PATRICK'S 7 POINT PLAN TO RESTORE COMMON SENSE TO BEACON HILL
Like many of you, I grew up in a family where the spirit of service to those around us was considered one of our fundamental obligations as citizens. We all know from personal experience that when many people share that same spirit of service to others, stronger communities are built, economic opportunity flourishes, and all members of the community enjoy a better sense of fulfillment in their own lives. I want to bring that sense of service to the Massachusetts State House on behalf of the citizens of Franklin and Medway.
PATRICK'S 7 POINT PLAN
Restore Common Sense to the Legislative Process
I’ve been telling everyone I have met along the campaign trail (I’ve knocked on over 4,000 doors since beginning this campaign in March) that my fundamental reason for running is simply to Restore Common Sense To Beacon Hill. Don’t you get the impression that our elected politicians seem more interested in forcing upon us the quirky demands of a very small but vocal group of people rather than doing their job and serving the vast majority of us? They even insist that we be as enthused as they are about something that serves their small interest group. Simply put, when elected I will do my job; I will represent all the voters in our district and cast my vote representing the people, all the people!
Improve the Modern Healthcare System
Advances in the modern health care system are truly impressive. Yet as we all know they impose a financial strain on our society at all levels: government, hospitals, research facilities, treatment programs, prevention programs, private sector businesses, and – most importantly – the average “consumer” who relies on health care services. This financial strain is in addition to the stress of the underlying life-threatening condition or disease the patient faces. Even our healthy population feels the financial burden of routine, ongoing health maintenance. The sheer size and complexity of the problem impedes our efforts to contain it. Yet, despite the challenge, we need – again – to apply common sense to our solutions: more pro-active, private health management programs; better and more frequent preventive screening procedures; better post-treatment oversight; better auditing of the financial results and incentives of service providers for cost containment opportunities. It is fair to say that no one solution will solve the entire problem. This is slug-it-out trench warfare that must be taken on diligently and for the long haul. Over time, incremental small wins will aggregate into significant gains against this problem.
Respect the Duly Passed Laws of the State & Federal Government
Each Massachusetts Legislator takes an oath to uphold the Massachusetts Constitution and all laws and regulations. It goes without saying that they are to uphold the federal Constitution as well. Yet, the current House seeks to place themselves in defiance of federal law by impeding the work of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and wanting to declare Massachusetts a so-called “Sanctuary State”. In my opinion, there are elements of immigration reform that all responsible citizens should be able to support. But until immigration laws change, live by the law. I accept that before any legislative action is taken on any matter, I will have to make my argument persuasively to convince a majority of legislators and the voting public of the rectitude of my position. This sentiment applies to much more than just immigration reform; it goes to the heart of the legislative process and democracy. If you want to change the status quo, then convince others or accept the fact that your opinion is a minority view. Make laws through the legislative process or we are not a country of laws!
Reverse the 40% PAY RAISE Beacon Hill Pols Voted for Themselves
In the very first act of their most recent legislative session, the politicians on Beacon Hill made it a priority to vote themselves a 40% pay raise. It isn’t just the fact of the vote; rather, what bothers me more is the process. Why was it the very first vote in a new session? Was it so that their pay-raise vote would be as far removed from the next general election as possible so that we, the voters, would forget about it? Why did they invoke “Emergency Legislation” that should be reserved for true emergencies (like hurricanes, terrorist attacks, etc.). Was it to avoid the open hearing process? Their non-transparent method reveals their own embarrassment for their actions. There is an obvious and straightforward solution to their mischief:
First, overturn this self-serving 40% pay raise.
Second, have the intestinal fortitude to stand before the people and tell them why a pay raise is appropriate.
Third, vote for a pay raise only after the three formal readings that the normal legislative process usually requires. Don’t ram the bill through in a so-called “Emergency” session.
Most importantly, if the pay-raise initiative passes after following this three-step process, set an effective date that begins AFTER the next election so that the voters can decide whether your motive was above questioning and whether you deserve to be re-elected.
Combat the Drug Epidemic
Like many of you, I have known people who have fallen victim to drug abuse, addiction, and even death from the scourge of drugs that has infested every neighborhood across the Commonwealth. Drug abuse is tragic in every way - for the victim and for those around him or her. To address this epidemic, I call for a 15-person Drug Abuse Task Force comprised of experts from across all professional fields to design a comprehensive attack to eradicate the problem of drugs in our culture. This Task Force should be comprised of doctors, law enforcement personnel, EMTs, senior executives from the pharmaceutical industry, financial professionals, judges, elected officials, relatives of victims, and reformed victims, among others. It is unrealistic to think that politicians acting alone can solve this issue. We need everyone’s help, including yours and mine!
Update Our Transportation Infrastructure
The problems of transportation infrastructure in the Commonwealth are obvious to all who travel along our highways and roads. We need to reallocate existing sources of funds to facilitate the commuting and leisure travel of our citizens and guests as well as support the logistics and supply chain needs of the business community. This need is often highlighted to us when we travel outside the state and then cross state lines back into Massachusetts. We want to have a transportation infrastructure that is in keeping with our reputation for overall excellence as a state. Any homeowner would agree - it is merely common sense – that prudent and timely maintenance averts much more expensive repairs when things are already broken. Join me in committing to reallocate the funds necessary to bring our roads and bridges up to a 21st century standard.
Eliminate Waste, Fraud and Abuse
We all know it in our hearts that there is waste, fraud and abuse buried in the Commonwealth’s $40 billion budget. Ask around to any of the hard-working employees of the state. They’ll tell you. They know of ways to eliminate duplicate spending across different agencies of government, to avoid cost overruns, and to fix inefficient RFP processes. Some also may want to shine a light on those very few devious managers who shelter unused budget dollars to preserve their bargaining position for future budget considerations. These problems cost the Commonwealth untold millions of taxpayers’ dollars! Let’s empower these dedicated state employees with the freedom and opportunity to report out on their observations and let’s also support a candid, bi-partisan effort by the State Auditor’s office to root out the waste, fraud and abuse. After all, it is only common sense.