Maine doesn’t need new gun laws

Al Larson’s April 7 letter to the editor makes it sound like the woods are full of hunters using AR-15s with magazines that hold a large amount of ammunition. Under Maine hunting laws, it is illegal to hunt with a magazine capacity of more than five cartridges (plus one in the chamber for a total of six) unless the magazine has been permanently altered to contain not more than five cartridges.

I am also a Vietnam veteran and enjoy hunting with my AR-15 (using a five-round magazine). As with anything else, there is always someone that will break these laws and that makes them a criminal. My belief is that I should be able to use whatever weapon I choose to hunt with, as long as it is legal. My ethical position is that we don’t need more laws to break, we just need to enforce, or obey, the ones already in place.

Jeff Weatherbee
Dover Foxcroft

Workers need paid family leave

Recently, in the Maine Legislature, a bill — LD 1587 — was proposed and terminated that would have created a paid family medical leave system. This new bill would have been the answer for anyone who has ever had to take time off work because of a medical issue involving themselves or family members.

Maine’s aging population is expected to comprise 22 percent of the state’s total population by the year 2030. As a daughter of two aging parents, who are currently self-sufficient, I would have highly valued this security plan for the future. Life is unpredictable, and unfortunate events take place every day. Currently, Maine’s residents must resort to savings, vacation time, or in some cases nothing at all in order to attend to these life events. This bill would have helped Maine’s workforce and their families that are affected by lost wages.

Laws are created as preventable measures, so with Maine’s aging population growing substantially, shouldn’t we be protecting families now for the future? Although some businesses offer their employees paid family leave, most do not. Those who do receive this benefit consider it a generous luxury.

I do not believe this is the end to paid family medical leave, so when a similar bill is reintroduced to the Legislature, I urge lawmakers to support the passing of this important policy.

Jessica Stevens

Hills for House District 97

I heard about Caitlin Hills before I met her. A friend kept bragging about how smart she was, what a good mother she was, how much she cared for the environment and rescue animals, and how articulate and thoughtful she was. It got a little extreme, but Jane was extreme.

After my friend’s sudden passing, I came to know Hills much better and wish Jane were still here so I could tell her that she was right.

Hills, who is running as a Democrat for House District 97, has a law degree and is a college instructor. She carefully and thoughtfully weighs all sides of issues. Since she has written legislation that became law, she already knows the legislative process so she can immediately start working effectively for us in Augusta. She values education, is chair of our school board, wants all children to be safe in school, and favors sensible gun legislation.

Hills believes that accessible, affordable health care for all ages is vital. Families with children, single adults and seniors need affordable housing and reasonable property taxes, so the state needs to meet its obligation to pay 55 percent of the cost of K-12 education and change the school funding formula to spread funding more fairly.

For an intelligent, compassionate, thoughtful state representative for District 97 who can be effective on Day 1, vote for Hills in the June 12 Democratic primary. We need her in Augusta.

Karen Emery-Estey