Lexington Honors Quock Walker Ahead Of Massachusetts Emancipation Day


The audacity of actually believing in the American Dream and the idea that all men and women are born free, we have Quock Walker to thank for that courage and for that persistence. Terrific job to all the folks in Lexington who helped commemorate the occasion. 

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Mass. Senate advances energy reforms


The Senate on Tuesday approved another complex set of reforms to accelerate the spread of clean energy in Massachusetts, along the way hearing concerns about potential ratepayer burdens and embracing an expansion of the state’s bottle redemption law. 

“The energy grid needs updating. It needs renewing every 30 years. But it’s pretty boring stuff,” said State Senator Mike Barrett, adding that it’s decarbonization of buildings and vehicles that gets his constituents excited. “It’s a source of emotional reinforcement, to the people who vote for me, that we’re not only doing the esoteric thing — which is the grid; important, but exotic — we’re also getting off fossil fuels with respect to cars and houses.” 

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Less gas, quicker permits, and a lot more EV chargers — Massachusetts’ next climate law is taking shape

Boston Globe

State Senator Michael Barrett, who helped write the last two laws and is taking the lead in the Senate on this one, said the latest bill will be voted on later this week. But the aim is clear: “Here in Massachusetts, we have a number of medium-sized and small-sized discrete problems that we need to address,” Barrett said. “We have an opportunity to address them now.”

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Money for early relationship programs included in Senate budget

For at-risk infants and their families, early relationship support services can be a major help. In the Senate budget, I offered a successful $500,000 amendment for two early relationship programs. Project NESST helps new mothers in early recovery from opioid abuse and provides education and training services for clinicians. Fragile Beginnings, the other program, supports parents of premature infants.

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Energy comes from a hole in the ground

In nearby Framingham, a first-in-the-nation clean energy project is set to come online this summer. Networked geothermal involves a connected system of heat pumps that use the heat from underground to warm buildings. In this case, it’s a pilot program that includes 31 homes and 5 commercial buildings. This is one to keep an eye on.

Senator Barrett speaking at a ribbon-cutting event for the Framingham geothermal pilot.
Senator Barrett participating in the ribbon-cutting at the Framingham geothermal pilot event.

Money for pre-trial mentoring program included in Senate budget

One way to reduce recidivism in the criminal justice system is by diverting young people who are awaiting trial from pre-trial detention. In the Senate budget, I secured $600,000 for the Detention Diversion Advocacy Program, a mentoring program that provides supervision in place of pre-trial detention.

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Monument to Lexington women unveiled

A new monument in Lexington honors the incredible contributions women have made to the town’s history. Credit to the sculptor, Meredith Bergmann, for capturing the competence and pivotal influence of women in Lexington over the centuries but also for hinting at tumultuous emotions and uncertain outcomes. The ambiguity she’s presenting reminds us that breakthroughs are achievable but victories are never final. Here’s what I had to say at the dedication ceremony:

Looking underground for renewable energy

One promising alternative to fossil fuels is networked geothermal — connected systems of ground-source heat pumps that use underground heat to warm buildings. At a panel event, I joined Rep. Steve Owens and DPU Chair Jamie Van Nostrand to speak with experts about making the switch from gas to geo. Big thanks to HEET for hosting.

Senator Barrett stands beside Rep. Steve Owens, DPU Chair Van Nostrand, and experts

Massachusetts Democrats pitch energy transition to union workers: ‘This is a huge construction project’

Boston Globe

Massachusetts has an ambitious goal to reach net zero emissions by 2050, which will require a massive buildout of electricity infrastructure, retrofits to buildings, new transportation systems, and more. The plan could require what would essentially be a tripling of the electric grid and dozens of new substations.

“Basically, this is a huge construction project,” Massachusetts state Senator Michael Barrett told a crowd on Friday.

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