For Immediate Release
AUGUSTA - State Representative Larry Dunphy (R-Embden) has released the results of his survey of constituents on state policies. Rep. Dunphy mailed a questionnaire to each household in his district, which encompasses most of Someret County, stretching from Carrabassett Valley and Anson north to the western shores of Moosehead Lake and beyond.
"This is one way that I listen to my constituents," said Rep. Dunphy. "I always seek out ways to listen to the people I represent and find out what their priorities and opinions are, and I enjoy reading through the comments that people add to the surveys."
When asked, "What do you consider to be the most critical issues concerning Maine citizens?" and given 10 choices to rank in order of priority, respondents chose welfare reform as their top issue, followed by "reducing state spending" and "business attraction." The other options were health insurance, transportation (roads/bridges), constitutional rights, energy costs, education, tax reform, and "other."
When asked about the state's budget, 76 percent of respondents said problems are caused by too much spending, while only 20 percent believe a lack of revenue is the problem.
On the subject of business attraction, 75 percent of respondents said they support Right to Work legislation, which prevents unions from forcing workers to pay dues if they don't want to be a member. Data shows that the roughly half of US states with Right to Work laws in effect have experienced faster job and wage growth than forced unionism states like Maine over both the short and long term.
Somerset residents surveyed supported school choice by a margin of 69-24 and allowing forest rangers to carry firearms by a margin of 81-15. They also had a strong consensus of 91 percent in favor of requiring schools to allow military recruiters to wear their uniforms while on school property, a hotly-contested issue between Republicans and Democrats this year. Rep. Dunphy, a navy veteran, supported the measure with a speech on the House floor.
Rep. Dunphy, who serves as the ranking House Republican on the Energy, Utilities, and Technology Committee, was sure to ask about energy issues in his survey. When asked, "Do you support public funding of future wind projects?" 68 percent said "no" while 26 percent said "yes" to wind subsidies.
When asked to rank which energy sources should be pursued more heavily, respondents choce hydro-electric power first, followed by wood pellets and domestic natural gas tied for second. Other options included imported electricity, new boiler technologies, wind energy, nuclear power, and domestic oil.
Finally, when asked if they favor the Affordable Care Act, 54 percent replied "no" while 31 percent replied "yes" and 15 percent remained undecided.
"I'd like to thank my neighbors who took the time to respond to this survey," said Rep. Dunphy. "I will use this feedback to inform my votes in 2014 and I always encourage anybody with questions, concerns, or ideas to contact me."
Rep. Larry Dunphy can be contacted by e-mail at RepLarry.Dunphy@Legislature.Maine.gov or at home at (207) 635-2831.
Maine House Republicans
Tel: (207) 205-7793