BOSTON (WWLP) – After 12 years in the House of Representatives, Paul Mark moved over to the Senate. He’s adjusting to his new role and he’s ready to take on the challenges facing western Massachusetts.

Senator Mark’s involvement in government started with campaigns at the age of 16. In 2010, Mark was elected to the House of Representatives. Then in 2022, he was elected to represent 57 cities and towns in the Senate.

A piece of legislation Mark is pushing for would be the creation of a climate bank. This would provide grants, equity and debt financing to promote clean energy, with at least 10% of funding going to rural communities.

Mark is also a co-lead on the Cherish Act. That bill would create a system for debt-free public higher education.

“I think because we’re so well regarded and so well renowned for having a robust higher education system, that it gets easy to lose in the shuffle how important our public universities are. But as a graduate of STCC, as a graduate of UMass Amherst, you know, first hand this is important and I know it’s important to people in our area for sure,” said Senator Mark.

Mark is also focused on local funding and making sure the western part of the state isn’t forgotten.

“We see the infrastructure needs, we see the funding needs of rural transportation and school funding, that we’re making sure that the Governor, the Senate President, the House Speaker are all aware of our unique issues and that in every budget or bonding vehicle that comes through, that we’re getting our fair share back, because we all pay into Boston, we want to make sure that Western Massachusetts gets its fair share in return that we deserve,” said Senator Mark.

Now as Vice Chair of Transportation, Mark is also focused on East-West Rail. His priority is that the line connects to Pittsfield and Albany, so it can stretch the entire state.

Senator Mark’s staff is holding office hours every Monday and Tuesday of this month throughout his district. You can call his office for more information on location and time.