LESS TAXES, SMARTER SPENDING
We don't need higher taxes, we need more accountability on how our current tax dollars are spent. Over the past 10 years, the Commonwealth's budget has increased by 30% while our median household incomes have increased by only 6%. This is not acceptable or sustainable. We need to cut down on government waste, remove unnecessary line items and use data and technology to determine what is working and reimagine programs that are not delivering desired results.
SUPPORT FOR WORKING FAMILIES
We need to do more work to support our working families. We deserve smart legislation around paid family leave, innovative workforce training and practical education options around tech, STEM and modern career transitions. We need to pursue innovative programs that allow our current workforce to transition to rewarding jobs and ensure there are jobs and opportunities here so our children don't have to move away to pursue tomorrow's careers.
We need to advocate for more money to come back to Western Mass. We are not always aligned with Boston and Beacon Hill, so let's make our case for increased funding for our unique needs and opportunities. We were told to expect as much as $200M annually from casino gaming tax revenue in Massachusetts - $100M from MGM Springfield alone. Where is this money going? It should come back to the communities most affected by gaming. We need to define and passionately pursue projects in education, infrastructure, veterans services and economic development for our region with that money.
INVEST IN OUR QUALITY OF LIFE
We must continue to invest in the things that make our communities wonderful places to live. Let's prioritize first-class schools, safe neighborhoods, programs for our seniors, support for small businesses, care for our veterans and streets that are safe and easy to travel. Each proposal that crosses my desk will be judged first and foremost on if it is good for our 2nd Hampden District.
FIGHT OPIOIDS HEAD ON
We must stem the flow of drugs into our region. While we must continue to combat the opioid epidemic that is ravaging our communities with prevention, education and treatment, we must also address the proliferation of heroin and other drugs right here in our backyard with the trafficking of drugs via Interstate 91. Harsher penalties for those who traffic large amounts of drugs are needed and we can no longer allow lenient Massachusetts drug trafficking penalties to make Western Massachusetts the drug distribution corridor of New England.