You asked and incumbent State Rep. Jason Lewis answered your questions.
Lewis, a Democrat from Winchester, is facing Stoneham resident and Republican challenger George Georgountzos for the State Rep. position, which represents the communities of Stoneham and Winchester.
Here are Lewis' responses to our readers' questions:
1) Improving Stoneham’s budgetary issues
"Local aid and Chapter 70 education funding has been, and will continue to be, my top priority in the state budget. These funds are essential to helping support Stoneham’s schools, public safety, and other municipal services. Senator (Katherine) Clark and I were successful in securing an increase of $156,000 in Chapter 70 funding for Stoneham in the FY13 state budget (above the amount included in Governor (Deval) Patrick’s initial FY13 budget submission). I’m also leading the effort in the state legislature to reform and update the Chapter 70 formula so that Stoneham and other communities receive adequate and equitable funding to meet their educational needs."
2) Curbing drug use in the community
"Drug abuse in our community and across the Commonwealth is a very serious problem. We need to do a better job of educating young people about the dangers of drug abuse and ensuring there are affordable and effective prevention and treatment services available for anyone in need. In Stoneham, I’m working with the schools, police department, public health officials, teachers and parents to form a Substance Abuse Coalition. Other communities in our area, including Melrose and Winchester, have used this approach effectively to help curb drug use among our teens and young adults."
3) Ensure tax dollars are not being spent on undocumented immigrants
"All state social service programs have strict eligibility requirements. These include being a U.S. citizen or legal resident as well as meeting income requirements and various other criteria depending on the program (such as a minimum of five years residency within Massachusetts). The taxpayer dollars that are spent on healthcare for undocumented immigrants are mostly as a result of emergency room visits. Under federal law, hospitals cannot turn somebody away who needs urgent care due to their immigration status or inability to pay."
- State Rep. Candidate George Georgountzos Answers Readers' Questions
- Candidate Profile: Jason Lewis
- Candidate Profile: George Georgountzos
- Lewis Bests DePinto for State Rep in Democratic Primary
[There will also be another set of answers from your questions coming from both candidates.]