MaryAnne Kinney, RepublicanFacebook
Office Sought: Representative - District 99
I graduated from Edward Little high School in Auburn in 1990. I went on to the University of Connecticut to study pharmacy but returned home without completing my degree for personal reasons.
My husband of almost 19 years and I live on his family farm in Knox with our 2 children. We have 3 generations living and working the land. Several more family members live within Knox as well.
Why are you running for office? I have observed the political process and participated in hearings over the years. I have often thought someday I will do something about the process when the timing works for me. If I had waited for the right time (much like the idea of waiting to have children until one can afford to do so) it would never happen. When my husband came home from a county meeting last fall we decided together that I should run for the representative office for our district. It was time to stop talking and start doing.
Although this is the first political office I seek, I have held leadership positions over the years in various organizations. In college I was the historian for the honorary fraternity I belonged. I went on to serve in the Maine Farm Bureau in state positions (Women's/Ag Education chair and Young Farmer and Rancher co-chair). I was on the Waldo County Farm Bureau board for many years including the offices of Vice President and President.
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
The State of Maine expanded Medicaid with a special exemption a few years ago and then did not pay for services resulting in a massive debt to our hospitals. Thanks to Governor LePage the old debt has been paid but we cannot allow the situation to repeat by adding more able bodied people to the ranks of Medicaid recipients. I would like to continue to see reform allowing people a better chance to make it on their own and contribute to helping those who truly need assistance. The Affordable Healthcare Act was supposed to be the way for all people to get affordable healthcare (or subsidized if they cannot afford it) through the Federal Government. We need to be careful of additional burdens to our citizens in the State who would have to pay even more if it becomes a State expansion. The federal government will not pay for state expansion forever and we must not be taken in by the thought that this will be free to Maine residents. It will cost us in the long run and that will be bad for Maine.
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?Other
What, if anything, would you change about welfare?This one is a yes and no answer for me. I see people who abuse the system without checks and balances while those truly in need are unable to get any help. We need reform in all areas of social services to be sure we help those in need and get more people back into the workforce helping themselves and giving back to help the next person. It's not an easy fix. Maine has a high number of residents on various assistance programs and a shrinking workforce. It will take time to increase job opportunities in the state. Unfortunately there is no easy answer for this issue.
Do you support raising the state’s minimum wage from $7.50 an hour?No
Please explain your position on the minimum wage.As a business owner I see the minimum wage as a training wage. When I started working as a teenager I was making less than $3.00/hour. I was able to buy clothes and put gas in my car because goods were reasonably priced (I always shopped the discount racks for clothes-still do most of the time!) Over the years the prices of goods and services have risen dramatically. The minimum wage is more than double and so are the prices of goods and services today. If we raise the minimum wage the businesses that sell goods will raise the prices of the goods. Raising the minimum wage is not the solution. Creating jobs that require more than a pulse to perform them will raise the wages of the people working. If you are willing to work and work hard your employer will pay you more! Unfortunately (I see this in my business) people are not willing to work hard. Our farm is unable to hire people to work for us because they don't want to work hard. We are not required to pay minimum wage as farmers but always offer more than the minimum wage yet those who work for us think they shouldn't have to start at the bottom and learn but want to do all the easy work and make us work harder on the entry level jobs. Because of this we have let people go-after all we have to do all the work ourselves anyway. If you are willing to work for it, employers are willing to pay a fair wage without being forced to pay a higher wage.
Would you support legalization of marijuana?Other
Please explain your position on legalization?As a parent of young children I don't want them entering a home where it is being grown just because it's legal. I also wouldn't want my children in a home where people smoke cigarettes (my father died young from lung cancer thanks to the legalization of cigarettes). Just because something is legal doesn't mean it won't be abused. Alcohol is another one of those products. All this being said I do believe there is medicinal value in marijuana. As with many over the counter drugs, they once were prescription only. It gives an opportunity for testing on a pure regulated product to be made safe. The hallucinations caused by this drug are of concern to me at this point if we make it available as a recreational product at this time. I would support legalization by prescription at this time with the possibility of recreational use down the road, much like alcohol, but am not comfortable with recreational use at this time.