House District 93

Beebe-Center seeks reelection to continue building the community

By Stephen Betts | Oct 11, 2018

Rockland — Rep. Pinny Beebe-Center said she wants to be reelected to the Maine House to help continue building the fabric of the community.

"I believe there is a place for government, and government, run responsibly, takes care of its people," Beebe-Center said.

The Democratic representative from Rockland is seeking her third consecutive two-year term in the Maine House to represent District 93, which encompasses Rockland and Owls Head. She is challenged this fall by Republican Maynard Stanley Jr. of Owls Head.

She bought her home in Rockland in 1980. She worked in information technology for 20 years with the Maine Department of Education and Maine Department of Transportation. Beebe-Center said she vowed, however, when she turned 50 that she would become more active in her community.

She served as a Knox County commissioner before being elected to the Maine House in 2014.

Beebe-Center started the local homeless coalition. She is currently the interim director of New Hope for Women, and has also been active in efforts to deal with the region's opioid crisis.

Being a legislator has given her access to a lot of statewide resources, which has made her much more effective in delivering help and answering questions for constituents, she said.

Getting money back into municipalities from the state is important, the legislator said. Rockland, as a service center for the region, doubles its population each day and even more so during the summer, Beebe-Center said, but the cost of building and maintaining the infrastructure is paid by very few people -- those who own property in the city.

Beebe-Center said one option could be a seasonal sales tax increase to generate more money that would go to municipalities and offer property tax relief while supporting local services.

She favored the November 2016 referendum supported by local and Maine voters to impose a surcharge on household income above $200,000. That money would have gone to the schools.

That surcharge, however, never took effect because of opposition by Republican Gov. Paul LePage and House Republicans.

"It bothers me that the Legislature took apart the last five citizen initiatives," Beebe-Center said. "Citizens take this into their own hands when the Legislature does not do its job."

The Rockland representative said that not every government program and aid that has been taken away during the past eight years can be put back, but it can be provided in a better way if people work together.

"I don't want us to be so divided. We need an open conversation so we can repair relationships and collectively work together and serve the people of Maine," Beebe-Center said.

She said opioid addiction is a crisis. "People are dying all the time, but there also people who genuinely want to recover and get a hold of their lives again, but we don't have the resources," she said.

She said providing the services that give people a chance to live is a priority for her.

Beebe-Center said she supports a single-payer health care system, but that Maine could not go it alone. She said the state should to work with other states in the region to create such a system.

The failure of the governor to implement the Medicaid expansion has been horrible, she said, including his administration's rejection of applications by people to be served by that expansion, which was approved by voters.

The two-term legislator said better screening is needed for people to get guns, adding that Maine's mental health system has been hobbled and it is possible for people to get guns who shouldn't have them. She said she would also support a ban on assault weapons.

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