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?

Independent

I do agree with the Mass. Taxpayer Foundation, and we need to preserve the towns' ability to function without laying off teachers, police officers, and firefighters. We also must respect the voice of the working families to be part of the process.

Yes, I support retirees using Medicare.

Republican

I support giving local officials the power to design their own health plans without having to negotiate with the unions as a cost-saving measure.

I also support state retirees using Medicare for their primary health care coverage.

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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?

Independent

Yes, I believe we should cap state municipal pensions. Currently, we have a $22 billion unfunded pension liability.

Going forward, we may have to increase the retirement age.

Republican

I do agree with the foundation on this proposal. In fact, I was a lead sponsor on similar legislation filed during the past legislative session.

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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?

Independent

Yes, we need standards and accountability to ensure our students are learning to the highest degree.

Republican

I do believe that we should keep the MCAS or an alternative test that students should have to pass to be eligible to graduate from high school.

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Public records

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

Independent

No, the state Legislature should not be exempt; it should be open and transparent.

Republican

No, the state Legislature should not be exempt from the public records law.

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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.

Independent

As an Independent, I vow to take positions that are in the best interest for my district without pressure from any party leadership.

Republican

I often disagree with Republican leadership and take positions and votes that put me at odds with members of the Republican caucus.

Most recently, I went on record with my opposition to the Republican Party's position on Senate Bill 2260, the Wind Energy Siting Reform Act.

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Endorsements

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

Independent

Yes, I believe in total transparency.

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Legislative audit

Should the Legislature be subject to a full audit?

Independent

Yes. We need to account for every dollar of taxpayer money.

Republican

Yes, the Legislature should be subject to a full audit. I have proposed legislation in the past that would grant the state auditor access to documents that would be helpful in an audit of the Legislature, and plan to file similar legislation again this session.

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Formal sessions

Is the Legislature holding enough full formal sessions?

Independent

No, that is why I propose a part-time Legislature.

Our Legislature has one of the lowest bill-passage rates per session in the nation. A part-time legislature will be just as effective and save our state millions of dollars each year.

Republican

The Legislature is not holding enough full formal sessions to justify its status as a full-time legislature. I have filed legislation in the past, and plan to again, that would reduce the Legislature to part-time status.

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Term limits

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

Independent

Yes, I believe in term limits for all seats - absolute power corrupts absolutely.

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Responses gathered through e.thePeople