John Cain offers his ‘State of the District’


The economic and educational impacts of the coronavirus pandemic are not only noticeable, but alarming in the short time that the country has been focused on the crisis. The impacts on small business, families, healthcare and first responders and entire communities will continue to increase. Balancing public health and economic impact as well as peoples’ mental and emotional well-being is difficult and requires leadership with real world experience; a leader who has responded to emergencies, signed the front and back of paychecks, and knows first hand the struggles of families, healthcare workers, and small business owners during times of crisis and prosperity. I am also aware of the catalyst that this type of crisis inflicts upon not only substance abuse, but other issues such as domestic violence, including child abuse and neglect. Currently this district is under represented on Beacon Hill and the challenges people are facing here in western Massachusetts are not being heard.

Priority has been to slow the spread of Coronavirus, however, the economic, social and educational impacts are mounting. The federal, state, and local governments are feeling the impact of budget shortages and supply chain problems. Local businesses have been forced to close their doors, employees have been sent home without pay, and the unemployment insurance system is being overrun. Business owners throughout the district are watching their life’s work slowly drain their business and personal finances. Unemployed workers are cutting costs to reduce the long term financial impact of prolonged joblessness. What is our state government doing to reduce spending and redirect the resources where they need to be? Among the businesses that will be the worst to suffer are not necessarily “small businesses.” Small business falls into a category of 500 people or less. Many of these will recover. It is the “micro businesses.” These are businesses with 25 or less people. We are actively watching many of these disappear…and now is the time to act to assist these businesses. They will not sustain another month or two of shut downs and slow business.

Personal savings, business accounts and government programs are being drained while the politicians are still playing politics. At the federal level congress has shown its disregard for the American People’s livelihoods and have advocated to support illegal immigrants, while at the state level ordering, and enforcing with citations, citizens to stay home, but releasing convicted criminals from prison. Unfortunately, most of our current elected officials are more concerned with solidifying their reelection than they are with actually serving the people who pay their wages and fund every dollar of their budgets. Saving face and covering their tracks is the top priority for the state legislature. Transparency and accountability have been all but lost in Boston; in fact our current State Representative and his colleagues on Beacon Hill voted it out of the state house by voting against Transparency Legislation. As Thomas Paine said, “A body of men holding themselves accountable to nobody ought not to be trusted by anybody.”

Many people are blindly following the Mayors, Representatives, Senators, and other elected officials without asking tough questions; questions that would most likely fall on deaf ears. The only financial problem these politicians are dealing with is the lack of tax revenue being generated that they can give away or spend. Some are actually benefiting greatly from this public health and economic crisis. The immediate threat of this pandemic is contracting and succumbing to the virus, but the long term threat is totalitarian control, economic recession or ultimately an economic collapse like no other experienced in the United States.

Our children are not learning or interacting with their peers in person. This interaction is vital to continuously building and maintaining a productive and homogeneous society. In addition to the educational impact on our youth, their physical well being and mental stability are suffering. Many children and families are terrified by what they see in the media. This fear is being perpetuated by confinement in homes, inability to cover payments, erosion of rights, and real possibilities of total financial ruin. As significant an impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on people’s physical health it will not compare to the mental instability that many will face for years to come.

Those hit hardest by this pandemic, aside from those who have lost their lives to the virus, are the micro business owners and their employees. The end result of this will be to the detriment of the consumer and economy as a whole.

Contrary to what may be popular, not every business owner is a millionaire who never works. In reality, most business owners are micro business owners. Most owners work longer and take home less than their employees. The employees of these businesses have worked to build the business with the owner and unlike those in big corporations, they have invested blood sweat and tears alongside the owners. These employees will never have the opportunity to recover from the loss of a fulfilling job or the time invested to attain a vital role within a company. Small business owners and employees work harder, provide exceptional service, and contribute more to their local communities than any major corporation. The heart of our communities, especially in western Massachusetts, is the small businesses who provide employment and support local schools, fellow businesses, children’s sports teams and community events.

In order to fully recover from this pandemic we must methodically get our small businesses back to work and encourage our communities to support those small businesses. I have devised a plan to start returning Western Mass to a financial and emotionally functional society. The areas of focus are as follows and as a legislator. These solutions need to be implemented sooner, rather than later if we are to recover from this pandemic.

John Cain’s Economic Rebound Plan


  • Make childcare Opportunities accessible for families who have the opportunity to return to work
  • Expand the Healthy Incentives Program to those on unemployment to encourage support of local farmers
  • Direct resources away from illegal immigrants and towards family needs of those who reside legally


  • Fund expansion of online and remote learning
  • Programs for healthy outdoor activity
  • Properly Celebrate the achievements of our students (i.e. High School Graduation)


  • Get people back to work
  • Provide skilled labor training opportunities and expand access to those programs
  • Educate workers on the importance of adding value to their employer
  • Ensure the Unemployment Insurance system is performing properly
  • Ensure unemployment benefits do not deter our workforce from going back to work

Essential Workers

  • Provide PPE to first responders
  • Ensure essential workers are given the proper PPE by employers
  • State Income Tax credit for the time worked during pandemic

Small Business Owners

  • Allow small businesses to open with a social distancing plan
  • Expedite approval of business openings
  • Increase the use of small business for state funded projects
  • Moratorium on Paid Family Medical Leave payments
  • Forgive filing fees for businesses under 50 employees

Self Employed

  • Allow self-employed workers to operate
  • Provide training for small business owners in economics, tax law, and how to protect their livelihoods in the future


  • Reduce taxpayer funded spending
  • Furlough non-essential government employees for 2 weeks
  • Limit collection of permit and licensing fees
  • No new or increased taxation
  • Provide incentive to shop local and purchase locally sourced and produced goods and food

This is just a short list of legislation and programs that need to be developed and implemented immediately by our legislators. Let’s hold them accountable.

I promise, if you vote for me on May 19th, I will work to make Western Massachusetts businesses and families successful and self-sustaining and not further increase peoples’ dependence on the government. I am currently reaching out to constituents and business owners for their input. Together we can survive this.


John Cain Candidate for State Senate,

2nd Hampden & Hampshire District

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