I am running for office because I firmly believe hardworking Mainers deserve dedicated representation in Augusta to cut taxes, to lessen onerous regulations, and to encourage policy that lets people themselves, not government, decide what is best for their families.
Growing Maine’s Economy & Cutting Wasteful Spending
Matt has worked tirelessly to support policies that will grow Maine’s economy. He believes we must lower the state income tax and become more competitive in a national and global economy. We must continue to create an environment where government helps the private sector, instead of being a hindrance to the private sector. Maine’s job creators want fairness and stability, and Matt knows what it takes to help these employers create good paying jobs for Mainers.
In addition to lowering Maine’s tax burden, and ensuring Maine’s fiscal house is in order, Matt believes strongly that we must continue to improve Maine’s business climate. We must continue to reduce red tape and burdensome regulations, lower taxes, and reduce our energy costs. Matt is serious about attracting new business to Maine, but also ensuring our small businesses have a predictable climate so they can grow and provide competitive wages to Maine workers. Matt also believes that we must recruit and attract more people to Maine to combat our demographic challenges and our shrinking population. Maine is a great place to live and raise a family, and Matt knows how important it is that we spread that message to those living out of state.
Matt also knows that in order to grow our economy, we must continue to keep Maine’s on a fiscally solid foundation. We cannot afford to go back to the days when our state was bouncing from one financial crisis to the next. Matt will support policies that assist municipalities with regionalization efforts to remove duplication and increase efficiency. Matt believes strongly that we can provide better services, and reduce costs, through regionalization. Matt believes strongly that we must protect the state’s “Rainy Day Fund” so that Maine is in a stronger position to support long-term investments in our infrastructure.
Strengthening Maine’s Safety Net
Matt believes in a welfare safety net to help those Mainers who have hit a bump in the road and need a hand-up. Welfare was never meant to be a permanent hand out. Matt believes strongly that we must protect our most vulnerable citizens - our elderly, our kids, and our disabled. However, those individuals who can work - should. It is not unreasonable to ask non-disabled adults to contribute to the cost of their services. Matt will support efforts in Augusta to aggressively crack down on welfare fraud by increasing investigation and advocating for tougher penalties for those found guilty of fraud. Matt will also fight to make sure that we protect common-sense measures that ensure welfare dollars are not spent on alcohol, tobacco, or lottery tickets. Lastly, Matt will support efforts to ensure that those who are able to go to work - either volunteer, receive training, or work part-time in order to qualify for taxpayer funded welfare benefits.
Protecting Maine Communities and Tackling the Opioid Crisis
Matt is well versed in the public safety issues facing Maine. He has worked in this area, in Maine, for nearly 15 years. He continued to serve Mainers as a full time police officer. Matt has championed and successfully passed many pieces of legislation to help Maine’s first responders. Matt knows that Maine’s Police Officers, Firefighters and Emergency Medical personnel need to have the equipment, training, manpower and other resources to safely and effectively do their jobs.
Maine’s opioid crisis is tearing the fabric of our communities apart. We all know someone whose life has been affected by this tragic epidemic. This epidemic is not just a political talking point to Matt - this is personal. In his work as a police officer, he has seen the overdose deaths first-hand, administered medical aid to overdose victims, and looked into the eyes of family members after losing a loved one. Matt believes we must do more. This crisis requires a multi-faceted approach that requires aggressive enforcement, treatment, education and prevention. During Matt’s first term in the House of Representatives, he supported a measure which added ten additional drug enforcement agents as well as $2 million in additional funding for treatment, in an effort to stem the harm caused by Maine’s opioid crisis.
Reducing Healthcare Costs for Maine Families
Skyrocketing healthcare costs are hurting Maine families. All too often, Maine families and seniors face health insurance premiums that are higher than mortgage payments. Matt understands the need to reduce healthcare costs for Maine families and our job creators. While he is in Augusta, Matt will fight for competitive, free-market solutions to open Maine's health insurance market up and provide more options for consumers.
Improving Education for Maine Students
Matt knows that to grow Maine’s economy, we need a competitive education system. Education can provide a pathway from poverty to prosperity for so many Mainers. Matt believes we must continue to support reforms that will improve education in Maine. As a result, he supports permanently repealing the failed 1 - 4 grading system, which jeopardizes Maine kids applying to colleges and universities out of state. Too often Maine teachers, parents, and students are being asked to provide classroom supplies out of their own pockets. Matt believes that we must prioritize our precious education dollars to ensure the money is spent where it belongs - in the classroom. We must work to find ways to reduce bloated overhead and administrative costs. The highest priorities in education are our students and teachers, and we must ensure they have the resources they need to be successful. For decades, Maine has turned its back on career technical education. Our small businesses cannot find enough people to fill the jobs that are available, particularly in the trades. Matt understands this problem and will support efforts that place an emphasis on our career technical education. Often times, the trades provide students with competitive job opportunities that pay good-paying wages, and we must educate and encourage our students about these opportunities.
Protecting the Second Amendment and School Safety
Matt takes his oath to uphold the Maine Constitution seriously. Section 16 states ““Every citizen has a right to keep and bear arms and this right shall never be questioned.” Maine has a strong tradition of responsible firearm ownership, and Matt has been a steadfast defender of the right to keep and bear arms. In the wake of the tragedies we’ve seen across the nation, Matt will advocate for more education for gun owners on the safe handling and storage of firearms, rather than advocating for unconstitutional gun control measures. Matt also believes that there is nothing more important than the safety of our children. He will fight to support efforts that place armed school resource officers in our schools, not only to protect our children, but to provide them with valuable mentoring opportunities.