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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Massachusetts legislation seeks to build on state order to phase out natural gas

Energy News Network

On constraining gas, the ideas are in place, the support, not so much. We need help communicating a simple message: Massachusetts needs to downsize the gas grid as we upsize the electric grid.

A new gas pipe has a useful life of 30-50 years and takes us years to pay off. We need to put our money into clean electric power. We can’t do both, because monthly bill payers will have a fit.

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Senate bans “competitive energy suppliers” from the market

Third-party suppliers of electricity promise to save people money. But they don’t. Instead, they rip off low-income consumers. 25 years to prove themselves is enough: It’s time to bar “competitive suppliers” from the market. We gave them a chance. They don’t provide real competition.

Here’s what I had to say in Senate debate

Collins: Developers greenwashing private jet expansion

Boston Herald

Private jet owners are doubling down on their Hanscom investments. Insulting our intelligence as they injure our environment, they claim they’re doing us a favor!

From Chuck Collins and the Boston Herald: “I know the destruction you folks intend to wreak on Massachusetts and I resent it,” said state Senator Mike Barrett, who represents the four towns where Hanscom is located.

“Please don’t erect these bogus environmental rationales for something that has nothing whatsoever to do with relieving the crisis that faces us in terms of climate,” Barrett said at the developers’ public hearing. “Just be honest about it. This is all about becoming a little richer yourselves by helping people even richer than you.”

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America’s big birthday is less than a year away!

The countdown to mark 250 years since of the start of the American Revolution has begun. Nothing like a giant calendar — which I unveiled in Lexington alongside the Lt. Governor and local leaders — to remind us how quickly the celebration is approaching. The calendar will be flipped by community groups each day leading up to April 19, 2025.  

Sen. Barrett joins Lt. Gov Driscoll and local leaders to unveil the countdown calendar
Senator Barrett speaks to a crowd at Lexington's countdown event