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Rep. Jeffrey Timberlake (R-Turner)
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For Immediate Release

Date: 12/06/13

Turner-Area Survey: Welfare Reform, Spending, Taxes Most Critical Issues

Rep. Jeff Timberlake releases results of constituent survey on state policies

AUGUSTA - State Representative Jeffrey Timberlake (R-Turner) has released the results of his annual constituent survey, which was mailed to each household in his district. Rep. Timberlake is serving his second term in the Maine House, representing the towns of Hebron, Minot, and Turner.

"This survey really lets me know what's important to my neighbors," said Rep. Timberlake, a local farmer and small businessman. "Lately, folks seem to be fed up with a state government that taxes them to the brink and spends the money on a welfare system where eligibility has gotten way too loose over the years."

When asked, "What do you consider to be the most critical issues concerning Maine citizens?" and given 10 choices, survey respondents chose welfare reform first, followed by reducing state spending, and tax reform third. Other choices included health insurance, business attraction, transportation, constitutional rights, energy costs, education, and "other."

People's frustration with government overspending showed in the answers to other survey questions. When asked if the state's budget problems are caused by too much spending or not enough revenue, 73 percent said spending is to blame, while only 12 percent believe more taxes are the solution.

Regarding the Democratic bill to make the Governor's Medicaid hospital debt repayment plan contingent on Medicaid expansion, 69 percent opposed the merger of the two while 16 percent supported it.

When asked, "Do you support 'Right to Work' legislation in Maine, which would prevent unions from forcing workers to pay dues if they don't want to be a member?" 77 percent replied "yes" and 21 percent replied "no." According to the U.S. Department of Labor, states with Right to Work laws in effect have experienced three times the job growth and four times the wage growth as forced-unionism states. Rep. Timberlake and Republicans have voted repeatedly in favor of this legislation, but Democratic opposition has prevented its passage.

"Improving Maine's economy and balancing our budget will require a change of direction from the past several decades of one-party rule," said Rep. Timberlake. "We've reformed state government in many ways recently, but we have a long way to go and I'm committed to reducing our welfare spending and encouraging job creation here in Maine."

There was wide consensus among respondents on a range of other issues, with 88 percent supporting a move to allow forest rangers to carry firearms, 95 percent in favor of allowing military recruiters to wear their uniforms in public high schools, and 93 percent supporting the direct farmer-to-consumer sales of certain agricultural products.

Rep. Timberlake encourages his constituents to contact him with their concerns and ideas at RepJeffrey.Timberlake@legislature.maine.gov.

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