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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Massachusetts House 2nd 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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  • Candidate picture

    Bruce K. Chester
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Jonathan D. Zlotnik
    (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?

Campaign Phone (978) 514-5500
Veteran, retired US Army Officer, background in logistics and information management
Local economic growth and government spending oversight. People need to be allowed to grow their small and medium size businesses to create jobs and bolster the economy. Government seems to waste taxpayer money on stupid or unwanted things. It is immoral to raise taxes on people without their consent or consideration and then spend it on things they don't want.
Cut taxes and open the state. Trust the people to guard their own health and allow people to function to the best of their own ability.
I would make sure people could afford their mortgage and limit predatory lending. I would research helping landlords and property owners reduce their tax liability with the condition that they offer reasonable rent and maintain their properties.
Again it goes back to government spending. I would balance the budget of the public transit authorities and then determine if we could realign the services with existing funds or search for grants to invest into the systems to provide better service
I have represented the 2nd Worcester District of Ashburnham, Gardner, Westminster, and Winchendon since being sworn into office in January 2013. I am a lifelong Gardner resident, a graduate of Gardner High, and graduate of UMass Lowell, with a degree in history. During my time in the legislature, I have served on the Education Committee that crafted the Student Opportunity Act, and on the Consumer Protection Committee that crafted the Data Breach Protection bill.
Two of my top priorities will be COVID-19 recovery and economic development. As regards the COVID-19 pandemic, these are unprecedented times and the long-term fallout of such an event remains to be seen. The impacts will be felt throughout a number of areas, both private sector and public, from healthcare and education to infrastructure improvements and economic development. Many rural areas and their downtowns were struggling prior to the pandemic and since, that struggle has worsened.
Fortunately the Commonwealth has responsibly built up our stabilization or “rainy day” fund over the last several years. The purpose of that fund is for situations exactly like this. We need to be equally responsible in how we withdraw funds from the stabilization fund, but I think it is necessary and appropriate to do so. We also need to use the State’s bonding power to make targeted investments to facilitate transition and recovery efforts.
I support the housing choice bill recently passed by the House. It is no secret that the route cause of our housing problem is due to decades of insufficient housing production. In many cases, this is due to the complex process in place to get new housing approved. The housing choice bill addresses this by reforming that system to still enable for local control but facilitate the development of new housing, especially multi-family houses, the production of which has significantly lagged behind.
I have found that we need to rethink public transportation in rural settings like my district. Due to the layout of our communities and lack of population density rigid route based systems tend not to adequately fill users needs. We need to move towards point-to-point transportation models for rural communities that take into account those conditions.