Monday, May 31, 2021

Manchester Memorial Day Waterside Service with Post 113

It is important to take time to remember those we've lost while in the service of this great country. The freedoms we enjoy today are the direct results of the men and women who were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice fighting for America and the values that we share. I thank the members of Manchester~By~The~Sea's Amaral Bailey Post 113 for their service.


Memorial Day was established so we would remember those who died in service to our country. Today, and every day there are men and women around the world serving our country in uniform. Each makes a contribution to the nation and our world, each deserves our recognition. They and those who have served before them represent the American spirit that makes us great. 



Sunday, May 30, 2021

Sharing some photos that I took of the display of American flags at GloucesterCity Hall. All across Gloucester people have been making preparations for Memorial Day. Many thanks to the Cape Ann Veterans Services and City of Gloucester Public Works.


Saturday, May 29, 2021

In Memory Of Judge Thaddeus Ted Buczko

The Senate adjourned in memory of the Honorable Thaddeus Buczko this week after Senator Joan B. Lovely and I shared a tribute to this remarkable person. Judge Buczko, a true public servant, wore many hats and was as kind and giving as he was industrious. Some of his experiences include- Salem City Council, State Representative, Post Master of Salem, and State Auditor, Chief of Staff of the 94th Army Reserve Command, Justice of the Essex County Probate and Family Court, and many more.


Friday, May 28, 2021

Public Testimony Opportunity

The Senate Committee on Ways and Means is now soliciting written public testimony on:- 
 · S. 27, An Act relative to extending COVID-19 accommodations for municipalities in elections and for representative town meetings 

 · S. 2452, An Act to temporarily extend certain measures adopted in the state of emergency 

You can submit testimony until 5:00 PM on Tuesday, June 1st. Public testimony should be submitted to senatecommittee.ways& To learn more on how to submit testimony you can go to


Governor Baker Issues Order Rescinding COVID-19 Restrictions on May 29 and Terminating State of Emergency Effective June 15

Today, Governor Charlie Baker joined Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy and Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders to sign an Executive Order terminating the Commonwealth’s State of Emergency effective June 15, 2021. The Order also rescinds most COVID-19 restrictions, including limitations placed on businesses, as of tomorrow, May 29 as Massachusetts nears the goal of vaccinating four million residents. This week, the Commonwealth passed the 3.5 million mark for fully vaccinated residents. 

“Today marks an important milestone in our fight against COVID-19 here in the Commonwealth,” said Governor Baker. “Over the last 15 months, the residents of Massachusetts have shown an incredible amount of strength and resiliency, and we are pleased to take this step forward towards a return to normal.”

“With restrictions ending tomorrow and continued progress towards our vaccination goal, Massachusetts is on a path towards renewing our economy and returning to normal,” said Lt. Governor Polito. “We look forward to working with communities across the state to help them get their main streets and downtowns back up and running and for a sustained recovery ahead.”

Effective May 29, all industries will be permitted to open. With the exception of remaining face-covering requirements for masks in public and private transportation systems, hospitals and other facilities housing vulnerable populations, all industry restrictions will be lifted at that time, and capacity will increase to 100% for all industries. All gathering limits will also be rescinded.

To continue certain public health requirements, like requiring face coverings in certain settings, to remain effective past June 15, Governor Baker today issued a modified declaration of a public health emergency under the public health statute.

Under this order, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services and the Department of Public Health will be proposing to the Public Health Council the continuation of some public health orders in the coming weeks to maintain flexibilities and policies for vaccination, testing and other critical operations.

Earlier this week, Governor Baker filed legislation to extend certain emergency measures currently in place via executive orders that are set to expire on June 15 with the end of the State of Emergency. The bill would extend measures providing for a temporary suspension of certain open meeting law requirements, special permits for expanded outside dining at restaurants, and surprise billing protections for COVID-19 patients.


Thursday, May 27, 2021

Final Day Of Budget Debate

 This week has largely centered around the Senate's work to debate ad adopt a new state budget plan that reflects our collective priorities. I will be sharing key components of the final bill with you over the next several days.


Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Day 2 of the Senate Budget has concluded


Greater Cape Ann Community Collaborative Forms to Host Local COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics GCACC to Hold First Clinic Thursday

Note: This version updates the hours of clinics in the Coolidge Building in Topsfield to 2-3:30 weekly on Thursdays following this week's clinic. 

CAPE ANN -- The municipal managers and public health agents of ten Essex County communities jointly announce the formation of the Greater Cape Ann Community Collaborative (GCACC), a coordinated public health effort and are pleased to inform the public that it has been approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to serve as a regional COVID-19 vaccination coalition. 

The communities Boxford, Essex, Gloucester, Hamilton, Ipswich, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Middleton, Rockport, Topsfield and Wenham and its dedicated public health agents, Medical Reserve Corps members and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council will provide vaccination opportunities to the public and to under-represented and hard-to-reach residents.

The Commonwealth has agreed to provide the GCACC with doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. GCACC clinics will be open to all Massachusetts residents ages 12 and older.

The organizers wish to acknowledge the efforts of State Senator Bruce Tarr, who has been instrumental in the creation of the clinic, acting as a key supporter and resource as the group worked to come together and seek state approval for their operation.

“Vaccination is one of the most powerful tools we have to combat COVID-19, and it's important that vaccines be delivered as efficiently and effectively as possible,” said Sen. Tarr. “The powerful collaboration of these communities will put local knowledge, access, dedication, and convenience to work so that everyone in our region can become part of the fight against this evil virus. I have been pleased to play a role in facilitating this remarkable regional initiative."

“We thank Governor Charlie Baker and the Department of Public Health for approving the Coalition, and Sen. Tarr for his leadership and assistance,” said Ipswich Town Manager Anthony Marino. “We will be able to marshal the power of Cape Ann’s community health-care professionals, who are known to be trustworthy and reliable sources of the most up-to-date vaccination information.”

Clinic Schedule:

Appointments for the clinic are encouraged, but not required. To schedule an appointment, click here.

A clinic also will be held on Thursday, May 27, from 2-4:30 p.m. in the Coolidge Building at the Topsfield Fairgrounds. Pre-registration for Thursday’s clinic is also encouraged, but not required. To pre-register, click here. For additional information, contact the Topsfield Board of Health at 978-887-1520.

Moving forward, clinics will be held weekly for the foreseeable future at the following locations, on the following days:

Clinics will continue to be held at Coolidge Hall in Topsfield on Thursdays following this week’s clinic, from 2-3:30 p.m. each week.

Drive-thru clinics will be held on Saturdays beginning this June at Rockport Elementary School at 34 Jerdens Lane, Rockport. The start date and times will be announced when available.

Clinics will be held weekly on Mondays beginning June 7 at Our Lady of Hope Parish at 1 Pineswamp Road, Ipswich. Times will be announced when available.

The GCACC is also authorized by the MDPH to administer vaccines in other public spaces, and in targeted spaces such as businesses, schools, and houses of worship. Local organizations looking to partner with the GCACC can contact Hamilton Public Health Nurse Rachel Lee at 978-290-9618. The GCACC will publicize dates and times of open clinics when they are finalized.

"With the MDPH's approval of the Greater Cape Ann Community Collaborative, ten local boards of health now have the ability to bring outreach, education and the vaccine to visitors and residents in the Cape Ann area,” said Hamilton Public Health Nurse Lee. “Every person who gets vaccinated makes a difference as we work to protect ourselves and our communities from COVID-19. Let's stop this virus, and make Massachusetts and the Cape Ann region a safe place for all of us to spend the summer.”

Supporting the Massachusetts lobster fishery by increasing patrols to protect Northern Right Whales from harm. Very pleased my amendment has been adopted into the Massachusetts Senate budget. Many thanks to my Senate colleagues for supporting these measures.

A mid-day update on two important amendments, supported by the Senate, that I authored.




My Amendment to help those working in the fisheries was adopted by the Senate

As the Senate continues to work on the budget before us, we need to think about helping folks get back to work and helping folks who can't. That situation relates to the pandemic and there's another situation happening in Massachusetts that also demands our attention - the economically devastating impact on those engaged in the fisheries. We know that in the U.S. and particularly New England we have some of the most heavily regulated commercial fisheries in the world. 

This amendment is designed to support families and all of the people affected -- from south of Cape Cod all the way to the New Hampshire border. We need to act and find a way to support these folks who have been precluded from earning a living.



Tuesday, May 25, 2021

A quick video wrap-up of 2 of the important amendments that I authored that were adopted by the Senate today during the budget debate. 



A look at two amendments adopted today



Senate Budget Day 1

The State Senate budget began this morning and continues on this evening for day 1 of this multi-day process. Your Website Title
Senate Budget Morning of Day 1

The State Senate budget began this morning and continues on this evening for day 1 of this multi-day process.

Posted by State Senator Bruce Tarr on Tuesday, May 25, 2021


Monday, May 24, 2021

The Senate will begin debate on our $47.6 billion General Appropriations Act - otherwise known as the state budget for Fiscal Year 2022. Senators have offered more 900 amendments to the budget bill and we are scheduled to start the first of several days of debate in the morning. You can watch my livestream of the debate on my Facebook page at 10AM: and access all the amendments and budget here:



Homebound Vaccination Program

The Commonwealth has expanded the Homebound Vaccination Program today in support of in-home vaccinations for all eligible residents who are unable to get to a vaccine site. This expansion will support continued vaccination of hard-to-reach populations and supports the Baker Administration’s goal to make COVID-19 vaccines readily available. The Administration launched the Homebound Vaccination on March 29 for individuals who met specific federal criteria, such has requiring significant supports to leave the home for a medical appointment. 

Beginning May 24, any individual who has trouble getting to a vaccine site is eligible for the homebound program. Individuals can call (833) 983-0485 to register for an in-home vaccination. The registration phone line is open Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM and has representatives who speak English and Spanish, as well as translation services available in 100+ languages. After registering, individuals will be called within five business days by the state’s Homebound Vaccine Provider, Commonwealth Care Alliance, to schedule an appointment. It may take some time to get an appointment, and the quickest way to get vaccinated remains to schedule an appointment at a vaccination site by visiting



The Molly Bish Center's Missing Children’s Day 2021

Molly Bish was a 16-year-old Warren, MA resident when she was abducted from her lifeguard post in 2000. The agonizing search for Molly ended in 2003 when her remains were found five miles from her home and from where she was abducted. 

As a lifeguard, Molly took responsibility for the safety and protection of others. In 2004, John and Magi Bish collaborated with Anna Maria College to create the Molly Bish Center for the Protection of Children and the Elderly in memory of their daughter. Today, at Anna Maria College will host Missing Children’s Day from 10-11 A.M to advocate for the lives of missing and murdered children in Massachusetts and encourage the passage of laws aimed at bringing justice for them and their loved ones. 

The event will feature speakers from the Molly Bish Center and those involved with prosecuting these cases at the state and local level, while bringing attention to those still missing or falsely categorized. A livestream of this morning's event may be viewed here:



Sunday, May 23, 2021

Empty Bowl To Go!

Exceptional turnout for an exceptional organization - The Open Door's Empty Bowl To Go. We had a great group of volunteers to support the Open Door's 20th Anniversary of this annual event. This drive-thru experience offered ticket holders a beautiful handmade bowl, homemade soup—chowder, chicken, vegan or gluten-free meals, bread, cookie, and bottled water. 

The Open Door Online Bowl Auction, you can bid on mine or any of a number of Cape Ann artists' bowls. Auction open through May 31.

The Open Door is working to alleviate the impact of hunger in our communities across Essex County, advocate on behalf of those in need, and engage the community in the work of building food security. 



A Dory Story Morning

Tune In to North Shore 104.9 this morning at 11:30 to the Local Hopping with Erika Hemingway show to hear the story of how a beautiful handcrafted Gino Mondello dory now adorns a platform above the front lobby of the brand new Glen T. MacLeod Cape Ann YMCA in #Gloucester.


Thursday, May 20, 2021

Senators Preparing For Budget Debate

Recently, the Senate Committee on Ways and Means released a state budget proposal for the next fiscal year. The Fiscal Year 2022 budget bill does not depend on any broad-based tax increases, shows sensitivity with regard to its withdrawal from the stabilization fund, and provides significant resource increases for cities and towns and local school districts. 

Senate members have proposed amendments to that bill and we are scheduled to debate those amendment - more than 900 were filed, next week. You can read the budget and the amendments by clicking this link:



Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Delivered Dory Adorns Cape Ann YMCA

Many Cape Ann residents have stepped through a doorway to get to a dory over the years, and now, in the new Cape Ann YMCA, the dory is inside the doorway. 

When the final phases of construction of the new Y were underway at the Gloucester Crossing site, Tim Flaherty, the Executive Director of the Cape Ann YMCA, invited me for a tour. On that tour, we talked about the space above the front doors - a perfect spot to feature something that speaks to the character of Cape Ann. I immediately thought that the right thing to put there would be a dory, the type of rowing vessel used for decades by Cape Ann fishermen, and now used in the International Dory Races between Gloucester and Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. 

To me, the dory is a perfect manifestation of the true character of Gloucester as a fishing port. Ted and I started a search that brought us to the local and legendary dory builder Geno Mondello. David McKechnie of Beauport Financial Services LLC and his wife Elaine acquired the dory as a gift to the Y. Next, we recruited a crew to help move and successfully navigate the dory to its perfect place.



Monday, May 17, 2021

Baker-Polito Administration to Lift COVID Restrictions May 29, State to Meet Vaccination Goal by Beginning of June

Commonwealth Will Adopt CDC Face Covering Guidance

Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced that the Commonwealth is on track to meet the goal of vaccinating 4.1 million residents by the first week of June and all remaining COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted effective May 29.

The Commonwealth’s face covering order will also be rescinded on May 29. The Department of Public Health will issue a new face covering advisory consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updated guidance. Face coverings will still be mandatory for all individuals on public and private transportation systems (including rideshares, livery, taxi, ferries, MBTA, Commuter Rail and transportation stations), in healthcare facilities and in other settings hosting vulnerable populations, such as congregate care settings.

Governor Charlie Baker will end the State of Emergency June 15.

The Administration also announced updates that will be effective May 18 to revise face covering requirements for youth and amateur sports and other guidance relating to childcare programs and K-12 schools. The Administration will release updated guidance for summer camps effective May 29.

The Administration is able to take these steps to reopen the Commonwealth’s economy because Massachusetts is on track to meet the goal set in December to fully vaccinate over 4 million individuals by the first week of June. The Commonwealth leads the nation in vaccinating residents, with 75% of adults receiving at least one dose. To date, over 4 million residents have received a first dose, with 3.2 million fully vaccinated.

New cases have dropped by 89% since January 8. COVID hospitalizations are down 88% since January 1 and the positive test rate is down by 88% from peaking at 8.7% on January 1 to 1% today.

Effective May 29
Effective May 29, all industries will be permitted to open. With the exception of remaining face-covering requirements for public and private transportation systems and facilities housing vulnerable populations, all industry restrictions will be lifted, and capacity will increase to 100% for all industries. The gathering limit will be rescinded.

All industries will be encouraged to follow CDC guidance for cleaning and hygiene protocols.

On May 18, 2020, the Administration published the reopening phases, which called for ending restrictions when vaccines became widely available. Today, there are over 975 locations for Massachusetts residents to access vaccines without delay.

Face Covering Guidance

In line with updated CDC face covering guidance, the Administration will rescind the current face covering order and issue a new face covering advisory effective May 29.

Non-vaccinated individuals are advised to continue wearing face masks and to continue distancing in most settings. The advisory will also recommend fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear a face covering or social distance indoors or outdoors except for in certain situations.

Face coverings will still be required for all individuals on public and private transportation (including rideshares, livery, taxi, ferries, MBTA, Commuter Rail and transportation stations), healthcare facilities and providers, congregate care settings and health and rehabilitative day services.

Face coverings will also remain required indoors for staff and students of K-12 schools and early education providers.

Youth and Amateur Sports Face Covering Guidance

Effective May 18, the youth and amateur sports guidance will be updated to no longer require face coverings for youth athletes 18 and under while playing outdoor sports. Effective May 29, all youth and amateur sports restrictions will be lifted.

Link to youth sports guidance

K-12, Early Education and Summer Camp Guidance

Effective May 18, guidance from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Department of Early Education and Care will be updated to no longer require masks for outdoor activities like recess and to allow for the sharing of objects in classrooms, in both K-12 and childcare settings. This guidance will remain in effect beyond May 29.

The Administration will release updated guidance for summer camps, effective May 29, which will include no longer requiring masks for outdoor activities.

Governor Baker will end the State of Emergency​ June 15, and the Administration will work with legislative and municipal partners during this period in order to manage an orderly transition from emergency measures adopted by executive order and special legislation during the period of the State of Emergency.