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Rep. Joyce Maker (R-Calais)
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For Immediate Release

Date: 10/25/13

Calais-Area Survey: State Spending, Welfare Reform Top Priorities

State Rep. Joyce Maker releases results of constituent survey

AUGUSTA - State Representative Joyce Maker (R-Calais) has released the results of her annual constituent survey. The Washington County lawmaker recently mailed a questionnaire to each household in her district, which includes Baileyville, Baring, Calais, Charlotte, Pleasant Point, Passamaquoddy Indian Township, Perry, Robbinston, and part of the unorganized territory of North Washington. The questionnaires sought residents' opinions on various matters of state policy; 119 were returned to Rep. Maker.

"This is a great opportunity to understand where my constituents stand on the important issues facing our state," said Rep. Maker. "I really enjoyed reading the responses as they came in and it's made me think a lot about my priorities for the next legislative session in January."

When asked to rank nine issues in order of their importance, respondents said that state spending was the most important issue to them, followed by welfare reform. Other issues, ranked from third to ninth, included: health insurance, education, business attraction, transportation, tax reform, energy costs, and "other."

To the question, "Do you think the state's budget problems are caused by too much spending or not enough revenue?" an overwhelming 70 percent of Calais-area residents saw runaway government overspending as the culprit.

Another question asked about so-called "Right to Work" legislation, which has been the subject of debate in Maine over the past two years. A full 71 percent of survey respondents support the reform that would prevent unions from forcing workers to pay dues if they don't want to be a member. Studies show that the 26 states that have Right to Work laws in effect see faster wage and job growth than states that do not.

A number of initiatives recently debated in the state capitol received wide support, with 88 percent in favor of allowing forest rangers to carry firearms, 67 percent supporting the lift of the statewide ban on fireworks, 97 percent in favor of allowing military recruiters to wear their uniforms in schools, 96 percent supporting direct farmer-to-consumer sales of certain agricultural products, and 65 percent believing that employers shouldn't be allowed to access employees' personal social media accounts.

"I'm committed to listening to the people I represent in Washington County," added Rep. Maker. "I'll continue to work hard every day to bring freedom and opportunity to my neighbors and some commonsense Downeast fiscal responsibility to Augusta."

State Rep. Joyce Maker can be reached at RepJoyce.Maker@legislature.maine.gov or at home at (207) 454-2327.

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David Sorensen
Maine House Republicans
Tel: (207) 205-7793