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Rep. Tom Winsor (R-Norway)
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For Immediate Release

Date: 12/18/13

Oxford County Survey: Business Attraction, Health, Welfare Reforms Top Priorities

Rep. Tom Winsor releases results of constituent survey on state policies

AUGUSTA - State Representative Tom Winsor (R-Norway) has released the results of his 2013 constituent survey, which gives residents of his district a chance to share their opinions on a wide range of state policies in the news. Rep. Winsor represents the towns of Norway, Greenwood, Waterford, and West Paris. After redistricting this year, Rep. Winsor's district will include Sweden but not Greenwood.

"I always like to speak with folks about what's going on in Augusta when I run into them at the grocery store or at community events," said Rep. Winsor. "The nice thing about these surveys is that it's like having a couple hundred conversations in one day of reading the results and their accompanying comments. They help guide my decisions at the State House and allow me to better represent my neighbors."

Rep. Winsor mailed a survey to each household in his district. One question asked respondents to rank what they think are the most important issues facing the state. The top issue out of the 10 listed in the questionnaire was health insurance.

"That's hardly surprising, with the uncertainty surrounding ObamaCare as it is rolled out," said Rep. Winsor.

The second most important issue was welfare reform and the third was business attraction. Other options given were transportation (roads/bridges), constitutional rights, reducing state spending, energy costs, education, tax reform, and "other."

The Oxford County residents surveyed held wide agreement on a number of issues, including Maine's current bear hunting laws, which 62 percent support and 27 percent oppose. One-fifth of those who oppose the bear laws do so because they believe they're too stringent.

Other issues with strong consensus included Right to Work (78 percent support), allowing military recruiters to wear uniforms in schools (93 percent support), support for the Second Amendment (86 percent), direct farmer-to-consumer sales (95 percent support), and arming forest rangers (81 percent support).

When asked, "Do you think the state's budget problems are caused by too much spending or not enough revenue?" 62 percent of respondents said spending was the problem, 23 percent said "not enough revenue," and 15 percent were undecided.

Respondents supported returning Oxford County's jail to a fully functional facility by a margin of 67 to 18 percent, and also would keep the sale of fireworks legal in Maine by 65 to 28 percent.

"Serving on the Appropriations Committee and helping to write the state budget, I can say that the biggest obstacle to balancing our budget every year is the growth in medical welfare spending," said Rep. Winsor. "That's why I have opposed expanding Medicaid in Maine as proposed, especially when other options exist for many people to obtain coverage."

Rep. Winsor can be reached at twinsor@megalink.net. He encourages his constituents to contact him with any questions, concerns, or ideas.

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David Sorensen
Maine House Republicans
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