Tuesday, March 21, 2023

County Street Bridge Ipswich

This morning I was joined by Mass Highway staff, Town of Ipswich MA's Department of Public Works staff, and Ipswich officials to conduct a site review of the County Street Bridge. The bridge was identified with structural deficiencies that require it to be closed to southbound traffic. A portion of County Street between Elm Street and the northern end of the County Street Bridge has become a one-way for vehicles heading north.



Monday, March 20, 2023

20th Anniversary Banquet for Operation Troop Support

Every ticket was sold and all the folks who came to stand with Operation Troop Support had a fantastic evening at the Crystal Ballroom at Teresa's Prime Steakhouse in North Reading, Massachusetts. Operation Troop Support, now in its 20th year, is a from Boston’s North Shore that serves our deployed men and women in uniform from across the country. As a non-profit organization, they focus on helping deployed troops and their loved ones. They have shipped more than 1 million packages to troop hospitals around the world.




Friday, March 17, 2023

The League of Women Voters of Hamilton-Wenham 5th Annual Civics Bee

Pride and prizes were at stake last night at the Miles River Middle School in Hamilton, Massachusetts for the 5th annual League of Women Voters of Hamilton-Wenham, MA Civics Bee trivia competition that highlights civics. I have thoroughly enjoyed every round. Last night, I was joined at the judge's table by Representative Jerry Parisella, Kristin Kassner State Representative 2nd Essex District, and Sally Kerans for State Representative. 

League of Women Voters of the US




Thursday, March 16, 2023

The Massachusetts State Police Academy provides recruit candidates with advanced training throughout the process of becoming a State Trooper.

Requirements To be considered for appointment, according to M.G.L. Chapter 22C, you must: 

  • Be at least 21 years old and no older than 34 years old on the last day of the application filing date
  • Possess a high school diploma or a General Educational Development (GED) certificate upon appointment to the Massachusetts State Police Academy 
  • Not have been convicted of a felony or any offense punishable under M.G.L. Chapter 94C (drug law violations) or have been convicted of a misdemeanor and confined to any jail or house of correction as punishment 
  • Satisfy all statutory requirements including but not limited to passing a physical fitness test and medical examination (including a psychological component) 
  • Not smoke any tobacco product 
  • Demonstrate good moral character, sound work ethic, and have decision making consistent with the Oath of Office 
  • Be qualified and deemed suitable by the Colonel or Superintendent to possess a valid Massachusetts Firearms License upon appointment to the Massachusetts State Police Academy
  • Satisfy the Department's physical fitness standards for initial appointments, as promulgated and amended 
  • Satisfy the Department's medical and psychological standards for initial appointment, as promulgated and amended 
  • Be a United States Citizen upon appointment to the Massachusetts State Police Academy 
  • Possess a valid Massachusetts Driver's License upon appointment to the Massachusetts State Police Academy 
  • Be a Massachusetts resident upon appointment to the Massachusetts State Police Academy 
  • Meet all other eligibility and entrance requirements established by statute, rule, regulation, policy, procedure, directive, and/or order of the Massachusetts Department of State Police. 




Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Scenes From the Nor’easter on Plum Island

When heavy weather hits I head to Plum Island to check on folks and the conditions. Yesterday, we faced a windy rain and snowstorm - there were good people on the island looking out for one another despite the hazard. I was interviewed by several news reporters out tracking the storm. With Ron Barrett, President of the Plum Island Taxpayers & Associates, @Mark Wright, Reservation Terrace resident and at-Large City Councilor, and Kristin Reardon McDonald from my Senate office. 

#PlumIsland #plumislandandbeyond



Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Plum Island Taxpayers And Associates - Open To Residents In Need

PITA Hall at 8 Plum Island Turnpike in Newbury is open today to residents in need, food, water, warmth, and power are available. Since 1946, PITA, a non-profit organization of Plum Island taxpayers has organized island events, tracked important issues for island residents, and reported on issues that affect island taxpayers. 

Track Plum Island Mark and Lela Wright's live Webcam: https://www.newburyport.com/look-plum-island-point-live-cam/



The National Weather Service Boston: Special Weather Statement


* WHEN...From 10 AM this morning to 8 AM EDT Wednesday. 

* IMPACTS...Travel could be very difficult, particularly during the afternoon commute with total snow accumulations of 3 to 8 inches. Winds gusting as high as 65 mph. 

 * ADDITIONAL DETAILS...Strong wind gusts coupled with wet snow may result in power outages.



Friday, March 10, 2023

Circuit Breaker Tax Relief

If you are aged 65 or older you may qualify for the state's Senior Circuit Breaker Tax Relief Credit up to the $1,200 maximum credit amount for the tax year 2022. And, if you would have qualified in the two previous years and did not file then you may file for a credit refund for those years too. 

          2022 - $1,200 

          2021 - $1,170   

          2020 - $1,150 

Determine your eligibility and if you meet the criteria you may receive a refund of up to 3 years' worth - $3,520.



Thursday, March 9, 2023

Pentucket Regional School District Operating Budget Presentation

Last evening, I attended the Pentucket Regional High School budget presentation for the upcoming fiscal year. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Justin Bartholomew stepped those in attendance through the many layers of the regional school district's budgeting needs and constraints. The finance committee and local officials from Groveland, Merrimac, and West Newbury participated. More information sessions to come. Their budget portal can be found here: https://pentucketbudget.com/



Housing Permanency - More Than A Hope

An important issue I have been trying to address in our state is housing. Too many individuals and families in recent years have lived for long periods of time in hotels and other unsuitable situations. In today's Senate session, we debated, and adopted, a budget bill to make supplemental spending for the state. I offered an amendment that received the support needed to pass, which requires comprehensive tracking and reporting to ultimately help families with housing arrangements and needs. Specifically, I want to make certain that there is an integrated approach to make sure we consider housing permanence as part of the bill's spending. Also, my amendment requires a quarterly report on how we're moving those folks out of unsuitable housing situations. 



“The Senior Circuit Breaker Tax Credit”

I want to share information about a tax credit program designed for Massachusetts seniors, aged 65 and older; “The Circuit Breaker Tax Credit.” This income tax credit was designed by the Legislature to lessen some of the financial burdens of housing costs. I want to help you determine your eligibility and benefits. 

It’s called the Circuit Breaker Tax Credit because it is “triggered,” like an electrical circuit breaker when property payments exceed 10% of a senior citizen’s annual income. Seniors will receive a dollar credit on their Massachusetts state income taxes for every dollar that the total of their property tax, water and sewer bills exceed 10% of their income, up to the $1,200 maximum credit amount for the tax year 2022.



Wednesday, March 8, 2023

International Women's Day

Women have changed the world and that's why equal opportunities for women need to be supported and enriched - something we need to think about, know, value, & embrace. Who are the women who have inspired you? 

#internationalwomensday #embraceequity2023



Monday, March 6, 2023

Massachusetts Department of Transportation: Danvers River Channel under the Kernwood Drawbridge will be closed to marine traffic

Reminder in #Beverly #Salem the Danvers River Channel under the Kernwood Drawbridge will be closed to marine traffic. Closure in place until March 10, from 7:00 AM until 3:30 PM. The drawbridge will remain open to roadway traffic, but daytime lane closures may be necessary.



Friday, March 3, 2023

Merrimack River Beach Alliance: Working Together

Today's meeting of the Merrimack River Beach Alliance at PITA Hall in Newbury was lively and very well attended. The agenda today included the Merrimack River dredging project update, a briefing from the Salisbury Beach Subcommittee, an update on combating erosion on the South Jett - Spur project, and more.



Merrimack Valley Chamber Legislative Breakfast

A very engaging meeting this morning at the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce annual State Senate Breakfast at Haverhill Golf & Country Club. I had the opportunity to join with Senate colleagues to discuss the Massachusetts economy and other factors of interest to many civic and business leaders from the region. 

With: State Senator Pavel Payano, State Senator Barry Finegold



Thursday, March 2, 2023

Read Across America At The Steward Elementary School

You know reading is fun, I know reading is fun and the wonderful students in Mrs. Burke and Mrs. Zargaj's third-grade class at Topsfield, Massachusetts' Steward Elementary School know reading is fun too. We had a great time this morning reading and learning about their school days and what I do at the State House. I am so glad to have been invited.