Massachusetts Senate 2nd Middlesex
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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Patricia D. Jehlen
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?
former VISTA volunteer with migrant farm workers
former History teacher
Active in many Somerville community organizations
former School Committee member
former State representative
Current state senator
mother and grandmother of Somerville Public School students
The pandemic has made it impossible to ignore problems in long term care. Nursing homes need to be safer; we need to support more alternatives so people can stay in less restrictive settings, from home care to affordable assisted living and rest homes.
The pandemic also revealed the crisis in the direct care workforce. Because of the low pay, there are far too few people willing to do this work, and those that do have to work multiple jobs. We need to improve pay and conditions for these jobs
Tax cuts of over $3 billion since 1998 helped cause the shortfall, which the pandemic has exacerbated. We've cut spending in many areas, including public health and higher education (see https://massbudget.org/report_window.php?loc=tax_cuts_factsheet.html) We should consider closing loopholes, for example taxing corporate income that has been shielded by shifting it overseas. We should pass the Millionaire’s Tax in 2022.
Prison population has declined, which should yield some savings.
The Mystic River runs through our district; we expect more flooding with climate change. I support efforts for more reliable and affordable rapid transit; I worked to extend the Green Line, build the Assembly Sq. T stop, and repair Winchester station. I have supported safe routes for walking and cycling, including the Community Path. I support initiatives such as carbon pricing to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and promote solar and wind, and efforts to preserve and increase green space.
I supported the Senate’s bill to reform policing, including certification and clarifying qualified immunity: https://us8.admin.mailchimp.com/campaigns/show?id=2686062. Addressing systemic racism includes higher pay for low-wage jobs; reducing income inequality; more equitable funding for schools in low-income districts; affordable higher education; affordable housing; lower barriers to voting; sentencing reform; access to good health care; reducing environmental hazards in low-income areas.
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