Lawrence E Lockman, RepublicanFacebook
Office Sought: Representative - District 137
Occupation: Territory Manager for National Write Your Congressman (nwyc.com)
Philmont Christian Academy, 1967 graduate
Covenant College, 1967-68
Pasadena City College, 1968-69
My wife Debbie and I celebrated our 42nd wedding anniversary in July of this year. We have four adult children and five grandchildren.
Why are you running for office? I am running for re-election because I believe we have unfinished business that must be addressed. If we want the next generation of Maine families to thrive and prosper here, we need to get our priorities straight: preserving the social safety-net for Maine’s most vulnerable elderly, poor, and disabled. Unfortunately, decades of leftist Democrat control of state government have stretched the safety net into a hammock for way too many able-bodied people. My constituents are upset that Maine’s nursing homes have been chronically underfunded for the better part of a decade. Some have shut down and others are on the brink of closure, imposing severe financial and emotional hardships on many families in rural eastern Maine. Meanwhile, we have legions of non-elderly, non-disabled adults who don’t work and won’t work but can afford tattoos and cigarettes, standing in grocery check-out lines with their EBT cards in hand. Our resources are limited, and our job as legislators is to set priorities and make choices. We can make sure your 75-year-old widowed grandmother gets needed services and stays warm next winter. Or we can continue to pamper your 28-year-old unemployed but able-bodied nephew with subsidized food, housing, and medical care. If the voters send me back to Augusta, I will continue to advocate for more jobs and less welfare. As a husband, father, and grandfather, I am committed to making Maine as great a place to make a living as it is a place to live.
Tax Assessor, Constable, Fire Warden in Seboeis Plantation, 1980s; Shop Steward, Local 80 United Paperworkers International Union, Passadumkeag stud mill, 1985-89; Zoning Appeals Board, Amherst, 2012 to present; Representative to the Legislature, 2012 to present
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
Chaining ourselves to the caboose of the Obamacare trainwreck would be a huge mistake. The last Medicaid expansion in Maine was a costly disaster, blowing holes in the state budget year after year for the past decade, and leading directly to the half-billion dollar hospital debt and the chronic underfunding of our nursing homes. Now we are being told not to worry, the federal government will pay for adding tens of thousands more non-elderly, non-disabled adults to this medical welfare program. But the federal government is more than $17 trillion in debt. We are borrowing money from our grandchildren to give free medical care to able-bodied young adults who have no skin in the game: no premium, minimal co-pays, no deductibles.
Why would we borrow money from our grandchildren to pay for this welfare expansion, when we have viable market-based options for health care? Allow individuals and businesses to shop across state lines for health insurance, encourage competition in the insurance market, and reform the legal system so that doctors and hospitals can buy malpractice coverage at reasonable rates.
The same folks who said, "if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor" are now telling us this welfare expansion won't cost the state of Maine a dime. Don't believe them. There are better ways to make health care more accessible to more people.
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?Maine's welfare programs are too generous to people who should take responsibility for themselves. At the same time, we are shortchanging our most vulnerable elderly, poor, and disabled. I was shocked to learn in my first term that we have thousands of seriously disabled and elderly Mainers on wait lists for needed in-home services because funding is unavailable. If we de-funded the methadone industry's free transportation program for addicts, and made cuts at the Office of Information Technology, with its 450+ full-time employees and $140 million annual budget, we could eliminate the wait lists. It’s absurd that the state leases laptops for $1200 a year for its employees, when you can buy a good computer outright for half that amount. I talk to small-business owners every day who tell me that they have job openings but very few applicants. In many cases the applicants want to work under the table or part-time, so they won't lose their welfare benefits. Many people are trapped on welfare because they lose all their benefits if they take an entry-level job. We need to address the "cliff effect" so that people are encouraged to take personal responsibility for themselves. Unfortunately, decades of liberal Democrat control of state government have created a nanny state, non-profit industrial complex that provides permanent high-paying jobs for left-wing ideologues and activists in Maine's lucrative poverty industry. It’s time to dismantle the entire structure.
Do you support raising the state’s minimum wage from $7.50 an hour?No
Please explain your position on the minimum wage.Nobody was ever lifted out of poverty by an increase in the minimum wage. And a higher minimum will not keep a single young person from leaving Maine to move elsewhere for better job opportunities. Instead of obsessing about entry-level wages, we need to focus on creating a business climate in Maine that attracts career-wage jobs. Maine’s family-owned small businesses are overwhelmingly opposed to jacking up the minimum wage. The testimony we heard in the Labor Committee was consistent and compelling. A Maine-based restaurant business with locations in New Hampshire and Massachusetts would see a $100,000 increase in labor costs at its Maine restaurants if the minimum wage goes up. The Maine locations are already at a competitive disadvantage under current law. Increasing the minimum means fewer job opportunities for the very the people it’s intended to help. Workplace freedom (right to work) is a much better and smarter way to help more workers earn a career wage. States that protect workers’ paychecks from compulsory payments to labor unions are emerging from the Great Recession much faster than states that allow union bosses to force workers to pay union dues as a condition of employment. I sponsored Right to Work legislation last year, but it was voted down on a party-line vote. It’s no secret and no coincidence that the union bosses who dominate the Democratic Party funnel campaign contributions to Democrat legislators who vote against paycheck protection for working families. The minimum-wage debate allows liberal Democrat politicians to pose as champions of the poor when in reality these legislators benefit from a permanent underclass of citizens trapped in low-paying jobs and dependent on government.
Would you support legalization of marijuana?No
Please explain your position on legalization?Before we go down this path, we need to evaluate the experience of states that have legalized recreational use of marijuana. Reports from Colorado suggest that legalization there is not bringing in the promised tax revenue, and the incidence of impaired drivers, stoned employees, and increased use by minor children are all much bigger problems than anticipated. We can afford to be cautious and wait for more data from other states. At this point, we are still in the process of evaluating Maine's experience with medical marijuana. I see no reason to rush toward legalizing recreational use.