UPDATED: State Rep. Tom Sannicandro (D-Ashland), who represents part of Framingham, will appear on The Huffington Post today, Sept. 4 at 2:30 p.m.
Sannicandro will be part of a three-person panel discussing the rise in government spending on incarcerations - particularly non-violent drug crimes - and the decline in spending on higher education. The stream will be available at live.huffingtonpost.com.
“With Tom now on the Huffington Post and having previously been featured in The Economist, we have a candidate who’s getting attention on a larger scale than we’re used to,” said campaign manager Ryanne Olsen said. “We’re just happy it gives people a chance to hear our pro-business, pro-education platform.”
“Getting more kids through college is a part of a complete jobs agenda,” Sannicandro said. “If you ask any economist why Massachusetts has consistently had a lower unemployment rate than the rest of the country during this economic downturn, every one of them will say it’s because of our educated workforce.”
Massachusetts has a 6.1 percent unemployment rate compared to 8.2 percent nationally.
According to the Mass Budget and Policy Center, Massachusetts has the highest percentage of workers with at least a bachelor’s degree in the country at 43 percent. Massachusetts workers also earn the second-highest wage in the country at $19.93 per hour in 2009.
However, for FY13, Massachusetts has budgeted $1.23 trillion for prisons, probation, and parole, compared to $1.02 trillion for public higher education.
Sannicandro has helped increase funding to public higher education, including sponsoring an amendment to the recently passed casino gaming bill that doubled tax revenue from the casinos dedicated to higher education from 5 percent to 10 percent.
Sannicandro is the Chair of the Committee on Higher Education in Massachusetts. He is also the former Chairman of the Ashland School Committee. Last fall, he hosted two informational forums on public higher education in Ashland and Framingham last fall called Go Public!, promoting the public universities to prospective students. He will host those forums again this fall.