My Priorities 2018-06-18T21:07:05+00:00

BUILDING A NEW ECONOMY, DRIVEN BY INNOVATORS AND ENTREPRENEURS

The old Maine economy is not coming back. Factories will not flock to Maine, as they once did, to tap the power of our rivers. Increasing mechanization and the changing demands of the global marketplace require that we build a new and more sustainable economy – a 21st-century economy. An economy that is diverse and resilient, and that builds on our strengths.

The first step is to spend less time trying to attract jobs from away and more time growing them here, from the ground up. Jobs that are deeply rooted in Maine communities and driven by innovation and entrepreneurs. We must focus, in particular, on small- and mid-sized manufacturing that can sell Maine-made products to a world that is hungry for authenticity and quality.

Government won’t build the next economy, but it can help.

Maine provides as much as a half-billion dollars in tax breaks, each year, to create jobs.

Most of it goes to big companies. As a strategy for growth, it has been a dismal failure. It’s time to redirect our tax investments into promising small companies that are poised to grow.

In all cases, tax breaks must be tied to actual jobs, not grandiose promises and influence peddling in Augusta. As Governor, I’m going to get behind the small businesses of Maine and reward any company that creates and sustains good jobs.

Finally, we must protect and strengthen our brand. We have a national reputation for our environment, our small towns and livable cities. Our products are seen as authentic and trustworthy and wholesome. We are, in many ways, the envy of states across the country. Our brand is our most valuable asset, and it must be protected at all costs. It is the ticket to the next generation of startups that will become tomorrow’s L.L. Bean, Poland Spring, Tom’s of Maine, Stonewall Kitchen, BIW or Cianbro.

PROJECTING A POSITIVE, RESPECTFUL AND OPTIMISTIC VIEW OF MAINE

Maine is a small state with limited resources. But we are divided by political ideology and geography. Division is a luxury we cannot afford. We need a ‘Team Maine’ approach to solving our problems and building the future.

In the work I’ve done to bring people together across the state, I’ve urged us to spend less time talking about where we disagree and more time finding common ground.  When we listen to each other and treat everyone with respect, great things happen.

We are creative, resourceful, hard-working and tenacious. We have friendly communities, caring neighbors and people who are creating new jobs every day. It’s time we celebrate those things and tell the world that Maine is a great place to grow a family, a business and a community.

As governor, I will bring people together to forge a shared vision of our future and to discover practical solutions to problems we face.  That mission will be at the heart of my administration.

A SMARTER AND MORE EFFICIENT 21st CENTURY GOVERNMENT

We need to use our limited resources as wisely as possible. By improving efficiency in government, we will create savings that can then be redirected to our many other urgent needs. All of us have lived through changes in our workplaces and our homes, as new technology and ideas have allowed us to do more with less. Government has, in too many cases, lagged in adopting those technologies and in reshaping its own workplaces. None of this work can be done by a governor who dislikes government and disrespects its employees. I will work with state employees to find new efficiencies. They know best where we can fix problems. We won’t always agree, but I’ll always be respectful and listening, and we’ll always move forward.

TWO YEARS OF NO-COST COLLEGE

The new economy of the 21st century is going to require more skills and training than in the past, and the notion of what is public education and what is a personal responsibility is going to need to change.

My goal is to move us toward expanding free public education from pre-school to two years of post-high school training and college.  A vibrant democracy and an economy driven by innovation require no less. We can do that by providing no-interest loans to students on the condition that they stay in Maine after graduation and help us build the future. For every year they remain in Maine, ten percent of their school loan will be forgiven.

A STATE THAT WELCOMES OTHERS

There are many people around the country, and the world, who want to live in a beautiful and friendly state like Maine. They want to work hard, start new businesses or expand existing ones. Like those of us who live here now, they share our hopes for a better life for themselves and their children.

I imagine a day when a young entrepreneur in a place far from here looks for a place to grow her family and her new company and points to Maine as that place. She is destined to become the next Bill Gates or L.L. Bean of her generation. She chooses Maine because we have become a place that encourages and helps innovators and small businesses, and that believes in building the economy from the ground up. 

What she looks like, or even what her native language is, should be of little importance to us, as long as she will join us in lifting Maine up. We are going to need her, and thousands of other people like her, as we build a new economy here. Let’s start by putting a huge sign on Maine’s border that says We Welcome You Here!

HEALTH CARE FOR ALL

A country as powerful and as wealthy as ours should not have people who cannot get proper health care, solely because of how much money they have. We are better than that. Access to health care and the cost of health care are issues that must be solved at the national level. But there are some things that we can do here immediately. One is to expand Medicaid in Maine, 90% of which will be paid by the federal government, which Maine people just voted on. That step alone will provide 70,000 Mainers with the health care they need and help preserve and grow jobs across the state. Over time, it will make Mainers healthier, happier and more productive, and save us all money.

ENERGY INDEPENDENCE

Mainers export billions of dollars each year to oil and gas companies, to the south and the Middle East. We must find a way to keep those dollars here, in the Maine economy.

We don’t have rich deposits of gas, oil or coal, but we do have wood, water, wind and solar energy. Solar energy, in particular, has great growth potential. We get as much solar energy each year as does southern France. New breakthroughs in battery technology are going to make solar a revolutionary new source of power for our homes and our cars. It is power that can be placed on the roof of every new house built in Maine. And it can reduce our need for big power plants and expensive transmission lines.

BROADBAND SERVICE TO ALL OF MAINE

The ability to connect to the world at high speeds is essential to growing a diverse economy spread across the state. It is also crucial to the future of rural communities in Maine. Broadband is the infrastructure of the future, just as railroads and roads, electrification and phones were in the past. In all of those past efforts, bold collective action built a new infrastructure that improved lives and increased incomes. Now we need to do the same for broadband, and to connect all of Maine to the world.

I’ve written two books, Reinventing Maine Government and Maine’s Next Economy.

Meeting people from all across Maine, convening groups to talk about the future economy, and writing these books, have allowed me to see Maine from the bottom and from the top. I’ve seen how hard it is to get ahead in many parts of Maine. And I understand why so many Mainers are frustrated and discouraged about the future. But I’ve also seen the great work that thousands of Mainers are doing to move us forward. My books tell that story.

I’ve written two books, Reinventing Maine Government and Maine’s Next Economy.

Meeting people from all across Maine, convening groups to talk about the future economy, and writing these books, have allowed me to see Maine from the bottom and from the top. I’ve seen how hard it is to get ahead in many parts of Maine. And I understand why so many Mainers are frustrated and discouraged about the future. But I’ve also seen the great work that thousands of Mainers are doing to move us forward. My books tell that story.