"My opponent has been on Beacon Hill for 31 years, since Jimmy Carter was president, and when I saw that he was running unopposed, I felt it was important for the voters of the Worcester & Norfolk District to have a choice on their ballot.
With double-digit unemployment in the district, record high taxes, and a $2.5 billion deficit, we cannot afford to send back to Beacon Hill the same career politicians who vote themselves pay raises in a recession, take per diems to drive to work, and, in my opponent's case, take political junkets around the world.
As a wife, mom, Republican state committeewoman, and successful businesswoman, I would like to bring a commonsense approach to Beacon Hill as the next state senator from the Worcester & Norfolk District."
— Submitted by the candidate
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?
"Yes, municipal health insurance reform is needed to help drive down the costs.
One way is to allow cities and towns to enter into the GIC, otherwise known as the Group Insurance Commission, without the requirement of having to obtain union approval. This step alone would help significantly drive down health insurance costs for your own communities.
Allowing cities and towns to have a say in the design of their health insurance plans, comparable to the plans offered to state employees, would yield a significant savings."
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?
"Yes! Moving forward for new employees who enter the pension system, changes need to be made.
Currently we have over a $20 billion unfunded pension liability that can no longer go ignored. Reforms need to be implemented, such as increasing the retirement age from 55 to 60 and capping annual pensions at a healthy $100,000 is a great way to start.
A top-to-bottom review of what is known as 'group jumping' should also be implemented."
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?
"As a mom of two children in the public school system, high standards and a strong public school system are important to me. Currently in the state of Massachusetts, we have the best school system not only in New England, but in the entire country.
As a mom, I am fully aware of the rigors of the MCAS exam, but I am also keenly aware of the high standard it produces.
A watered-down public education system mandated by federal government standards is not in the best interest of our children."
Should the state Legislature be exempt from the state's public records law?
"No! Currently the state Legislature lives by its own set of rules, pay raises during a recession, per diems to drive to work, plush pensions, and paid-for political junkets. This needs to stop, and all state legislative records should be open for public review.
To take it a step further, current laws should be tightened and loopholes closed so career politicians can no longer put 'self-service' ahead of 'public service'."
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.
"The supplemental budget bill of $420 million was recently passed by legislators without debate or the opportunity for any amendments. I, too, agree with state treasurer candidate Karyn Polito, who felt that $11 million of pay raises for public employees during a recession should at least be open to discussion. The $420 million supplemental budget spending bill should not have been passed without thorough review and debate."
Will you make public any questionnaires you fill out in pursuit of the endorsement of unions or other groups?
"I have only completed the Citizens For Limited Taxation questionnaire, which I would most certainly make public."
Should the Legislature be subject to a full audit?
"Absolutely! I agree with Mary Connaughton, candidate for state auditor, that there should be true transparency in government, with Beacon Hill as no exception.
The state auditor's office should be allowed to conduct thorough audits of the books of the Massachusetts Legislature. Presently, the state Legislature is exempt from such audits.
The taxpayers have every right to know how their tax dollars are being spent."
Is the Legislature holding enough full formal sessions?
"No! Currently, Beacon Hill legislators are getting a full-time pay for part-time work. Many states have only a part-time legislative branch; this is a much more efficient and effective use of taxpayer money.
I am in favor of a part-time legislature!"
Should there be term limits for the jobs of House Speaker and Senate President?
"Yes! There should also be term limits for all legislators. For example, my opponent has been on Beacon Hill for 31 years, since Jimmy Carter was president. That is a 'career politician'.
Too much power on Beacon Hill has created an environment of corruption, resulting in indicted Speakers and legislators. I am in favor of term limits."