I met with Housing Authority representatives from Waltham and Concord. A major topic: the Governor’s housing bond bill. Wide agreement that we need more housing. Pleased to see the real estate transfer fee provision included, which would give communities the option to impose a fee on expensive property sales to fund affordable housing projects. The fee — which could be set between 0.5% and 2% — would apply to the portion of the sale over $1 million or the county median home sale price.
The State Senate just passed legislation that caps out-of-pocket spending on some prescription drugs used to treat diabetes, asthma, and chronic heart conditions. For each of these conditions, insurers must select one name-brand drug and one generic drug. The bill requires insurers to eliminate deductibles and cost-sharing requirements for the generic drugs and cap co-payments at $25 for the brand-name drugs. Kudos to Sen. Friedman for leading on the issue.
De’Shawn Washington is an outstanding human being. Education as a profession appeals to outstanding people, so Mr. Washington is right where he should be. Here’s to him and his fellow Lexington teachers, for work well done.
Ambitious infrastructure is often top-down, but this one was different. The vision for the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail emerged from the grassroots and was nurtured and brought along by local government. This is what federal and state officials love to see.
Hadn’t done this before: Drove a new EV — a Kia EV6 — 392 miles north, through rural New England and Canada, to Quebec City. Joined my colleagues Sen. Will Brownsberger, House Majority Leader Mike Moran, and House Chair Mike Day for two days of climate policy talks with our counterparts in the provincial assembly to discuss green innovation, Quebec hydro, and Quebec-California cap and trade.
Plastics, and waste reduction in general, has been an orphan. We just haven’t managed to acknowledge that reducing waste and reducing plastic is critical to reducing emissions.
Big turnout at the Lincoln Commons, where I spoke with constituents concerned about climate change. We covered topics like implementation of the 2021 and 2022 landmark climate acts and sustainable aviation.
In seriously entertaining a proposal to build multiple new hangars for super-polluting private jets at Hanscom Airfield, MassPort is on the verge of a terrible two-fer: aiding and abetting the warming of the planet, and pandering to the concentration of private wealth. You can’t do much worse than that.
The timing of these grants could not be better, arriving as they do during a time when city and town finances are under stress. We know the most effective response to climate change is local action. It’s about weatherizing the individual home, business, and municipal building. Efforts funded by this money will boost efficiency, reduce the amount of energy we consume, and hasten the day when the sources of that energy are all green.
MassPort’s Board of Directors is the Big Decider here. So we direct a plea to them: It’s not too late to do the right thing.
Otherwise, you put MassPort at risk of becoming a pariah, a poster child for reckless disregard of the public interest by a governmental body. If 27 — or 18 — or just a dozen — of these hangars get built, the agency will never come back from the reputational damage. Going ahead would be an unforced error, one of the biggest ones in modern Massachusetts public policy.