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State Rep. Jason Lewis Answers Readers' Questions

Incumbent State Rep. Jason Lewis is seeking reelection.

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."

Previous coverage:

  • 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.]

OldTownie October 12, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Editor, From the bottom of Mr. Georgountzos' responses: [Editor's note: We'll run State Rep. Jason Lewis' answers to the same questions once we receive them from his campaign office. There will also be another set of answers from your questions coming from both candidates.] Are these Mr. Lewis' responses to the same questions or a different set of questions?
Lindsey Davidson October 12, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Hey OldTownie, Yes, these are the same set of questions. I can post the original questions if you would like to be able to reference them. Just let me know! There will also be answers from a second set of questions. We'll have that for you next week.
OldTownie October 12, 2012 at 04:09 PM
I would like to see the actual questions and the responses together. The two articles seem to have different responses and I think it only fair that we see both side by side. Mr. Lewis provided three responses while Mr. Georgountzos provided four. Why the difference?
Lindsey Davidson October 12, 2012 at 04:15 PM
OldTownie, If you read the questions, two of them (Two and Four) are very similar. I've posted the questions below for you to compare: 1. "What can either candidate do to help improve Stoneham's budgetary issues?" 2. "We have a huge drug problem in both towns, what do they suggest we do to get drug dealers off our streets and drugs out of the hands of our middle school children, and all our children?" 3. "In 2011 Massachusetts Taxpayers spent $93 Million on 54,732 Illegal Immigrants Health Care. Illegals put a strain on our finances with police and fire calls, court and prison cost along with taking Chap 70 funding from towns without Illegal Immigrants and giving it to towns with Illegal Immigrants so they are able to hire interpreters and English as a second language teachers. All at the expense of our own Children, Seniors and Veterans. What will you do to insure that our tax dollars are being used for legal taxpaying Bay Staters and their families?" 4."What do...you have planned to curb drug use in our community for our students? Needles were recently found on Washington (Street) and most recently on Central (Street) in Stoneham. I would like to see random drug testing of our students in our town. Our students will be our community leaders some day. Let's head them in the right direction."
OldTownie October 12, 2012 at 06:22 PM
Thanks.

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