BOSTON – Today Massachusetts
Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst) and Senate Minority Leader Bruce
Tarr (R-Gloucester) announced the appointments of Senators and retailers to the
Senate Task Force on Strengthening Massachusetts Local Retail. The task force
was established to work with the Senate to identify ways to help local
retailers become more competitive.
are very excited to bring these business leaders from the retail world in to
work with labor unions and Senators,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg. “We
are committing to finding solutions to the struggles local retailers are facing
in this ever-changing economy.”
are critical to the success of our main streets and our economy, providing 1 in
5 jobs in our state,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr. “This sector is
facing many challenges, and the situation demands the type of collaborative
approach the task force will bring to bear on those challenges.”
President Stan Rosenberg appointed Senator Michael Rodrigues, who will serve as
Chair, as well as Senators Mike Barrett, Julian Cyr, Jason Lewis, and Kathleen
O’Connor-Ives. Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr appointed Senators Vinny
DeMacedo and Don Humason.
retailers appointed by Senate President Rosenberg are Judy Herrell, owner of
Herrell’s Ice Cream in Northampton, Peter Kavanaugh of La-Z-Boy Furniture
Galleries in Dartmouth, Barry S. Rotman, Board Chair of Rotman’s Furniture in
Worcester, and Malcolm Sherman, a retail consultant with expertise in turning
around struggling businesses. The retailers appointed by Senate Minority Leader
Tarr are Christopher Carlozzi, State Director of the National Federation of
Independent Business, John Cahill of Landry & Arcani Rugs in Salem, and
Christopher Connolly, President of the Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers
remaining appointees are Jim Carvalho, Political Director of the United Food
and Commercial Workers Local 1445, Harris Gruman, Executive Director of the
SEIU Massachusetts State Council, and Jon Hurst, President of the Retailers
Association of Massachusetts.
Task Force will address a number of key factors, including challenges faced by
local retailers in competing against online sellers, closures of local
retailers and the impact that has on local economies and property tax bases,
initiatives by local retailers to increase their market share, and how state
and local governments can encourage purchases from local retailers.
member will also represent the Retailers Association of Massachusetts. Outside
experts with expertise in business and economics may also be consulted to
assist the Task Force in facilitating its work.
Task Force will report back to the Senate President and Senate Minority Leader
by June 1, 2018.
Today I was pleased to participate on a
panel at the Municipal Climate Change Summit held by the Baker-Polito
Administration to mark the one year anniversary of Executive Order 569, “Establishing
an Integrated Climate Change Strategy for the Commonwealth.” The Order provides
collaboration between the Office of the Governor, the Executive Office of
Energy and Environmental Affairs, the Executive Office of Public Safety and
Security, and key state, local and environmental stakeholders. Furthermore, the
Order lays out a comprehensive approach to further reduce greenhouse gas
emissions, safeguard residents, municipalities and businesses from the impacts
of climate change, and build a more resilient Commonwealth.
Posted below is a press release
describing the event and some photos from its proceedings:
Photos courtesy of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
Baker-Polito Administration Marks Anniversary of Climate Change Executive Order with Municipal Summit
Summit highlights work accomplished to date and outlines new initiatives
BOSTON – To mark the one-year
anniversary of Executive Order 569, “Establishing an Integrated Climate Change
Strategy for the Commonwealth,” the Baker-Polito Administration today held a
Municipal Climate Change Summit to report on the ongoing implementation of the
Order, announce several new climate change initiatives, and provide an
opportunity for communities across the state to come together to learn more
about the administration’s Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) program.
The Summit is part of Climate Week – a series of events to highlight
Massachusetts’ efforts to prepare for and combat climate change and to
celebrate the one year anniversary of Governor Baker’s signing of Executive
Order 569. The Order, which builds on the administration’s nation-leading
efforts to reduce emissions, lays out a comprehensive approach to further
mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, safeguard residents, municipalities and
businesses from the impacts of climate change, and build a more resilient
“Last fall, I was pleased to sign
Executive Order 569 and outline an integrated strategy to continue reducing
emissions under the Global Warming Solutions Act, build resiliency in our cities
and towns, and direct new efforts to work across state government in each
Executive Office,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Today, we recognize the
significant progress Massachusetts has made to implement the Order and discuss
plans for reducing emissions in the transportation sector, set an emissions
reduction target for 2030 under our Global Warming Solutions Act, and launch a
suite of new climate change planning tools that will help cities and towns and
state government prepare for and adapt to climate change across the
“Joining with our municipal
partners, state legislators and environmental advocates through the Municipal
Climate Change Summit is a perfect way to celebrate Climate Week and mark the
Anniversary of Executive Order 569,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito.
“Partnerships with cities and towns are a cornerstone of our work in the
Baker-Polito Administration, and we’ve carried this approach into our
nation-leading efforts on climate change. We look forward to our continued partnership
with local leaders to combat and mitigate the effects of a changing climate.”
At the summit attended by over 150
municipalities, environmental advocates and other stakeholders, Governor Baker
reinforced the Commonwealth’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions
by announcing the Administration would work next to curb emissions from the
transportation sector. To help the administration move forward on this issue,
three public listening sessions will be held in the coming months for stakeholders
from across the state to identify regional policies to reduce emissions,
develop a comprehensive regional strategy for the deployment of electric
vehicles, and discuss strategies to increase the resilience of transportation
“The Baker-Polito Administration has
worked aggressively across the state and with regional partners to reduce
emissions and to ensure that we meet the limits established under the Global
Warming Solutions Act. Our next target for new policies that will lead to further
reductions is the transportation sector and we’re looking forward to rolling up
our sleeves and finding solutions,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs
Secretary Matthew Beaton. “At the same time, we’re committed to dealing with
the ongoing impacts of climate change by working across state government
through our Climate Coordinators and providing the best science, planning
tools, and technical support to help prepare our cities and towns, last year
spending over $150 million on adaption and mitigation efforts.”
In an effort to continue progress
towards the Commonwealth’s goal of 80 percent emission reductions by 2050, over
the next year the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental affairs will
work to establish an interim emission reduction target for 2030 pursuant to
Executive Order 569. This process will be through development of the Clean
Energy and Climate Change 2030. The Executive Office will work with the
Implementation Advisory Committee of the Global Warming Solutions Act to study
and set a target for 2030.
Additionally, Governor Baker
announced the release of statewide climate change projections developed through
a partnership between the state and the Northeast Climate Science Center at
UMass-Amherst. Working with scientists at the Center, the Commonwealth is
releasing data that shows how temperature and precipitation will change over
this century, data on coastal sea level rise and storm surge with coverage for
the entire coast, and hydrological data to examine inland flooding in our river
basins. The data will be freely available to the public on a new statewide
climate change website to be launched this fall.
“Stronger and more frequent storms
in the future would mean more costly damages to our infrastructure, stress our
social services, and possibly lead to greater loss of life or injury,” said
Secretary of Public Safety and Security Daniel Bennett. “To mitigate these
risks we have partnered with the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental
Affairs to develop a first of its kind integrated State Climate Adaptation and
Hazard Mitigation plan that will develop strategies to deal with climate change
impacts and other natural hazards.”
“Reducing emissions from the
transportation sector is difficult and we need all of our best ideas at the table,”
said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “I’m delighted that
we’re announcing these 3 listening sessions to gather feedback on how we can
significantly reduce emissions from this sector by working across the region
with partners, deploy new technologies, and ensure that as we continue to deal
with the impacts of climate change our roads, bridges, and other critical
infrastructure are able to withstand heavy rain, wind, increased heat, and
other extreme weather.”
At the core of the administration’s
efforts on climate change is working to create a strong partnership between
state government and our cities and towns who are on the front lines of climate
change. Under the Commonwealth’s new Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness
program, we’ve announced grant awards totaling over $1.1 million to 20% of the
communities in our state. To help communities complete this program, our
Executive Office of Energy and Environmental affairs, working in strong
partnership with the Nature Conservancy has put together a training program and
a new community resilience building guide that will walk cities and towns
through the climate change projections and the planning process for assessing
risk and identifying priority actions. This guide will be sent out to all
communities who are enrolled in the MVP program in early October.
In the year since signing Executive
Order 569, the Baker-Polito Administration has taken numerous steps to mitigate
and adapt to climate change, including:
Issuing final regulations that build
upon the Commonwealth’s nation-leading efforts to further reduce greenhouse gas
(GHG) emissions and protect communities, residents, and infrastructure from the
impacts of climate change;
Initiating a first in the nation
state climate adaptation and hazard mitigation plan that will cover all sectors
of government, municipalities, natural resources, and local economies;
Designating Climate Change
Coordinators in each executive branch office to spearhead climate change
efforts for their agencies,
Producing a vulnerability assessment
framework for state agencies; and
Developing a vulnerability
assessment framework and technical assistance programs for cities and towns and
distributing over $1.1 million dollars to these communities to aid their
“We are proud to collaborate with
the Baker-Polito Administration on nation-leading initiatives to reduce and
address climate change,” said Wayne Klockner, State Director of the Nature
Conservancy in Massachusetts. “Our efforts will help communities and the
Commonwealth lead by example to enhance safety, avoid costs, and conserve
“Our leadership on climate change is
now more vital than ever to reduce the future threat of global warming and keep
Massachusetts healthy, strong and sustainable,” said Senate President Stan
Rosenberg (D-Amherst). “Commemorating the results we have achieved together to
address the future impacts of climate change in partnership with our
communities ensures we are doing our part to conserve the Commonwealth for
generations to come.”
“Our coastal communities are
threatened by sea level rise, our oceans are warming and our entire state is
threatened by extreme weather events,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Marc
R. Pacheco (D-Taunton), founding chair of the Senate Committee on Global
Warming and Climate Change. “Given these realities, I am pleased that the administration
is continuing to move forward in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions,
attempting to meet the legal requirements of the Global Warming Solutions Act
and fighting the immense threats of climate change – all of which negatively
impact our economy, environment and public health. We must move beyond these
existing orders in our legislative session to codify a climate adaptation
management plan in statute, as the Senate has done three times. The
transportation sector is our largest greenhouse gas emitter, and I’m pleased
that the administration is looking at what we can do to lower those emissions.
I look forward to working with them on strategies to protect our Commonwealth
while using the research provided in our work with Georgetown University’s
Transportation and Climate Initiative, along with the best practices of
“Responding to climate change is a
daunting task and a priority, one which requires focused efforts at all levels
of government. Governor Baker’s Executive Order is bringing that focus to major
initiatives in state government and capitalizing on the tools provided by the
legislature to make progress on this front,” said State Senator Bruce Tarr
(R-Goucester). “In turn, municipal leadership and action is continuing to move
our state forward to build resiliency through adaptation.”
In addition to the new regulations
and last summer’s bi-partisan, comprehensive energy legislation, to further
reduce emissions and accelerate state and regional efforts to combat climate
change while continuing to grow the economy, Massachusetts worked
collaboratively with eight other Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states
participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) to finalize
negotiations for a new program. The plan aims to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions beyond 2020, and calls for an additional 30 percent cap reduction
between 2021 and 2030, relative to the RGGI 2020 levels.
Today I hope each of us will take
the time to reflect on the terrorist attacks that struck our nation on
September 11, 2001, and to remember those who tragically lost their lives
because of the attacks and the family members, friends and communities that
continue to be impacted by those losses.
I hope that we will also remember with
gratitude the police officers, firefighters, emergency medical personnel and
other responders whose courage and dedication that day and in the days that
followed inspired all of us and provided our nation with strength at a time
when we needed it most to confront and rise above terror. Their sacrifices must never be
This morning I was honored to join
with the men and women of the Gloucester Fire and Police Departments and U.S.
Coast Guard Station Gloucester in a solemn memorial service to commemorate the bravery
of those who responded when terror attacked, and to express support for those
who stand ready today to answer the call of duty. Photos of that service are
I am very pleased to share with you that T officials have confirmed for me that the project to reconstruct the Annisquam River Bridge in Gloucester, which serves the Newbury/Rockport line, is underway – contactor’s may submit bids until September 12th.
For several years, I have worked with the MBTA to move forward with plans to reconstruct this antiquated bridge. Inspections have confirmed that the bride, first constructed in 1911, is in desperate need of attention.
The work will consist of replacing the drawbridge over the river in two phases- commuter travel will be maintained by temporarily utilizing a single line of the two track bridge. The extensive project will include removing and replacing the existing two track moveable drawbridge complete with new piers, abutments, signal control tower, and electrical systems to control the bridge.
Estimates set the value of the project at $54.5 million and three to four years of construction time.
The project design is complete, as you can see from the photos, and is expected to be placed before the full MBTA Fiscal Management and Control Board at a meeting scheduled next month, I plan on attending in order to advocate for the project.
Today, I was honored to have the support of many colleagues in the Senate as we adopted my resolution to recognize September as National Sepsis Awareness Month. Gloucester resident Ronnie Robertson has worked with me, and others, over the years to raise awareness of this life-threatening illness.
Sepsis is the body’s overwhelming response to infection that can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death. In other words, it’s your body’s over active and toxic response to an infection.
Your immune system usually works to fight germs (bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites) to prevent infection. If an infection does occur, your immune system will try to fight it. What happens when the immune system stops fighting the germs and begins to turn on itself? This is the start of sepsis.
Who’s at a higher risk of developing sepsis? Because they have a higher risk of contracting an infection the very young, the very old, those with chronic illnesses, and those with a weakened or impaired immune system are often diagnosed.
Sepsis is not diagnosed based on an infection itself. If you have more than one of the symptoms of sepsis, especially if there are signs of an infection or you fall into one of the higher risk groups, your doctor will likely suspect sepsis.
Severe sepsis includes organ dysfunction, such as difficulty breathing (problems with the lungs), low or no urine output (kidneys), abnormal liver tests (liver), and changes in mental status (brain). Nearly all patients with severe sepsis require treatment in an intensive care unit.
Sepsis has been named as the most expensive in-patient cost in American hospitals at nearly $24 billion each year. Early awareness is critical because forty percent of patients diagnosed with severe sepsis do not survive.
The Commander of the Captain Lester S. Wass, American Legion Post No. 3 in Gloucester, Mark L. Nestor, announced that his post has established the Hurricane Harvey Legionnaires Assistance Fund to help their fellow American Legionnaires in Houston, Texas, whose lives have been impacted by the storm.
Commander Nestor in his statement said “Our hearts and sympathy reach out to them and it cries for our support. One segment of the population of Houston immediately comes to mind, namely, my fellow Legionnaires that have been terribly affected by this unwarranted catastrophe. These are men and women who, when called upon, donned a uniform and swore to protect and defend this country. Many of these same men and women, throughout the years, without hesitation, have placed themselves in harm’s way, often at great personal cost, and rise up and defend this nation against all odds. Many have lost everything, their homes, their possessions and their livelihood, and many have no insurance or the financial means to recover or replace.”
The Commander invites your support for the victims and affirms that 100% of the donations provided will go to assist those Houston Legionnaires who are in need.
Please send a check, for any amount, to “Capt. Lester S. Wass, American Legion Post No. 3, P.O. Box 133, Gloucester, MA 01931-0122", and annotate on the check “Legionnaires Assistance Fund”.
Welcome to Tarr Talk, which is created to offer you convenient access to information about state government, public policy, and important events that are shaping the future of our state. My staff and I are working to give you timely insights into the issues faced by the legislature and the events that relate to these issues. I hope that you find this site to be a valuable resource, and that you'll visit us often for a view of what's happening on Beacon Hill and beyond.
I or a member of my staff hold office hours throughout the district at the following locations every month:
Every Wednesday from 9:00am-12:00pm at the Rowley Town Hall Annex:
39 Central Street Rowley, MA 01969 (978) 325-3661
The last Friday of every month from 12:30pm-1:30pm at the Rose Baker Senior Center:
6 Manuel F. Lewis St. Gloucester, MA 01930
You may also call my office at (617) 722-1600 and speak with a member of my staff to discuss any issue or to schedule a meeting.