I would like to sincerely thank you for re-electing me to serve as your Senator in the 4th Middlesex district. It is a great honor and I hope to continue to earn your support and trust over the next two years.
Last legislative session I focused on middle skill job training aimed to prepare our workforce to fill good jobs that require more than a high school degree and less than a four year baccalaureate degree in growing and important industries in Massachusetts. My Middle Skills Solutions Act was incorporated into the economic package that was passed last July. I was able to get funding for the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund (WCTF) that increases job training and collaborations for middle-skill jobs.
With your support, we increased local aid funding, froze unemployment insurance rates for businesses, and updated the Community Preservation Act (CPA). We tackled growing healthcare costs and passed a bill to keep costs in line with the state’s overall economic growth. We strengthened Massachusetts’ commitment to veterans and their families by passing the VALOR Act.
It was a productive session but there is still much more to do.
While we continue our work to attract companies needing middle-skill workers, we will also pay attention to jobs at the lower end of the wage scale, many of which provide critical services to our residents and government agencies. We must ensure that contractor standards are the same for the State and municipalities and that Massachusetts public contracts be awarded to responsible companies instead of those that pay workers minimum wage without benefits.
Fixing and funding our transportation system and supporting smart education initiatives are vital to our economic security. We need to keep the MBTA and regional transportation authorities (RTA) affordable for riders, especially those who rely on them as their only means of transportation. We must also stop tuition hikes at our public higher education institutions so that training and degree programs remain accessible to those who strive for good jobs.
Finally, for the health of our residents and our environment, we need to reduce the use of toxic chemicals in everyday products by providing businesses with a pathway to replace those chemicals with safer alternatives. I will also continue to strongly advocate for the bottle bill and better state government recycling programs.
The bills I filed this session reflect these priorities and enable the 4th Middlesex district to maintain its reputation as one of the best places in the Commonwealth to live, run a business, educate our children and raise a family.
It is an enormous pleasure to be able to serve you and I look forward to what we can achieve over the next two years. I value our partnership and, as always, please do not hesitate to contact my office if I can be of assistance.
Senator Ken Donnelly