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(Augusta, ME 10/05/10) – State Rep. Meredith Strang Burgess posted one of the best voting records in the Legislature when it came to supporting jobs, business vitality and Maine’s economy. Over the two years of the 124th Legislature, she received a "very strong" rating of 75.12 from the Maine Economic Research Institute (MERI). Any score over 75 indicates very strong support of business.

She also received a perfect voting rating of 100 from the NFIB – the National Federation of Independent Business – which defends the interests of small business.

"It's always an honor to vote for bills to advance our economy and vote against those that would cause further deterioration," said Rep. Strang Burgess (R-Cumberland), who owns the Portland-based firm of Burgess Advertising & Marketing. "Our top priority in Maine is creating good private sector jobs to get our economy moving. As a small business owner, I talk to other business people, and I know that our unemployment problem is partly due to the recession but some of the damage is self-inflicted. Our high taxes, heavy regulation and expensive energy combine to make Maine a tough place to do business, so we should not be surprised to see this lingering stagnation."

MERI is a nonpartisan, independent organization formed to conduct research, analysis and reporting on economic issues. Its rating methodology, used in 23 other states, is rooted in the basic business concepts of accountability and performance review. Government affairs professionals representing Maine’s most respected business and industry trade groups meet regularly during legislative sessions to identify bills that will impact the business community.

The new MERI ratings, released recently, are based mostly on votes on 19 individual bills that were decided on roll call votes. A so-called "qualitative factor" is based on questionnaires completed by business representatives. They rate legislators on such things as committee work and action on bills that had no roll calls. The two ratings are merged to arrive at final MERI scores.

Among the bills considered in the scoring was LD 1495, a tax restructuring plan that expanded the sales tax to 103 services, raised the meals and lodging tax to 8.5 percent and eliminated the mortgage interest deduction. The Democrats passed the bill without a single Republican vote in the House, and the governor signed it into law. Last June, the voters of Maine repealed the law by 62 percent to 38 percent in a People’s Veto referendum.


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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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