Aroostook Survey: Welfare Reform, State Spending Top Priorities

Posted Feb. 20, 2014, at 8:33 a.m.

AUGUSTA – State Representative Allen “Mike” Nadeau of Fort Kent released the results of his constituent survey Monday, and the results indicate that the people of his Aroostook County state House district want Augusta to practice more fiscal responsibility and reform the state’s welfare system.

Rep. Nadeau mailed the questionnaire to each household in his district, which runs from Allagash to Fort Kent and south to Ashland.

“I ran for office in part because I don’t think elected officials listen enough. This survey gives me a great opportunity to listen to my neighbors and carry their opinions with me to the State House,” said Rep. Nadeau. “Reading the results of these questionnaires is like having hundreds of conversations with the people who elected me to serve.”

When asked what they consider to be “the most critical issues concerning Maine citizens” and given nine options to rank, respondents chose, from first to last: Welfare reform, health insurance, reducing state spending, education, business attraction, energy costs, tax reform, transportation, and “other.”

When asked, “Do you think the state’s budget problems are caused by too much spending or not enough revenue,” 76.2 percent said spending is the problem while 23.8 percent chose low revenue. Persistent cost overruns in the state’s welfare department have frequented the news since the state last expanded Medicaid in 2001, crowding out funding for other services such as education and municipal revenue sharing.

The questionnaire asked several other questions, including:

• Do you approve of LD 1546, which proposed to expand Medicaid by attaching it to the Governor’s Medicaid debt payment bill?

– 36.7% yes; 63.3% no

• 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?

– 69.9% yes; 30.1% no

• Do you think that military recruiters should be allowed to wear their uniforms while visiting public high schools, just as civilian college and career recruiters are allowed?

– 90.2% yes; 9.8% no

• Are you in favor of allowing forest rangers to carry firearms?

– 67.6% yes; 32.4% no

• Do you support the proposed initiative to allow direct farmer to consumer sales for certain agricultural products?

– 94.4% yes; 5.6% no

• Are you in favor of providing a sales tax exemption for sales to incorporated nonprofit performing arts organizations?

– 39.4% yes; 60.6% no

• Do you support the law that allows political candidates for governor and the legislature to use taxpayer funds to run for public office?

– 25.7% yes; 74.3% no

“I would like to thank everyone who took the time to fill out and return a questionnaire,” said Rep. Nadeau. “One of my goals is to be as accessible as possible to my friends and neighbors in the County, and I encourage anyone to contact me with any questions, concerns, or ideas about state government.”

Rep. Nadeau is a small businessman serving his first term in the Maine House of Representatives. He can be reached at or at home at (207) 231-1201.


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