In The News 2016-2017

The latest news articles:

May 9, 2017

Chapter 90 Funding

The Massachusetts House passed legislation providing $200 million in funding for future repairs to municipal roads and bridges, also known as Chapter 90 funding. It includes 1.18 million dollars for Methuen. Cumulatively the legislature has allocated 1 billion in bond funding over the past 5 years while still ensuring that we fall under the bond cap to remain fiscally responsible. Additionally, funding is being dispersed allocated last year for municipal bridges in need of repair that are not eligible for federal funding. This program is unique in the U.S.

April 6, 2017

Statewide Disability Abuse Registry

I proposed legislation which would create a state Disability Abuse Registry. This registry would contain information of those who have been reported for abuse in caring for the disabled. This bill, Nicky’s Law, is named after a client who was abused by a caretaker who went on to obtain similar employment. Nicky’s Law will not prevent all abuse cases from happening, but it will be helpful in reducing incidents of abuse.

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March 16, 2017

Civic Education Bill

I have filed legislation to provide more opportunities for our youth to learn about how government affects their lives and their futures! This legislation brings civic education back to the forefront. It provides a flexible requirement for civics education for all high school students in Massachusetts that both works from the best research we have about ways to get young people engaged while providing flexibility for school districts to meet their own specific needs. Supportive comments from the Superintendents of Methuen and Haverhill outlined the need in the Tribune article below.

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March 30, 2017

Painkillers certainly aren’t to blame for all opioid addictions, but the doctor’s office is a starting place for enough people who struggle with drug abuse that state and health officials in Massachusetts are now closely monitoring prescriptions and advocating for alternatives….

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February 5, 2017

BOSTON — A raft of proposals to limit the cultivation, sale and use of marijuana is infuriating pot advocates who say lawmakers are trying to eviscerate key provisions of a voter-approved law.

Among more than three dozen bills pending in the Legislature are proposals to cut in half the number of marijuana plants that can be grown on someone’s property from a dozen to six and impose a two-year ban on edible marijuana products.

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November 8, 2016

Thank you Methuen and Haverhill !!

I am truly humbled by your support. I will continue to work for real change that addresses the challenges faced by many working families throughout our Commonwealth.
Please continue to make your views known to me as I continue to work with my colleagues in State, Local, and Federal Government to make our communities stronger, safer and more unified. We are all in this together – we all need to be part of genuine solutions to our challenges. We all have skin in the game!

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September 11, 2016
Post 9/11, we’re still trying to balance freedom, security
BOSTON — Hundreds of millions of dollars have gone to state and local governments since the Sept. 11 attacks to prevent and prepare for acts of terrorism and other disasters.

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July 28, 2016
This past weekend the House of Representatives began consideration of overriding some of Governor Baker’s vetoes for the FY 17 budget. In considering these overrides, we took into account reduced revenue estimates and considered items that are essential to maintaining our safety nets and maintaining effective government operations. Some of these include: mental health services, drug courts, DA offices, early voting for the November election, assistance for the disabled, grants for economic development, and elder services.

These overrides did not add to our budget, but restored cuts that the Governor made to our budget. We will return this weekend as well to consider some additional overrides and to hopefully finalize some major pieces of legislation including an economic development bill, a comprehensive energy bill, and a bill to regulate ride sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft. Please do not hesitate to give us a call on budget matters or legislation that is important to you!

July 11, 2016
BOSTON — More than 1,300 small bridges owned by communities — spanning culverts, creeks and rivers — need repairs but don’t qualify for federal money.

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July 11, 2016
METHUEN — Walking around the Children’s Department at Nevins Memorial Library, Kathy Moran-Wallace can’t keep the smile off her face, whether she’s talking about reading programs or pointing out various activities set up for the kids.

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July 6, 2016
Kindergarten money cut to balance budget

“The House of Representatives voted for full funding of these grants and I hope that moving forward that they can be restored.”

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June 29, 2016
Methuen awarded $812K in CDBG funds

“This needed grant will contribute substantially to neighborhood revitalization, public safety, housing and needed services for our seniors”

METHUEN — The city is set to receive roughly $812,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to put toward projects and programs to benefit low- to moderate-income residents.

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May 26, 2016
My thoughts and prayers go to the families of those killed and injured and those who witnessed the tragedy in Orlando. We need to grieve, to pray, and to remember the family and friends of those killed and injured, as well as those who witnessed this horrific act of hate…
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June 10, 2016
After many delays, boat ramp at Bea’s site opens
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May 26, 2016
Legislators, Baker clash over funding for climatologist
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May 25, 2016
Open records law set for reform
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May 25, 2016
Today at the Statehouse we recognized many acts of bravery performed by our State Police, acts of courage that are not publicized. We also honored the memory of Auburn State Police Officer Ron Tarentino Jr.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Auburn Police Officer Ron Tarentino Jr.
What I believe is important to remember about Officer Tarentino Jr. is that the fatal moment he approached Jorge Zambrano’s 1997 Infiniti this past Sunday was not unlike other moments that he or the other brave policemen and policewomen who serve and protect our Commonwealth face every day. Many questions remain as to how this situation developed. These questions will take time to answer.
For now, we should honor Officer Tarentino Jr. and his family and never forget his service to us. I do believe that this moment of profound sadness provides the opportunity to focus on the many police officers who are never recognized, who throw themselves into harm’s way daily because of their commitment to their community and their country.

May 9, 2016
Campbell Budget Amendment for additional mental health services for High School students covered by Tribune
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April 26, 2016
Gas Pipeline Tariffs Face Growing Opposition
Strong bipartisan opposition to the unprecedented step of having rate payers pay directly for the cost of a new pipeline. I want to thank Minority Leader Brad Jones- R and Vice Chairman Representative Steve Kulik for their leadership on this issue.
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April 20, 2016
Thank you and congratulations to the Methuen Rail Trail Alliance, the City of Methuen and Ground Work Lawrence!

As your State Rep, I could not ask for a better team when I go to my colleagues in the Legislature and to the Governor and advocate for funding for the Methuen Rail Trail. Whether it be funding in the State budget, or the $1.65 million grant recently appropriated by the Baker Administration – the catalyst has always been the long term dedication of Methuen’s citizens who understand how this can enhance the quality of our lives and bring economic development to our downtown. To Timothy Vermette and members of the Methuen Rail Trail Alliance – Thank you – and keep up the great work! Tim and his team are always looking for new volunteers to keep our trail clean and welcoming. Below is recent coverage of the state grant to pave and beautify our rail trail, recent press, and my comments at the grant announcement.
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Here are my comments from yesterday:

“Mr. Secretary thank you for coming to the Merrimack Valley today, and I want to thank you and Governor Baker for recognizing how important these grants are to our quality of life here and our economic development.

In the chaos in which we live, natural public spaces are no longer desirable, they are necessary for all us to be able to briefly disconnect from daily noise. Some cannot travel miles to experience the peace and serenity that nature provides – so we must do our best to make space where we live and work.
Taken together, these grants do just that. I am particularly thankful for the connection that the Methuen Rail trail will provide to trails north and south – and beyond our border.

It is a place where we can walk, run and bike free from the noise and danger of cars.
It will pass by the MSPCA and through the beauty of the Spiket River bird sanctuary which houses extensive wildlife. It will indeed become part of the Spiket River Greenway in a most magnificent way.

Finally, I would be remiss in not thanking Groundwork Lawrence our local Mayors and local government leaders, and the hundreds of volunteers who spur us to action.
Government has worked here – and worked well. ”

April 21, 2016
Kinder Morgan has suspended plans for it’s North East Energy Direct pipeline. As many of you know, this pipeline was set to have many detrimental impacts on our communities in the Merrimack Valley.

In the final analysis, Kinder Morgan could not quantify the need for additional capacity, or convince state leaders and the public that there was in fact such a need.
In Methuen, safety concerns were paramount. This pipeline is very dangerously close to homes, (within a few yards in some cases) and it transverses neighborhoods and driveways and through many wetlands. Residents have legitimate concerns regarding investments in mature landscaping that will be removed by this expansion, particularly, mature trees that add considerably to their property value.

I am so grateful for the tremendous commitment and advocacy from members of the community, Attorney General Maura Healey, State Senator Kathleen O’Connor Ives, Senator Barbara L’Italien, Representative Gary, the group Methuen Pipeline Awareness, and Methuen’s Jean Theberge, who made a major personal commitment of time and energy to research the facts regarding this proposed expansion.

We still are unsure of what the final result will be of this announcement, but it demonstrates how much we can accomplish when we work together for the right cause.
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Integrity | Leadership | Results