Sunday, April 21, 2019

Happy Easter

I would like to wish you a wonderful and happy Easter - one that I hope will be spent with friends and family. Perhaps we can also take a moment out of our day to think of those who are working today proudly serving our nation in uniform. Happy Easter!


Saturday, April 20, 2019

Massachusetts School of Law Animal Law Day

Congratulations to Dean Coyne and Dean Sullivan for another successful Animal Law Day at the Massachusetts School of Law in Andover. A great opportunity to promote animal welfare in our state.


Friday, April 19, 2019

Spring In The Air

Harbingers of Spring at the State House - the Legislative budget process in full swing and the cherry trees in total blossom surrounding General Hooker in front of my office. Note too the hawk (above the MA flag) whose been seen over the building lately.


Fishing Partnership Offers Life Saving Training

Professionals in the fishing industry ply their trade in one of the riskiest professions of all.  While free of charge, the service trainings provided by the Partnership are in fact invaluable.  Time and again this type of training has proven to save lives.



Happy Passover!

With Passover commencing this evening, I would like to wish all of my Jewish friends and constituents a very happy and joyous holiday that is with family and loved ones, and that your time together is filled with peace and happiness.

Chag Sameach!


Salem State Toy Drive Pizza Party

Salem State University John President Keenan hosted a pizza party today to than and recognize student groups and employees who were the driving wheels on campus of our annual North Shore Toy Drive.

President Keenan gave special recognition to the Repertory Dance Theater for their efforts in collecting the most toy as well as Sigma Alpha Epislon’s Stuff-A-Cruiser event and Delta Mu Delta’s Toys for Tots drive. 

I am looking forward to continuing this great partnership again.


Friday, April 12, 2019

National Night Out

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Gloucester area residents came out for our 7th annual Take Back The Night event at Gloucester City Hall with Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken, and other community leaders.

I am proud to be a part of the effort that is growing awareness of harassment and assault. Many people brought signs, cheered and displayed good will all in an effort to help our police, clergy, schools, and resource organizations to support people and prevent harm to others.


Monday, April 8, 2019

Merrimack Valley Planning Commission Status of Education in the Commonwealth

The Merrimack Valley Planning Commission hosted its legislators meeting today at Northern Essex Community College in Haverhill. The topic is one that I have been actively engaged in - the status of education in the Commonwealth.

Senator Jason Lewis, Senate Chairman of the Education Committee and State Representative Paul Tucker, Vice Chairman, of the Education Committee provided important points in the discussion. In attendance were Mayors, Town Managers, Town Administrators, lawmakers and citizens.


Saturday, April 6, 2019

Kiwanis Club of Georgetown Community Breakfast

Thanks to the Kiwanis Club of Georgetown for a great community breakfast this morning at Penn Brook, coupled with an informative town health fair.

Happy to be there with Rep Lenny Mirra, Superintendent Carol Jacobs and many others.


Gold Star Wives Day

Yesterday was Gold Star Wives Day at the State House and I was honored to have spend some time with these amazing women.  Gold Star Wives are women whose husbands were killed while serving our nation in wartime.  Governor Charlie Baker and Massachusetts Secretary of Veterans' Services Francisco Urena helped raise a Gold Star flag in front of the State House.

This day honors the sacrifices made by spouses & family members of our fallen heroes.  I want to thank Senator WalterFTimilty, Senate Chairman of the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs & Representative Sean Garballey for hosting a tea for the women in the Senate Reading Room.


Friday, April 5, 2019

State House Student Government Day

In 1947, the Massachusetts Legislature enacted a program called Student Government Day. This day includes students participating in the role of elected or appointed officials to "observe the processes of government."

It enables students to participate in the legislative process through simulated committee hearings and House and Senate formal sessions with debate. Every high school in the state is encouraged to send a student in their junior or senior year.


Thursday, April 4, 2019

Supporting Our Working Waterfronts

Yesterday I joined with Representative Ann Margaret Ferrante and Gloucester Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken, in a meeting with Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Michael Kennealy, Director of the Office of Coastal Zone Management Lisa Berry Engler, and other officials from the Baker-Polito Administration to discuss how to bring desperately needed support to the wharves, piers, and other infrastructure that is essential to the survival of our working waterfronts that are subject to Designated Port Area (DPA) regulations.

Over the past several years I have worked with legislative colleagues to secure the passage of $25 million dollars to support these resources by co-sponsoring a successful amendment offered by Senator Montigny (D-New Bedford) to the 2016 Economic Development bill. Representative Ferrante offered a similar successful amendment to the House Economic Development Bill. Additionally, I joined with Representative Ferrante in offering amendments to create a $7 million authorization in the 2014 Environmental Bond bill for funding assistance for the revitalization of this type of infrastructure. Now it is time to put those and other tools to work.


In the current legislative session I have sponsored additional pieces of legislation to support our working ports, including:

S.472 An Act providing for alternative DPA compliance, which would allow communities more flexibility in complying with DPA regulations

S.1781 and H.2462 An Act relative to the Massachusetts Maritime Commercial Development tax credit, which would create a tax credit for the expenses of building projects in DPA's, which could be sold to generate the funding necessary for those projects 


Today more than ever we need partnerships and collaboration to stabilize our DPA infrastructure and allow it to facilitate renewed prosperity.


Wednesday, April 3, 2019

The State House Kick Butts Day

The State House was abuzz today with people lobbying to help keep children free of tobacco. In addition to lobbying lawmakers the kids shared stories and advice on how to connect others with the resources they might need to help smokers quit and protect everyone from secondhand smoke.