An Interview with State Representative Carmine Gentile

By Jeffrey Abramson  Correspondent
March 23, 2023

Now serving his ninth term in the State House, Carmine Gentile (D-13th Middlesex) now represents precincts 3 and 4 in Concord for the first time. Rep. Gentile’s district also includes Sudbury, and parts of Lexington, Lincoln, Marlborough, and Wayland.

Gentile is House vice chair of the Joint Committee on Higher Education. In that capacity, he is pushing for debt-free tuition at community colleges. Gov. Maura Healey’s budget already proposes paying the tuition costs for anyone over 25 attending a public community college. Gentile hopes free tuition at community colleges will be extended to all. He introduced a bill to add another $75 million to the budget to pay the tuition costs in spring of 2024 for all students at public community colleges. 

Gentile also serves on the House Environmental and Natural Resources committee. He introduced a bill to curb use of toxic pesticides on school grounds, including accompanying playing fields. Gentile’s bill would limit use of pesticides on school grounds to those that have EPA approval.

Gentile is also taking aim at another toxic pesticide, glyphosate. A suspected carcinogen once used in popular weed controls in now banned products such as Roundup, glyphosate can still be used commercially. Gentile would like to see it banned everywhere in the Commonwealth. Previous legislative sessions had some success going after use of neonicotinoids – insecticides that harm honeybees and other pollinators. Gentile hopes to build on that success. 

Gentile noted with approval the work of Wayland resident Jackson Madnick in developing an eco-friendly grass seed that requires far less watering or fertilizing than other grass seeds. The legislature’s manufacturing caucus gives out annual manufacturer of the year awards. Gentile noted that Madnick’s company, Pearl’s Premium Grass Seed, should receive consideration.

Another legislative priority for Gentile is passage of a same day voting bill. Qualified voters sometimes move from one address in a district to another but have not yet registered to vote at the new address. Same-day voting permits them to cast a ballot, accompanied by a registration affidavit.

As previously reported in The Concord Bridge on Dec. 9, 2022, Gentile is also leading efforts to get Massachusetts to join other states in calling for a new 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would restore to Congress the right to pass reasonable regulations of campaign spending. 

Among Gentile’s favorite moments as a state representative is welcoming school groups to the state house. Gentile noted that schoolchildren often ask the best questions, since they are so naturally curious and eager to learn.

Born in Watertown and living now in Sudbury with spouse Linda, Gentile has been an active leader in Boy Scouts for many years. He currently teaches merit badge courses in citizenship for Sudbury Troop 63.