Linda M Valentino, Democrathttp://www.LindaValentino.orgFacebook Twitter
Office Sought: Senator - District 31
Occupation: Senator/Co-owner Scamman Sod Farm
In 2004, I received my Bachelors'degree in Political Science from USM. In 1976, I received my Associates degree in Business Administration from USM and transferred into the 4-year program while taking real estate courses at night through USM.. After obtaining my real estate broker's license at the age of 21, I opened my own company, was successful, and never completed my last year of classes. I am very proud that after 30 years, I went back to school to finish getting the degree I started working on in 1974. In 1974, I graduated from Thornton Academy in Saco. Grades 6-12 were in completed in Saco and grades K-5 were completed in Old Orchard Beach.
Married for 28 years to Curtis Scamman of Saco. Step daughter, Libby Collins, who is a teacher at Young School in Saco. She is married to Rick Collins and they have two children, Hannah and Mason, attending Saco public schools. Step-son, Joseph Scamman, who is an owner/operator of Scamman Sod Farm in Saco. He is married to Jessica Scamman and they have two young children, Wesley and Stella. Daughter, Kate Scamman who resides in Saco and is a writer/production assistant and also taking classes at USM.
Why are you running for office? I have served under both Democrat and Republican administrations. I have served in the Majority and in the Minority and have seen the pendulum swing too far to both the left and the right. I have seen people who are simply rubber stamps for their parties or who just so "no" to everything. That is not productive. We need people who are willing to put their political aspirations aside and work together. I am able to do that. I am a moderate who has a proven record showing that I am willing to work with all parties in a respectful way in order to find solutions to problems. On October 7, the Workforce Committee, that I am the Senate Chair, will be receiving an award from the Maine Development Foundation honoring us for the outstanding bipartisanship legislative work we accomplished this past Session. I want to continue to find common sense, workable solutions for Maine families and small businesses.
State Senator (2 yrs). 2013 - present. Senate Chair of Judiciary Committee; Senate Chair of Workforce and Economic Future Committee; Senate Chair of Right to Know Advisory Committee; Member Transportation Committee. State Representative (8 yrs) 2004-2012. Served in various Sessions on Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee; Appropriations Committee; Taxation Committee; and Committee on Regulatory Fairness and Reform. Saco City Councilor from 1979-1985.
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
It makes economic sense for Maine. Five times last Session the Legislature had the opportunity to bring over $300 million in federal funds into the Maine economy and five times the Governor vetoed all the bills that were submitted. Even the Medicaid expansion bill written by key Republicans, which would have permitted Maine to only expand Medicaid eligiblity for the three years that the costs of coverage was paid 100% by the federal government, was vetoed. I have personally spoken with the CEO of Southern Maine Health Care, who is the largest employer in my area, and he fully supports the position of the Maine Hospital Association for expansion. The 70,000 people, including 3,000 veterans, who would have been covered by the expansion still need health care. Without the funds to cover the costs of this healthcare, the hospitals are forced to provide free care, which is affecting their overall financial performance. The last thing Maine needs is for hospitals to start laying off workers.
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?I voted to reform welfare. I voted for LD 1822, which was the Governor's bill, to prohibit the use of TANF money being used for tobacco products, alcohol, gambling, lotteries, and bail. The bill failed because the Republicans voted against it. I voted for LD 1820, which would have conducted a study of the abuse of out-of-state EBT transactions, but the Governor vetoed the bill. I do not believe that any fraud or abuse in the welfare system is acceptable and that is why I voted for the budget to add 11 fraud investigators to DHHS. Lately, the term "welfare" has taken on a very broad definition and some may include social security in this term. I do not feel social security is welfare, and social security is certainly not too generous. If anything, benefits should be adjusted to cover annual cost of living increases. I also believe that welfare should be a temporary way of assisting able-bodied people in their time of need. In order to truly reform welfare, Maine needs to provide programs, education and training to help people get a job, because a job is the best ticket off welfare.
Do you support raising the state’s minimum wage from $7.50 an hour?Yes
By how much?I would support an incremental increase in the minimum wage, tied to inflation, over the next three years up to $10 per hour. A forty hour per week minimum wage job does not pay the rent and put food on the table for a family. Plus, many minimum wage jobs do not provide for any health benefits. People are working two or three jobs just to make ends meet. If they can't pay the rent or buy food, the government has to step with our tax dollars to provide rental assistance or food vouchers. Most twelve year old babysitters makes more than that per hour, and nothing is deducted from the cash they receive. We need to have fair pay for an honest day's work.
Would you support legalization of marijuana?Other
Please explain your position on legalization?Yes, I would support putting this issue out to the voters in the form of a referendum question. If it was passed by the voters, then the Legislature should pass legislation to make sure that the sales were highly regulated like Maine does for alcohol, cigarettes, and gambling. These regulations would include age limits, driving restrictions, prohibition from furnishing to minors, licensing requirements for sellers, and other. Plus, the product would have a high tax on it similar to the cigarette tax. Small amounts of possession of marijuana have already been decriminalized. Why have illegal, unregulated, unsavory people selling this product and making millions, while the State spends millions trying to apprehend these dealers? Maine opened this door when we approved of marijuana for medicinal purposes. We need to let the voters decide this issue.