Living Wages 

 The beautiful concept of a commonwealth is, for me, based on the idea that all people should be paid fairly for the work that they do, and should pay a fair portion of the costs of our common upkeep, proportional to earnings and assets. No one should be asked to work for wages that cannot sustain a livelihood, to be cheated of their earnings (wage theft being shockingly commonplace), or expected to work in unsafe or hostile workplaces.


It seems wholly at odds with the notion of a commonwealth that we should have, as we do, a constitutional requirement of a flat rate of income taxation. A graduated income tax, like that employed by the federal government, is much fairer. Because of our flat tax rate, the wealthy in Massachusetts have a lighter tax burden than the working poor, or those of modest means.


Partly because of this tax structure, we are among the states with the highest income inequality, leaving many working people struggling for the basics of life. I continue to work for corrections to the policies embedded in our state’s tax laws. I also oppose an “economic development” policy which relies heavily on handouts to wealthy corporations and real estate development interests. Real prosperity comes, not from top-down, “trickle down” largesse schemes, but from enabling innovation; offering technical support and affordable loans to small and local businesses and farms, and by making it possible for workers to better themselves through training, education, and access to the kind of resources enjoyed by the wealthy.

Supporting People With Disabilities - and their Personal Care Attendants (PCAs)

Also in late September, I rallied outside the State House to protest the Baker administration's setting of a 40 hour a week maximum for the PCAs caring for people living with serious disabilities. Getting home care by PCAs allows many disabled and elderly people to live in their communities. The alternative of nursing home care is not only soul-deadening, but far more expensive to pay for. Along with a number of legislative colleagues, I'm continuing to push for reconsideration of this callous and short-sighted rule.

October 04, 2016

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Massachusetts State House

Room 473B

Boston, MA 02133


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