See Sara's take on Maine issues as reported in the local press:
The Bangor Daily News has compiled a voter's guide with pointed questions of the candidates. See Sara's responses below or go to the BDN voter guide to read more.
Maine is facing an estimated $1.4 billion budget shortfall over the next three years. Should the state fill that gap with cuts or tax increases? Give examples of what you would consider.
Since our shortfall is large, we have to work together to find ways to close that gap without further damaging our economy and leaving our vulnerable behind. Maine has the 4th highest burden in the nation and when we consider that juxtaposed against the looming budget deficit, it seems impossible to bridge the divide without increasing taxes in some way. I believe this will only further burden our elderly, our veterans, and our young families who are trying to build a life in our state. We need to attract people to our state, and make living here as viable as it is to visit. Nobody likes budget cuts, but we have done it before with success. Our state budget is complex and how and where to make changes would have to be carefully considered before anything should be final.
An estimated 14,000 Mainers lost health coverage between February and May amid pandemic job losses. What is a new initiative you would support to increase or improve coverage?
Being a healthcare provider -- and seeing the struggles of families trying to balance the cost of health with the cost of their insurance -- touches home with me. Without jobs, health insurance is out of reach for some, but government funded healthcare is expensive for the state. When our economy fosters jobs and prosperity, people have better access to insurance. Making our state easier for small businesses to thrive in, helps all Mainers and is the place to start. Since our budget shortfall does not leave room for the expansion of Medicaid, we may need to make healthcare more transparent for the user. Having access to costs of services allows people to make informed choices and keeps prices in check.
The pace of economic reopening has been a major issue nationally and in Maine. Have you generally agreed with restrictions and reopening measures from Gov. Janet Mills? What would you have done differently?
The shutdown hit our state particularly hard and many businesses have closed. This has left many without jobs and Maine with the highest unemployment rate it has had in years. I believe owners and operators of these businesses, which are the lifeblood of Maine, should have had more input into decisions that were made that impacted their livelihood. They should also have input into what decisions are made toward recovering our great state. Augusta should bring legislators and business people together to make decisions to move the state forward. Utilizing the resources we have at home, our knowledgeable and industrious people of Maine, to help recover our state gives us an advantage and a greater investment in the state we love.
Last year, a wide, bipartisan majority of the Legislature passed a law establishing a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050. How should the state pursue this goal while keeping short-term energy costs as low as possible?
The need to protect our beautiful state is important, as our choices impact our future generations. If we make our state open to investment by industries, businesses, and the private sector, innovations will follow. The government forcing policies, many times, can hinder this change. We need to consider any project for the feasibility in our particular state. We cannot let the cost or impact of these initiatives fall on our elderly, our working small business owners, or our rural communities. This is an area I look forward to working to find feasible solutions for Mainers.
Do you support the Central Maine Power corridor project as proposed and permitted by state agencies to date?
I have done much research into the corridor and I personally support the project. The people of my district do not, so as their representative I would not support the corridor.
Recently, the Legislature has tightened laws around lobbyist contributions to campaigns and increased harassment training for members. Name new steps that the Legislature could take to ensure that members uphold high ethical standards.
I believe that our legislature does a great job of upholding ethical standards. Our representatives should always be held to the highest of standards and voters have the ultimate say if they are doing a good job maintaining these standards. From my experience as a candidate, there is great oversight by our Ethics Commission. If elected, that would be the time to notice issues and address any breaks in the laws.
Name a unique focus or priority that you would bring to the Legislature if elected.
This state matters to me. I was born and raised in Southern Maine. I want my children to be able to prosper here, although our state has not made that easy. Living here is expensive, our taxes are high, and well paying jobs can be scarce. I believe investing in our community by bringing business to Maine, working on keeping our state expenditures low, fostering further education via community college and vocational school, and taking care of the people who need us. This is what makes Maine a great place to live. We can continue to grow and maintain the traditions of our close-knit state by making conscious choices about our future, together.
The Forecaster of the Portland Press Herald asked the district 30 candidates questions. See below for Sara's responses or go the Portland Press Herald to read more.
I am 49. I’m a wife, mother, chiropractor, and native Mainer. I reside in Gorham with my husband Scott and we have 6 children, with my 2 teenage boys still at home. I grew up knowing Maine can be a very challenging place to live, something I share in common with many neighbors.
Chiropractor and Owner, Back On Track Wellness, South Portland (Current) Chiropractor,
Mall Road Chiropractic, South Portland Chiropractor,
Farrer Chiropractic, Standish
Co-owner, The Gorham Grind Coffee Shop, Gorham (now closed)
Political and community experience :
Currently, I’m a member of the Gorham Republicans Club and my business, Back On Track Wellness continues to regularly donate to charitable events and causes in Southern Maine via funds and services. In the past, I’ve volunteered at local non-profits including the Animal Refuge League and for school events in Gorham -- campaigning now takes up much of my free time!
1) If elected, what would you like to help the district do going forward to help deal with the coronavirus pandemic?
The COVID-19 shutdown hit Maine particularly hard, decimating many businesses and industries, leaving many without jobs and Maine with the highest unemployment rate in years. In addition, our school systems have been put in a position that they have had to scramble to come up with a feasible plan for all of our children. I believe business owners, parents and community members, which are our lifeblood, should have had more input into decisions that were made that impacted their children and our livelihood. We should also have input into all future decisions to recover our communities. We need programs to attract economic growth to our community and we need guidance to form effective policies for our schools. We have done our best to get through this challenge that no one could have anticipated. Solutions come from all of us working together for the good of our district.
2) Please feel free to comment on an issue/task of your choice that you plan to address in office if elected.
Maine is facing an estimated $1.4 billion budget shortfall in the next 3 years -- and since our shortfall is so large, we have to work together to find ways to close that gap without further damaging our economy and leaving our vulnerable behind. This issue is going to overshadow all others. Without addressing this, our state is at risk for deep and lasting damage to our small businesses, our young families and our at-risk population. I believe this is where all of our focus should be.