Robert E Kirchherr, DemocratFacebook
Office Sought: Representative - District 73
I have an under-graduate and graduate degree from Northern Illinois University with advanced graduate work at Columbia University and NOVA Southeastern University.
I have been married to my wife Cynthia for more than 44 years. We have two children Jonathan and Emily and five grandchildren Will, Meena, Anu, Ginny and Tom.
Why are you running for office? I want to use my knowledge and skills to make Maine a State its citizens can be proud of. I have practical experience in solving problems, working with people and getting things done. My experience as a local leader on both the Paris Planning Board and the Paris Selectboard have prepared me for working in the Legislature. Maine citizens deserve a Legislature that works together to solve problems and I have the skills and knowledge to do that.
I served on the Paris Selectboard for three years. I served the full term on that Board ending in June of 2014. I was Chair of the Selectboard for almost two years. Prior to serving on the Selectboard I served for five years on the Paris Planning Board, which is an appointed position. I also Chaired that Board for more than two years.
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
I believe every family deserves access to affordable healthcare. I support increasing access to life-saving health care for 70,000 Mainers, including nearly 3,000 veterans. Doing so would help our people and our economy by creating thousands of jobs. It would also help our local hospitals by reducing the costs of treating folks who have no insurance coverage. It’s the right moral and economic thing to do.
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?The best welfare program is a good job with a living wage. I strongly believe our welfare programs should provide temporary help to transition struggling families out of poverty and onto economic independence. In Augusta, I will work to make sure our welfare programs are efficient and that they help people transition out of poverty and into long-term employment.
Do you support raising the state’s minimum wage from $7.50 an hour?Yes
By how much?I support raising Maine’s minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. Too many Mainers, working 40 or more hours a week, are struggling to support their families. Taxpayers should not be subsidizing low wages. I believe we need an economy that works for everyone -- not just those at the very top. When working people have more money in their pockets, they spend it locally supporting our small businesses on our Main Streets.
Would you support legalization of marijuana?Yes
Please explain your position on legalization?If it is taxed and regulated like alcohol, tobacco and other controlled substances; yes, Maine should legalize marijuana. Legislation should insure marijuana's potency is regulated and its safety guaranteed. Revenues should be spent on legislative priorities.