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AUGUSTA, ME - Rep. Meredith Strang Burgess (R-Cumberland) has had a very strong pro-business voting record in the 124th Legislature, according to an analysis by the Maine Economic Research Institute (MERI). Her rating of 85.5 out of a possible 100 puts her in the top rank of legislators who voted consistently in favor of a strong Maine economy. Rep. Strang Burgess (R-Cumberland) said she supported bills that would help create jobs, improve Maine's economic climate, and enable businesses to survive the economic downturn.

MERI, based in Augusta, is a nonpartisan organization that grades lawmakers on their votes on bills affecting job creation, health insurance, taxation and other important economic issues. There were 10 such bills in this latest analysis, which took into account the First Regular Session of the 124th Legislature.

The bills rated by MERI covered a wide range of topics. One bill MERI opposed was L.D. 1264, "An Act to Stabilize Funding and Enable DirigoChoice To Reach More Uninsured." This bill passed the House 84-58, the Senate 19-15, and was signed by the Governor. It imposes a new 2.14% tax on health insurance claims to fund the DirigoChoice program. This tax replaces the savings offset payment that was used to fund DirigoChoice.

MERI also opposed the broad package of tax changes instituted in L.D. 1495, "An Act To Implement Tax Relief and Tax Reform," which passed the House 84-61, the Senate 20-15, and was signed by the Governor. It raises sales taxes on a wide variety of goods and services and restructures the income tax in a way that provides tax relief to some Maine families. The effective date of this legislation has been suspended pending the outcome of a people’s veto, which is expected to be on the ballot in June 2010.

The Second Regular Session of the 124th Legislature convenes in January of 2010. The Second Regular Session is shorter and more limited in focus. One of the first orders of business is expected to be a supplemental budget to address Maine's growing budget shortfall.


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Rep. Strang Burgess is a second-term legislator representing House District 108, which includes Chebeague Island, Cumberland, Long Island and part of North Yarmouth.


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