REP. XIARHOS TESTIFIES IN SUPPORT OF “MATT’S LAW”

January 24, 2024

BOSTON, Mass. – State Representative Steve Xiarhos (R – 5th Barnstable) was honored to testify in support of “Matt’s Law” (H.2422) before the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security on January 23.

According to Xiarhos, who is the lead sponsor of the legislation, “Matt’s Law” was filed in response to an attack on Corrections Officer Matt Tidman at MCI Shirley in August 2022. A convicted murderer who was incarcerated at the facility took a metal bar from a free weight in the prison gym and used it to brutally beat Tidman, who sustained extremely serious bodily injuries. The bill filed by Xiarhos would ban the use of free weights and other portable exercise equipment for use by inmates in state prisons.

Please read Rep. Xiarhos’ full press release below…

Steve Xiarhos Announces Campaign for Re-election

January 18, 2024

BARNSTABLE, Mass. — Steve Xiarhos has officially announced that he is running for re-election as State Representative for the 5th Barnstable District in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

According to the Xiarhos Committee, the campaign will host a re-election kickoff event at the Sandwich American Legion on Tuesday, February 20 from 5-7 p.m.

In a statement announcing his re-election bid and outlining certain priorities he is working on, Xiarhos said that serving as State Representative has been “the thrill and honor of a lifetime,” and that he wants to continue using the power of his office to assist people in need. “To me, this job is and always has been about helping people,” Xiarhos said. “That’s what I enjoy doing every day, it’s part of who I am and what I believe in, and it’s what I want to continue doing on behalf of the people I represent.”

Xiarhos said that he also wants to keep pursuing his mission to make Cape Cod a more affordable and safer place to live and work, and to make government more accountable to the people it serves.

This session, Xiarhos has been outspoken in his opposition to state policies for housing migrant families and, in particular, the enormous expenses being imposed on taxpayers that have resulted from those poor policy decisions. He is the co-sponsor of legislation to reform the state’s Right to Shelter Law to limit its applicability to U.S. citizens, as he claims it was originally intended. He also has been a vocal opponent of measures to rewrite state firearms laws, calling instead for improved enforcement of existing laws to help keep the public safe from violent crime. And, as a Gold Star Father and former Deputy Chief of Police, he has maintained his strong and steady advocacy for men and women in uniform, our nation’s veterans, and the state’s first responder community.

Xiarhos said his service on the House Ways and Means Committee this session has provided him with valuable insight concerning the budget process and the financial workings of state government. “I take my duty to be a responsible steward of taxpayer funds very seriously,” Xiarhos said. “I want a state government people can be proud of. Especially during these tough economic times, I see it as my role to make sure that every dollar we spend is spent wisely and frugally, invested with an eye not just to fulfilling our current needs but also toward satisfying our future well-being. That means keeping taxes low, looking for ways to streamline the way the state operates, and always being completely transparent with the taxpayers we represent. It also means supporting affordable housing, small businesses and job creation to help working families thrive.”

“I also want Massachusetts to be a safe place for everyone,” Xiarhos said. “That’s why I have introduced a number of measures to increase the penalties for certain crimes, especially crimes against vulnerable people, and to enhance the penalties for those who sell illegal drugs on our streets. As a former school resource officer, I am also focused on making our schools safe for students and teachers. And, of course, as someone who worked in law enforcement for four decades before running for office, I am passionate about supporting our Commonwealth’s first responders and their mission. Last session we were honored to pass Nero’s Bill — with bipartisan support — as a lasting tribute to my friend and colleague, fallen Yarmouth Police K9 Sgt. Sean Gannon. This session we’re working on Dakota’s Law as a follow-on measure to help provide ongoing care and support for retired police dogs in their later years. We’re going to get the job done.”

In addition to these priorities, Xiarhos says he wants to continue working to see the Cape Cod Canal bridges rebuilt quickly and affordably, and that he looks forward to furthering his support for public education and protecting the environment on Cape Cod. “As Cape Codders, we are blessed to live in one of the greatest places on Earth. We share a responsibility and commitment to keep it that way, and I’m passionate about doing my part to pass along these blessings and more to our future generations,” Xiarhos said.

About Steve Xiarhos

Steve Xiarhos (R – 5th Barnstable) was elected to serve as State Representative on November 3, 2020 and was sworn into office on January 6, 2021. He is currently serving his second term of office.

This session, Steve is proud to continue serving as the Assistant Ranking Minority Member of the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security, working hard to make Cape Cod a safer place to live and work. He is additionally gratified to continue service as the Ranking Minority Member on the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs, working to promote the interests of citizens who served in uniform. New this session, Steve serves as a member of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means, helping to set state fiscal policy, including in particular the annual state budget. And, he serves as a member of the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery, fighting hard to win the war against opioids and to provide appropriate services to those who need them.

Currently, Steve lives in Barnstable with his fiancee, Denise L. Kalbach, who is a Family Nurse Practitioner. Steve is also a proud parent of four children. He is a Gold Star Father, in honor of his oldest son, Nicholas. Nick Xiarhos died at age 21 on the battlefield during Operation Enduring Freedom. He perished while going to the rescue of fellow Marines in combat as part of ‘Operation Strike of the Sword’ in the Garmsir district of Helmand Province Afghanistan on July 23, 2009. Steve’s other son, Alexander, serves as a School Resource Officer for the Yarmouth Police Department. Steve’s identical twin daughters, Elizabeth and Ashlynne, serve in the hospitality industry.

Steve is the grandson of Greek immigrants and he’s a devoted, lifelong American Patriot. He is the son and grandson of United States Army, Air Force, and Merchant Marine Veterans. As a Gold Star Father and given his patriotic background, he has a strong desire to serve our country and assist and support the men and women of America’s armed forces, first responders, veterans and military families. He is perhaps best known for founding Big Nick’s Ride for the Fallen, the largest annual charitable motorcycle ride on Cape Cod, in memory of Nicholas and all of those with ties to the Cape and Islands who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Steve also hosts the largest blood drive on the Cape and Islands for Cape Cod Healthcare in honor of Nicholas every February on his birthday. He also has successfully initiated and coordinated many other community fundraising and awareness events including the YPD BLUE 5K Run for a Reason and the First Responder Appreciation Freedom Ride.

Steve was born and raised in New Bedford, Massachusetts. In the summer of 1979, he found work as a seasonal Summer Reserve Police Officer, patrolling the town’s beaches during tourist season. One day, he received a call from the town, saying that he was being hired to be a full-time Patrol Officer. He accepted, beginning a 40-year career with the Yarmouth Police Department. During those four decades of service, Steve was promoted to the ranks of Detective, School Resource Officer, Patrol Sergeant, Lieutenant, Patrol Force Commander, Detective Division Commander, and eventually Deputy Chief of Police. He retired from the police department on December 8, 2019.

Steve is a graduate of Anna Maria College, Northeastern University, and Cape Cod Community College (where he majored in Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement). Throughout his career, Steve attended numerous specialized training courses and is a graduate of the Babson College Command Training Course and the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar. He is the recipient of 22 various police department awards and decorations including Officer of the Year, Yarmouth Area Chamber of Commerce Person of the Year, Rotary Club of Yarmouth Vocational Service Award, Mothers Against Drunk Driving Officer of the Year, and the Barnstable County Human Rights Commission Rosenthal Award.

Alongside his other work within the community, Steve is proud to be a member of the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod, a volunteer organization which helps to build affordable housing for Cape Cod families. Steve also serves as an Ambassador for Independence House, Inc., which is Hyannis-based counseling and advocacy center to address and prevent domestic and sexual violence. He has been the recipient of several honorary recognitions in recent years, including being named Cape Cod Times’ Person of the Year, Sandwich Chamber of Commerce Ambassador of the Year, Massachusetts Military Support Foundation Citizen of the Year, the New England Police Benevolent Association Legislator of the Year, and the American Kennel Club Legislator of the Year.

Steve also participated in and completed numerous road races including the Marine Corps and Boston Marathons as well as the Marine Corps Honor Run, the Falmouth Road Race, Boston Firefighters 10K, the Boston Run to Remember, the Marine Corps Marathon 10K, the Sandwich Annual Thanksgiving 5K, Sandwich Annual First Day 5K, and the Cape Cod Athletic Club Annual Grand Prix.

About the 5th Barnstable District

The 5th Barnstable District in the Massachusetts House of Representatives spans portions of several Cape Cod communities, as follows:

• Barnstable (Precincts 10, 11, and 12 only)
• Bourne (Precincts 1, 2, 3, 5A, and 7 only)
• Sandwich

Quick Updates

September 22, 2023

Hello Friends! A few updates on some big issues this morning:

-I recently joined colleagues in sending a letter to President Biden and Congressional leaders urging them to take swift and decisive action to reform our nation’s immigration laws. My intent is that federal legislation/action is desperately needed to stem the tide of migrants entering our nation illegally.

– I also recently signed on to legislation (HD4561) to amend our state’s Right to Shelter Law, clarifying that it is intended to apply only to sheltering United States citizens (and those here under legal right) in time of need. If you are not in my district, I urge you to contact your legislator to support this legislation along with me.

– On a similar note, I urge everyone to contact your elected officials in opposition to HD4420, a bill seeking to make major changes to our state’s firearms laws. I remain opposed to this bill.

– As always, if you’re looking for more information on these and other issues, please feel free to contact my office. You can also learn more on the Massachusetts House and Senate Website, which has a wealth of information about pending bills. You can also find your legislator if you’re unsure what district you live in. Here’s the link: https://malegislature.gov.

Enjoy your Friday!

Rep. Steve Xiarhos Remarks to Convention of States Assembly

Massachusetts Statehouse – September 7, 2023

The following is the prepared text of remarks delivered by State Representative Steve Xiarhos (R – 5th Barnstable) at the Massachusetts Statehouse on September 7, 2023. Representative Xiarhos was addressing attendees at an assembly in the Hall of Flags in support of Resolutions calling on Article V of the United States Constitution for the convening of a Convention of the States. Representative Xiarhos is the presenting sponsor of this measure in the Massachusetts House of Representatives during the 2023-2024 legislative session.

– – – – –

Dear Friends –

WELCOME TO THE PEOPLE’S HOUSE — IN BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS — WHERE OUR AMERICAN FREEDOM WAS BORN!

Thank you so very much for being here today and for asking me to share a few words with you.

I think it’s fitting to note that we are here in the Massachusetts Statehouse.

Massachusetts is well known for the role it played in the formation of our great nation. Everyone knows about the Boston Tea Party, which happened right across town. And, everyone knows about Lexington and Concord, which happened just down the road a bit.

But here, right here in the Massachusetts Statehouse, this is where the ideals upon which our nation was founded are alive and well. This is where we work on those principles each and every day.

For us Bay Staters, the Statehouse is democracy’s home address.

It’s that spirit of democracy, and an innate desire to protect and perfect our democracy, which is why we’re here today. It’s a cause I believe in deeply on a personal level.

My son — United States Marine Corporal Nicholas G. Xiarhos — rests in peace in his beloved dress blues in our Massachusetts National Cemetery, forever frozen in time at age 21. Nicholas and his Marines fought, bled, and died for our nation, to protect our freedom and our democracy and I am not about to see those freedoms undermined or abandoned.

We are blessed in this nation to have a blueprint for democracy, one handed down to us by our nation’s Founding Fathers back in 1787. In fact, we will celebrate Constitution Day coming up on September 17 to commemorate the Constitutional Convention and the document it bestowed to us. And, what a marvel that document is.

Our Constitution remains the oldest surviving plan of democratic government in the free world.

It’s brilliance is unrivaled!

Our Founding Fathers knew how important it was to create a system of government that would withstand the test of time and protect those God-given liberties they fought so hard for as part of the American Revolution, the ideals expressed just a few years before in the Declaration of Independence. Ideals that life, liberty, and happiness were the underpinnings of any good nation, as well as the principle that all men are created equal. And, as they knew that men are not angels, they created a system of checks and balances and reserved powers to make sure that freedom would not be undermined.

Today, we continue to enjoy the blessings bestowed upon us by the Constitution. This is something I know well, as I am privileged to be a practitioner of our democracy every day through my service as a State Representative from the 5th Barnstable District on Cape Cod. I call it “The Fightin’ 5th” and it’s a job I love dearly.

But, here’s the point. For all of our Constitution’s magnificence and enduring importance, it is not a perfect document. After all, nothing man-made is ever truly perfect. And, that’s why we are all here today.

Like any other document, the Constitution was meant to be changed over time, when needed, by way of amendment. In fact, even the Founding Fathers realized the Constitution as originally drafted wasn’t the final word. That’s why they created the Bill of Rights, arguably one of the most important parts of our Constitution, by way of amendment soon after the Constitution was ratified.

The Constitution sets forth two ways it may be amended. The first and most common way is for two-thirds of Congress to propose an amendment, which then must be ratified by three-fourths of the legislatures of the states.

This process has withstood the test of time.

But, many of us look around these days and wonder why there hasn’t been an amendment to our Constitution ratified since 1992. In fact, the 27th Amendment, which requires that Congressional pay raises not take effect until the next Congress, took 202 years to be ratified by the states after being proposed by the first Congress alongside 11 other amendments, ten of which became the Bill of Rights.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s noticed that there are a few things that we could consider changing about how our government works. And, I’m sure I’m not the only one who knows that these changes are difficult if not impossible to make by way of Congressional amendments.

So, there is another way to amend the Constitution, and it’s set forth right in Article 5. It’s a process that hearkens back to the first three words of the Constitution, reminding us that in America the power resides in “We, the People,” and that power not expressly granted to the federal government are reserved to the several states.

Article 5 allows two-thirds of state legislatures to call for a so-called Convention of States to consider and propose amendments to the Constitution, which then can be ratified and take effect as if they had been proposed by Congress.

I am proud to be the sponsor of the bill that would call for Massachusetts to join the growing chorus of states calling for a Convention of States this year.

Why is this important?

Well, it’s pretty simple. I’ve been in elected office for just three years now, and in that time I’ve learned something pretty simple: government is not inclined to limit or to take away its own power. That’s something we see all the time here on the state level, and it’s definitely true when it comes to our federal government.

For years, presidents have called for line item veto authority to constrain the power of Congress to spend money. It’s a power that executives in many states, including our own Governor here in Massachusetts, are privileged to wield. But when the President considers a spending bill, it’s just an up-or-down. A Convention of States could solve that problem by proposing a Constitutional amendment that Congress would never pass itself.

Likewise, how about a balanced budget amendment? The Massachusetts Constitution requires that our state pass a balanced budget every year. (And, thank God it does!) But the federal Constitution has no such requirement.

That’s precisely why our nation gets deeper and deeper and deeper into debt each and every year. Isn’t it time for the states to impose fiscal discipline on the runaway spending that Congress engages in? A Convention of States could do just that.

How about term limits? The Constitution proposes qualifications of office for Senators and Congressmen. But there is no term limit. Our country was built on an understanding that people from all walks of life would bring their perspectives to our nation’s capital. And then, they were meant to go home. Nobody was meant to be a career politician. But, mark my words, Congress is never going to agree to term limits. Many states have passed initiatives, but isn’t this an issue best addressed by one national rule?

The list goes on and on, but the principle is the same. It is clear that it’s time for our nation to consider a Convention of State to limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, impose fiscal restraints, and place term limits on federal officials. And, that’s exactly what legislation I’ve presented here in Massachusetts would call for.

Nineteen states have already passed the Convention of States resolution. We need 34 states to get to a convention, and it takes 38 states to ratify any amendments that are proposed.

Let’s all realize how important this process is to our democracy. And, let’s all remember that this process would not harm our Constitution or our government – it’s a process called for by the Constitution itself and is meant to improve the Constitution and the way our federal government works, not undermine it.

In his famous Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln said:

…we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.

My son died for our freedom. Like so many others who came before him, my son died to protect this nation. Today, as a Gold Star Father, I stand before you as one who is resolved that his death will not be in vain.

We must do all we can to make sure that government of the people, by the people, and for the people is as perfect as it can be, and to keep the hopes and dreams of our Founding Fathers alive and well in this, our ever changing world.

As always, the power to accomplish all of this rests with us. We, the people.

Please join with me in calling for a Convention of States to make this happen. Let’s pass this resolution, let’s hold a Convention of States, and let’s have the people decide what is best for us.

I am a free Massachusetts man because millions of Americans fought, bled, and died for me. And I promise that those sacrifices will not be in vain.

Thank you, and may God continue to bless OUR Commonwealth of Massachusetts, our powerful Nation, and our great Constitution!

###

Letters to Gov. Healey re. Migrant Housing Crisis

September 6, 2023

I think it’s concerning and offensive that increasing numbers of illegal immigrants are being housed by the state at taxpayer expense at Joint Base Cape Cod and in private local hotels and motels. I acknowledge the failure of our federal officials to secure the border and pass needed immigration reform, which chiefly caused this crisis. I also believe every person in our state should be treated with compassion and dignity. But, I look at situations like the one at Liberty Lodge in Sandwich and wonder why we have veterans at risk of homelessness while across town illegal immigrants receive free shelter and other benefits.

I recently sent a letter to Governor Healey expressing my concerns and demanding action under the emergency declaration she issued recently. This is a situation of great importance, including right here on Cape Cod, and I am not okay with the way it’s currently being dealt with by our state.

More recently I joined several colleagues in the House to send a follow-up letter elaborating further on my concerns…

Rep. Xiarhos Statement Opposing HD4420

July 20, 2023

I’ve been asked by many people my position on legislation filed by my colleague, Representative Day, to significantly change our state’s gun laws (HD4420). This bill has received a lot of attention in the press recently, and it’s generated more than 100 inquiries from constituents to my office. As I continue responding individually to inquiries, I want to state my position publicly here: I do not support HD4420.

Friends, you all know that I served as a Deputy Police Chief for many years. As such, I am very familiar with our state’s procedures for licensing gun owners. I am very familiar with responsible firearm ownership, and I am proud to support the 2nd Amendment.

I am also, sadly, very familiar with the dangers posed by criminals with guns. The murder of my co-worker, Yarmouth Police Department K9 Sergeant Sean Gannon, and the attack on his devoted K9 companion, Nero, at the hands of a gun-wielding violent felon will forever haunt me.

I must say that I am growing increasingly concerned with the prevalence of guns being used to commit crimes nationwide. It is truly worrisome to watch society become more violent. While there are many, many reasons behind this trend, it also would be wrong to deny that guns sometimes factor into violent crime, and that troubles me.

To the extent any of our laws require improvement, such as to address issues identified by law enforcement in the name of public safety, I am always open to reviewing credible legislation. That’s my job as a State Representative, and on issues like this one, it’s something I have expertise in as a former cop. I believe very strongly in the need to keep the public safe. But, I believe HD4420 goes too far.

When if comes to Massachusetts — a state with already some of the most-restrictive gun laws in the nation — I think our top priority should be enforcing our existing gun laws. We need to crack down on the illegal possession, trafficking, and use of firearms. In particular, we need to take guns out of the hands of violent criminals.

If we’re not sufficiently enforcing the laws we already have, enacting more laws won’t help much. What’s more, implementing even-more-restrictive gun laws and enforcing them against law-abiding, responsible firearms owners takes away people’s constitutional rights without justification, and that’s not okay with me.

I am additionally concerned by rumors that this bill might advance through the legislative process without sufficient public input, hearings, and vetting. This is not acceptable. Should this occur, a bad bill would be further weakened by bad process, and that would concern me even more. At the very least, significant policy changes require a process that is open and accountable.

So, in response to many inquiries, my position is that if I am asked to vote on HD4420 in its current form, I will loudly vote no. I encourage everyone with an interest in this issue to continue contacting your elected officials to make your opinions known.

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