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Massachusetts Senate 1st Worcester

The Senate is comprised of 40 members, with each Senator elected to represent a district of approximately 159,000 people and each elected for a two-year term. As required by the Massachusetts Constitution, the Senate meets year-round in either formal or informal session to consider legislation. The Massachusetts Senate is led by the President of the Senate who is elected by the members of the body at the beginning of each two-year legislative session. Base salary for each Senator is approximately $66,256

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    Harriette L. Chandler

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.

How is climate change impacting your district? How do you plan to address it?

What would you do to eliminate systemic racism in Massachusetts? In particular, what steps would you take to prevent police violence and promote fairness within the justice system?

I have been a member of the Legislature for 26 years, 20 in the Senate and 6 in the House. I spent 4 of my years in the Senate as Chair of Public Health. During my years in the Senate, I have held numerous committee chairs and have Served in every leadership role, including as President of the Senate. I am currently Senate President Emerita. Until I assumed elective office, I was a long time member of the League of Women Voters.
My first priority is Health Care, particularly women’s reproductive health. As a child growing up before the Roe v. Wade decision, I remember all too well the illegal abortions that too often led to death or permanent impairment. Women have to be able to control their own bodies.

My second priority is working to advance racial equality in all its forms. That work began. in the current session, but like reproductive health, it must be continued.
In balancing the budget, much will depend on the Federal Government’s financial contribution. It is my hope that they will take responsibility for what is rightfully their’s, to assist the states in coping with the incredible costs associated with this pandemic. They also should play a central role in negotiating better prices for PPE rather than forcing states to compete with each other for the same products.
Central Massachusetts is luckier than eastern Massachusetts where our shores are eroding. However, we must be wary of our carbon footprint and start to do everything necessary to remove the huge number of automotive vehicles off our highways. We must increase the availability of good, clean, reliable public transportation and in so doing discourage the use of fossil fuels and encourage the “green” economy.
Systemic racism permeates every aspect of our society. Police violence and the justice system are but one aspect. We must encourage better educational opportunities for children of color; better and more affordable housing, provide better job opportunities as well as financial assistance for opening small businesses. We have begun the process of requiring greater police accountability for their actions and the promotion of fairness within the justice system. Our work this session is the start.