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EDWARD J. KENNEDY – Lowell Democrat
I support the proposals put forth by state Rep. Jim Arciero calling for the creation of a special commission on school safety and allowing retired police officers to serve as school resource officers during the school year. As your state senator, I will join with Rep. Arciero in seeking state or federal funds to increase school safety in Westford and other communities in the First Middlesex State Senate District.
JOHN MACDONALD – Lowell Republican
School safety and mental health is most paramount! Yes, I think there could be financial solutions coming from the federal government, but Massachusetts cannot depend or wait for that as we need immediate solutions. I have proposed a PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and Mental Health Task Force if elected, which would bring mental health medical professionals together from various hospitals and competing medical centers to enhance the conversation, pertaining to mental health, cures and effective treatments for PTSD. Mental health needs to be a priority in this state, we need someone who will make sure it’s prioritized and that’s me.
The bottom line is that the money is available now. The problem is “priorities” of spending at Beacon Hill. Relative to immediate funding, we need to eliminate $16.9 million per year in EBT fraud, which the state Senate has ignored. That money can be immediately redirected to school safety needs. In addition, Massachusetts spends $2 billion per year on illegal alien benefits obtained illegally. Stopping this funding of illegal activity should be a priority and these tax dollars could also be redirected to helping support school safety. Lack of focus and prioritization is killing Massachusetts. I intend to change that.