Michael Coleman, Republicanhttp://www.MikeForMaineSenate.comFacebook
Office Sought: Senator - District 31
Occupation: IT Management
University of New Hampshire, Business Administration with Economics minor
Married for 24 years, 2 children ages 14 & 12
Hometown: Old Orchard Beach
Why are you running for office? I want our state to prosper. Too many of our children are moving away to find opportunity elsewhere. I want them to be able to find that opportunity right here and be able to raise their children right here. We have a great place to live. It should also be a great place to work.
Town Councilor 2011-2013
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
This has been billed as free money from the feds. It is not. The state would be required to cover all of the administrative costs for expansion and will be responsible for a significant portion of the cost after an initial period. History shows us that the federal government will probably not maintain their promised level of support as more pressures are placed on the federal budget. Currently the federal debt is $17.8 TRILLION. That level of debt is unconscionable. Adding to it makes no sense.
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?Our focus from the moment of intake into the system should be to help the client become as independent of the system as soon as possible. We should not be supporting anyone here in violation of immigration laws. There's also no reason an able bodied recipient should not be required to engage in job training, an education program or do some work for their benefits.
Do you support raising the state’s minimum wage from $7.50 an hour?Other
Please explain your position on the minimum wage.We should be looking at bringing jobs to Maine which pay far more than the minimum wage. Just increasing the minimum wage has the potential to displace the very workers that proponents claim they want to help.
Would you support legalization of marijuana?Other
Please explain your position on legalization?I fully support the use of marijuana as a medication. For many ailments it is good medicine. There are two major concerns with legalization for recreational purposes. First, we do not currently have a quantifiable standard for intoxication when it comes to operating a motor vehicle or other machinery. With alcohol it is relatively simple. A blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% is considered evidence of intoxication for an adult. It is simple, known and easily tested. That is not the case for marijuana. The other concern we should have is how will we keep it away from children? With wider availability for adults there will be wider availability for kids. We know that marijuana has a detrimental effect on the developing brain, even with only casual use. What any individual legislators think may be a moot point since this question will most likely go to referendum in 2016. The experience in Colorado will be of great value as we have this discussion as a state.