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Question 1 on the Nov. 6 ballot seeks to create the “Universal Home Care Program” to provide home-based assistance to people with disabilities and senior citizens, regardless of income. It would be funded by a new payroll tax and non-wage income tax and is supported by Mainers for Homecare, Maine People's Alliance and Service Employees International Union, among others. Proponents say the program, if approved, would provide long-term health care and social services at their homes to adults 65 and older as well as those with physical or mental disabilities. Opponents, which include Maine State Chamber of Commerce, Maine Hospital Association, Maine Bankers Association, Maine Association of Realtors and Maine Home Care & Hospice Alliance of Maine, say the measure would be harmful to Maine's small businesses and overall economy.
Do you support Question 1, otherwise known as the Universal Home Care Program initiative?

11/01/18 AT 02:06 PM
Another case of trying to change tax laws by referendum. Not a great idea in a state that is at the top of the list in taxation.

10/31/18 AT 04:14 PM
Absolutely not! Even casual reading of the proposal reveals that a married couple is taxed at the same level as the single taxpayer, not twice the dollar level. Also, further reading shows that the initial directors are three appointees each for the Governor, the House Speaker, and the Senate President. After that, the directors are selected by vote of the providers, participants, etc. Who controls them and the budget? And even scarier — all providers, case aides, CNAs, etc., are deemed state employees. Does that mean MSEA union wage scale as well as pensions and health plan? Too many questions, too much unsaid or unclear.

10/31/18 AT 04:14 PM
As an aging state, there is a challenge to provide sufficient home care but the Maine People's Alliance solution is horrible public policy. We should never create tax policy by referendum, particularly a policy that will make Maine the highest-taxed state for middle-class households in all of America. Who will replace our aging workforce? No one wishing to pay the highest taxes in the country, that's for sure.

10/31/18 AT 04:13 PM
This is a well intentioned but completely wrong-headed solution to a real problem in Maine. It may not be good for the Maine economy but, more importantly, it simply cannot deliver on what it promises. Moreover, it would expose many of the elderly and disabled people it purports to help to under supervised, under trained, low quality home care. There's no way a nine-member board can effectively supervise hundreds, perhaps thousands, of direct care workers (assuming they can find them in the first place) and ensure safe, quality home care. If this referendum passes, it will fail in practice. And if it fails, it will set back more reasonable efforts to address the problem by years. This should be a non-starter. I own a home-care business, and one might assume I would look at this as a great source for new business. I only see it as a deeply flawed proposal to help people I care deeply about. At best, the most it would produce is more long waiting lists for home care. Vote NO on Question 1!

10/31/18 AT 03:27 PM
These citizen-initiated referendums should be modified so that ALL the information is required to be provided to those signing.

10/31/18 AT 03:26 PM
Again, it's an idea that should have been before the Legislature but was not, so it became a citizens' referendum. It basically extends the Social Security tax beyond, so all may share.

10/31/18 AT 03:03 PM
This bill would allow elderly non-residents who could afford health aides to come to Maine and get them funded by taxpayers. Meanwhile, they would create huge waiting lists that mean that needy people can't get caregivers.

10/31/18 AT 01:20 PM
The so-called loophole is actually the top income subject to federal Social Security taxes (because no benefits are paid after that amount).

10/31/18 AT 01:20 PM
How much more can we throw on the backs of small business! Many are already suffering from the increase to $10.00, soon to be $11.00, for minimum wage and now they could be hit with payroll tax increases. The Legislature has to do something about the increasing use of "legislation by referendum"

10/31/18 AT 12:58 PM
Creating tax policy by referendum is a horrible idea as it leads to taxing the same people and businesses over and over. If it is actually viable and valuable it should be able to be funded another way.