There are lots of challenges in Maine, but I am confident we can get Maine moving in the right direction again. If there is a specific issue that you would like me to take a stand on, please contact me at email@example.com and I will be happy to discuss it with you. If it matters to you, it matters to me.
On both sides of the aisle there is so much hate for one another – I don’t believe that any of us really wants that. I aim to be the bridge between the left and the right – I believe that we must all work together for the betterment of our state and the survival of our nation.
In 2013, the local press labeled me a “Maverick” because of my willingness to break party lines. During my legislative service, no other lawmaker broke party lines more than I did – I am truly independent and my voting history supports my independence.
There will be many tough issues that will come up during this session, but if we take the time to listen to one another, get to know one another, and put aside the hatred I know that we can find a path forward that both sides can be proud of.
In the legislature, I will work with anyone if I believe the idea is the right one for my district. I will only work for the people of Winthrop and Readfield, not special interest groups or political parties.(Read More)
We have an obligation to care for the seniors who have built our state, yet they are struggling to make ends meet. We should work together to eliminate property tax for our seniors so they do not need to leave their homes. We should also work to eliminate income tax on retirees over the age of 65 – they earned it (Read More)
Simply put, we must do more. Addiction is hitting every family in the country and it is only getting worst. In July of 2022, I lost my brother to drug addiction. We must aggressively target drug traffickers, we must increase access to intensive outpatient treatment, and we must invest in residential treatment and detox by increasing reimbursement rates for care.(Read More)
Energy policy is extremely complex, but one thing we all know is that must lower the cost of electricity. For the past several months, I have been leading a group of energy experts and lawmakers to develop a plan to significantly lower the costs of electricity. The charge to the group was to put forward a plan that will actually lower costs - enough political rhetoric. Mainers don't care about politics, they just want results. Here is my plan to bring real relief to Mainers:
1. Increase Hydropower in Maine:
We have rivers and lakes everywhere, yet we have systematically removed our dams and increasingly turned to other forms of generation. Building new hydropower generation in Maine needs to be part of the long-term solution - it is the cheapest form of generation and it is renewable! In the short-term, we need to tap into existing hydropower that is available to us. Doing so will immediately increase supply into ISO New England (where we buy our power from), which will reduce reliance on oil fired generators.
2. Remove the 100 Megawatt (MW) Cap on Hydro in the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS):
Currently, Hydropower is not considered "renewable" if it generates more than 100MW. The same is true for biomass. What this means is that if a generator has the capacity to generate more than 100MW, it is not considered renewable and therefore it cannot get any of the incentives associated with "being clean". To most people, this does not makes sense - it is cheap and it is clean, but to some policymakers it threatens their goals. While there is a cap for clean hydropower in Maine, there is no such cap for either solar or wind, both of which cost over twice as much per kilowatt hour (KWH). By removing the cap, we open the market to much larger hydro generation, which will lower the costs.
3. Rate Restructuring:
Solar is popping up all over the state of Maine - driven by massive state and federal credits aimed at increasing renewables. Regardless of whether you like solar or not, you must want to save money on your electric bill. Right now, most solar customers pay nothing for the transmission and distribution (T&D) of electricity. That is made possible because of the current law that we call "Net Metering". These customers receive credits when they produce electricity and use credits when they use electricity from the grid. In many months, they have no bill, which means they used the grid for free. With them paying nothing, that leaves the rest of us picking up their share of the maintenance of that grid - a massive shift in costs. We must ensure that everyone pays a fair share of the T&D costs if they are connected to the grid.
4. Biomass Cogeneration:
We live in Maine - the land of trees! We should be using our states largest resource to generate heat and power. Having biomass plants strategically located near large industrial and commercial properties makes sense - they can generate power from the steam and use the excess heat to provide heat to the industrial user. Doing so, will make the cost of power generation much more affordable while also giving a nod to our timber industry.
5. Cabinet Level Energy Office
We need to elevate the energy office to the cabinet level, which will provide much greater resources and authority over all energy in Maine. This office needs to be charged with short-term, mid-term, and long-term planning for energy needs in Maine.
6. Natural Gas
Natural gas fired electricity generation is a large portion of the supply mix for New England, but the supply of it is limited. Most of the supply comes into Dracut, Mass - that pipeline is fully-utilized for the most part. We need to bring more gas in to meet the demand for electricity. That pipeline is not favored by the states of New York or Massachusetts at this time. We need to either work with their leaders to encourage permitting or we need to bring the gas in through Canada. This is at a minimum a 5 year project that must begin as soon as possible if we are going to provide relief.(Read More)
The shortage of affordable housing in Maine is a very real problem that we must address. The single best way to have more affordable housing is to increase the supply of housing. One way to increase the supply that I support is to reduce the minimum lot size required to build a home. In most municipalities, zoning requires a certain number of acres per unit. By reducing this number, more units can be built on the same size lot which is a savings to contractors that directly translates to more units being built. Additionally, I support tax credit programs for the construction of affordable and workforce housing.(Read More)