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Massachusetts House 4th 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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  • Thomas F. Ardinger
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Natalie Higgins
    (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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State Representative Natalie Higgins is serving her second term in the 4th Worcester District. She is a lifelong Leominster resident, first-generation college student, former non-profit director and rape crisis counselor. A 2006 graduate of Leominster High School, Rep. Higgins earned her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from UMass Amherst, earned her law degree from Northeastern University School of Law and was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in 2014.
We need to make investments in public higher education to ensure students can graduate without taking on student debt, and protect those with the burden of student debt by passing the Student Loan Borrower Bill of Rights. I also will re-introduce legislation to mandate mental health education in our K-12 schools, which recognize multiple dimensions of health, so as to enhance student understanding, attitudes and behaviors that promote health, well-being and human dignity.
With Massachusetts projected $4-7 billion in FY21 revenue shortfall, we need to take bold action in order to position ourselves to recover faster, stronger and more equitably. I propose the Legislature pair targeted progressive revenue (e.g., the elimination of corporate tax breaks, delaying the return of charitable tax deductions) with responsibly tapping into our Rainy Day Fund in order to weather the initial financial impacts of COVID-19.
First, we need to encourage the production and maintenance of affordable housing for low-income and moderate income households, and we can incentivize production and raise funds through a local option transfer fee for communities that want to adopt this. We also need to increase RAFT funding and other programs that help prevent homelessness. I also support the Mass Housing and Shelter Alliance's new initiative, A Place to Live, which is a micro-housing alternative to shelter.
We need to invest $50 billion over the next 20 years to get our transportation system to a state of good repair, as well as modernize and decarbonize the system. We took a first step in passing the Transportation Bond Bill in the House this session, but this is not enough. I support the Fair Share Amendment to raise more than $2 billion for public transportation and public education, and other progressive revenue options that do no overburden low-income families without access to public transit.