Editor's Note: Stoughton is represented at the State House by Rep. Louis Kafka, a Stoughton Democrat (precincts 2, 3, 4 and 6) and Rep. William Galvin, a Canton Democrat (precincts 1, 5, 7 and 8) in the Massachusetts House of Representatives and by Sen. Brian A. Joyce, a Milton Democrat (all precincts) in the State Senate.
Where all three running unopposed in the Nov. 6 election, each is set to be reelected to another two-year term. Stoughton Patch sent Reps. Kafka and Galvin and Sen. Joyce a brief questionnaire; their responses are below.
State Representative William C. Galvin (Precincts 1, 5, 7 and 8)
In addition to four precincts in Stoughton, Galvin represents the towns of Canton and Avon.
I was first sworn in as a State Representative in January 1991. I am currently the Chairman of the House Committee on Personnel and Administration. I was previously the Vice-Chair of the Joint Committee on Insurance and the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities. I also served on the House Ways and Means Committee, the Housing Committee, and Banks and Banking. In addition to being a State Representative, I am a member of the Board of Assessors in the town of Canton and am a co-owner and operator of a family-run insurance agency in Canton. Constituents may contact my office by calling 617-722-2582 or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Why did you choose to run for reelection?
A: I chose to run for public office because I grew up in a family that values public service. My grandfather and father each served over 30 years as assessors in Canton. My father was also a State Representative for two years. I follow in their path because I also appreciate public service and enjoy helping people.
Q: Much has been written about the lack of competition in legislative races statewide. You are running unopposed. To what would you attribute this lack of competition? Voter satisfaction? Apathy? A feeling it is too difficult and costly to defeat a long-serving incumbent?
A: I think it is a combination of all of these factors. I am hopeful that it is because people are happy with the job that I’m doing. It is difficult to run against an incumbent who has name recognition, but most of us did it once and are here because we were successful.
Q: What do you feel is the legislature's biggest accomplishment(s) in the past session? What do you feel was your biggest accomplishment as an individual legislator?
A: I am really proud that the Good Samaritan language was included in the crime bill that was signed into law over the summer. I have been filing that bill for a few years on behalf of a Canton family who lost their son to a drug overdose. This new law allows an individual to get help during an overdose without fear of being prosecuted for possession, which will encourage people to call 911 and will save lives. I think the Legislature as a whole should be pleased with the passage of two balanced and responsible budgets. We also passed foreclosure prevention legislation to protect homeowners, two bills to help veterans and their families, human trafficking prevention legislation, heath care finance reform, and gaming.
Q: What are some of the goals you hope the legislature can achieve this upcoming session?
A: I think transportation will be a big issue during the upcoming session. Our infrastructure is aging and in need of improvement and the MBTA debt is a real concern. Transportation is vital for the economic health of our state, but it is also a public safety matter. I am optimistic that over the next session we can find solutions to address our transportation issues.
Q: Heading into this next legislative session, what are some of the biggest issues Stoughton faces (specific to the town) and what can Stoughton's State House delegation on Beacon Hill do to help?
A: Stoughton specific issues that we will address on Beacon Hill include mitigating the South Coast Rail project and assisting any way we can with the purchase of the Stoughton train depot. Aid to towns is so important, and we’ve been able to increase aid despite the economic downturn. Aid to Stoughton for the FY14 and FY15 budgets will continue to be a priority.