Friday, June 22, 2018

Northeast Seafood Coalition Annual Meeting

An extremely productive discussion about strengthening the commercial fishing industry at the Northeast Seafood Coalition annual meeting at the Gloucester House Restaurant. Michael Pentony the Regional Administrator for NOAA Fisheries’ Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office was the invited keynote speaker. The meeting was an opportunity for the Coalition to elect new members and a Board of Directors and to facilitate a robust conversation about ongoing Federal policies, groundfish, and state developments.

The Northeast Seafood Coalition is a non-profit organization representing commercial fishing entities in the northeastern United States on political and policy issues.


Canadian Rowers Ready

The International Dory Race gathering was lots of fun. We welcomed old friends and made some new ones too. The Canadian racers will compete against the rowers from Gloucester this Saturday. Come down to Gloucester's Inner Harbor and enjoy this unique event for a Saturday 10 AM start.


Thursday, June 21, 2018

International Dory Races Reception

Tonight we are celebrating the return of the Canadian dory racers representing the Lunenburg, Nova Scotia area at the ‘Canadian Welcome Reception’ at the St. Peter’s Club in Gloucester.

For more than 60 years rowers from Gloucester have competed with their Canadian counterparts in the International Dory Races. Dory boats are heavy and take great physical stamina to move with speed – perfect then to test the best of two harbor communities on the Atlantic maritime.

This Saturday, come to Gloucester's Inner Harbor, next to the Jodrey State Fish Pier, and cheer on these competitors as they race from 10 AM to Noon in exciting head-to-head matches in Men's, Women's, Master's, Mixed Doubles and Junior Divisions. This is a fun and family friendly event. See you there.

Each year in the Spring Canadian rowers are hosted in a competition in Gloucester and in the fall Gloucester rowers venture to Canada for a competition in Lunenburg.


Senate Speaks Out Against Separating Children From Families on the Border

The practice of separating children from their families at the border has motivated many to express concerns for the well-being of children. My colleagues and I in the sent voted unanimously to communicate our desire that these circumstances change as quickly as possible. The attached is our letter to the President. We are all grateful that he has signed an Executive Order to reverse this policy.


Grand Bargain Bill - Adopted

The House and Senate have now adopted a bill, dubbed the 'Grand Bargain', which addresses several questions scheduled to be subject to ballot referenda in the state-wide election in November.

Under the bill, the minimum wage will go from $11 to $15 incrementally over five years and would eliminate time-and-a-half pay on Sundays and holidays- phased out over five years, a $1 billion paid family and medical leave program, paid for with contributions from employers and employees, will provide support for workers and their families, and a permanent annual sales tax holiday will be implemented every August.

The minimum wage ballot question called for a rate hike to $15 over four years with it indexed to automatically go up with the inflation rate. Leadership of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, the organization that sponsored the ballot question to roll the sales tax back to its traditional rate of 5%, agreed to remove the question as part of accepting concessions from Raise Up Massachusetts, the coalition which organized the wage and paid family leave ballot questions.

Here is a link to the text of the approved bill, H4640, An Act Relative To Minimum Wage, Paid Family Medical Leave And The Sales Tax Holiday and summary information about the contents.

Grand Bargain Powerpoint


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

2018 Unsung Heroines

The 2018 Unsung Heroines ceremony took place today in the Great Hall of the State House to honor and recognize extraordinary women from every corner of the Commonwealth for their accomplishments and service to others. Two of our honorees, Carol Pallazolla and Susan Williams Canning are women from Gloucester.

The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women created this initiative 15 years ago as a way to celebrate those who create positive changes in the lives of others. I am grateful that each of the women honored today have volunteered their time, efforts and talent.

Susan has volunteered with the Cape Ann Veterans Services Office for two decades and she is instrumental in the city’s Memorial and Veterans Day services and parades. Her dedication to our service men and women both past and present is well known and greatly appreciated.

For more than 15 years Carol Pallazolla has volunteered to help bring pain relief to elders suffering from arthritis. She teaches pain relief classes, works with amputees, serves on several area non-profit boards including the Independent Living Center, and she is a driving force behind the Harbor Loop Summer Concert Series.

Congratulations to all of the women and join me in thanking them for making their communities better places to live.


Tuesday, June 19, 2018

A Comprehensive State Energy Plan

To help combat and mitigate the impacts of climate change, the Senate has now adopted legislation, S.2545, An Act To Promote A Clean Energy Future, which will produce measurable benefits in the health of our environment and residents.

Several of the amendments that I sponsored where adopted by the Senate including one that will generate, every three years, a comprehensive energy plan that would be based upon reasonable projections of our state’s energy demands for electricity. By better understanding what our state’s energy consumption has been, and likely will be in the future, we can be better informed as we make decisions that are good for the environment and that are cost effective.

I have advocated for this commonsense assessment tool for several years and I was pleased that Governor Charlie Baker included it as a key component of his Executive Order - Number 569, Establishing an Integrated Climate Change Strategy for the Commonwealth. My amendment was added to the final Senate bill with the support of my Senate colleagues. By periodically publishing a comprehensive energy plan, which will include reasonable projections of the Commonwealth’s energy demands for electricity, transportation, and building heat and air condition, we will help guide our strategies to meet our planned energy efficiency and conservation goals.