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?

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

Yes. It is important to note that we recently amended the state pension law to establish an annual cap equal to the federal pension cap. I would like to see the impact of this change before committing to the $100,000 number.

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

Yes, as long as the alternative mechanism for special needs students to demonstrate that they have reached the competency level tested by the MCAS remains in place.

Republican

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Public records

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

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 voted against the 'pay raise' legislation offered by Speaker Finneran in my first term.

I voted against the bill to remove the governor's power to fill a US Senate vacancy and against the retroactive capital gains tax, both of which were supported by the leadership during my second term.

More recently, I voted in favor of eliminating the 'Suffolk County' holidays, against the additional bonding authority for Lawrence because of the lack of a financial control board, and I filed the successful amendment removing the party affiliation requirement from the US Senate vacancy bill, all of which were inconsistent with leadership's positions.

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?

Republican

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Legislative audit

Should the Legislature be subject to a full audit?

Democrat

Yes, and under our rules, the House is subject to a full audit.

Republican

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Formal sessions

Is the Legislature holding enough full formal sessions?

Democrat

We just completed one of the most productive legislative sessions on record, so I do not believe that we do not have enough formal sessions.

However, I am not opposed to additional formal sessions when there are critical unresolved matters and I believe that our rules allow for such sessions.

I am reluctant to support formal sessions after July 31 during an election year because of the potential for abuse.

Republican

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Term limits

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

Democrat

We currently have term limits for the Speaker, a rules change which I supported. I support the same for the Senate President.

Republican

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Responses gathered through e.thePeople