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State House District 144

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    Kathryn Burke Harnish
    (Dem)

  • Tracy L. Quint
    (Rep)

Biographical Information

What are the greatest challenges facing Maine right now?

If elected, what are your top three priorities?

How will you encourage greater civic engagement among your constituents?

How will you support economic recovery in your district?

Campaign Phone (207) 694-3840
Campaign Email kathryn.harnish@gmail.com
Finance Type Traditional
State House District
Like so many other states, Maine is facing a tremendous challenge with COVID-19. Fortunately, our rates of infection have been among the lowest in the country, but keeping people safe and healthy has come with significant financial costs. I know that many folks, including my friends in the hospitality industry, are feeling the pain of restrictions that impact their incomes, and I don't think there's a single person that doesn't want to "get back to (a new) normal". The 130th Legislature will need to deal with the state-level economic consequences of COVID-19, which will call for thoughtful, but difficult, budget cuts given the expected revenue shortfalls. My goal will be to ensure that program reductions don't unduly burden the most vulnerable Mainers or slow a return to a full, robust economy.

In addition, the budget challenges noted above, if elected, I will focus on:

1. Actively and aggressively planning for the growth in Maine's senior population, a group that is already underserved in rural areas like Aroostook County. Too often, our older adults are struggling to make ends meet on fixed incomes that don't stretch to cover their essential needs.

2. Exploring ways to rein in the costs of medical care. On average, Mainers pay approximately 12% of their income on premiums and deductibles, a figure that has doubled since 2008 and that is clearly unsustainable.

3. Bringing more economic opportunity to the northern parts of the state - without changing the unique character of the place that we all love. COVID-19 presents new opportunities to attract folks who can work from home to the area, and we should be looking at ways to incentivize relocation and job investment in Aroostook County.
In my district, fewer than 300 people under the age of 25 are registered to vote, which was a shock to me. We need to begin with engaging our young people, listening to their needs and concerns at a policy level, and ensuring that they don't feel disenfranchised and disenchated by the polarization that pervades today's civic life.

I'm also a firm believer in building consensus, something that has been lacking in an era of political division. Regardless of our political persuasions, I know that Mainers simply want to be able to provide for their families in the best ways possible, and I look forward to continuing my engagement with the people in my district to figure out how to make that easier.
Economic recovery requires appropriate precautions to mitigate against an outbreak of COVID-19 in the area. Only when we have confidence on our safety and that of our neighbors will we get back to "business as usual". This takes everyone's cooperation and goodwill. I wear a mask because I know that it's one easy thing I can do to help our recovery.

I know the can-do, entrepreneurial spirit here in Aroostook County - several new ventures have opened in this difficult business climate, and we need to do more to incentivize folks who are willing to put in the hard work to start small businesses, which are the heart of our economy. In addition, this area has an opportunity to leverage its natural assets to bring outside tourist dollars into the economy, as other winter sports destinations throughout New England have done.

Finally, recovery means helping families to keep more money in their pockets by championing the middle-class and allowing more dollars to flow into the local economy
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