I believe government exists to serve the people it represents. Massachusetts’ elected officials and public employees must all be held to the highest standards of conduct and accountability, with strong rules implemented and vigorously enforced to punish any and all ethical violations and abuse of the public’s trust. This has been sorely missing from the Massachusetts State Senate.
I support authorizing the Ethics Committee to immediately investigate any and all allegations of ethics violations. I further support requiring the Ethics Committee to file an annual report with the Clerk of the House and Senate disclosing the number of complaints received, the number of complaints determined to have merit, the number of complaints determined to be without merit, and the dates of all committee meetings held during the session, with all identifying and personal information removed to maintain confidentiality.
I support replacing the current lopsided, partisan imbalance that exists on the Ethics Committee by requiring four members to be appointed by the Speaker and four members to be appointed by the Minority Leader so there is equal representation from both parties.
All public employees deserve a safe work environment where they can report unacceptable behavior by an elected official, supervisor or co-worker without fear of retaliation. To that end, I support the development and enforcement of a zero-tolerance policy against any and all forms of sexual harassment, as well as ongoing awareness and prevention training for all elected and non-elected officials.
We need transparency throughout state government so that citizens can see where their tax dollars are being spent, how contracts are awarded, and whether programs are being managed efficiently and effectively. I support frequent, comprehensive audits and the full disclosure of financial information online.
I support requiring all legislation to be posted online for a full day before it can be voted on. I support a requirement that the results of all committee polls be posted online. I also support truth in testimony requirements to ensure that witnesses appearing before legislative hearings disclose any state funding or financial interest in the matter at hand.
I support the public ballot initiative as a way for the people of Massachusetts to express their opinion on important policy issues when the legislature fails to act on these matters. We especially support initiatives repealing taxes, setting term limits, and slowing the expansion of government.
I support yearly performance reviews for all state programs and agencies, as well as zero- based budgeting that requires justification for every dollar.
I support requiring a balanced budget at the beginning of each fiscal year, and suspension of legislative salaries whenever this requirement is not met.
I support a requirement that bills removing money from the state’s rainy day account be approved by two-thirds of the members of each body.
As taxpayer funds are limited, I believe the 2017 legislative salary increase of up to 52% in pay was excessive. I believe that no law varying the compensation for the service of elected state officials shall take effect until an election of the General Court shall have intervened.