On the issues

Q&A: Maine House District 91 Candidate Jeffrey Evangelos

Mon, 10/01/2018 - 12:45pm

Jeffrey Evangelos, I-Friendship: I attended the University of Maine at Orono and graduated in 1974 with a Masters Degree in American History. I immediately went into public service, working for towns and schools. I served as Warren's Town Manager and then went on to become SAD 40's Business Administrator. I also operated a small business in Waldoboro for 20 years. In 2012, I was elected to the Maine House of Representatives and served 2 terms through 2016. I am an Independent I served on the Judiciary Committee, Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, State and Local Government, and the Ethics Committee. With politics so divided, I felt it was a good time to return an independent like myself to Augusta. What compels me is my long time track record of supporting working families, with an emphasis on livable wages and affordable health care.

What are the three most pressing issues facing Maine today, and how would you like to see them resolved?
Affordable health care, livable wages, and support for small businesses. We are in the process of resolving all of them. I will continue to support our workers and their right to a decent wage and universal health care.

How will you protect the local (municipal) taxpayer as you help shape a state budget?
Stop cutting taxes for the wealthy. LePage's administration has reduced state support for education and municipal revenue sharing, forcing property taxes to go way too high. We need to honor our commitment to our schools and towns and get those property taxes down.

Scientists have reported that the Gulf of Maine is warming (Gulf of Maine experiences marine heat wave, scientists say and Senators Collins, King push for research into warming of Gulf of Maine.)

How will you work to ensure that Maine’s fisheries are vital and productive, and that the habitat and marine life are protected?

This has to be a national remedy, the Gulf of Maine is warming due to factors beyond our local control. We need to give a high priority to a clean environment and acknowledge the risks that warming presents to our marine resource economy. I have always voted to support our fishing community and their families.

What are your positions on energy policies and use of renewable energy (solar, wind, tidal turbine)? Should the state of Maine encourage renewables with tax and policy development?
 I support solar energy as the best option and will vote to support its development.

How do you want to see Maine laws governing the commercial growth and sale of marijuana to evolve?
 A plan is already being developed and I will support a fair regulatory structure. Regardless of how people feel about this issue, the voters have spoken.

What issues are emerging from your conversations with the public as you go about your campaign, and what solutions do you envision?
High property taxes are hurting people, especially the elderly and those on fixed incomes. The solution is to direct our state's resources to our towns and schools to alleviate this problem.

Voters approved expansion of Medicaid. How do you want to see that implemented and funded?
Well, it would certainly help if LePage would obey the law. The Courts have directed him to abide by the will of the people. 59 percent voted to support this proposal. Case closed. We already have more than enough money, the State ended the year with a $150 million dollar surplus. It only takes 1/3rd of that to get this program underway, which will really help our hospitals as well.

What is your position on the proposed 145-mile Central Maine Power transmission line that the company hopes to build from Quebec, through Beattie Township, and the expansion of 92 miles of existing corridor to Lewiston, and another 26.5 miles from Windsor to Wiscasset?
Terrible idea because all the power is headed to Massachusetts. Seriously? What kind of a scheme do they think they are selling to us. I don't buy it. Whatever we do, my first priority is to HELP MAINE's PEOPLE, not subsidize Massachusetts.

Two young Maine children were killed under horrific circumstances in 2017. How would you improve the caliber of DHHS, specifically child protective services?
Direct more resources at DHHS to child protection. Improve working conditions and wages for these front line workers.

What committees would you like to serve on and why?
I'm interested in a lot of areas of our state, from civil liberties, marine and inland resources, state and local governments, and the environment. I will proudly serve in any committee that will work to help our people and my state.

 Penobscot Bay Pilot has posed questions to each candidate running for District Attorney, Maine Senate and Legislature, providing the opportunity for the public to better understand their position on issues important to the state. The candidates have responded with their individual written answers.

Maine’s economy relies on small and micro-businesses. How will you help the entrepreneur succeed in this state?
Reduce their health care costs and reduce their tax burden, especially property taxes.

Does Maine have enough mental health care resources? If not, what needs to improve and how?
We can always use more, the homeless and drug addiction crisis cries for our help.

What is your vision for affordable health care?
My vision is that health care is a universal human right. Every American, regardless of their wealth or status, deserves the same care.

Maine has built up a fiscal surplus. How should it be used?
Part of it should go to our towns to lower property taxes, part of it should go to our schools to lower property taxes, and part of it should be used to improve access to health care.

What are your positions on the following November ballot questions?

I'm supporting all the ballot issues. However, I will only support Question 1 if we can resolve the governance issue. The State MUST be involved in the oversight of the funds, so if Q1 passes, we'll need to address the governance of this because I do not support any private interests holding sway over taxpayer dollars.

Question 1: “Do you want to create the Universal Home Care Program to provide home-based assistance to people with disabilities and senior citizens, regardless of income, funded by a new 3.8% tax on individuals and families with Maine wage and adjusted gross income above the amount subject to Social Security taxes, which is $128,400 in 2018?"
Question 2: “Do you favor a $30,000,000 bond issue to improve water quality, support the planning and construction of wastewater treatment facilities and assist homeowners whose homes are served by substandard or malfunctioning wastewater treatment systems?”
Question 3: “Do you favor a $106,000,000 bond issue, including $101,000,000 for construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation of highways and bridges and for facilities and equipment related to ports, piers, harbors, marine transportation, freight and passenger railroads, aviation, transit and bicycle and pedestrian trails, to be used to match an estimated $137,000,000 in federal and other funds, and $5,000,000 for the upgrade of municipal culverts at stream crossings?”
Question 4: “Do you favor a $49,000,000 bond issue to be matched by at least $49,000,000 in private and public funds to modernize and improve the facilities and infrastructure of Maine's public universities in order to expand workforce development capacity and to attract and retain students to strengthen Maine's economy and future workforce?”
Question 5: “Do you favor a $15,000,000 bond issue to improve educational programs by upgrading facilities at all 7 of Maine's community colleges in order to provide Maine people with access to high-skill, low-cost technical and career education?”

Please feel free to expand or add any thoughts here that we have not touched upon.
My entire life has been dedicated to improving the lives of working people. If elected, I will continue to do so.