For Immediate Release
AMHERST - Rep. Lawrence Lockman (R-Amherst) recently mailed a questionnaire to his constituents in House District 30, which comprises northern Hancock and central Washington Counties, asking them for their opinions on a range of policy questions related to state government. The results are in, and 182 residents expressed an overwhelming desire for conservative reforms that tighten Maine's welfare system and get government spending under control.
"It doesn't come as much of a surprise to me," said Lockman. "Downeast Mainers are traditionally very frugal people with a strong work ethic. Our welfare safety net has become a cushy hammock and it disturbs people to see others jump right in it while they have to work to pay the taxes that feed government's insatiable appetite for spending."
In response to the question, "In order for persons to qualify for welfare, should a 90-day residency requirement be established?" 85 percent of respondents replied "yes," while 15 percent replied "no." With 18 percent of respondents ranking welfare reform as their top concern, it was the third most pressing issue to residents of Lockman's district, which stretches from Amherst to Franklin to East Machias to Alexander.
Out of eight top priorities, Lockman's constituents ranked "reducing state spending" number one, with almost one quarter of respondents saying it is the biggest problem that Augusta needs to tackle. Downeast residents illustrated their concerns about runaway government spending by their feedback on the so-called "clean elections" law.
When asked, "Do you support the law that allows political candidates for Governor and the Legislature to use taxpayer funds to run for public office?" an overwhelming 72 percent of respondents said "no."
"Spending has gotten absolutely out of control in Augusta over the years," said Lockman. "Not only has it led to tax increases that Maine families and businesses can't afford, but wasteful spending on welfare and politicians' pet projects has crowded out critical funding for essential government services like road repairs, first responders, and even environmental cleanup."
Lockman was referring to the fact that politicians raided almost $1 million from the Coastal and Inland Surface Oil Cleanup Fund during the Baldacci Administration in order to balance an ever-growing Department of Health and Human Services budget. "This is especially unacceptable considering what we saw happen in Lac-Megantic recently," he added.
"I've worked hard this year to rein in wasteful spending and reduce the tax burden on Maine people," said Lockman. "I won't give up that fight."
Maine House Republicans
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