2014 maine elections
Voters Guide
2014 maine elections
Voters Guide
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Scott Hamann, Democrat

http://hamannforhouse.com/Facebook

Office Sought: Representative - District 32

Age: 33

Occupation: Program Manager for a statewide hunger relief agency

Education:

University of Southern Maine

M.B.A. (enrolled)

Montana State University, Bozeman

B.A., Media & Theater Arts (2004)

Family:

Two-and-a-half year old son, Liam.

Hometown: South Portland

Why are you running for office? I'm running for re-election to do my part to get our state back on track. In my first term, I watched our governor squander an opportunity to extend life-saving health care to 70,000 Mainers including 3,000 veterans. He made a decision to pass up hundreds of millions of dollars per year in federal money that has since been given to states that decided to set politics aside, do the right thing, and expand Medicaid. I watched the first bill I ever passed -- a bill to increase Maine's minimum wage -- get vetoed by the governor and sustained by Republicans that think it's okay for people to work full time for poverty wages. I watched the governor veto a bill to provide food to kids living in low income households, and I breathed a deep sigh of relief as the bill just barely overcame Republican opposition. I'm running for re-election with the belief that we can rebuild our economy, start seizing opportunities, and invest in the right areas. When we know that a strong economy depends on a skilled workforce, a world-class workforce depends on well-educated students, and food and nutrition are the building blocks of a developing brain we need to do everything in our power to address child hunger. Tonight 60,000 Maine kids will go to bed hungry. That's 25% of our youth; 25% of our future workforce! If we don't address this crisis today, we're setting up a future generation to fail. The path forward starts with economic fairness and empowering Mainers every step of the way.

Poltical Experience:

Maine House of Representatives 126th Legislature

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

By failing to expand Medicaid, Maine wasted an opportunity to extend access to life-saving health care to 70,000 Mainers, including 3,000 veterans. Providing access to health care is simply the right thing to do -- morally, of course, but also economically. Enabled by Republicans in the House and Senate, our Governor threw away a chance to 1) help sick Mainers, 2) boost our economy by creating thousands of jobs, and 3) help local hospitals by reducing the cost of treating people who have no insurance.

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?When a neighbor needs a hand getting back on their feet, Mainers know it's our obligation to do what we can to help them regain economic stability. So I wouldn't think in terms of whether or not our welfare programs are "too generous," but rather whether or not our welfare programs are helping struggling families transition out of poverty in the most efficient way possible. The best way out of poverty is with a good job, but someone who is economically vulnerable and food insecure has a far more difficult time securing and maintaining employment. Our vital social safety net works its best when we understand it in the context of stabilizing an individual and providing the resources they need to transition back to independence as quickly as possible. And over the course of their working life, that individual will pay far more in taxes than they ever received in welfare. So let's acknowledge that person's value to our economy, and ensure they have the appropriate support.

Do you support raising the state’s minimum wage from $7.50 an hour?Yes

By how much?In the 126th Legislature I introduced a bill to increase Maine's minimum wage by 50 cents per hour for three years, and then index it to inflation. Maine's dedicated minimum wage workforce deserves a raise after a half decade where a 40 hour a week minimum wage paycheck hasn't increased by a penny. Meanwhile, the cost of everything has gone up, so that paycheck buys less and less. That's not fair. That's not right. It's a drag on our economy, and increasing the minimum wage will put more money in people's hands so they can spend it with local small businesses. Maine is a stronger state when we stand together, and ensuring that a paycheck is enough to live on is a crucial first step to boost our economy. As with my bill in the 126th, I will consult with a variety of economists to determine the appropriate amount and timing of an increase and submit legislation in the 127th Legislature next year to adjust our minimum wage.

Would you support legalization of marijuana?Yes

Please explain your position on legalization?I support legalization at the state level, but strongly disagree with the town-by-town approach activists are taking here in South Portland. Marijuana legalization should only be considered in the context of a robust regulation structure to keep it out of kids' hands, and with an appropriate level of taxation. Anything less is irresponsible. Legalization would take this multi million dollar black market out of the shadows -- where it operates 100% tax free, and as unrestrained as the wild, wild west -- and into the light where we can ensure it is responsibly regulated.