Jonathan Kinney, Republican
Office Sought: Representative - District 22
Occupation: Self Employed Business Owner
Graduate Penquis Valley High School Milo, Maine 1975.
Served in the United States Coast Guard 1975- 1999 achieving the rank of Senior Chief Boatswain Mate.
Attended numerous military schools including US Coast Guard Maritime Law Enforcement Academy.
Served as Officer in Charge of US Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Team South Portland Maine 1990 -1995,
Officer In Charge US Coast Guard Station Jonesport and Eastport Maine 1995 to 1999.
I have been married to my wonderful wife Rena for 32 years with two children, who attended school in SAD 6 and graduated Bonny Eagle High School.
Why are you running for office? I am running for re-election to the Maine House of Representatives because there is more work left to be done. It was a privilege to serve our community as a State Representative during the 126th Legislature, and I would be honored to do so again in the 127th. Over the past two years I was proud to stand up for Maine's hardworking, taxpaying families. I will continue to do so if re-elected by advocating for reasonable welfare reform and lower taxes. Without first reining in Maine's oversized government and bloated welfare system, we won't see lower taxes, and without lower taxes small businesses will continue to struggle, seniors on fixed incomes will continue to struggle, and so will average Maine families. Maine needs people with the experience and willingness to stand up for working families in government. We do have a citizen legislature, and I am enthusiastic to get back to Augusta to put my experience as a hardworking taxpaying citizen who raised a family in Maine to work for my friends and neighbors.
9 years Town of Limington Planning Board Presently elected State Representative District 99, 126th Legislature, serving the towns of Limington, Cornish, Baldwin, Sebago and Denmark.
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
Maine can simply not afford medicaid expansion at this time. We expanded medicaid in the early 2000s, and the actual enrollment far exceeded the expectations and had to be capped. The expansion was part of the reason we racked up millions in debt to the hospitals, which was only paid back this year, and led to services for some of the truly vulnerable with disabilities with no help. The current expansion plan does not help these people. Expanding medicaid now would simply be irresponsible when we cannot afford or efficiently run the program we already have. Our resources - taxpayer dollars - must be used wisely and where they are most needed. Medicaid expansion now would largely benefit only able-bodied adults - not the elderly or disabled folks languishing on waiting lists.
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?Yes
What, if anything, would you change about welfare?Over the past four years, we have done a lot to bring Maine's welfare system under control with caps on receipt of certain benefits, drug testing for certain recipients, work/volunteer requirements, etc. This was a much needed change in Maine's welfare policy, as I believe we need to encourage a hand up, not a handout. During the last two years, during which time I was in the Legislature, further steps for reform were proposed but were ultimately rejected by the majority party, much to my dismay. I was firmly in support of proposals such as requiring folks to apply for three jobs before receiving welfare benefits, prohibiting cash welfare benefits from being used for alcohol, bail, and lottery, and prohibiting the use of welfare cash benefits outside of Maine. I hope to continue working for these reforms in the upcoming session.
Do you support raising the state’s minimum wage from $7.50 an hour?No
Please explain your position on the minimum wage.Raising the minimum wage ends up hurting those it is most meant to help. When the minimum wage is raised the overall cost to businesses especially small businesses is increased. Employers, then can't hire as many people or offer pay raises to people based on merits. They also will likely have to raise prices to make up for the increase in wages, resulting in it being harder for their community customers to afford their products. Raising the minimum wage also makes it more difficult for people like teenagers, or people looking to enter a new field or simply find a job to earn some money.
Would you support legalization of marijuana?No
Please explain your position on legalization?Maine has to many problems with drugs as it is. I am sure there will be a referendum on the ballot here in Maine in the future. This is something the Maine people will have to decide at the ballot box. When that happens the Maine Legislature will have to make laws to protect our citizens, as we have with alcohol.