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麻州州長動態 - Names Kelly Dwyer as Executive Director of Governor’s Council on Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence


Baker-Polito Administration Names Kelly Dwyer as Executive Director of Governor’s Council on Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence

BOSTON – Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito today announced Kelly Dwyer as the new Executive Director of the Governor’s Council on Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, chaired by Lt. Governor Polito.

“The Council on Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence does important work to ensure every Massachusetts resident is able to live and work in safe and healthy environments,” said Governor Baker. “I am proud to welcome Kelly as Executive Director of the Council and look forward to working with her, Lt. Governor Polito and the Council’s members to continue supporting education and prevention support for survivors.”

“Our council is committed to working together to provide necessary support for survivors and develop more solutions that will lead to the end of domestic violence and sexual assault here in the Commonwealth,” said Lt. Governor Polito. “Kelly’s extensive experience in direct victim advocacy and support work, coupled with her policy, education and military experience makes her uniquely  suited for this important role and we are thrilled to continue working with her in this capacity.”

“I am truly honored for this opportunity to work with the Baker-Polito Administration and the Governor’s Council on Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence in their continuing efforts to end domestic violence and sexual assault,” said Executive Director Kelly Dwyer. “This important objective requires the support and collaboration of the wide range of providers that make up the Council, as well as many others throughout the Commonwealth. I look forward to working with the Administration, service providers, and community at large as we work towards that goal.”

In April 2015, Governor Baker signed Executive Order 563, re-launching the Governor’s Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence. Over its first year, the Council’s priorities included analyzing and reporting on the implementation of Chapter 260: An Act Relative to Domestic Violence, a report was issued providing updates on each of the 49 actionable provisions within the law. The Council has launched work groups in five priority areas, including child trafficking and prevention education in schools and universities.

About Kelly Dwyer:
Kelly most recently worked at Health Imperatives as the Director of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Programs. She also served as Co-Chair of the Veterans, Military, and Families Work Group on the Governor’s Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence. She has held various leadership positions in the Army National Guard both domestic and overseas, including Officer, Platoon Leader, Executive Officer of a Company, and second in Command to the Company Commander. While serving in the Florida Army National Guard, Kelly worked at Sunrise of Pasco County as the Legal Team Supervisor and InVEST (Intimate Partner Violence Enhances Services Team) Advocate, providing intensive service management to individuals identified to be in potentially lethal situations. Kelly began her career at the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office as a Victim Witness Advocate and provided services through the Old Colony YMCA for girls and young women committed to the Department of Youth Services. Kelly’s experience includes include direct victim advocacy and support work, building coalitions, advancing policy, education, and sharing her experiences with others.

Baker-Polito Administration Nominates Tejal R. Mehta to Concord District Court

BOSTON – Today, Governor Charlie Baker nominated Tejal Mehta to the position of Associate Justice of the Concord District Court.

“Attorney Mehta brings broad knowledge and experience to the District Court as both a prosecutor and defense attorney who has practiced civil as well as criminal law,”said Governor Baker. “I am pleased to submit her name for the Governor’s Council’s advice and consent, and believe she will be a great asset to the Massachusetts judiciary.

“Throughout her career, Attorney Mehta has demonstrated a strong commitment to fairness and equality,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “If confirmed by the Governor’s Council, I am confident she will serve the court and all that come before it with wisdom and justice.”

The District Court hears a wide range of criminal, civil, housing, juvenile, mental health, and other types of cases. District Court criminal jurisdiction extends to all felonies punishable by a sentence up to five years, and many other specific felonies with greater potential penalties, all misdemeanors and all violations of city and town ordinances and by-laws. The District Court is located in 62 courts across the Commonwealth.

For more information about the District Court, please visit their homepage.

Judicial nominations are subject to the advice and consent of the Governor’s Council. Applicants for judicial openings are reviewed by the Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) and recommended to the governor. Governor Baker established the JNC in February, 2015 pursuant to Executive Order 558, a non-partisan, non-political Commission composed of volunteers from a cross-section of the Commonwealth's diverse population to screen judicial applications. Twenty-one members were later appointed to the JNC in April, 2015.

About Tejal R. Mehta
Attorney Mehta is currently a solo legal practitioner at her own firm, Mehta Law Offices in Woburn, practicing criminal defense litigation. Previously, she served for eleven years as an Assistant District Attorney for the Middlesex District Attorney’s office. Attorney Mehta began her career as a law clerk at the Suffolk Superior Court in Boston and then as an associate at Deutsch Williams Brooks DeRensis & Holland practicing civil litigation and criminal defense. Attorney Mehta is a founding board member of the South Asian Bar Association and currently serves as a board member for the Board of Bar Overseers. Attorney Mehta is involved in her community as a troop leader for the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts, and is a former Executive Board member for the Bedford Montessori School. Ms. Mehta graduated from Notre Dame University and earned her J.D. from Boston University School of Law. She currently resides in Concord with her family.

Governor Baker Creates Commission on the Future of Transportation in the Commonwealth
18 experts with diverse range of skills and backgrounds to guide future transportation decisions

BOSTON - Governor Charlie Baker today signed Executive Order No. 579 establishing the Commission on the Future of Transportation in the Commonwealth to advise the Baker-Polito Administration on future transportation needs and challenges.  The Governor named 18 appointees to the Commission, which will develop a range of scenarios anticipated between 2020 and 2040 and be used to inform the panel’s findings. The Commission will meet monthly and will provide a report on the analysis of members and make recommendations by December 1, 2018.

“This commission will advise our administration on the future of transportation in Massachusetts that sensibly accounts for impending disruptions due to changes in technology, climate, demographics and more,” said Governor Baker.  “Making informed transportation decisions and policy guided by the best analysis possible will be the foundation for success across the board in years to come to keep our innovation economy thriving and competitive.”

“Members of the Future of Transportation in the Commonwealth Commission have generously agreed to help us chart an important future of the Commonwealth,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Our appointees bring exceptional institutional knowledge of our transportation history and a keen understanding of the challenges Massachusetts will need to address over the next several years.”

“I look forward to working with members of the Commission, many of whom are professionally recognized as leaders in fields that will impact transportation, as we wrestle with a wide range of facts and trends to develop plausible scenarios and guidance to decision-makers and other stakeholders,” said Steven Kadish, who will chair the Commission.

Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation (MTF) President Eileen McAnneny, who will serve on the Commission, said its creation reflects MTF’s recent report that stressed how transportation is undergoing disruptive change.  “This Commission positions the Commonwealth as a national leader in factoring the impacts of technological advances, climate change and changing transportation consumption habits into its capital investment and strategic planning processes,” McAnneny said.

The Governor named 18 members with a range of backgrounds and skill sets to serve as unpaid members of the Commission, which will be chaired by Governor Baker’s former Chief of Staff, Steven Kadish. The Secretary of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the Secretary and CEO of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation will serve as ex officio members.

Commission members will focus on at least five key areas anticipated to have a dramatic impact on transportation in the future: 

·       Climate and resiliency;
·       Transportation electrification;
·       Autonomous and connected vehicles, including ride-sharing services;
·       Transit and mobility services; and
·       Land use and demographic trends.
“This is going to be a serious effort, with a broad range of experts who will seek to better understand and evaluate how technology and other forces in society will affect transportation in the decades ahead,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack.  “We believe Massachusetts is the first state in the nation to convene a group like this which will play an important role in looking at disruptive changes in transportation, an exercise that is essential to laying the foundation for any future transportation blueprint.  Those same forces could affect the types of capital investments Massachusetts will need and should make as well as the sources of revenue to support such future infrastructure investments in the Commonwealth.”

“The Baker-Polito Administration continues to utilize a collaborative approach to work across state government and with our cities and towns to reduce carbon emissions and prepare for the impacts of climate change,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton.  “As Massachusetts continues its efforts to meet our commitments under the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008, the Commission on the Future of Transportation in the Commonwealth will be crucial in identifying solutions to achieving substantial greenhouse gas emission reductions from the transportation sector.”

The Baker-Polito Administration began a series of statewide listening sessions in September 2017 to discuss possible solutions for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector. Following the forums, state environmental and transportation leaders continue to develop the Commonwealth's strategy to reduce transportation sector emissions, develop a comprehensive regional strategy for the deployment of zero emission vehicles, and increase the resilience of transportation infrastructure as the climate changes.

The Commission will engage with a range of non-profit groups, academic thought leaders and other stakeholders.  As needed, Commonwealth of Massachusetts knowledge experts in various secretariats will be providing information to the Commission.

For additional information on Executive Order No. 579, please click here.

In addition to Secretaries Pollack and Beaton serving as ex-officio members, other members of the Commission include:

Steven Kadish, Chair
Steve Kadish is a Senior Research Fellow at the Taubman Center for State and Local Government at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, after serving as Governor Charlie Baker’s first Chief of Staff for nearly 3 years.  Prior positions include Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Northeastern University, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Dartmouth College, Director of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts Undersecretary for Health & Human Services, Senior Vice President for Administration at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Associate Vice Chancellor of Operations at UMass Medical School, and Assistant Commissioner for Operations at Massachusetts Division of Medical Assistance (Medicaid).  Kadish earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University and a Master of City Planning degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Rebecca Davis
Rebecca Davis has worked as the Deputy Director of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council since 2008. There, she oversees the agency’s administration, finance and human resource operations, and works to keep their priorities in line with their visionary regional plan; MetroFuture: Making a Greater Boston Region. Prior to becoming Deputy Director, Ms. Davis served as MAPC’s Director of Government Affairs, where she developed and led their legislative agenda, including zoning reform legislation, transportation funding, and energy and environmental issues. She also spent time as Director of their Clean Energy teams, where she focused on promoting the implementation of renewable energy and energy efficient projects. Ms. Davis previously worked in the Massachusetts State House as Legislative Director to State Senator Robert O’Leary, and worked to pass numerous environmental laws, including the Massachusetts Ocean Act, the nation’s first ocean management legislation.  She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy and American Institutions from Brown University.

Daniel Dolan
Daniel Dolan is President of the New England Power Generators Association. He turned the company around to make it the successful, well-respected energy association it is today. He provides leadership of the association, and administers all aspects including overseeing staff, finances, membership recruitment and retention, policy development, and the implementation of Board actions. Mr. Dolan also oversees key relationships with the Congressional delegation, Federal regulators, Governors, state legislators, and ISO New England Executive Management and Board of Directors. He previously served as Vice President of both Policy Research and Communications, and Policy Research and Analysis for the Electric Power Supply Association. Mr. Dolan received a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from Goucher College. He is presently a member of the Development Committee of Family ACCESS Board of Directors, and was the Chairman of the Board of Directors of My Sisters Place.

Gretchen Effgen
Gretchen Effgen is Vice President of the Global Partnerships and Business Team at Nutonomy. She provides team leadership, and oversees partnerships, business development, external relations, and recruiting and human capital management. Ms. Effgen previously served as Executive Vice President of Mobility Services at CivicSmart, and was a member of their Board of Directors. She also spent four years working for Zipcar where she served as Strategic Advisor, Vice President of Strategy & Corporate Development, Director of Business Development, and Senior Manager of Business Development.  Ms. Effgen received her Bachelor of Arts from Tulane University, and her Master of Business Administration from London Business School. She is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Future Council, and a member of the ULI Urban Development Council. Ms. Effgen also received the Best Strategic Alliance Award for the Zipcar and Ford Motor Company partnership, as well as the Zipcar Innovator Award.

José Gómez-Ibáñez
José Gómez- Ibáñez is the Derek C. Bok Professor of Urban Planning and Public Policy at Harvard University. He also holds a joint appointment at the Graduate School of Design, and John F. Kennedy School of Government. Mr. Gómez- Ibáñez is also the Chair of the Social and Urban Policy Area at Harvard Kennedy School.  He also does work as a consultant and public service aid to U.S. government agencies, foreign governments, and private for-profit and non-profit firms. He previously served as Senior Advisor to the Infrastructure Vice Presidency at the World Bank, and was a Senior Staff Economist in the Council of Economic Affairs at the Executive Office of the President in Washington, D.C. Mr. Gómez- Ibáñez has interests in infrastructure and urban economic development, and infrastructure privatization and regulation. He has published four books, numerous journal articles and papers, and has edited many other writings. He received his Bachelors of Arts in Government from Harvard College, and his Master of Public Policy and Ph.D. from Harvard Kennedy School.

Kenneth Kimmell
As president of the Union of Concerned Scientists, Kenneth Kimmell dedicates his time to using scientific knowledge to build a healthier and safer world. He is a leading advocate for UCS’s Power Ahead campaign, which is working to build an expansive group of clean energy leadership states. Mr. Kimmell previously served as Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, where he helped push nine states to lower carbon emissions. He also worked as general counsel in the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs during Governor Deval Patrick’s administration, and spent 17 years as the director and senior attorney at a law firm specializing in environmental, energy, and land-use issues. Mr. Kimmell earned his Bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University, and his law degree from the University of California.

Carol Lee Rawn
Carol Lee Rawn is a Cambridge resident who currently serves as the Director of Transportation for CERES, a Boston based sustainability nonprofit organization. In her role, she works with influential investors and companies to promote sustainable transportation practices and policies. Prior to her work at CERES, she was General Counsel for the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, leading the Clean State Initiative, before moving onto the Conservation Law Foundation, where she worked as an environmental advocate. Ms. Rawn also served as Deputy Legal Counsel for Massachusetts Governor William Weld, and spent 3 years before that working as an environmental crime prosecutor with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office.She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Literary Studies from Middlebury College, and then went on to earn her Juris Doctorate from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Eileen McAnneny
Eileen McAnneny has been President of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation since 2015. She has more than 20 years of experience in government relations, public policy, and advocacy and managerial experience in both the public and private sectors in Massachusetts. Ms. McAnneny previously served as President and CEO of the Massachusetts Society of CPAs, as Director of Public Policy at Fidelity Investments, and as Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and Associate General Council at Associated Industries of Massachusetts. She spent time working in the public sector as a staff attorney for the Joint Committee on Revenue of the Massachusetts legislature, where she played a key role in various significant tax policy changes.  Ms. McAnneny received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Tufts University, and her Juris Doctorate in Law from Suffolk University Law School.  She is a commissioner of the Group Insurance Commission, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Cooperative Central Bank and the Massachusetts Health Quality Partnership.

Timothy McGourthy
Timothy McGourthy is a Worcester resident currently serving as Executive Director for the Worcester Regional Research Bureau where he directs the research agenda, oversees operations, coordinates forums and events, leads fundraising efforts, and provides support for a 90-member Board of Directors. He is also an adjunct professor at Clark University where he teaches a graduate course in Community Development Finance. Mr. McGourthy previously served as the Chief Development Officer for the City of Worcester, and the Chief Executive Officer for the Worcester Redevelopment Authority. He helped oversee nine city divisions, and was key in the development of Worcester’s Downtown, Lincoln Square, and Washington Square. He also served as Director of Public Policy for the Boston Redevelopment Authority where he drafted policies and legislation related to issues impacting the development of the city. Mr. McGourthy received his Bachelor of Arts in History from the College of William and Mary. He also holds a Master of Arts in Government from The Johns Hopkins University, and a Master in Public Policy and Urban Planning from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He was offered the Comparative Domestic Policy Fellowship in 2010/2011 from the German Marshall Fund of the United States. Mr. McGourthy was also a Chair on the Worcester Economic Development Coordinating Committee, as well as an Executive Committee Member of the Worcester Cultural Coalition.

Mark Melnik Ph.D
Mark Melnik is a Jamaica Plain resident who currently works as the Director of Economic and Public Policy Research at UMASS Amherst’s Donahue Institute. He focuses on demographic, socio-economic and labor market issues. Previously, he acted as Deputy Director for Research at the Boston Redevelopment Authority, where he led research teams on demographic and economic research. Dr. Melnik also worked as a research associate at the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Youngstown State University, and his Master of Arts from Northeastern University, both in sociology. He also holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in Sociology from Northeastern University.

Colleen Quinn
Colleen Quinn is the Senior Vice President of Global Public Policy for ChargePoint, the world’s largest network of electric vehicle charging stations. There, she leads regulatory and government market development activities. In addition, she oversaw ChargePoint’s expansion into Europe, and represented ChargePoint at COP 21 in Paris, where she accepted the United Nations Momentum for Change Award. Ms. Quinn is a seasoned executive leader and government strategist with 30 years of experience in government, business, and non-profit sectors. Her experience includes working for California Governor Jerry Brown, the Partnership for New York City, Insight Communications, Pacific Telesis, and the Revlon Foundation. She has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Berkeley, and earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of California’s Hastings College of Law. The diverse organization and stakeholder group positions that Ms. Quinn serves in the EV industry include: Executive Committee and Board member Electric Drive Transportation Association; Executive Committee of the California Plug In Electric Vehicle Collaborative; Founder of the Electric Vehicle Charging Association; Gubernatorial appointee the Massachusetts ZEV Commission; Maryland Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Council; Chair of the National Electric Manufacturers Association EV Charging Government Relations committee.

Karen Sawyer Conrad
Karen Sawyer Conrad is the Executive Director of the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission. She leads the agency on coordinating the planning and development of 15 communities in Essex County. Ms. Sawyer Conrad has over 28 years of experience in public and private sectors, and an extensive knowledge of state and local government in Massachusetts. She has previously served as the Director of Community Development and Planning for the City of Peabody, the Chief Operating Officer and Director of Corporate Development at MassInnovation, and was the Director of the Economic Assistance Coordinating Council within the Department of Economic Development. Ms. Sawyer Conrad received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and French from Duke University. She is a Director and Charitable Foundation Committee Member at the Savings Banks, a Director at First Financial Trust, and President of Housing Support, Inc. She was appointed by Governor Baker to the Gaming Policy Advisory Commission.

Sandra Sheehan
Sandra Sheehan is a Hampden resident who currently serves as Chief Executive Officer for the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority. There, she provides leadership, direction, support, and oversight for the Authority and its contractors. She previously served as the Director of Planning and Development, and the Director of Procurement and Transit at PVTA. Prior to her work there, Ms. Sheehan worked as Director of Grants and Contract Administration at the Greater Hartford Transit District in Hartford, CT. She played a key role in Hartford’s Intermodal Triangle Project, which included the design and construction of improved downtown intermodal connections. She received her Associate of Arts in Civil Engineering from Miami Dade Community College, and her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Ms. Sheehan also holds a Master of Science in Engineering Management from Western New England University. She is a member of the American Public Transportation Association as well as the Massachusetts Association of Regional Transit Authorities.

Stephen Silveira
Stephen Silveira is Senior Vice President at ML Strategies, where he assists clients in their interactions with both state and local governments.  He was appointed by both Governor Romney and Governor Patrick to chair the Commonwealth’s Transportation Finance Commission, where he helped make recommendations on how the Commonwealth can finance, maintain, and expand its transportation system.  He aided the commission in formulating 28 cost-cutting and revenue-enhancing recommendations. Mr. Silveira previously worked at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority as Deputy Director of Real Estate, where he oversaw the sale and development of the MBTA’s surplus real estate assets. He also led the successful effort to expand the Route 128 Station in collaboration with Amtrak. In addition, Mr. Silveira spent time working in the Massachusetts State Senate as a Legislative Aide. Mr. Silveira received his Bachelor of Arts in Politics and Government from Ohio Wesleyan University. He was appointed by Governor Baker to the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, and was elected to serve on their Executive Committee.

Navjot Singh
Dr. Navjot Singh is a Weston resident who serves as the Managing Partner for the McKinsey Boston Office, and has been a leader in McKinsey’s Pharmaceuticals and Medicals Products and Public Sector Practice for over 15 years. He focuses on the intersection of science, medicine, business, investments, and government. He previously served as Program Manager at General Electric’s Global Research Center. Dr. Singh received a Bachelor of Technology from the Indian Institute of Technology, a Master of Business Administration from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota. He is a co-holder and inventor of over 15 patents, and has been published in In Vivo and Nature Drug Discovery. He is the Chair of the Board of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, and the Chair of the External Advisory Board of Overseers of Museum of Science.

Kirk Sykes
Kirk Sykes is the head of the Urban Strategy America Fund, L.P, where they work to provide investors with the opportunity to transform urban and economic development areas. Mr. Sykes supervises partnership equity placement, the identification of investments, and day-to-day operations of the fund. His start came about in the early 1990s, when he worked on the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative to develop a 40-unit townhouse in Boston’s south end. Mr. Sykes also helped develop the Boston State Hospital site in 1998, which later became the first investment of the Urban Strategy America Fund. Mr. Sykes received his Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Cornell University. He also studied at L’Ecole Polytechnique in Paris, and completed postgraduate programs at MIT’s Center for Real Estate Development, and Harvard University’s Business School. Mr. Sykes received the 21st Century Black Massachusetts Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005, Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund’s 5th Annual Presidents Conference Award in 2004, and serves as a member of the Urban Land Institute’s Boston Executive Committee. He also founded the Robert Taylor Society of Black Architects in, and served as their president. He was appointed by Governor Baker to serve on the Black Advisory Commission.

Governor Baker and Secretary Sudders Testify Before Joint Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse in Support of the Administration's "CARE Act" Legislation to Combat the Opioid and Heroin Epidemic

BOSTON— Today, Governor Charlie Baker and Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders testified at a hearing of the Joint Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse in support of the administration’s second significant package to fight the opioid and heroin epidemic, including legislation titled “An act relative to Combatting addiction, Accessing treatment, Reducing prescriptions and Enhancing prevention” (CARE Act).

TESTIMONY AS PREPARED FOR DELIVERY BY GOV. CHARLIE BAKER: 

Madame Chairs, Mr. Vice Chairs and Members of the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery, thank you for the opportunity to provide testimony regarding "An Act Relative to Combatting Addiction, Accessing Treatment, Reducing Prescriptions, and Enhancing Prevention." The legislation filed by the Administration will allow the Commonwealth to build upon our efforts to address the opioid epidemic by continuing to expand pathways to treatment and recovery services, holding the medical community accountable for their prescribing habits, and strengthening our education and prevention tools. 

Overview

It is not my first time here talking with you all about what we need to do in order to bend the trend in the right direction when it comes to the opioid epidemic. Thanks to your, bipartisan cooperation, we signed a landmark opioid bill last session. But I think that we can all agree there is more work to be done, and I believe this legislation will significantly assist the Commonwealth in our continued fight against the disease. 

When I asked Secretary Sudders to chair the Opioid Working Group three years ago, I challenged her and the team to disrupt the status quo and to act with urgency. To develop best practices for combating the crisis, we learned from families who lost loved ones and people struggling with substance misuse about ways we can improve access to treatment and stop addiction before it starts; we listened and engaged in numerous discussions with the health care community, advocates, schools, individuals with addictions in various stages of treatment and recovery, loved ones, and reviewed evidence-based data reports, all of which have helped inform and  develop this Administration’s  comprehensive package of reforms to improve substance misuse prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery strategies. 

Our first major first step was the bipartisan enactment of Chapter 52 of the Acts of 2016, an Act Relative to Substance Use, Treatment, Education and Prevention (the STEP Act), which established Massachusetts as the first state in the nation to implement a seven day limit on first-time opioid prescriptions for adults. Today, opioid prescriptions are down by nearly 30% in the Commonwealth. 

We completely revamped the prescription monitoring program; and improved education for young people, educators, and medical professionals about the risks of opioid misuse.  

We also partnered with the state’s colleges and universities and today, nearly every single future prescriber educated in the Commonwealth receives mandatory opioid training. 

We brought together our nine schools of social work to adopt core curriculum in addictions for our largest cadre of behavioral health clinicians. More than 56,000 people across the Commonwealth are now trained to use the lifesaving, overdose reversal drug naloxone. 

Nearly two years later since the law’s enactment and our collective efforts, we are now seeing early signs of progress. Some of our efforts are even being used as a national blue print to help other states.  And for the first time, opioid-related deaths in the Commonwealth have decreased by 10%. 

The bill before you, the CARE Act, builds upon the foundational work of the STEP Act and offers a more targeted approach to expanding our educational efforts; preventing opioid misuse and addressing barriers to treatment and gaps in care. 

Expanding Educational Efforts

In the long run, our ability to meaningfully reduce the problem of opioid addiction will depend on better and wider education about substance misuse in an attempt to stop addiction before it starts. 

The STEP Act introduced requirements that every school district in the Commonwealth develop effective substance use prevention education, and adopt an individualized assessment tool to screen students for substance use disorders. 

As a result of our Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment program (SBIRT), we have already trained nearly 4,000 school staff in 283 school districts, resulting in 22,000 students screened. 

The CARE Act builds on that progress by creating a trust fund to help finance the expansion of educational and intervention programs in schools. This fund will go toward developing information systems that can help identify students at risk and track outcomes.  It will also support the implementation of new, school-based models for coordinated support of students in need. My 2019 budget will propose additional funding for school based prevention and intervention so local schools have the resources they need to combat the epidemic. 

We will also promote prevention education in public and private higher education intuitions, to be included in freshman orientation programs for students.

Preventing Opioid Misuse   

The medical community plays a critical role in both fighting and preventing opioid addiction. Massachusetts is seeing progress thanks to the use of certain tools like MassPAT, our prescription monitoring program. 

There is now more accountability for prescribers, and these powerful drugs are tracked more closely than ever before. To date, 95 percent of Massachusetts providers are now registered on MassPAT. 

However, there are still vast challenges. Every year in the United States, over 220 million opioid prescriptions are written. Four of five people who become addicted to heroin start on prescription pain medications. 

The CARE Act focuses on six changes that continue to improve the Commonwealth’s ability to prevent opioid misuse.  First, our legislation mandates that all prescriptions be electronically prescribed by 2020. 

This will help cut down on fraud and improve tracking and data collection. States including New York and national pharmacy companies such as CVS are adopting e-prescribing as best practice.  Next, to ensure compliance with the state’s seven day prescription limit law, we believe that it is important that there is a referral process to report providers who are suspected of violating the law. 

Opioid prescriptions issued to treat a work related injury or short term acute pain are putting too many people at risk of developing an addiction. 

To address this danger, the bill authorizes the Department of Industrial Accidents, which administers the Commonwealth's workers compensation insurance program, to develop an approved drug formulary to regulate the use of opioids in treating workplace injuries. 

It also creates a commission that will develop recommendations on appropriate prescribing practices for the most common oral and advanced dental procedures. 

Our legislation will advance the use of “blister packs,” standardized, prepackaged doses in order to reduce the likelihood of overprescribing.

More and more we are learning that patients do not need large prescriptions and numerous refills to manage short term acute pain—in fact they may not need opioids at all. Following a change in Federal law, the bill improves on the "partial fill" provision of the STEP Act so that patients will be able to receive a portion of their full opioid prescription without invalidating the remainder of it. 

More patients may choose the "partial fill" option if they know they can go back to the same pharmacy within 30 days to fill the rest of the prescription if needed. 

And, as one of the most important prevention tools, the bill increases access to naloxone by authorizing a state-wide, standing order that will make it easier for every pharmacy in the Commonwealth to dispense naloxone. 

The bill also encourages broader use of naloxone by guaranteeing that practitioners who prescribe and pharmacists who dispense naloxone in good faith will be protected from criminal or civil liability. 

Improving Access to Treatment  

The CARE Act has a number of provisions to improve access to treatment. First, it creates a commission that will recommend standards to credential recovery coaches, powerful tools to keep individuals in long-term recovery.  

The Commonwealth currently has a few recovery coach pilot programs. Last week, the Secretary and I had the opportunity to visit Beverly Hospital which operates one of our piloted recovery coach programs. During that visit, we spoke with a patient who credited his recovery from opioid addiction to the help of his recovery coach.  

The recovery coach, who is also in recovery, first sat with the patient for several hours in the emergency room (ER) after being brought in from another overdose. The patient told us that without the recovery coach’s intervention, he would have left the hospital and gone right back to using heroin. Instead, with his recovery coach’s active support and guidance, he went to treatment and is now living in, and helping to run, a Sober Home all thanks to that intervention in the ER. 

Recovery coaches’ offer acceptance through shared experiences and we must act to make sure these services are effective and available for more people seeking a path to recovery.

The CARE Act also focuses on two areas where we must improve access to treatment: ensuring that people who are suffering from opioid addiction receive the specialized treatment they need and expanding access to treatment in the emergency room setting. 

I’d like to ask Secretary Sudders to address this part of the legislation.





TESTIMONY AS PREPARED FOR DELIVERY BY SEC. MARYLOU SUDDERS: 

All of us would agree that voluntary treatment for substance misuse is the best course– but there are times when it may be necessary to involuntarily admit someone.   Involuntary treatment is, and should be, used only as a last resort. However, when used clinically appropriately, it can save lives and provide an opportunity to engage someone to accept treatment.  Attention has been drawn to a 2016 Department of Public Health study, known as the Chapter 55 report, which found that people who received involuntary treatment were 2.2 times more likely to die of opioid-related overdoses, as compared to those with a history of voluntary treatment. However, the same study found that, during the 2011 to 2014 reporting period, 98.6% of the individuals who were involuntarily committed survived and were among our sickest and most complex patients, as compared to the individuals who sought voluntary treatment. 

Massachusetts law currently allows for involuntary treatment for addiction, referred to as section 35.  However, under current law, the courts are the only pathway to involuntary treatment.  Courts are open only during normal business hours, Mondays through Fridays.  The hospital is not a pathway to involuntary treatment for those at imminent risk of harm as a result of a substance use disorder. If an individual was administered Narcan and transported to an emergency department, they may refuse a substance abuse assessment and walk out of the hospital.  Every day, our emergency room physicians make heroic medical decisions with the best information available to them.   The bill proposes two important changes to the current section 35 process.  One permits medical professionals or police officers to authorize the involuntary transport of a patient to a substance use treatment facility for emergency assessment and treatment when the patient poses an imminent risk of harm to themselves or others. The treatment facility is then required to attempt to engage the patient in voluntary treatment for a period of up to 72 hours. In cases where a patient poses an immediate risk of harm but remains unable to engage in voluntary treatment, medical professionals at the treatment facility would be required to petition a court to commit the patient for involuntary treatment under section 35 of chapter 123 of the General Laws, the existing civil commitment statute. In listening to the concerns expressed previously by some in the medical community, the bill provides civil and criminal protections for the individuals making these assessments and determinations.  The second change expands the types of medical professionals who can file a section 35 petition with the court.

Too often we’ve heard from desperate families who have nowhere else to turn when they are in need of immediate help. Crises of addiction occur 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – not only during the hours when a court is open. Additionally, by not allowing a clinical pathway to involuntary treatment, it contributes to the stigma that addiction is a criminal matter not a medical illness. This provision is effective 2020 to allow for clinical standards to be developed for these involuntary assessments for involuntary treatment and for the expansion of additional treatment capacity. 

The 2016 STEP Act introduced a requirement that medical staff in an emergency department conduct a substance use evaluation and provide information on addiction treatment for any patient treated for an opioid overdose. The CARE Act aims to improve the effectiveness of these consultations by expanding the range of medical professionals authorized to perform the evaluation and by requiring that the emergency departments affirmatively connect the patient with the appropriate level of care, including connecting patients to a recovery coach or an inpatient substance use treatment facility. 

The CARE ACT also contains other important provisions.  In order to ensure that the appropriate types of treatment facilities are available to serve every patient who needs treatment, the legislation strengthens the oversight authority of the Department of Mental Health (DMH) and the Department of Public Health, the two agencies that license facilities that provide treatment for addiction and/or mental illness. 

Before licensing new treatment programs or approving the transfer of license of an existing facility, DMH and DPH will require that a facility demonstrate that it provides the range and quality of services necessary to meet the current, critical treatment needs of the Commonwealth's patients. Prior to receiving a license, providers may be required to demonstrate that they can treat individuals with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorder, and make treatment available to patients with public health insurance.

The CARE Act also establishes a commission to recommend standards that specify how licensed behavioral health clinicians represent their specialty and capability to insurance carriers and patients. These standards will use evidence-based treatments to categorize providers, so in the future; individuals seeking treatment for substance misuse can more easily and effectively find providers that meet their specific needs. 

We would like to thank the Committee and Legislature for your continued partnership to address the opioid crisis.  Our work to fight this epidemic is never done. While we have made progress, there is still so much more work to do.  

Baker-Polito Administration Awards $2 Million in Community Compact Grants
Efficiency and Regionalization Grants will aid 92 communities and 8 School Districts

BOSTON – Today, the Baker-Polito Administration awarded $2 million in Community Compact Cabinet grants that will assist 92 communities and 8 School Districts across the Commonwealth. The Efficiency and Regionalization Grant Program was started by the administration in 2016  to assist municipalities and school districts interested in providing services to their constituents in a more efficient and cost-effective way. In Fiscal Year 2017, the administration awarded $2 million to over 110 municipalities and 18 school districts.

“Our administration created the Community Compact Cabinet to enhance state government’s role as a reliable partner for municipalities under the leadership of Lt. Governor Polito who has logged countless miles travelling Massachusetts working with local officials and stakeholders,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are proud to announce this year’s round of grants to help cities, towns, and school districts from across the Commonwealth work together to share services that will better serve their constituents in a more cost-effective manner.”

“As former local officials, Governor Baker and I understand the importance of continuing to support our cities and towns through this effective grant program,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Chair of the Community Compact Cabinet. “We are committed to using these grants to work with cities, towns, and school districts to better serve their residents and make Massachusetts a great place to live, work, and raise a family.”

"The Community Compact Cabinet grant program provides local leaders with the flexibility and support to pursue projects that best fit their communities," said Administration and Finance Secretary Michael J. Heffernan. "The administration is pleased to have provided over $17 million to cities and towns through this program to pursue important regionalization and efficiency efforts, best practices, and technology infrastructure upgrades."

The Community Compact Cabinet’s Efficiency & Regionalization grant program provides financial support for governmental entities interested in implementing regionalization and other efficiency initiatives that allow for long-term sustainability. The grants will provide funds for one-time or transition costs for municipalities, regional school districts, school districts considering  forming a regional school district or regionalizing services, regional planning agencies and councils of governments interested in such projects.

Grant Recipients:

Regionalization / Shared Services
·       Mosquito Control District (Deerfield, Bernardston, Conway, East Longmeadow, Hadley, Montague, Northampton, Palmer, Shelburne, Southampton, South Hadley) - $150,000
·       Pioneer Valley Planning Commission Regional IT (Blandford, Chester, Cummington, Huntington, Montgomery, and the Gateway RSD) - $150,000
·       Shared Fire/EMS (Halifax, Plympton) - $132,300
·       Regional IT (Danvers, Essex, Hamilton, Wenham) - $100,000
·       Regional Animal Control (Palmer, Monson, Ware, Warren) - $67,000
·       Regional Public Health Nurse (Avon, Holbrook, Randolph) - $46,000
·       Metropolitan Area Planning Council Regional Opioid Programming (Chelsea, Medford, Winthrop) - $36,500
·       Regional Treasury/Collections (Berkley, Cheshire, Chester, Conway, Egremont, Hawley, Heath, Middlefield, Oakham, Royalston, Tyringham, Washington, Windsor) - $22,109

Regional Economic Development
·       Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission Regional Economic Development Director (Barre, Hardwick, Hubbardston, New Braintree, Oakham) - $95,000
·       Regional Economic Development (Dedham, Norwood, Westwood) - $50,000
·       Merrimack Valley Planning Commission Regional Economic Development (Amesbury, Andover, Boxford, Georgetown, Groveland, Lawrence, Merrimac, Methuen, Newbury, Newburyport, North Andover, Rowley, Salisbury, West Newbury) - $50,000
·       Rural Economic Development Planning (Chester, Blandford, Huntington, Middlefield, Montgomery, and Russell) - $42,339

Regional Wastewater
·       Cohasset, Hull, Scituate - $200,000
·       Barnstable, Dennis, Harwich, Yarmouth - $150,000
·       Bourne, Falmouth, Mashpee, Sandwich (with Joint Base Cape Cod) - $140,000

Regional Transportation
·       Metropolitan Area Planning Council (Beverly, Danvers, Marblehead, Peabody, Salem, Swampscott) - $125,300
·       Martha’s Vineyard Commission Regional Transportation Planner (Aquinnah, Chilmark, Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, Tisbury,  West Tisbury) - $100,000
·       Bedford, Burlington, Lexington - $85,000

Schools
·       Regional School District Consolidation / Collaboration (Gill-Montague RSD, Franklin Co. Tech, Pioneer Valley RSD) - $109,998
·       Add Member to Old Colony Regional VocTech (Freetown schools) - $30,000
·       Exploration of Regionalization (Amherst and Pelham schools) - $21,500

Efficiencies
·       Gardner Combined Dispatch - $82,952
·       Williamsburg Police Records/Reporting - $10,350


About the Community Compact Cabinet:

Formed in January 2015, the Community Compact Cabinet is chaired by Lt. Governor Polito and comprised of the secretaries of Housing & Economic Development, Education, Transportation, and Energy & Environmental Affairs, the Senior Deputy Commissioner of Local Services, the Assistant Secretary of Operational Services, and the Chief Information Officer of the Commonwealth. The Community Compact Cabinet elevates the Administration’s partnerships with cities and towns, and allows the Governor’s Office to work more closely with leaders from all municipalities. The Cabinet champions municipal interests across all executive secretariats and agencies, and develops, in consultation with cities and towns, mutual standards and best practices for both the state and municipalities.  The creation of Community Compacts creates clear standards, expectations and accountability for both partners.

As of today, 323 compacts have been signed.

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Over $6 Million in Municipal Park and Recreation Grants
Funding Will Help 22 Communities Develop Parks and Outdoor Recreation Space

BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration today announced $6,385,785 in grant funding for park and recreation improvements in 22 Massachusetts communities. The grants, administered through the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs’ (EEA) Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities (PARC) grant program and funded through the capital budget, will be used to help municipalities acquire nearly 30 acres of land, as well as develop or renovate other land for park and outdoor recreation purposes.

“Increasing access to parks across the Commonwealth helps our communities grow and promotes healthier lifestyles,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are proud to secure 30 acres of new parkland and help fund the renovation of existing parks to make them more accessible, usable, and modern.”

“Public parks are essential to the health and economic well-being of cities and towns, so our administration is focused on investing in important park projects,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Through the Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities program, we are partnering with communities of all sizes to ensure Massachusetts families can enjoy parks and recreational opportunities close to home.”

The PARC Program was established in 1977 to assist cities and towns in acquiring and developing land for park and outdoor recreation purposes. Any community with an up-to-date Open Space and Recreation Plan is eligible to apply for the program.

“The great local projects being funded through the Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities program will provide community gathering spaces and encourage people to spend time outdoors,” said EEA Secretary Matthew Beaton. “The Baker-Polito Administration continues to invest in parks and outdoor recreational improvements to ensure residents from every corner of the Commonwealth and of all ages and abilities are able to experience our state’s beautiful natural resources.”

There are two categories of PARC grants: the Small Town grant category for towns with less than 35,000 residents, with a maximum grant award of $50,000, and a separate category for cities and towns with more than 35,000 residents, which has a $400,000 grant award maximum.

The following communities are recipients of the PARC grant awards:

MUNICIPALITY
PROJECT NAME
PROJECT DESCRIPTION
TOTAL GRANT AWARD
Boston
Noyes Playground
The project includes the construction of two basketball courts, two picnic areas, an adult exercise area, a water spray feature, a renovated children’s play area, renovation of two natural turf ball fields, installation of an artificial turf field for softball and soccer use, installation of new energy-efficient LED sports lighting, addition of new paths and renovation of existing paths, and the addition of 33 new trees.
$400,000
Buckland
Buckland Recreation Area Playground
The project will construct the town's first playground.
$32,000
Chelsea
O'Neill Playground Renovation
The project includes the installation of a 5-9 year old and preschool-aged playground structure with safety surfacing, creation of a splash pad, refurbishment of the perimeter retaining wall, and the installation of new fencing with two entry gates.
$400,000
Chicopee
Nash Park
The project includes the demolition of the existing skate park and asphalt pad and replacing it with a modern skate park facility, construction of a basketball court, the addition of a pavilion, and accessible pathways.
$395,584
Fall River
Accessibility Improvements
The project includes making accessibility improvements to the pathway systems in four parks - North Park, Maplewood Park, Ruggles Park, and Father Kelly Park.
$395,500
Gardner
Bailey Brook Park
The project will include the acquisition of 28.8 acres of land and provide for the development of athletic fields, a playground, walking paths, an accessible trail, and nature learning and exploration areas.
$97,388
Halifax
Halifax Open Play Space Renovation
The project includes the construction of 52 ADA-accessible play activities, new wooden carpet play surfaces, and rubberized surfacing at the ADA-accessible entranceways and pathways.
$50,000
Holyoke
Valley Arena Park
The project will include the installation of park infrastructure, basketball courts, swing sets, benches, picnic tables, grills, bike racks, and public art.
$219,443
Lawrence
O'Connell South Common Phase 2
The project will include converting the existing street hockey rink into a multi-sport court, constructing a formal volleyball court, and lighting/electrical improvements.
$400,000
Leominster
Mechanic Street Park
The project includes the development of a park with pathways, seating, and places to play and picnic.
$400,000
Lynn
Lynn Common
The project will restore the curb, walkways, and perimeter handicapped ramps in the east area of the Large Common, allowing for the installation of new metal benches, trash receptacles, and planting of new trees.
$400,000
Middleborough
Oliver Mill Park Bridge and Stonework
The project includes the repair and replacement of two bridges and the restoration of historic stonework.
$50,000
North Adams
Noel Field Phase 2
The project includes the construction of a spray park, upgraded basketball courts, new bocce and pickle ball courts, and final landscaping amenities.
$400,000
Peabody
Riverwalk
The project will include the acquisition of 0.98 acres of land to further develop the city's Riverwalk Project.  Can close in FY19.
$142,600
Pittsfield
Clapp Park
The project includes the relocation the basketball court, the addition of a small parking lot, improvements to the high school baseball field, including new dugouts and utilities for field lighting, and the construction of new accessible pathways and walking trails.
$400,000
Plymouth
Holmes Park Revitalization
The project includes the installation of a new paved parking lot connecting to the park with an ADA compliant path, new parks, benches, and picnic tables will be added, improved access to the Town Brook Trail will be addressed, the trail from Jenney Park and Willard Place will be reconstructed, and lighting added.
$341,678
Revere
Gibson Park
The project includes the installation of an accessible play structure with safety surfacing; the addition of adult exercise equipment; replacement of damaged and rusted fencing, seating, and walkways; and the addition of irrigation to the baseball field.
$225,556
Somerville
Prospect Hill Park
The project includes newly-accessible pathways for people with disabilities; new trees, grass, and plantings; pruning of old-growth trees; stormwater catchment and irrigation to reduce flooding and erosion; more effective fencing and railings; and new site furnishings.
$400,000
Southbridge
Riverside Park
The project will include the construction of a lighted, paved walking trail loop with benches, a footbridge for river viewing, and fencing.
$234,972
Springfield
Riverfront Park
The project includes an inclusive playground and splash pad, establishment of a horticulture experience, increased viewing opportunities along the Connecticut River, renovation of “Festival Field,” and increased pedestrian and vehicular access.
$400,000
Sunderland
Riverside Park
The project will include the development of a park entrance, a river trail and overlook, installation of picnic area and benches, plantings, and wayfinding and interpretive signage.
$201,064
Worcester
Playground Renovations Phase 2
The project includes the construction of a new walkway connection; installation and expansion of a new playground with poured in place safety surfacing; and the construction of new support facilities, accessible walkways, lighting, benches, utility upgrades, landscaping, park edge improvements, and signage.
$400,000

“This provides $400,000 to continue key investments in North Adams' downtown recreation at Noel Field, $400,000 to upgrade Pittsfield’s Clapp Park and the high school baseball field, and funding for Buckland’s first-ever playground. These projects will make sure our children, families, local sports teams and visitors are able to congregate, play and be active outside in western Massachusetts,” said State Senator Adam G. Hinds (D- Pittsfield).  “I am thrilled my hometown, Buckland, will finally host a playground for its children.”

“Clapp Park is a well-loved, multi-use recreation area for families in Pittsfield,” said State Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier (D-Pittsfield). “These updates, coupled with the amazing work by the Pellerin family in honor of their dad, Coach Buddy Pellerin, will allow more people in our community to utilize and enjoy the park.  When city and state government work together, we improve the lives of the individuals and families in our community.”

“I thank Governor Baker’s administration for its continuous support for improvements toward the City of Pittsfield’s park system. Clapp Park is truly a four-season destination in Pittsfield, with activities that include sledding, youth athletics, and outdoor movies,” said Pittsfield Mayor Linda M. Tyer. “This funding aligns two strong community partners, Rotary International and the Buddy Pellerin Field Committee, which will work with the city to continue the revitalization of this cherished park on features that will include the construction of a splash pad, enhancements to the playground and fields, and increased accessibility.”

“The City of Fall River has made a concerted effort to maximize the potential of our local urban parks in order to promote and increase recreation throughout the community,” said State Representative Paul Schmid (D-Westport). “Thanks to the continued commitment of the Baker-Polito Administration, the North, Maplewood, Ruggles and Father Kelly Parks will be a safe and accessible site for all of our residents and visitors.”

“With the help of the Baker-Polito Administration, we continue to make strides in ensuring the sustainability and accessibility of the SouthCoast’s natural resources,” said State Senator Michael J. Rodrigues (D-Westport). “The PARC grant will go a long way in preserving our community’s parks, bicycle trails, and recreational spaces for future generations to enjoy.”

“Two Olmsted parks in my district, North Park and Ruggles Park, will be receiving funding for important accessibility improvements that will increase the enjoyment for our citizens for years,”said State Representative Carole Fiola (D–Fall River). “These are improvements that benefit the quality of life for our constituents.”

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Funding to Promote Agricultural Products

BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration today announced the awarding of approximately $350,000 in Specialty Crop Block Grants to 15 organizations across the Commonwealth. The block grants, which are funded through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and administered by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR), seek to support and promote specialty agricultural products through different strategies, such as a new website dedicated to marketing locally grown produce. According to the USDA, specialty crops are “fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture).”  

“The Massachusetts agricultural industry remains a vital component to local, regional, and state economies, and contained within its core is the harvesting and producing of specialty crops that are bought and sold around the world,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton. “By providing nearly $350,000 in grants, farmers, non-profit organizations, and other entities will be assisted in their pursuit to develop or build upon existing programs as they further promote specialty crops harvested within the Commonwealth.”

Specialty crops and products represent an important segment of the state’s agricultural industry. These crops include cranberries, honey, maple, and herbs. This year’s grants, which total $342,330.36 for the 15 Massachusetts organizations, are authorized by the United States Farm Bill, and range from $10,000 to $64,000.

“We are so thankful for this partnership with the USDA to provide these grants to our Massachusetts farmers and commodity associations to continue to promote locally grown food,” said MDAR Commissioner John Lebeaux. “I am so pleased that 15 applicants were awarded funds to continue to ensure the long-term viability of agriculture in Massachusetts.”

The following are the grant recipients for 2017:

Recipient:       Cape Cod Cranberry Growers’ Association – Carver, MA                                                                                             
Award:           $64,956
Project:          The Cape Cod Cranberry Growers’ Association proposes to increase awareness and consumption of Massachusetts Cranberries through a series of strategic components that will leverage the value of this native fruit while quantifying the value of this region’s heirloom cranberry varieties. Marketing and promotional techniques will target, engage, and educate cranberry consumers in Massachusetts on how to use fresh fruit and the marketing potential that exists for selling heirloom cranberry products in the northeast.

Recipient:       Ground Work Lawrence – Lawrence, MA
Award:           $19,669.87
Project:          Ground Work Lawrence shall increase the consumption of specialty crops by expanding efforts, harnessing new resources, and opportunities for specialty crop education and sales in Greater Lawrence. They will increase the consumption of specialty crops through new staff capacity to plant and harvest specialty crops at Costello Urban Farm which will then be sold at the Groundwork Lawrence farmers’ markets. These tasks will increase visibility, competiveness and consumption of specialty crops in Lawrence and encourage new farmers to join and benefit from increased sales.

Recipient:       Lettuce Be Local – Sterling, MA
Award:           $11,510
Project:           Lettuce Be Local will increase the safe and secure distribution of locally-grown specialty crops by expanding accessibility and knowledge of local food through education, aggregation, and transportation. This project will further develop the promotion of specialty crops by connecting existing farm production to new market opportunities.

Recipient:       Mass Agriculture in the Classroom – Marlborough, MA
Award:           $34,525
Project:           Mass Agriculture in the Classroom will create a model with the Auburn Public Schools that expands access to and consumption of specialty crops required in the National School Lunch Program. The project will address the needs of the whole child through Social and Emotional Learning by teaming up with educators and school nutrition professionals.

Recipient:       Mass Farm to School Project – Amherst, MA
Award:           $16,165
Project:           Massachusetts Farm to School will increase the competitiveness of locally grown specialty crops by supporting local specialty crop procurement, promotion, and education at early education and care sites throughout the Commonwealth. The project will encourage the preference for, and facilitate sales of, locally grown specialty crops by introducing and promoting these products within early education and care (EEC) settings. These settings include preschools, child care centers, family child care homes, Head Start/Early Head Start, and early education programs within K - 12 school districts.

Recipient:       Massachusetts Farm Wineries and Growers’ Association – Ludlow, MA
Award:           $10,000
Project:           Massachusetts Farm Wineries and Growers’ Association will focus on the optimization of Massachusetts wine production, and the optimization of the Tasting Room experience, where consumers interact directly with winery owners. Develop educational components to increase farm winery knowledge to entice consumers to "Fall in Love with Massachusetts Wine” and to experience a meaningful connection to local agriculture and community through the tasting and purchase of Massachusetts wines.

Recipient:       Massachusetts Flower Growers Association – Bedford, MA       
Award:           $9,854.01
Project:           Massachusetts Flower Growers Association will focus and grow the number of non- gardeners, beginners and young children populations to increase sales of specialty crops.

Recipient:       Northeast Organic Farming Association – Barre, MA                 
Award:           $33,536.91
Projects:         Northeast Organic Farming Association will build a reliable, thorough, affordable and ultimately self-funding consulting service for specialty crops farmers, gardeners, and urban growers of Massachusetts, enhancing the competitiveness of specialty crop production while also building soil health long-term throughout the state.

Recipient:       Nuestra Raices, Inc. – Holyoke, MA
Award:           $29,335.50
Project:           Nuestras Races will boost consumption of and access to healthy, locally-grown specialty crops for low-income Latino residents via a Mobile Market, offering produce at affordable prices in locations convenient to the residents, while benefitting farmers with increased sales and market access.

Recipient:       Regional Environmental Council – Worcester, MA
Award:           $27,805.07
Project:           The Regional Environmental Council will increase access to local foods through farmers markets (including a mobile market) in Worcester, MA and increase produce sales and number of customers by promoting the new Healthy Incentives Program (HIP).

Recipient:      Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts – Cambridge, MA                                                                  
Award:           $31,532
Project:           This program aims to overcome barriers to specialty crop integration by improving the viability, sustainability, and profitability of the Massachusetts and New England specialty crop food industry. The intention is to enhance the competitiveness of Massachusetts and New England specialty crop products by eliminating barriers faced by specialty crop producers, fostering an environment for the economic growth of the specialty crop industry.

Recipient:       Third Sector New England/New Entry Sustainable Farming – Lowell, MA     
Award:           $12,493
Project:           New Entry Sustainable Farming Project’s specialty crop education project aims to work with small and beginning farmers to encourage crop specialization and to scale production quantities of specialty crops for wholesale markets that require higher volumes, consistency, and food safety compliance.  We will research and focus on up to five unique specialty crops in demand by local farm-to-institution and wholesale buyers to develop a comprehensive crop production manual for these crops.

Recipient:       University of Massachusetts, Amherst – Amherst, MA
Award:           $10,000
Project:           Research the biological control of plant parasitic nematodes in golf greens with natural enemies. Positive results may also facilitate the expansion of the use of Pasteuria for nematode control in other crops where they are troublesome, particularly vegetables and small fruits.

Recipient:       MDAR Technical Resource – Boston, MA
Award:           $19,948
Project:           The project will increase specialty crops by providing technical assistance resources specific to product development including food safety training for value-added products. Massachusetts Department of Agriculture will work with a planning team of external specialty crop stakeholders to assess the Manual and update and expand as needed, including the integration of new regulations such as the Food Safety Modernization Act (“FSMA”).

Recipient:       MDAR GAP/GHP– Boston, MA
Award:           $11,000
Project:           Massachusetts Department of Agriculture will provide direct assistance to Massachusetts Specialty Crop Growers by reimbursing the costs associated with the Good Agricultural Practices/Good Handling Practices (GAP/GHP) or Harmonized audits.  The proposed initiative would lessen the financial burden of the grower and would allow these farms to continue to access those channels.

“This fall I was fortunate enough to get a firsthand look at the cranberry industry in the Commonwealth and was incredibly impressed by the work those farmers are doing. I have also been a longtime supporter of Mass Farm to School and the amazing work they do connecting schools with local farmers to increase access to healthy foods. I am incredibly happy to see the cranberry industry, Mass Farm to School, and all the other fantastic organizations receive this grant money,” said State Representative William Pignatelli (D-Lenox), House Chair of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. “These Specialty Crop Block Grants will go a long way in supporting the agricultural industry here in Massachusetts and I want to thank the USDA, MDAR and the Baker-Polito Administration for providing almost $350,000 in grant money to 15 recipients.”

“Congratulations to the Northeast Organic Farming Association in Barre and thank you to the Baker-Polito Administration for their continued support for our local farmers,” said State Senator Anne Gobi (D-Spencer), Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. “With over 7,500 farms in Massachusetts, there is no question that they are a critical part of the fabric of this state.”

“Fresh fruits and vegetables are critical for a healthy diet and Nuestra Raices has been a driving force for that message for over 25 years,” said State Senator Don Humason (R-Westfield). “This grant funding will assist Nuestra Raices in expanding access to their specialty crops and their continued effort to cultivate a growing community of people in and around Holyoke who value fresh, local produce and support the people who take the time to grow it.”

“I am thankful for the support from MDAR. It is exciting to see the State support for the great work Nuestra Raices is doing in the community to address access to healthy food,” said State Representative Aaron Vega (D-Holyoke). “It’s equally exciting to see the support for our local farmers. People don't often think of farming when they think of Holyoke yet we have a rich culture here with deep roots in freeing and we workmen to expand that.”

Baker-Polito Administration Awards Funding to Communities for Recreational Fishing Access Projects

BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded $17,716 in grants to saltwater fishing access projects in Marblehead and Sandwich. The grants were awarded through the Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) Public Access Small Grant Program, which uses revenue from the sale of recreational saltwater fishing permits to improve angler opportunity in Massachusetts’ marine waters.

“The Public Access Small Grant Program is crucial to supporting environmental and recreational opportunities while ensuring the continuation of a vibrant tourism economy in the Commonwealth,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “Through the continued support of Massachusetts’ 160,000 licensed saltwater anglers, the Baker-Polito Administration is working with municipalities across the state to enhance access and infrastructure in Massachusetts’ coastal cities and towns.”

“The Public Access Small Grant Program is an excellent complement to the Baker-Polito Administration’s capital funding for sport fishing piers and boat access areas overseen by the Department’s Office of Fishing and Boating Access,” said DFG Commissioner Ron Amidon.

These grants are funded from revenues in the Marine Recreational Fisheries Development Fund, and are the fifth round of grant funding since the state saltwater fishing permit was established in 2011. The saltwater fishing permit program provides funds for marine recreational fishing programs including fisheries research, management, and public access for anglers.

The projects receiving funding are:

Marblehead - $10,796 - The Town of Marblehead will use the funding to improve access to shoreline fishing areas at four locations - Village Street, Pattison Landing, Parkers Landing, and Tuckers Landing.  Improvements include safety ladders, fish cleaning/fillet station, and sign kiosks at each location.

Sandwich - $6,920 - The Town of Sandwich will use the funding to repair the heavily used boat ramp and to install lighting at the same boat ramp to improve safety at that location during low light conditions.

“These projects will improve fishing opportunities for shore-based anglers and boaters in Marblehead and Sandwich,” said DMF Director David Pierce. “We are excited to maintain this state-local partnership for the good of recreational anglers.”

“I am grateful to the Baker-Polito Administration and the Department of Marine Fisheries for supporting the maintenance of the boat ramp in the Town of Sandwich,”said State Senator Vinny deMacedo (R-Plymouth). “Boating is the lifeblood of coastal communities and residents rely on the Sandwich boat ramp for both economic and recreational activities. This grant will provide great assistance to those residents who depend on the ramp for those pursuits.”

“For many, the marina’s boat ramp is the gateway to the canal and Cape Cod Bay; they rely on it being in tip-top shape to access the marina for business and pleasure,”said State Representative Randy Hunt (R-Sandwich). “I’d like to thank the Division of Marine Fisheries for their continued assistance in maintaining and improving this important fixture of the Sandwich Marina.”

“I am proud to see investments in maritime safety and recreation being made across Marblehead,” said State Representative Lori Ehrlich (D-Marblehead). “Boating and fishing are deeply ingrained in the culture of our community, and it is great to see this grant supporting the people and businesses that rely on a well-supported waterfront.”

DMF administers the Marine Recreational Fisheries Development Fund with the assistance of the Marine Recreational Fisheries Development Panel, a group of private stakeholders that advises DMF on recreational fishing projects and initiatives. Under the state law that established the recreational saltwater fishing permit, one-third of all license fees are dedicated to recreational saltwater fishing infrastructure projects in Massachusetts, ensuring better access to coastal fishing.

The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) is responsible for promoting the conservation and enjoyment of the Commonwealth's natural resources. DFG carries out this mission through land protection and wildlife habitat management, management of inland and marine fish and wildlife species, and ecological restoration of fresh water, salt water, and terrestrial habitats. DFG promotes enjoyment of the Massachusetts environment through outdoor skills workshops, fishing festivals and other educational programs, and by enhancing access to the Commonwealth's rivers, lakes, and coastal waters.


Governor Baker Visits Marlborough High School’s Early College Program
Governor and Lt. Governor visited programs to highlight efforts to expand early college throughout beginning of the school year

MARLBOROUGH – Governor Charlie Baker met with students and teachers at Marlborough High School today to hear about students’ experiences taking college-level classes to prepare for college, while earning college credits for free before graduating high school. Marlborough High School has nearly 100 students taking college-level courses.

“Increasing the number of students participating in early college courses will benefit cities and towns across the Commonwealth,” said Governor Baker. “Exposing high school students to college-level material will better prepare them for their careers after graduation and make higher education more affordable.”

“Early college programs are an important tool for combining traditional high school courses with an opportunity to earn college credit at a local community college,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, who toured Mt. Wachusett Community College’s Early College Program in late September. “We look forward to seeing more and more Massachusetts students participate in early college classes and take advantage of the opportunity to make college more affordable.”

During the past few weeks, Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito visited a handful of early college programs in different parts of the state to highlight the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to expanding early college opportunities, as well as hear from students about the advantages of taking college classes before graduating from high school.

“The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to significantly increasing the number of students enrolled in designated early college programs across the Commonwealth,” Education Secretary James Peyser said.

Early college programs combine traditional high school classes with an opportunity to take college-level courses at a local college, typically in a particular career pathway such as STEM. Successful early college programs make college more accessible to students by giving them an opportunity to earn college credits, at no cost to them, while still in high school. Early College programs have also been found to boost college completion rates for low-income students, minorities, and first-generation college-goers. Currently, there are 2,400 Massachusetts students in an early college program -  55 percent of whom are low-income -  at 27 programs throughout the Commonwealth.

“The Early College program at Marlborough High School is the launch that many of our students need to see themselves as successful in college,” Marlborough Superintendent Maureen Greulich said. “We are pleased to be able to offer these opportunities in conjunction with meaningful internship experiences and career pathway options. As always, we are grateful to the Baker-Polito Administration for their support of our innovative programs.”

The Board of Higher Education and the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education are currently reviewing applications from high schools and community colleges to become “designated” early college programs. The boards received 34 applications from high schools and community colleges around the state. In order to be designated, early college programs must meet certain criteria established by the two boards, including free to students.

Through the designation process, the Departments of Higher Education and Elementary and Secondary Education are asking K-12 schools, community colleges and state universities to jointly design models. During Fiscal Year 17, the Baker-Polito Administration committed nearly $1.2 million to support development of early college programs through grants from the Department of Higher Education.

The boards will announce designations to early college programs early next year, with the goal of enrolling students in designated programs in the 2018-2019 academic year.

Baker-Polito Administration Announces New Partnerships for Municipal LED Streetlight Conversion Program
Over $4.3 Million in Grants to 40 Municipalities

LOWELL – September 25, 2017 – The Baker-Polito Administration today announced more than $4.3 million in grants for new partnerships with 40 cities and towns to help convert traditional streetlights to LED technology.

The partnerships between the municipalities, the Department of Energy Resources (DOER), and Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) will be funded through DOER’s $11.4 million Rapid LED Streetlight Conversion Program launched in December 2016. DOER has partnered with MAPC, the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company (MMWEC), Energy New England (ENE), and four Municipal Light Plant (MLP) communities to administer the grant funding to municipalities that currently own their traditional streetlights and expedite streetlight conversions. This regionalized approach has led to an overall installation cost reduction of up to 35% in communities where streetlight conversions are already underway. The grants were awarded by Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton at an event in Lowell.

“Continuing to investing in LED streetlight conversions will lead to more reduced energy costs and better road safety for motorists and pedestrians across Massachusetts,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The strong partnership between the Commonwealth and our regional planning authorities and municipal light plants helps maximize the positive benefits of this grant funding.”

“Converting municipally owned streetlights into energy efficient LEDs helps cities and towns across the Commonwealth realize thousands of dollars in annual energy savings while reducing emissions,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “LED streetlights reduce energy usage during peak demand times, lessening the burden on our regional electric grid and reducing costs for all ratepayers.”

LED streetlights are more energy efficient and longer-lasting than other common street lighting technologies; converting saves cities and towns money both on their electric bills and in operations and maintenance. LEDs offer a number of other advantages as well, including improved visibility, reduced light pollution, and the ability to install advanced controls such as dimming, remote control, and Wi-Fi capability. DOER’s partner organizations, with guidance from the agency, will procure streetlights in bulk on behalf of participating cities and towns, reducing the up-front cost of conversion.

“Governor Baker’s Executive Order on climate change strategy emphasizes the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to reducing energy usage and emissions in order to prepare for the effects of climate change across Massachusetts,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “By converting tens of thousands of streetlights from traditional bulbs to highly efficient LEDs, the Commonwealth and our municipal partners will take another important step towards meeting our Global Warming Solutions Act emissions reduction goals.”

“Traditional streetlights have a major impact on peak demand during the winter months, with the sun setting earlier and rising later, which increases the demand on our regional energy grid,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson. “Our municipal partners across the Commonwealth will once again lead the charge for greater energy efficiency that will result in reduced costs, usage, and emissions across Massachusetts.”

The following municipalities have entered into contracts with MAPC to fund streetlight replacements:
“MAPC is pleased that the program funding, in conjunction with our technical assistance, will support over 40 municipalities statewide to retrofit over 70,000 streetlights at lower prices,” said Rebecca Davis, Deputy Director, Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC). “Over the years, MAPC has helped numerous communities to reap clean energy benefits, and is eager to continue its collective purchasing efforts through the program to achieve significant reductions in cost, energy usage, and greenhouse gas emissions and to advance smart-city innovations.”

Massachusetts ratepayers will also see benefits from converting the Commonwealth’s streetlights to LED models, in addition to the direct benefits that cities and towns receive. Streetlights are operational during early morning and late afternoon during the winter months. These are hours of peak electric demand, and high demand for natural gas for both electric generation and home heating during these hours leads to higher energy prices. Converting streetlights to LED technology, which uses up to 60% less energy than standard streetlights, can decrease demand and lead to lower prices.

“I want to thank the Baker-Polito administration for their outstanding streetlight conversion grant program that will help municipalities transition from traditional streetlights to energy-efficient LEDs,” said State Representative Thomas A. Golden, Jr., Chairman of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy.  “The City of Lowell stands to receive significant gains from the conversion, including municipal savings, improved visibility for drivers and pedestrians, and lower emissions.”

“With current and future amenities like the Gallagher Terminal, LeLacheur Park, Lowell National Historical Park, the Merrimack, and South Common, Lowell knows that greening a city makes it both more pleasant and attracts spending from outside our borders to boost our coffers,” said State Senator Eileen Donoghue (D-Lowell).  “The Rapid LED Streetlight Conversion Program represents a smart investment in our sustainable economic future.  I applaud the Commonwealth for taking small but significant steps, like converting lights to LED, and will continue to fight for making the bigger changes we need as well.”

“Lowell is enlightened by the Municipal LED Streetlight Conversion Program.  Our city has always been on the forefront of progressive planning to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said State Representative Rady Mom (D-Lowell). “With LED streetlights, our city will not only have long term savings on our electric bills, but our streets will be safer and our residence can look to a brighter future.”

“The new LED streetlights will not only make our streets safer, but will also save the city a substantial amount in electrical costs,” said State Representative David Nangle (D-Lowell). “I applaud Governor Baker and his energy team for partnering with our cities and towns in funding and promoting these innovative streetlight conversions.”

“The City of Lowell has been committed to energy efficiency since it became one of the first designated Green Communities in 2010,” said Lowell City Manager Kevin J. Murphy. “This project will help us to continue to build on our commitment to our community by reducing energy costs by $390,000 annually and greenhouse gas emissions by over 1700 metric tons.”

Last year, Governor Baker signed an Executive Order which lays out a comprehensive approach to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions, safeguard residents, municipalities and businesses from the impacts of climate change, and build a more resilient Commonwealth.

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Led by Commissioner Judith Judson, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) develops and implements policies and programs aimed at ensuring the adequacy, security, diversity, and cost-effectiveness of the Commonwealth's energy supply to create a clean, affordable and resilient energy future. To that end, DOER strives to ensure deployment of all cost-effective energy efficiency, maximize development of clean energy resources, create and implement energy strategies to assure reliable supplies and improve the cost of clean energy relative to fossil-fuel based generation and support Massachusetts' clean energy companies and spur Massachusetts' clean energy employment. DOER is an agency of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA).

Governor Baker Appoints Monserrate Quiñones to Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination
Commissioner Sunila Thomas-George designated as MCAD Chair

BOSTON – Governor Charlie Baker today announced the appointment of Monserrate Quiñones to the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD). Commissioner Sunila Thomas-George, who has served as a Commissioner since 2007, and prior to that as an MCAD staff member, was designated as Chair of the Commission on September 12, 2017. The three-member Commission serves as the state’s chief civil rights agency charged with the authority to investigate, prosecute, adjudicate, and resolve cases of discrimination. 

“Monserrate Quiñones has spent much of her career as an advocate for inclusion in the workplace and for small and diverse business owners competing in the state contracting process,” said Governor Baker. “Together with Commissioner Shelia Hubbard and under the guidance of long-time member and now Chairwoman Sunila Thomas-George, I am confident the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination will continue to have the leadership necessary to promote equality and to protect the Commonwealth’s citizens from all forms of discrimination.”

The MCAD is an independent agency of the Commonwealth, funded by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with additional support provided through federal contract payments from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The MCAD protects individuals in numerous protected categories including race, color, creed, national origin, age, disability, gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation by enforcing the Commonwealth’s anti-discrimination laws in employment, housing, public accommodations, credit, and education.

“I am honored to be the first Asian-American Chair in the history of the MCAD,” said Sunila Thomas George. “After nearly 20 years at the Commission, from my start as a legal intern to the day I first became a Commissioner in 2007, I am now honored to receive this appointment. I look forward to partnering with Commissioners Sheila Hubbard and Monserrate Quinones to advance civil rights across the Commonwealth. We are committed to ensuring that the people who work, live, and learn in Massachusetts have the same opportunity to flourish that my parents had when they immigrated here from India.”

The three Commissioners of MCAD are appointed by the Governor, serve terms of three years and are each delegated regional responsibilities in the Springfield, New Bedford and Boston regions. Commissioner George was reappointed to her fourth term on the MCAD by Governor Baker in 2015, and succeeds Commissioner Jamie R. Williamson as Chairwoman. Commissioner Sheila Hubbard was appointed to the MCAD by Governor Baker in February, 2017.

For more about the MCAD, visit: http://www.mass.gov/mcad/

About Monserrate Quiñones

Monserrate “Monsi” Quiñones has served as the Director of the Massachusetts Department of Correction’s Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity since September of 2008, promoting an equal opportunity and discriminatory-free work environment for department employees, while developing and implementing a strategic and operational diversity and inclusion model. Quiñones was appointed as a Special Assistant to Governor Paul Cellucci in July, 2000, where she chaired the Governor’s Latino-American Advisory Commission and led efforts to increase diversity and inclusion for small and women- and minority-owned businesses in the state procurement process. From there she would spend seven years as the Executive Director of the Commonwealth Affirmative Market Program (now State Supplier Diversity Program) in the Operational Services Division (OSD) of the Executive Office for Administration and Finance. A resident of Sutton and licensed social worker, Quiñones obtained her Bachelor of Science in Education with a concentration in Human Services from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Master of Science in Non-Profit Management from Worcester State University.

Baker-Polito Administration Awards $2.3 Million to 238 Municipalities and Regional Entities for Recycling Efforts
Funds Invested Will Maximize Recycling, Composting and Waste Reduction Programs

BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration today announced more than $2.3 million in Sustainable Materials Recovery Program (SMRP) grants to 238 municipalities and regional solid waste districts to help communities maximize their recycling, composting and waste reduction programs. The SMRP, which was created under the Green Communities Act and is administered by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP).

“Important environmental protection work happens every day in communities across the Commonwealth, and the funds awarded through the Sustainable Materials Recovery Program are important for continuing those efforts,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “SMRP funds allow the state to work with 238 cities and towns to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conserve natural resources save money, and support jobs.”

“Partnerships with communities across the state through the SMRP are crucial to increasing recycling and reducing waste,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito.“Today’s investment in local recycling efforts will help communities become more sustainable and closer to achieving their waste reduction goals.”

During the first round of 2017 SMRP funding, 185 communities qualified for the “Recycling Dividends Program” (RDP) and will receive payments ranging from $2,100 to $84,500, for a total of $2.25 million statewide. The RDP recognizes municipalities that have implemented policies and programs proven to maximize materials reuse and recycling, as well as waste reduction. Communities that earn RDP payments must reinvest the funds in their recycling programs for things such as new recycling bins or carts, public education and outreach campaigns, collection of hard-to-recycle items and the establishment of recycling programs in schools, municipal buildings and other public spaces.

“The Commonwealth’s environment and the public health benefit when municipalities are committed to reducing waste and increasing recycling,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to supporting these local efforts, and this grant program ensures that communities have the resources they need to reach their recycling and waste reduction goals.”

As part of the SMRP, an additional 53 municipalities and regional entities that did not apply for or qualify for an RDP grant will be awarded a total of $53,750 for a “Small-Scale Initiatives Grant.” These population-based grants range from $500 to $2,000 each and help communities purchase modest, but critical recycling materials and outreach tools needed to sustain their existing recycling program or to facilitate new, low-cost initiatives.

“MassDEP and our community partners continue to work together to capture more materials that can be reused and recycled,” said MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg. “These grants will help provide new bins or carts, increase educational outreach efforts and expand recycling programs to under-served community sectors like schools and parks.”

The RDP was a new initiative rolled out in 2014 under MassDEP’s Sustainable Materials Recovery Program, which was created by the Green Communities Act of 2008. The Act requires that a portion of the proceeds from the sale of Waste Energy Certificates (WECs) be directed to recycling programs approved by MassDEP. The SMRP initiative has provided more than $24 million in recycling programs since July of 2010.

The number of municipalities that qualified for the RDP increased nearly 10 percent over last year and the value of the awards also increased. In this round, seven municipalities will receive payments in excess of $50,000: New Bedford at $84,500; Cambridge and Springfield at $71,500 each; Worcester at $65,000; Lowell at $64,000; and Brockton and Lynn at $52,000 each. On the other end of the scale, Cheshire, Paxton and Shutesbury will receive $2,100 each.

“Communities across the Commonwealth continue to recognize the importance of recycling to reduce waste, protect our natural resources and provide a path for a safe and sustainable future for our residents,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst). “It is our shared responsibility to do our best to preserve our environment for future generations in the Commonwealth and this vital funding is another important step towards preserving our planet.”

“Markets and costs in recapturing waste materials fluctuate, but an important constant remains – the desire by state and municipal leaders to reduce waste and maximize opportunities to expand recycling collections,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R- Gloucester). “These state DEP grants will have a positive and direct impact on the environment, local economies, and the quality of life for residents.”

“These grant funds will help communities across the Commonwealth reduce their solid waste footprint and meet waste reduction goals,” said State Senator Anne Gobi (D-Spencer), Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. “Massachusetts has always taken the lead on sustainability and I want to thank Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito for their support of this program.”

“The Recycling Dividends Program and Small-Scale Initiatives grants announced by MassDEP today will help to enhance local recycling and waste reduction efforts in cities and towns across the Commonwealth,” said House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading). “This ongoing state-municipal partnership will result in many positive long-term benefits for the environment.”

“It is great to see so many towns, particularly in the Berkshires, working hard to increase local recycling efforts, reduce their waste, and move towards reusing as much material as possible,” said State Representative William Pignatelli (D-Lenox), House Chair of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. “These grants show the level of commitment the Baker Administration and MassDEP have towards working with municipalities, across the Commonwealth, in becoming better stewards for our environment.”

A complete list of the 238 RDP and Small Scale grant awards can be viewed here.

The WEC payments received by MassDEP are deposited into the SMRP Expendable Trust, which is used to fund grants, technical assistance and education to help communities, businesses and institutions increase recycling and reduce waste.

MassDEP is responsible for ensuring clean air and water, safe management and recycling of solid and hazardous wastes, timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills and the preservation of wetlands and coastal resources.


Baker-Polito Administration Awards $72 Million to Create, Rehabilitate and Preserve Nearly 2,000 Housing Units
Investments support individuals with disabilities, youth aging from foster care and 400 units for low-income families or those transitioning out of homelessness

BOSTON – Today, Governor Charlie Baker announced $72 million in housing subsidy funds and additional state and federal tax credits to 25 projects in 17 communities for the creation, rehabilitation, and preservation of 1,970 housing units across the Commonwealth, including 402 units reserved for very low-income families and families making the transition out of homelessness, building on the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to increasing the production and preservation of affordable housing for all residents.

“Safe and affordable housing is a cornerstone to the success of our Commonwealth’s families, including access to job opportunities for many of our most vulnerable populations,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Through our combined efforts and investments to date, over 5,200 affordable housing units are being created, preserved or rehabilitated to support the growth of Massachusetts, our workforce, communities and families.”​

The administration is awarding over $72 million in housing subsidy funds, including federal HOME funds and state capital funds. Additionally, the Department of Housing and Community Development is awarding more than $28 million in state and federal low-income housing tax credits, which will generate more than $180 million in equity for these projects. The awards will create or preserve 1,978 rental units, including 1,698 affordable units, in 25 projects across the state. Three projects will reserve units for individuals with disabilities, two are transit-oriented developments and three projects will include Single-Room Occupancy (SRO) units, including a building dedicated to youth aging out of foster care.

“Massachusetts is strongest when all of our families and residents have access to opportunities to thrive,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Today’s awards will support affordable housing options for families in communities across the Commonwealth’s, regardless of income or zip code, including projects with housing for low-income or formerly homeless families, individuals with disabilities, veterans and the elderly.”

Governor Baker joined Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash, Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Chrystal Kornegay and MassHousing Executive Director Tim Sullivan to make the funding announcement at Olmsted Green in Mattapan. Olmsted Green is a 38-acre, existing mixed-income housing community on the former site of the Boston State Hospital.

“Today was a big day for housing here in Boston and across the Commonwealth. Not only did we break ground on mixed-income housing units today, we were given the support to continue our work in creating affordable homes for those in this thriving city and create more construction jobs in our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Walsh. “I want to thank the Governor for making these funds available and for supporting important projects like Olmsted Green in Boston.”

Lena New Boston’s efforts are one piece of the larger redevelopment of the former Boston State Hospital into a mix of housing, community and green space. The site includes the Mass Audubon’s Boston Nature Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, which sits on 67 acres. While the site sat vacant after the hospital’s closure in 1979, the past decade has seen the complete transformation of the space, bringing significant affordable and mixed-income housing to the Mattapan neighborhood, with rental and home-ownership opportunities for residents.

The Lena Park Community Development Corporation and New Boston Fund, together known as Lena New Boston LLC, are currently completing a 41-unit affordable, home-ownership development, with previous support from MassHousing’s Workforce Housing Initiative, a joint initiative with DHCD. Lena New Boston will also build an additional 100 units of mixed-income rental housing in the next phase of the development with support from today’s awards.

“Today’s announcement of significant investments in affordable housing represents a key part of the administration’s inclusive strategy to support families and residents, and meet the needs of every community in Massachusetts,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “Creating and preserving housing for families across the income spectrum will allow us to build and retain a skilled workforce across the state, and give our residents access to more opportunities.”

“Our administration is committed to supporting projects that support our most vulnerable communities, from very low-income families, to seniors, veterans and individuals with disabilities,” said Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Chrystal Kornegay. “Affordable housing is a strong tool for community development, and our investments using the Low Income Housing Tax Credit reflect those priorities.”

The 2017 affordable rental housing award round reflects the Baker-Polito Administration’s ongoing commitment to substantially invest in housing across the Commonwealth. In April, Governor Baker filed a housing bond bill seeking $1.287 billion in additional capital authorization to advance the administration’s commitment to affordable housing. In May 2016, the administration unveiled a five-year capital budget plan that includes a $1.1 billion commitment to increasing housing production, an 18% funding increase over previous funding levels. The $1.1 billion capital commitment provides for significant expansions in state support for mixed-income housing production, public housing modernization, and affordable housing preservation.

Since 2015 the Baker-Polito Administration has provided direct funding to create and preserve over 5,200 units of affordable housing across Massachusetts.

In addition, the administration and MassHousing have previously committed $100 million to support the construction of 1,000 new workforce housing units. To date, the Workforce Housing Initiative has advanced the development of 1,317 housing units across a range of incomes, including 387 workforce housing units.

2017 Awardees

Mechanic Mill is a mixed-income historic rehabilitation project located in Attleboro. The project sponsor is WinnDevelopment. When completed, Mechanic Mill will offer 91 total units, with 56 affordable, including 10 units reserved for households earning less than 30 percent of area median income (AMI). All 91 units will be reserved for persons who are at least 55 years old.

Burbank Gardens is a preservation project of an existing 52-unit development located in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood. Fenway Community Development Corporation, with assistance from DHCD, MassHousing, and the City of Boston, will rehabilitate and preserve the existing property and restrict 39 of the 52 units for rental to low and moderate-income tenants.

Cote Village is a 76-unit new construction project in Dorchester sponsored by Caribbean Integration Community Development and the Planning Office for Urban Affairs of the Archdiocese of Boston. The City of Boston also will provide substantial support to the project. When completed, Cote Village will include 56 affordable units, including eight units reserved for formerly homeless individuals or families, and several units reserved for persons with disabilities.

General Heath Square Apartments is a 47-unit new construction project in Boston’sJamaica Plain neighborhood. The sponsor is the non-profit Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation. The city of Boston also will provide substantial support to the project. When completed, this transit-oriented project will include 40 affordable units, including 20 units reserved for households earning less than 30 percent of AMI.

Olmsted Green Mixed-Income is a 100‑unit mixed-income new construction project in Boston to be built on the site of the former Boston State Hospital. Previously, the state and the City of Boston have helped finance over 500 units on the former hospital site. Sponsored by the New Boston Fund, the completed project will offer 40 affordable rental units, including 16 units for households earning less than 30 percent of AMI and several units for persons with disabilities. Sixty units within the project will be made available as workforce and market-rate rental units. The City of Boston also will provide funding for this project.

Talbot Commons Phase 1 is a new construction/rehabilitation project located in Boston’s Codman Square neighborhood. The sponsor is the non-profit Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation. The City of Boston also will provide significant support to Talbot Commons. The completed project will offer 40 affordable family units, including nine units reserved for households earning less than 30 percent of AMI.

The Clarion is a new construction mixed-income family housing project to be built on Blue Hill Avenue in Boston. The sponsor is the non-profit The Community Builders (TCB).  The City of Boston also will provide significant support to The Clarion. The site is located near major transit and retail opportunities and will offer 39 total units. Twenty seven units will be affordable, including seven units reserved for households earning less than 30 percent of AMI.  Several affordable units also will be reserved for persons with disabilities.

Washington Westminster House in Boston is a new construction project sponsored by the non-profit Elizabeth Stone House. The 32-unit project will provide affordable housing as well as support services for at-risk and homeless families. All 32 units will be reserved for households with incomes below 30 percent of AMI. The City of Boston also will provide funds to Washington Westminster House.

Wilshire Westminster in Boston is a scattered-site preservation project sponsored by the non-profit Urban Edge to rehabilitate existing properties consisting of 99 total units for families. Eighty-nine of the rehabilitated units will be affordable, including 10 units reserved for households earning less than 30 percent of AMI.

JAS Consolidation is a scattered-site preservation and production project located inCambridge and sponsored by the non-profit Just-A-Start Inc. The 112-unit consolidation project includes multiple properties located between Kendall Square and East Cambridge. Several of the properties, including St. Patrick’s Church, were destroyed in a massive fire in December 2016. The fire-impacted properties will be demolished and replaced with new, affordable housing, including 12 units reserved for households earning less than 30 percent AMI. Other properties included in the consolidation will be rehabilitated with support from DHCD and from the City of Cambridge.

MacArthur Terrace in Chicopee is a preservation project, an existing large-scale family development sponsored by Dimeo Properties. The City of Chicopee also will provide support to the project.  When completed, MacArthur Terrace will offer 222 total units, with 182 affordable units, including 44 units for households earning less than 30 percent of AMI.

Brownstone Gardens in Easthampton is a preservation project sponsored by Carr Property Management. Originally financed through MassHousing’s Chapter 13A program, the property will be rehabilitated with subsidy funds from DHCD and assistance from MassHousing.  When completed, Brownstone Gardens will offer 132 total units, with 107 affordable units, including 33 units reserved for households earning less than 30 percent of AMI.

Bostwick Gardens in Great Barrington is a new construction/rehabilitation project for seniors sponsored by Berkshire Housing Development Corporation.  The completed project will offer 31 new affordable units for seniors as well as 29 rehabilitated units in an existing building. Eighteen of the total units will be reserved for individuals or couples earning less than 30 percent of AMI.  The non-profit Berkshire Housing Development Corporation will make certain services for seniors available on-site and also will help senior residents access off-site services.

98 Essex in Haverhill is a new construction family housing project sponsored by Affordable Housing and Services Collaborative, Inc. The City of Haverhill also will provide funds to 98 Essex.  When completed, the project will feature 62 total units, all of which are affordable, with seven units reserved for households earning less than 30 percent of AMI.

The Gerson Building in Haverhill is a new construction project sponsored by the non-profit Coalition for a Better Acre.  The City of Haverhill also will provide funds to the Gerson Building. The completed project will offer 44 units for families as well as a preference for households that include veterans.  All 44 units will be affordable, with eight units reserved for households earning less than 30 percent of AMI.

Holyoke Farms Apartments is a large-scale family preservation project located inHolyoke. The sponsor is Maloney Properties, Inc. The City of Holyoke also will provide funds in support of the rehabilitation.  When completed, Holyoke Farms will offer 229 family housing units, with 191 affordable units, including eight units reserved for households earning below 30 percent of AMI and 12 new construction units.

Carter School in Leominster is a historic rehabilitation project sponsored by the non-profit NewVue Communities. The sponsor will rehabilitate a vacant and fire-damaged school building into 39 family housing units. All units will be affordable, including 16 units affordable to households earning less than 30 percent of AMI.  The City of Leominster also will provide funds to the project.

Willis Street Apartments in New Bedford is a new construction project sponsored by the non-profit Women’s Development Corporation. The project will consist of 30 affordable single-room occupancy (SRO) units, and the sponsor will offer a veteran’s preference for each unit.  All units will be affordable, including 23 units reserved for individuals earning less than 30 percent of AMI.

Transitional and Supportive Housing is a scattered-site project located in North Adams and Adams and sponsored by the non-profit Louison House. The sponsor currently operates the only comprehensive shelter program for homeless families in northern Berkshire County. The Transitional and Supportive Housing project will consist of the rehabilitation of 22 family shelter units destroyed by fire as well as the construction of five new permanent housing units for homeless families. All units will be affordable to households earning less than 30 percent of AMI, and the sponsor will provide extensive services to resident families.

King Pine is a large-scale family preservation project located in Orange. The sponsor is The Schochet Companies. The sponsor will rehabilitate this project and extend restrictions on rental rates well into the future. The completed project will offer 234 affordable units, including 24 units affordable to households earning less than 30 percent of AMI.

Cape Cod Village is a new construction project in Orleans. The sponsor is the non-profit Cape Cod Village, Inc. When completed, the project will offer 15 affordable housing units and services to persons with disabilities, including autism. DHCD will support Cape Cod Village with subsidy funds, and seven communities on Cape Cod have committed Community Preservation Act or other local funds to the project.

Harbor and Lafayette Homes is a preservation project consisting of two properties, which are single-room occupancy (SRO) buildings, located in Salem. The project sponsor is the non-profit North Shore Community Development Coalition. The City of Salem also will provide funds to the project. When rehabilitation work has been completed, Harbor and Lafayette Homes will offer 27 SRO units. Twenty-six units will be affordable, including seven units reserved for individuals earning less than 30 percent of AMI.  The property located at Harbor Street will provide housing and services to youth aging out of foster care.

The Residences at Salisbury Square is a new construction and adaptive re-use project in Salisbury.  The sponsor is the non-profit YWCA of Greater Newburyport in partnership with L. D. Russo. When completed, the project will offer 42 total units, all of which will be affordable, with 16 units further restricted for rental to households earning less than 30 percent of AMI.

Chestnut Crossing is a 104-unit preservation project located in downtownSpringfield.  Formerly owned by the YMCA of Springfield, the project now is owned by the non-profit Home City Housing. Home City Housing will rehabilitate the project as single-room occupancy (SRO) units with kitchenettes and baths. The City of Springfield also will provide funds in support of Chestnut Crossing. Seventy-nine of the completed SROs will be affordable, including 26 SROs affordable to individuals earning less than 30 percent of AMI.

Moseley Apartments in Westfield involves the historic rehabilitation of a vacant school building into affordable housing for families. The sponsor is the non-profit Domus; Moseley Apartments will be the sponsor’s second school re-use project in Westfield. When completed, Moseley Apartments will offer 23 affordable units, including six units affordable to households earning less than 30 percent of AMI.

Baker-Polito Administration Awards Over $14 Million in

Baker-Polito Administration Presents Green Communities Designation Awards to Western Massachusetts Municipalities
Seven Communities Receive $1,446,675 for Clean Energy Projects

Chicopee – March 15, 2017 – The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded Green Communities designation grants totaling $1,446,675 to Chicopee, Agawam, Blandford, Granville, Ware, Warren and Westfield. The awards will fund clean energy projects and were presented by Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton and Department of Energy Resource (DOER) Commissioner Judith Judson in a ceremony at Chicopee City Hall.

Earlier this year, 30 Massachusetts cities and towns were designated by the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) as Green Communities, committing to an ambitious renewable energy agenda to reduce energy consumption and emissions. Over half of the Commonwealth’s municipalities have earned their Green Communities designation and 64 percent of residents live in a Green Community. Since the program began in 2010, DOER’s Green Communities division has awarded over $65 million in grant funding to the Commonwealth’s cities and towns through designation and competitive grant rounds.

“The Green Communities program is an excellent example of how state and local governments can work together to save taxpayer money and promote responsible energy policies,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our newest Green Communities will now have additional resources to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy, locking in energy savings for residents and reducing their carbon footprints.”

“Our municipal partners continue to help us lead the way on renewable energy by adopting practices that allow them to reduce energy consumption, while saving money that can be directed to vital municipal functions, like public safety and education,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “We look forward to continuing to provide cities and towns across the Commonwealth the tools they need to reduce energy costs, usage and emissions.”

The Commonwealth’s 185 Green Communities range from the Berkshires to Cape Cod and are home to 64 percent of Massachusetts’ population in municipalities as large as Boston and as small as Rowe. Under the Green Communities Act, cities and towns must meet five criteria to be designated a Green Community and receive funding, including reducing municipal energy consumption by 20 percent over five years. The 30 newly designated Green Communities have committed to reducing their energy consumption amounting to savings of $6,241,862 of energy costs and 2,234,090 MMBtu in five years, energy use equivalent to heating and powering nearly 2,718 homes, and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 27,641 metric tons, equivalent to taking 5,819 cars off the roads. 

“When Massachusetts’ cities and towns invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency programs everyone wins, from taxpayers savings to a statewide reduction in emissions,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beaton. “With these designations, DOER’s Green Communities program continues to prove an effective tool in building a clean, renewable energy future for the Commonwealth.”

“DOER is proud to work with cities and towns across Massachusetts as they take important steps in embracing renewable energy and energy efficiency at the local level,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judson. “These designations are simply the beginning of an important relationship between the Commonwealth and our municipal partners as we work towards our shared clean energy goals.”



DOER awarded funding for projects in these newly designated Green Communities include:



Municipality                        Award
Agawam                               $207,970
Blandford                            $138,425
Chicopee                              $367,160
Granville                              $139,280
Ware                                     $169,535
Warren                                 $157,740
Westfield                             $266,565

A full list of projects funded by the Green Communities program can be found here.

“Congratulations to Agawam, Chicopee, Granville, and Westfield for receiving this important designation from DOER,” said Senator Don Humason (R–Westfield). “This grant funding represents a partnership between the Baker-Polito Administration and these cities and towns, which will help strengthen each community’s continued efforts to improve energy efficiency, reduce local utility costs, and promote taxpayer savings.”

“The Green Communities Program is a sign of our state’s commitment to not only securing a clean energy future, but also creating sustainable local economies throughout the Commonwealth,” said State Senator James T. Welch (D-West Springfield). “We are proud of the work Chicopee has done to earn this designation and look forward to seeing how the city can leverage this support from the DOER into tangible benefits for the environment and residents.”

“I was pleased to learn that both Ware and Warren have earned the Green Communities designation,” said State Senator Anne M. Gobi (D-Spencer).  “It takes a lot of hard work on each town’s part to become a Green Community and they are now set up to reap the benefits in the form of grant eligibility and utility cost savings.”

“I want to thank the Department of Energy Resources for recognizing the great work that is happening in Chicopee and across Western Mass to help make Massachusetts a clean energy leader,” said State Senator Eric P. Lesser (D-Longmeadow). “Using our energy more efficiently not only saves taxpayer dollars but leaves our communities more sustainable for future generations. Chicopee is seeing the benefits on both sides of the equation and seizing that opportunity. This new grant from the Department of Energy Resources will reward Chicopee's smart thinking and bring further development opportunities to the city.”

“I’m thrilled that Blandford is now designated as a Green Community,” said State Senator Adam G. Hinds (D- Pittsfield). “Taking this step to improve the collective efforts to advance energy efficiency and renewable energy is good news for the entire Commonwealth.”

“It’s great to see Ware and Warren added to list of Green Communities in Massachusetts,” said State Representative Todd M. Smola (R-Palmer). “This designation shows a serious commitment to energy conservation and cleaner energy alternatives. Both communities should be proud of the steps they are taking to help protect and preserve our environment.”

“I'm extremely proud of the City of Westfield for being one of thirty cities designated as a Green Community this year,” said State Representative John C. Velis (D-Westfield). “The fact that 5 of our Hampden County cities and towns are being recognized really goes to show that Western Massachusetts is really at the forefront of green innovation and economic growth. Congratulations to all the communities being recognized.”

“I am pleased to see Chicopee become a Green Community, now they are eligible for grants to fund the clean energy projects of the future,” said State Representative Jose F. Tosado (D-Springfield). “These grants will spur a modern green economy, as well as a healthier community.”

“This is very exciting news for the small town of Blandford in my district. With new leadership in the community with a vision for the future this is welcome news,” said State Representative William Smitty Pignatelli (D-Lenox). “I want to thank DOER for recognizing the impacts, even in our smallest towns, of investing in renewable energy.” 

Under the Green Communities Act, DOER’s Green Communities Designation and Grant Program can provide up to $20 million annually to qualified cities and towns.  The goal of the Designation Grant Program is support communities’ investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that further the clean energy goals determined by the designated communities.  Initial Designation Grants are based on a $125,000 base for each designated Green Community, plus additional amounts tied to per capita income and population, and for municipalities that provide as-of-right siting for renewable energy generation.

“The Green Communities Program is an outstanding example of the strong partnership that the Baker-Polito Administration and the Legislature have forged with cities and towns,” said Geoffrey C. Beckwith, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Municipal Association. “Communities all across the state will use these grant funds for innovative programs to reduce energy usage and invest in renewable energy projects, and the benefits will flow to taxpayers and the environment.”

Funding for these grants is available through proceeds from carbon allowance auctions under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and Alternative Compliance Payments (ACP) paid by retail electric suppliers that do not meet their Renewable Portfolio Standard compliance obligations through the purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates.
Governor Baker Releases Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Proposal
$40.5 billion budget invests in local aid, education, workforce development, and key support services without raising taxes; proposes new method for making deposits to the Stabilization fund, including a $98 million deposit in FY18

BOSTON – Today, the Baker-Polito Administration filed its Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) budget proposal, a $40.508 billion spending plan which funds key priorities including local aid, education, workforce development, housing and homelessness services, and substance misuse prevention programs, while keeping spending in line with recurring revenues and does not raise taxes. 
“This budget reaffirms our commitment to the hardworking people of the Commonwealth to propose a balanced budget that significantly invests in education, workforce development and funds to fight the opioid epidemic—without raising taxes,” said Governor Baker.  “While practicing fiscal discipline and reining in spending, we are also pleased to introduce new initiatives like the ‘Learn to Earn’ program to shrink the unemployment and underemployment gap in our state and a $4,000 tax-credit for employers hiring an unemployed veteran.  I look forward to working with our colleagues in the legislature so that we can all make Massachusetts a better place to live, work, and raise a family.”
The FY18 proposal increases spending by 4.3%, or 2.7% net of MassHealth revenue, over Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17) estimated spending, and relies on a consensus tax revenue estimate of $27.072 billion, which is 3.9% growth over the revised FY17 tax revenue projection. 
“Our administration has been pleased to deliver on our promise to give communities a voice and place at the table on Beacon Hill – and we remain committed to doing so going forward,” said Lt. Governor Polito. “Our budget proposal once again provides a promised increase in unrestricted local aid equal to consensus revenue growth, historic levels of Chapter 70 education aid, funding for the Community Compact program, and other grant programs to provide local government with the resources they need to be successful.”
 “Our Fiscal Year 2018 budget proposal makes significant progress for the Commonwealth’s fiscal outlook,” said Administration and Finance Secretary Kristen Lepore. “We nearly eliminate the structural deficit from a few years ago, significantly reduce the use of non-recurring revenue, hold the line on taxes, responsibly deposit money into our reserves, and pay down important long-term obligations like our unfunded pension liability.”
House 1 funds the administration’s past commitments of staff increases at the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and substance misuse prevention efforts, and also increases funding for Chapter 70 education aid, unrestricted general government aid (UGGA) at 100% of consensus revenue growth, homelessness prevention services, the Department of Developmental Services (DDS), and recommends a new program to connect more job seekers with employment.
Stabilization Fund Reform and Deposit
House 1 also recommends a new method to increase the Stabilization Fund during periods of economic growth, providing for a $98 million deposit into the fund in FY18, with potential for an additional deposit based on year-end surplus. If enacted, the new law would provide for two phases of rainy day fund deposits: first, a budgeted transfer of 50% of the consensus revenue estimate’s projected excess capital gains, and second, a requirement that 50% of above-budget tax revenue at the end of a fiscal year be directed to the Stabilization Fund, prior to year-end closeout and the finalization of consolidated net surplus.
Chapter 70 Funding at an All-Time High
In the first two years of the Baker-Polito Administration, Chapter 70 aid to school districts has increased by $227 million to $4.628 billion, an all-time high, and Special Education Circuit Breaker funding has increased by nearly $20 million.
House 1 proposes a $91.4 million increase in Chapter 70 aid, providing at least a $20 per pupil increase to all 322 operating districts across the Commonwealth, supporting an 85% effort reduction to bring under-aided districts closer to their spending targets, and begins to address the rising cost of healthcare and retiree benefits in foundation budgets.
New “Learn to Earn” Program
House 1 recommends $4 million for a new Learn to Earn initiative, led by a broad cross-secretariat working group. This program will provide credentials and employment for unemployed and underemployed individuals in occupations in high demand fields through partnerships between public agencies, businesses, community-based organizations, and career centers. As part of the $4 million request, the administration proposes $1 million to be allocated to address barriers to employment commonly encountered by the underemployed and unemployed, including transportation and child care expenses.
Launch of Career Pathways Program to Train Future Workforce
The FY18 budget proposal includes nearly $200 million in funding across secretariats for workforce development programs, a $10.5 million increase from FY17. Part of that increase will go towards a coordinated strategy to expand and improve high quality career pathways, based on aligning and maximizing existing workforce training and career education capacity, and building stronger connections with employers. Five line items will be consolidated into the new “STEM Starter Academy and College and Career Pathways” account to allow for greater flexibility and coordination between college and career pathway investments and business sectors in need of trained employees. 
Increased Eligibility for Homelessness Voucher Program
House 1 continues the Baker-Polito Administration’s effort to fight homelessness by investing over $500 million for housing and homelessness prevention services. An $11 million increase in funding will be included for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP), $3 million of which will increase supportive housing units by nearly 50% to a total of 620 units.
The proposal also includes language to allow families to keep their MRVP voucher eligibility as they work to grow their income, increasing qualifying standards from 50% of Area Median Income to 80%. This will ensure individuals do not lose housing supports before they are able to become self-sufficient.
Increased Support for Older Adults
The administration’s FY18 proposal includes a $10.7 million increase in funding for the state Home Care Program to provide seniors in need of a wide array of services. This increase will support coverage for over 1,200 new low-income seniors, ensuring that they are not placed on a waitlist to receive services.
House 1 will also continue to fund the Supportive Senior Housing program, which allows 6,000 elderly residents of state-aided housing to remain in their homes and receive assisted living level of care. We also provide $7.2 million in level funding for the Elder Nutrition Program, enabling the delivery of over 1.1 million meals.
The administration recommends $29.2 million, a $1.1 million increase over FY17, to investigate cases of elder abuse, including physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, as well as neglect or exploitation, in addition to $14 million in funding for local Councils on Aging (COA).
Governor Baker also plans to sign an Executive Order in the coming weeks that will establish a Council on Older Adults, that will focus on policies and programs that make it possible for even more older adults and seniors to live vibrant, purposeful lives.
New Proposal for Civilly Committed Males
The Baker-Polito Administration proposes an increase of $1.75 million, for a total of $10 million, to refocus Section 35 treatment for males in the Commonwealth by repurposing the MCI-Plymouth facility into the Massachusetts Alcohol and Substance Abuse Center (MASAC) at Plymouth. This funding would increase available beds by 45, for a total of 255 beds. Men who have been civilly committed to the soon to be decommissioned MASAC center at Bridgewater will be transferred to the new facility in Plymouth.
Good Government Solutions
House 1 proposes capping sick time at 1,000 hours, or six months at work, for state employees in the Executive Branch, bringing Massachusetts in line with other states and to avoid excessive payouts for sick time to retiring employees
House 1 also includes an outside section authorizing the Pension Reserves Investment Management board to manage the assets for the MBTA retirees, which will benefit these retirees by increasing returns and lowering administrative costs.
THE BAKER-POLITO ADMINISTRATION’S FY18 BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS BY THE NUMBERS
Fiscal Overview
  • Nearly eliminates the inherited structural deficit by reducing the budgeted use of one-time revenues to under $100 million, down from $1.2 billion in FY15
  • Deposits $98 million into the Stabilization Fund
  • Fully annualizes previous tax cuts, including the increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit from 15% to 23% of the federal credit in FY16, and the reduction of the income tax rate from 5.15% to 5.10%
  • Holds the line on no new tax rate increases
Strengthening Our Communities
  • Once again increases UGGA by 100% of revenue growth (3.9%), or $40 million, to $1.062 billion total
  • Funds $6.8 million for Community Compact related programs
  • Increases funding for State Police anti-drug trafficking program by $1.2 million to expand the program from 9 to 20 communities
  • Supports $6 million for Shannon Grants for gang prevention initiatives
  • Funds a new State Police class for 130 recruits
Investing in Our Schools
  • Increases Chapter 70 education aid by $91.4 million, for a total of $4.719 billion in funding
  • Includes $7 million for rate increases for Early Education and Care for center-based child care providers
  • Supports teacher and leader development with a $2 million increase
  • Provides $31.1 million for the continued implementation of the next generation of the MCAS exam
  • Supports a $10.3 million increase for higher education campus budgets
Enhancing Workforce Skills, Job Training, and Economic Development
  • Funds a new “Learn to Earn” initiative for grants to partnerships to help unemployed and underemployed individuals gain credentials for occupations and employment in high demand fields
  • Increases funding for Connecting Activities by $500,000 that will double the number of STEM-related work-based learning experiences for high school participants
  • Provides $1.3 million in new funding for an Adult Basic Education Pay for Success program contract for vocational English for Speakers of Other Languages classes and skills training services
  • Increases funding by $1 million for Dual Enrollment, to allow under-served high school students to receive college credit while in high school
  • Provides $1.5 million for a new round of Urban Agenda Economic Development Grant Program
Mental Health Support at Bridgewater State Hospital
  • $37 million  increase for a new clinical contract to care for patients at Bridgewater State Hospital, and implementation of a new model to move Corrections Officers to the outside of the facility to provide security and expand the size and scale of the clinical program offered inside the hospital.
Fighting the Substance Misuse Epidemic
  • Repurposes MCI-Plymouth into the Massachusetts Alcohol and Substance Abuse Center (MASAC) at Plymouth allowing men who have been civilly committed to the soon to be decommissioned MASAC center at Bridgewater to be transferred to the new facility, and provides an increase of $1.75 million in funding for an additional 45 treatment beds
  • Sustains $145 million in funding for DPH programming for substance misuse prevention and treatment services
  • Provides $13 million for DMH to continue its funding commitment of 45 beds for women’s addiction treatment services at Taunton State Hospital
  • $37 million  increase for a new clinical contract to care for patients at Bridgewater State Hospital
Addressing Homelessness and Housing Insecurity
  • Provides over $500 million in funding for housing and homelessness prevention services
  • Includes $11 million increase for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program, $3 million of which will support 200 additional supportive housing units
  • Increases funding for DMH’s Safe Haven Program for the chronically homeless with mental illness by over $900,000 to annualize FY17 addition of 33 beds
Supporting the Department of Children and Families
  • Provides a $26.9 million increase to DCF
  • Includes $9.8 million to fully annualize additional social worker and support staff positions created in FY17
  • Recommends $6.4 million for projected caseload increases and the annualization of FY17 investment in 193 additional beds for clients

Governor Baker Delivers Second State of the Commonwealth Address

Today, Governor Charlie Baker delivers his second State of the Commonwealth address from the House Chamber of the Massachusetts State House. Remarks as prepared for delivery:

“Mr. Speaker. Mr. President. Members of the House and Senate. Distinguished elected officials and honored guests. And fellow Citizens.

“About 750 days ago, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito and I stood right here and we pledged to work collaboratively with you and others to move this Commonwealth forward.   And we have done just that.

“We built a bipartisan team. Worked in partnership with the legislature. And looked for common ground.

“We worked to fix state government, passed groundbreaking legislation and focused on growing our economy. And it’s working.

“Our economy is among the strongest in the nation.

“Over the past two years we’ve added 120,000 jobs. Today more people are working than at any time in the past 20 years. And our welfare caseload has dropped 25 percent.

“The companies of the future are moving to Massachusetts, bringing millions in private investment. While new companies are born here every day.

“In fact, for the second year in a row, Bloomberg named Massachusetts the #1 state for innovation.

“GE’s decision to locate its world headquarters in Boston and North American Life Sciences headquarters in Marlborough was based on its belief in the talent and vision of our people.

“And believe me, any discussion of GE’s re-location won’t be complete without noting the extraordinary work and collaboration by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and his team. 

“Mr. Mayor, I look forward to working with you on the next Patriots’ Super Bowl parade.

“The job gains have benefitted every corner of our state.

“For example, New Bedford had the steepest unemployment decline in the entire country. With an unemployment rate that has fallen from 6.5 percent to 3.7 percent in just the past year.

“It’s not an accident that Massachusetts is such an attractive place to do business.  It’s a reflection of the quality of our people and the business climate we’ve created.

“The progress we made on energy is a perfect example.

“Together, we passed landmark legislation that will reduce our carbon footprint while maintaining a competitively priced and reliable supply of energy.

“And we’ve built on those efforts by issuing an Executive Order on Climate Change that directs state government to work with local governments, business, and non-profits to develop plans to further protect our environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“Thanks to the hard work of state & local officials, teachers and parents our students are #1 in the nation in both math and reading for the sixth straight year.

“Our shared commitment to funding local schools has led to an all-time high in Chapter 70 education funding, representing an increase of $227 million over the last two years.

“We’ve also made attending a public college more affordable. Through the Commonwealth Commitment we’ve created a pathway for students to secure a bachelor’s degree from UMass or one of our state universities for half the price.

“Brockton’s own Jaclyn Bell is here tonight and she’s a great example of who this program is helping.

“She’s 26 years old, has a two-year old daughter, and is currently a straight A student at Massasoit Community College.  She said the Commonwealth Commitment ‘changed her family’s life.’

“Jaclyn – we all look forward to watching you build on your success.

“We’ve reviewed, updated and eliminated thousands of pages of outdated and obsolete state regulations. 

“Which has reduced red tape and made it easier for employers, non-profits and cities and towns to do their jobs.

“We all know that High-speed internet has become central to the ways we communicate, learn and do business. But too many communities in Western Mass still don’t have access to this essential service.

“That’s why this past May we completely overhauled the Last Mile program for our rural communities.

“We started with 53 towns lacking high speed internet access. 
   
“And while there’s still more work to be done, in just six months we’ve moved a dozen towns forward. 

“That’s more progress on local broadband access than in the last five years.

“And we’ve done all of that and more while closing a billion-dollar state budget gap without raising taxes.

“Fiscal responsibility is challenging work.  It’s not the stuff that wins popularity contests.

“By working together we’ve controlled the runaway growth in spending and nearly eliminated the structural deficit in just two years.  We’ve reduced the state’s bureaucracy, saving hundreds of millions of dollars.  And we’re working smarter and making state government more accountable to the people who pay the bills.

“We also ended the previous practice of using rainy day funds to bailout the state budget. Instead, we invested in this fund despite lower revenue growth. And have set the Commonwealth on solid financial footing going forward.

“We’ve proposed closing the tax loophole on Airbnb. But we will oppose any effort to pass a broad-based tax increase on the hardworking people of the Commonwealth.

“We’ve also made real progress in supporting those who need our help.

“Helping families fighting homelessness and ending the practice of putting homeless families into hotels and motels  has been a priority for us.

“To get there we’ve taken a different approach.  We’re working with housing authorities and other housing providers to help families avoid homelessness in the first place and relying more on permanent solutions.

“In two years, the population of homeless families in hotels and motels has been reduced from more than 1,500 to fewer than 100 families today.

“Two years ago the Department of Children and Families, which serves more than 50,000 at-risk kids was in crisis. Today, it’s a very different place.

“There are 270 more social workers on the job than there were just over one year ago.  Ninety-five percent are licensed, up from 50 percent when we took office.

“Caseloads are as low as they’ve been in decades. And long promised clinical and administrative supports are now in place.

“New policies concerning investigations, home based services, supervisory practices and missing children have been collaboratively implemented with the full support of DCF’s union workforce.

“But when it comes to at risk kids we can never rest easy.

“DCF still needs to recruit more foster homes and do a better job working with foster families.  

“And DCF will continue to work with the courts and legal community to reduce uncertainty for kids by shortening the time they have to wait for a permanent and loving home.

“DCF Commissioner Linda Spears is with us tonight.  Linda, you and your team are doing a great job.  And on behalf of the families and children you serve, thank you.

“As in other states, we continue dealing with the heinous crime of human trafficking.

“And through compassion for these young girls and boys my wife Lauren championed bringing back the State Police anti-human trafficking unit.

“For that, and so many other things she does every day I thank her tonight.

“We worked together to craft legislation for Uber, Lyft and other transportation networking companies.  

“This legislation respects the important role of the sharing economy while benefiting hundreds-of-thousands of passengers as well as drivers here in the Commonwealth.

“For example, people with disabilities often have trouble finding reliable transportation especially for unexpected trips. Making it difficult to complete their education or work full time. It’s a huge problem.

“The T’s RIDE took advantage of our new law, to set up a pilot with Uber and Lyft to serve about 400 people with disabilities. 

“So far, that pilot has delivered more than 7,000 rides.

“Manish Agrawal is blind and uses the RIDE.  He’s here with us tonight. He and his wife live in Arlington with their young daughter. 

“Recently, Manish had to take his daughter to the doctor unexpectedly. 

“He used the pilot program and called Uber instead of waiting for the RIDE. It was easy, prompt and cut his travel time in half. Thanks to this pilot program he was able to focus on the needs of his daughter instead of worrying about transportation.

“Manish thanks for being here with us and sharing your story.

“In fact, his story echoes those we've heard from many others. The overwhelming message from the participants couldn’t be more clear –“This program has changed my life”.

“We all know the opioid epidemic is ravaging individuals and families across the country.  And while this is going to be a prolonged battle, our efforts are making a difference.

“We know that four out of five heroin users first become addicted through prescription drugs.  And we’re seeing results from our efforts to close this front door to addiction.

“For the first time, medical, dental and nursing schools are requiring students to master opioid therapy and pain management. And continuing education on these issues is now a part of our state licensing programs.

“After years of increases, the number of opioids prescribed is now down by 15 percent.  

“Prescribers have made more than 2 million searches of the new Prescription Monitoring program.  

“This makes it harder for people to doctor shop for pain pills, or for pill mills to operate here in Massachusetts.

“Spending on addiction services has been increased by 50 percent. Hundreds of additional treatment beds and voluntary programs have come online. Family and peer support groups have doubled and been funded across the Commonwealth. And thousands of NARCAN kits have been distributed to first responders and family members.

“And our work has not gone unnoticed.  An unprecedented 46 Governors have signed on to a compact to fight opioid addiction—that’s based on our efforts here in Massachusetts. 

“Make no mistake, drug traffickers are part of the opioid epidemic. They prey on vulnerable people, selling them more and more deadly and addictive substances.

“We’ll also propose $2 million to expand law enforcement’s efforts to arrest and convict drug traffickers.

“With your help we also ended the decades old practice of sending women, who were civilly committed due to an addiction, to Framingham State Prison. 

“Instead, they now enter a treatment program including the new one at Taunton State Hospital. These programs have been a game changer for many of the women they serve.

“And based on this success, we’ll request an increase in state funding to support treatment for men who are committed due to an addiction as well. 

“The MBTA’s historic failure during the winter of 2015 laid bare the vital need for a complete overhaul.

“But never forget the T always had the money, but it lacked the capacity to turn its resources into an action plan – to deliver the safe and reliable transportation system that our people deserve.

“The Fiscal and Management Control Board, management team and staff at the T cut the MBTA’s operating deficit in half. These significant savings, along with existing funds, are being used to double the T’s investment in core infrastructure.

“While a lot of great work has been done in the past 18 months, anyone who rides the T will correctly tell you, we still have a long way to go.

“Everything that breaks is at least 50 years old.  Making the investments in tracks, signals, switches, power systems and vehicles will take years, not months. But we finally have the team on the ground and the plan in place to get the job done. 

“And after months of discussion the MBTA reached an agreement on a new contract with its largest union, the Carmen’s Union Local 589. 

“This is a win/win for all involved. Riders and taxpayers have a competitive contract that respects market standards. While union members have predictability and achievable ground rules for measuring performance.

“Both sides could have turned this into an epic brawl. Instead, they chose to be part of the answer.

“Jim O’Brien, the President of the Carmen’s Union, as well as Brian Shortsleeve and Joe Aiello of the T are here with us tonight.

“For their hard work, vision and leadership during these difficult and complicated times, they deserve our thanks.

“And remember those toll booths we used to have on the Turnpike?  Me neither.

“Going live with an All Electronic Tolling system and taking down the toll booths could’ve been a disaster. 

“In fact, many predicted it would be. 

“But a terrific engineering and planning effort across multiple agencies made sure work was done at night and on weekends. Assuring that commuters were not delayed going to and from work. 

“With a shared sense of purpose we’ve made real progress in job creation, fiscal discipline, education, child welfare, public health, transportation, public safety, environmental and energy policy and community building during the past two years. 

“And because of all that, I stand here tonight and say, the state of our Commonwealth is strong.

“We all know the world is becoming more and more dependent on technology.  Smart buildings. Smarter machines. Robotics. Autonomous vehicles. Digital health.  Precision manufacturing. And big data to name a few.

“These are the platforms of the next generation of great companies and new jobs.   And cyber security that moves as fast as the hackers, thieves and troublemakers is what makes this all possible.

“Success in protecting databases and smart machines will ensure that people benefit from the best ideas in science, engineering and technology for decades to come.

“We’re already one of the 3 most important players in cyber security in the world.  Businesses in Massachusetts protect proprietary information and secure smart machines and smart buildings from attack. But this industry is just taking off.

“Hundreds of billions of dollars will be spent over the next decade to protect information and assets. Massachusetts’ organizations should play a major role in driving these decisions.

“Over the next ten months we’ll bring together the best minds locally and globally to develop a blueprint for success here in Massachusetts.  And we will follow it.

“Our strength as a Commonwealth is based, in many ways, on our work with 351 cities and towns.

“The important reforms enacted last session give local leaders new tools to better serve their constituents.

“And you don’t have to take my word for it. The Massachusetts Municipal Association called those changes the most significant reform of municipal governance in more than 50 years.

“And thanks to the tireless work of Lieutenant Governor Polito more than 250 communities have joined with us to work on 600 best practices that will make local governments more successful. 

“Thank you Lieutenant Governor, for your extraordinary work on this initiative.

“Looking ahead, our budget will propose more than $130 million in new funding for cities and towns. Including increasing Chapter 70 support for K-12 education by more than $90 million, twice the amount required under state law.

“And for the first time we propose funding a down payment toward increasing state support for municipal health insurance.

“Our capital program will build on our previous efforts to invest in local communities. We’ll continue unprecedented levels of investment in roads, bridges, economic development and housing.

“These investments help our colleagues in local government build strong communities, leverage billions of dollars in private sector investment and create jobs.

“We should also be proud of our achievements in education. 

“But we must also recognize not every child in the Commonwealth gets to attend a first-class school. We have an obligation to every parent and child in Massachusetts. And in this effort, we must succeed.

“To assist struggling schools, we’ll work with Representative Peisch and Senator Lesser and their colleagues in the house and senate to create more “empowerment zones.”

“These zones create more flexibility in schools. And allow educators to make the changes necessary to provide a better learning environment for our kids. In Springfield, this model is already making a positive difference for teachers and students.

“In addition, the experience of struggling districts in Lawrence, Southbridge and Holyoke has demonstrated that state takeovers can offer significant benefits to students, parents and teachers in schools that need our support.

“We encourage the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to use this tool.

“For decades, mental health advocates have urged the Commonwealth to redesign the way it serves those who are committed to Bridgewater State Hospital.  Little has changed, and the results, in many cases, have been disastrous for all involved.

“We propose to do two things to address this longstanding and unacceptable situation.

“First, move Corrections Officers out of the hospital.  And instead deploy them outside the facility to provide security. 

“Second,  the size and scale of the clinical program offered inside the hospital will be significantly expanded. This reform will not come cheap, as spending on clinical services will increase by $37 million. It’s the right thing to do and we ask the legislature to support it.

“I would also like to extend our thanks to Jon Mograss and the Massachusetts Correctional Officers Federated Union for being a true partner in our efforts to make these reforms. This wouldn’t have happened without their support.

“We must also think differently about how we support and engage older adults.  The notion that people are fully retired at the age of 62 or 65 is inconsistent with what I see every day.

“And even if some have stepped back from what they spent most of their lives doing, most still have tons of time and talent available to do something else.

“Hey – I turned 60 in November. Sixty.
 
“I remember thinking that was ancient when my dad turned sixty.

“Now he’s 88 and still the smartest, most informed person I know.  And Dad –
nobody gives better advice than you do.

“There are thousands of citizens in Massachusetts who are still very much in the game in their 60s, 70s, and even 80s.  And there’ll be more as our population continues to age.

“I’ll be signing an Executive Order in the coming weeks that will establish a Council on Older Adults. It will focus on policies and programs that make it possible for even more older adults and seniors to live vibrant, purposeful lives.

“Finally, too many of our returning heroes struggle to find good jobs.

“Jesse Brown and Matt Mastroianni the founders of Heidrea Communications of Plymouth and Bellingham are with us tonight.  Heidrea constructs, maintains and repairs cell towers, a booming business in today’s wireless world.

“After serving our country as United States Marines they both joined a large firm in the cell tower space. In 2007, they left the comfort of a big company to start their own.

“The beginning was rocky, but today they employ 70 people.  Almost half of whom are veterans like them.  And their future is bright.

“Like many small businesses, they want to hire and employ our veterans.  We should make it easier for them to get it done.

“So we’ll be proposing a $4,000 tax credit for businesses hiring and retaining an unemployed veteran. 

“We all wish Jesse and Matt continued success and thank them and all veterans for their service to our country.

“In closing, on behalf of Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, our Cabinet, our team and the people of Massachusetts, I want to thank you, the legislature, for your goodwill.  This may seem like a small thing.  But it’s not.

“Too much of what passes for political dialogue these days isn’t dialogue at all.  It’s talking points. Character assassination. And deliberate misrepresentation.

“Wedge issues may be great for making headlines, but they do not move this Commonwealth forward.  Success is measured by what we accomplish together.

“Our obligation to the people we serve is too important to place politics and partisanship before progress and results.

“The changes in Washington don’t change this powerful obligation.  Our jobs remain the same.  That is to represent Massachusetts to Washington and not Washington to Massachusetts.

“We can and do disagree.

“But we listen, we learn  and we make the best decisions we can.

“On energy.  Public records.  Pay equity.  Addiction.  Economic development.  And a host of other issues. You’ve compromised with one another, and with us.

“Like other states, we have enormous challenges here in the Commonwealth.  Issues that are destined to create difficult discussions and opportunities for conflict.

“And we live in a time where what you oppose seems much more interesting than what you support.  Where compromising is often viewed as an act of weakness.   When, in fact, it’s a sign of strength.

“Our Founders worried a lot about the tyranny of the majority.

“They designed our form of government to provide a loud voice for minority points of view. They hated the idea of unilateral power. And wanted to force advocates and policy makers, through structure and process, to compromise.

“I’m with them.  As my mom always used to say – ‘You have two ears and one mouth for a reason.’

“It’s one thing to stand in a corner and shout insults at your opponents.  It’s quite another to climb into the arena and fight for common ground.

“I believe it’s this conversation that makes us strong. 

“Our economy is strong because we listen and we learn from the workers and employers who make it go.

“Our communities are strong because local leaders and active citizens listen and learn from the people they serve.

“And our Commonwealth is strong because we listen and we learn from one another. Knowing that our goodwill can make our disagreements a catalyst for better ideas and real results.

“Our team looks forward to working with you on the challenges and opportunities of the next two years.

“We will advocate.  We will engage.  We will learn from you and from others.  And we will all be better for it.

“God Bless This Commonwealth.

“God Bless the United States of America.”


###



Governor Baker, Delegation Return From Economic Development Mission to Israel
Two significant agreements signed solidifying mutually beneficial relationship between Massachusetts and Israel on cybersecurity and digital health

BOSTON-- Today, Governor Charlie Baker and a business delegation, including nearly 50 leaders and over 20 presidents and chief executive officers in digital health, cybersecurity, public policy, academia, and other industry sectors, returned from an Economic Development Mission to Israel. Over the course of four days, the delegation participated in various forums and site visits with Israeli partners to attract more business in the Commonwealth.

"Massachusetts has an opportunity to be a major player in both the digital health and cybersecurity spaces, and we are pleased to have formed new relationships and strengthened others in Israel over the course of this economic development mission,” said Governor Baker. "Digital health innovation, protected through cybersecurity breakthroughs, hold real potential to improve the delivery of care, and we were pleased to undertake this mission to show the global market that Massachusetts does not take a back seat to Silicon Valley when it comes to supporting and growing a high-tech economy."

Highlighting the importance of cybersecurity in digital health care and the protection of connected technologies, the Massachusetts Tech Collaborative and Israel's CyberSpark signed an agreement during a luncheon on the first day of the mission attended by executives from many of Israel's leading cybersecurity firms. The agreement focuses collaboration around applied research projects on healthcare related cyber issues and practical trainings for students in cybersecurity fields, among other key areas. This partnership builds on the work of the Baker-Polito Administration on the Massachusetts Digital Health Initiative. 

On Monday, the delegation joined over 400 Israeli business leaders in the fields of cybersecurity and digital health for the U.S – Israel Growth Summit hosted by the Commonwealth at Tel Aviv University. Moderating a discussion entitled "From Startup to Fortune 500 Digital Health Company in the USA," Governor Baker engaged with Athena Health CEO and President, Jonathan Bush, and Optum Inc. CEO, Larry Renfro, to highlight all that Massachusetts has to offer Israeli companies looking for a home away from home. 

During the Summit, Laurie Leshin, president of Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a member of the Mission delegation, announced a new project center in the "‘start-up nation’ of Israel," formalizing a growing collaboration focused on innovation in the STEM fields. Cybersecurity, water and energy are among the local problems the first WPI students to travel to Israel next year will work to solve. President Leshin said Israel was chosen as a project center because it is a place that "embrace[s] innovation as a means to positively impact people's lives."

Governor Baker, accompanied by First Lady Lauren Baker, Consul General Yehuda Yaakov and Brandeis President Ronald Liebowitz, met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss the economic futures and relationships of the Commonwealth and Israel. During a productive meeting, Prime Minister Netanyahu shared why Israel was an early entrant into the cybersecurity field and the field's importance to Israel’s national security. The two leaders, who both spend time in Cambridge as students, also spoke about the amazing growth of Massachusetts' technology sector.

Renewing a longstanding special relationship between the Commonwealth and the State of Israel, Governor Baker and Israeli Chief Scientist Avi Hasson, along with Israeli Economic Minister to North America Inon Elroy, committed each government to strengthening economic, industrial, technological, and commercial cooperation. The new bilateral cooperation agreement engages both Massachusetts and Israel to identify and advance joint research and development efforts that will lead to the commercialization of new products in the global marketplace. 

Employing 500 people in Israel and boasting a dozen active investments in Israel through GE Ventures,General Electric hosted an event attended by nearly 300 from the Israeli tech industry as of the Mission. Governor Baker expressed his excitement about what GE's commitment to Massachusetts means for innovation in the Commonwealth and its relationship with Israel. Michael Idelchik (Vice President of Advanced Technologies, GE Global Research), Mark Hutchinson (CEO of GE Europe) and Oded Meirav (Manager of Israel Technology Center, GE Global Research) discussed GE’s future in the Israeli tech ecosystem, and their reasoning for choosing the Commonwealth as the home for its new global headquarters.

While the delegation was still in Israel, Be'er Sheva, Israel-based cybersecurity company Morphisecannounced that it would headquarter its U.S. operations in Massachusetts. Garnering accolades for its forward-thinking technology that masks corporate memory systems rather than adding layers of digital defense, the startup called Boston “an innovation hub” and the ideal location for it to “put down U.S. roots and set the stage for further growth.”

Other highlights from the Mission:

·       Worcester Polytechnic Institute, a leader in project-based education, announced a new project center in Israel during the US-Israel Growth Summit, formalizing a growing collaboration focused on innovation in the STEM fields;

·       Governor Baker met with cutting-edge cybersecurity firm Team8 executives, touring their facility and learning about how Israel is leading in the field;

·       Governor Baker and members of Massachusetts’ digital health cluster met with Sheba Medical Center’s leadership team, learning about their training programs and touring the medical simulation center; and

·       Visiting MassChallenge Israel, the most recent expansion of the Boston-founded startup accelerator.

The delegation included nearly 40 private sector partners, and members of the Baker-Polito Administration, including Assistant Secretary of Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship Katie Stebbins, Health Connector Executive Director Louis Gutierrez, MassIT Executive Director Mark Nunnelly and Senior Advisor for Anti-Terrorism and Cyber Security, Han Olsen. The administration partnered with the New England Israel Business Council (NEIBC), with the support of Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) to host the mission at no cost to taxpayers.

Baker-Polito Administration Awards over $1 Million in Community Compact Grants
First Round of Grants will aid over 70 municipalities focused on efficiency & regionalization

BOSTON— Today the Baker-Polito Administration awarded more than $1 million in grants from the Community Compact Cabinet, chaired by Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, focused on efficiency and regionalization efforts in 72 municipalities and 10 school districts.

“Lieutenant Governor Polito and I formed the Community Compact Cabinet shortly after coming into office as a way for the state to serve as a more reliable partner for our cities and towns,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are proud to announce several grants today that will help cities, towns, and school districts from across the Commonwealth share services and find efficiencies.” 

“The Community Compact Program is an important tool for the state to play a key role in helping local municipalities help themselves,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “These regionalization and efficiency grants and previous Community Compact Grant programs focused on best practices and IT initiatives are all aimed at helping municipalities spur future success. The interest in this program and the high quality of applications shows that municipalities are focused on ways to deliver services to taxpayers in a more efficient manner, including regionalization and sharing services. I want to congratulate today’s recipients from across the state and encourage others to consider submitting an application for our second round of grants next month.”

“The Baker-Polito Administration has made supporting the Commonwealth’s communities a top priority, including increased investments in local aid, passage of the Municipal Modernization Act, and the creation of the Community Compact program,” said Kristen Lepore, Secretary of Administration and Finance. “We will continue to work with local governments to ensure they have the resources and tools to provide important municipal services.”

“As a former selectman, I see the Commonwealth’s cities and towns as vital to the people of Massachusetts,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo. “These grants will help our communities fund key needs and save money. I thank Governor Baker and Lieutenant Governor Polito for their leadership with the Community Compact Program.”

“This is a great new program,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg. “Increasing efficiencies in all levels of government must remain one of our top priorities.”

The Community Compact Cabinet’s Efficiency & Regionalization grant program is a new program for Fiscal Year 2017 and provides financial support for governmental entities interested in implementing regionalization and other efficiency initiatives that allow for long-term sustainability. The grants will provide funds for one-time or transition costs for municipalities, regional school districts, school districts considering forming a regional school district or regionalizing services, regional planning agencies and councils of governments interested in such projects.

The first round of applications in 2016 was highly competitive, opening October 15thand closing on November 15th. The next round of applications will be open from January 1st until February 1st, 2017.

Today’s announcement comes one year after the Administration was joined by over one hundred municipal officials to introduce municipal modernization legislation. The Governor later signed the bill, An Act modernizing municipal finance and government (H. 4565), into law improving critical components of the partnership between state and municipal governments by eliminating or updating obsolete laws, promoting local independence, streamlining state oversight and providing municipalities with greater flexibility.

Grant Recipients:

Regionalization and Shared Services

  • Regional Animal Shelter / Animal Control (North Adams, Adams, Williamstown) - $200,000
  • Establish a SPED Collaborative for Northern Berkshire County Districts (North Adams Public Schools, Northern Berkshire School Union, Adams Cheshire Regional School District, Williamstown Public Schools, Lanesboro Public Schools, Mount Greylock Regional School District, Northern Berkshire Regional VocTech) - $148,099
  • Regional Dispatch (Gardner and Athol) - $103,279
  • MAPC Public Health Collaborative (Chelsea, Revere, Winthrop) - $50,150
  • Regionalize Fire and EMS (Winchendon and Templeton) - $50,000
  • MVPC Housing Production Plans (Amesbury, Andover, Georgetown, Groveland, Haverhill, Lawrence, Methuen, Newbury, North Andover, Rowley, Salisbury, West Newbury) - $50,000
  • Shared Conservation Agent (Easthampton and Southampton) - $48,300
  • Establish the Pioneer Valley Mosquito Control District (Deerfield, Greenfield, East Longmeadow Montague, Palmer, South Hadley, Southampton) - $35,310
  • Shared Planning Services (Millville and Uxbridge) - $30,000
  • Shared Highway Services (Phillipston and Royalston) - $12,500
  • Regional Dispatch (Dunstable and Groton) - $9,990

Municipal and School Efficiencies

  • Chicopee City/Schools HR and Facilities Management Integration - $60,000
  • Explore Hull Joining South Shore Regional VocTech - $22,700

Environmental

  • Regional Wastewater Management with Joint Base Cape Cod (JBCC) (Falmouth, Bourne, Mashpee, Sandwich) - $135,000
  • FRCOG Planning for Climate Resilient Communities in the Deerfield River Watershed (Ashfield, Bernardston, Buckland, Charlemont, Colrain, Conway, Deerfield, Greenfield, Hawley, Heath, Leyden, Monroe, Rowe, Shelburne) - $131,280
  • PVPC Regional Approach to Wastewater and Stormwater Management for Connecticut River Communities (Agawam, Chicopee, Granby, Hadley, Ludlow, Northampton, Southwick, Springfield, West Springfield) - $111,550
  • MAPC Regional Approach to Stormwater Management (Acton, Bolton, Boxborough, Carlisle, Concord, Hudson, Lexington, Lincoln, Littleton, Maynard, Stow, Sudbury) - $50,000
About the Community Compact Cabinet:
Formed in January 2015, the Community Compact Cabinet is chaired by Lt. Governor Polito and comprised of the secretaries of Housing & Economic Development, Education, Transportation, and Energy & Environmental Affairs, the Senior Deputy Commissioner of Local Services, the Assistant Secretary of Operational Services, and the Chief Information Officer of the Commonwealth. The Community Compact Cabinet elevates the Administration’s partnerships with cities and towns, and allows the Governor’s Office to work more closely with leaders from all municipalities. The Cabinet champions municipal interests across all executive secretariats and agencies, and develops, in consultation with cities and towns, mutual standards and best practices for both the state and municipalities.  The creation of Community Compacts creates clear standards, expectations and accountability for both partners.

Governor Charlie Baker Meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Pictured, left to right: Brandeis President Ronald Liebowitz, Governor Charlie Baker, First Lady Lauren Baker, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Consul General Yehuda Yaakov

Click here for more photos

JERUSALEM – Governor Charlie Baker met yesterday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Prime Minister’s Office. The Governor and Prime Minister, joined by First Lady Lauren Baker, Consul General Yehuda Yaakov and Brandeis President Ronald Liebowitz, discussed the economic futures and relationships of the Commonwealth and Israel, as well as the importance of face to face interactions between leaders when it comes to building relationships in business and politics. 

“I was thrilled to meet Prime Minister Netanyahu and discuss our ongoing commitment to strengthening the strong and unique relationship between Israel and Massachusetts,” said Governor Baker. “The existing economic, political and cultural relationships between the Commonwealth and Israel are important to the flow of ideas, innovation and industry, especially as our administration focuses on growth in the emerging digital health and cybersecurity sectors where Israel has excelled. It was an honor to discuss the amazing growth of Massachusetts' technology sector with the Prime Minister, an MIT graduate who has experienced and seen firsthand the Commonwealth’s success in these industries.”

During a productive meeting, Prime Minister Netanyahu shared why Israel was an early entrant into the cyber security field and its importance to Israel’s national security. The Prime Minister spent time in Massachusetts while obtaining both his Bachelors and Masters degrees at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He and the Governor discussed the progress that has been made at MIT and in Kendall Square over the years.

At the end of the meeting, President Ronald Liebowitz presented the Prime Minister with a copy of new university research released this week and a replica of the 1892 version of the flag that was hung at Zion Hall in Boston, 57 years before the founding of the modern state of Israel.

To view and download additional photos, click here.

Governor Baker Addresses Israeli Tech Industry at GE Forum
GE executives share reasons for choosing Massachusetts as home for global headquarters

TEL AVIV – Governor Charlie Baker today addressed nearly 300 attendees from the Israeli tech industry at an event hosted by GE as part of the Baker-Polito Administration’s Economic Development Mission to Israel. GE employs 500 people in Israel and shared their reasoning for choosing the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as home for its new global headquarters. Remarks as prepared for delivery:

“Thank you all for joining us here today and for welcoming us into your country.

“We are all immensely proud of the special economic and cultural relationship that exists between Massachusetts and the State of Israel.

“This trade mission advances that relationship by forging new connections between the Commonwealth's leading minds in digital health and cyber security, and our Israeli counterparts.

“Together, we will accelerate the pace of technological innovation, cement our leadership in these two critical emerging technology sectors, and connect our citizens to greater prosperity.

“I’m especially pleased to be joined here today by colleagues, based in Israel and the US, from GE.

“Over the past year, GE has opened a new headquarters for its Health Care Life Sciences division in Massachusetts; decided to headquarter its energy and lighting division, Current, in Massachusetts; and selected Massachusetts as the new home for its corporate headquarters. 

“GE’s decision to leave its suburban headquarters, and relocate 800 jobs to Boston’s Seaport, speaks volumes about where GE’s corporate future lies, and about Massachusetts’ economic competitiveness.

“Today, I’d like to address why we knew the Commonwealth would be such a great fit for GE; why we’re so excited about the work that’s going to happen around GE’s new headquarters; and what it means for innovation in Massachusetts, and our relationship with Israel. 

“From the beginning, we were pitching GE on everything that makes Massachusetts special.

“And thanks to the hard work and brains of the folks in our business community, many of whom have traveled to Israel as part of our delegation, we had a lot to pitch GE on.

“This year, Bloomberg and the Milken Institute both named Massachusetts the most innovative state in the US -- and the US Chamber of Commerce has ranked Boston as the region best positioned to lead entrepreneurial growth and innovation in the digital economy.

“We produce the greatest density of science and technology graduates in the U.S., we have the country’s best-educated workforce, and we attract more federal funding for research and development than nearly any other state in the US. 

“The companies and institutions that call Massachusetts home do things no one else in the U.S. can do, and make things no one else in the US can make -- we innovate, we incubate new ideas, and we grow them to scale. 

“Massachusetts boasts an unrivaled startup culture -- we attract more venture capital investment, as a share of GDP, than anywhere else in the US.

“And just as importantly, we’ve built systems for nurturing and accelerating the growth of young companies:

                 “in Greentown Labs, the country’s largest cleantech incubator;

                 “in the Cambridge Innovation Center, which has launched $4 billion in new public companies, and helped companies like Google and Facebook scale up in Massachusetts;

                 “and in MassChallenge, the world’s largest startup accelerator, and an institution we’re proud to say has successfully expanded to Jerusalem.

                 “Our administration has substantially increased Massachusetts’s investment in workforce development – including $45 million over the next three years in workforce training equipment.

“In close partnership with industry, this investment will prepare the next generation of Massachusetts workers to seize jobs in fields like computer science, robotics, advanced manufacturing, and engineering.

“Four in every ten Massachusetts workers, work in innovation -- and because we boast an innovation ecosystem of unparalleled density, there is no better place in the world for you to expand, and grow to scale, than Massachusetts. 

“We are home to many of the world’s most significant research and medical institutions, and some of the most innovative employers in the world.
We have a rich community of innovators, an unbeatable startup culture, and the incubators, accelerators, funders, and partners to help them grow to scale.

“We thought we had a compelling pitch about the power and diversity of our innovation ecosystem, the talent of our workforce, the vibrancy of our communities, and the promise of the new technologies our researchers unlock every day -- and we’re thrilled that GE agreed.

“When Jeff Immelt announced Boston as GE’s new headquarters, he said he wanted GE to be at the center of an ecosystem that shares GE’s aspirations.

“That’s as strong an endorsement as any government official could ever receive.

“GE’s new Boston headquarters is still under development.

“The full company operation, with 200 corporate staff, and 600 innovators working in the design and development of digital industrial products across Current, GE Digital, robotics, and Life Sciences, is still many months down the road. 

“But even though Jeff and his team have only been working from their temporary space in Boston for a little while now, we’ve already seen the promise of the work that will emanate from GE’s Massachusetts headquarters:

“In collaboration with GE and Massachusetts General Hospital, we have hosted a hackathon that explored new technological solutions to opioid addiction;

                 “For the first time, GE has launched a high-school-level internship in science, technology, engineering, and math, in coordination with our Administration’s STEM council;

                 “GE is engaging the Boston Public Schools in a $25 million effort to build career pipelines, in computer science and engineering;

                 “GE has partnered with Northeastern University to launch a pioneering new bachelor’s degree in Advanced Manufacturing, with the majority of learning happening on the job site;

                 “GE is collaborating with Boston Children’s Hospital, to deliver software solutions that will improve the diagnosis of pediatric brain disorders;

                 “GE is investing $7.5 million to advance MIT’s research into low-carbon energy solutions;

                 “GE has committed to opening a new innovation center, and has signed on as a diamond-level sponsor of MassChallenge;

“And GE is serving on a public-private advisory council that is helping me and my staff cement Massachusetts’s global leadership in digital health.

“GE’s presence in Boston is helping to grow jobs, improve our citizens’ health, and equip residents with the skills they need to secure jobs that unlock the future -- that’s a lot of impact in a few short months. 

“It shows what’s possible, when corporate citizenship and economic development align -- and demonstrates why we’re so excited to have a generation of GE leadership living and working in Massachusetts.

“Our administration is harnessing our innovation ecosystem to drive job growth in new technologies, investing in the development and commercialization of advanced materials and communications systems. 

“We welcomed GE, because GE is building its future in the same areas where Massachusetts is building our economic future: in life sciences and digital health; in cleantech; in advanced manufacturing; and in smart, connected machines and devices. 

“Our strengths, as a state, are GE’s strengths -- that’s why we’re so bullish on our collective futures.

“GE came to Massachusetts on the strengths of our innovation ecosystem, and GE’s work will make our innovation economy exponentially stronger.

“By working in the spaces GE works in, we expect Massachusetts, as a whole, will see greater inflows of talented workers, increased investment in research and development and venture capital, and expanded partnership opportunities for business. 

“And we expect that GE’s new headquarters will help strengthen the deep and enduring partnerships that exist between Massachusetts and Israel.

“The work happening here, at GE in Israel, is impressive -- delivering new advances in health care, cybersecurity, clean energy, and the industrial internet.

“GE Ventures, which will have a major Boston presence, has a dozen active investments in Israel.

“The connections that exist between GE and Israel -- in research, and in investment relationships -- are the same types of connections that we are here, in Israel, to advance.

“We are here to advance collaborative efforts on research and business development.

“We are here to increase the flow of investment between our two states, and to invite Israeli companies to grow in Massachusetts.
The deep, multi-layered ties between GE’s American and Israeli operations, and GE’s recent commitment to Massachusetts, make the bilateral innovation agenda we are advancing here even more significant. 

“GE makes those ties even more meaningful, forges stronger connection points, and expands the opportunities for collaboration that exist between our two states.”

Governor Baker and Israeli Chief Scientist Hasson Announce Bilateral Agreement to Spur Cooperation in Research and Development


TEL AVIV – Today, Governor Charlie Baker joined Israeli Chief Scientist Avi Hasson and Economic Minister to North America Inon Elroy to announce a bilateral cooperation agreement between the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the State of Israel on partnerships in research and business development.

"This bilateral agreement reaffirms Massachusetts's special relationship with the State of Israel by renewing our commitment to work with our Israeli partners on research and business development," said Governor Baker. "By providing a new foundation for cooperative research and development activities, this agreement will enhance the Commonwealth's economic competitiveness, spur new innovations in emerging technology fields, and advance our commitment to growing jobs across Massachusetts." 

"The Israel-Massachusetts ongoing partnership is an essential pillar in R&D collaboration,” said Avi Hasson, Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Economy of the State of Israel. “These strong links play an important role in promoting innovation and creating innovative solutions. I am assured both industries, from Israel and Massachusetts, will benefit from such relations and will generate high quality innovative projects leading to the creation of strong economic ties. "
The new cooperation agreement between the two governments commits Massachusetts and Israel to strengthening their economic, industrial, technological, and commercial cooperation, by identifying and advancing joint research and development efforts that will lead to the commercialization of new products, in the global marketplace. The agreement also facilitates bilateral business development efforts. 

The Governor, Chief Scientist and Economic Minister met today for a discussion on government’s role in fostering innovation economies through the development of commercial research and public private partnerships prior to announcing the agreement. The agreement comes as part of the Baker-Polito Administration’s Economic Development Mission to Israel to focus on leveraging the Commonwealth’s unique and innovative economic climate to welcome Israel’s global leadership in cybersecurity and digital health.

The mission builds on the Commonwealth’s unique and existing relationship with Israel. According to the NEIBC’s 3rd edition economic impact study, Israeli-founded companies in Massachusetts booked over $9 billion in revenue in 2015 – nearly 4 percent of the state’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – and employed 9,000 workers. The study also found that the growth rate of Israeli companies in Massachusetts is four times that of the Massachusetts economy as a whole.




BOSTON – On December 13th, Governor Charlie Baker will participate in a discussion on government’s role in fostering innovation economies through the development of commercial research and public private partnerships, with Israeli Chief Scientist Avi Hasson.

He will then address the General Electric (GE) Israel Breakfast where Michael Idelchik, Vice President of Advanced Technologies, GE Global Research, Mark Hutchinson, CEO of GE Europe and Oded Meirav, Manager of Israel Technology Center, GE Global Research will discuss with attendees GE’s future in the Israeli tech ecosystem, and reasoning for choosing the Commonwealth as the home for its new global headquarters. GE employs 500 people in Israel.

After that, he will participate in a Memorial Ceremony and Wreath Laying at Yad Vashem.

Later, he will attend a Social Entrepreneurship Dinner with delegation members and the leaders of MAOZ, including Chairman Jeff Swartz. MAOZ is an organization which seeks to address the challenges facing the State of Israel’s socio-economic future by building a diverse network of leaders who work together to advance meaningful initiatives and reforms.


Governor Baker Moderates Digital Health Discussion at U.S.- Israel Growth Summit

TEL AVIV – Governor Charlie Baker today moderated a discussion between Athena Health CEO and President, Jonathan Bush, and Optum Inc. CEO, Larry Renfro, entitled “From Startup to Fortune 500 Digital Health Company in the USA” at the U.S.-Israel Growth Summit held at Tel Aviv University. The U.S.-Israel Growth Summit brings an unprecedented number of CEOs, CIOs, government officials, and higher education officials together with Israeli digital health and cybersecurity businesses of all sizes for the first time ever. 

“Our administration is committed to investing in the revolutionary technologies that will underpin the next generation of digital health developments,” said Governor Baker. “Showcasing two very successful members of the Massachusetts digital health economy and highlighting our talent pool, innovative economy, investment opportunities, and collaborative environment before the Israeli business community was a tremendous opportunity.” 

“Together with Governor Baker and the members of the Massachusetts Digital Health Council, we are looking forward to exploring the enormous technological innovations taking place in Israel and across other geographic and market sectors,” said Jonathan Bush, CEO of athenahealth, “Massachusetts continues to be a breeding ground for healthcare talent and breakthroughs. Now, as we experience the effects of networks and the power of the cloud – we have the opportunity to blend our existing knowledge with global technology expertise and capabilities to drive new levels of clinical and financial performance across the healthcare industry."
“We know from experience that bringing Israeli and Bay State leaders together, face to face, is a critically important means of forging strong bonds and real, bilateral economic engagement over the long term,” said Dan Trajman, CEO of the New England Israel Business Council. “Our mission's particular focus on digital health is a testament to the many synergies and opportunities presented by innovators in Israel and Massachusetts that are making tremendous strides in this field."
The half-day conference showcased Massachusetts’ burgeoning digital health and cybersecurity industries. In January, the Governor announced a comprehensive public-private initiative aimed at making Massachusetts the national leader in digital health. Massachusetts’ existing strength in medical devices, information technology, health care delivery, the life sciences, and insurance, combined with the region’s research leadership in emerging fields like big data, advanced materials, and the internet of things, puts the Commonwealth Massachusetts in a unique position to capitalize on the technological convergence trends that are creating digital health. 

Earlier this year, Bloomberg and the Milken Institute named Massachusetts the most innovative state in the country and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ranked Boston as the place best positioned to lead the digital economy.

A strong cybersecurity underpinning is also necessary for digital health to reach its potential. Home to thirty-five of the most innovative cybersecurity companies in the country and several advanced academic programs focused on the topic, Massachusetts is a natural partner and presents tremendous opportunity for Israeli companies seeking foreign customers or a location to grow to scale outside of their country. More than 200 Israeli-founded businesses already operate in greater Boston, generating $9.3 billion worth of revenue, which accounted for 4% of the state’s GDP in 2015.

Cybersecurity is a foundational piece for Massachusetts’ larger emerging technology economy. The Commonwealth’s researchers and employers are advancing a world where many daily functions, from using a medical device, to self-driving cars, to heavy industrial machinery, are wired to the internet and in need of electronic security.


The Summit was organized by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Economic Mission to Israel, led by Governor Baker and the Blavatnik Interdisciplinary Cyber Research Center, with an aim on connecting the Israeli digital health and cybersecurity businesses ecosystem with high-ranking members of the delegation. Several topics were discussed throughout the Summit in addition to cybersecurity and digital health, including: U.S. market access, emerging trends, industry challenges, the investment landscape, and opportunities for growth. 

Baker-Polito Administration Reaches Agreement with Transportation Network Companies to Begin Implementation of Nation's Most Comprehensive State Background Checks
Voluntary agreements with Uber and Lyft begins implementation of public safety requirements of new TNC law one year ahead of schedule

BOSTON – Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced that the two largest Transportation Network Companies (TNC) in Massachusetts have entered into agreements with the state, ensuring the immediate implementation of the most stringent ride-for-hire background check system of any state in the country. 

The agreements were executed individually between the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) and Uber and Lyft. The agreements require the companies to begin background checks for all TNC drivers operating within the Commonwealth by January 6, 2017, and guarantees that every TNC driver in the Commonwealth will have passed the state background check no later than April 3, 2017.  

“The safety and security of the riding public is our top priority, and I am pleased this agreement will set a national standard for the most comprehensive state background checks for TNC drivers in the country,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “With the signing of these agreements, consumers who take advantage of the innovative technology services provided by Transportation Network Companies can have confidence that the driver has undergone a thorough background check that includes both criminal and driving records.”

Background checks will begin a year ahead of schedule, highlighting the administration’s commitment to prioritizing the safety of consumers utilizing transportation network services in accordance with An Act Regulating Transportation Network Companies.

“It is incredibly important that drivers employed with Transportation Network Companies are fully vetted before transporting people, along with their families, to their destinations,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “By taking proactive steps with Uber and Lyft, our Administration is underscoring our dedication to safe travel options for all.”

Under the voluntary agreements, background checks will be conducted by the DPU’s newly created Transportation Network Company Division. Drivers employed by Uber and Lyft will undergo a full state Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) background check, including confirmation that the driver is not a registered sex offender. Additionally, drivers will be subjected to a bi-annual national commercial background check conducted by the TNC companies. Drivers who do not meet the suitability standards set forth in the agreements will not be permitted to operate in Massachusetts.
  
“Transportation network companies have driven a tremendous amount of change in this industry, and with that change comes a responsibility to make sure that passengers using these services are as safe as they can be,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Security Daniel Bennett. “I am pleased that the leading transportation network companies have agreed to have their drivers undergo a full state Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) background check.”

In August, Governor Charlie Baker signed bipartisan legislation that created a modern statewide regulatory framework for TNCs within Massachusetts. The legislation, H. 4570, includes several components for the protection of consumers including support for transparent pricing, properly marked and inspected vehicles, clear insurance standards, authorization of service at Boston Logan International Airport and the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC), and the strongest state background check requirements in the nation.

“Public safety is the highest priority of the Department of Public Utilities’ Transportation Network Company Division,” said Department of Public Utilities Chairman Angela O’Connor. “By entering into these agreements, the TNC Division can immediately implement a comprehensive background check system that will protect consumers and enhance public safety, while allowing cutting edge technology companies to succeed here in the Commonwealth.”

As public safety aspects are implemented under these agreements, the DPU will continue to prepare draft regulations for public review and comment in 2017, ensuring that all remaining aspects of the TNC law are implemented on schedule.  

Baker-Polito Administration Awards $250,000 in Conservation District Innovation Grants

BOSTON - November 28, 2016 - The Baker-Polito Administration today announced a total of $250,000 in grant funding for eight of Massachusetts’ 13 conservation districts located throughout the Commonwealth. Conservation districts are not for profit entities comprised of locally elected boards dedicated to the conservation of natural resources within a region or area, that work cooperatively with municipal, state and federal agencies to preserve and protect natural resources at the local level by promoting best management land practices.

“Conservation District Innovation Grants will not only give financial support to local conservation districts who work incredibly hard to promote good stewardship practices within the Commonwealth, but they also underscore our administration’s commitment to serving as a reliable partner to cities, towns and local entities like these districts,” said Governor Charlie Baker.

“The Baker-Polito Administration places a high priority on taking care of the soil, water and other natural resources in Massachusetts,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “By providing these grants, we‘re supporting local grass roots organizations in communities throughout the Commonwealth and their important mission to conserve our natural resources for future generations to benefit from.”

The Conservation District Innovation Grant funds are provided by the 2014 Environmental Bond Bill, and distributed by the Division of Conservation Services’ (DCS) State Commission for Conservation of Soil, Water & Related Resources within the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA).

“Protecting our state’s natural resources is an important part of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs’ mission, and I am proud that these grants will truly benefit worthwhile causes throughout our state,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton.“Importantly, these funds provide districts critical financial support as they prioritize vital land conservation projects across the Commonwealth.”

Historically, conservation districts formed not long after the 1930s’ “Dust Bowl” as a way to promote and implement good land stewardship practices. Today, almost 3,000 conservation districts are organized throughout the country and within every state. Work conducted by conservation districts includes conservation planning assistance on public and private property, soil survey reports, conservation tree seedling sales, training workshops, sediment and erosion control technical assistance, and conservation education programs.

The following districts are recipients of the Conservation District Innovation Grant Awards:

Conservation District
Grant Proposals
District
Project Description
Funding
Cape Cod
This project will continue work on the Cape Cod Water Resources Restoration Project Plan. Existing projects will be inspected and inventoried. Additionally, the implementation of remaining projects will be prioritized.
$42,000
Worcester
The CDI will promote healthy soils and conservation practices. Additionally, assistance to landowners will provided to help navigate nutrient management regulations by facilitating testing and interpretation of results. Conservation and nutrient management plans will be developed with a special focus on land within the Long Island Sound watershed.
$42,000
Franklin
A pilot erosion hazard mapping tool for use at a municipal scale will be developed. This tool will be based off of The Nature Conservancy's Active River Area system but on a much smaller scale, and fine-tuned for use within single river corridors.
$42,000
Hampden/Hampshire
The Healthy Watershed Initiative intends to provide outreach, education, and technical assistance to Hampden and Hampshire county landowners to address issues such as soil health within the Lake Warner/Mill River area.
$42,000
Plymouth
The CDI grant will facilitate the development of a pollinator habitat demonstration site located at the USDA/NRCS Service Center in West Wareham. The total area is approximately a half acre of native vegetation, and the project will provide educational and training opportunities for farmers throughout the region.
$42,000
Dukes
The CDI will focus on the 500 acre Tisbury Great Pond watershed and the agricultural impacts from nitrogen and other practices as previously prioritized in the Mass. Estuaries Project. Additionally, the funding will help develop conservation plans and explore opportunities for farmers to receive funding assistance.
$26,000
Berkshire
The CDI “Basic” level grant will be combined with District funds and used to hire a part-time administrator to develop work plans, budgets, and a five year strategic plan.
$7,000
Middlesex
The “Basic” level grant will used to work with Agricultural Commissions and urban agricultural groups to preserve agricultural land, support local food production, and increase access to land for beginning farmers.
$7,000

“As stewards of the environment we have a duty to protect our natural resources by supporting the work of local Conservation Districts,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst). “The grant funding for these organizations will help protect and conserve our natural environment for future generations.”

“These innovation grants are another example of the commitment that the Baker administration has made to environmental preservation,” said State Representative Todd Smola (R-Warren). “These funds will help promote conservation efforts at the local level and advance projects that promote our natural resources. I applaud Governor Baker and his team for their dedication to this effort.”

“As Chair of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture, I made it a priority to include funding for conservation districts in the 2014 Environmental Bond Bill,” said State Senator Anne Gobi (D-Spencer). “Conservation districts play an important role in preserving natural resources and I commend the Baker-Polito Administration for making the commitment to support them.”

“I thank the Baker-Polito Administration for its commitment to improving conservation practices across the Commonwealth,” said State Senate Majority Leader Harriette L. Chandler (D-Worcester). “I am pleased that Worcester is a recipient of a Conservation District Innovation Grant and look forward to seeing how assistance to landowners will be provided and how conservation and nutrient management plans will be developed.”

“I thank Secretary Beaton and the Baker-Polito Administration for supporting these innovative land stewardship initiatives through our region's Conservation Districts,” said State Representative Stephen Kulik (D-Worthington). “The protection and conservation of property, especially productive agricultural lands, through improved management of our rivers and waterways is a smart investment for both the environment and our region's economy.”

“These grant awards will help to support many important farming and conservation initiatives, not only in Middlesex County, but throughout the Commonwealth,” said House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading).  “I commend Secretary Beaton and the Baker-Polito Administration for their continuing efforts to protect our natural resources for both current and future 

Governor Baker Releases Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Proposal
$39.6 billion budget invests in education, workforce development, and local aid without raising taxes; budgets for Stabilization Fund deposit and significantly reduces reliance on one-time solutions

BOSTON – Today, the Baker-Polito Administration filed its budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17), known as “House 2,” which continues the multi-year effort of bringing state spending in line with revenues, significantly reducing the state’s reliance on one-time solutions, and budgeting for a sizable deposit into the stabilization fund. The administration’s plan recommends key investments in education, local aid, addressing substance misuse, workforce development, transportation, and the Department of Children and Families (DCF), all without raising taxes or fees.

“This year’s budget sets the table for fiscal responsibility and a strong economic environment, without raising taxes or fees on our hardworking families,” said Governor Baker.  “Our proposal makes targeted investments in transportation, education, the Department of Children and Families and fulfills our commitment to cities and towns to bolster local aid as we aim to make Massachusetts great in every community.”

“The Baker-Polito Administration understands we can only be as strong as the communities we serve and our budget plan increases local aid and education funding, including a new IT program for the Community Compact Cabinet,”said Lt. Governor Polito. “As chair of the Governor’s Council to address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, I am also pleased to announce new investments to support law enforcement training to strengthen resources and make our communities safer for families across the Commonwealth.”  

“This budget proposal continues the administration’s progress to getting the Commonwealth back on the path of fiscal sustainability,” said Administration and Finance Secretary Kristen Lepore.  “The state’s long term fiscal health depends on the Commonwealth getting to structural balance and our ability to put money into the Stabilization Fund while the economy is growing.”


INVESTING IN MASSACHUSETTS

Investing in Great Communities:
·       Increases unrestricted local aid by 4.3%, equal to 100% of the consensus revenue growth rate for state tax revenue. 
·       Continues the Community Compact program to provide technical assistance to over 100 communities in financial planning, economic development, regionalization and a new program to create a domestic violence prevention training toolkit for communities.
·       Funds the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s (DCR) Fun and Safe Summer Program, to extend hours and offer safe, productive alternatives for families at certain pools and athletic complexes in the Commonwealth’s cities.
·       Funds over 20 million meals through the Department of Agricultural Resources’ Massachusetts Emergency Food Assistance Program for members of the Commonwealth in need.
·       Provides $2 million in assistance to the Department of Veterans Services for housing programs. 
·       $3 million of Urban Agenda grants will fund grassroots economic development in urban communities and unlock community-driven responses to local economic opportunities through partnership building, problem solving, and shared accountability.
·       Provides $200,000 for an Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives under the Governor’s Office and Executive Office for Administration and Finance to engage and assist community, faith-based, and not-for-profit organizations in identifying resources that advance their service offerings and promote volunteerism, civic engagement, and grassroots community development.
Making Massachusetts Schools Great:
·       Increases Chapter 70 education funding by $72.1 million.
·       Supports $18.6 million for a redesigned quality kindergarten grant program to assist communities in achieving tuition-free, full-day kindergarten.
·       Adds over $20 million for a revised charter school reimbursement formula to reimburse towns.
·       Supports the development of a next generation MCAS with $5.6 million.
·       Directs funds to support children and families who are most at risk in a number of ways, including:
o   $8.3 million for over 1,500 vouchers for the Department of Transitional Assistance’s (DTA) Stabilizing the Working Poor initiative;
o   $4.3 million to fund 600 childcare vouchers for children in DCF care;
o   $1 million for quality improvements at Early Education and Care for better assessments, accreditation assistance, and professional development.
Preparing Massachusetts Workers for Great Jobs:
·       More than $136 million in the proposal is dedicated to workforce training initiatives across several secretariats, including:
o   $5 million to support recommendations of the Governor’s Task Force on Persons Facing Chronically Higher Rates of Unemployment;
o   $17 million for career technical education and STEM programs;
o   $11.5 million for the Summer Jobs for At Risk Youth program;
o   $12 million for the Pathways to Self-Sufficiency Program.
Battling the Opioid and Heroin Epidemic:
·       Funds 150 adult residential treatment beds that will come online to help address the Commonwealth’s substance misuse epidemic.
·        Over $140 million to support investments in substance misuse prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery services at the Department of Public Health (DPH).
·       $13 million in new funding for the Department of Mental Health (DMH) will support 45 substance use treatment beds (beyond the 150) at the Taunton State Hospital, in order to end the long standing practice of civilly committing women to MCI-Framingham. 
Investing in the Department of Children and Families:
·       The Department of Children and Families will receive $30.5 million in new funding under the Governor’s proposal.
·       The FY17 budget supports 281 new hires at DCF, which will mark 600 new employees at the agency since the beginning of the Baker-Polito Administration.
·       Another $5 million in new funding will go toward initiatives to decouple area offices, achieve a 4:1 ratio of supervisors to area program managers, and support additional domestic violence and substance abuse specialists.
Investing in Public Transportation:
·       As recommended by the MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board, House 2 directs $187 million in additional contract assistance to the MBTA, sustaining the 50% ($64 million) increase made in FY16 – in addition to the $1.001B the T will receive from sales tax and other general revenue.
·       $500,000 increase for reforms at the Registry of Motor Vehicles to reduce wait times and update IT systems. 
Public Safety Support:
·       Funding for new positions at the State Police crime lab, the Sex Offender Registry Board, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. 
·       The FY17 budget proposal also provides $1.4 million to aid state and local police in their fight against drug traffickers, particularly in many Gateway Cities.  

FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE REFORMS

·       The budget plans for at least a $206 million deposit into the state’s Stabilization Fund. The deposit could increase to $282.5 million should the Mass Gaming Commission issue a license to the Region C (Southeastern, MA) Facility in FY17. 
·       The FY17 House 2 budget proposal makes significant progress towards eliminating the long-term structural imbalance identified last year by reducing the identified gap from $1.8 billion in FY16 to $635 million in FY17. 
·       The use of one-time budget solutions is down by nearly $1 billion over the past two years, from $1.2 billion in FY15 to $253 million in FY17.
·       Spending growth in this proposal is around 3.5% above the FY16 General Appropriations Act and continues progress in keeping MassHealth spending, which accounts for over one-third of the state budget, to 5% gross growth over the FY16 GAA.
·       Along with announcing today’s budget proposal, the Governor simultaneously filed a bill that would largely return the film tax to its original form by reinstituting a per-project cap and making them no longer refundable. The budget proposes reinvesting the savings from this bill into increasing the supply of affordable and workforce housing and improving the state’s economic competitiveness and job growth opportunities.


Baker-Polito Administration Announces Housing Vouchers For Homeless Veterans

BOSTON – Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced a program that will provide homeless veterans with housing services. Under the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program, the administration is allocating 65 rental vouchers to chronically homeless veterans who were identified by the local veterans’ committees across the Commonwealth. These vouchers can be used to pay for rental units and will assist the Commonwealth in its goal of ending veteran’s homelessness.

“Veterans Day is not only a day to recognize the invaluable contribution our veterans have made to our state and our country, but to consider the services necessary to enable their success later in life,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “What better way to repay our veterans for their sacrifices than to ensure they have a place to call their own.”

To receive vouchers, individuals were identified by the local Continuum of Care’s (CoC)’s veterans’ committees. The CoC’s worked closely with the Department of Veterans Services to create accurate lists of individuals who would immediately benefit from this community-based response to veteran homelessness.

Governor Dean Backs Governor Baker’s Hydro Energy Bill 
Hydropower Legislation was Filed to Increase Access to Clean, Cost-Effective Renewable Energy

BOSTON – Today, Governor Charlie Baker and Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matt Beaton met with former Vermont Governor Howard Dean to discuss the Baker-Polito Administrations hydropower energy legislation that was filed earlier this year. During a media availability immediately following the meeting, Governor Dean backed the bill, calling it groundbreaking and an extraordinary opportunity" to support non-carbon emitting power. 

Governor Baker and Governor Dean
Room 360Massachusetts State House
October 28, 2015



Transcription:
GOVERNOR BAKER: He expressed tremendous optimism about Hydro as a big part and a significant part of both a Massachusetts and New England region energy strategy, based on his experience in Vermont.  He gave me some very good advice about how that could work and I said you know what, I really would rather have this as a broader conversation.

GOVERNOR DEAN: I am very excited about the Governor's bill here, for a couple of reasons. First of all, what he is proposing in the bill, this notion of opening up the bidding process and essentially putting the shoe on the other foot, instead of doing all of our negotiating with a single entity in Canada, having a RFP go out is groundbreaking. I don't know of another place that has done this. I think it would be an extraordinary opportunity and it would also lower the cost of transmission. So that’s the first thing that I thought was very interesting about this bill. Secondly, I think that if you care about solar and wind, which I do, I care deeply about renewable energy, we have very high renewable energy standard in Vermont. You have to have base-load power and if the base-load power is carbon emitting, that's a problem. This is base-load power that is not carbon emitting and it's the perfect compliment. At some point, you can’t have wind or solar unless you have a base-load that is going to be reliable when wind or solar is not producing. This is a constant problem in New England. Massachusetts has made huge strides in the creation of solar and wind. That can't continue unless you have a strong base load and a strong base load and a reliable base load ought to be non-carbon emitting. Thirdly, this was enormously helpful to us when Vermont Yankee went off-line. I understand that Pilgrim is going off-line. That’s a 600-megawatt deficit in electricity. What do you want to replace that with? It's already non-carbon emitting. And do you want to replace that with carbon emitting sources? And the answer I think is probably no for most citizens of Massachusetts.

GOVERNOR BAKER: Best case, we put it out to bid, it's competitive, a whole bunch of people respond, we get some really great proposals, we pick one and we go forward as a region to implement it. And it creates a huge opportunity for us to significantly reduce our carbon footprint and at the same time provide the residents of Massachusetts and New England with an affordable source of twenty-four seven energy.

Baker-Polito Administration to Host Supplier Diversity Series

5 regional opportunities for small and diverse businesses to expand networks and state procurement

BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration announced today that Governor Charlie Baker’s Office of Access and Opportunity (OAO) in coordination with the Massachusetts Office of Business Development (MOBD) and Operational Services Division (OSD), will host five Supplier Diversity Regional Series across the Commonwealth to engage small and diverse business enterprises with private buyers, educational institutions, medical facilities and state agency and municipal procurement officials. 

“Increasing the Commonwealth’s supplier diversity starts with opportunities like these to strengthen our partnership and engagement with small and diverse businesses in their communities throughout Massachusetts,” said Governor Baker. “We encourage anyone interested in the Supplier Diversity Series to join our administration in the coming weeks to learn more about the state and local business opportunities available for small and diverse enterprises.”

These series will be hosted bi-annually in the Spring and Fall across the Commonwealth.  The series offer networking opportunities for buyers to meet small and diverse business owners, as well as capacity-building workshops designed to aid in awareness and competitiveness to win procurement opportunities.

“Our goal in convening major private and municipal buyers, including the cities of Boston, Springfield, Worcester, Lawrence and New Bedford, and small and diverse businesses is to become a leader in supplier diversity,” said Jabes Rojas, Deputy Chief of Staff for the Office of Access and Opportunity. “We look forward to the opportunities and discussions this bi-annual series will offer."

In February, Governor Baker signed Executive Order No. 559, elevating the Office of Access and Opportunity to the Governor’s Office under the direction of a Deputy Chief of Staff to further the administration’s priority of increasing diversity and inclusion within state government employment and procurement. The Executive Order also established a cross-administration Steering Committee for Access and Opportunity to coordinate best practices.

The first Supplier Diversity Series will be held tomorrow, October 27th, in Lawrence, with additional events to follow in Worcester, Roxbury, New Bedford and Springfield. Additional details are available below and attendees are encouraged to register at the accompanying links. Over 700 exhibitors and attendees have registered to date.

Lawrence Supplier Diversity Series
Relief’s In
October 27, 2015

Worcester Supplier Diversity Series
College of Holy Cross
November 3, 2015

Roxbury Supplier Diversity Series
Reggie Lewis Center
November 5, 2015

New Bedford Supplier Diversity Series
Fort Taber Community Center
November 13, 2015

Springfield Supplier Diversity Series
UMASS Center at Springfield
November 18, 2015

The mission of the Office of Access and Opportunity is to foster non-discrimination and equal opportunity irrespective of race, color, age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or express, religion, creed, ancestry, national origin, disability, veteran’s status or socio-economic background. The Office of Access and Opportunity was first created by Executive Order 519 in January 2010 and was further modified by Executive Order 527 in February of 2011.
Governor Baker: “Expanding Provider Use for Treatment”
Bill Boosts Opioid Education, Tightens Prescribing, and Adds Pathway to Treatment

BOSTON – Continuing the series of initiatives to combat the opioid epidemic, Governor Baker today unveiled legislation to provide medical personnel with the power to intervene with patients suffering from addiction, control the spread of addictive prescription opioids and increase education about substance use disorder (SUD) for providers and in the community.  The bill, titled “An Act Relative to Substance Use Treatment, Education and Prevention,” contains several additional provisions developed by the Governor’s Opioid Working Group to address prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery.

Governor Baker
Press Briefing RoomMassachusetts State House
October 15, 2015


Transcription:
GOVERNOR BAKER: This legislation brings many important reforms to the fore, ranging from a new curriculum to educate student athletes on opioid use to amending the civil commitment statute to improve patient treatment options. First of all, our legislation will limit the prescribing practices for first-time opioid prescriptions to allow only a 72-hour supply of medication, with few exceptions. This means the first time a doctor prescribes an opioid prescription, or when you visit a new doctor, he or she will only supply you with a limited quantity. This bill will grant medical professionals the authority to involuntarily hold patients for 72 hours if they pose a danger to themselves or others. Right now, someone suffering from substance use disorders can only be held for treatment through a court order, and those orders must be granted while the court is in session and it prevents people from seeking help on nights, weekends, and holidays when the court is not in session. This limits access for families and patients in need of a 24-hour front door to treatment for substance abuse emergencies and we want to change that to get more help to people faster. I’ve talked to many people in the Commonwealth – moms, dads, brothers, sisters, friends, neighbors – who’ve spent many sleepless nights trying to help a family member or a friend deal with addiction. That 72 hours period is an opportunity to help folks find their way to a better path. And I get the fact that this is also a reasonably controversial notion, but it’s a conversation worth having, and having spent a lot of time talking to a lot of people who have been personally affected by this, I think it’s the right thing to do.
Governor Baker Announces Appointments to the Health Information and Analysis Oversight Council

BOSTON – Today, Governor Charlie Baker announced three appointments to the Health Information and Analysis Oversight Council charged with developing the Center for Health Information and Analysis’ (CHIA) research agenda and analytic priorities.

“I’m pleased to appoint three of the brightest minds in healthcare, big data and financing to positions on the Oversight Council,” said Governor Baker. “I look forward to their ideas for improving the cost effectiveness and ensuring the long-term sustainability of our healthcare system.”

The three appointees – Fay Donohue, Bill Geary and Colin Hill – bring a wealth of experience in health care delivery and management, data, and analytics and financing and budgeting, as required by statute establishing the 11-member council in the Fiscal Year 2016 budget. Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders and Secretary of Administration and Finance Kristen Lepore will both serve as council members.

In addition to developing CHIA’s research agenda, the Oversight Council meets for the first time today and quarterly thereafter to establish guidelines for the collection, storage and maintenance of the agency’s health care data and manage its budget.

About CHIA and the Council Members:

About Fay Donohue:

Until her recent retirement, Fay Donohue served as C.E.O. of oral health enterprise DSM/Dentaquest, where she developed cost- and quality-focused systems that have won approval for oral health plan businesses across the county. Ms. Donohue anticipated and filled needs created through state exchanges as part of the U.S. Affordable Care Act, pioneering a cost-effective expansion of oral health services to under-served populations and contributing to a quadrupling of plan size in seven years.She serves as a strategic and operations leadership advisor on boards of diverse non- and for-profit organizations, including the National Institute of Children’s Health Care Quality, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation and Commonwealth Institute. Ms. Donohue has received the National Association of Dental Plans Gabriel Award, the Boston YW Academy of Women Achievers, and has been listed as a Top 100 Women-Led Businesses in Massachusetts. She holds an MBA from Boston College, a master’s degree from Tufts University Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and a bachelor’s degree from Bryn Mawr College.

About Bill Geary:

Bill Geary is a partner and co-founder at Flare Capital Partners, a team of healthcare technology venture capital investors delivering strategic industry resources and insight to partnering entrepreneurs. Previously, Mr. Geary was with North Bridge Venture Partners since its inception in 1994. During Mr. Geary’s twenty-year tenure investing in emerging healthcare technology companies, he has served on the boards of numerous industry-leading companies and played a critical role, actively helping and working closely with management teams. Mr. Geary has held previous positions with Hambro International Equity Partners, MathSoft, Congoleum Corporation, and Arthur Andersen & Company. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Boston College where he was former Chair, and on the Board of Trustees of MGH Institute of Health Professions. Mr. Geary holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston College.

About Colin Hill:

Since 2000, Colin C. Hill has served as Chairman, C.E.O. and co-founder of GNS Healthcare Inc. in Cambridge, MA, a nationally recognized innovator in the use of Big Data to study population health and precision medicine. Since 2012, Mr. Hill has also served as Chairman and co-founder of Via Science, applying machine learning applications to the Internet of Things, precision agriculture, and consumer behavior. Previously, Mr. Hill applied this machine learning platform to quantitative finance and e-commerce as Chairman and co-founder of Fina Technologies. Additionally, Mr. Hill was a founding member of the Board of Directors of AesRx, a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of new treatment for sickle cell disease. Mr. Hill holds a Master’s Degree in Theoretical Physics from Cornell University, a Master’s of Science in physics from McGill University, and a bachelor’s of science earned cum laude with honors from Virginia Tech. Mr. Hill was named to Powerful Media and J.P. Morgan’s “25 Most Influential African Americans” list in 2009 and MIT Technology Review Magazine’s “Top 100 Innovators Under 35 Years Old” in 2004.

About The Center for Health Information and Analysis (CHIA):

The Center for Health Information and Analysis (CHIA) is an independent agency established pursuant to M.G.L. c. 12C and serves as the primary hub for health care data and a primary source of health care analytics that support policy development. CHIA was created by Chapter 224 of the Acts of 2012 which was enacted to improve health care quality and contain health care costs through transparency, efficiency and innovation.

Baker-Polito Administration Welcomes Travis McCready as Life Sciences CEO

Travis brings extensive experience with the innovation economy to the Massachusetts Life Sciences sector

Boston – Thursday, September 17, 2015 – Governor Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash are pleased to welcome Travis to the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center as its second president and chief executive officer.
                                
“I congratulate Travis McCready on his appointment today as the next CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center,” said Governor Baker. “The Baker-Polito Administration is firmly committed to deepening the Commonwealth’s nationally leading position in life sciences research, and to broadening the industry’s geographic footprint, and the Life Sciences Center as the Commonwealth's primary vehicle for advancing these goals.”

“Travis’s experience as the executive director of the Kendall Square Association, where he worked to deepen and broaden the reach of the most innovative square mile in the world, is the kind of expertise we need for our life sciences ecosystem,” said Lt. Governor Polito. “I anticipate productive cooperation between the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, academic institutions, the startup community, and established life science firms.”

“Travis is uniquely qualified to lead the Life Sciences Center forward - he is a highly accomplished individual who has run innovation economy and economic development efforts in both Kendall and Dudley Square,” said Secretary Ash. “He has compelling experience in the public, private, institutional and nonprofit sectors. Just as importantly, he knows the key players value of our life sciences industry, and he values the industry's role in feeding the Commonwealth's larger innovation ecosystem, and in growing our state's economy. I look forward to working with him.”

Travis McCready has served as Vice President for Programs at the Boston Foundation since 2013, and served as Executive Director of the Kendall Square Association from 2010-2013. Travis also spent several years at the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, serving as both CFO and COO. He has also worked as director of community affairs at Harvard University, and as a private attorney. He is a graduate of Yale University and the University Of Iowa College Of Law. He lives in Lexington with his wife and two teenage daughters.

Governor Baker Signs Fiscal Year 2016 Budget; Enacts MBTA Reforms
Administration also files Fiscal Year 2015 year-end supplemental legislation which includes funding for local snow relief, homelessness, opioid prevention

BOSTON – Governor Charlie Baker today signed the Fiscal Year 2016 budget into law, reflecting the administration’s priorities for responsible, smarter government and better communities, schools and jobs for Massachusetts.  The $38.117 billion spending plan, which holds growth to a responsible 3% over the previous fiscal year, solves a $1.8 billion structural deficit without new taxes, makes critical investments in local aid, education and transportation, and gives the administration many new tools to fix the troubled MBTA including the creation of the MBTA Fiscal Management and Control Board and the three-year suspension of the Commonwealth’s anti-privatization law.

Additionally, a year-end supplemental budget was filed today to support the Commonwealth’s cities and towns for historic winter weather and snow removal costs, family homelessness prevention and combatting opioid abuse, while paying down debt in advance and increasing the balance of the Stabilization Fund for the first time in three years.

“I’m proud to have signed a fiscally responsible budget that prioritizes Massachusetts’ jobs, communities and schools, without raising taxes, by investing in transportation, local aid, education and providing tax relief for over 400,000 working individuals and families,” said Governor Baker. “As we implement our vision for a greater Massachusetts, we look forward to beginning the work of fixing the MBTA, investing in vital services for our most vulnerable, and curbing the opioid epidemic that has claimed far too many lives.  Putting the state back on solid fiscal footing will play a major role in making our Commonwealth a better place to live, work and raise our families.”

In addition to avoiding new taxes, the Fiscal Year 2016 budget protects the anticipated reduction in the state income tax to 5.1% on January 1, 2016 and boosts the Earned Income Tax Credit from 15% to 23%, helping over 400,000 low income individuals and working families.

“This budget delivers on our commitment to our cities and towns, increasing local aid in a way that reflects the Commonwealth’s growing economy and invests $2.6 million worth of Community Compact Cabinet grants we initiated early in our administration,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “We are proud to expand on our partnership with municipal officials statewide, promoting best practices and providing critical levels of local support, in order to drive economic growth and stronger communities throughout the Commonwealth.”

Other highlights of the signed budget include an increase in unrestricted local aid by 75% of tax revenue growth, support for an additional $111 million in Chapter 70 local education funding to its highest level ever, and funding for summer jobs up to an historic high of $11.5 million. Additionally, the budget invests $10 million in the I-Cubed public private partnership program for economic development, $2 million in development grants in urban communities as part of the administration’s Urban Agenda and $1 million for the Transformative Development Initiative’s support of Gateway Cities.

“I want to thank our colleagues in the Legislature for their collaboration on fixing a serious spending problem,” said Secretary for Administration and Finance, Kristen Lepore. “Our ability to keep spending responsibly below revenue projections and implement sound budgeting practices, like reducing our use of one-time solutions and not drawing down on the rainy day fund, will have a positive impact on the long-term fiscal health of the Commonwealth.”

Recognizing the growing opioid epidemic and the work of the Governor’s Opioid Working Group, the budget supports $111 million in substance abuse prevention and treatment efforts, with an additional $28 million included in the supplemental budget. The Fiscal Year 2016 budget includes more than $21 billion in support for Health and Human Services and increases support for the mission of the Department of Children and Families by 4.3%. The budget signed by the governor also supports increased funding for autism services and veterans.

While the administration is proud to achieve so many accomplishments in its first budget enactment, it also recognizes several revenue and spending items within the conference committee report which require corrective action.

The administration has identified $83 million in additional spending over its original House 1 proposal, and recognizes several underfunded accounts, such as the Committee for Public Counsel Services and the Emergency Assistance program, which need to be funded at higher levels later in the fiscal year. It also anticipates that non-tax, departmental revenue will come in lower than initially projected for Fiscal Year 2016. 

Accordingly, this budget reflects $162 million in line-item and outside sections vetoes, including $38 million in earmarks, and proposes to use surplus money from Fiscal Year 2015 to make advance payments and retire debt early to achieve upfront savings.



The budget will be updated at the following link after the Governor signs it:http://www.mass.gov/bb/h1/fy16h1/

Governor Baker Appoints 5-Member MBTA Fiscal Management & Control Board

BOSTON – Governor Charlie Baker today appointed the five-member Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s (MBTA) Fiscal Management and Control Board (FMCB) and designated Joe Aiello as Chair immediately after signing into law the Fiscal Year 2016 budget. A key reform recommended by the Governor’s MBTA Special Panel following unprecedented winter weather that crippled service at the MBTA, the FMCB is set to begin working immediately, holding its first meeting on Tuesday, July 21st.

“Fixing the MBTA will be a complex task, but moving forward with a Fiscal Management and Control Board dedicated solely to the T’s operations and finances is an important step toward delivering accountability for taxpayers and riders,” said Governor Baker. “I want to thank the legislature for putting this board in place with other measures that will allow us to begin fixing the T. I especially want to thank the five talented individuals who have agreed to serve in this crucial capacity, and who bring decades of combined experience and different but complementary perspectives as they get to work fixing the status quo at the MBTA, and begin the process of delivering a world-class public transit system that the people of Massachusetts can be proud of, and deserve.”

“By signing this bill into law we now have two crucial tools to begin fixing the MBTA, a dedicated group focused solely on the T and new tools that will allow the MBTA to operate more reliable services, repair critical infrastructure and explore more efficient ways to serve our riders,” said MassDOT Secretary Stephanie Pollack. “Board members will be meeting on Tuesday, along with the expanded MassDOT Board, for briefings that will help them quickly begin their work to get the MBTA back on track.”

Governor Baker appointed in February a Special Panel to carry out an extensive analysis of the underlying functions of the MBTA’s governance, finances and capital planning which became apparent throughout historic snowfall and persistent freezing temperatures earlier this year. Among thepanel’s recommendations were the call for a FMCB to assume control of the MBTA, a reconstituted Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Board of Directors, lifting of efficiency restrictions at the MBTA, and a separation of the MBTA’s capital and operating budgets among a number of recommendations.

By statute, the MBTA FMCB will consist of five members, one with experience in transportation finance, one with experience in mass transit operations and three members of the MassDOT Board. Lisa Calise, Steve Poftak and Monica Tibbits-Nutt will also be serving roles on the MassDOT Board. The Chair is appointed by the Secretary of Transportation.

About the MBTA Fiscal Management and Control Board Members:
Joseph “Joe” Aiello (Chair) is currently a partner and Director of Business Development North America at Meridiam Infrastructure where he has worked since 2007, overseeing strategic development and investments in transportation, water and social infrastructure. Before joining Meridiam, Aiello served in several capacities for 13 years with DMJM Harris prior to its acquisition by AECOM Enterprises, Inc. where he was most recently President for the firm’s global, public private partnership business. Aiello also worked at the MBTA as Assistant General Manager of Planning and Budget and Assistant Director of Construction for Special Projects and Finance. He holds his B.A. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a M.S. in City and Regional Planning from Harvard University.

Lisa Calise is the Chief Financial Officer at Watertown-based Perkins School for the Blind, focusing on global services and education for those living with blindness and deafblindness. Before joining Perkins in 2010, Calise served the City of Boston for over a decade, most recently as the Director of Administration and Finance, and previously as Chief Financial Officer and Collector-Treasurer and Budget Director, implementing government efficiency programming. Calise also served in the White House Office of Management and Budget as a budget examiner. A Massachusetts native, Calise obtained her B.A. from Boston College and a Master’s Degree in Public Management from the University of Maryland.

Brian Lang currently serves as President of UNITE HERE Local 26, Boston’s hotel and food service union. Lang has spent a total of seventeen years representing the union’s 7,000 members, starting as organizing director and eventually being elected as president in 2011. Before joining the UNITE HERE Local 26 team, Lang was already involved as a union organizer for SEIU Local 285. His previous work experience as a meatpacker and a bellman has given Lang a strong understanding for the needs of hotel and food service employees that he uses to advocate for workers’ rights.

Steve Poftak is Executive Director of the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston at Harvard Kennedy School.  Poftak was Director of Research and Director of the Center for Better Government at the Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research.  He has led research projects and authored a number of papers on transportation policy, government efficiency, municipal finance, and job creation.  Previously, Poftak worked at the Commonwealth's Executive Office for Administration and Finance, where he managed the $1.3 billion capital budget, prepared the state's quarterly cash flow reporting, and monitored non-tax revenue receipts.

Monica Tibbits-Nutt is the Executive Director of the 128 Business Council where she has worked since 2010, advising communities in the 128 Corridor in transit planning and overseeing the operation of 12 shuttle routes with nearly half a million in annual ridership. Tibbits-Nutt also has experience with the MBTA, where she served as a Transportation Planning Consultant to the MBTA Advisory Board, and as Executive Director and Transportation Planner for TransitWorks, providing research evaluation for the MBTA and Secretary of Transportation. She holds a B.S. from the University of Southern Indiana and a Masters of City and Regional Planning from The Ohio State University.

Baker-Polito Administration Pledges Funding to Allow for Full Redevelopment of Union Station
$12 million commitment fills remaining gap to realize vision of modern intermodal transportation center
SPRINGFIELD – Today, Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito committed the remaining funds necessary to reach the total goal required to complete the redevelopment of Union Station in Springfield.  Lt. Governor Polito joined Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, Congressman Richard E. Neal and Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack for today’s announcement.
The $12 million commitment is a combined sum from the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation that brings the total amount of federal, state and local funding to $88.5 million, the amount needed to achieve the complete station redevelopment project.
 “With access to the east-west and north-south interstate highways, and corresponding rail corridors, the city of Springfield is strategically situated at the transportation crossroads of New England,” said Governor Baker.  “The funding we are pledging today will allow for the redevelopment of Union Station to capitalize on those connections, and rebuild the station into a regional transit hub that provides more options in a modernized building with space for new economic activity and growth.”
When complete, the revitalized Union Station will have 66,000 square feet of leasable commercial space, a 26-bay open-air bus terminal, a new six-level parking garage, a completely renovated terminal building, a reactivated passenger tunnel and a new ADA-compliant rail boarding platform.  The redeveloped Union Station is expected to support approximately 200 permanent jobs. 
“Springfield plays a key role in the regional economy, and by providing this funding support, we are sending a strong signal that we value this city’s importance to the region, and can see its future potential,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito.  “In addition to serving as a transit hub, Union Station also holds the promise of sparking a revitalization of the surrounding neighborhood.” 
The Springfield Redevelopment Authority is the owner and designated developer of Union Station, and has been leading efforts to advocate for resources to advance this project since 2010.  Initial construction efforts began in early 2014, and this $12 million commitment will ensure that an economically viable infrastructure project, that has the potential to fuel economic development, will be fully operational in 2016.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno stated, “I would like to thank Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito for this significant grant that will allow for the full redevelopment of Springfield Union Station. With substantial money secured by Congressman Richard E. Neal this grant will allow for a full build of the planned two phase redevelopment. When completed the region will have a modern Intermodal transportation center and Springfield will have long time vacant building completely redeveloped.”  
“Nearly 38 years ago to the day, I stood in the grand concourse of Union Station and talked about its place in our city’s history, but how it could also become a significant part of Springfield’s future. Roughly four decades later, after a considerable amount of time and effort, that vision has become a reality. With today’s final funding announcement, we are one step closer to the completion of a new $90 million intermodal transportation center that has the potential of transforming the city’s north blocks. I look forward to the historic re-opening of this iconic structure in the fall of next year,” said Congressman Richard E. Neal.
“I’m excited that we can help push this project over the last funding hurdle so that Union Station can begin a new era as a transit hub for Springfield and the region, and that can also lead to new partnerships that will result in the development of transit-oriented development, new economic activity, and more transportation choices for region,” said MassDOT Secretary Stephanie Pollack.
“The redevelopment of Union Station transforms a once dormant, blighted property into a vibrant mixed-use multimodal regional transit hub, creating new opportunities and supporting existing development efforts in the city. The $2.4 million in MassWorks funds leverage MassDOT’s available federal funding, and will ensure the completion of this regionally significant project,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. 
Of the $12 million, $9.6 million has been allocated by MassDOT from Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality federal funding, the remaining $2.4 million, which represents a required match to leverage the federal funds, has been allocated by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development through the MassWorks Infrastructure Program. Construction is expected to reach full build out and be complete by the fall of 2016.

Baker Administration Secures One-Year Waiver from Affordable Care Act Provision
Delays rate hikes for Massachusetts small businesses, employees due to federal healthcare reform

BOSTON – Governor Charlie Baker today announced that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has secured a one-year waiver from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), authorizing the Commonwealth to maintain the use of its existing rating factors that are otherwise prohibited under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Governor Baker made the request to Health and Human Services Secretary Burwell in April because of the concern about the impact the ACA market rules will have on small businesses.

“Protecting small businesses from massive insurance rate hikes is essential to making sure job creators continue to thrive here and I am grateful the Obama administration granted Massachusetts this flexibility,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The Commonwealth has been a national leader when it comes to making sure our residents are insured and able to receive the care they deserve and we must protect that progress.”

The waiver from U.S. HHS extends the Commonwealth’s current transition period first granted in 2013 and extended in 2014, allowing small group market issuers to continue using 2/3 of current ratings factors through January 1, 2017, after which the ratings factors will be reduced to 1/3, before being phased out entirely on January 1, 2018.

Massachusetts insured a majority of its residents under healthcare reform in 2006, establishing a state marketplace that merged small group and individual insurance markets. The ratings factors served as a protection for small employers who took on risks from the individual insurance market.


Baker-Polito Administration Launches First Community Compact Applications
Cities and towns pledge to implement best practices, eligible for state assistance and other incentives

BOSTON – Today, the Baker-Polito Administration launched the application process for the Community Compact, an opportunity for cities and towns to enter into partnerships with the state to accomplish mutually agreed upon goals. The Community Compact is the result of Governor Charlie Baker’s first Executive Ordersigned in January which created a cabinet to strengthen the Administration’s partnerships with cities and towns. An online portal will be available to local leaders that details the process, commitments, and incentives.

“We have traveled to every corner of the Commonwealth to meet with municipal leaders and learn more about the best ways to partner with our communities, and today we’re proud to launch this application process for the Community Compact,”said Lt. Governor Polito. “By promoting best practices and incentivizing our cities and towns, I look forward to championing this effort to create better opportunities for our schools and communities.”

The Community Compact will offer clear mutual standards, expectations, and accountability for both the state and municipalities as both partners seek to create better government for our citizens. 


COMMUNITY COMPACT PROCESS:

1       A municipal leader completes the application available at mass.gov/ccc where their city or town pledges to adopt one or more best practices. Municipalities may apply once during this round, and applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. As a partnership, the Commonwealth agrees to fulfill its own set of commitments
2       All applications are reviewed by the Division of Local Services within a month of submission.
3       Once approved, both the municipal leader (i.e. Mayor or Board of Selectmen Chair) and Lieutenant Governor Polito will sign the Community Compact.
4       The Commonwealth will provide technical assistance, as needed, to the municipality to develop or implement their chosen best practice(s). 
5       To reward those communities striving to become more innovative and accountable, the Commonwealth offers incentives through various state grants and programs. For example, the fifth annual round of the MassWorks Infrastructure Program is now open, and municipalities who have begun the process of signing a Community Compact will benefit on their MassWorks grant application.

More information on the compacts, obligations, incentives, and deadlines can be found on the FAQ page of the website.


About the Community Compact Cabinet:

Over the last four months, the Community Compact Cabinet—chaired by Lt. Governor Polito and comprised of the secretaries of Housing & Economic Development, Education, Transportation, and Energy & Environmental Affairs, the Senior Deputy Commissioner of Local Services, the Assistant Secretary of Operational Services, and the Chief Information Officer of the Commonwealth—developed, in consultation with cities and towns, the best practices included on the application. The Cabinet members have and will continue to champion municipal interests across all executive secretariats and agencies, helping state agencies be better partners with municipalities and better leveraging their resources for the benefit of communities across the Commonwealth.

Governor Baker Announces $82.7 Million MBTA Winter Resiliency Plan
Urges legislature to act on reform legislation to improve MBTA finances and operations

BOSTON – Today, Governor Charlie Baker, Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack and Interim MBTA General Manager Frank DePaola announced an $82.7 million MBTA Winter Resiliency Plan for investments this summer and over the next five years in snow removal equipment, infrastructure upgrades and operations during harsh weather to improve service reliability. Governor Baker also stressed the need for legislative action on An Act for a Reliable, Sustainable MBTA to secure long term improvements at the T.

“In the event of another harsh winter, it is critical we are prepared. We also hope the legislature will act before the end of this session to deliver the reforms necessary to address the underlying financial and management challenges at the MBTA,” said Governor Baker. “These investments and contingency plans are important for day-to-day operations and emergency service.  But, without the flexibility and dedicated oversight of a Fiscal Management and Control Board and the reforms we outlined, the T will continue to fail its stress tests for commuters and taxpayers who deserve a reliable world class transit system.”

“Fixing the T will require significant reforms and we must focus more directly on the MBTA’s governance, budgeting and contracting and procurement methods,” said Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack. “As we continue to work with the legislature to achieve the flexibility that is necessary, this dedicated resiliency plan is a first step towards short-term upgrades to improve response and recovery efforts.”

The new resiliency plan was developed based on recommendations by an American Public Transportation Association (APTA) peer review of the MBTA’s winter operations in April, while a special panel appointed by the Governor reviewed and made recommendations to fix the MBTA’s deeper structural, financial and operational problems.

“We learned last winter that in addition to structural reforms, the MBTA needs meaningful improvements to its snow resiliency efforts, including upgrades to infrastructure, operations and equipment,” said Interim MBTA General Manager Frank DePaola. “As we continue to work with the administration and our peer agencies to improve service reliability, we look forward to implementing these plans that are essential to reducing the amount and length of service disruptions during severe weather.”

The $82.7 million MBTA Winter Resiliency Plan will be funded through $62 million in federal formula funds for capital investments, $10 million in non-federal, MBTA capital funds, and $11.7 million in operating funds. The plan will be presented to the MassDOT Board for approval next week and focus on the following priorities to more effectively mitigate the frequency, length and magnitude of system disruptions to public transit during severe weather.

Infrastructure

·        Third rail replacements and heater upgrades on vulnerable outdoor sections of the Red and Orange Lines.

·        Snow fence installation along the Red and Orange Lines to mitigate snow drift accumulation.

·        Repairs to vehicle maintenance facilities and structures to further maximize recovery efforts.

·        Emergency power generators to supplement existing subway and facility power as needed.

·        Track access improvements for larger snow removal and track work equipment on the Red Line.

Equipment

·        New and rehabilitated specialized snow removal equipment to increase removal capacity and reduce use of passenger vehicles.

·        For passenger vehicles, vehicle-borne anti-icing equipment, modifications to air and propulsion system resiliency and an increased stock of traction motors to improve availability.

Operations

·        Additional snow removal contract services, as needed, to remove snow and ice at stations, facilities and other critical operations areas.

·        Training and staffing of a Field Inspection Team to be deployed during weather events to monitor staff and contractor field activities clearing snow and returning tracks to an operational status.

·        Adoption of incident management software in coordination with the MassDOT Highway Division to track deployment of snow removal operations across the system.

·        Formal establishment of an as needed inmate snow removal assistance program with the Department of Corrections to augment and streamline the services provided this winter.

·        Further coordination of interagency planning with the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, state agencies and local municipalities to identify efficiencies and synergies in snow removal.

·        Similar resiliency enhancements to the commuter rail network.

·        Revisions to the MBTA’s severe winter weather operations protocols and customer notification practices to ensure more information, customer safety and the protection of equipment and facilities.

The right of way improvements on the Orange and Red Lines will be scheduled to occur this summer and fall and the MBTA will notify customers of any service impacts required to enable the upgrades as these projects are implemented.

In April, Governor Baker filed legislation based on the special panel’s recommendations to establish a Fiscal Management and Control Board (FMCB) and Chief Administrator to oversee the MBTA’s operations and finances, create capital plans and expand the MassDOT Board. An Act for a Reliable, Sustainable MBTA also introduces reporting and audit requirements and lifts procurement restrictions on the MBTA.

Governor Baker Signs Executive Order to Target Chronic Unemployment
Task Force to Present Strategic Plan to the Governor by November

BOSTON – Today, Governor Charlie Baker signed an Executive Order to establish a task force on Economic Opportunity for Populations Facing Chronically High Rates of Unemployment. The task force, chaired by Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Ron Walker will lay out a strategic plan to address chronic unemployment among specific target populations. The Secretaries of Housing and Economic Development, Education, Health and Human Services and Veterans’ Services, the Director of Access and Opportunity and members of the community appointed by the governor will also serve on the eight month task force.
                     
“Chronically unemployed populations and regions of our Commonwealth require collaboration with our educators and business community to break down the barriers to economic growth and job creation for everyone,” said Governor Baker.  “Too many Massachusetts workers have become discouraged as a growing economy unfortunately leaves them behind.  This task force will build upon the workforce development practices we know work and replicate them across the Commonwealth to create more opportunities for employment everywhere.”

The task force will be charged with focusing on “target populations” facing chronically high unemployment. African Americans, Hispanic or Latino Americans, certain groups of veterans, and persons with disabilities continue to see higher than average annual unemployment rates between 7 and 12 percent despite an annual average state unemployment rate of 5.8 percent.

"For too long, the target populations have suffered from chronically high rates of unemployment," said Secretary Ronald Walker. "The task force is charged with understanding how best to reshape our public workforce system to meet the needs of the target population and how best to assist individuals in achieving their goals of meaningful employment."

The task force will meet to study and identify the challenges in the target populations seeking work, review current workforce development practices, recommend strategies to reduce barriers to employment, and develop goals for recommended programs, policies, and practice. They will actively gather input from community-based organizations, business leaders, local officials and advocates. The task force will make policy recommendations to the governor by November 15, 2015, and shall terminate thirty days following the presentation of that plan to the Governor’s Office for review and policies that can be implemented within state government.

"Every day, we see individuals overcome major obstacles to employment success with the right mix of training, supports, job placement, and belief in their capabilities,” said Jerry Rubin, the CEO of Jewish Vocational Services who will be a member of the task force. “The Commonwealth and our leading employers need their talent, and these individuals deserve the opportunity to succeed."

Governor Baker Unveils Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Proposal
$38.062 billion proposal increases investments in education, local aid, transportation; holds line on taxes and curbs overall spending growth to 3%

BOSTON – Today, the Baker-Polito Administration filed a budget proposal with the Legislature for Fiscal Year 2016 that right-sizes state government and fuels economic growth across the Commonwealth. The budget recommendations include increased investments in local aid, education, homelessness and reliable transportation, while instituting reforms to curb overall spending, and holds the line on new taxes and fees.

“Our budget today sets the stage for a competitive and stable economic environment by making investments essential to future growth,” said Governor Baker. “By right-sizing the budget now and investing in transportation, education and our communities, we are making Massachusetts a better place to live, work and raise our families. This budget will allow our economy to grow, strengthen our schools, and build healthy communities across the Commonwealth.”

“Massachusetts families make tough choices to live within their means and they expect lawmakers to do the same with their hard-earned taxpayer dollars,” said Lt. Governor Polito.  “This budget proposal responsibly addresses our deficit while maintaining our commitment to boost local aid in our cities and towns, support schools and set the tone for a healthy economic environment.”

“The budget we are filing today solves a $1.8 billion budget gap while maintaining core state services and providing increases to many priorities,” said Administration & Finance Secretary Kristen Lepore.  “We accomplished this without raising fees, taxes or drawing down on the stabilization fund – the first time it has not been used in four budget cycles.”


Creating An Environment for Economic Growth

Since day one, the administration has focused on crafting an economic environment suitable for long-term sustainability and growth, starting with steps to ease the burdens placed on our families and businesses.

[if !supportLists]·       [endif]Swift action to address a $768 million inherited budget deficit without drawing from the stabilization fund, new taxes, fees or cuts to the Department of Children and Families and local aid.
[if !supportLists]o   [endif]No new or increased taxes or fees.
[if !supportLists]o   [endif]A 90-day regulatory pause.
[if !supportLists]o   [endif]An Executive Branch-wide hiring freeze saving tens of millions of dollars.

[if !supportLists]·       [endif]Taking steps to double the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), allowing the hardworking people of Massachusetts to keep more of their income to support their families.
[if !supportLists]o   [endif]Increasing the EITC from 15% to 30% of the federal limit by phasing out the Film Tax Credit over two years.

[if !supportLists]·       [endif]Announced an ‘End Family Homelessness Reserve Fund’ allocating $20 million to reorganize the state’s approach around prevention, shorten the length of shelter stays through the Executive Office of Health and Human Services and reduce the use of hotels and motels for Emergency Assistance.
[if !supportLists]o   [endif]The Department of Health will see a $2 million increase for homelessness support services.
[if !supportLists]o   [endif]Short-term housing assistance will see a $1.5 million increase through the HomeBASE program.

Investments to Fuel Economic Growth

The administration’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget makes significant investments in local aid, education, transportation and our Gateway Cities to provide a catalyst that strengthens our communities and allows our businesses to grow.
Local Aid:

[if !supportLists]·       [endif]Fulfilling pledge to protect and increase unrestricted local aid by 3.6% to $980 million, based on conservative Gaming and Lottery revenue growths. This increase also fulfills the administration’s commitment to boost local aid by 75% of projected revenue growth.

[if !supportLists]·       [endif]Investment in the administration’s newly-crafted Community Compact Cabinet, led by Lt. Governor Polito, to enhance the state’s partnership with our cities and towns.

Education:

[if !supportLists]·       [endif]Launched a Workforce Skills Gap Cabinet in effort to get workers the skills they need to compete for the jobs of Massachusetts’ future.

[if !supportLists]·       [endif]Increase of $105.3 million in Chapter 70 education funding, including a minimum of at least $20 per pupil to all 321 school districts for a total of $4.5 billion.

[if !supportLists]·       [endif]Consolidating 11 Partnership Schools Network programs into one streamlined and more effective grant program for underperforming schools.

[if !supportLists]·       [endif]A restoration of $1.2 million for METCO programming.

[if !supportLists]·       [endif]$1.5 million to improve early education and care licensing, including the use of hand-held devices for real-time, on-site data entry.

[if !supportLists]·       [endif]An average 3% increase to higher education campuses, including the University of Massachusetts system, state universities and community colleges.

Transportation:

[if !supportLists]·       [endif]An overall increase in transportation funding by $109 million, or 20%.

[if !supportLists]·       [endif]A 53% increase over Fiscal Year 2015 in direct aid to the MBTA, from $122.5 million to $187 million for operational improvements.

[if !supportLists]·       [endif]Aligning the snow and ice budget closer to the five-year average, including expected federal reimbursements in the wake of this year’s weather, to a total of $72 million.

[if !supportLists]·       [endif]An MBTA Weather Resiliency Fund to support operating costs, projects and programs in weather-related circumstances.

Gateway Cities and the Urban Agenda:

[if !supportLists]·       [endif]An increase to the Transformative Development Fund to spur strategic project plans in our Gateway Cities.

[if !supportLists]·       [endif]Additional funds to promote small business, create jobs and support workforce development in our urban communities.

[if !supportLists]·       [endif]Funding for specialized training for the law enforcement community to ensure they have the tools they need to more effectively work with our communities.

[if !supportLists]·       [endif]Increasing the Safe and Successful Youth Initiative and Summer Jobs programs.

Efficient State Government

The Administration proposes a fiscally responsible budget that avoids tax hikes and fee increases, sending a signal that Massachusetts is poised for economic growth and able to efficiently deliver services to our most vulnerable populations.

[if !supportLists]·       [endif]This year’s budget curbs overall spending that has grown significantly over the last several years and has consistently and unsustainably outpaced revenue growth.
[if !supportLists]o   [endif]Going unchecked, this path would have increased spending by more than $3 billion, or 8%, in Fiscal Year 2016 and created an anticipated deficit of more than $1.8 billion.
[if !supportLists]o   [endif]The administration’s proposal increases spending by 3%, down from 7.8% in FY 15.
[if !supportLists]o   [endif]The Fiscal Year 2016 budget proposal would be the first budget in four cycles to not draw down on the stabilization fund.

[if !supportLists]·       [endif]The administration’s proposal includes an Early Retirement Incentive Program (ERIP), to operate government more efficiently and avoid across the board layoffs.
[if !supportLists]o   [endif]The ERIP’s would reduce the workforce by 4,500 while limiting the backfilling of open positions to 20% of net savings.
[if !supportLists]o   [endif]With $177.9 million in estimated savings for Fiscal Year 2016, the proposal also responsibly accounts for related increases in the Group Insurance Commission (GIC) and state pension funds.

MassHealth:

[if !supportLists]·       [endif]There is a bipartisan consensus that MassHealth’s growing costs are in need of reform, and the administration’s proposal includes significant changes to curb a projected growth of 16% in Fiscal Year 2016, to 5.6% and at a savings of $1.6 billion, without affecting core benefits or services.

[if !supportLists]o   [endif]Eligibility redeterminations required by the prior failures of the Health Connector site that ensure those who are truly eligible and in need of assistance are receiving those services.

[if !supportLists]o   [endif]A $174 million increase in MassHealth investments including the full implementation of adult dental benefits and Applied Behavioral Analysis services for 10,000 children with autism.

[if !supportLists]o   [endif]A 3% increase to the Department of Children and Families that includes an additional $2.1 million for Family Resource Centers.

[if !supportLists]o   [endif]A pursuit of several much needed reforms including the allowance of bulk purchasing of critical medical equipment and approval of shorter-term drug prescriptions to prevent waste and abuse.

[if !supportLists]o   [endif]Allocated $30 million to resolve litigation and adjust Chapter 257 rates for human service providers, and instituting compliance with Chapter 257 provisions going forward.

[if !supportLists]o   [endif]Additional $300,000 for women’s health care and contraception coverage.

Baker-Polito Administration Announces FY 16 Budget To Include Tax Amnesty Program
First non-filer program in over ten years to run in FY 16, generate $100M

BOSTON – Today, Governor Charlie Baker announced that the 2016 fiscal year budget proposal will include a tax amnesty program to generate $100M.  The program is for taxpayers of all tax types who have not previously filed in Massachusetts (non-registrants), plus taxpayers known to DOR who have not filed and have not yet been assessed by the Department of Revenue (DOR) for failing to file.  The amnesty program would run for all of fiscal year 2016.

“Creating incentives for businesses to follow through and pay what they owe will help generate much needed revenue as our administration fixes the budget problems we inherited and brings filers into the system for future payments,” said Governor Baker. “This amnesty program will help craft a fiscally responsible budget that protects taxpayers, delivers much needed services to those who need it the most while protecting local aid for our cities and towns.”

The last non-filer tax amnesty program ran in 2002, and generated $176 million.

Governor Baker Signs Executive Order to Address Workforce Skills Gap
Workforce Skills Cabinet will coordinate between Labor, Education and Economic Development

BOSTON – Governor Charlie Baker signed an Executive Order today to begin the process of bridging the workforce skills gap in Massachusetts, establishing a Workforce Skills Cabinet chaired by the Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development, Ron Walker, and comprised of the Secretaries of Education, Housing and Economic Development and others as required. The cabinet is charged with creating and implementing a strategy to develop workforce skills to meet the varying needs of employers in the Commonwealth’s regions, today and in the future.

“A talented workforce and growing economy are inseparable and Massachusetts has an opportunity to capitalize on both by ensuring our workers have the skills to meet the needs of employers in the 21st century economy,” said Governor Baker. “The different regions that make up Massachusetts will require dynamic strategies to address the workforce skills gap, but by increasing our communication and coordination, we can prepare individuals across the Commonwealth for the family-sustaining jobs of the future.”

The Workforce Skills Cabinet will develop goals, objectives and metrics with the input of individuals, businesses, government agencies and community-based organizations and advocacy groups, identifying, recommending and ultimately implementing by region, suggestions to improve alignment amongst state policies, programs, resources to improve workforce skills, job readiness and vocational and educational opportunities, reporting their progress back to the Governor.

“One of the most challenging problems facing the Commonwealth is a skills gap that makes it difficult for employers to fill job openings,” said Lt. Governor Polito.  “I am confident this effort will help us identify these obstacles so we can make progress to get people into good-paying jobs so they can support their families and our local economy.”

The Director of Education and Workforce Development, a jointly funded position in the Executive Office of Education, will be elevated to the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development and coordinate with the Governor’s Office, the Workforce Skills Cabinet, and with external groups. 

“Governor Baker and I know we need to better connect business to the entire workforce development system which includes workforce investment boards, career centers, community colleges and vo-tech schools,” said Secretary Walker. “The Workforce Skills Cabinet will be the vehicle to drive the conversation and action across the three Secretariats to analyze labor needs and expand talent pipelines for the jobs employers need to fill.

Baker-Polito Administration Names Washington, D.C. Director

BOSTON – Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced Tiffany Watkins Ahern as the Director of the Governor’s Washington, D.C. Office.

“We are very pleased to welcome Tiffany into the administration,” said Ryan Coleman, legislative director. “She brings a wealth of experience both at the federal and state level, and I know that she will be a great addition to the Governor’s staff.”

“I’m proud to join Governor Baker’s team in Washington to keep a pulse on federal and congressional initiatives that support this administration’s agenda to make Massachusetts a better place to work, live and go to school for families across the Commonwealth,” said Tiffany Watkins Ahern.

About Tiffany Watkins Ahern:

Tiffany Watkins Ahern was the Northeast Regional Political Director for the Republican National Committee. Prior to that, she served as Director of Government Affairs for the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration. She has previously held positions with Marco Rubio for U.S. Senate, Orr Associates, the U.S. Department of Education, Jim Talent for U.S. Senate, the Bush-Cheney Re-Election Campaign, the White House Office of Public Liaison, and Merrill Lynch.  Tiffany graduated with a BA in History from the University of Pennsylvania. She is an avid runner and has participated in more than 20 events that benefit charities.

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Health Connector, MassHealth Appointments

New executive director to assume role at the Connector as MassHealth Director position elevated to Assistant Secretary role

BOSTON – Governor Charlie Baker today announced two key healthcare appointments who will be tasked with ensuring that Massachusetts’ Medicaid population are receiving proper coverage and that healthcare consumers have the tools necessary and readily available to seek out insurance on the private market and Connector website. 

Governor Baker announced the position of Director of MassHealth will be elevated to Assistant Secretary for MassHealth under Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders and appointed Daniel Tsai to that post. This change in designation will allow for enhanced coordination between MassHealth and other state agencies and empower policy, payment and service reforms needed to benefit members and the Commonwealth.

Louis Gutierrez, a longtime information technology and planning specialist in the private sector and state government, was announced as the Executive Director for the Massachusetts Health Connector. Mr. Gutierrez will be officially appointed to the post by Administration and Finance Secretary Kristen Lepore under her office’s statutory authority as Chair of the Health Connector Board of Directors.

“Massachusetts has long been a leader in healthcare reform, but we must always look for ways to improve on how we serve those in need and ensure our residents have the information needed to find affordable coverage,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “I am confident in Daniel’s ability to fill this new and expanded role as Assistant Secretary to facilitate further cooperation among agencies who assist and care for our Medicaid population, and Louis’ talent will be a welcome voice and mind for those families and individuals searching for quality and affordable healthcare.”

"I believe deeply in the mission of MassHealth and the important services it provides for our most vulnerable populations," said Daniel Tsai. "I am humbled and honored to have this opportunity to work with Governor Baker and Secretary Sudders to enhance the voice of these individuals in state government."

“Rapidly evolving technology presents us every day with new opportunities and unique challenges to improve operations and services to our consumers -- in this case, healthcare for the people of Massachusetts,” said Louis Gutierrez. “I am looking forward to serving with Governor Baker as we work to streamline access to healthcare for those needing coverage for themselves and their families.”

MassHealth, the state’s Medicaid program, provides access to critical, affordable and quality health care to the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable populations in the communities where they live. MassHealth serves 1.7 million low-and moderate-income individuals and individuals with disabilities, or approximately one in four Massachusetts residents. Through grants and demonstrations, MassHealth seeks to enhance the ability of hospitals and community health centers to more efficiently and effectively deliver integrated health care services to the MassHealth members they serve.

The Health Connector is Massachusetts’ own health insurance marketplace for individuals, families and small businesses to shop for health and dental coverage, helping Massachusetts to achieve the highest rate of health insurance coverage in the nation. Problems developing with the site last year cost hundreds of millions of dollars in recent technology fixes and temporary Medicaid coverage plans for over 300,000 residents, contributing to Massachusetts’ recently announced, $765 million budget deficit. 

About Daniel Tsai:

Daniel Tsai currently serves as a Partner in McKinsey & Company’s Healthcare Systems and Services practice, co-leading the firm’s Medicaid service line.  He has significant experience designing and implementing innovative, state-wide payment systems for Medicaid, Medicare and Commercial populations, and has worked closely with multiple Medicaid programs, private payers, and Fortune 50 health services companies. Tsai regularly leads workshops and conference sessions on health care payment and care delivery strategies and holds an A.B. in Applied Mathematics and Economics from Harvard.

About Louis Gutierrez: 

Louis Gutierrez has spent the last seven years as a principal in the Massachusetts-based IT consulting firm Exeter Group. Until this appointment, he served on the boards of directors of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and the New England Health Exchange Network. He is returning after previous roles in Massachusetts state government and information technology, including Chief Information Officer for the Commonwealth in the Romney, Weld and Celluci administrations where he was also an Assistant Secretary for Administration and Finance. Gutierrez also served as a Senior Vice President and Chief Information and Technology Officer (CIO/CTO) at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care during its 1999-2002 corporate turnaround, and was a 2002 recipient of Computerworld’s Premier 100 award for distinguished CIOs.


Baker-Polito Administration Names Housing & Economic Development Leadership

Brighton- Today, the Baker-Polito administration announced key leadership positions in the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.

"I am thrilled to have such dedicated public servants joining our team," said HED Secretary-designate Jay Ash. "As we implement the Governor-elect's ambitious agenda to build stronger communities and make Massachusetts more competitive for job creation, their experience in economic development and consumer protection will be crucial to helping the administration better serve the commonwealth."

Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary for Business Development

Nam Pham is currently the Executive Director for VietAID, the first community development corporation tasked with assisting the Vietnamese American population in the U.S. Pham has spent more than 20 years in non-profit, government and commercial banking, and coauthoring Lending Tool Kits for the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank. He served in the Weld and Celluci administrations' as Commissioner for the Office of Refugees and Immigrants. 

John Chapman, Undersecretary for Consumer Affairs and Business Regulations

John Chapman's career includes professional experience as an attorney in the public, private and non-profit sectors, seven years of which were spent as a lawyer in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's Enforcement Division. As a member of the Romney administration's reform team, Chapman served as the Commissioner for the Department of Industrial Accidents and Undersecretary for the Executive Office of Economic Development. He was most recently a candidate for U.S. Congress in Massachusetts' 9th District.


麻州候任州長查理貝克(Charlie Baker)和候任副州長白莉朵(Karyn Polito)的交接小組,昨(十)日宣佈為麻州第72任州長的政府轉移,推出“偉大麻州(www.BeGreatMA.com.)”的數位樞紐。
            該網站將為民眾提供聯絡表,上載履歷表的工具。未來數週將繼續增加其他功能。
查理貝克的通訊主任白克雷(Tim Buckley)表示,打造一個強而有力,富經驗,不分黨派的團隊,是候任州長查理貝克目前的最優先要務。他們的目標是要撒出寬廣大網,迎進更多的符合資格申請者。他們希望任何有興趣加入查理貝克政府的人,都能利用這網站資源和他們聯絡。
查理貝克昨日一早和麻州下一任參議會議長羅森伯(Stanley C. Rosenberg),麻州中議會議長狄樂歐(Robert A. DeLeo),以及即將卸任的參議會議長泰瑞莎穆瑞(Therese Murray)等麻州議會領袖晤面,為新政府和議會打好關係下功夫。
坊間預測,查理貝克上任後,頭一百天的行程,將仿照,參考共和黨前州長威廉威爾德,以及瑟祿奇當年的安排。

查理貝克展開感謝選民之旅
November 10, 2014
(Boston Orange 周菊子波士頓報導) 候任州長查理貝克(Charlie Baker ) 展開“感謝選民之旅“,昨(九)日一早先到”所有國家的感恩教堂(Grace Church of All Nations)“,再到南波士頓,北端(North End)與選民親切晤談。
 麻州候任州長查理貝克(Charlie Baker)和妻子蘿仁(Lauren
到南波士頓感謝選民。(周菊子攝)
即將於十一月十三日慶祝五十八歲生日的查理貝克從當選以來,面對外界探問,都只強調他要挑選適任者,組織一個不分黨派的政府。他在當選以後陸續與媒體晤談時透露,有意推動修改競選獻金法,讓在位者無法得到太多的募款優勢;打算修訂政府聘用條例,要求政府單位在人事聘用上更為透明,公佈每一名申請者持有的證件,以及有沒任何政府官員,議員推薦等。
 麻州候任州長查理貝克(Charlie Baker)和妻子蘿仁(Lauren)向南
波士頓選民表示,也得感謝波士頓市議員米高法拉提的幫助。
(周菊子攝)
由於查理貝克的兒子在他競選期間參加學校球賽,摔斷了手,送醫後,醫生開的藥竟是能讓人上癮的Percocet當談及上任後將推動哪些政策時,查理貝克因此激動表示,有意邀波士頓市長馬丁華殊(Martin Walsh),工會AFL-CIO董事長Steven Tolman等人組織一個聯盟,討論制定上癮政策(addiction policy)。
查理貝克在面對未來州政府的人事問題時,坦言自己有被來自四面八方的推薦“轟炸”之感,但感恩的表示,那都是人們出於好心,想要幫他忙。目前他還沒有做任何決定。
            昨日,感恩教堂牧師開玩笑的說,查理貝克從參選以來,到過該教堂那麼多次,已通過被接受為會員的出席次數條件了。
 米高法拉提(中)曾和尹常賢搭擋競選波士頓市長,去年捲土重來
得回到政壇,當選波市不分區市議員。(周菊子攝)
            查理貝克在致詞時表示,這次參選,他拜訪了很多別人認為他根本拿不到票的地方,但那又怎麼樣,他是為了競選成功,希望接觸到百分之百的所有選民,到底這場選舉的最終目的是要為麻州所有居民服務。
            感恩教堂牧師表示,他認為查理貝克是真正想要做好事的人。
            曾任波士頓市市長的雷夫連(Mayor Raymond Flynn),波士頓市議員查理楊西(Charles Yancey)昨日都到教堂去了。
            查理貝克昨日下午先到南波士頓L街客棧去感謝選民。他鑽到吧台後面,向廿,三十名選民說謝謝,應民眾要求拿起“我投票給查理(I voted for Charlie)“的標語牌,和選民一起合照,親切的和出席民眾閒談。他還特地點名感謝曾競選波士頓市長,現為波士頓不分區市議員的米高法拉提(Michael Flaherty)給他的支持。
            米高法拉提表示,當年查理貝克在州政府工作時,他們在州市合作的活動中有過接觸,建立起了友誼。
            一名出席感謝會的年輕南波士頓居民表示,南波士頓是個很特別的地方,保守派佔多數,儘管大多數居民登記為民主黨,投票時,尤其是選州長這一票,卻一向是投給共和黨,藉以支持州內的黨派平衡。
        他指出,不過,這次選舉,查理貝克在南波士頓的得票率高達60%,比許多人預料的54%左右高許多,查理貝克的感謝是很可以理解的。
            昨日下午,查理貝克還去了北端(North End)的勝利餐廳(Café Vittoria)去感謝選民。
查理貝克今(十)日將和麻州參議員羅森伯(Stanley Rosenberg ),以及麻州眾議會議長狄樂歐(Robert DeLeo)晤談,為政府交接做準備。