Tom J Winsor, Republican
Office Sought: Representative - District 71
Occupation: Retired - Real Estate
Maine Central Institute, HS 1962
University of Denver 1962-1963
University of Maine 1963-65 and 1967-1969 BA
Married, 3 adult children (all in their 40’s) and 4 grandchildren (infant to 16)
Why are you running for office? Too many of our children have or will leave our state to find jobs and to raise their families. I would like to help create an environment where they can return. I think that is the underlying motivation of most legislative candidates, because we cannot have a vital growing community or economy without young people.
State Representative: 12 years 1994-2002 and 2010-2014; Register of Probate, Oxford County: 6 years 2002-2008; School Board MSAD; 17: 6 years - 1970’s
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
I do not support expanding Medicaid at this time. I was in the legislature when we expanded Medicaid in the late 90’s and early 2000. We were promised improved health outcomes and reduced costs. I have not really observed the improved outcomes and certainly costs have not been reduced. We had waiting lists to provide services for disabled folks and frail elderly at that time and we still have today. These folks are eligible for services today that we have been unwilling to budget for over 10 years. In addition we still need to improve the reimbursement rates many of our providers who have been underpaid for services for years. Just the administrative costs for expanding services will cost us significant money that I believe should be spend on services that have been promised for years, before we start new programs.
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?I don’t know if our programs are too generous, but the public perception is that they are. I believe that we must take steps to insure that public confidence is restored in this system and that means that recipients of public benefits will have to expect some additional scrutiny. They should expect photo Id, asset and income verification, limits of the use of benefits. I think we should consider those benefits that exceed those required by our federal program partner.
Do you support raising the state’s minimum wage from $7.50 an hour?No
Please explain your position on the minimum wage.On raising the minimum wage, I was in the legislature when we raised the minimum wage, and I did not see any improvements as promised, in fact I saw several people lose local jobs only to find that the costs of child care and driving to work exceeded their increased wages. We are still having problems providing children with work experiences. So I would like to see a training wage or some other means of encouraging small employers to offer training to inexperience workers.
Would you support legalization of marijuana?No
Please explain your position on legalization?I think adults need to set examples for children, one of which is to abide by the federal law that makes it unlawful to use or sell marijuana. I would hope our state would look to the experience of those states that have authorized the use of this drug over time before we ok its recreational use. So a little time will be helpful in making a rational and thoughtful decision. And I hope consider a law written with those states experiences in mind.