Dear Candidate. Please answer these three questions. Part 1: Eldridge

On behalf of Acton Forum, I contacted Senator Eldridge and his challenger Margaret Busse and asked them each three questions on topics many voters believe are important. They both agreed, and I thank them for their participation. The questions were carefully worded to avoid introducing bias. There are many more questions that could be asked, but to increase the likelihood of participation, I wanted to keep it brief. However, if this is popular, we can try follow-up questions and ask other candidates using the same format.


Do you support the movement to create Sanctuary Communities or States for illegal immigrants? Why or why not?

I support legislation to make sure that state and local law enforcement are not enforcing federal immigration law, to restore trust between immigrant communities and police, and make sure that public safety for the entire community remains the focus of law enforcement. That is why the Massachusetts Police Chiefs Association endorsed a compromise version of the Safe Communities Act, and Acton Police Chief Burrows adopted Policy 1.25 in June 2017, which states that Acton police department resources, personnel and data cannot be used by ICE agents. The term "Sanctuary State" is a political term, but it has no legal meaning, or enforcement. The Safe Communities Act does not limit police in any way to arrest an undocumented immigrant who has broken the law, it just creates a clear bright line between local and state police enforcing immigration law. In each of the towns and cities that I represent, immigrant families are working hard, providing a better life for their children, and giving back to their community, and I strongly oppose Donald Trump's immigration policies that are ripping families apart.

Should the minimum wage be changed? If so, what is the legislative process?

I was proud to vote to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour this legislative session, which will happen over the next 5 years, which was part of a "Grand Compromise" legislative package that also established paid family and medical leave for all Massachusetts workers. I strongly oppose creating a sub-minimum wage for teenagers, as many young people are working to support their parents, and everyone who works should receive a living wage, regardless of age.

Do you support school choice? Explain your position or proposals for improvement.

School choice can mean many things, but often times it refers to school vouchers. I strongly oppose creating school vouchers that would send children to private schools, using public taxpayer dollars. I have fought my entire legislative career to successfully increase state funding for our public schools, and am proud of the increases in Chapter 70 aid, regional school incentive aid, Special Education Circuit Breaker, and regional school transportation for schools. This session, I was proud to have voted for the Foundation Budget Review Commission (FBRC) recommendations, and if re-elected, am committed to seeing this legislation passed into law. School vouchers would cut funding for public schools, and move away from a core strength of the Middlesex and Worcester district, excellent public schools, which continue to improve.

Jamie Eldridge's photo is here: http://www.actonforum.com/sites/default/files/Jamie_Eldridge_profile.jpg Jamie Eldridge's campaign website is at: http://www.senatoreldridge.com/

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