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Matlack wants state aid for local businesses, upholds women's rights

By Emma Testerman | Oct 07, 2020
Democratic Rep. Ann Matlack of House District 92

Ann Matlack feels that the biggest motive in her efforts for reelection this November is that the state of Maine hasn't fully completed its goals and needs.

"I'm running again because we weren't able to finish what we needed to do," she said during a VillageSoup interview Sept. 14, "I have a better grasp now, and now I have a better understanding of what needs to get done and how to get it done."

Ann Matlack of St. George represents Maine House District 92, which covers Cushing, Matinicus Isle, South Thomaston, St. George, Thomaston, Criehaven Township and Muscle Ridge Islands Township.

In the beginning of the political race, Matlack was originally challenged by Republican candidate Karry Leparulo of St. George, who withdrew from the race Aug. 7. No replacement candidate was selected by the Republicans.

Matlack noted how the pandemic has greatly affected the state's economy, down to a local level. But she gives acknowledgement to Gov. Janet Mills' and Dr. Nirav Shah's efforts to keep the public informed, safe and practicing healthy habits.

"Once we're finished with this pandemic, we're going to have to work with our small businesses," she said, "The PPP left out a lot of small and micro-businesses. We also had a large issue with tourism, despite our beautiful weather."

Due to the high pandemic risks involving local deaths and shutdowns, she said she wants to make sure that the state of Maine aids those not just from the large organization level, but down to the local day cares. These efforts will require higher tax revenue, she acknowledges.

On the subject of women's reproductive rights, Matlack wholeheartedly believes in women's right to choose. "I don't think women's rights should, in any way, be hampered by legislation." she said, "I will continue to support that."

On the subject of education, Matlack would like to see a working system for both educational workers and students alike in a classroom environment. "I would love to see schoolchildren come back into the classroom this fall."

She attended an independent study in St. George on how teachers would like to start up the fall classrooms in August and September. In response to the ideas pitched during this study, she noted the "creativity" of these ideas teachers and education technicians had, to keep students engaged as well as socially distanced to reduce risk of COVID-19 exposure.

"I would like to see more funding for education," she noted, "it needs to be done. Schools around the state are starved for funding that they need in order to be creative [with adapting to CDC pandemic guidelines] going forward."

On the issue of gun violence, Matlack hopes to close the loophole with better weapon ownership. Hunting sport aside, "Guns that are intended for war and mass killings are in the hands of folks who don't know how to handle them."

In response to the shooting in Kenosha, Wis., this August by 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, who killed two people and injured another, Matlack expressed disbelief at the minor's capability of owning such a weapon.

"That is not how we should be handling guns. There should be better recognition that people should not be wandering around willy-nilly with guns like that."

Matlack is serving her first two-year term in the House. She defeated Republican Justin Thompson of St. George in 2018 for the seat that was held by Democratic Rep. John Spear of South Thomaston.

She serves on the Legislature's Taxation Committee.

Matlack has been involved in municipal and county government for 20-plus years, having served on the School Administrative District 50 school board, St. George Budget Committee and overlapped that with 10 years on the Knox County Budget Committee.

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