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 third installment of their replies to be published over five days.
The special election is scheduled on Tuesday, Dec. 5.
Question: Is public education suffering from a lack of more state and local funding or a lack of more accountability in how that money is spent?
Sue Chalifoux Zephir, Democrat -- As a City Councilor, I see how the state's funding formula shortchanges our communities with inadequate funding for everything from special education to school buses. That's why I support the Fair Share Amendment, and I'll work to change the broken distribution formula so that our kids get enough state funding to give them the tools they need to succeed.
Question: Should the state Legislature impose tougher criminal penalties on drug trafficking that results in death?
Sue Chalifoux Zephir, Democrat -- We need to give our local and state law enforcement the tools they need to combat drug traffickers that are bringing deadly drugs into Massachusetts, but lengthy prison sentences aren't the right way to handle people who deal small amounts of drugs to fund their own addiction.
COMING TUESDAY -- Questions on how to address the rising cost of busing students to school and investing more money on public transportation.