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Breaking News Alert:

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NO BREAKING NEWS ALERT OR STATE OF THE EMERGENCY DECLARATION REPORTED.


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News:

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Seasoned executive with deep turn-around experience named MBTA General Manager/CEO:

 

Luis Ramírez assumes post next month.

 

Boston, MA -- Luis Manuel Ramírez, whose three-decade business career has included successful turnarounds with divisions of some of the nation’s biggest corporations, will be the next General Manager/CEO of the MBTA, Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack announced today.

 

Ramírez, 50, who most recently has run his own strategic and turnaround business consulting firm, will succeed Interim GM Steve Poftak on September 12.

 

“From Day One, we were looking for a candidate with a solid track record of leading large and complex organizations through transformation and change,” said Pollack. “His unique personal background, deep exposure to a range of challenges and constituencies, and proven leadership skills make Luis the right person to lead the MBTA as it continues to become the world-class transit agency our riders expect and deserve. With the support he’ll have from the strong operational and other leadership already at the T, Luis will get up to speed very quickly.” 

 

Ramírez, whose Cuban refugee father operated a crop-dusting plant and later a roofing business in Florida, worked his way through high school as a supermarket bag boy and restaurant worker and continued to work through university before beginning a corporate career marked by increasingly important posts at firms including Unisys Corporation, Siemens AG, and General Electric Corp.

While at GE from 2000 to 2012, Ramírez was steadily promoted into positions with greater challenges and responsibilities. He finished his career with the company as a GE Vice President and Corporate Officer and President and CEO of GE’s Energy Industrial Solutions business, where he was responsible for 17,000 employees operating in 60 countries, delivering $3.5 billion in annual revenue.

 

Throughout his career, Ramírez has worked with a wide range of domestic and international interests and stakeholders, including governmental entities and unionized workforces.

“As we continue to invest in and reform the MBTA, it is critical to have an experienced individual with turn-around experience at the helm working to improve service for riders,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Luis has a proven skill-set that I am sure will serve him well as he joins the team working toward meaningful reforms for commuters and taxpayers. Thank you, Steve Poftak, for your work improving operations at the T and I look forward to Luis joining Secretary Pollack’s talented team.”

Deputy General Manager Jeffrey Gonneville, who served on the GM/CEO search committee, said Ramírez’ skill sets and background will serve to strengthen T operations. “Even in the limited time I’ve spent with him, I can see that Luis understands and appreciates the hard work and talent of our employees who keep this system running every day,” said Gonneville. “The deep managerial experience he brings to the T will help us achieve even greater operational excellence.”

Fiscal and Management Control Board Chairman Joseph Aiello noted that Ramírez’ contract is for three years, with two one-year mutual options to extend. “After going through six permanent or acting general managers since 2011, the T and its workforce will benefit from seasoned and stable leadership at the top.” Aiello noted that Ramírez has a history of staying in his various positions as long as it takes to implement necessary change and improvement.

Ramirez said he is anxious to bring his extensive experience, from overseeing billion dollar portfolios to managing major technology upgrades and communicating with stakeholders, to the T. “I am excited about joining a great team at the T to build upon the progress they have already made,” he said. “Going forward, we need financial discipline, we need operational excellence, and we also need strategy. But in everything we do, the overriding objective will be to put the customer first.”

 

MBTA Administrative Officer Michael Abramo said Ramírez’ vast executive experience “will help to further the transformation of the MBTA into a more efficient and effective organization.” 

 

Ramírez is moving to Boston with his wife Delia Garced, Vice President, Market Activation, GE Digital. She will work out of GE’s Boston headquarters. They have two children. Fluent in English, Spanish, and German, Ramírez is a member of CEO Connection, which helps mid-market CEOs and their companies succeed, and the National Association of Corporate Directors.


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City of Quincy to Conduct Smoke Testing:

 

In order to improve sewer service, on behalf of the City of Quincy and Weston & Sampson will be conducting smoke testing on portions of the sanitary sewer system from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, between August 7, 2017 and August 28, 2017. Testing will be performed in a selected area of City of Quincy.

 

The inspection is being conducted as part of Quincy’s Wollaston Beach SSES – Phase 1 Project. The purpose of smoke testing is to locate sources of rainwater entering the sanitary sewer. By removing this extra flow, Quincy will reduce the amount of wastewater it sends to the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) sewer interceptors.

During the test, white smoke is introduced to the sanitary sewer system via a smoke-generating machine. During this procedure, white smoke will be venting from holes in manhole covers located in the street and from plumbing vent pipes located on or near your roof surface. THIS IS NORMAL AND SHOULD NOT CAUSE ALARM.

 

Smoke should not enter your premises unless there is either a dry trap in an unused fixture or a plumbing defect. You may wish to pour two gallons of water down your basement floor drain or unused plumbing fixture to ensure that the drain trap will be effective.

 

Should smoke be detected within your building, do not be alarmed. The smoke is NON-TOXIC, NON-STAINING, and dissipates quickly through open windows. IF YOU HAVE A LUNG AILMENT or RESPIRATORY CONDITION SUCH AS ASTHMA OR EMPHYSEMA, STAY AWAY FROM THE SMOKE. Any smoke within a building should be immediately reported to the persons conducting the tests.

 

Weston & Sampson company vehicles are gray or black with the company name on the sides and smoke testing personnel will have current Weston & Sampson ID card.

 

Any questions should be directed to Weston & Sampson at (617) 934-0026. Please leave a message including your name, address, and telephone number and you will be responded to promptly.


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Governor Baker Files Sales Tax Holiday Legislation:

 

Boston, MA -- Today, Governor Charlie Baker filed legislation designating August 19-20, 2017 as Massachusetts’ sales tax holiday weekend to renew a tax free weekend that generally occurs every year in the Commonwealth.

 

The legislation would suspend the state’s 6.25% retail sales tax for the weekend on purchases of goods costing $2,500 or less, which will provide a welcome relief to consumers and bolster sales at businesses.

 

“The sales tax holiday gives consumers a much needed break and supports business across the Commonwealth for our hardworking retailers,” said Governor Baker. “We look forward to working with the Legislature to make this important weekend possible, so the Commonwealth can shop local and make purchases tax free.”

 

“A tax free weekend provides consumers with a great opportunity to support local businesses while saving money,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “This weekend will especially help out parents who are looking to make back-to-school purchases, and I look forward to working with our partners in the Legislature to see this legislation passed.”

 

“The sales tax holiday weekend supports both Main Street and consumers in the Commonwealth, while also boosting economic activity in our cities and towns,” said Administration and Finance Secretary Kristen Lepore.


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Governor Baker Signs Legislation Recognizing 'Ice Bucket Challenge Week' in Honor of Frates' Family and ALS Awareness:

 

Annual week in August will recognize efforts to raise awareness for battling ALS

 

Boston, MA -- Governor Charlie Baker today signed H.1697, An Act Establishing The First Week In August As Ice Bucket Challenge Week, to annually honor the contributions of Pete Frates and his family and raise awareness and resources for those battling Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was co-founded in 2014 by Pete Frates, Pat Quinn and Anthony Senerchia to raise awareness for the progressive neurodegenerative disease and funds to support research towards a cure.

 

In accordance with the new statute, Governor Baker also issued a proclamation today proclaiming the first week of August 2017 to be “Ice Bucket Challenge Week.”

 

“Pete Frates took a horrible, personal tragedy and turned it into something positive and inspiring for millions of people around the world with the Ice Bucket Challenge,” said Governor Baker. “I am honored to sign legislation to recognize the efforts of Pete, his family and all those fighting to increase awareness and find a cure for ALS.”

 

“The Ice Bucket challenge has left a remarkable impact on the families and loved ones fighting against ALS, a disease that has personally touched many throughout Massachusetts and the world,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “I am proud this legislation will continue to show solidarity and support for the Frates family and all those working toward a cure.”

 

“The Frates family have been amazing advocates for those fighting ALS, bringing an incredible level of awareness to this devastating disease,” said Senator Joan Lovely (D-Salem). “I am very pleased that the legislature and Governor Baker has chosen to honor Pete Frates and the whole Frates family, who continue to fight this disease, and officially recognize Ice Bucket Challenge Week.”

 

"I’m so proud to have co-sponsored this bill with Senator Lovely and to have had the opportunity to work with such a remarkable family,” said Representative Jerry Parisella (D-Beverly). “I’m honored to recognize the incredible work that Pete and the Frates families have done to raise money and awareness about this dreaded disease. Lives will forever be positively affected because of their efforts.”

 

In August of 2015, Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito were be joined by Pete Frates and his family to take the ALS “Every August Until a Cure” Ice Bucket Challenge at the State House. Members of the Baker-Polito Administration, Treasurer Goldberg, Auditor Bump and members of the legislature also participated to raise awareness and support a cure for ALS.


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Governor Baker Filing Legislation to Allow Authorities to Honor Federal Detainers for Violent, Dangerous Criminals:

 

Boston, MA -- Governor Charlie Baker today is filing legislation that would give state and municipal police and court officers the statutory authority to honor certain detainer requests and administrative warrants from United States Immigration and Customs and Enforcement (ICE) for removable aliens independently in state custody because of new state criminal charges or sentences related to violent and serious crimes.

 

Such authority by law enforcement existed until last week when the Supreme Judicial Court ruled in Commonwealth v. Lunn that, in the absence of express statutory authority, state and local law enforcement officers may not honor requests from ICE to detain removable aliens.

 

“For years, many local police departments and the Trial Court have cooperated with ICE to ensure that they can detain violent and dangerous criminals, convicted of crimes like murder and rape, to keep our communities safe,” said Governor Baker. “This bill allows the State Police to honor specific detainers and provides local officials with the flexibility they need to set policies appropriate for their communities.”

 

The governor’s proposal does not authorize or allow law enforcement officers to enforce federal immigration law. Instead it fills the statutory gap identified by the SJC. It authorizes, but does not require, state and local law enforcement to honor detention requests accompanied by administrative warrants from ICE for aliens who pose a threat to public safety.

 

Upon receipt of a written request to detain by ICE, the bill would allow Massachusetts law enforcement to determine that an individual poses a threat to public safety and decide to detain that person if any of the following apply:

 

1. The person has engaged in or is suspected of terrorism or espionage, or otherwise poses a danger to national security;

 

2. The person has been convicted of an offense of which an element was active participation in a criminal street gang;

 

3. The person has been convicted of an offense classified as a felony, other than a state or local offense for which an essential element was the person’s immigration status;

 

4. The person has been convicted of an aggravated felony; and

 

5. The person has been convicted of a crime of (i) domestic violence; (ii) sexual abuse or exploitation; (iii) trafficking in persons in violation of sections 50 or 51 of chapter 265 or like violations of the law of another state, the United State or a military, territorial or Indian tribal authority; (iv) drug distribution or trafficking; (vii) second or subsequent operating or driving under the influence or (viii) any other offense for which the person has been sentenced to time in custody of 180 days or more.

 

“Local officials seeking to protect their communities should not be compelled to let dangerous individuals with serious criminal histories walk free due to an ambiguity in the law,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “This proposal will allow police to maintain the strong trust they have built up with immigrant communities while making sure that hardened criminals are not put back on the streets.” 

 

“Any detention authorized by this bill would be limited to aliens already independently in state custody because of new state criminal charges or sentences,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Security Dan Bennett. “This bill does not empower state or local police to proactively arrest people for immigration law violations; it would allow police to detain a person who is a threat to public safety for a limited period of time if that person were about to be released and the federal authorities were unable to immediately take the person into their custody.” 

 

Any agency seeking to use this new authority would be required to issue a policy identifying supervisory officers who would initially authorize detention of people who pose a threat to public safety and have been previously convicted of one or more serious crimes. Any detention in excess of 12 hours would be subject to judicial review.


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Governor Baker Signs an Act to Ensure Safe Access to Marijuana:

 

Boston, MA -- Governor Charlie Baker today signed bipartisan legislation to update state laws governing the cultivation, sale, and adult use of marijuana following a voter-approved ballot question in 2016. Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito were joined by several legislators at a signing ceremony at the State House to enact H. 3818, An Act to Ensure Safe Access to Marijuana.

 

“We appreciate the careful consideration the legislature took to balance input from lawmakers, educators, public safety officials and public health professionals, while honoring the will of the voters regarding the adult use of marijuana,” said Governor Baker. “We look forward to appointing members of the Cannabis Control Commission and the Cannabis Advisory Board to join us in working with Treasurer Goldberg, Attorney General Healey, local officials, law enforcement and all other stakeholders involved to implement the enhanced law safely and responsibly throughout the Commonwealth.”

 

Highlights from H. 3818:

* This law outlines the ability of cities and towns to exercise local control to ban or limit the development of marijuana establishments to address municipal concerns.

 

* Sets the special excise tax on adult use marijuana sales to 10.75% to support the costs of regulating the industry and to fund initiatives in public health, public safety, police training, restorative justice and workforce development. 

 

   * There is a local option for cities and towns to add a 3% tax on top of the combined 17% between sales and the marijuana specific excise tax.

 

   * Medical marijuana will remain untaxed.

 

* Establishes a 5 member Cannabis Control Commission to regulate both the adult use and medical marijuana industries consisting of one appointee each from the Governor, Treasurer and Attorney General. The remaining two members will be agreed upon by the majority of those 3 constitutional officers.

 

* Establishes a 25 member Cannabis Advisory Board with 5 appointees each from the Governor, Treasurer and Attorney General. The remaining 10 appointees are ex officio appointees with expertise and knowledge relevant to the Board’s mission.

 

* Establishes requirement that the Cannabis Control Commission set potency limits for edible marijuana products and that it adopt packaging requirements that conform to a detailed list of health and safety protections.

 

Click here to read the bill.


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Governor Baker Signs Bipartisan Pregnant Worker Protection Legislation:

 

Boston, MA -- Governor Charlie Baker today signed H. 3680, An Act Establishing the Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, a bipartisan bill to extend protections to pregnant workers in the Commonwealth.  The legislation will prohibit workplace and hiring discrimination related to pregnancy and nursing, and require employers to provide reasonable accommodations for expectant and new mothers in the workplace.  This includes access to less strenuous workloads, altered work schedules, time off with or without pay and private nursing space.

 

The Governor was joined by members of the Legislature at a signing ceremony at the State House to enact H. 3680, An Act Establishing the Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which closes gaps in federal law for employers of six or more.

 

“This bipartisan legislation extends critical protections to women in the workplace and I thank the Legislature for their collaboration with advocates from both the women’s health and business communities,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “These provisions are important to expectant and working moms supporting their families and raising healthy children.”

 

“As a working mom, I know how important it is to balance job responsibilities and family life to support our kids,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Ensuring women in the workplace raising their children have access to these protections is important to the strength and safety of our economy, families and communities.”

 

“No expecting mother should have to choose between a healthy pregnancy and a paycheck,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst). “This legislation would ensure that women’s medical needs are addressed without imposing undue burden on employers throughout Massachusetts.”

 

“This is a proud day for Massachusetts and reinforces our dedication to protecting our residents - especially as events in Washington threaten the safety and security of women,” said Speaker Robert DeLeo (D-Winthrop). “By bringing diverse stakeholders to the table we drafted a consensus-based bill that can be implemented smoothly and stand the test of time. I want to sincerely thank the advocates who courageously shared their stories; they are heroes who have made Massachusetts a more just and safe place.”

 

"Pregnant workers will never again have to choose between keeping their job and the health of their pregnancy," said Senator Joan Lovely (D-Salem). "This bill becomes law with the full support of the Governor, legislature, advocates and employers. Pregnant workers and their families deserve the protections contained in this law to ensure their health, safety and prosperity. It is a clear recognition of the important role these individuals play in our households, economy and society."

 

Representative David Rogers (D-Cambridge) said, “Today, once again, Massachusetts has acted boldly to advance the cause of civil rights, women’s rights, and equal opportunity.  The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, a bill I introduced, makes clear that women seeking reasonable assistance from their employers for certain conditions or needs related to their pregnancy must be treated fairly. I thank Speaker DeLeo for his leadership, the ninety-nine of my House colleagues who co-sponsored this legislation and, most of all, the many courageous women who stepped forward to tell their stories while the bill was under consideration. Together today we send a powerful message in support of equal opportunity in our Commonwealth. And we must be mindful of the moment. It is particularly heartening that Massachusetts is taking this action at a time when many in our national government seem determined to go in the wrong direction on women’s rights.”


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Baker-Polito Administration Celebrates 40 Road and Bridge Projects Impacting 19 Communities in Greater Boston Area:

 

$315 million in highway infrastructure investments highlight impact of over $2.8 billion spent on safe and reliable infrastructure across the Commonwealth

 

Braintree, MA -- Governor Charlie Baker today joined Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack, Acting Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver, and MassDOT officials at a bridge replacement project in Braintree to underscore over $315 million invested by the Baker-Polito Administration in Fiscal Year 2017 in 40 roadway and bridge projects impacting 19 cities and towns throughout the Greater Boston area. 

 

The Baker-Polito Administration is visiting MassDOT Highway Districts to highlight the positive regional impacts of over $2.8 billion spent since 2015 on highway construction projects and bridges, pavement, intersection and sidewalk improvements, and bike lanes, while authorizing over $700 million in Chapter 90 local transportation funding for cities and towns.  An additional $30 million has been invested through Complete Streets and Municipal Small Bridge programming to support local transportation planning and community bridges not eligible for federal aid.

 

Statewide, those investments have paved approximately 2,000 lane miles, enough to cross Massachusetts and back at least 5 times; installed 160 miles of sidewalk, almost encircling the Quabbin Reservoir; and rehabilitated or replaced approximately 80 bridges. Projects include installing new safety equipment, optimizing traffic configuration, lane and intersection widening and promoting reduced congestion.

 

“By improving our highway infrastructure through investments in our roads and bridges, we can enable people throughout our cities and towns to travel to the places, jobs, and opportunities that strengthen our Commonwealth and its communities,” said Governor Baker. “With over $315 million invested in the Greater Boston area last year, and $2.8 billion invested across Massachusetts since taking office, we are committed to empowering residents and commuters to safely and reliably get to where they need to go using their preferred mode of transportation.”

 

“Our administration is focused on enabling residents to easily reach their destination whether they are walking, bicycling, riding public transit, or driving,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Investing in our roads and bridges helps ensure our infrastructure meets the demands of our communities and our residents and commuters are able to keep our economy moving forward.”

 

The event today was held at the project to replace two bridges that carry Route 3 north and southbound over an I-93 on-ramp in Braintree. This $6.3 million project will involve replacing these two bridges in their entirety over two weekends this fall using accelerated construction techniques in order to minimize the impact on the traveling public.

 

“We appreciate the hard work of our MassDOT crews and contractors who are designing, developing, and managing the dozens of road and bridge projects we are carrying out in the Greater Boston area,” said Secretary Pollack. “These projects are all crucial to promoting reliability and accessibility on roadways, enabling multimodal travel, and connecting people with the places that improve their quality of life.”

 

“We are proud to be improving our roads and bridges in the Greater Boston area and throughout the Commonwealth,” said Acting Highway Administrator Gulliver. “This project has been carefully designed with much consideration to the impacts to the traveling public and local community, and we are pleased that the majority of bridge replacement operations will be contained to just two weekends this fall so that commuters will be able to reach their destinations throughout this area.”

 

Notable ongoing projects in the Greater Boston or Highway District 6 area include:

* Auburn – Boston: The project to remove and replace overhead and ground mounted signs along I-90.

 

* Boston: The project to demolish the Monsignor William J. Casey Overpass and construct the new east-west Arborway.

 

* Boston: The project to replace the bridge carrying Commonwealth Ave and the MBTA Green line over I-90 and the MBTA Commuter Rail.


* Boston: The project to make improvements to Commonwealth Ave between Boston University Bridge and Alcorn Street.

 

* Boston: The Massachusetts Avenue Bridge Replacement Project over Commonwealth Ave.

 

* Boston – Cambridge: The Longfellow Bridge Rehabilitation project.

 

* Boston – Chelsea: The project to resurface and make repairs to sections of the Maurice J. Tobin Memorial Bridge.

 

* Braintree: The bridge superstructure replacements of Route 3 over ramp to Thomas E. Burgin Parkway

 

* Canton – Norwood – Westwood: The Dedham Street/I-95 Interchange reconstruction including the rehabilitation/replacement of 5 bridges.

 

* Chelsea: The construction of the Silverline Gateway Busway and Bus Rapid Transit Stations and bridge replacement of Washington Ave over the MBTA Railroad.

 

* Dedham: The replacement of the Providence Highway (Route 1) bridge over Mother Brook.

 

* Dedham: The project to replace the bridge that carriers Needham Street over the Great Ditch.

 

* Needham – Wellesley: The project to add a travel lane on Route 95/Route 128.

 

* Quincy – Weymouth: The Fore River Bridge Replacement project.

 

* Wellesley: The project to conduct resurfacing work on Route 9.

 

* Weston: The project to make intersection improvements along Route 30 and Wellesley Street.

 

* Weymouth: The project to make intersection improvements and conduct related work to the intersection of Middle Street, Libbey Industrial Parkway and Tara Drive.


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Governor Charlie Baker Announces Kristen Lepore As New Chief of Staff, Appoints Michael Heffernan as A&F Secretary:

 

Boston, MA -- Today at a press conference from the Massachusetts State House, Governor Charlie Baker announced that Chief of Staff Steven Kadish will be leaving the Administration and will be succeeded by Secretary of Administration and Finance Kristen Lepore. Governor Baker also announced the appointment of Michael J. Heffernan, the current Commissioner of the Department of Revenue, to be the next Secretary of Administration and Finance. 

 

Kadish, 60, joined the Baker-Polito Administration during the 2015 transition and served as Chief of Staff  for two and a half years. During his time at the helm, Kadish has been recognized for his strong leadership skills and deep knowledge of state government that have resulted in notable progress for some of the administration’s biggest initiatives, such as reforming  the MBTA and establishing cultural reforms and transformations at the Department of Children and Families.

 

"Our administration and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have benefited tremendously from having Steve Kadish serve our administration over the past two and a half years and he will be sorely missed," said Governor Baker. "Steve is a natural leader and known problem-solver who will stop at nothing to do the right thing.  His warmth, his collaborative spirit, his sense of humor, and especially his determined focus on the people we serve each and every day, have made the Commonwealth a better place for everyone and we wish him the best in his future endeavors.

 

"What a true honor and a deep privilege it has been to serve this Governor, Lt. Governor, and the Commonwealth in this special capacity,” said Kadish. “I am continually humbled and grateful to work with Governor Baker who takes this responsibility so seriously with an indefatigable work ethic, intelligence and balance in service to our communities and to especially those who have less. I am confident that Secretary Lepore’s experience, wisdom and balance will support this administration in their service to the Commonwealth.”

 

Secretary Kristen Lepore joined the administration in 2015 and led the administration through the development of three  budgets  to bring fiscal responsibility to the Commonwealth while securing investments in public education, and infrastructure while delivering tax breaks to working families. Lepore and her team also worked collaboratively with legislators to close an inherited one billion dollar structural deficit, despite stagnant state tax revenue growth over the same period of time.

 

"As Secretary Lepore takes the reins, I am confident she will continue to be a driving force behind this administration’s most important successes. Her knowledge of every aspect of state government and thoughtfulness made her a great Secretary, and will make her a highly effective Chief of Staff," continued Governor Baker. "With her transition, I am pleased to appoint Commissioner Michael J. Heffernan as the new Secretary of Administration and Finance to continue the fiscally responsible practices in place now, while pursuing the investments  necessary to make every community a great place to live and work.”

 

"Steve Kadish is a devoted public servant and has done an incredible job serving the governor's office and supporting our talented cabinet in our efforts to make Massachusetts the best place to live and work," said Lt. Governor Polito. "He has left his mark on some of our biggest initiatives to make state government work better for our residents, and his kindness and passion will be missed by all.  We are thrilled to welcome Secretary Lepore into this role, and are confident she will hit the ground running to continue collaborating and working hard to support our team and the interests of the Commonwealth."

 

“Serving the people of Massachusetts is an honor and doing it alongside the Governor and Lieutenant Governor is tremendously rewarding. It was a dream come true to lead the Executive Office for Administration and Finance as Secretary, but I am grateful for the chance to once again move ‘down the hall’ to serve in my new role,” said Lepore. “I have learned a lot from working with Steve and will miss his daily presence but I will always value his friendship and professional advice. I am so incredibly honored to be following in his footsteps.”

 

“It has been an honor to work as the administration’s Commissioner for the Department of Revenue over the last fifteen months, and I am deeply humbled by the opportunity to continue working with the first-class team Secretary Lepore assembled in the Executive Office for Administration and Finance,” said Heffernan. “I am pleased to be succeeded at the Department of Revenue by Chris Harding, who is an exceptional manager with a firm grasp of what it will take to continue leading the Department’s talented staff.”

 

Chris Harding, the current Chief of Staff at the Department of Revenue, will become the Department’s Commissioner. All leadership changes will be effective August 14th.

 

About Secretary Kristen Lepore:

Kristen Lepore was sworn in as Secretary of the Executive Office for Administration and Finance (A&F) under Governor Charlie Baker in January 2015.  In her role, Secretary Lepore is in charge of formulating the governor’s budget plan, providing guidance on the economy, and implementing state government’s operating and capital budgets.  She also manages the state's administrative agencies, including revenue collection, information technology, human resources, procurement, and state facilities.

 

During her A&F tenure, Secretary Lepore has focused on bringing the state’s operating budget into structural balance by significantly reducing the use of one-time revenue, while building the state’s reserves, holding the line on new taxes and fees, and investing in critical priorities including local aid, education, substance misuse, workforce development and housing, and transportation. She has also reformed the Commonwealth’s capital investment plan to ensure a focus on maintaining and modernizing assets while targeting new investments, and she led the administration’s review of all Executive Branch regulations.

 

Prior to joining A&F, Secretary Lepore was Vice President of Government Affairs at Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM).  As Vice President, she was responsible for AIM’s health care agenda and advocated for policies to lower the cost of health care in Massachusetts.  She also worked on education and workforce development issues on behalf of the association. 

 

Immediately prior to joining AIM, she served as Policy Director on Charlie Baker’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign.  In addition, she was appointed by President Bush to serve as the New England regional representative for the U.S. Department of Education where she advocated the President’s education agenda.  Prior to her federal appointment, she served as Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Paul Cellucci; Director of Fiscal Policy for the Executive Office for Administration and Finance and Assistant Executive Director of the Massachusetts Port Authority.

 

Secretary Lepore holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Suffolk University and a master’s degree in public administration from Suffolk’s Sawyer School of Management.

 

About Commissioner Michael Heffernan:

Michael J. Heffernan serves as the Commissioner of the Department of Revenue for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Commissioner Heffernan is responsible for administrating the tax, child support, and municipal finance laws of the Bay State.

 

Heffernan spent nearly two decades at CitiGroup and its predecessor firm, Salomon Brothers as a managing director in its markets and banking division. He co-founded the tech startup Mobiquity in 2011, and previously worked with NatWest Markets and EF Hutton & Co.

 

Heffernan was candidate for Massachusetts state treasurer in 2014. He then served on Governor Charlie Baker’s transition team before being appointed to the Boards of MassPRIM and the MBTA Retirement fund in early 2015.

 

Heffernan holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Georgetown University, an MBA in finance from New York University, and an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School.

 

About Chris Harding:

Formerly Executive Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Business Development for Mobiquity, Inc, a Massachusetts based professional services firm focused on providing Enterprise Digital Consulting services to Fortune 1000 organizations, Mr. Harding can be characterized as a serial entrepreneur having either founded or been a key leader in a series of early and growth stage technology based firms.

 

In addition to formerly serving as President and CEO of Concordant, Inc. (North Chelmsford, MA – acquired by Arcadia in 2011) Mr. Harding has been a part of six other organizations in his 30 years in industry. The majority of his career has been spent in Massachusetts, including the past 18 years.

 

Mr. Harding’s responsibilities have consistently centered on driving his organization’s growth strategy highlighted through focused planning and execution. He is a proven leader with a long history of success having been a part of two IPO’s, raising venture capital on multiple occasions as well as other initiatives in direct support of his firm’s business objectives.

 

Mr. Harding is a graduate of Boston College and resides in Wellesley, MA with his wife of 24 years and their two children.

 

Mr. Harding serves on the Board of Laboure College in Milton, MA and formerly served on the Board of The Carney Hospital, Dorchester, MA for eight years.


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Governor Baker Signs Fiscal Year 2018 Budget:

 

Dedicates significant funding for local aid, education, and substance misuse services

 

Boston, MA -- Today Governor Charlie Baker signed the Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) budget into law, a $39.4 billion plan that supports on the Baker-Polito administration’s work to build stronger and safer communities, advance educational opportunities, promote economic development and workforce skills training, and invest in mental health and substance misuse services.

 

The FY18 budget responsibly keeps spending to 1.7% growth over Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17), in line with revenue growth projections and will result in a $98.4 million increase into the Stabilization Fund, bringing the Commonwealth’s reserves up to $1.4 billion, or nearly 30% higher than the start of the administration. It also reduces the reliance of one-time revenues for the third year in a row, down 90% from $1.2 billion in Fiscal Year 2015 to $125 million in FY18, and does not raise taxes or fees to balance the budget. 

 

“Our administration is committed to building stronger and safer communities in every corner of the Commonwealth and creating more opportunities for success,” said Governor Baker. “Despite slow revenue growth, this year’s budget contains historic investments for local schools, critical funding for our cities and towns, workforce development and programs to fight the opioid epidemic.  We are pleased to sign a budget that support the needs of our residents without raising taxes, and we thank our partners in the Legislature for their collaboration.”

 

The FY18 budget will raise Chapter 70 education aid to local schools to an all-time high of $4.747 billion, an increase of $119 million over FY17 and a $346 million increase since the administration took office. The budget also includes funding to support the largest rate increase in a decade for all early education and care programs for low-income families.

 

The FY18 plan marks the third consecutive year of unrestricted local aid increases since the Baker-Polito administration took office and provides a $40 million increase in FY18. The budget also supports Community Compact Cabinet related programs.  Chaired by Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, those programs promote best practices within the Commonwealth’s cities and towns and support efficiency and regionalization efforts. To date nearly 300 communities have participated in the program.

 

“This budget reinforces our commitment serving as a reliable partner for our cities and towns,” said Lt. Governor Polito. “The increases to local aid and education, as well as funding for Community Compact programs, will further strengthen our communities.”

 

As part of ongoing efforts to create a more sustainable MassHealth program, the administration is returning with amendment to the Legislature proposals from its comprehensive MassHealth reform package, which will protect taxpayer dollars while preserving the health care safety net for those who need it.

 

The administration is also filing a $94 million supplemental budget, as the conference committee report underfunds $198 M in unavoidable deficiencies, such as the Committee for Public Counsel Services, which is partially off-set by a $104 M reserve that addresses some but not all deficiencies.

 

“Despite modest tax revenue growth over the past three years, a trend many states are seeing, we have made significant progress towards reaching structural balance while building our reserves and making strategic investments in core services and priorities,” said Administration and Finance Secretary Kristen Lepore. “It is essential that the MassHealth package that we have returned with an amendment today be passed expeditiously to ensure the long-term sustainability of the MassHealth program and the state budget.”

 

The budget includes key funding to address the opioid addiction epidemic, including an increase at the Massachusetts Alcohol and Substance Abuse Center for 45 additional treatment beds for Section 35 civilly committed males and continued funding for 45 beds added for women’s addiction treatment services at Taunton State Hospital added in FY17. Nearly $150 million will be provided at the Department of Public Health for substance misuse services.

 

FY18 funding at the Department of Children and Families (DCF) will support the annualization of 450 new hires funded in FY17. Since taking office, the administration has increased funding at DCF by over $100 million.

 

As outlined in the Governor’s budget proposal in January, the FY18 plan includes a new annual $2,000 tax-credit for employers who hire an unemployed veteran for two years.  Language contained in the FY18 budget also updates to the $2,000 benefit for Gold Star Families to provide retroactive benefit payments.

 

The FY18 budget will support a new State Police Class of 145 recruits and will also support a new division of the State Police which will focus on homeland security, criminal intelligence, and counter-terrorism.

 

This year, a new program proposed by the administration, called Learn to Earn, will receive $1 million to provide employment and credentials for unemployed and underemployed individuals.  Also, the FY18 budget provides a $9.1 million increase, to a total $92.7 million, for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program including new standards to allow families to keep their vouchers as they grow their income.

 

The FY18 budget will provide a transfer of $127 million in operating funds to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), which combined with $60 million in new capital funding in the administration’s FY18 Capital Investment Plan, totals $187 million in state support for the MBTA over and above the $1 billion sales tax transfer.  In addition, a new law authorizes Pension Reserves Investment Management Board to manage the assets for MBTA retirees.

 

Key FY18 Budget Highlights:

Building Stronger and Safer Communities:

* An increase in Unrestricted Local Aid of $39.9 million, or 3.9%, to $1.062 billion

 

* $6.8 million for Community Compact related programs, in which nearly 300 communities have joined since its inception in 2015

 

* $6 million for Shannon Grants to support gang-prevention initiatives

 

* $3.5 million for a new State Police division focused on homeland security, criminal intelligence, and counter-terrorism

 

* $2.9 million for a new state police class of 145 recruits

 

Education:

* The highest-ever level for Chapter 70 education aid, $4.747 billion, an increase of $118.9 M (2.6%) over FY17 estimated spending

 

* At least a $30 per pupil increase for all 322 operating districts

 

* An increase of $25 million to be used as a down payment on the rising cost of health care for retirees

 

* $38.5 million for Early Education Care rate increases

 

Mental Health:

* $60 million for a new clinical care contract for Bridgewater State Hospital

 

* A $1.75 million increase for 45 additional Section 35 beds for men in MASAC Plymouth

 

Health and Human Services:

* A total of $185.3 million for substance misuse, not including MassHealth spending, an increase of over 50% since FY15

 

* $23.1 million for the Department of Developmental Services “Turning 22” Program, a $5.6 million increase

 

* A $9.8 million increase to support the annualization of 450 new hires at the Department of Children and Families

 

Veterans:

* A new $2,000 annual tax credit for companies with 100 or fewer employees that hire an unemployed veteran

 

* An update to the $2,000 benefit for Gold Star Families to provide retroactive benefit payments

 

Workforce Skills and Housing:

* Learn to Earn - $1 million for a new initiative to provide employment and credentials for unemployed and underemployed individuals

 

* A $9.1 million increase, to a total $92.7 million, for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program including new standards to allow families to keep their vouchers as they grow their income

 

Transportation:

* An transfer of $127 million in operating funds to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), which combined with $60 million in new capital funding in the administration’s FY18 Capital Investment Plan, totals $187 million in state support for the MBTA over and above the $1 billion sales tax transfer

 

* A new law authorizing Pension Reserves Investment Management Board to manage the assets for MBTA retirees

 

Link to FY18 Budget Documents and Supplemental Budget Filing

Link to FY18 Budget


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Baker-Polito Administration Awards $2.3 Million to Sustain Heroin and Opioid Crime Reduction Efforts:

 

Boston, MA --  The Baker-Polito Administration is awarding $2.3 million in a second round of competitive federal grants to help District Attorneys, Sheriffs, and other criminal justice agencies strengthen and enhance efforts to combat heroin and opioid abuse in Massachusetts, including prevention, intervention, diversion, enforcement and treatment.

 

“These law enforcement organizations have valuable experience in providing treatment to individuals looking to get back on their feet and work beyond their addiction,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We look forward to seeing them sustain the progress they are making in their communities, providing a powerful positive impact to those in need of recovery services.”

 

“I commend our District Attorneys and Sheriffs for their unwavering commitment to combatting the heroin and opioid crisis in the communities they serve,” said Lt. Governor Polito. “Their leadership and the innovative ideas and services developed through this grant funding are saving lives and changing them for the better.”

 

“The professionals of these law enforcement agencies are on the front lines of the opioid epidemic,” said Secretary Dan Bennett. “They have developed innovative approaches to dealing with this crisis, and the expertise and compassion they demonstrate each day are instrumental in changing lives for those afflicted in their communities.”  

 

A prior funding round has enabled:

* The Department of Parole to place 26 parolees in a residential treatment program.

 

* A Worcester County Overdose Response Initiative and pilot in the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office allowed Narcan to be administered to 69 individuals. Their caseload of 73 individuals all received services in the aftermath of an overdose.

 

* A pilot drug court program at the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office. In February of 2016 the first court opened; by March, two more had opened, and in October 2016 a fourth court opened.

 

* A Juvenile Justice Coordinator at the Essex County District Attorney’s Office enhanced their Drug Diversion program which 117 young adults have entered.

 

* A Worcester County Sheriff’s Office and Webster Resource Center partnership to provide services to 134 high risk probationers.

 

* The Department of Correction to add an additional 40 beds to their treatment plan, which reduced discipline reports for substance-abuse-related incidents by 22% over the past year. Treatment refusals are down 38% and the funded pilot treatment plan has resulted in 70% of graduates in stable housing one year following their release.

 

All proposals were required to include a law enforcement nexus and place a primary focus on targeting heroin and opioid abuse. The agencies receiving a grant award from the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security under the “Heroin and Opioid Crime Reduction State Initiative” are as follows:

 

Agency Award Amount Focus
Barnstable County Sheriff's Department $178,841.00 treatment
Berkshire County Sheriff's Office $108,657.00 treatment
Bristol County Sheriff's Office $237,820.00 treatment
Essex County District Attorney's Office $83,895.00 prevent/diversion
Essex County Sheriff's Department $157,134.00 treatment
Franklin County Sheriff's Department $133,000.00 treatment
Hampden County Sheriff's Department $188,837.00 diversion
Hampshire County Sheriff's Department $120,812.00 treatment
Massachusetts Department of Correction $115,000.00 treatment
Massachusetts Parole Board $136,609.00 treatment
Massachusetts State Police Department $46,000.00 treatment
Middlesex County Sheriff's Office $139,647.00 treatment
Norfolk County District Attorney's Office $39,310.00 prevention
Norfolk County Sheriff's Department $112,882.00 treatment
Northwestern District Attorney's Office $86,860.00 diversion
Plymouth County District Attorney's Office $165,883.25 prevention
Worcester County District Attorney's Office $105,981.00 treatment
Worcester County Sheriff's Department $189,968.00 diversion
Total Applicants 18 $2,347,136.25

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Governor Baker Addresses Commonwealth's Commitment to Growth in Life Sciences:

 

BIO International Convention To Be Hosted In Massachusetts in 2018

 

San Diego, CA -- Today, Governor Charlie Baker addressed the 2017 BIO International Convention to reinforce the administration’s commitment to the life sciences sector as tech and innovation firms around the globe look to expand. Governor Baker also welcomed attendees to the 2018 BIO International Convention, that will be hosted in Boston next June.

 

Earlier this week, the Baker-Polito Administration announced a proposal to build upon Massachusetts’ success and leadership in the life sciences sector by providing up to $500 million over five years for strategic investments in public infrastructure, research and development, workforce training and education.

 

The convention is hosted by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) which represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.

 

For audio of the Governor’s remarks, please click here.


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If You See Something, Say Something Campaign: Summer of 2017:

 

Jimmy Hui, President/Chief Executive Officer at The Jimmy Hui Foundation office would like to wish you and your family to have a wonderful summer season in the order to enjoy a beautiful weather such as: bright sunshine and blue skies right here in the City of Quincy.

 

As for the school year comes to an end here in the City of Quincy, the North Quincy Nights Strategic Response Unit will be working very closely with our partners from: Quincy College, Eastern Nazarene College, Quincy Public Schools, Quincy Police Department, Quincy Fire Department, Brewster Ambulance, Quincy Recreation Department, MBTA Transit Police Department, Massachusetts State Police Department and the MBTA throughout the day and night during this summer season.

 

We are extremely encouraging the residents, persons with disabilities, citizens and the public should be remain in the vigilant where you are surrounding in the public places: restaurants, hotels, churches, stores and/or medical facilities or public transit areas on this busy street intersections, public parks or playgrounds or on the school grounds from Quincy Public Schools, Quincy College or Eastern Nazarene College to report for any suspicious activities or packages, please contact the law enforcement agencies immediately by dial 911 for an emergency number so that we will send our law enforcement officer will dispatched and responded as quickly as possible in the event of emergency situation in all across the citywide here in the City of Quincy.

 

This summer season, we wanted to keep the City of Quincy safe environment in our neighborhoods and keep the peace as long as we want to be treat a good neighbor, a good citizen and a good Samaritan in our community.

 

Our School Resource Officers from Quincy Police Department will be provide a full coverage of the summer program to assist with the Quincy Public Schools, Quincy Recreation Department and South Shore YMCA for an additional public safety efforts to keep our youths and teens safe in all across the citywide throughout the day here in the City of Quincy.

 

Here's the contact number and e-mail address directory:

Quincy Police Department: DARE Division

Officer John Grazioso: (617) 745-5735 or jgrazioso@quincyma.gov

Officer Don Sautter: (617) 745-5735 or dsautter@quincyma.gov

 

Quincy Police Department: Community Policing Unit:

Lieutenant Robert Bina, Supervisor: (617) 770-4993 or rbina@quincyma.gov

Officer Roger White (Quincy Square): (857) 342-0523 or rwhite@quincyma.gov

Officer Bill Mitchell (Ward 1): (617) 594-2082 or wmitchell@quincyma.gov

Officer Matthew Miller (Ward 2): (617) 594-2070 or mmiller@quincyma.gov

Officer Timothy Simmons (Ward 3): (339) 235-6662 or tsimmons@quincyma.gov

Officer Jimmie Whedbee (Ward 4): (617) 483-0599 jwhedbee@quincyma.gov

Officer Jim Silcox (Ward 5): (339) 237-1575 or jsilcox@quincyma.gov

Officer Greg Mar (Ward 6): (617) 594-2028 or gmar@quincyma.gov

 

Quincy Police Department: School Resource Officers:

Officer Gregg Hartnett (Middle Schools): ghartnett@quincyma.gov

Officer Steve Burgio (Quincy High School): sburgio@quincyma.gov

Officer Paul Holland (North Quincy High School): pholland@quincyma.gov

 

Quincy Public Schools Security Department: Summer Program of 2017:

Michael Draicchio, Director of Safety, Security and Transportation: michaeldraicchio@quincypublicschools.com

 

North Quincy High School Security Officers:

Sheila Calabro, Security Officer: sheilacalabro@quincypublicschools.com

Rick Palumbo, Security Officer: richardpalumbo@quincypublicschools.com

Kevin Keith, Security Officer: kevinkeith@quincypublicschools.com

John Hyacinthe, Security Officer: johnhyacinthe@quincypublicschools.com

Jake Mullaney, Security Officer: jakemullaney@quincypublicschools.com

 

Quincy High School Security Officers:

Steve McGowan, Security Officer: stephenmcgowan@quincypublicschools.com

Tom McInnis, Security Officer: thomasmcinnis@quincypublicschools.com

Joseph Mulvey, Security Officer: josephmulvey@quincypublicschools.com

Mark Spendlove, Security Officer: markspendlove@quincypublicschools.com

 

Please enjoy for the rest of this summer adventures in all across the citywide and have a good time to visit the home of the City of Presidents in our wonderful city that we love!


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Driver & Pedestrian Safety Public Service Announcements:

 

Mayor Tom Koch, The Quincy Police Department and The Quincy Community Access Television have partnered to produce a series of Public Service Announcements addressing both driver and pedestrian safety issues across the City of Quincy. These video PSA's will be released each Wednesday, over the next 5 weeks on the City of Quincy's website (www.quincyma.gov), the Quincy Police Department homepage within the city's site, Quincy Community Access Television and all associated Social Media platforms. These PSA's will address issues such as, bicycle safety, school zone safety, emergency vehicle procedures, crosswalk signals, pedestrian awareness safety, distracted driving, mobile phone use and more. All 10 video PSA's are hosted by Quincy Police Officer Paul Coughlin.

 

Mayor Koch commented on the motivation for producing the PSA's stating, "Improving safety for pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers is a major priority for us a City of Quincy, and education is a key element of that. We hope these public service announcements will get people thinking about their surroundings whether they are walking, riding on a bike or in a car."

 

Quincy's Chief of Police Paul Keenan added, "As Chief of Police, I am dedicated to making the City of Quincy a better and safer place for all the thousands of people who live, work or visit this great city. It is important as a City of Quincy that we provide and allow safe and convenient transportation choices whether it's walking, riding or driving. Motorists, pedestrians and bicyclist should practice their due diligence to follow the rules of the road by obeying all traffic signs, signals, crosswalks and lane markings to ensure everyone stays safe. We can enforce the laws and give advice, but ultimately, it's the people of this City of Quincy who must help us by doing their part to keep themselves and others safe from accidents. As we head toward the warmer months of the year, it is my hope that by educating the public on safety, we reduce the number of pedestrian and bicycle accidents in our great City of Quincy."

 

Quincy Community Access Television, Executive Director; Elizabeth Campbell remarked, "One of the roles of Quincy Access Television in the community is to inform and educate the citizens on issues pertaining to their well-being. We take our role seriously and partner with many organizations to achieve our mission. The following public service announcements, produced in cooperation with the Mayor's office and the Quincy Police Department, reflect the philosophy and commitment of all the participants towards making Quincy a peaceful and safer place to live."

 

The first 2 video PSA's being released today are primarily focused on bicycle safety and school zone procedures.

 

Video #1: Click here for Quincy Police Department Bicycle Safety PSA

 

Video #2: Click here for Quincy Police Department School Zones PSA


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Baker-Polito Administration Celebrates Opening of Boston Landing Station:

 

$20-million commuter rail station to serve Allston-Brighton community, Framingham/Worcester Line

 

Boston, MA -- The Baker-Polito Administration, state transit and local elected officials, and New Balance executives today celebrated the ribbon-cutting of the new $20-million Boston Landing Commuter Rail Station, privately financed by New Balance, and restoring commuter rail service to the Allston-Brighton community for the first time since the 1960s, effective for riders on Monday, May 22.

 

The ceremony was attended by Governor Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack, MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board Members Steven Poftak and Monica Tibbits-Nutt, MBTA Chief Administrator and Acting General Manager Brian Shortsleeve, MBTA Chief Operating Officer Jeff Gonneville, Keolis Commuter Services General Manager and CEO David Scorey, Representative Michael Moran, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, New Balance Chairman Jim Davis, and other state and local officials and private partner executives.

 

“The opening of Boston Landing Station highlights a successful collaboration between the state, city, and New Balance to expand development and transit opportunities for the Allston-Brighton community,” said Governor Baker. “Rewarding projects such as this one spur local economic development and community growth as we continue to prioritize investments that make our public transit system more reliable for riders.”

 

The station, located adjacent to the Massachusetts Turnpike on Guest Street, will be the seventeenth on the MBTA Framingham/Worcester Commuter Rail Line, which has undergone additional infrastructure improvements, including restored double-tracking and the replacement of more than 50,000 rail ties, to increase performance reliability and reduce heat-related speed restrictions. The MBTA's private Commuter Rail operator and partner Keolis Commuter Services helps to identify infrastructure upgrades and implements many of these enhancements throughout the network in close coordination with the MBTA.

 

“Strong public and private partnerships are working together to improve reliability and transit options for the communities served by this line and the whole system,” said Lieutenant Governor Polito. “The addition of Boston Landing Station, along with infrastructure and schedule improvements, will help deliver greater performance for residents and employees of this neighborhood, and all along the Framingham/Worcester Line.”

 

Construction of the $20-million station began in October 2015 and was financed by New Balance, who will continue to pay for all maintenance costs of the station for the first ten years of its service. A successful example of public-private partnerships and transit-oriented development, Boston Landing Station comes as part of the 15-acre, 2.15 million square foot Boston Landing Development site, which will at full build-out include new office, lab, retail, restaurant and open space, a 295-unit mixed-use residential complex, a 175-room hotel and the practice facilities of the Boston Bruins and Boston Celtics. Significant improvements to local public roadway and infrastructure are also planned.

 

“We are extremely proud that Boston Landing Station will now provide a vital transportation link for Boston Landing and our Allston-Brighton neighborhood with Boston and key points westward,” said Chairman of New Balance Athletics, Inc., Davis. “We hope Boston Landing will serve as a model for future public-private partnerships with the Commonwealth to help drive economic development and improve the transportation infrastructure for our state’s citizens and visitors.”

 

“Skanska is proud to have served NB Development and the MBTA to construct the new Boston Landing train station, and to deliver sustainable, efficient infrastructure that matches the aesthetic appeal of New Balance’s world headquarters campus,” said Vice President of Operations at Skanska USA Paul Pedini, who leads the firm’s civil practice throughout New England. “Unique to construction companies in the Boston marketplace, we were able to combine our complex building management capabilities and MBTA-pre-qualified self-perform heavy civil expertise to safely complete this project, while facilitating the commuter and freight rail needs of the Framingham/Worcester Line.”

 

“MBTA and MassDOT, with the support of Governor Baker and Lieutenant Governor Polito, are committed to collaborating with external partners such as New Balance in order to provide the public with transit options,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Pollack. “Boston Landing Station is an example of a private-public partnership that will generate jobs, encourage mass transit use, and serve as a catalyst for more economic activity in this neighborhood.”

 

“As Boston continues to grow and thrive, we need transportation that matches our City’s needs,” said Mayor Walsh. “Boston Landing is a big step for transportation in our City, and a big day for Allston-Brighton. I'd like to thank the Commonwealth and New Balance for making this public-private partnership possible.” 

 

The station features a high-level, canopied single platform centered between the eastbound and westbound tracks and includes accessible, redundant elevators and ramps. The Station is designed to provide easy access for employees, visitors, and residents of the Boston Landing development and surrounding Allston-Brighton neighborhood.

 

“We’re excited for the completion of Boston Landing Station and to open it to the Allston-Brighton community,” said MBTA Acting General Manager Shortsleeve. “Through this public-private partnership and the use of pre-existing rail infrastructure, we’re able to provide a new transit option that makes it easier than ever for people to travel to and from downtown Boston.”

 

“Boston Landing is the latest example of how public-private partnerships can enhance the Commuter Rail offering for our passengers and benefit the community,” said Keolis Commuter Services General Manager and CEO Scorey. “Together with the MBTA, we look forward to continuing to dedicate resources and time to further improve both reliability and convenience. This includes initiatives such as the creation of this new station and other improvements and upgrades across the network that will help make the Commuter Rail an even more attractive option for people in the greater Boston area.”

 

Six morning peak hour inbound trains and six afternoon peak hour outbound trains will stop at Boston Landing Station Monday through Friday and trains running on Saturday and Sunday will make station stops. Trips between Boston Landing and South Station are a Zone 1A fare, $2.25 for a one-way ticket and $84.50 for a monthly pass. 

 

For more information on Boston Landing Station and the Framingham/Worcester Line, please visit mbta.com.


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Governor Baker, House Speaker DeLeo and Senate President Rosenberg Declare June as LGBT Pride Month:

 

Boston, MA -- Today, Governor Charlie Baker, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Stan Rosenberg declared June as LGBT Pride Month in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. LGBT Pride Month celebrates the impact and contributions that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals and their allies have had on Massachusetts’ rich and diverse history and culture.

 

“Massachusetts is proud to be a welcoming state and a champion for supporting equal rights of all of our citizens across the Commonwealth,” said Governor Baker. “Along with our administration and our colleagues in the legislature, we are pleased to declare June as Pride Month to celebrate the LGBT community and its allies.”

 

“By commemorating June as LGBT Pride Month, Massachusetts is proud to celebrate the LGBT community who have fought for justice and equality,” said Lt. Governor Polito. “This proclamation represents a statement of unity from our administration and the Legislature as the Commonwealth reflects on the progress made on diversity and civil rights.”

 

“Pride Month is an invaluable opportunity to recognize the gains we’ve made in ensuring civil rights and to celebrate LGBTQ culture, while reflecting on the work ahead of us,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop). “I thank all involved in Massachusetts Pride Month for their tireless work in the pursuit of justice and solidarity.”

 

“As a member of the LGBT community I am grateful and proud to live in a state that recognizes and celebrates the diversity of the human family,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst). “Nothing is more precious than to live freely and without fear in an accepting community. Thank you to the people of Massachusetts for making that possible for me and countless others.

 

"From its earliest days as a courageous act of resistance to the revelry that will fill the streets this weekend, Pride honors how very far we've come -- while marking the work left undone,” said Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro). “Too many LGBTQ people still face fear, isolation, and hardship. Yet many more LGBTQ people are affirmed and thrive thanks to the legacy of 'out' pioneers and allies, like those who led the way right here in Massachusetts. Let Pride Month remind all of us -- LGBTQ or otherwise -- to celebrate resilience, creativity, disruption, freedom, and love."

 

“It is important that we recognize the great strides we have made in the name of equality for all our citizens, especially among our LGBTQ community,” said Senator Richard Ross (R-Wrentham).

 

“Pride Month represents an opportunity to both recognize and celebrate the hard-fought rights achieved by LGBT individuals, as well as to remind us there is still more progress to be made in ensuring full equality,” said Representative Kate Hogan (D-Stow). “As our President wavers on recognizing this important tradition, I couldn’t be prouder that Massachusetts has been - and continues to be - a leader nationwide in welcoming and supporting our community.”

 

“I wish to thank Governor Baker and Lieutenant Governor Polito for this Proclamation declaring June as Pride Month,” said Representative Sarah K. Peake (D-Provincetown). “This reinforces what we know to be true, that Massachusetts celebrates diversity and is made stronger because of it. Now more than ever, this statement is an important affirmation of our shared values. As a member of the LGBT Community, I am personally grateful to the administration for speaking out in support of our community and for using this strong statement as we celebrate Pride Month in Massachusetts.”

 

"I am proud to join the Baker-Polito Administration and my colleagues in the legislature in declaring June as Pride Month to celebrate the LGBT community. Here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, we respect and appreciate diversity and the civil rights of all our citizens," said Representative Susannah Whipps (R-Athol).

 

“We recognize Pride month as both a celebration of resiliency and a call to action, rooted in the legacy of the Stonewall riots and more,” said Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth Chair Michel Anteby. “As the Commission honors the long history of LGBTQ youth movements in Massachusetts, we are determined to push forward with the unfinished work of building a Commonwealth where all LGBTQ youth thrive.”

 

In 2004, Massachusetts became the first state in the nation to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Last year, Governor Charlie Baker signed into law, An Act relative to transgender anti-discrimination, to extend protections against discrimination for gender identity to any place of public accommodation, with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) adopting regulations or policies to enforce its provisions.


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Baker-Polito Administration Announces Transition at Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development:

 

Secretary Walker to depart, Rosalin Acosta named incoming Secretary effective July 1st.

 

Boston, MA -- Today, Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito announced the upcoming departure of Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald L. Walker, II, and introduced Rosalin Acosta, a financial and banking service professional with over thirty years of experience, as incoming Secretary, effective July 1st.

 

“Since taking office, we have been committed to growing Massachusetts’ economy, creating jobs and ensuring our workforce has the opportunity to gain the skills and education necessary to meet the demands of employers today and into the future,” said Governor Baker. “Our success in doing so is a testament to the Commonwealth’s already highly-skilled and educated workforce, and Secretary Walker’s ability to empower employers, educators and advocates to collaborate. We are grateful for Ron’s strong contributions and efforts to lead the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development and wish him well in his future endeavors.  Our administration welcomes Rosalin to pick up where he left off, bringing her devotion and experience to the cabinet to make Massachusetts’ communities stronger.”

 

“Across the Commonwealth’s cities and towns, employers and educators are communicating and collaborating at a deeper level on regional strategies for workforce development and economic growth thanks to Ron’s leadership and his hard work on important initiatives like the Workforce Skills Cabinet,” said Lt. Governor Polito. “We welcome Rosalin’s experience and passion for community and public service as she joins the administration and begins her work to continue bolstering Massachusetts’ workforce.”

 

Under Secretary Walker’s management, the Baker-Polito Administration has made many advancements in the development of the Commonwealth’s labor workforce, including a focus on addressing the workforce skills gap and investing in equipment and capacity building for training programs which included:

 

* Established the Workforce Skills Cabinet under the leadership of the Secretaries of Labor and Workforce Development, Housing and Economic Development and Education, and the task force to address Economic Opportunity for Populations Facing Chronically High Rates of Unemployment to develop recommendations and implement strategy for bridging the gap in employers’ demand for skilled workers and the training for residents to obtain successful careers, especially among chronically unemployed or underemployed populations.

 

* Established the Workforce Skills Capital Grant Program, which as of this afternoon will have awarded over $26 million to 67 different vocational schools, community colleges and traditional public high schools to purchase vocational technical equipment and expand skills training programs for careers in growing industries. This included economic development legislation signed by Governor Baker last legislative session authorizing $45 million for the program over three years.

 

* Developed and passed legislation establishing and streamlining the Massachusetts Workforce Development Board to meet federal requirements and advise the administration on improving the public workforce system and aligning policies to strengthen regional economies.

 

* Modernized the Department of Unemployment Assistance to help improve services for the unemployed, including bringing down wait times for assistance, significantly reducing the backlogs of claims, improving customer service, and catalyzing programs into federal compliance for the first time in 10 years.

 

* Created a new Regional Planning Initiative aimed at addressing the skills gap by bringing together regional teams of employers, educators, and workforce and economic development professionals to create a statewide blueprint for growth strategies across every region of the Commonwealth, and $2 million in support for 14 regional partnerships preparing unemployed or underemployed residents.

 

* Awarded over $37 million in Workforce Training Fund Program grants to advance the job skills of 28,934 of Massachusetts’ workers.

 

* Secured over $9 million in federal funding to increase apprenticeships in education and healthcare and improve job opportunities for women, minorities, lower-income populations, those with disabilities and the unemployed.

 

* Launched an Opioid Alternative Pathway pilot with the Executive Office of Health and Human Services to help injured workers who have settled workers’ compensation claims coordinate alternative pain management treatment, aimed at limiting the use of opioids or other narcotics.

 

During Secretary Walker’s tenure the unemployment rate has dropped from 5.1% to 3.9%, 142,300 jobs have been added to the economy, unemployment has been reduced by 41,302 residents, and today the Massachusetts labor force is the largest it has ever been since they began taking records in 1976.

 

“It has been one of the great honors of my life to serve the Commonwealth and the Baker-Polito administration. I’m particularly proud of our efforts to improve services for the unemployed and address the workforce skills gap” said Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald L. Walker, II. “Ensuring that employers have access to a talented workforce, and that employees have the skills they need to get a good paying job in the new economy, is of vital to the welfare of Massachusetts. I have every confidence in Rosalin’s unique ability to take the Baker-Administration’s modernization efforts at the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development to the next level.”

 

“I am honored by the opportunity Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito have extended to me to join this administration, serve the Commonwealth and build on the progress that has been made thus far under Secretary Walker’s stewardship,” said incoming Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta. “I look forward to working with the dedicated public servants throughout the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, its agencies and advising bodies to advance the development and strength of Massachusetts’ workforce.”

 

About Rosalin Acosta:

Rosalin Acosta recently stepped down as the Senior Vice President and Managing Director for Enterprise Wealth Management at Enterprise Bank in Lowell, where she oversaw the operations of the bank’s Wealth Management and Brokerage divisions since 2013. A widely respected financial and banking service professional with over thirty years of experience in Greater Boston financial institutions, Acosta has also worked in senior executive roles at TD Bank and Sovereign Bank (now Santander). Acosta serves in many community and civic capacities, including as a Board Member of The Boston Foundation, a Board Overseer at Boston Children’s Hospital since 2009, where she was a founding member of Milagros Para Ninos, and a 14-year Member of the Boston Chapter of the Association of Latino Professionals For America (ALPFA). Acosta is a Director and Planning Member of the Merrimack Valley Workforce Investment Board and was appointed a Northern Essex Community College Trustee by Governor Baker in 2016. Acosta has been named one of Boston’s Most Influential Women by the Women of Harvard Club in 2014, where she serves on the Leadership Committee, and El Planeta’s Top 100 Most Influential Hispanics in Massachusetts for three consecutive years. Born in Cuba, Acosta earned a Bachelor of Arts from Wesleyan University in Connecticut where she was a member of the Women’s Varsity Ice Hockey Team. She is the proud mother of five children and an avid traveler, runner and cyclist.


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Baker-Polito Administration Proposes State IT Infrastructure and Security Modernization:

 

Legislation reorganizes the service, delivery and security of information technology through MassIT under streamlined secretariat of Technology Services and Security.

 

Boston, MA -- Today, the Baker-Polito Administration filed legislation to modernize and secure the Commonwealth’s information technology (IT) infrastructure and services, re-establishing the Massachusetts Office of Information Technology (MassIT) as the Executive Office of Technology Services & Security (EOTSS). Led by a Secretary of Technology, EOTSS will centralize IT infrastructure service across the executive department and review and update policies and procedures governing state cyber security, digital platforms and data management.

 

“The pace of technology innovation is accelerating, led by many of the world-class IT and cyber security organizations that call Massachusetts home,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “To better serve our constituents and secure their information, we are pleased to file legislation elevating the mission of MassIT and streamlining the digital platforms and services state government provides.”

 

“This legislation will help simplify IT management and allow agencies to focus on improving their delivery of services to constituents,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Creating the Executive Office of Technology Services & Security will support the Commonwealth’s continued focus on providing constituents and state workers with modern, secure, and stable technologies.”

 

“EOTSS will drive an enterprise approach to our technology architecture and procurement, making the Commonwealth more secure and efficient,” said MassIT Executive Director Mark Nunnelly. “By concentrating on infrastructure and architecture, EOTSS will enable the rest of the executive office to focus on constituent service.”

 

As with any large operation, the Commonwealth must continually protect against threats to its digital infrastructure and empowering EOTSS to strengthen the executive department’s digital operations through standardization and centralization will help reduce overall risks.  State governments across the country have engaged in similar efforts to standardize and consolidate technology assets in recent years, resulting in increased efficiency and security.  Governor Baker filed the proposal under Article 87 of the Massachusetts Constitution, which authorizes reorganization of executive branch agencies and requires a legislative hearing within thirty days of filing.


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Baker-Polito Administration and City of Boston Announce Historic Tuition-Free College Program:

 

Tuition-Free Pilot Program launched for 2017 High School Graduates in Boston through City-State Partnership

 

Boston, MA -- Governor Charlie Baker and Mayor Martin J. Walsh today launched a new college affordability pilot program for Boston high school graduates, which will enable low-income students to complete a four-year degree without having to pay tuition and mandatory fees.

 

The new pilot program, known as The Boston Bridge, will be open to all 2017 high school graduates who live in the City of Boston, including students from Boston Public School, charters and parochial schools.

 

The City of Boston and the Commonwealth together will cover students’ tuition and fees, after taking into account federal Pell grants, from the time a student enters community college to when they graduate from a four-year public college or university.

 

The new tuition-free college program builds on the City of Boston’s Tuition Free Community College initiative, and the state’s Commonwealth Commitment, both launched in the spring of 2016.  The City’s Tuition Free Community College program currently provides free tuition to low-income BPS graduates who attend Bunker Hill Community College, Mass Bay Community College or Roxbury Community College. The Commonwealth Commitment offers deeply discounted tuition and fees to Massachusetts residents who earn a Bachelors’ degree at any public four-year institution after first earning an Associates’ degree at any one of the state’s community colleges, while maintaining a 3.0 grade point average and graduating within four-and-a-half years. Through this partnership, students from Boston who qualify to participate in the Commonwealth Commitment will not have to pay tuition or mandatory fees to earn their Bachelor’s degrees.

 

“College affordability too often serves as a barrier for students in the Commonwealth seeking to complete a degree, and this program is intended to provide more opportunities for a quality education,” Governor Baker said. “We are pleased to partner with the City of Boston on this important pilot and will keep pursuing ways, like the Commonwealth Commitment, to create a runway for all students to get a quality and affordable education that can unlock a bright future.”

 

College students who go to school full-time in Massachusetts earn degrees at more than twice the rate of their peers who go part-time, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Center. Nationally, fewer than 20 percent of Pell-eligible college students earn a bachelor’s degree within six years, and for first-generation college-goers, the number falls to 11 percent, according to the Pell Institute.

 

“This is an exciting partnership between the City of Boston and the Commonwealth that we hope will change the lives of many Boston high school graduates,” Lt. Governor Karyn Polito said.

 

“Since launching our program in 2016, we have helped fifty Boston Public Schools graduates attend community college,” Mayor Walsh said. “As we come up on the end of the second semester, 94% of those students are on track to finish the first year and 73% have earned transferable credits. We are also pleased that 16 of our students are from Madison Park Technical Vocational High School. This partnership means that a free bachelor’s degree is within reach for all of Boston’s low-income high school students.”

 

Eligible students must meet federal Pell grant income standards to qualify for the tuition-free program, and must enroll full-time at either Bunker Hill Community College, Roxbury Community College, or Mass Bay Community College. They will be required to complete their associate’s degree within two-and-a half years, before transferring to a Massachusetts public college or state university.

 

“We hope this college affordability program will create a powerful incentive for more students to attend college full-time and complete on-time,” Education Secretary James Peyser said. “The Baker-Polito Administration is very pleased to partner with Mayor Walsh to offer this program for all low-income Boston high school graduates.”

 

“We built The Boston Bridge to take students all the way from high school to college commencement,” said Commissioner of Higher Education Carlos Santiago. “Our message to students is clear – If you commit the time and do the work, we’ll be beside you every step of the way to help you complete your college journey while avoiding burdensome debt.”

 

"Our core mission at the Boston Public Schools is closing opportunity and achievements gaps,” Superintendent Tommy Chang said. “Expanding this program will help ensure that this crucial effort extends well beyond our schools. By providing our most underserved students access to a debt-free college education, we are opening up doors that might have been closed to them due to the heavy financial burdens of getting a four-year degree.”

 

Students who enroll in The Boston Bridge must major in one of the Mass Transfer pathways, which ensures that credits earned in any community college are accepted at any public four-year institution.

 

While students attend community college, the City of Boston will cover the costs for tuition and mandatory fees, after taking into account Pell grants and discounts and credits from the Commonwealth Commitment program. Once a student earns an associate degree, they can transfer to a Massachusetts public college or university to complete their bachelor’s degree within two years. While they are enrolled in a public four-year institution, the City and the Commonwealth together will cover the costs for tuition and mandatory fees, excluding room and board.

 

Importantly, The Boston Bridge will also leverage the resources of the Success Boston College Completion Initiative, which supports students in getting to and through college by engaging a network of non-profit and business partners to coach, mentor, and employ thousands of first-generation college-goers.  According to a recent study by Abt Associates, Success Boston has helped to raise the college completion rates of BPS graduates to over 50 percent.

 

Background:

City of Boston Tuition Free Community College (TFCC): In April 2016, Mayor Walsh’s office launched Tuition Free Community College for Boston Public School students. It is run through the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development, with support from the City’s Neighborhood Jobs Trust.

 

Tuition Free Community College pays for up to three years of tuition and mandatory fees for income-eligible graduates of Boston Public Schools. Students can attend Roxbury, Bunker Hill and Mass Bay community colleges.

 

As of March 2017, 50 students were enrolled in TFCC, with 94% completing their first semester of community college. Of that group, 73% earned college credits they can transfer to a four-year institution.

 

Commonwealth Commitment: In the spring of 2016, the Baker-Polito Administration launched Commonwealth Commitment, providing community college graduates who transfer to a state college or university discounts, rebates, and a freeze on all mandatory student charges. Students who complete their bachelors’ degree within 4 1/2 years, while maintaining a 3.0 GPA, can see a savings of 40% or more on the typical sticker price for a four-year degree. As of April 2017, 80 students statewide are enrolled in Commonwealth Commitment.


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Baker-Polito Administration Authorizes MBTA Control Board Extension, Board and Staffing Transitions Announced To Continue Reform Momentum:

 

Effective July 1st, Acting GM Shortsleeve to step down and join FMCB, as Vice-Chair Poftak temporarily steps down to serve as Interim GM.

 

Boston, MA -- Acting to maintain momentum toward improving the MBTA for riders, Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack today announced that the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB) will extend its governance by two years as allowed under authorizing statute.

 

Personnel and board changes, were also announced as the MBTA continues its search for a permanent CEO and General Manager.

 

Effective July 1st:

* MBTA Acting GM and Chief Administrator Brian Shortsleeve will vacate both positions and join the FMCB.

 

* FMCB Vice-Chair Steve Poftak will temporarily vacate his board position to serve as Interim GM.

 

* MBTA Chief Operating Officer (COO) Jeffrey Gonneville will be promoted to Deputy GM.

 

* MBTA Chief Financial Officer Michael Abramo will be promoted to Chief Administrative Officer.

 

Effective at a future date upon the hiring of a permanent GM:

* FMCB Member Lisa Calise will vacate her seat to focus on new job at UMASS, when Vice-Chair Steve Poftak will rejoin the board.

 

“In the last two years, the FMCB has made measured and substantial progress on reform and investments in our public transit system to deliver a more reliable service for riders,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are grateful to Brian Shortsleeve, Lisa Calise, Steve Poftak and the other Board Directors, Joe Aiello, Monica Tibbits-Nut and Brian Lang, MBTA management and staff for their service, and look forward to having their continued direction. As the MBTA nears the hiring of a permanent CEO and GM who can cement its turnaround, we are confident the T will have the knowledge, skills and resources to continue making successful improvements to service and performance.”

 

Comprehensive and bipartisan transportation reform legislation first proposed and later signed by Governor Baker in the wake of the T’s collapse in the winter of 2015, authorized the FMCB for an initial three-year term that would have expired in June 2018. In February, Governor Baker recommended the board request the two-year extension of its term as allowed by statute and is today approving their request to extend its governance through June 30, 2020.

 

“We are proud of the work that has been done under the leadership of Brian and the hardworking members of the FMCB and look forward to the progress they will continue to make before handing the reins to a new GM,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “The achieved cost savings and investments being made in core infrastructure are resulting in a system riders can more readily count on to safely get to work, school or wherever they may need to go.”

 

Secretary Pollack enlisted the assistance of a GM Search Advisory Panel and an executive search firm for a permanent MBTA CEO and GM, which she will name pending final candidate interviews and a selection which are in their final stages. Today, the Secretary also announced the promotions of MBTA Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey Gonneville and MBTA Chief Financial Officer Michael Abramo.

 

“We are pleased to have the interest of several experienced professionals and hope to make a decision soon on the next leader and chief executive who can lead the next stage of the MBTA’s transformation into a world class public transit system,” said Secretary Pollack. “We thank Brian for his service and look forward to continuing to work with him as a board member, and Steve for putting his experience to work in this interim capacity before he returns to the board. The MBTA, Steve and new GM will be well-served by the expertise of Jeff Gonneville and Mike Abramo in their elevated roles.

 

Under the leadership of the FMCB and Shortsleeve over the last two years, the MBTA has made progress to get its fiscal affairs in order, reducing a projected Fiscal Year 2018 operating budget deficit of $335 million to $30 million and improving T management in ways that are already enhancing the rider experience. Operating expense growth has been curbed to the lowest amount in 15 years, and Shortsleeve collaboratively worked with the MBTA’s largest union, the Boston Carmen’s Union Local 589, to reopen negotiations on its collective bargaining agreement to save $80 million over the next four years and over $750 million over the next 25 years. The MBTA is spending $675 million in savings and capital investments this year on system-wide upgrades and improvements to the state of good repair, a 59% increase over FY’ 2016 capital spending.

 

A focus on core infrastructure investments and $100 million in winter resiliency improvements have seen the installation of 23.5 new miles of third rail, 21.5 miles of new heating infrastructure and 3,600 linear feet of snow fencing along the Red and Orange Lines. Capital investments in fleet vehicles will see the delivery of 375 new busses by this fall, and 252 new Red Line cars and 152 new Orange Line cars in the future.

 

“With strong support from Governor Baker, Secretary Pollack and the FMCB, we have made significant progress in reducing the operating deficit and accelerating the capital spending that is necessary to improve service across the transit system,” said Shortsleeve. “I look forward to assuming my new role as an FMCB director, and helping to keep the MBTA on a path to long term financial stability.”

 

FMCB Vice-Chair Steve Poftak will vacate his position on the board temporarily and be replaced by Brian Shortsleeve. Poftak will rejoin the board upon the hiring of a permanent CEO and GM and when Poftak rejoins, FMCB Member Lisa Calise will vacate her position to focus on her new role as Senior Vice President for Administration & Finance and Treasurer at the University of Massachusetts.

 

To serve as Interim GM, Poftak will take a leave of absence from his current post as executive director of The Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston at the Harvard Kennedy School. Prior to assuming the leadership role at the Rappaport Institute, Poftak was Director of Research and Director of the Center for Better Government at the Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research. Previous roles include serving at the Commonwealth's Executive Office for Administration and Finance, where, among other roles, he managed the $1.3 billion capital budget.

 

“Brian Shortsleeve is a very tough act to follow, even for a short period of time,” said FMCB Vice-Chair Poftak. “But with the support of T employees, including Mike and Jeff, I look forward to maintaining the momentum we have all worked so hard to achieve. Once a new CEO and GM is in place, I look forward to returning to the FMCB with an even greater understanding of what the T needs to succeed.”

 

Gonneville, a 17-year MBTA veteran, has served as the T’s Chief Operating Officer for the past two years, working in the public and private transportation realm for more than 20 years and previously as the T’s Chief Mechanical Officer responsible for the maintenance, oversight, long-term strategic planning and all other related tasks for maintaining a state of good repair for the Authority’s light rail, heavy rail, bus, and non-revenue fleet. 

 

Prior to becoming the Chief Financial Officer for the MBTA in 2015, Abramo served as CFO for a number of companies. His previous roles include Director of Finance and Business Development at Ascend Learning, Director in the Transaction Advisory practice at Alvarez & Marsal and Director in the Transaction Advisory practice at Price Water House Coopers. He is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.


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Baker-Polito Administration, Senator McGee Highlight Support for Enhancing Annuity Benefit Eligibility for Gold Star Families:

 

Statute change will allow for $2,000 benefit payments retroactive to eligibility

 

Boston, MA -- In recognition of Memorial Day, Governor Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Secretary of Veterans’ Services Francisco Ureña, State Senator Thomas M. McGee and other members of the Legislature joined Gold Star Families at the State House to highlight bipartisan efforts enhancing the $2,000 annuity benefit available to Gold Star families.

 

The change would allow benefit payments retroactive to initial eligibility upon the death of a servicemember, supporting those who may miss an application deadline, or be unaware of the benefit while supporting their family after a loss. Current statute provides payment retroactive only to the date a family member first applies.

 

“The Commonwealth is grateful for our devoted servicemembers and their families, and this gesture represents a small token of appreciation to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting and defending our country,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “As we approach Memorial Day, our administration is proud to join Senator McGee and the legislature to honor our veterans and Gold Star Families and ensure they are properly supported during a most difficult time.”

 

“The Gold Star Family annuity benefit is currently provided to approximately 2,400 spouses or parents each year,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito.  “It is an honor to support our Gold Star community by proposing legislation to ensure that those who have lost a loved one receive the full annuity they deserve.”

 

“As a Commonwealth, we must stand firm with our allegiance to our service members and their families,” said Senator Thomas M. McGee, who filed the language that makes this change as an amendment to the Senate budget. “We must always choose to do the right thing for our service members, veterans, and their families whenever possible, and I am glad to work with my colleagues in the Senate, with the support of the Governor and his Administration, to take this first step to make these changes a reality as part of this year’s budget.”

 

The $2,000 annuity is provided annually by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and its Department of Veterans' Services in recognition of service to the parents (Gold Star Parent) or spouse (Gold Star Wife or Husband) of Massachusetts’ residents who gave their lives in the service of their country, beginning the year the veteran died.

 

“Enhancing this benefit demonstrates our commitment as a Commonwealth to those who have served our country,” said Secretary Marylou Sudders of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services. “It is another way our Department of Veterans’ Services can serve as a resource for not only our fallen heroes, but their spouses and families in a time of need.”

 

"This proposal and these efforts are commendable, recognizing and correcting a flaw in current statute to ensure the families of the fallen receive the proper benefits,” said Veterans’ Secretary Francisco Ureña.

 

"Many Gold Star Families are often unaware of the benefits available to them as they experience the most difficult time in their life,” said Peggy Griffin, President, Greater Boston Chapter of Gold Star Wives. “This is especially true for widows who do not have service officers working with them or a designated representative to assist them through the maze of paperwork.  For those families without help, this bill will be welcome.  The Greater Boston Chapter of Gold Star Wives of America supports this proposal and actions like it, that help Gold Star Wives and their families."

 

The Gold Star Parent Annuity Program began on July 1, 1998 and the Gold Star Spouse began on November 11, 2005. More information and application to apply for the benefit can be found here: http://www.mass.gov/veterans/benefits-and-services/bonus/annuity.html.

 

Last November, Governor Baker signed an Executive Order reaffirming and restructuring the Governor’s Advisory Council on Veterans’ Services, appointing members charged with advising the administration on how to best support the Commonwealth’s veterans through improved access to employment and job training, healthcare and well-being services, affordable and accommodating housing choices and educational opportunities.

 

Earlier in May, Governor Baker announced the Baker-Polito Administration’s Fiscal Year 2018 Capital Budget Plan will include a $8 million investment to begin constructing a new long-term care facility at the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home for veterans, a $199 million project in conjunction with the federal government. The facility is one of two state operated soldiers’ homes that provide both long-term care and domiciliary residential services.


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Governor Baker and Boston Mayor Walsh Announce Expanded Early College Program:

 

Expansion of dual enrollment program between John D. O'Bryant Math and Science High School and Massachusetts Maritime Academy guarantees admission; financial aid.

 

Boston, MA -- Governor Charlie Baker and Mayor Martin J. Walsh today joined Massachusetts Maritime Academy and Boston Public School officials to announce the expansion of a dual enrollment program that will guarantee admission to the maritime college. College officials also pledged to fully-fund financial aid needs for qualified students from the John D. O’Bryant High School who are enrolled in the partnership program and admitted to the Academy.

 

The announcement comes as part of the Baker-Polito Administration’s ongoing education series, as state officials are highlighting various education programs, initiatives and funding opportunities from early education to college level, all aimed at providing a quality and affordable education for every student in the Commonwealth.

 

“Exposing Massachusetts students to college-level courses while they are in high school will create more opportunities for them and improve their overall educational experience,” Governor Charlie Baker said. “The expanded partnership between Mass Maritime and the John D. O’Bryant will strengthen both schools and all students involved and could serve as a model for similar programs across the Commonwealth.”

 

“We are very pleased that Mass Maritime Academy and the City of Boston launched this innovative partnership to expose Boston Public School students to STEM college courses before they graduate from high school,” Lt. Governor Karyn Polito said. “Encouraging more students to pursue studying STEM subjects through programs like this will ultimately lead to an even stronger Commonwealth.”

 

“The City of Boston and Mass Maritime have a long, historic relationship that has grown even stronger with this partnership that brings more opportunities to our students," said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “We’re focused on providing Boston Public School students the education and resources that will lead to successful, rewarding careers, and I’m proud this partnership will allow graduates to bring their unique strengths to Mass Maritime.”

 

Mass Maritime Academy and the John D. O’Bryant High School first launched dual enrollment courses in the fall of 2015, aided by a $30,000-a-year state dual enrollment grant. Academy faculty travel to the high school in Roxbury once a week to teach classes in coastal navigation, emergency management, and introduction to engineering. Students can earn up to 12 college credits, and receive mentoring and college counseling. They are also eligible for scholarships to attend the Academy’s summer academic camps, Sea, Science and Leadership.

 

Since the program’s inception, nearly 100 students have completed at least one dual enrollment course. School officials hope to greatly increase that number with the expanded partnership.

 

Mass Maritime was recently ranked #3 in the nation in a list of “best value” colleges – looking at tuition and fees versus the average starting salary, according to a recent ranking by SmartAsset.com Mass Maritime made the list for having an average starting salary for graduates of $58,900 and in-state tuition costs at $7,127.

 

“Successful dual enrollment and early college programs make college more accessible to low-income students by giving them opportunities to earn college credits while still in high school, at no cost to them, which could help ease the financial burden for them later,” Education Secretary James Peyser said. “Dual enrollment also exposes students to career pathways they may not have thought about before.”

 

“One of the most exciting aspects of this partnership is its potential to impact Boston students and their families. The college counseling, mentoring, experience with college-level courses in STEM subjects is extremely valuable, particularly for some first-generation college-goers,” Massachusetts Maritime Academy Rear Admiral Francis McDonald said. “We launched this program, with help from the state, because we wanted to impact students’ lives. By expanding this opportunity we hope to make an even bigger impact on more students.”

 

“I want to congratulate Admiral MacDonald and the staff of Mass Maritime for building this partnership with the John D. O’Bryant,” Carlos E. Santiago, Commissioner of Higher Education, said. “This is exactly the kind of engagement that closes opportunity gaps and demonstrates that our public campuses are committed to their primary mission of serving the students of our state and providing employers with the high-skilled talent they need.”

 

“This is a great example of how a thoughtful partnership can benefit our students,” said Boston Public Schools (BPS) Superintendent Tommy Chang. “This partnership truly breaks down barriers to success by providing students hands-on career readiness skills for college credit, and eliminating a financial burden for families. We look forward to growing this partnership and are grateful for the support of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.”

 

The Baker-Polito Administration has proposed increasing spending on all K-12 schools by more than $318 million dollars since taking office in 2015. In March, Governor Baker announced a commitment to significantly increase the number of students in designated early college programs across the state over the next five to 10 years. Successful Early College programs make college more accessible to low-income students, and give them the opportunity to learn in college-level courses while at the same time earning college credits, at no cost, which helps ease financial burdens later. Earlier this year, after years of nominal increases for providers, Governor Baker proposed a 6% rate increase for early education providers, worth more than $28 million dollars, and includes plans to increase annual support for infant and toddler providers by more than $9 million. Massachusetts was recently ranked #1 in the country for education by U.S. News and World Report, and also tops the list for best performing states on Advanced Placement Exams.


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Announcements:

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MBTA Bus Service Advisory Alert: City of Quincy

 

Bus Route #215, #225, #230, #236 and #238: Due to the construction

Hancock Street @ Cottage Avenue (outbound) moving to the north, across Cottage Avenue, due to the construction.

 

Affected Routes:

* #215

* #225

* #230

* #236

* #238


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Quincy's Election Headquarters: 2018 Midterm Election Calendar:

Nicole L. Crispo, City Clerk | Joseph J. Newton, Assistant City Clerk

 

Massachusetts Primary Election:

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 from 7:00 a.m. -- 8:00 p.m.

 

Massachusetts General Election:

Tuesday, November 6, 2018 from 7:00 a.m. -- 8:00 p.m.

 

Subject to change information from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Elections Division


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Quincy Recreation Department: 2017 Summer Clinic Workshop Information:

Mayor Thomas P. Koch | Barry J. Welch, Director of Recreation

 

August 14-18, 2017:

8:00 a.m. -- 12:00 p.m.: Tennis Clinic Elementary Week #3 @ Quincy High School

8:30 a.m. -- 12:30 p.m.: Girl's Lacrosse Clinic @ Veteran's Memorial Stadium

8:30 a.m. -- 12:30 p.m.: Sports & More Clinic Week #3 @ Merrymount Park

8:30 a.m. -- 12:30 p.m.: Competitive Swimming Clinic @ Lincoln Hancock Community School

 

**Schedule is subject to change from Quincy Recreation Department and weather permitting.**


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Quincy Department of Public Works: Street Sweeping Information:

Mayor Thomas P. Koch | Al Grazioso, Commissioner of Quincy Public Works Department

 

October/November 2017:

Ward 1 and 2:

Monday, October 30, 2017 through Thursday, November 9, 2017

 

Ward 3 and 4:

Monday, November 13, 2017 through Wednesday, November 22, 2017

 

November/December 2017:

Ward 5 and 6:

Monday, November 27, 2017 through Friday, December 8, 2017


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Quincy's Election Headquarters: 2017 Midterm Election Candidate Contenders:

 

City Councilor - 2 years term (2018-2019):

Ward 1 City Councilor Candidate:

1. David McCarthy

2. Michael Falcione

3. Joseph Murphy

4. Dan Davis

 

Ward 2 City Councilor Re-Elect Candidate:

Brad Croall

 

Ward 3 City Councilor Re-Elect Candidate:

Ian Cain

 

Ward 4 City Councilor Re-Elect Candidate:

Brian Palmucci

 

Ward 5 City Councilor Candidate:

1. Kirsten Hughes (Re-Elect)

2. Michael Hurley

3. John Rodophele, Sr.

 

Ward 6 City Councilor Candidate:

1. Bill Harris (Re-Elect)

2. H.A. "Allie" Shaughnessy

3. Steven Striffler

 

Councilor-At-Large Candidate:

1. Nina Liang (Re-Elect)

2. Noel DiBona (Re-Elect)

3. Margaret Laforest, Ward 1 City Councilor

4. Anne Mahoney, School Committee Member

5. Dong Fang Xiao

6. Dan Raymondi, Former DPW Commissioner

7. Steve Togas

 

School Committee - 4 years term (2018-2021):

School Committee Candidate:

1. Emily Lebo (Re-Elect)

2. Anthony Andronico

3. David Jacobs

4. Doug Gutro

5. Mark Sauter

6. Geraldine Manning

 

Subject to change for the candidate contender announcement in the campaign trail.


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Quincy Public Schools Security Department E-mail Directory: 2017-2018

 

Michael Draicchio, Director of Safety, Security and Transportation:

michaeldraicchio@quincypublicschools.com

 

Sheila Calabro, Security Officer at North Quincy High School: 

sheilacalabro@quincypublicschools.com

 

Rick Palumbo, Security Officer at North Quincy High School: 

richardpalumbo@quincypublicschools.com

 

Kevin Keith, Security Officer at North Quincy High School: 

kevinkeith@quincypublicschools.com

 

John Hyacinthe, Security Officer at North Quincy High School: 

johnhyacinthe@quincypublicschools.com

 

Jake Mullaney, Security Officer at North Quincy High School:

jakemullaney@quincypublicschools.com

 

Steve McGowan, Security Officer at Quincy High School:

stephenmcgowan@quincypublicschools.com

 

Tom McInnis, Security Officer at Quincy High School: 

thomasmcinnis@quincypublicschools.com

 

Joseph Mulvey, Security Officer at Quincy High School:

josephmulvey@quincypublicschools.com

 

Mark Spendlove, Security Officer at Quincy High School: 

markspendlove@quincypublicschools.com

 

Subject to change for the 2017-2018 school year of e-mail directory.


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Quincy Public Schools: Instant Alert System:

 

Quincy Public Schools uses the Instant Alert System to let parents know about upcoming events, schedule changes, and school cancellations or delayed openings. You can update your Instant Alert preferences at any time to receive notifications at different times of the day on your home phone, work phone, cell phone or via e-mail or text.

 

Follow this link to update your Instant Alert account or enroll for the first time: https://instantalert.honeywell.com/.


Boston Public Schools

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Boston Public Schools: 2017-2018 School Year Calendar:

Martin J. Walsh, Mayor of the City of Boston | Tommy Chang, Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools

 

School District School Calendar
First Day of the School for Students (Grade 1-12) Thursday, September 7, 2017
First Day of the Kindergarten Students Monday, September 11, 2017
Last Day of the Seniors (Day 170) Wednesday, June 6, 2018
Last Day of the School for Students (Day 179) Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Last Day of the School for Students (Day 180) Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Wednesday, June 27, 2018* (5 day of snow days)

* = Subject to change if the weather permitting.


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MBTA Bus, Red Line & Commuter Rail Service Advisory Alert:

 

The pedestrian bridge at the Braintree Parking Garage will be closed beginning on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 through Summer of 2020 due to the construction.

 

For access to Braintree Station during this closure, travel down to the first floor and use the pedestrian crosswalk to enter the station at the street level. This closure is due to the South Shore Parking Garages Improvements and Renovations Project. The pedestrian bridge will be replaced by a new garage lobby featuring elevators and stairwells.

 

Affected routes:

* Red Line

* Bus Route #210

* Bus Route #230

* Bus Route #236

* Commuter Rail: Middleborough/Lakeville Line

* Commuter Rail: Kingston/Plymouth Line


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Quincy Public Schools: 2017-2018 School Year Calendar:

Mayor Thomas P. Koch | Richard DeCristofaro, Superintendent of the Quincy Public Schools

 

School District

School Calendar

First Day of the School for Students (Grade 1-9)

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

First Day of the School for Students (Grade 10-12)

Thursday, September 7, 2017

First Day of the School for Pre-K & Kindergarten

Monday, September 11, 2017

Last Day of Seniors (Day of 168)

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Quincy High School Class of 2018 Graduation

Monday, June 11, 2018

North Quincy High School Class of 2018 Graduation

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Last Day of School for Students (Day 180)

Friday, June 15, 2018

Friday, June 22, 2018* (5 days of snow day)

* = Subject to change if the weather permitting.


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Quincy's Election HQ: 2017 City of Quincy Election Calendar:

Nicole L. Crispo, City Clerk | Joseph J. Newton, Assistant City Clerk

 

City of Quincy Primary Election: City Councilor and School Committee

Tuesday, September 12, 2017 from 7:00 a.m. through 8:00 p.m.

 

City of Quincy General Election: City Councilor and School Committee

Tuesday, November 7, 2017 from 7:00 a.m. through 8:00 p.m.


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Quincy Police Department: Community Police Contact Information:

 

Name

Title

Phone #

E-mail

Lieutenant Robert Bina Supervisor (617) 770-4993 rbina@quincyma.gov 

Name

Location

Phone #

E-mail

Officer Roger White Quincy Square (857) 342-0523 rwhite@quincyma.gov
Officer William Mitchell Ward 1 (617) 594-2082 wmitchell@quincyma.gov
Officer Matthew Miller Ward 2 (617) 594-2070 mmiller@quincyma.gov
Officer Timothy Simmons Ward 3 (339) 235-6662 tsimmons@quincyma.gov
Officer Jimmie Whedbee Ward 4 (617) 483-0599 jwhedbee@quincyma.gov
Officer Jim Silcox Ward 5 (339) 237-1575 jsilcox@quincyma.gov
Officer Greg Mar Ward 6 (617) 594-2028 gmar@quincyma.gov

Subject to change for the Community Police Officer contact information.


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Jimmy Hui's Message Blog:


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Quincy Access Television:


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Quincy Public Schools: