Printed in the Sentinel & Enterprise.
The Sentinel & Enterprise asked the four candidates seeking the state Senate seat in the Worcester and Middlesex District a series of 10 questions on regional and state issues. This is the fourth installment of their replies.
The special election is Tuesday, Dec. 5
Question: Public school busing costs continue to escalate in most communities and state funding is not keeping up. Is this model broken and, if so, how can it be fixed if financial resources remain limited?
Sue Chalifoux Zephir, Democrat -- The state's broken school funding formula doesn't provide enough money for the cost of school buses, and our more rural communities are especially suffering from the lack of state aid for school transportation. If we don't find more state resources, many communities will be forced to increase their property taxes. That's why we need the Fair Share Amendment.
Question: If elected, how will you convince your colleagues to invest more money toward enhancing public transportation, including rail service, throughout North Central Massachusetts?
Sue Chalifoux Zephir, Democrat -- I'm the only candidate with a plan to pay for the new transportation investments we need to solve our traffic problem, like repairing roads, expanding commuter rail to Gardner, and improving bus service. With the Fair Share Amendment, we'll have hundreds of millions of dollars each year for transportation investments. I'll fight to make sure those funds reach our region.
COMING WEDNESDAY: The candidates answer questions on rising tuition costs at public universities and whether sanctuary cities should lose state and federal funding.