AUBURN, Mass. – With the election right around the corner, state Sen. Michael Moore (D-Millbury) and Republican challenger Steve Simonian stated Tuesday night why they should be elected to the 2nd Worcester District seat on Nov. 6.
Moore and Simonian made their respective pitches to residents at the Life Care Center of Auburn, who were holding “Political Night” with four weeks until Election Day.
“When I first ran for office four years ago, I promised to work hard, be accessible and make as many reforms to state government as possible, so we can improve the state and move it forward. And I’ve done that for you over my four years in office,” Moore told the residents. “We’ve made major reforms and emphasized small business.
“We’ve been successful in having one of the highest rainy-day funds in the country, and having a AA+ bond rating, which allows us to borrow money and put back into our infrastructure and our communities,” Moore added.
Moore also touted the fair share contribution legislation that he sponsored and helped passed this session. The fair share eliminates fines for businesses that do not provide insurance for employees already covered under another plan.
Previously, businesses were fined $295 per year per employee in such instances. If a business hired veterans, spouses, students or retired workers already covered under another plan they were punished because the wording of the law didn’t make exceptions for them. Moore said his legislation fixed this loophole.
But Simonian, an Auburn Selectman, followed Moore’s speech with a case for his own candidacy, saying he would do a better job at making Massachusetts more attractive to businesses and keeping jobs in the Commonwealth.
“A lot of small business owners are telling me if things don’t change very soon, then they will have to close their doors and go look for a job or move their business to another state where it’s more affordable,” Simonian said. “Well, we can’t afford for either of those things to happen. We can’t afford to have more unemployed people here in Massachusetts.”
He said that helping small businesses is one of the fastest ways to get the economy moving.
“We need to look at energy costs,” Simonian said. “I’ve worked in the nuclear power industry when I was in the Navy, and it’s a safe way and cheap way to generate power. I know people are scared, but I point to France, which has been almost 100 percent nuclear power for at least a couple decades, and there have been no issues out of there.
“We need to start looking at other ways to save some of those businesses money, so they can create jobs and make it easier to put people back to work,” he added.