Beaton Helps Bring Balance to Beacon Hill
The state representative for Shrewsbury, as well as Westborough Precincts 4 and 5, starts his second term this winter.
As he prepares for his second term, state Rep. Matthew Beaton says his presence at the State House “helps to bring a little bit more balance to the unbalance of power that exists.”
Beaton says he’s among 29 Republicans among 160 state representatives.
“It’s basically one-party rule where things just get rubber stamped when leadership wants it. And our government wasn’t designed to operate in that fashion. A balance brings healthy government,” Beaton says.
Beaton was unopposed on Nov. 6 for re-election to a second two-year term representing the 11th Worcester District, which consists of Shrewsbury as well as Westborough Precincts 4 and 5.
“I look at it as a general affirmation that the majority feels that I’m at least doing a fair job,” Beaton said during office hours Wednesday at the Westborough Senior Center.
“I think I continue to try to be a middle-of-the-road kind of a guy: bipartisan, amicable.”
Both towns are concerned with funding, especially school funding, Beaton said.
“I think our priorities are out of whack with how we allocate funds for certain programs from the state down to the towns, and then the effects that has on the schools. I think every town in the Commonwealth faces that challenge,” he said.
Compared to Westborough, Shrewsbury is more residential, “which has expenses associated with it. You have to pay for the kids to go to school. Whereas, Westborough has a higher source of revenue from a commercial tax base,” Beaton said.
“What that ends up doing is it lowers the amount of local aid that comes from the state to Westborough, sending a bad signal to towns, in my opinion, that the better you are, the more proactive you are about having a healthy business climate in your town, you’re almost getting punished for it in local aid,” he said.
“It’s something on the state level that really needs to get addressed.”
Beaton said that during his first term on Beacon Hill, the pace of accomplishment was “a lot slower than I anticipated.”
“That can be good or bad, depending on what’s going on. But, it seems like everything takes forever to happen up in the State House,” Beaton said.
“I look at it as, when our Founding Fathers defined the process, they intentionally made it a slow process to ensure that we get it right. But, there are oftentimes seems to be things that should be handled rather expeditiously that oftentimes takes a lot longer than it should.
“I think there’s a balance, where you certainly want to vet things and make sure things get done properly and correctly. But at the same time, some of the common sense things need to move a little bit quicker.”