Thursday, March 22, 2018


Senator Tarr Adds Amendment to Expand Standards to Aid
Those Seeking Higher Education or Direct Path to Professional Training

BOSTON – Today, the Senate unanimously passed legislation designed to integrate financial topics such as investing, insurance, banking, and savings into existing school curricula for students. Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R- Gloucester) succeeded in including within the curricula framework outlined in the bill language intended to assist students in learning about saving, investing, and planning for higher education or post graduate professional training.

“Being able to go to college or obtain professional training after high school is an important goal for many students, and through this amendment they will be able to develop a plan to have the resources to get there. This is an important component of the financial literacy to which this bill aspires,” said Senator Tarr. “I am glad that the Senate agreed to support my proposal.”

Tarr’s amendment directs the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to create and implement school curricula and objectives on personal financial literacy for grades K-12 to better prepare graduates to pursue a college degree or post graduate training. In addition, the bill establishes other curricula standards that relate to personal finance matters including banking, understanding state and federal taxes, charitable giving, borrowing, online commerce, and housing rights and responsibilities.

“Personal financial security stems from the ability to work hard and save money and each of these can be enhanced by students learning how to create household budgets, manage debt, use the power of compounded interest, and understand the value of investing,” said Senator Tarr.

S.2343, An act relative to financial literacy in schools, sponsored by Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton), would allow personal financial literacy to be integrated within the existing mathematics, social sciences, technology, business, or other curricula where teachers have the capacity to teach financial literacy for all schools in the Commonwealth.


Monday, March 19, 2018

Registry of Motor Vehicles Will Suspend All Services Between Thursday PM & Monday AM

If you have any need to complete a transaction with the Registry of Motor Vehicles, whether online or in person, be aware that all RMV public functions will be unavailable from 7 PM, March 22 until 8 AM March 26. This applies to vehicle inspections at service stations, RMV functions at car dealerships and AAA office, and all RMV service locations.

The Registry will be switching to a brand new computer system, called ATLAS, this software will meet new federal and state requirements. The new systems will allow the state to issue federally mandated REAL ID credentials to the public who will need a REAL ID. Following the attacks of 9/11, Congress adopted laws to standardize IDs - a Real ID will be needed to board an airplane begging October of 2020.

The new computer system replaces one that is more than three decades old; it will have faster, easier, and more customer features. In addition, the RMV is significantly redesigning its web portal to provide customers with new online options and the ability to complete 13 new online functions, for a total of more than 40 transactions. ATLAS will also help the RMV with efficiency and connecting the law enforcement community to the data they need.

If you have questions or need more information you can visit the RMV online at


Friday, March 16, 2018

Ipswich Saint Patrick's Party

A pleasure to be able to attend the annual Saint Patrick's Party organized by the Ipswich Council on Aging today at the Ascension Memorial Church.


Thursday, March 15, 2018


I am delighted to report to you that my PAWS II animal protection bill has been approved by the Senate.

Boston- The State Senate today unanimously adopted a bill designed to protect the health, safety and well-being of animals, Senate Bill 2332 an act to Protect Animal Welfare And Safety In Cities And Towns (PAWS II) expands on gains first secured in the original PAWS law which was filed in response to the Puppy Doe animal abuse case of 2014, now the subject of a trial in Dedham District Court.

The sponsors of PAWS II, Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester) and Senate Rules Committee Chairman Mark C. Montigny (D-New Bedford), heralded the bill’s provisions which will enhance humane treatment of animals, expand the role of mandated reporters, and punish those who engage in animal cruelty.

“The Puppy Doe animal torture case inspired strong legislative action designed to increase protections for animals and prevent animal cruelty and neglect. PAWS II builds on the foundations of our original law and will ensure that abuse is reported and enforced, that animal drownings are outlawed, and that our animal control laws reflect the seriousness of animal torture and abuse,” said Senator Tarr.

“Our commitment towards ending the cruel and inhumane treatment of innocent animals is steadfast, and today we have taken significant action to protect their safety and welfare,” said Chairman Montigny, a longtime champion of animal welfare legislation. “There is zero tolerance for such despicable brutality and today’s action by the Senate sends a clear message.”

“We do not tolerate animal cruelty in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” said Senate President Harriette L. Chandler (D-Worcester). “This legislation ensures that animals are treated humanely and that those who engage in animal cruelty are punished. One animal that dies of mistreatment is one animal too many.”

The bill encompasses several key components recommended by the Animal Cruelty and Protection Task Force which was constituted under the original PAWS act. Task force members include; the Massachusetts District Attorneys’ Association, State Police, Attorney General’s office, the Animal Rescue League of Boston, veterinarians, The Humane Society of the United States - Massachusetts, and others.

Key components of the bill include provisions to:
• Ensure abuse is reported
Require animal abuse be reported by the Department of Children and Families, the Department of Elder Affairs, and the Disabled Persons Protection Commission. Adds animal control officers as mandatory reporters of child abuse, elder abuse, and abuse against disabled persons,
• Ensure efficient enforcement of animal control laws
Increase penalties in animal control laws that provide non-criminal penalties for abuse. Double the existing penalty of a $50 fine for a second offence to $100, and increased the $100 penalty for a forth offense to $500,
• Prohibit the drowning of wild and domestic animals
Declare that drowning of animals as a violation of law,
• Prohibit engaging in sexual contact with an animal
Punishable by up to 7 years in prison or a fine of not more than $5,000,
• Remove automatic killing of animals involved in animal fighting
Remove a requirement to automatically kill animals involved in animal fighting. This bill creates other options for these animal victims,
• Add animal crimes to the list of offenses that serve as the basis for a request for a determination of detention and or release upon conditions
Include the crimes of animal cruelty to serve as the basis for a request for a determination of detention and or release upon conditions,
• Prohibit discrimination against specific dog breeds
Prohibit insurance companies and housing authorities to refuse insurance coverage or housing with breed restrictions,
• Require abandoned animal checks in vacant properties
Property owners and landlords must check property for abandoned animals within three days following a foreclosure or termination of tenancy.

Sponsors of the bill also point to a recent Massachusetts study which found that a person who has committed animal abuse is five times more likely to commit violence against people and four times more likely to commit property crimes.

The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

#PuppyDoe #AnimalAbuse


Magnolia Pier Meeting

Repairing Magnolia Pier was the topic of a lively discussion last night at the Magnolia Library and Community Center. Winter storm damage has had a deleterious effect on the pier and we need to better understand what options are available.


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Commuter Rail to Operate Regular Schedule Wednesday

Passengers traveling tomorrow should allow additional time and check schedules before leaving as clean-up efforts continue; Minor delays possible.

 Keolis Commuter Services and the MBTA will operate a regular commuter rail schedule on Wednesday, March 14. Passengers are encouraged to use caution when traveling as slippery conditions are likely to continue with snowfall expected into the morning. Passengers should check schedules at before departing as clean up continues and minor delays are possible.


Monday, March 12, 2018


Passengers who must travel are urged to use caution as a foot of snow is forecasted with potential for blizzard conditions.  

Keolis Commuter Services (Keolis) and the MBTA are preparing for the third significant winter storm over the last 11 days. Due to the forecasted high snow totals, potential for blizzard conditions and high wind gusts, commuter rail will operate an “Extremely Reduced” Schedule Tuesday.

 Passengers can view train listings in an “Extremely Reduced” schedule online, in the Keolis app and on printed schedules that will be handed out at major stations today.

 An “Extremely Reduced” Schedule is designed to provide transportation to those who must travel, while ensuring crews can safely clear rapidly falling snow. According to the National Weather Service, the greater Boston area is expected to receive 12 – 18 inches of snow falling at a rate of 1 – 3 inches per hour in certain areas. In addition to these blizzard conditions, coastal areas are expected to experience wind gusts up to 60 mph, creating a potential for coastal flooding.

 Keolis and the MBTA will provide updates on service to passengers via Twitter at @MBTA_CR,, T-Alerts, station signage and onboard announcements.