Jim, Kara, Tommy and Christopher
Jim was born in Springfield, MA and raised in West Springfield his entire life, the youngest of James “Red” and Peggy Welch’s five children. Growing up, Jim learned honest hometown values from his parents and older siblings that he carries with him today.
Jim attended St. Thomas the Apostle grade school and later graduated from West Springfield High School. Upon graduating from West Springfield High, Jim attended Springfield Technical Community College then transferred and graduated from Westfield State College with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management. After graduating from Westfield State, Jim began his career in the Financial Industry with State Street Corporation and later with A.G. Edwards Financials.
In 2001 Jim began his career in public service, by joining the staff of then Rep. Stephen J. Buoniconti. In 2004 Jim was elected to the West Springfield City Council representing District 4. In January of 2005 Jim was elected to Represent the 6th Hampden District in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.
During his time in the House of Representatives, Jim served on the Committees of Ways and Means, Financial Services and as the Vice-Chair of the House Committee on Bills in Third Reading.
Currently, Jim serves as the Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing. He is also a member of the Senate Committee on Rules, the Senate Committee on Redistricting, the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, and is the Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Post Audit & Oversight. Additionally, he will serve on the new Joint Committee on Marijuana Policy.
Active in the community, Jim is a member of the West Springfield/Agawam Elks where he was selected as the 2010 “Irish Elk of the Year” and is also a member of the Dante Club. He has been a proud participant in Junior Achievement for the past 6 years at St. Thomas the Apostle School, and also serves on the Human Rights Committee for the May Institute. In 2006 he was selected as the West Springfield Democratic Town Committee’s “Democrat of the Year”.
Jim and his wife Kara (Flynn) reside in West Springfield with their two sons.