AUBURN, Mass. – Republican state Senate candidate Steve Simonian has laid out his goals if he beats state Sen. Michael Moore (D-Millbury) in November, coming out with a plan called “Put the District First,” which Moore said are issues that he’s already addressed in the Senate.
Simonian said the plan “highlights a number of areas that voters are concerned about in the Second Worcester District,” which includes commitment to local funding and projects, stopping all state taxpayer benefits being paid to undocumented illegal immigrants and reeling in use of Electonic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards for anything other than food.
“These are the issues for my campaign that residents in each of the municipalities have asked for in terms of an open, clean and respectable government,” said Simonian, an Auburn Selectman. “… We now have an opportunity to reach across the aisle and do what is right for the entire district. We truly can put the Second Worcester District first.
“The fall is upon us and many residents of this district have made it very clear to me that change should not be just a buzz word on Beacon Hill,” Simonian continued. “…I am not entrenched in any party in Massachusetts. I have a vision of what will work best for this area. This vision is supported by the thousands of voters I have spoken with since I jumped in to this race months ago.”
Other parts of Simonian’s platform include removing the inventory tax, which he calls an enormous burden on small and large business owners who provide jobs in the district. He also wants pension reform where no public or municipal employee may collect a state/municipal pension while on a state/municipal payroll.
But Moore said the plan shows a “clear lack of connection with constituents and a clear lack of knowledge of what is actually going on” since they’re issues that Moore already addressed in the last four years.
“My opponent has consistently identified policy issues, including his own top priorities, that reflect a fundamental lack of research, understanding, and foresight,” Moore said. "Not only has virtually every single item on his priority list been addressed, but I’ve played a direct role in their passage.”
For example, Moore said every year in office he has brought much-needed funding back to the district, increasing local aid even during the worst part of the recession. He said he helped increase school funding and secured three local projects in the recent Transportation Bond Bill.
In addition, Moore said he was proud to vote for a bipartisan measure in July to restrict the use of EBT cards.
“Where EBT abuse and fraud was once a major concern, these cards can no longer be used for alcohol, gambling, firearms, tattoos, tobacco, jewelry, fees, fines, etc.,” he said.
Moore also said he co-sponsored legislation that placed prohibitions on illegal immigrants receiving public assistance, mandated public contractors use documented citizens through the Work Authorization Program and implemented Secure Communities.
“If his goal is to endorse these proposals and successful initiatives, then I humbly accept his support,” Moore said. “If, however, his goal is only to seek public office without any meaningful reforms or ideas, based on poorly researched items, then he is woefully out of touch and uninformed on current events and the issues that matter most to citizens of the Second Worcester District.”