Rep. Allison Hepler, D-Woolwich, has announced that she is running for re-election to the Maine State Legislature. Hepler represents Arrowsic, Dresden, Georgetown, Phippsburg, part of Richmond and Woolwich, and is serving in her first term.
“It’s been my honor and delight to represent our communities,” she said to supporters. “You have been involved and curious and engaged, and I’ve approached your concerns and questions with zest and a commitment to finding answers. I’ve listened to you, you’ve listened to me, and I’ve learned so much from all of you. I want to continue to be your voice in the state – the young person, the foster parent, the fisherman, the retiree, the first responder – as we move Maine forward.”
In the past year, Hepler has supported legislation to bring down the costs of health care, invest in infrastructure (including broadband), bring property tax relief, build a work force ready for today and tomorrow, maintain a sustainable and productive marine economy, support a welcoming place for families to live and work, and help create communities that allow everyone to be able to age safely in place if that is their desire. “These are the concerns that constituents tell me they care about,” said Hepler, also noting that, as a Woolwich selectboard member, she knows that government needs to be mindful of the bottom line. “Yes, some of these initiatives come with a cost,” she said, “which has to be balanced against the greater good of Mainers.”
In an effort to expand the economy and workforce in Maine, she introduced a bill to restore a tax credit for research and development costs associated with small businesses. The “R and D Super Credit” had been in place for nearly 20 years when it was dropped in a budget-balancing decision in 2014. Last year, her bill passed both the House and the Senate unanimously, and now awaits funding.
She has been also involved in expanding services for people with brain injury, including a growing population of patients who have survived opioid overdoses but have suffered brain injury due to the loss of oxygen before being revived. This year, her bill was voted out of committee unanimously, and it will increase participation of those with brain injury on the statewide Acquired Brain Injury Advisory Council.
In addition, as part of her membership on the Joint Standing Committee on Marine Resources, Hepler introduced a bill to provide disabled veterans access to recreational lobster and crab, and scallop licenses through the Department of Marine Resources at no cost. This bill received unanimous approval from the committee last week and will be headed for the full legislature soon.
She admits that the best part of this job is the relationships she has built during community events like Woolwich Day and Dresden Summerfest, constituent office hours, monthly potluck suppers, community group meetings, school functions, and town meetings. But it also happens in conversations at the Center Store, the YMCA, and at Shaw’s, Hepler said. “This has opened lines of communication and this is what I bring to Augusta every day.”
In addition to teaching history at the University of Maine at Farmington, Hepler is involved in a number of local organizations. In addition to the Woolwich Selectboard, she volunteers with Maine’s First Ship, the Woolwich Historical Society, and the Patten Free Library board, and is a member of the steering committee for Age-Friendly Communities of the Lower Kennebec.
For more information, contact Allison Hepler for State Rep., 207-329-4396.