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John Binienda

Massachusetts State Representative

Rep. John J. Binienda, D-Worcester, taught public school in Leicester for 18 years before becoming a state representative for the 17th Worcester District. The Dean of the Worcester Delegation, Rep. Binienda was chairman of the House Committee on Rules, which oversees the movement of hundreds of bills over the course of the biennial legislative session. 

Before his death in late August, he received the Robert F. Kennedy Lifetime Achievement Award for his 28 years of service to the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Rep. Binienda also received an honorary doctorate in Public Administration from his alma mater Worcester State University.

He attended Quinsigamond Community College before attending Worcester State. As one of eight children, he was paying for college himself and working two jobs at the time.

“He was fond of the school,” said his son Jamie Binienda. “He said the college offered many opportunities for adults and traditional-age college students.”

Mr. Binienda said his father was always advocating on behalf of teachers and funding for schools.

Among his accomplishments in his 28-year tenure, Rep. Binienda included securing funding for the construction of several new schools in his district, such as the new Leicester High School, the Arthur Sullivan Middle School, and Gates Lane. Every year, Rep. Binienda worked to see that funding for key programs in his district were included in the budget, including funds for the South Worcester Neighborhood Improvement Corporation, Dismas House, the Massachusetts Biomedical Initiative and the talking books program run out of the Worcester Public Library.

Rep. Binienda also helped to secure $11.5 million for early education providers and programs in the current budget; worked to pass the “Merit Bill,” which expanded tax breaks for veterans; pushed to enact laws that would increase protection for police officers while on the job; and has helped secure funding for local Councils on Aging and senior pharmacy programs.

He was recently named an Alumni Guardian by Quinsigamond Community College, for his service to the community and the college. To help celebrate QCC’s 50th anniversary, the college is naming 50 guardians who have made a difference in their lives and the lives of those around them.

Rep. Binienda announced earlier this year he would not run for re-election.

"I absolutely love serving in the Legislature. The 17th Worcester District is in my blood. I know the people, the business owners, every sidewalk and street sign, and families going back generations," Rep. Binienda said in a statement at the time.  “It’s been quite a ride. I am proud of my record and I know I’ve made a difference in many people’s lives. That is what public service is all about. You can’t ask for much more than that.”