Massachusetts House 35th 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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Paul J. Donato
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?
Since 2001, I have served as State Representative for Medford and Malden. Previously, I was elected to the Medford City Council, served five years as Mayor, two years as Council President, and began my political career as an elected member of the Medford School Committee. I was elected to the House in 2000, and have served in various capacities on the Speaker's leadership team. Currently, I am the Second Assistant Majority Leader and previously served as Floor Leader for the Third Division.
My two top priorities are continuing allocating the resources for COVID-19, and fully funding our educational system. We are in the grips of the worst public health crisis of our lifetime, and we need to protect and scaffold individuals, families, and businesses that are experiencing catastrophic loss. Of course my other priority would on education. Our children are our future, we need to invest in the next generation so they have the tools to succeed to the best of their ability.
It’s going to be difficult to balance the budget during the pandemic, but two initiatives deserve merit. The "Fair Share Amendment," or so-called "millionaire's tax will provide almost two billion in new revenue, earmarked exclusively for educational and transportation concerns. These are two of our biggest budget busters. In these uncertain times, we need to think out of the box. Also, there are many carbon tax proposals that now require a fresh look.
I would support an increase in the percentage of affordable housing that is currently mandated by Chapter 40 zoning. I would also support a much broader adaptation of "Inclusionary Zoning" (IZ), to create affordable housing in low-poverty neighborhoods and foster both socioeconomic and racial integration. IZ policy requires developers who are seeking approval for the construction of market-rate homes to also set aside a certain percentage of housing units for low- to moderate income families.
I believe the “Fair Share Amendment" to be the most substantial way (in the terms of revenue generated-2 billion) to repair and replace our aging and antiquated public transportation system. We need to make the difficult decisions, and new revenue is one of them if we want a fast and reliable public transportation system
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