Reading's New State Sen., Katherine Clark, Sworn In
Katherine Clark is working to file any legislation before the Jan. 21 deadline for the new session of the state Legislature.
Katherine Clark is moving to her new home under the dome—although she’s not unpacking in her office just yet.
Clark, D-Melrose, joined with eight fellow new state senators on Wednesday when she was sworn into the Massachusetts Senate, which meets under the iconic gold dome atop the State House. Clark replaces the outgoing Richard Tisei as the senator for the Middlesex and Essex District, which includes Reading.
The former state representative joined four other new senators who were moving over from the state House of Representatives.
Late on Wednesday afternoon, Clark said the swearing in ceremony was "great."
"It was really just such a privilege to be sworn in and to represent this district,
She said. "It’s really one of the greatest honors of my life. It was bit overwhelming."
Clark has only cast one vote so far as a senator—joining the rest of the chamber in unanimously re-electing Theresa Murray as Senate President—and said legislators didn’t talk or debate about any substantive issues on Beacon Hill Wednesday.
“We are certainly busy within our office meeting with constituents and advocates and developing our legislation for the deadline on [Jan. 21],” she said.
While debate hasn’t ensued yet, legislators are bracing for yet another tough budget season, Clark said, and awaiting Gov. Deval Patrick’s “House 1” budget within the next few weeks. That budget will lay out the administration’s blueprint for fiscal 2012.
“I think this is going to be a very difficult budget season,” she said. “I’m hoping this is the trough in our economy and we will continue to see a growth in revenues. I think with the end of the federal stimulus dollars, this is going to be just a very difficult time, and continue to be a difficult time for our communities and families. There will be a lot of very hard, tough choices ahead.”
One piece of logistics is still up in the air: Clark and her staff have moved into a temporary office in the State House for the new couple of weeks, until committee chairpersons are named, at which point they’ll be shuffled off to another, permanent office.
“We’re not putting pictures on the walls,” she said with a laugh.
As for a district office, Clark said she plans to keep her campaign office in Malden for the time being and use that as her new district office.
“We have another six months on that lease and then we’ll reevaluate,” she said.