Jay Kaufman has served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives since January 1995 and now chairs the legislature's Committee on Revenue. He had, for two terms, chaired the Committee on Public Service and led the effort to develop and pass major pension reform initiatives.
His primary legislative interests are education, health care, campaign reform, environmental protection, and social and economic justice. He led the fight to pass and implement the state's campaign finance reform law, and has chaired special task forces on medical records privacy, the social and ethical implications of genetic technology, and alternatives to property taxes to fund public schools. During his freshman term, he broke a six-year logjam to win passage of the Rivers Act, a major environmental protection bill. He is currently leading the effort to pass the Act for Healthy Massachusetts, a bill that would encourage the substitution of safer alternatives to commonly-used toxic chemicals. He has sponsored legislation aimed at tax fairness and has consistently secured major budget increases for METCO, the state's premier racial desegregation program.
His monthly Open House public policy forum, now in its fourteenth season, has been recognized with the prestigious Beacon Award as the nation's best televised government relations series. Jay was appointed founding director of Northeastern University's new center for Leadership and Public Life where he now teaches and leads leadership development workshops for those in or aspiring to public life.