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

All creative solutions being proposed should be on the table as we look to streamline state and local government, including regionalization of services. We must do this while being mindful of our commitments and our long-term credibility.

Republican

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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

While it's important that innovative solutions to our pension system are on the table, we must honor our commitments to current workers and retirees.

Republican

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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

I support standardized tests as a diagnostic tool of teacher and school performance. However, student performance and a broader range of factors should be taken into consideration for graduation requirements.

Republican

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Public records

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

Democrat

One great way to restore faith and trust in government is to open up the legislative process more.

This can be accomplished by visually recording committee meetings and having them available for viewing on the Internet, having a guide to what each vote is rather than referring to the House or Senate journals, and eliminating the amendment consolidation process.

Republican

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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

I am committed to transparency, and in many instances, the leadership of the party has not acted on some of the reforms which would restore faith in state government.

Republican

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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

Different organizational and media questionnaires have different policies regarding the distribution of their questionnaires and I respect and act in accordance with their choices.

Republican

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Legislative audit

Should the Legislature be subject to a full audit?

Democrat

Yes. We owe it to the public to be held to the same standards as the other branches of government and strive towards efficiency and best use of their tax dollars.

Republican

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Formal sessions

Is the Legislature holding enough full formal sessions?

Democrat

I believe the Legislature can take on more issues. Even if the Legislature re-institutes a formal committee meeting schedule, more can be accomplished to grow our economy, protect our environment, and make us energy self-sufficient.

Republican

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Term limits

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

Democrat

Perhaps, but the most egregious actions taken by former legislative leaders happened in their first or second terms. From a process standpoint, there are higher priority ethics and internal rules changes that can be made to promote honest and accountable state government.

Republican

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Responses gathered through e.thePeople