My vision is to reinvigorate our local economy by offering creative incentives to community and small business owners in order to promote growth and protect jobs. At the same time, I support a living wage for anyone working full time.
There are thousands of unfilled jobs here in the Commonwealth because our workforce is untrained to fill them. I will work to create more training and work education programs in order to close that skills gap and reduce our unemployment rolls.
Everyday, thousands of people rely on our roads and bridges to get to school and work. But as we all know, our roads and bridges have seen better days. In addition to working to repair the physical infrastructure of Massachusetts, I will also advocate for increased and better access to public transportation.
The proposed commuter rail line between Gillette Stadium and Boston has been a contentious issue in the District. While we know that this train would bring important economic growth to Foxboro and surrounding towns, we also must listen to Walpole residents’ concerns about the project. As your Senator, I will be sure to hear both sides of any proposed project, and I promise to work with communities to ensure projects are done the right way - the transparent, fair, and common-sense way.
I will also lobby hard for infrastructure projects that bring jobs to our 9 communities; but I also know that local communities need to have a seat at the table to decide how these projects are done.
Beacon Hill needs to hear that infrastructure doesn’t just mean improvements to the T. Infrastructure is our whole transport system.
Senior citizens are one of the fastest-growing segments of our population. Many of our seniors are living on fixed incomes while facing a variety of economic challenges including Medicare insurance gaps, the skyrocketing cost of living, and the lack of affordable housing. To help them with this struggle, I will support the expansion of two already-existing programs in the Commonwealth: the Circuit Breaker Tax Credit and the Senior Citizen Property Tax Work-Off Abatement Program.
The Circuit Breaker Tax Credit is a refundable tax credit given to seniors over 65 who meet certain criteria—however, that credit is capped at a maximum amount. I believe that we should raise this maximum and adjust these income requirements in order to allow more people to utilize the Circuit Breaker Tax Credit, which helps them stay in their homes.
I also want to expand the Senior Citizen Property Tax Work-Off Abatement Program, which allows seniors to volunteer in their town in exchange for a reduction in their property taxes. This reduction cannot exceed $1000. In this case as well, I believe that the maximum contribution should be raised in order to allow more seniors to work off their real estate tax debt, giving them a better chance at remaining independent in their own community.
Massachusetts is in the midst of an opioid epidemic. Opioid abuse has become not only a public health crisis but also a matter of public safety. First responders, law enforcement officials, and medical professionals must be equipped with the resources necessary to combat this crisis. It is also crucial that the victims of opioid addiction are not forgotten. That’s why we need treatment programs that focus on long term health and wellness.
High premiums and limited options are crippling families. In this country and specifically here in Massachusetts, we have the best doctors and hospitals- and yet when it comes to health insurance, we have a broken delivery system. It is my firm belief that healthcare is a right, not a privilege, which is why I support universal health care reform. Everyone should be able to live their lives knowing that quality care is available at any time.
I will fight for local control of zoning laws. While we need to encourage the development of affordable housing, we also need to recognize the important and delicate balance between meeting the needs of our community and maintaining its individual character.
Massachusetts has one of the best public school systems in the country. But not everything is perfect with our system. We owe it to our children to draft a funding formula that accurately depicts the real cost of educating a child - not just a baseline. We also owe it to our teachers to make sure they have the resources they need to do their part in preparing our state’s next generation of workers and leaders. Our education system does not work unless every child, from Medfield to Attleboro, has equal access to a quality education.
In November, the citizens of this Commonwealth voted to legalize recreational marijuana, giving voters the choice of whether or not pot shops can open in their towns. But now, our state government is proposing changes to that voter-supported referendum. I believe the choice should stay in the hands of the voters. Every citizen in every town should have the right to dictate the role that recreational marijuana will play in their community.