Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

November 1, 2012

In Andover senate race, one current legislator will be out of power

Adams, Finegold face off Nov. 6


The Andover Townsman

---- — Two Andover residents and current state legislators will square off to see who will represent all of Andover as its state senator.

Incumbent Sen. Barry Finegold will face current state Rep. Paul Adams, who was redistricted clean out of his existing representative district. Rather than challenge fellow Republican and friend Jim Lyons for state representative, Adams is running for senate.

Paul Adams

Republican

58 High St., Andover

Age: 31

Nuclear family: Engaged to Patricia Ponce

Current job: Policy advisor and your full-time state representative

You have a total of 150 words to further explain your answer(s) to one or more of the YES, NO, UNDECIDED questions.

Is the current ratio of state education aid to Andover schools appropriate?

NO. Andover receives 25 percent less in education funding than the state mandated minimum. For local aid overall, the town receives a pittance of what our taxpayers currently send to Beacon Hill.

Is the current ratio of state education aid to Lawrence schools appropriate?

NO. While Lawrence certainly needs financial assistance for governance, the city has never had a solution to reduce its over-reliance on the taxpayers. I have a long-term plan to help Lawrence reduce its disproportionate need for state support and be more self-sustaining.

Would you roll back state sales taxes to the 5 percent level during this next term?

YES. This last term, I voted three times to lower the sales tax to 5 percent and will continue working for a lower rate. My opponent raised the sales tax 25 percent, destroying 10,000 jobs.

Would you consider increasing state taxes during the next term?

NO.

Can you see yourself rolling back state sales taxes to 5 percent any time in the next 10 years?

YES. The sales tax should be rolled back immediately.

Have EBT card reforms done enough?

NO. The supermajority blocked a reform I fought for, a move to a cashless system, which will prevent fraud.

OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS

What is the biggest issue facing Andover and what will you do to address it if elected? (You have a total of 125 words to explain.)

Continue working to restore a stronger private-sector economy, and addressing the town’s rising educational needs for a growing community. I’ve been working to change the current state education funding formula which shortchanges Andover education and will continue making this a top priority.

What areas of state government will you fight to reform this term, if any? Why? (Up to 100 words.)

The budget process is in desperate need of reform. I voted against the FY 2013 budget because the process is conducted in secret and doesn’t work for taxpayers and our communities. Decisions are made behind closed doors, line items can be impossible to identify and the supermajority stifles debate, preferring to jam legislators with consolidated bills instead of debating them on individual merits.

What specific role have you played to advance the Interstate-93 interchance project in Andover? How important is this project to you? (75 words)

Shortly after taking office as state representative, I met with many state and local leaders and have been an active voice in support of the project in our communities and within the legislature. I’ve also worked to prioritize state-side funding for construction of the interchange. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help grow the economy and create jobs in the Merrimack Valley.

What specific role did you play to increase state aid to Andover this past budget cycle? (50 words)

When Gov. Patrick proposed cutting local aid for FY 2012, I led the charge with several of my colleagues in the Republican caucus and the House to reverse course, leading to level funding last year and a record increase this year.

What piece of legislation during the last term are you most proud of writing or sponsoring? Why?(50 words)

My successful regulatory reform bill requires the state to produce a price tag on any proposed new regulation on the private sector and is supported by employers throughout the state. It’s an important piece of restoring conditions the private sector needs to grow and create jobs.

In a nutshell, what makes you a better candidate than your opponent? (25 words)

I’m principled and consistent in the fight for increased local aid and lower taxes, and will serve as your full-time state senator.

Barry Finegold

Democrat

42 Stirling St., Andover

Age: 41

Nuclear family: Wife, Amy; daughters Ava, 9, Ella, 7, and son Max, 8 months

Current job: Partner at Dalton & Finegold

Is the current ratio of state education aid to Andover schools appropriate?

YES, but I would like to see the amount allocated to Andover increase.

Is the current ratio of state education aid to Lawrence schools appropriate?

YES.

Would you roll back state sales taxes to the 5 percent level during this next term?

UNDECIDED. This depends on the economic environment and level of revenue.

Would you consider increasing state taxes during the next term?

NO.

Can you see yourself rolling back state sales taxes to 5 percent any time in the next 10 years?

YES, but also depends on the economic environment.

Have EBT card reforms done enough?

NO. The EBT reforms in the budget were very strong, but I think we need to push harder towards electronic payment systems that would allow us to limit cash assistance. The use of cash withdrawls is too prone for abuse.

OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS

What is the biggest issue facing Andover and what will you do to address it if elected? (You have a total of 125 words to explain.)

Two issues that go hand and hand and are equally important - jobs and education. In the area of jobs, I will work to reform unemployment insurance, which will free up money for employers to create more jobs. In the area of education, I will continue to fight to bring Andover increased Chapter 70 education funds, just as I did this past session when I succesfully fought for Andover to receive the most local aid it had ever received. An educated workforce is our best tool for creating jobs.

What areas of state government will you fight to reform this term, if any? Why? (Up to 100 words.)

If re-elected, I will fight to reform unemployment insurance in order to encourage job creation. I have filed amendments to do this in the past and will continue that fight. Massachusetts’ unemployment system is one of the most costly systems in the nation for employers. There are common sense reforms we can make in this area that will save employers money while at the same time protecting unemployed workers.

What specific role have you played to advance the Interstate-93 interchance project in Andover? How important is this project to you?

I have personally lobbied Senators Brown and Kerry and worked with Congresswoman Tsongas and the Lt. Governor to move this project along. I fought for state funding for the interchange’s environmental review in the latest Transportation Bond Bill. This project is one of my top priorities because of its job-making prospects.

What specific role did you play to increase state aid to Andover this past budget cycle?

This past year when the House sent over his budget, I was not satisfied with the local aid that the town of Andover was getting back. I pushed for higher local aid in the Senate budget and as a result, Andover got the largest amount of local aid it has ever received.

What piece of legislation during the last term are you most proud of writing or sponsoring? Why?

I filed and co-sponsored legislation and budget amendments on financial literacy. The Financial Literacy pilot program was included in the budget and will bring finance-based lessons to public schools in 10 Gateway Cities next fall. This is an initiative started by my predecessor Sue Tucker, and I was able to get it done.

In a nutshell, what makes you a better candidate than your opponent?

I am a consistent and respected voice for Andover in the Senate. I am trustworthy and honest about my intentions and votes. I am working hard and getting the job done for the town.

Is the current ratio of state education aid to Andover schools appropriate? Finegold: YES Adams: NO Is the current ratio of state education aid to Lawrence schools appropriate? Finegold: YES Adams: NO Would you roll back state sales taxes to the 5 percent level during this next term? Finegold: UNDECIDED Adams: YES Would you consider increasing state taxes during the next term? Finegold: NO Adams: NO Can you see yourself rolling back state sales taxes to 5 percent any time in the next 10 years? Finegold: YES Adams: YES Have EBT card reforms done enough? Finegold: NO Adams: NO