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

I believe that local municipalities should have the ability to design their own health care coverage, an ability that the state gets to do in an effort to cut costs.

I also believe that the municipal unions that would be affected should be a part of plan design to ensure that their interests are also protected.

Republican

Allowing local officials to design their own health plans will save municipalities across the state tens of millions of dollars.

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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

Although pensions that exceed the $100,000 mark are generally the exception, not the rule, there should be a cap on how much a retired employee should receive.

Republican

Public pensions and retirement ages should be in line with similar plans found in the private sector. There should be a cap on pensions.

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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 think that a test that prevents some students from graduating because of their special academic circumstances is wrong.

I do agree that there needs to be some student accountability in order to graduate, but one test should not be the standard for all students.

Republican

The MCAS test was introduced to verify that students have been educated to certain academic standards.

My daughter passed the MCAS test in her sophomore year in high school. These were the minimum requirements for graduation. She continued to learn very important material for the next two years.

Some students do not respond well to tests, and they should be offered other means to verify that they have passed the minimum standards.

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Public records

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

Democrat

No, I do not think they should be exempt.

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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.

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?

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Legislative audit

Should the Legislature be subject to a full audit?

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Formal sessions

Is the Legislature holding enough full formal sessions?

Democrat

I believe that they are holding enough full formal sessions in order to get the state business done.

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Term limits

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

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Responses gathered through e.thePeople