). As a society, we can legalize a substance but not condone its use publicly, if that is the goal. Marijuana sale should parallel alcohol restrictions in terms of access (e.g., age restrictions).