Party: Democratic

Incumbent: No

Headquarters: PO Box 90702, Needham, MA 02492

Occupation: Registered nurse

Family: Married to Russell Garlick and have four children: Monica, Elizabeth, Alex, and Andy.

Town: Needham

Experience: I am vice chairman of the Needham Board of Selectmen.
Previously, I served as chairman of the Needham Board of Health and as a town meeting member.
A career nurse, I am a past president of the Massachusetts Nurses Association.

— Submitted by the candidate

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TIMELINE

Why are you running?

"Massachusetts faces the toughest challenges of our generation. I share the concerns of the people of Needham, Dover and Medfield and I offer a record of experience, hard work, political courage and producing results for our community.

I will be an independent voice at the State House. My priorities include: job growth, economic development, improving our health care system through cost containment, access to quality care, preserving our community hospitals, and protecting local aid that is so important for public education and services for seniors and families."

— Submitted by the candidate

Issues

Health costs

The Mass. Taxpayers Foundation recently recommended that local officials be given the power to design their own health plans without having to negotiate with the unions, and that state retirees use Medicare for their primary health care coverage. Do you support these proposals?

"Controlling health care costs, while assuring access and quality of care, is one of my top priorities.

In my tenure as a member of the Needham Board of Selectmen, plan design changes that have shifted costs to employees have been successfully negotiated through collective bargaining.

In addition, I support using Medicare for eligible state retirees."

State pensions

The foundation also proposed changes in state and municipal pensions, such as increasing the retirement age and capping annual pensions at $100,000. Do you agree?

"I believe our state and municipal pension systems need to be fair and sustainable for employees, retirees and taxpayers, and I will look to create a solution that works for all stakeholders involved."

MCAS

Do you believe in keeping the requirement that a student must pass the MCAS or an MCAS-like test in order to graduate from high school?

"I support the fundamentals of the MCAS requirement, but believe alternatives should be available when appropriate.

As a mother of four children, including a developmentally-delayed daughter, I recognize that all individuals cannot be evaluated in the same way, nor is success the same for every individual."

Public records

Should the state Legislature be exempt from the state's public records law?

"No."

Party leadership

Cite any votes (if an incumbent) or positions (if a challenger or newcomer) you have taken that disagree with the stance taken by your party's legislative leadership.

"Among other issues, I am opposed to expansion of gambling, including casinos and racinos, because I feel the costs outweigh the benefits.

I am a career nurse, not a career politician or bureaucrat, so I will go to the State House as an independent voice for the people of Needham, Dover, and Medfield."

Endorsements

Will you make public any questionnaires you fill out in pursuit of the endorsement of unions or other groups?

"I have no objection to the release of any candidate questionnaires I have answered."

Legislative audit

Should the Legislature be subject to a full audit?

"The House is required by law to be audited twice a session, with those audits being made available to the public.

Furthermore, I support the creation of the online database of all state spending, including the Legislature, which allows the highest level of scrutiny for taxpayers to see where our money is being spent."

Formal sessions

Is the Legislature holding enough full formal sessions?

"The Legislature should hold as many formal sessions as needed to complete its work.

The problem isn't the number of sessions, but that not enough gets done. That's why I will work hard, every day, to get results for the people of Needham, Dover, and Medfield."

Term limits

Should there be term limits for the jobs of House Speaker and Senate President?

"Yes."

Responses gathered through e.thePeople

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