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 second installment of their replies to be published over five days.
The special election is scheduled on Tuesday, Dec. 5.
Question: Will raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour over four years do more harm or good to the region's economy and how so?
Sue Chalifoux Zephir, Democrat -- As the minimum wage increased over the last three years, our state's economy created 150,000 jobs because people had more money to spend in their communities. As the director of local food pantry Ginny's, I've seen families struggle to get by on the minimum wage. Gradually raising it to $15 by 2022 will help working families and our entire economy.
What benefits or disadvantages do you see in the proposed "Fair Share Act" that would impose a 4 percent surtax on personal income over $1 million per year?
Sue Chalifoux Zephir -- I enthusiastically support the Fair Share Amendment because it would dedicate $2 billion each year to investments in education and transportation. That ironclad dedication would be in the text of our Constitution. As a City Councilor, I've seen our kids suffer from the lack of state funding for our schools, and our roads and public transportation clearly need investment too.
COMING MONDAY -- Questions on funding public education and criminal penalties on drug traffickers.