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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Massachusetts House 5th Worcester

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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  • Donald R. Berthiaume Jr.
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Samuel Biagetti
    (Dem)

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?

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I have a Phd in American history, and have taught as an adjunct professor at several colleges in addition to my antique business. This gives me a unique position as both a small business person and an educator belonging to a union. I have been an activist for housing and neighborhood preservation and for clean government and getting money out of politics. I am a member of the North Brookfield Democratic Town Committee.
My first priority would be reversing the loss of health care services in central Mass., and making health care, including mental health and addiction treatment, available to every town in this region. Next would be support for basic infrastructure and schools in our small towns: fully fund rural schools in the state to take the burden off of local property-tax payers, and insure town-town transit, such as shuttles. Lastly, I would fight for transparency and clean government in the state house.
The state is presently in the midst of the biggest health and economic crisis since the Great Depression, which we must use our resources to overcome, so this is not the time to try to balance the budget. Nonetheless, for the long term, the Commonwealth should institute a broad-based wealth tax aimed at billionaire portfolios and a graduated income tax in order to fund the services and investments we need.
Firstly, the commonwealth must repeal the repressive and intrusive 1994 law that prevents towns and cities from instituting the rent-stabilization policies that they consider to be best for their communities. Secondly, the state must invest in building good-quality housing, with the advice and guidance of local communities, that can be owned and rented out by non-profit community land trusts.
Public transit must be extended beyond the Boston area, and serve small towns and cities as it once did, before the destruction of train, trolley, and streetcar lines. I support the most inexpensive east-west rail proposal, but we also need economical small shuttles connecting rural towns. These can be funded with taxes on the major businesses in the Boston area and Worcester that rely on millions of daily commuters.