25, IN A RELATIONSHIP, SOUTH BOSTON
BUDGET DIRECTOR FOR REPRESENTATIVE STEPHEN KULIK
Coming from a political family from Greenfield, Merrigan is well-suited to handle the avalanche of funding requests that come into the office of her boss, House Ways and Means Committee Vice Chair Stephen Kulik. Growing up, she helped her state representative father campaign, and knew she wanted to be a part of the political action.
Since coming to the State House in 2006, Merrigan has managed to maintain her "chic but comfy" fashion sense while helping to keep the commonwealth's finances in order.
Job title: Budget director for Representative Stephen Kulik, vice-chairman of House Committee on Ways and Means
Held since: January 2011
Marital/relationship status; children; pets: In a relationship
Home: South Boston
Originally from: Greenfield
What you do: The Ways and Means Committee is responsible for crafting the state budget each year, and as a result a number of requests for state funding come into our office. My primary responsibility is to handle all of the budget inquiries and requests made to Representative Kulik, identify his priorities, and brief him on the issues we are lobbied on.
Additionally, day-to-day tasks include meeting with constituents, drafting legislation, drafting press releases, monitoring the legislative process for the representative's priorities and those of the 1st Franklin District, and attending meetings with legislators, administration officials, and staff.
One experience that made you glad to do this work: In June of 2007, a Constitutional Convention was held to take a vote to protect same-sex marriage by keeping it off a statewide ballot. I found myself on the fourth floor as the vote was about to take place. Upstairs in the House gallery, I walked in and sat next to a gay couple holding hands in anticipation of the final vote. The energy was both nervous and uneasy. With the roll call over, the clerk began to read the tally — the measure to move the question to the ballot was defeated. I couldn't help but feel like I was sharing in the overwhelming joy of the people around me. It was a moment I will always remember.
Other jobs: Well, if I wasn't currently working at the State House, I like to believe I would be a highly successful personal chef Path to Beacon Hill: My father was a state representative, so from working on his campaigns at an early age, I took an interest in politics. Watching him network with people was something I loved, and I knew I wanted to one day do the same.
I began working full-time in 2006 as a legislative aide for a former state representative from my hometown's district, and have been here ever since.
Personal style: Chic but comfy
Favorite thing about working in the State House: The people, and the 21st Amendment sliders