Saturday, July 30, 2022

Bluefin Blowout 2022

Earlier this week I had a blast at the Bluefin Blowout a sports fishing event that benefits the Alzheimer's Association. The annual giant bluefin tuna tournament is presented each year by the Lyon-Waugh Auto Group, and hosted by Cape Ann Marina Resort.



Senate Republicans: Honor The Voter Approved 1986 Law Requiring A Tax Credit Rebate And Promised Legislative Tax Cuts

Governor Baker announced that a tax law adopted by voters in 1986 has triggered what could be more than $2.5 billion in money returned to taxpayers this fall. In addition to that, the House and Senate have each approved their own tax cut plans that would represent $1 billion more in tax cuts. Here is my press release on all of this:
Senate Republicans: Honor The Voter Approved 1986 Law
Requiring A Tax Credit Rebate And Promised Legislative Tax Cuts
Sufficient Fiscal Resources Available For Pending 2022 Tax Cuts And MGL 62F Tax Credit Mandate
Boston- State Senate Republicans today reiterated their call for meaningful tax relief in the economic development bill before the legislative session ends on Sunday. They also say the will of voters should be honored by defending the provisions of a 1986 ballot question (MGL Chapter 62F) which will yield additional tax credits without sacrificing the tax cuts now pending before a legislative conference committee.
Following months of efforts by Republicans to advance substantial tax reforms, the House and Senate gave unanimous preliminary approval of at least $500 million worth of changes to the tax code and $500 million more in one-time rebates. Prior to that approval, Democrat leaders hailed the plan as giving “immediate financial relief directly to residents of the Commonwealth” those tax cuts still await final legislative approval in an economic development bill, A Bill Relating to Economic Growth and Relief for the Commonwealth, pending in the legislature.
"While perhaps none of us would have predicted the astonishing amounts of revenue being collected by state government, this is exactly the type of situation that voters addressed clearly in 1986, and we need to honor their directive,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R- Gloucester). “Moreover, the very levels of tax collection that trigger the 1986 law also give us the capacity and the obligation to provide the additional relief approved by the House and Senate in the Bill Relating to Economic Growth and Relief for the Commonwealth. The circumstances of ballooning state surpluses and the enormous pressure on household budgets due to inflation and other costs demand no less, and we must proceed on both fronts.”
According to Governor Charlie Baker’s Executive Office of Administration and Finance (A and F) the Massachusetts Department of Revenue estimates that state tax revenues exceed allowable state revenues limits, as defined by the 1986 law MGL 62F, thus automatically triggering more than $2.5 billion to be returned to taxpayers. In addition, the agencies concluded there is sufficient funding available to also enact the $1 billion tax cut package now pending in the legislature. The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation (MTF) has similarly determined that there are sufficient funds available to support the tax credit rebates as prescribed under existing law as well as the new proposals to make structural long-term changes to the tax code.
The July 29 MTF report stated, “even if $2.9 billion is credited to taxpayers, sufficient resources remain for either version of the House or Senate economic development/tax bills.”
In the waning days of the legislative session calls from the public have intensified as Massachusetts residents face what Democratic leaders called in their tax cut plan rollout “the crippling impact of rising prices, inflation, and economic uncertainty” as well as the recent official determination of a nation-wide economic recession.
The $1 billion in tax relief was initially approved in separate versions of an economic development bill, however, a final version of that bill has not yet materialized prompting Republican senators to warn that taxpayers, banking on the commitments made by legislative leaders, are at further financial risk if the tax cut bill fails to be delivered.
In addition to, and separate from, the tax proposals pending in the House and Senate, the voter-approved state law adopted at the ballot in 1986 will likely mandate the rebate of tax revenue surpluses collected that exceed fiscal year thresholds established in the statute. According to A and F, the state tax credit rebate owed, under the provisions of MGL 62F, to taxpayers this year could trigger more than $2.5 billion to be returned this fall.
“Recently we learned about the impact of a law that was passed by 54% of the vote in 1986 that will dramatically help taxpayers across the Commonwealth. The law will provide relief from rising prices on just about everything as we enter an economic recession. Some estimates have this tax relief as great as $3.2 billion or nearly six times greater than the tax relief package," said State Senator Ryan Fattman (R-Sutton). "However, The Massachusetts legislature has a long history of overturning the will of the people at the ballot. An attempt by Democrats to change this law will undermine the will of the people, and therefore prevent the millions of people we represent from getting this significant tax relief. It will also likely undermine the General Court’s ability to get anything done on further tax relief after August 1st when we enter unanimous consent operations.”
“Time is of the essence to deliver tax cuts for the people of Massachusetts,” said Senator Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth). “With rising costs in every area of our economy, we need serious structural changes to ensure people can continue to stay in their homes, put food on the table, and make ends meet. The state remains flush with cash and state law originally enacted in 1986 dictates that the state return upwards of $2.5 billion to the taxpayers. It is imperative that we follow existing law and send a multi-billion dollar tax break package to Governor Baker’s desk.”
“The 1986 voter-approved law was adopted as a fundamental protection and last-moment attempts to gut or change it without public input would be a disservice to those paying our government’s bills,” said Senator Tarr. “We all need to remain steadfastly committed to delivering the tax relief we have promised and the 1986 law dictates.”
Lawmaker's rules proscribe that the formal sessions of the legislature must conclude Sunday at midnight.


Friday, July 29, 2022

Gloucester Nets Tourism Grant

Maritime Gloucester has been awarded a Destination Development Capital grant by the Baker-Polito Administration. The House & Senate created this program last year in our economic development bill. The goal of strengthening the state's economy by enhancing tourism is a winner for all.



Thursday, July 28, 2022


We have a solemn obligation to support those who enter harm’s way on our behalf in the uniform of our military and our state has a proud legacy of leading this nation in meeting that obligation in offering support for those men and women. I am thankful that the Conference Committee retained my amendment to require that the Secretary of Veteran’s Services be a veteran and a full member of the Governor’s cabinet because this will allow the Secretary to faithfully give veterans a voice that they have always deserved,. 

The Holyoke and Chelsea veteran homes, and any future homes, should be a place of respite, care, and safety where a veteran can live their days with dignity. This bill sets the stage for accountability, a firm chain of command, proper licensure, and experts to make sure that the administration of these homes are modernized and fully committed to those in their care.



Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge Public Comment Period

Fishing Via Off-Road Vehicles 

The US Fish and Wildlife is considering banning over the sand vehicle permits on Plum Island and they have a public comment period open until August 1. You can read the original Draft Compatibility Determination for Fishing (non-commercial and special events), Parker River National Wildlife Refuge documents here:

The public can submit written comments either by email or mail - 

Include in subject line: ‘Fishing CD—public comment’ 
or mail to: 
Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
Attn: Refuge Manager/Fishing CD 
6 Plum Island Turnpike 
Newburyport, MA 01950



Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Beagle Bill Adopted

After many years of hard and dedicated work from a host of many people who are truly concerned about the welfare of animals, I am happy to report that the Senate and House today each enacted “Legislation To Protect Research Animals”. The Senate bill I filed gives animals used in medical and product testing experiments a life after the lab. The bill often called the “Beagle Bill” because beagles are amazingly docile and overwhelmingly selected by researchers, facilitates new relationships between research laboratories and non-profit animal rescue organizations. 

The bill heads to Governor Baker for his signature and I am so happy for those animals who can be saved and so grateful to the many individuals and organizations who stayed dedicated to the mission. Well done all. 



Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Patton Homestead Military Service Day

This weekend I had the pleasure of returning to the Patton Homestead for the American Legion: Post 194 (Hamilton, MA) annual Military Service Day. I love visiting with veterans, those with knowledge and experience with the US Military, and the equipment that helped us carry out our important missions. With Secretary for the Department of Veterans' Services Cheryl Lussier Poppe.



House and Senate Unanimously Adopt New State Budget For Fiscal 2023

The Massachusetts Legislature yesterday passed a $52.7 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2023. This budget makes targeted investments to strengthen the state’s economic foundation, protect the most vulnerable residents, and support the needs of communities and families in the Commonwealth. The budget reflected by this conference committee report turns robust state revenues into investments in important priorities such as Local Aid, increased K-12 educational spending, and mental health services. Beyond those spending items, it also builds a solid foundation for the future by increasing the stabilization fund to more than $7 million, addressing our unfunded pension liability, and creating reserves that could be critical in the event our state must confront an economic downturn. With this conference committee report accepted, we must now return our attention to relief for the taxpayers of our Commonwealth. 

If you would like to read the approved budget that was sent to Governor Baker for his further actions click this link:


Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Travel Alert - Main Street/Route 133 Over the Essex River Bridge Closure

According to the Essex Police Department and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation travel over a temporary bridge is open today with a restriction on any commercial vehicles with more than 4 axles. A lane curvature of the temporary structure would cause large vehicles, such as tractor-trailers, to encroach on the opposing travel lane. Truck traffic eastbound and westbound will be detoured around the Essex River crossing via the following route: 


Commercial trucks with 4 axles of more will be detoured right on to Martin / Western / Essex Street (Route 22),

Then left on to Woodbury Street,

Then left to Grapevine Road,

Then take the ramp to Route 128 northbound to exit 50,

At the end of the ramp take a left on to School Street / Southern Avenue and follow back to Route 133.



Commercial trucks with 4 axles of more will be detoured left on to Southern Avenue / School Street to Route 128 southbound to exit 48,

Then right at the end of the ramp to Grapevine Road

Then right on to Woodbury Street,

Then right again on to Essex / Western / Martin Street (Route 22), back to Route 133.

This temporary bridge is to remain in place for approximately 20 months, at which time traffic will be diverted to its original configuration on the new bridge.
The work under this $5.4 million contract consists of the full replacement of the bridge on Route 133 (Main Street) over the Essex River.




Monday, July 11, 2022

Revenues wildly exceed what's needed to operate our state; resources to support tax relief for seniors, renters, low-income families, & others, including a pause on the gas tax are present. Senate Republicans welcome those who join us before the session ends July 31st.



Saturday, July 9, 2022

Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century

I am happy to share that Gloucester, Massachusetts' Gloucester Schools system has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. This Improvement & Equipment Grant will be used to support college, career, and technical education efforts. 



Friday, July 8, 2022

Save The Date: Military Service Day Saturday, July 16

The event is a day-long exhibition of vintage military vehicles, equipment, military reenactors, speakers – both veterans and academics – and other veteran-related attractions, held on the grounds of the home of one of America’s most famous and celebrated military families. The day also recognizes and honors the 100th anniversary of the A.P. Gardner American Legion Post in its efforts to support veterans and their families in Hamilton MA. 

Admission is FREE to the public. In addition, American Legion: Post 194 (Hamilton, MA) hopes to bring public awareness to the Town of Hamilton Patton Homestead itself and to promote the Wenham Museum’s Patton Family Archive, which is located in the Homestead. The Patton Homestead in Hamilton, Massachusetts is the family home, for over 90 years, of General George S. Patton,, his son General George Smith Patton, and his wife Joanne Holbrook Patton, a pioneer Army Social Services innovator during the Vietnam War.



Thursday, July 7, 2022

Early Education and Care - An Absolute Necessity

Here are some of the factors around the current state of our early education and care for our kids. According to a recent report from the Mass Taxpayers Foundation: 

  • Individuals and families lose $1.7 billion annually in lost wages, 
  •  Employers lose $800 million annually in lost productivity and turnover costs, 
  • State government loses $200 million annually in foregone tax revenue. 

The early education workforce is 92% female, and 41% women of color. Early educators with a bachelor's degree are paid 35% less than comparable teachers in public elementary schools. About 16,000 children are on the waitlist for subsidized care and many more are not even trying to access a subsidy. Tens of thousands of families are having difficulty finding a provider who meets their needs.



"Our City, Our Library, Our Future" Gloucester Wins Library Grant

The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners {MBLC} has extended a "Provisional Construction Grants" award to Gloucester's Sawyer Free Library. The provisional MPLCP grant, in the amount of $9,030,047, was announced at their meeting today. Only 6 other communities in the state reached this status. Within 6 months of this notice, critical Committee, Board, Special Town Meeting, and ballot votes will be needed for each community to formally approve the Library Renovation and Expansion Project, and for this project to move forward. 



An Act To Expand Access To High-Quality, Affordable Early Education And Care

Today, the State Senate will debate an important bill, Senate 2883, An Act To Expand Access To High-Quality, Affordable Early Education And Care. The average annual cost for infant care in Massachusetts is more than $20,000 with many families paying 20-40% of their income for childcare. This bill will make more families eligible for child care aid, create new loan forgiveness and scholarship programs for early education workers, and build up supports for providers who offer access to subsidized families. 

I have offered several amendments for the debate including those which will require that available slots be made publicly available via a searchable database on the Web to make it easier for families to secure placement; guidance for financial supports, and a child care tax credit plan. You can watch the bill and amendments here: and watch the session in real-time here:



Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Time For Tax Relief ...

State revenues are wildly exceeding what is needed to operate our state government and the resources to support tax relief for those who need it are present. Senate Republicans have put tax relief options on the table to support: seniors, renters, low-income families, and others, including a pause on the gas tax. It's time to help folks deal with the high costs facing every household budget.  We need to act before the formal session ends on July 31st.


Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Manchester Red White and Blue Breakfast

Manchester-Essex Rotary Club members and volunteers came together again for the Red White and Blue Breakfast at Tuck's Point this weekend. Not only did families find breakfast at the waterside they also enjoyed live entertainment, pony rides, music, and face painting. More than 1,200 breakfasts were served and many arrived in style by way of the new water taxi which shuttled hundreds of people between Masconomo Park and the Manchester Town Hall. All in all, it was a great time to come together. Some photos by Manchester-Essex Rotary Club.