Martin Grohman, Democrathttp://www.growmaine.meTwitter
Office Sought: Representative - District 12
Occupation: Manager at a Roofing Company
Gould Academy, 1981-1985
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), BS Chemical Engineering, 1989
My wife Amy and I have two children who go to Biddeford Primary School.
Why are you running for office? It is an honor to have the opportunity to represent Biddeford in the legislature. Our family moved to Biddeford in 1999 to start CorrectDeck. In 2009 it grew into Duralife Decking, which still provides good manufacturing jobs right here in the Robert G. Dodge Industrial Park. It has been an incredible experience running a business here in Maine, and since moving to Biddeford it has been amazing to watch our downtown flourish. In the Legislature, I will not be afraid to propose collaborative and innovative solutions that protect the taxpayer, but continue to provide services more efficiently and with less cost. I will be a strong supporter of Biddeford’s schools, stop the state from forcing property taxes higher, and work to expand access to health and dental care.
Member, Biddeford Solid Waste Commission (city recycling programs), 2013 - ; Chair, Biddeford Solid Waste Commission, 2014 -
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
Preventive care cuts costs. Sick people who do not have coverage must be cared for - whether or not they have suitable coverage. Imagine if a homeless person with no health care developed Ebola. Would you deny them coverage, knowing that doing so would mean they would likely infect many others? When it comes to health care, we are all in this together, and not developing a system where all citizens can access health care (including preventive medicine, oral health, and wellness care) is ultimately more expensive; and creates a greater risk to us all.
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?We should provide the ability to bounce back. When I was a young child my parents split up and my father did not pay child support. My Mom had four of her eight children living at home. For about 30 months, my family was on AFDC (now called TANF). My brothers and sisters and I have all been very successful. For example, my brother is a doctor, and I started a company that has generated significant payroll right here in Maine. I believe this program worked as intended, and helped my family bounce back. We should provide this ability to bounce back - but without structuring it in such a way that there is no path off the system.
Do you support raising the state’s minimum wage from $7.50 an hour?Yes
By how much?I would support small phased increases in the minimum wage. This is tied to access to welfare programs. In the current environment, an individual may have incentive to stay on welfare or unemployment rather than pursue a minimum wage job. Could you live on $200 a week? I also believe that supporting employers who provide on-the-job training that helps new employees provide more value to their employers and thus earn more via programs like the Governor's Training Initiative. I think that helping people move up the career and payroll ladder is as much as an issue as the minimum wage. I believe the so-called 'skills gap' is best addressed by supporting on-the-job training or other employer specific training.
Would you support legalization of marijuana?Other
Please explain your position on legalization?Drug abuse, including (and especially) prescription drug abuse, is a major drain on our society. As a member of the Biddeford Solid Waste Commission, I have assisted with medical waste takeback programs, and the volume of material is just astounding. If changing positions on marijuana would help address prescription drug abuse, which I believe may be a much more pervasive and insidious problem, I would look at this policy.