Massachusetts House 34th 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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Christine P. Barber
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 am the State Representative for the 34th Middlesex District, which includes parts of Medford & Somerville. A former health policy analyst, I have brought my health care policy and public health expertise with me to Beacon Hill where I have fought hard for the issues that we care about - like Racial & Social Justice, Medicare for All, and a Green New Deal for Massachusetts.
My top two legislative priorities are:
1. Continuing to work on the effort to pass the Family Mobility Act, which would allow people to apply for driver's licenses, regardless of immigration status. We need to make bigger strides to protect and empower our immigrant population. It's long overdue.
2. Passing The ROE Act (S.1209, H.3320), which would reform our state’s abortion laws, ensuring that anyone, regardless of age, income, or insurance, can access safe, legal abortion
During the recent Transportation revenue debate, I actively worked on a corporate tax increase called GILTI (Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income), which would tax the profit corporations hold in off-shore accounts at a greater rate. I am continuing to work on this idea as we attempt to address revenue shortfalls due to the COVID crisis. I also think that raising the tax on long-term capital gains from 5% to 8.95% would be another way to build progressive revenue for MA.
Creating more affordable housing is a top priority. As a member of the Housing Committee, I have introduced legislation to require communities to zone for multifamily housing in communities accessible by public transportation. I strongly support a number of tenant protections bills, and was proud to support the recent moratorium on evictions and foreclosures during COVID-19. I have worked to ensure programs like MRVP and RAFT have seen funding increases in recent budgets.
In a recent state transportation bond bill, my spending priorities focused on bike and pedestrian improvements to Mystic Ave/McGrath Highway and Alewife Brook Parkway, which is a way to ensure that state projects focus on these road users, not cars. In addition, I have worked with MassDOT and the city of Somerville on targeting funds from the federal government to improve the area where I-93 intersects with McGrath Highway, and prioritize those funds to improve access to cyclists and pedestrians
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