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Veronica Magnan touts prior experience as educator, legislator

By Kendra Caruso | Sep 25, 2020
Courtesy of: Veronica Magnan Democratic candidate Veronica Magnan of Stockton Springs is making her second run for the House District 131 seat currently held by Republican Rep. Sherman Hutchins.

Stockton Springs — House District 131 Democratic candidate Veronica Magnan of Stockton Springs said her experience as a teacher and what she learned from a prior term in the Maine House make her the right candidate to represent residents.

She is running against Republican incumbent Republican Rep. Sherman Hutchins to represent Stockton Springs, Prospect, Verona Island, Orland, Penobscot, Dedham and Otis. Magnan has been a teacher, principal and school superintendent. At present she serves on the Maine Ocean School Foundation board. She ran unsuccessfully against Hutchins' predecessor, Republican Rep. Karl Ward, in the 2014 election.

As a state representative from 2008 to 2010, Magnan was a member of the Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Committee, which is personal to her because her son is a police officer, she said. She held many different positions in her career as a public school teacher.

Her district, she said, is mostly microbusinesses — enterprises that employ fewer than 10 people and do not have high revenues, which benefit little from state programs and incentives. She wants to create more opportunities for microbusinesses to thrive and give them more representation regarding legislation that will affect them.

Pandemic

Successfully wearing masks is the key to reopening businesses in the state, she said. She supports Gov. Mills’ mandates to curb the spread of the coronavirus. She supports a more widespread testing program and tracing outbreaks as they occur, using funds from the federal government.

Police

Police officers, like school teachers, are being asked to deal with more than they are trained for, she said. She does not support defunding police, but thinks it would be beneficial to reappropriate some law enforcement funding to hire more social workers to respond to mental health and substance abuse calls.

“It means taking some money from armor and force training and putting it into the social sciences,” she said. “… Rather than having the police — who are armed, they have to be armed — ... be forced to feel like they have to take out these arms and use them.”

The Black Lives Matter movement is a call to acknowledge police brutality upon the Black community and there should be more intervention training for law enforcement officers to address brutality issues, she said.

Economy

The towns in her district are small and rural, Magnan said, and most of the businesses in those towns are microbusinesses. Many of them have closed permanently because of the coronavirus.

She said she would like to investigate how the state can better promote the industries common in her district, like fishing, farming and trades. She would like federal funding to go toward microbusiness agencies that provide support through grants and loans to keep them afloat.

Taxes

Magnan said she would like to look back at how tax revenues were distributed in the past, more specifically, at what it took to get the country out of the Great Depression. She supports taxing the wealthiest people at a higher rate than those who are poor or working-class.

She said many of the wealthiest people are paying very little, if anything, under the nation’s current tax requirements. “Raising their taxes to a reasonable amount really isn’t going to break them,” she said.

Climate change

Renewable energy is a good industry to invest in that does not contribute to climate change, she said. She wants Maine to be a leader in the country to promote the use of solar, geothermal, wind and other forms of clean energy as a way to power the state and provide more jobs.

She said she does not support the Central Maine Power Clean Energy Connect project because she does not like the idea of cutting down more trees and ruining pristine forests.

Abortion

Women who decide to have abortions do not make the decision lightly and it tends to stay with them for the rest of their lives, she said. She supports access to safe abortions and does not support limiting or eliminating the procedure.

“Amazingly enough, it is not a man’s decision to take and make decisions about women's bodies,” she said.

Guns

Magnan said she has handled and shot many guns, but admitted that she tends to stay away from them because her bad eyesight makes her a terrible shot. She supports "reasonable" restrictions on owning and carrying guns.

When the National Rifle Association became politicized, and dangerous firearm accessories became available, is when guns became an issue, she said. She worries that some people carrying them are looking for conflict.

Education

Giving classroom teachers more support and training on how to educate young people would improve education in the state, she said. She wants to make sure schools have more highly trained teachers so they can continue to offer certain classes that are hard to find teachers for, like robotics, marine sciences and crime scene investigation classes.

Broadband

Broadband is one of the key issues she is running on. When she talks to voters, one of their primary concerns tends to be expanding broadband. It is increasingly difficult to run small businesses, especially in the current coronavirus environment, without access to stable and reliable internet, she noted.

She said residents cannot wait five years for statewide broadband availability. She wants to see providers putting in more financial effort ito expand coverage in the state; the $15 million bond that was passed is not enough to cover the whole state, she said.

Election 2020 - Veronica Magnan - Candidate: Maine House District #131
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