Senate District 13

Fortman seeks hub-and-spoke approach to drug problem

By Beth A. Birmingham | Oct 11, 2018

Nobleboro — Laura Fortman, Democrat of Nobleboro, is a first-time candidate seeking election in Senate District 13, which represents Washington, Windsor, and all of Lincoln County, except for Dresden.

Fortman is running against Incumbent Dana Dow, Republican of Waldoboro.

Her passion lies in helping women and families, she said.

Fortman was at the Maine Department of Labor from 2003 to 2010 -- during the Great Recession -- and said she had lots of experience helping people who had lost their jobs put their lives back together.

She said she is proud of having been director of the Frances Perkins' Center, a nonprofit organization. Perkins, Fortman said, was the first female cabinet member under Franklin D. Roosevelt and was responsible for such programs as Social Security.

She also served in the U.S. Department of Labor during the Obama Administration.

"But I never left Nobleboro ... my house, my husband and my car all were here," she joked.

Fortman said she is running for the Senate because she believes she has some unique experiences that would be helpful in the Legislature.

"I know how to craft legislation, and I think it would be nice to be on the other side of it," she said.

Being aware of the incidence of domestic violence in Maine, Fortman said although she supports the 2nd Amendment, she believes there should be a collaborative effort to help reduce domestic violence, as well as the incidence of suicide.

Fortman said step one in the fight for adequate, accessible health care must be the Legislature's implementation of Medicaid expansion -- as approved by the voters.

She said although health care may be available, she has heard from many people that their health insurance premiums are too high, and feels it must be a priority in the next legislative session.

She said increased access to health care will also help deal with the opioid crisis.

"We need to implement a 'hub-and-spoke' model for both doing prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery," Fortman said, and stressed that another piece of that is to be sure people have access to jobs so they can support themselves as well.

"We do need sustainable school funding," Fortman said about dealing with the issue of rising property taxes. That would mean the state's funding the schools at the 55 percent level it is supposed to under law.

"Education is so crucial," she said.

Lincoln County being the oldest county in the state, Fortman said there should be a way for people to stay in their homes and reduce isolation.

"We'll need individuals, communities, as well as public policy, to do that," she said.

Fortman believes strongly in taking care of the environment as well to preserve "a shared, sustainable prosperity."

Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at bbirmingham@villagesoup.com.

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