New Thermo Fischer HQ in Waltham

Thermo Fisher Scientific supplies scientists with cutting-edge tools — things like gene sequencers to map DNA. The company will be coming up with the latest breakthrough tech. at its new global headquarters in Waltham. Here, welcoming Thermo Fischer alongside Senior VP Alex Stachtiaris; Mayor Jeannette A. McCarthy; Travis McCready, President & CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center and State Rep. Tom Stanley.

Committee considers impact of court fees on poor defendants MassLive

Deeply troubling: “In a minute-long appearance before a judge, James tells the Dudley District Court, ‘I’m poor.’ Without inquiring further or offering him a lawyer, the judge orders James incarcerated for as long as it takes to pay off the fine, at a rate of $30 a day.”

Read the article on the committee hearing

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Waltham Welcomes Wolverine

Wolverine makes great shoes (my wife and I love our Merrells).  Very happy the company’s New England operations are now in Waltham.  Here I am, cutting the ribbon with the Guv, his wife Lauren, Waltham Mayor McCarthy, and the Wolverine team.

Wolverine

Senate bill bars credit checks in hiring Press Release

To provide a measure of relief to Massachusetts job applicants, the State Senate has approved a bill, sponsored by State Senator Mike Barrett (D-Lexington), to restrict the use of credit reports in hiring and promotions.

“People see their credit reports dinged due to circumstances they couldn’t reasonably foresee — their spouse becomes ill, they get laid off, or they hit a combination of student debt and under-employment,” said Barrett.  “All these things are regrettable, but none should stop them from getting back on their feet.”

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Dry your tee? Senate brings back the old way Press Release

To promote energy conservation, the State Senate has taken the surprising step of legally reaffirming residents’ rights to a traditional but increasingly threatened practice — the option of hanging laundry out to dry on a clothesline.

State Senator Mike Barrett, chief sponsor of the policy change, says clothesline use is often barred by condo and homeowner associations.  Environmentally speaking, he says, that’s unfortunate.

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Lexington High School Quiz Show team honored at Statehouse Lexington Minuteman

The Lexington High School Quiz Show team, which won both the WGBH Quiz Show State Championship this year and the Governor’s Cup vs. New Hampshire, was celebrated at the Statehouse on June 15.

Read the article about the team’s visit

3rd Middlesex Area Dems multi-task

The pillars of 3rd MAD — 3rd Middlesex Area Democrats, the folks who keep my Senate district on the progressive up and up — really know how to eat breakfast and talk at the same time.  Can be messy!  But always fun.

3rd MAD Collage

Targeted by hate in Orlando

“The attack in Orlando was on gay people.  The attack was on Latinos.   The attack was on immigrants.  The attack was on Americans.  The attack was on all of us as human beings.  How to repel the attack?  In the U.S.,  the pace of change is painfully slow in the short run — but reaches farther than we ever dreamed in the long run.  That’s OK.  We’ll take it.  For the hard work of making our country a better place, each of us has signed up for the long run.”

— State Sen. Mike Barrett, June 15, 2016, vigil in Lexington, MA after the Orlando massacre.
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Senate budget increases funding for the disadvantaged Press Release

During recent Senate debate on the state budget, the body adopted several amendments offered by State Senator Mike Barrett, D-Lexington, to fund programs that assist people living in especially difficult circumstances.

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Lawmakers give millionaires’ tax overwhelming endorsement The Boston Globe

If a “millionaires’ tax” is approved by Mass. voters in 2018, on the next dollar you earn after your first million in annual income, you’ll pay approximately nine pennies rather than approximately five. Adds up to an income tax that’s progressive but still reasonable.

Read the article on a progressive income tax for Massachusetts

Chelmsford rallies to fight opioid addiction

Under a hard rain, 360 runners hit the pavement for a Mother’s Day 5K for opioid addiction awareness.  Proceeds go to Healthy Chelmsford, a local partnership.  Here, with Run founders Nancy and Don Patch and Chelmsford Chief of Police James Spinney.  Learn more about their efforts.

Nancy's Run

Senate panel wants homeowners insurance clarity The Boston Globe

“In a time of profound public mistrust of both governmental and financial elites, the Committee finds no justification for a regulatory process marked by a no-exceptions rejection of public notice, informational access, and consumer input.”

Read the article about the report

Report: Home insurance rates yield high profits, get little scrutiny Press Release

A report by the State Senate lambasts the process of setting Massachusetts home insurance rates and calls for immediate changes to state law to protect residents.

In 2015 the Massachusetts Division of Insurance considered, and granted, requests by several of the state’s biggest insurers to raise their rates on homeowners coverage by as much as 9%. Yet neither the public, nor state legislators, nor insurance experts in the state Attorney General’s office, were informed of the requests.

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