I represent the First Worcester Senate District; which includes the towns of: Boylston, parts of Clinton, Holden, parts of Northborough, Princeton, West Boylston, and most of Worcester. I serve as Chair of the Committee on Steering and Policy and Vice Chair on Higher Education in addition to Co-Chairing several caucuses; including the Legislature’s Prevention for Health Caucus and Oral Health Caucus. During this current legislative session, I filed a bill establishing mid-level dental practitioners, similar to physician assistants in the medical field, while working in collaboration with a licensed dentist. Access to dental care would be expanded for the underserved; especially children, seniors, individuals with special needs, low-income families, and rural residents in Massachusetts.
I am privileged to be the first Worcester woman elected to the Massachusetts Senate. As a result, my experiences not only as a parent but also as an advocate have allowed me to champion with strong conviction those scores of issues that face my constituents. As a member of the Legislature, I am in a unique position to respond positively to the concerns that will benefit individuals, families, and our communities. It is a distinct honor to have the constituents of my district trust me to represent them on Beacon Hill.
I represent the 8th Norfolk District; which includes the town of Sharon and parts of Stoughton, Walpole and Mansfield. I am a member of the Speaker DeLeo’s Leadership team, serving as Floor Leader of the Fourth Division. In addition, I serve as a member of the Rules Committee and the Personnel and Administration Committee. This year marks my 28th year serving in the MA legislature and during this time, we have championed many issues to help make the state more responsive to the needs of our constituents. Great changes in areas of mental health, education and developmental disabilities have offered hope to individuals and families who struggle daily to improve their lives.
Over the years, I have advocated strongly for Early Intervention services; which is a system of services and programs that help babies and toddlers with developmental delays or disabilities. The focus is to help eligible babies and toddlers learn the basic and brand-new skills that typically develop during the first three years of life, such as: physical, social, communication, cognitive and self-help. The chance to provide services from zero to age three means there is a greater chance that these children can have a greater opportunity to develop those skills necessary for healthy growth and development. Our investment in the well- being of vulnerable children is not only cost effective, it’s simply the right thing to do.
During my time in the legislature, I have witnessed the real benefits that results from our conscious investment in the well-being of all our residents. It is with great honor that I serve both my constituents in the Eighth District but also all the residents of the Commonwealth.
I’m the Senate President and my Senate District (Second Middlesex and Norfolk) represent seven MetroWest towns. I have fought constantly for tools, support and services for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. I have a background in social work and labor law, and I also have a deeply personal awareness of the need for these resources for our loved ones. This year, we passed several important new laws to help people with disabilities. The legislature, the Arc and other groups in Massachusetts are doing critical work to make sure everyone has access to the resources and opportunities they need to overcome challenges, realize their abilities and thrive in their communities. As we begin a new legislative session in January, I look forward to continuing the work to improve the lives of all residents across the Commonwealth.
My district is the Thirty First Middlesex; which includes the towns of Stoneham and Winchester. In the Legislature, I am a member of the following committees: Vice Chair – House Committee on Personnel and Administration; Judiciary; Financial Services; Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery; Post Audit and Oversight. As a lawyer, I have always had a strong interest in advocating for civil rights and civil liberties. The basis for that belief can be traced to my own family who taught me, from an early age, that every person is unique and special and everyone deserves equal treatment and opportunity in life.
One of the reasons I ran for office is to continue the work we do to insure that all individuals have opportunities to achieve their highest potential. This goal applies whether individual differences are social, economic, religious, gender, age or physical and/or emotional conditions. When we respect each other and advocate for the best for each other we strengthen our neighborhoods, our communities and our country. As a State Representative, I have had the wonderful privilege to meet many individuals advocating for a shared vision of society where each person is treated with respect and dignity. Our differences are not obstacles. They represent opportunities to for us to better understand how we can have a positive influence on every person we meet.