Health costs

The Mass. Taxpayers Foundation recently recommended that local officials be given the power to design their own health plans without having to negotiate with the unions, and that state retirees use Medicare for their primary health care coverage. Do you support these proposals?

Democrat

This candidate hasn't responded yet; please check back later.

Republican

Yes, I support each of these proposals.

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation estimates passing the first proposal will save cities and towns about $100 million the first year and $2 billion annually by 2020. The second proposal, according to the same organization, would save up to $75 million annually.

The Legislature's failure to act has hurt cities and towns and the people of Massachusetts.

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State pensions

The foundation also proposed changes in state and municipal pensions, such as increasing the retirement age and capping annual pensions at $100,000. Do you agree?

Democrat

This candidate hasn't responded yet; please check back later.

Republican

Yes. The failure to deal with the growing pension crisis is one of the Legislature's great failures and it gets worse every day. This contributes to the loss of confidence and undercuts efforts to create jobs.

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MCAS

Do you believe in keeping the requirement that a student must pass the MCAS or an MCAS-like test in order to graduate from high school?

Democrat

This candidate hasn't responded yet; please check back later.

Republican

Yes. I think the results the students, parents, and teachers have achieved under the MCAS system are amazing and prove that Massachusetts can compete and win. I believe that the current administration on Beacon Hill made a serious mistake undercutting the MCAS system.

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Public records

Should the state Legislature be exempt from the state's public records law?

Democrat

This candidate hasn't responded yet; please check back later.

Republican

No. If the Legislature imposes mandates on cities and towns, it should not exclude itself from them. The people have a right to the information.

Moreover, the repeated ethical lapses involving members of the Legislature and its leaders have destroyed the public's confidence in the institution. Applying the same rules to the Legislature would begin the process of rebuilding the public's trust.

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Party leadership

Cite any votes (if an incumbent) or positions (if a challenger or newcomer) you have taken that disagree with the stance taken by your party's legislative leadership.

Democrat

This candidate hasn't responded yet; please check back later.

Republican

I am against the death penalty.

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Endorsements

Will you make public any questionnaires you fill out in pursuit of the endorsement of unions or other groups?

Democrat

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Legislative audit

Should the Legislature be subject to a full audit?

Democrat

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Republican

Yes, and the results must be made public. The Legislature must earn the people's trust and an independent audit would further that process.

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Formal sessions

Is the Legislature holding enough full formal sessions?

Democrat

This candidate hasn't responded yet; please check back later.

Republican

No. The repeated rush at the end of each legislative session and the chaos surrounding the debate on expanded gambling last session demonstrate that the Legislature needs more formal sessions.

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Term limits

Should there be term limits for the jobs of House Speaker and Senate President?

Democrat

This candidate hasn't responded yet; please check back later.

Republican

No. If we have a strong two-party system and elect legislators with the courage of their convictions, we won't need term limits and, until we do, term limits won't help.

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Responses gathered through e.thePeople