Penobscot Bay Pilot has posed questions to each candidate running for Maine State Legislature, providing the opportunity for the public to better understand their position on issues important to the state. Candidates responding with their individual written answers will have their responses stored in the Pilot’s 2020 Election Resource Guide. Molly Luce, Republican, is seeking election to House District 95, which includes Appleton, Hope, part of Union, and Warren.
1. Please provide a concise biography of yourself.
I am Molly Luce and I am running for State Representative for District 95 (Hope, Appleton, Warren and part of Union). I live on Hobbs Pond in South Hope with my husband, Wayne, and our three Boston Terriers. We have a son, Sam, who is currently attending Maine Maritime Academy. We couldn’t be more proud of the man he is becoming. This is a great community, we are proud to live and work here.
I was born and raised in East Union by the mill pond. Growing up, my brother, sisters and I were taught that hard work is good for the soul. I have a wonderful heritage in farming and business. Both are dear to my heart.
My family owned and operated blueberry fields, Iowna Egg Farm in Lincolnville and SeaCoast egg processing plant in Hope.
As young children my sister, Stacey and I worked collecting eggs every weekend. Every late July in our house was blueberry harvesting time. Raking began and lasted until all the blueberries were raked and sold. For as long as I remember I have worked or done community service. I started my first real job at Hamburger Haven in Rockport putting together to-go packets and serving ice cream.
I grew up being taught by my parents to love God and your community. At a young age I visited elderly neighbors with my mother and was a candy striper at Camden Health Care Center reading and singing to residents.
In 1993 I met my husband, Wayne. When we got married he drove a bus in the afternoons in South Hope and worked in the woods as a logger between bus runs. I realized very quickly that I was not cut out for logging. So began our bus journey. One bus turned into three, six, 10 buses until we eventually owned almost 40 buses. As the local bus contractors for our community we earned the trust and respect from thousands of families over the years.
In 2000, we adopted my son Sam. He was placed in my arms at one hour old. I fell in love with him at that moment and my life was complete. He is now 19 years old and pursuing his dreams at MMA.
In the spring of 2001, Sam was an infant, the superintendent of a local school district called to ask if we would be interested in transporting two very wild boys to school. I started driving the boys with Sam in tow. Four years later I opened SafeCare, Inc.
Today we are statewide transporting only children with special needs, behavioral issues and/or are sick. SafeCare is much more than transportation for children to school. Everyday I see first hand and up close the needs of our families and children. SafeCare feeds, clothes and provides other necessities to families who need it. We have a food program at a local child development school, providing milk and lunch to all children who attend. SafeCare supports and advocates for families. Sometimes it's the simplest things that make the biggest difference in a families life.
As a working mother myself I recognize the difficulty of raising children and having a fulfilling career. SafeCare is designed to support and employ working mothers who need employment that works with the needs of their own children.
My life is for the service of others. For 30 years I have also been traveling to Cuba, spreading God's love and the hope that is within me to our neighbors across the ocean. With my brother and our two businesses we provide clothing, money, medical supplies etc to families across the country.
Thank you for allowing me to share this with you, I am a strong, intelligent and compassionate leader. Being a small business owner is a large part of why I have chosen to run. I will work hard to represent my community well and listen to the views and needs of the people I serve in my district. I have an open door, please stop by to talk with me anytime. I look forward to serving my community and being your representative.
2. What are the three most important issues facing Maine?
A) The pandemic is an overwhelming issue in our state and country today. Facts need to be clearly presented from our experts . Our business’s and schools need to be opened back up. The mental health of our community is at stake. We must all come together for the good of us all.
B) Having broadband available for everyone is an important issue in my district. There needs to be more collaboration between government and private companies to help expand broadband, making it more accessible and affordable to the community.
C) Addiction is killing too many of our children. Mental health professionals, churches and rehabilitation programs need to collaborate to make available more programs to help those in their fight with substance abuse. We need to help people get sober and support sobriety in anyway we can. We need to support our drug enforcement in clearing our streets of drugs.
3. How will you protect the local (municipal) taxpayer as you help shape a state budget?
Being a small business owner for 30 years I will take my experience to Augusta, fighting on behalf of small business’ and families. As your representative I will thoughtfully consider all views and vote for what best benefits small business’ and families within District 95.
4. Given the shortfall of housing in your district, how should the state approach the need for more workforce housing, as well as re-entry housing for the formally incarcerated, and emergency shelters for those suffering through extended power outages?
The state needs to partner with private builders and contractors to support the expansion of housing by building on the assets within communities. Government needs to help build contractors ability to revitalize and provide quality affordable housing. Existing architecture in communities is a part of its heritage and landscape, keeping the history of the community intact. In regards to temporary shelter, non-profits, churches and communities should work together to provide placement for individuals and families experiencing difficulties with power outages etc.
5. What legislative committees would you like to serve on and why?
I would like to serve on the following committees:
Transportation: I have years of experience in transportation. I can bring a new perspective to this committee providing insight on how to best serve our schools and our children.
Department of Health and Human Services: I would like to serve on this committee because I have worked closely with many families that are in need of the services provided by the department. There are many services provided that don’t work well and are costly. I will work hard and fight for our families.
Department of Education: I think this would be a good fit for me. I owned a school bus company for almost 30 years and I have been closely involved with educational issues. I think I will bring a fresh positive voice to the table.
6. Maine’s economy relies on small and micro-businesses. How will you help the entrepreneur succeed in this state, especially given the pandemic?
I am a small business owner myself so I know how hard this pandemic has hit us. I would like our state to let us open up. We need to become a more business friendly state. I will work on any legislation that will help our businesses prosper.
7. What is your vision for affordable health care?
I would like to see Maine health insurance open to the rest of the country to create competition. Also the cost of Obama Care is out of reach for many Mainers. I would like a complete overhaul of the health insurance program in our state. We all need medical care that is affordable.
8. Does the State of Maine need to improve its public health system?
I think we have wonderful hospitals, doctors and nurses in our state. There is always room for improvement.
9. What are the greatest strengths in your district, and how do you hope to support them?
We have so many strengths its hard to list them all. We have many wonderful businesses, hard working people and families who are committed to enriching our community. I support them buy being a good consumer and as State Representative I will listen to their needs.
10. What are the greatest problems to address in your district, and how do you intend to address them?
Broadband is a large issue in much of my district. I will work with private companies to make a comprehensive plan to move forward in providing this service to all members of the community in an affordable manner.
11. What is your position on law enforcement reform in the State of Maine?
I think our police do a great job. I would like to thank them all for serving their communities.
12. What are your thoughts about the states response to the pandemic?
The state has done some good things and some not so good things. History will eventually tell us the story. I will work tirelessly going forward when I am elected to help solve those issues and concerns at that time.
13. Do you support construction of the 145-mile Central Maine Power transmission line from Quebec to Massachusetts?
I am not in support of the CMP corridor at this time, but feel that negotiations need to be made to put Maine people first to benefit more from the construction of this transmission line. For example, Alaska has a program that generates a pipeline revenue check directly to residents. Perhaps we could look into duplicating that process here for Maine people.
14. Free space! Is there anything else you want voters to know about you or your vision not addressed through this questionnaire?
I am looking forward to serving you in Augusta. I will stand for Maine businesses, and Fight to support the needs of families within my community and the State.