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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Karen Spilka
95th President of the Massachusetts Senate
Assumed office
July 26, 2018
Preceded byHarriette L. Chandler
Member of the Massachusetts Senate
from the 2nd Middlesex and Norfolk district
Assumed office
January 2005
Preceded byDavid Magnani
Massachusetts Senate Majority Whip
In office
2013–2015
Preceded byHarriette L. Chandler
Succeeded byAnthony Petruccelli
Member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives
from the 7th Middlesex district
In office
November 2001 – January 2005
Preceded byJohn Stefanini
Succeeded byTom Sannicandro
Personal details
Born (1953-01-11) January 11, 1953 (age 66)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Joel Loitherstein
Children3
EducationCornell University (BS)
Northeastern University (JD)
OccupationAttorney; Arbitrator/Mediator
WebsiteOfficial website

Karen E. Spilka (born January 11, 1953) is a Massachusetts State Senator of the Democratic Party. She represents the 2nd Middlesex and Norfolk district, which includes the towns of Ashland, Framingham, Franklin, Holliston, Hopkinton, Medway and Natick in the MetroWest region of Massachusetts.

She was elected to be the 95th President of the Massachusetts Senate on July 26, 2018, and continues to hold that office. She also chairs the Biotech Legislative Caucus and the Tech Hub Caucus. Senator Spilka's legislative accomplishments include efforts in a broad range of areas including economic development, jobs creation, education, juvenile justice and services for the elderly and disabled communities.

Senator Spilka was first elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in the fall of 2001, where she served three years before her election to the Massachusetts State Senate in January 2005. In the Senate she has served as the Chair of the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities, the Chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies and the Majority Whip. Prior to becoming a legislator, Senator Spilka was in private practice as an arbitrator and mediator, specializing in labor and employment law and community and court mediation. In addition, she has been a facilitator and fact finder in disputes in the public and private sectors, as well as a social worker and trainer of adult mediation and school-based peer mediation programs, collaborative-based collective bargaining and conflict resolution strategies.

Senator Spilka is a graduate of Northeastern University School of Law and holds a B.S. from Cornell University.

Public offices

Senator Spilka served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 2001-2004 and the Massachusetts Senate from 2005–present. She served as Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means before being elected the President of the Massachusetts Senate on July 26, 2018, making her the third woman to hold the office.

The Senator previously served on the Ashland School Committee (chair, vice-chair), Ashland Democratic Town Committee, Ashland Fiscal Affairs Committee, and Charter Review Committee, and the Massachusetts Personnel Board.

She is also associated with the following organizations: 495/MetroWest Corridor Partnership; MetroWest Economic Research Center at Framingham State University; MetroWest ESL Fund; Ashland Education Foundation, Ashland Lions.

State Senate

Criminal justice reform

Spilka has been a leader on bill S. 2185, An Act relative to criminal justice reform.[1] This bill repeals mandatory minimum sentences for low level drug offenders, reduces and eliminates over-burdensome fees and fines, allows for compassionate release of infirmed inmates, and reforms the juvenile justice system. It also strengthens the procedural barriers to setting bail that is higher than a defendant can afford to ensure individuals are not held solely because they are unable to pay.

Gender identity

In 2018, Senator Spilka joined Senators Patricia D. Jehlen and Julian Cyr to create bill S.2562 - an act relative to gender identity on Massachusetts identification.[1] The bill establishes a non-binary gender identity option for state licenses, allowing applicants to choose "X" instead of male or female. The bill passed the Senate on June 28, 2018, but is yet to become law.

2013 Congressional campaign

Spilka was a candidate in the 2013 special election to succeed U.S. Representative Ed Markey of Massachusetts's 5th congressional district, who resigned in June 2013 to take a seat in the U.S. Senate. The primary election was held on October 15, 2013, and Katherine Clark won the Democratic nomination. Spilka came in fifth behind Clark, Middlesex County Sheriff Peter Koutoujian, State Rep. Carl Sciortino, and State Sen. Will Brownsberger.[2]

Spilka was endorsed by the statewide ATU, the UNITE-HERE New England Joint Board, UWUA Local 369, Roofers and Waterproofers Union Local 33, Laborers' Local 22, Laborers' Local 151, Laborers' Local 380, Laborers' Local 609, Laborers' Local 1116, Laborers' Local 1156, the Sprinkler Fitters 550, IBEW Local 1505, UFCW Local 328, UFCW Local 1445, the Boston Carmen's Union Local 589, the Building Wreckers Local 1421, the Mail Handlers Local 301, and the American Postal Workers Union Local 4553. She also had the backing of the Central Massachusetts AFL-CIO.

References

  1. ^ a b "senate-session-2017-2018.pdf" (PDF). Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  2. ^ Schultheis, Emily. "Clark wins Mass. special primary". POLITICO. Retrieved 2019-04-05.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Harriette L. Chandler
President of the Massachusetts Senate
2018–present
Incumbent
This page was last edited on 18 September 2019, at 00:46
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