Statement on Interim Senator Debate
As I stated at the beginning of this debate, I was extremely interested in hearing the opinions of my constituents before voting on this matter. I heard many compelling arguments on both sides of this issue, both from my colleagues and from my constituents. By the time this bill was taken up by the Senate on September 22, a majority of the district residents that I heard from were in support of my voting in favor of the bill.
The majority of my constituents stated that, with an interim Senator, all Massachusetts residents will continue to enjoy the benefits of full representation in the United States Senate. They added that an interim appointment will allow the important constituent services work of Senator Kennedy to continue—constituent services work that positively and directly benefits the residents of Ashland, Framingham, Franklin, Holliston, Hopkinton, Medway and Natick. As the situation stood previous to the passage of the bill, Senator Kennedy’s office had 60 days from Senator Kennedy’s death on August 25, 2009 to shut down the office, with all constituent work required to stop until a full-time Senator is elected in January. Appointing an interim Senator will ensure that vital constituent services will continue until a full-time Senator is elected in January.
Also noted was the fact that full representation in the United States Senate is important for MetroWest residents as our federal delegation continues to work on large and complex issues in the coming months, such as healthcare reform, climate change, and maximizing federal dollars for Massachusetts transportation infrastructure, particularly MetroWest bridges and roads.
In a few short months, the people of Massachusetts will have the opportunity to have their voices heard, first in a primary election scheduled for December 8, and then in the special election on January 19, 2010, as we elect a permanent replacement for Senator Kennedy.
As always, I appreciate hearing from you and I thank everyone who took the time to contact me on this important issue.