With climate change, it’s not all doom and gloom

One unexpected result of the climate crisis: the creativity it’s inspired. At the Umbrella Arts Center in Concord, I introduced a panel of artists and scientists whose climate-centered art pieces are part of an installation curated by the Umbrella. Heartened by the prevailing sense of optimism and growing determination to tackle the enormous problem in front of us.

Sen. Barrett introducing a panel at the Umbrella Arts Center

Finally, women’s stories are being told

This week Lexington and Concord marked the 249th anniversary of the start of the American Revolution. Finally, the key roles women played are in sharp focus. Their stories have been overlooked. Now they’re being told. Major shoutout to planners of the local events for making everything happen.

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Sen. Barrett marching in the Concord Parade

Boeing Reveals Executives Got an Extra $500,000 in Private-Jet Perks

Wall Street Journal

Reducing ferry flights, my ____. Here’s what more private jets out at Hanscom will mean. Massport, put up or shut up on being climate-conscious. Just say no to the Hanscom hangars.

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April is Organ Donation Month

More than 1,400 life-saving organ transplants occurred in New England last year, according to New England Donor Services. To kick off Organ Donation Month, marked each April, I joined organ donation recipients at Waltham City Hall to raise a banner encouraging donor registration. You can register to become a donor here: www.mass.gov/OrganDonor

Senator Barrett and others hang a banner on Waltham City Hall

Lane Students’ Lunchtime Separations Cut Waste by 80 Percent

Bedford Citizen

Bedford students are on track to cut their waste by over 13 tons per school year. Lane Elementary School’s program involves sorting trash, recyclables, food, and liquids into different bins, and using a “share cart” for students to deposit unopened food packages. Kudos to the students and staff.

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Ambitious bill to reform child care, lower costs sails through Mass. Senate


Early education costs are high and getting higher. The Senate has taken note and just passed a bill to lower expenses for families. The bill expands access to childcare subsidies for lower-income families and caps fees for recipients at 7% of their income. It also makes permanent the pandemic-era “C3” grants, which provide monthly payments to many of the state’s early ed providers. Hats off to the Senate President, Sen. Rodrigues, and Sen. Lewis for making this a priority.

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These energy suppliers say they can save you money. Regulators say it’s a scam.

Boston Globe

Data collected by the Massachusetts attorney general’s office shows that between 2015 and 2021, residents who signed up for competitive electric supply plans paid $525 million more than if they had continued buying electricity from their utility. Low-income residents were nearly twice as likely to be enrolled with competitive electric suppliers, and they consistently lost the most money. 

“This has been a 25-year experiment. It’s fair now to conclude on the basis of the evidence that [the market has] failed to produce value for large numbers of consumers,” said Senator Michael Barrett, the Democratic lawmaker who will help lead negotiations on a climate bill later this year. “At some point, you have to throw in the towel.” 

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Honoring a Lexington leader

Hank Manz was a pillar of the Lexington community. He spent his life in service to others as a Scoutmaster, a youth hockey commissioner, and a leader in local government. It was a pleasure to welcome the Manz family to the State House, where Governor Healey signed a bill naming a local bridge in Hank’s honor. The bridge is on Route 2A spanning I-95 in Lexington.

Senator Barrett with the family of Hank Manz
Governor Healey signs a bill to name a local bridge in Hank Manz' honor

Fighting for greater accessibility

Sen. Jo Comerford has been notching legislative wins for people with disabilities. I had the pleasure of introducing her at an event at which she was named a Legislator of the Year by the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council and the Arc of Massachusetts. The event featured a live transcript — crucial for those with hearing loss — which you can see on either side of me. I have a bill that would require closed captioning on TVs in public areas to be turned on when requested. Just one example of the work we have ahead of us.

Senator Barrett speaking at the Arc of MA / MDDC legislative reception
Senator Barrett and Maura Sullivan from the Arc of Massachusetts
Senator Barrett speaking at the Arc of MA / MDDC legislative reception