Rebecca A Cornell du Houx, Democrathttp://rebecca.cornellfor.meFacebook Twitter
Office Sought: Senator - District 15
Occupation: Maine Army National Guard/Medic
University of Maine at Farmington - BA in Psychology
Single- no children
Why are you running for office? I am running for the people of Maine who want and deserve a brighter, more empowering future: For the 70,000 Mainers, including small business owners like my parents, who still currently do not have healthcare. My father had cancer removed due to preventative healthcare, but he no longer has any healthcare. I know there are many other families facing similar situations. For our community members, who are struggling to find employment, but are being categorized and negatively portrayed as 'welfare bums'. As a social service provider, I know some people misuse the system, but the majority need these services to put food on the table and a roof over their heads. They use these services as a stepping stones to move forward. For the education and potential of young people, like my friends, who were excited and ambitious about graduating college and pursuing careers in their field of interest. They soon felt discouraged when they realized they had limited career employment options and thousands of dollars in student loans. They wanted to stay in Maine, but left to go where there are more diverse career opportunities. For veterans both past and present and their families, who deserve to be honored and provided necessary medical, mental health, and employment services. As a currently serving military member, I will never forget the sacrifices veterans have made for us, For our beautiful state, to preserve and protect it for generations to come
Board of Directors - Maine New Leaders Council 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
Affordable healthcare is a basic right. No family or person should have to worry about whether or not their whole life savings and everything they have worked for will be gone because they became ill or injured. No family or person should ever have to fear getting medical care because they can't afford it. Maine is one of the few states that have seen increased numbers of uninsured citizens. My parents, who built and run a grass roots small business, are two of these people. Right now 70,000 Mainers, including 3,000 veterans, do not have access to affordable healthcare because the Federal governments money for Medicaid expansion was not accepted. Expanding Medicaid eligibility is not only the right thing to do, but will also support and create jobs, as well as stimulate Maine’s economy.
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 worked with a number of citizens in the social services and the majority of the individuals receiving government benefits needed the basic services that provided a roof over their heads and food on their tables. The services and money provided to citizens should be used as a to build a foundation of stability for them to grow and become financially independent from. The average TANF is $485/month. There are individuals who misuse the system but it is important not to categorize everybody in this manner. We do need to be certain that these services are going to our most vulnerable citizens who truly need these essential items. It is easy to become frustrated with people who we believe are 'using the system' because the majority of Mainers are hardworking and understand the worth of a dollar. I have seen this with colleagues in the social services, who work very hard to help other people for often little pay, but sometimes become frustrated with the people they work with who receive these benefits. It takes much understanding on the behalf of hardworking people to realize that we all have become who we are due to the assistance or guidance of other people. Proper pay and training for all levels of social service providers will allow for better guidance to be provided to those who need government assistance. We should focus on enhancing the positive talents of our citizens by empowering them through education, guidance, and job training.
Do you support raising the state’s minimum wage from $7.50 an hour?Yes
By how much?Hard-working people shouldn't have to work two jobs in order to support themselves or their families. We need to be able to raise the minimum wage to an amount that gives workers the ability to live, work, and raise a family without having to constantly worry about paying their bills. I recently spoke with a manager at Walmart who said some of his employees still use state assistance because they are unable to provide for themselves or their families on the minimal pay they are receiving. If we raise the minimum wage to a liveable wage of $10.10, which amounts to less than $20,000/year, then hard-working Mainers would be able to use their well deserved and earned wages to provide for and spend time with their families.
Would you support legalization of marijuana?Other
Please explain your position on legalization?I would not be opposed to the future legalization of marijuana as long as public safety officials are properly prepared and equipped to ensure the safety of the community, including affordable testing for driving under the influence. The same laws would be in effect as with alcohol and because marijuana is potentially psychologically addicting we would need to be certain their are available addiction programs offered. It would be significantly taxed. In the long run, this could assist in alleviating the criminal justice system, decreasing the cost of incarcerating current violators. Therefore, I cautiously support the legalization in the future, provided the public's safety is the number one concern.