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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Massachusetts House 4th Hampden

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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  • Ethan Flaherty
    (I)

  • Candidate picture

    Matthew J. Garlo
    (Dem)

  • Kelly W. Pease
    (Rep)

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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My name is Matt Garlo, and I’ve worked with public interest lobbyists, PR and social media executives, and Democratic candidates alike in my time as an undergrad and after! I’m a young and driven Democrat looking to convert youth movements in my town into votes for keeping our Rep. seat blue. A Westfield public schools product with legislative experience in Albany and D.C., I’m ready to apply change making skills in my hometown.
Without being specific on any current or expected bill, my top priorities are to make sure our schools and and everyone within them remain safe as our communities continue to battle COVID-19. Already supported by the MTA, I have reaffirmed my support for teachers, administrators, and even students like my nephew in these times of uncertainty. Second, I will be seeking full funding for my community's water safety issues that our taxpayers have already been far over-burdened with.
Any amount of unallocated resources will have to be addressed. Given new sources of tax revenue such as cannabis dispensaries across the state, localities may still be in the decision-making process of where such funds should go. In these cases, diverting the revenue to COVID aid could prove as instant and efficient as any allocation. Contributing to retirement for those at high COVID risk and high willingness to leave such a job is also seen as investment in some communities that could pay off
I would absolutely be supportive of MA's recent extension of moratorium on evictions and foreclosures. While I would uniquely represent only Westfield as only 1/8 districts in the state to cover one city, I would also support measures like the Oversight specific to H.4878, where an advisory board should seek data on demographic & socioeconomic disparities in terms of the inability to pay rent across the COVID pandemic. I would support the allocation of any fed/state funds to the disparaged first
Public transportation is paramount in communities, and I would be very intrigued to become a part of an East-West rail introduction as well. But in my unique district of only Westfield, I would of course need to be sure my community gets its fair share. While lofty spending on general public transportation has been shown to disproportionately benefit the East compared to Western Mass, I'd be happy to study these returns for Westfield and also see how an East-West rail could connect us to Boston.
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