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Massachusetts House 1st Middlesex

The Massachusetts House of Representatives is comprised of 160 members, each representing a district of approximately 40,000 people and each elected for a two-year term. As required by the Massachusetts Constitution, the House meets year-round in either formal or informal session to consider legislation. The Massachusetts House is led by the Speaker of the House who is elected by the members of the body at the beginning of each two-year legislative session. Base salary for each representative is approximately $66,256.

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    Deborah L. Busser

  • Sheila C. Harrington

Biographical Information

State your relevant background.

What are your top two legislative priorities for the next session, and why?

Coping with COVID-19 has resulted in decreased state revenues and increased expenses in unexpected areas. Name two specific steps the state should take to balance the budget.

What specific initiatives would you support to address housing inequality in Massachusetts?

What steps would you take to ensure the future of public transportation and how would you fund these?

I have lived in this district for most of my life; I grew up in Townsend and raised my family in Dunstable and Groton. I graduated from UMass Lowell as a first-generation college student and later went on to start my own small business coaching business executives and non-profit leaders. As State Representative, I will draw on my experience bringing teams together in business and community settings, as well as the knowledge I’ve gained from my partnerships with leaders over the past 15 years.
1. Education Funding: The Student Opportunity Act was an important start, but the state still needs to do more for our regional school districts, especially in light of COVID-19.

2. Energy and the Environment: Massachusetts is lagging behind on ambitious climate change policies and our transition to clean energy. I am proud to have the support of multiple environmental organizations that know we need more environmental champions on Beacon Hill. This issue needs immediate attention.
Adjust the corporate tax rate: While small businesses and families have been hit hard by COVID-19, many large corporations have continued to profit. Adjusting the corporate tax will force large companies to pay their share and will allow the state to mitigate cuts. Ensure that top earners pay their share: Massachusetts’ low and middle-income workers pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes than those earning more than $20,000/week. It’s time for our top earners to pay their fair share.
We need to incentivize builders to build new affordable housing. Without increasing the housing stock, affordable housing will continue to be unavailable for many who need it. Towns should look at reforming their zoning laws to allow increased density, especially around public transportation access points. As a Commonwealth, we also need to invest in higher education, childcare, and the creation of well-paying jobs, all of which can serve as economic determinants of stable housing access.
Investment in public transportation is an investment in the environment, economy, and equity. We need to make public transportation more affordable, reduce headways, and electrify our commuter rail. We also need to invest in first-mile/last-mile connections, including rail trails and improved sidewalks. Large employers, who have a vested interest in our transit system, should be contributing to funding these initiatives, alongside the state, who needs to double down on their recent investment.
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