By: Tom Duggan – June, 2010
In a letter he sent to a constituent last month he clearly states his opposition to a measure that would have cut off all state funding for illegal aliens in Massachusetts (called the Perry Amendment for Rep. Jeff Perry who sponsored the measure) at a time when police officers and firefighters are being laid off, aid for the mentally retarded is being cut in the state budget and the Commonwealth faces bankruptcy.
Torissi has a long history of spending state tax dollars to fund services for illegals. In the past several years Torissi has; voted to fund public housing and welfare benefits for illegals, supported granting in-state tuition rates for illegal aliens attending state colleges, voted to allow illegals to get drivers licenses, opposed voter ID in the city of Lawrence as well as opposing a residency requirement in Lawrence.
Torissi made headlines last month when radio talk show host Michael Graham sent the North Andover lawmaker an email asking him to appear on his program to discuss his support for illegal aliens when he is supposed to be representing American citizens in the legislature.
Torissi sent an email back to Graham telling him to go “F*!k” himself and subsequently told television reporters that those who oppose giving free state services to illegals were racist and bigoted against Latinos.
North Andover Republican Stan Novak who is running for Torissi’s seat in the fall, said that he was appalled by Torissi’s vote and would have supported the Perry Amendment. Kevin Begley also said he would have supported the cut in aid to illegals at a time when the state budget is millions of dollars in the red and state services are being cut.
Representative Torissi was also the subject of controversy in February and March when he ,not only voted to let Lawrence State Rep. Willie Lantigua borrow $35Mil to balance the budget, but also testified on Lantigua’s behalf, telling fellow lawmakers that Lawrence needed to borrow the money to level fund last year’s budget and prevent layoffs.
Torissi told the legislature that the city of Lawrence should not have a fiscal oversight board to control their finances. Since then, Mayor Lantigua has spent $24Mil of that loan money and announced last week that he will lay off 45 police officers (demote 15) and 38 firefighters in the city.