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Baker-Polito Administration Awards Over $850,000 in Community Compact Grants:

 

Second round of Efficiency and Regionalization Grants awarded to 38 communities

 

Boston, MA -- Today the Baker-Polito Administration awarded over $850,000 in Community Compact Cabinet grants to 38 municipalities and 8 school districts across the Commonwealth. These grants will assist municipalities in exploring and implementing efficiency and regionalization initiatives. In December, the administration awarded more than $1 million to over 70 municipalities during the first round of Community Compact Cabinet’s efficiency and regionalization grants.

 

“Our administration formed the Community Compact Cabinet, led by Lieutenant Governor Polito, to solidify state government’s role as a reliable partner for cities and towns,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are proud to announce the second round of grants to help cities, towns, and school districts from across the Commonwealth work together on improving their regionalization and efficiency efforts to better serve their residents.”

 

“We are pleased to continue supporting our municipalities through this effective grant program,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Chair of the Community Compact Cabinet. “As former local officials, Governor Baker and I understand the importance of maintaining strong relationships with our 351 cities and towns and we believe these grants will increase efficiencies and maximize taxpayer dollars to make every corner of the Commonwealth a better place to live, work and raise a family.”

 

“Supporting our cities and towns and giving them the tools to best deliver services has been a priority since the administration has taken office,” said Administration and Finance Secretary Kristen Lepore. “The $2 million in regionalization and efficiency grants awarded over the last four months will help the Commonwealth’s cities and towns better serve their communities in a more efficient way, and I am pleased that we once again are able to provide this important funding.”

 

The Community Compact Cabinet’s Efficiency & Regionalization grant program is a new initiative for Fiscal Year 2017 that provides financial support for governmental entities interested in implementing regionalization and other efficiency initiatives that allow for long-term sustainability. The grants will provide funds for one-time or transition costs for municipalities, regional school districts, school districts considering  forming a regional school district or regionalizing services, regional planning agencies and councils of governments interested in such projects.

 

The Governor’s FY18 budget proposal filed in January, 2017 includes $2 million for the Community Compact Best Practices program and $2 million to continue supporting these thoughtful efficiency and regionalization grants. Also previously announced, the Governor’s third capital budget, released this upcoming spring, will provide another $2 million for the Community Compact IT Grant program.

 

Grant Recipients:

Regionalization / Shared Services:

* Rural Economic Development Planning (Chester, Blandford, Huntington, Middlefield, Montgomery, and Russell) - $100,511

 

* Joint Economic Development (Boston, Braintree, Cambridge, Chelsea, Quincy and Somerville) - $100,000

 

* Shared Town Administrator (Lenox and Lee) - $86,000

 

* Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) On-line Permitting Platform and Shared Permit Data Standard (Ayer, Milton, North Reading, Westborough) - $70,619

 

* Regional Animal Control (Fitchburg, Lunenburg, Townsend) - $42,257

 

* Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) Economic Development Planning Services (Clarksburg, Great Barrington, Hinsdale, and Lanesborough) - $22,735

 

Municipal / School Shared Services:

* Wareham Town and School HR Functions - $72,499

 

* Carver Town and School Facilities Department - $41,500

 

* Easthampton City and School IT Department Consolidation - $38,000

 

* Southbridge Town and School Facilities Management Team - $35,000

 

* Norwell Town Hall and School Administration Building Consolidation - $25,000

 

School Regionalization:

* Exploration of further consolidation of the Quabbin Regional School District - $100,000

 

* Exploration of  further school regionalization (Orange Elementary School District and Petersham Center School District to the Ralph C. Mahar Regional School District) - $53,000

 

* Exploration of forming a Regionalization School District (Acushnet Public Schools and Fairhaven Public Schools) - $40,000

 

* Exploration of further consolidation of the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District - $28,000

 

About the Community Compact Cabinet:

Formed in January 2015, the Community Compact Cabinet is chaired by Lt. Governor Polito and comprised of the secretaries of Housing & Economic Development, Education, Transportation, and Energy & Environmental Affairs, the Senior Deputy Commissioner of Local Services, the Assistant Secretary of Operational Services, and the Chief Information Officer of the Commonwealth. The Community Compact Cabinet elevates the Administration’s partnerships with cities and towns, and allows the Governor’s Office to work more closely with leaders from all municipalities. The Cabinet champions municipal interests across all executive secretariats and agencies, and develops, in consultation with cities and towns, mutual standards and best practices for both the state and municipalities.  The creation of Community Compacts creates clear standards, expectations and accountability for both partners.

 

As of today, 266 compacts have been signed.


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Baker-Polito Administration Files Legislation Seeking Federal Delegation of Water Protection Efforts:

 

Proposal Ensures State Oversight of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems Program

 

Boston, MA -- Continuing its commitment to protect the waters of the Commonwealth, the Baker-Polito Administration today filed An Act to Enable the Commonwealth’s Administration of the Massachusetts Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. The legislation will allow the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) to join forty-six other states in administering the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) for federal water quality protection. Additionally, the proposal will allow the Commonwealth greater oversight of water quality monitoring, assessment, and water quality standards programs as well as increased data availability to ensure development of scientifically based permits that protect Massachusetts’ water bodies. Governor Baker’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget proposal includes a $1.4 million commitment as an initial investment in NPDES to support program development and build robust water quality monitoring and analysis programs.

 

“Massachusetts has a proud history of working to protect and improve water quality, and this legislation will provide greater certainty for the Commonwealth once federal authority for this program is placed into the hands of our state experts,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “By joining 46 other states with the federal delegation, the Commonwealth will be able to implement a strong, science-based program focused on protecting our natural resources. With its comprehensive knowledge of the Commonwealth’s waterbodies and communities, MassDEP is uniquely suited to write permits that will protect our state’s waters.”

 

“The Commonwealth has a proven-track record of implementing federally delegated programs, and this legislation will align water quality efforts with priority programs,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System delegation will empower state government to work even more cooperatively with our cities and towns to preserve and protect our environmental resources.”

 

Under the federal Clean Water Act, EPA administers numerous water quality programs across the United States, including efforts like NPDES, which regulates public and private discharges of wastewater and storm water. As states have the option of applying to the EPA for authorization to administer the program at the state level, subject to federal oversight, the legislation filed by the Baker-Polito Administration will make changes to the Commonwealth’s Clean Waters Act, which is needed for MassDEP to make an application to the EPA.

 

“The administration of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System by the Commonwealth will significantly enhance the management of our water resources,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “State control over the permitting process will result in permits being written and issued in a timely way to keep pace with changing environmental conditions and ensure that local resources are directed to areas that will result in the greatest environmental improvement.”

 

Massachusetts, through MassDEP, has a decades-long history of effectively and successfully administering other federal environmental programs in areas of drinking water, hazardous waste, and clean air, as well as other state water programs such as Title 5, wetlands, and water management. In seeking authorization from EPA to administer the NPDES program, MassDEP will continue to promote the use of science-based water monitoring information during permitting decisions and will provide ongoing effective technical assistance to permittees, while ensuring compliance with permit requirements.

 

MassDEP will also embrace the concept of integrated planning and will work closely with local partners to establish a program that takes a holistic view of clean water requirements and implementation schedules.

 

“Adding the NPDES program to MassDEP’s portfolio will promote an integrated process in which a single agency can work with communities that have requirements in wastewater, storm water and other water resource programs,” said MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg. “Using sound science, current water quality information, and our close working relationship with cities and towns, the Commonwealth will be able to protect our water quality, while minimizing the number of permit appeals and legal challenges.”

 

The proposed $1.4 million in seed funding will enable MassDEP to hire 12 new staffers to phase-in NPDES program development, and conduct associated technical assistance and water quality analysis. This appropriation will increase in Fiscal Year 2019, as the program is fully implemented.

 

“I’m glad to see the administration taking this step,” said State Representative Jeffrey Roy (D-Franklin). “This proposal is an important first step in giving MassDEP the authority to work with cities and towns who are important partners in storm water permitting and management efforts.

 

“As a State Senator representing many coastal communities, I am pleased with the Baker-Polito Administration’s efforts to protect and restore our water resources,” said State Senator Michael Rodrigues (D-Westport). “The Administration and MassDEP have done a great job in leading the effort to create partnerships with local cities and towns to ensure our water supplies are clean and preserved.”

 

“Maintaining and enforcing strong water quality standards is critical to protecting the Commonwealth’s natural resources for both current and future generations,” said House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading). “By giving MassDEP greater control over the issuance of permits and encouraging continued cooperation between state and local officials on wastewater management issues, the proposal filed today by the Baker-Polito Administration will deliver enhanced environmental protections for all of our cities and towns.”

 

“Protecting water quality is an important task that requires the type of focused effort that the DEP can provide, with the agency’s local knowledge and working relationship with cities and towns,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce E. Tarr (R-Gloucester).

 

“Worcester is a leader in affordable and quality waste water treatment,” said Worcester City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr. “The Governor’s legislation will help to streamline processes and management and allow us to continue providing first class service. The legislation has the support of the city’s Director of Water, Sewer and Environmental Systems and his expertise coupled with that of Secretary Beaton underscores the value of adopting a policy already in use by 46 states.”

 

“The Connecticut River Watershed Council supports creating a top-notch water quality program that administers the federal Clean Water Act at MassDEP,” said Connecticut River Watershed Council Executive Director Andrew Fisk. “The Governor’s budget proposal is a strong first step to begin creating such a program. We stand ready to work with the Administration and the Legislature to enact legislation that will create a program based on strong and achievable standards, timely and fair permitting, robust enforcement, and widely available technical assistance.”

 

An Act to Enable the Commonwealth’s Administration of the Massachusetts Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, if passed, will be part of a submission made by MassDEP to EPA’s New England Regional Office in Boston. As part of its application, MassDEP will be required to demonstrate that it has developed an effective plan for managing the NPDES program, that its legal authorities are sufficient to meet federal requirements and that a plan for funding is in place. While the formal submission cannot be made until the Baker-Polito Administration’s proposal receives legislative approval, MassDEP is continuing to consult with EPA on delegation requirements and will develop other elements of the plan for submittal.


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Baker-Polito Administration Awards $11.8 Million in Workforce Skills Capital Grants:

 

20 educational institutions receiving first-time awards for equipment upgrades, expanded career and skill-building programs

 

Lowell, MA -- The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded $11.8 million in Workforce Skills Capital Grants to 32 vocational schools, community colleges, and traditional public high schools, which will use the funds to purchase vocational technical equipment and expand skills training programs for careers in growing industries. Twenty institutions are first-time recipients of the Workforce Skills Capital Grants.

 

“These investments have a major impact for the educational institutions training our workforce and the students who stand to benefit from enhanced skills and career paths,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Strengthening relationships between educational institutions and local industry as this program seeks to do is crucial to the success of our communities and Commonwealth as a whole.”

 

The Workforce Skills Capital Grants program was created by the Baker-Polito Administration last year to assist educational institutions in demonstrating partnerships with industry and aligning curriculum and credentials with local businesses’ demand, maximizing planning objectives and hiring or internship opportunities regionally.

 

“We are pleased these investments are already benefiting students and adult learners across our Commonwealth,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “The training students receive on the most up-to-date equipment purchased with these grants makes all the difference to them when they go into the workplace.” 

 

To date, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded more than $24 million in Workforce Skills Capital Grants to 63 different institutions, improving programs that impact more than 7,100 students per year. The economic development bill signed by Governor Baker last year includes $45 million for the awards over the next three years to increase the capacity and quality of vocational educational programs.

 

Governor Baker today visited Greater Lowell Technical High School to announce the latest round of grant awardees. Greater Lowell Technical received $466,000 to create an Agile Digital Fabrication/Maker Space where high school and adult education students will engage in technological experimentation, hardware development, and idea prototyping.

 

The Governor was joined by the Workforce Skills Cabinet he established shortly after taking office, consisting of Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald L. Walker, II, Education Secretary James Peyser, and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. The Cabinet, which seeks to align education, workforce and economic development strategies and improve job opportunities, worked to establish the Workforce Skills Capital Grant Program.

 

“In the Workforce Skills Cabinet, we are focused on making sure residents have access to education and training that aligns with industry demand so all Massachusetts residents have an opportunity to be successful,” said Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald L. Walker, II. “These grants enable educational institutions to partner with local businesses to give their students a jump-start on careers.”

 

“The goal of these grants is to update capital equipment, expand capacity, and launch new programs at educational institutions in order to create high-quality career pathways for more people across the Commonwealth,” said Education Secretary James Peyser. “These grants give students and adult learners more opportunities to be successful through training, education and experience in fields that are growing and in-demand.”

 

“The best way to support our local and regional economies, and to grow our companies, is to foster a workforce that is ready for the jobs of today and tomorrow,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “These grants will help us to continue training the nation’s most competitive workforce, by training students on industry-standard equipment and processes, and creating new employment opportunities for students and adult learners throughout the Commonwealth.”

 

Workforce Skills Capital Grant Awardees:

* Blackstone Valley Vocational Regional School District: $500,000 - The school will upgrade equipment used in 12 programs, including health services, manufacturing, and multi-media communications.

 

* Brockton High School: $495,674 – The school will purchase equipment for computer aided design, 3-D printing, robotics, and artificial intelligence.

 

* Bunker Hill Community College: $386,540 - The College will create a new laboratory dedicated solely to engineering.  The new laboratory will make it possible to expand the program’s academic offerings, including the Engineering Transfer Option Associates degree program. 

 

* Cape Cod Community College: $350,059 – Cape Cod Community College will expand the Nursing and Allied Health Learning Center in partnership with Cape Cod Health Care, including $1.15 million in a private match funding.

 

* Center for Manufacturing Technology: $167,296 - The Center for Manufacturing Technology will purchase a new milling machine and add upgrades to existing equipment.  The new machinery will provide capacity to increase enrollment and will ensure students gain experience with state-of-the-art equipment during training.

 

* Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School: $492,519 - The school will expand a “green” lab instructional space. This lab space will contain a variety of “energy” centers that allow students to manipulate interior and exterior climate environments, and these relationships, to a variety of building materials, surfaces and outdoor environments.

 

* Essex Technical High School: $244,219 - The school will provide capacity to expand enrollments in the EMT/CPR day and evening programs.  The equipment will support students to obtain industry recognized certifications that prepare them for jobs as nursing assistants, dental assistants, as well as post-secondary educational opportunities.

 

* Franklin County Technical School: $55,000 - The school will upgrade its welding program to industry standard by purchasing digitalized readout and gauges, safety technologies, and instructional equipment.  The funds will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the schools’ member towns.

 

* Gloucester High School: $499,634 – Gloucester High School will revamp its machine technology program by updating equipment to industry standards. The equipment will also be integrated into computer science, CAD, robotics, and engineering classes.

 

* Greater Lowell Technical High School: $466,000 – The school will create an Agile Digital Fabrication/Maker Space where high school and adult education students will engage in technological experimentation, hardware development, and idea prototyping. This space will provide high production, finish level, and product design 3D printing capability.

 

* Greenfield Community College: $496,113 – The college will upgrade its Manufacturing and Engineering Science, Engineering Technology, and Computer Science and Networking programs. New equipment will be purchased for the advanced manufacturing computer lab, acoustic engineering lab, as well as a coordinate measuring machine, electrical controls, materials testing, and CNC simulation and 3D printing equipment.

 

* Lower Pioneer Valley Educational Collaborative: $410,230 - The educational collaborative will  integrate the Graphics and Visual Design programs, allowing students to explore and understand the entire industry continuum from design to press and online production.

 

* Lynn Vocational Technical Institute: $333,293 – The school will modernize its current Advanced Manufacturing-Machine Technology program, as well as create a new Information Technology program. These new high-level skills training programs will be offered to high schools students and adult learners. Additionally, the programs will serve as a resource to introduce younger students in middle school to career pathways.

 

* Mass Bay Community College: $318,547 – Mass Bay Community College will purchase equipment to train students in engineering, advanced manufacturing, nursing, emergency medical services, and automotive technology career fields. Students in these programs represent not only traditional college-aged students, but are also unemployed and underemployed adult workers, career-changers, and others seeking new skill sets.

 

* Massasoit Community College: $500,000 - The College will purchase equipment for an updated engineering lab that supports four engineering degree options: chemical, civil, electrical and mechanical program tracks.

 

* McCann Technical School: $131,976- The school will upgrade equipment for the carpentry, electrical, and machine programs.  The equipment will support students to prepare to take the MACWIC Level I certification examinations.

 

* Medford Technical High School: $500,000 – The school will expand the existing Culinary Arts, Engineering, Robotics, and Metal Fabrication programs and add a Hospitality program. As part of this expansion, the Culinary Arts and Hospitality program will double the size of its space and add a full-service dining room, executive conference center, café, and commercial kitchen.

 

* Middlesex Community College: $489,750 – The College will increase capacity and improve equipment in computer science, engineering, and engineering tech/CAD programs. Students prepare for Certified Computer Examiner (CCE) exams, and graduates may transfer to bachelor degree programs.

 

* Minuteman High School: $500,000 – The high school will increase machining and ancillary training simulator capacity used to teach Advanced Manufacturing.  The new equipment will support student instruction in bio-manufacturing, digital fabrication, precision measurement, and quality control.

 

* Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School: $435,857 – The school will build upon its existing machine technology program capacity by adding two certificates, outfit a quality control lab, and offer evening courses. The equipment will support the school in becoming one of the first NC3 Manufacturing Certification Centers in Massachusetts.

 

* Mount Wachusett Community College: $340,781 – The College will purchase equipment needed for a simulated veterinary technician training laboratory. Students will benefit from simulator-based instruction, and the discipline of a sterile classroom environment focused on animal anatomy and physiology prior to interacting with live animals during their clinical and internship rotations.

 

* Nashoba Valley Technical High School: $500,000 – The school will create an innovative training environment with a specific focus on collaborative robots (collabots) for students in the Robotics & Automation program.  Equipment will also serve as an instructional resource for students in the Engineering, Biotechnology, and Manufacturing programs.  New equipment will provide capacity for students to become certified in the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council production technician program as well as Fanuc’s collaborative robot system.

 

* North Shore Community College: $111,455 - The College will purchase equipment to create a health care technical education program, including a universal health lab at the Lynn campus. The lab will be used for various degree, and workforce training health care certification programs, such as Certified Nurse Assistant/Home Health Aide, Dental Assistant, EKG Technician, and Phlebotomy.

 

* Northern Essex Community College: $500,000 – The College will launch a new Advanced Manufacturing program in Mechatronics and a new Culinary Arts program.  NECC has developed a partnership with Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School in manufacturing and with Endicott College to offer a hospitality and culinary arts career pathway.

 

* Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School District: $362,860 - The school district will upgrade both the Machine & Tool Technology and House & Mill Carpentry programs.  The equipment includes both in classroom and portable equipment for use on remote job sites. 

 

* Pathfinder Regional Vocational Technical High School: $235,000 - The school will purchase new equipment for the Machine Technology program, and will offer a new evening training program to provide instruction to the unemployed and underemployed individuals in three countries. The evening classes will prepare students to take the MACWIC Level 1 certification exam.

 

* Plymouth Public Schools: $52,844 – The school district will purchase medical assisting and health assisting instructional equipment including a 'Nursing Anne' patient simulator.  With the equipment, the school will be able to provide instruction to award eight types of industry credentials.

 

* Quincy Public Schools: $74,712 - The school district will establish a new Information Technology Program.  New equipment will help train students for entry-level computer repair, technical and help desk support, and network associate careers.  Students will be prepared to pass the CompTia A+ Certification Edam, OSHA General Safety, and CISCO CCENT industry certification exams. 

 

* The Shawsheen Valley Regional Vocational Technical: $500,000 - The school is conducting a major modernization of its Machine Technology program.  The equipment includes 3D printers, and vertical machining centers each equipped with simulators. 

 

* South Regional Technical School District-Keefe Technical High School: $397,150 - Keefe Regional Technical School will roll out a new Dental Assisting Program, purchasing dental chairs, panoramic X-ray technology, including development capability, Sterilizers and autoclaves.

 

* Whitter Regional Vocational Technical High School: $500,000 -  The school will transform its current Machine and Tool program into an Advanced Manufacturing program to better support regional workforce needs. The school is partnering with Northern Essex Community College, and with the Northeast Advanced Manufacturing Consortium, for evening adult programs.


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Baker-Polito Administration Proclaim White Ribbon Day to Prevent Gender-Based Violence:

 

10th annual campaign encourages men and boys to participate

 

Boston, MA -- Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito today joined members of the administration, public officials and advocates from across the Commonwealth at Fanueil Hall in Boston to commemorate the 10th annual White Ribbon Day in Massachusetts, issuing an official proclamation and enlisting men and boys to commit to being part of the solution to end violence against women and all gender-based violence.

 

"Massachusetts must continue our steadfast approach to prevent sexual and domestic violence, and men and boys have a key role to play in raising awareness and ending gender-based violence," said Governor Charlie Baker. "Respect, compassion, and non-violence should be the focal point of all relationships, and I welcome all men and boys to join us in finding solutions to end violence and abuse."

 

Jane Doe Inc., the leading statewide sexual and domestic violence advocacy organization, launched the state White Ribbon Day prevention campaign in 2007. Since 2015, Governor Baker has served as honorary chairperson of the White Ribbon Day campaign. There are now more than 774 men who have signed on as White Ribbon Day Ambassadors, as well as 115 city, town and organization affiliates.

 

"I am encouraged by the incredible response to the White Ribbon Day campaign in the Commonwealth and I am especially proud of the role our administration has played in its growth these last two years," said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Chair of the Governor's Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence. "Families, children, and individuals across the Commonwealth deserve a life free of sexual and domestic violence, and it is exciting to see so many of our towns and cities become White Ribbon Day affiliates."

 

The Governor and Lt. Governor were joined by House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, Senate President Stan Rosenberg, Middlesex County Sheriff Peter Koutoujian, University of Massachusetts Boston Chancellor Keith Motley, and Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera, along with leaders from Jane Doe Inc. and other domestic violence advocates. Sheriff Koutoujian and Chancellor Motley serve at co-chairs for White Ribbon Day. Jane Doe Inc. also debuted a new “Reimagine Manhood” public service announcement featuring Tom Leydon from Fox25, Joe Ambrosino from TV7, Steve Burton from WBZTV-4, and Mike Lynch from Channel 5 that will air on all four stations during the first commercial break of the 5:00 PM newscast.

 

Following the speaking program, participants marched to Boston City Hall for the first-ever raising of a White Ribbon Day Flag. With support from Presenting Sponsor Banker of America and in partnership with the Office of Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, the Massachusetts Municipal Association, and the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association, Jane Doe Inc. has sent more than 50 White Ribbon Day flags to middle schools, high schools, college campuses and municipalities throughout the Commonwealth.

 

“I am proud that the House’s 2014 domestic violence law is one of the strongest and most comprehensive in at least a generation. Because of the courageous survivors we heard from while crafting that law – many of whom lend their voices to White Ribbon Day – we know that these provisions have and will continue to save lives. With the uncertainty in Washington threatening the security and livelihoods of women we, as public officials must do everything in our power to stem the tragic tide of violence against women,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop).

 

"We can have a society free of domestic violence if we keep working for it. I am very encouraged when I see how far White Ribbon Day has come in its first 10 years," said Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst). "We won't stop until we end domestic violence once and for all." 

 

“I am proud to stand with Governor Baker, Chancellor Motley and so many others to highlight the important role men play as fathers, sons, brothers, friends and mentors in ending violence against women,” said White Ribbon Day Co-Chair Sheriff Koutoujian. “By standing up and taking the pledge today, we are saying to the world that a man’s strength is shown though his character and moral judgment - never through the use of force and violence.”

 

“Kofi Annan once argued that violence against women is the worst and most common human rights violation,” said White Ribbon Day Co-Chair UMass Boston Chancellor J. Keith Motley. “That sentiment captures the urgency of this plague. And it is with that urgency that I, and no doubt every male member of the UMass Boston community, proudly stand with Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito and others on this White Ribbon Day.”

 

“The White Ribbon Day Campaign advocates a clear message, violence against women, or violence in any domestic partnership is not acceptable, and should not be tolerated,” said Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera. “I was proud to stand with the White Ribbon Campaign, Governor Baker, Sheriff Peter Koutoujian and many other Elected Officials and men from throughout the Commonwealth as we take a pledge to end domestic violence.”

 

“The relevance of the White Ribbon Day Campaign remains as poignant today as when we started a decade ago. While we have made progress in addressing issues of sexual and domestic violence and gender equity and promoting healthy and safe relationships, we cannot take these gains for granted,” said Debra J. Robbin, Executive Director of Jane Doe Inc. “The 780 individual male Ambassadors and 125 Affiliates - groups, companies, schools, municipalities and government agencies – who form the backbone of the White Ribbon Day Campaign are critical allies in our quest for safety and justice for all survivors and communities.”

 

In April 2015, Governor Baker signed Executive Order 563, re-launching the Governor’s Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence. Over its first year, the Council’s priorities included analyzing and reporting on the implementation of Chapter 260: An Act Relative to Domestic Violence, a report was issued providing updates on each of the 49 actionable provisions within the law. The Council has launched work groups in five priority areas, including child trafficking and prevention education in schools and universities, that have established year one deliverables and will report this summer.

 

Since taking office, the Baker-Polito Administration has nearly doubled funding at the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) for domestic violence specialists, which will allow DTA to double the number of specialists from 11 to 22. The administration has also added funding for four domestic violence specialists at the Department of Children and Families, bringing the total at DCF to nine. The administration’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget proposal recommends $31.3 million at the Department of Public Health for domestic violence and survivor services, as well as $990,000 for the domestic violence court advocacy program.


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Governor Baker, MBTA Celebrate Expansion of The RIDE's On-Demand Paratransit Service:

 

As pilot celebrates 10,000 rides, MBTA extends participation to all RIDE users effective March 1st

 

Boston, MA -- Today, Governor Charlie Baker and MBTA Acting General Manager Brian Shortsleeve celebrated 10,000 rides in the MBTA’s The RIDE On-Demand Paratransit Pilot Program with ride-share companies Uber and Lyft, and announced that effective March 1st, the program will be open to all eligible users of The RIDE. Launched in September 2016, the first-of-its-kind innovative pilot has expanded options for 400 customers with disabilities, providing improved flexibility and mobility while reducing fares and overall program costs.

 

“The success of this partnership with ride-share companies is changing lives and improving reliability for the MBTA’s paratransit customers who rely on The RIDE for their daily travels,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are proud the MBTA is expanding this program to all users of The RIDE, and providing individuals with disabilities greater flexibility and convenience that many of us may take for granted.”

 

Governor Baker highlighted the program’s ingenuity in his 2017 State of the Commonwealth Address last month, sharing the story of a pilot user and the benefits and flexibility the program has offered to customers. The on-demand pilot operates in conjunction with traditional RIDE service, offering reduced fares, lower wait times, faster trips without the need to share rides, and same-day booking (compared to The RIDE’s day prior notice) for RIDE service areas and hours of operation. The program includes options for wheel-chair accessible vehicles and includes access for MBTA paratransit customers without smartphones.

 

“The partnership with these two ride-share companies has been a game-changer for our paratransit customers,” said Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack. They have been able to take advantage of transit options which allow them to be spontaneous and travel directly to their destinations.  We believe the success of this partnership with Lyft and Uber will serve as a springboard for more performance-driven improvements."

 

“This is a win-win solution for our Riders and the MBTA,” said Acting General Manager Brian Shortsleeve. “It’s an example of a way we can partner with best-in-class private companies to drive innovation at the MBTA.”

 

Governor Baker and Acting General Manager Shortsleeve celebrated the announcement at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, where pilot user Joshua Boissoneau is an employee. A para-rower, Paralympic hopeful and RIDE user since 2015, Boissoneau joined the pilot in October 2016 and uses the on-demand service an average of six or more times a week to travel to his office, medical appointments and rowing practices along the Charles River from Brighton.

 

“Since my first day in the pilot program, I have shared with fellow rowers and friends how impressed I was with the benefits of the program, including reliability, user-friendliness, comfort, convenience and timing,” said Joshua Boissoneau. “The on-demand service has alleviated stress in getting to my medical appointments, work and practice in a timely way. I look forward to remaining an active participant.”

 

On-demand trips cost customers $2.00, with the MBTA subsidizing the next $13.00 and additional costs being assumed by the customer. The model resulted in an MBTA trip subsidy difference of 71% between traditional RIDE and on-demand trip costs ($9 for on-demand versus $31 using traditional RIDE). The average cost to the customer was found to be $4.38 for a same-day trip (versus $5.25 using traditional RIDE) with customers saving an average of 34 minutes with every pilot trip taken.

 

From October 2016 to February 2017, traditional RIDE trips reduced by 18% while total trips taken by the MBTA’s paratransit users (traditional RIDE and on-demand pilot combined) increased by 28%. The overall cost to the MBTA (traditional RIDE versus a combination of on-demand service and traditional RIDE) decreased by 6%. Expanding the pilot is anticipated to increase savings to the MBTA and allow full-scale testing of key pilot elements.

 

Customers interested in applying to the expanded pilot can learn more and be directed to sign up for Uber or Lyft accounts at www.mbta.com/paratransitpilot. After the MBTA verifies customer eligibility, further instructions and access to the program will be sent via e-mail from Uber or Lyft within 1-2 weeks of sign-up. Once contacted by Uber or Lyft, customers can book trips via a smartphone mobile app. Lyft also has a phone call-in option and a limited number of Uber customers can utilize Uber-provided smartphones for use on a limited basis specifically to book trips.

 

The pilot is a part of a larger transformation of the RIDE to improve the customer experience and reduce the cost of service.  Other initiatives include centralizing its call and dispatch functions and soon offering a revamped taxi subsidy pilot.

 

For more information regarding the pilot, please visit www.mbta.com/paratransitpilot.


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Massachusetts Named Best State by U.S. News & World Report:

 

Inaugural rankings recognize Commonwealth's leadership in health care, education

 

Boston, MA -- The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has been named the best overall state in U.S. News & World Report's inaugural report. This best state ranking evaluates all fifty states in various categories, with Massachusetts ranked the #1 overall state, #1 in education, #2 in health care and among the top ten for economy and crime and corrections. Massachusetts was recognized for having the most accessible health care and is ranked third for Pre-K through 12th grade education.

 

“Massachusetts is a great place to live, work and raise a family because of the strength and character of all those who call the Commonwealth home,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Everyone should be proud that Massachusetts continues to lead the nation in health care access and public education for all citizens, and our administration will continue to build on these accomplishments to bring more economic success to every corner of Massachusetts.”

 

Governor Baker joined U.S. News & World Report editor and chief content officer Brian Kelly on “CBS This Morning” to discuss Massachusetts top ranking. 

 

Massachusetts ranked well above the national average as #1 in enrollment for Medicare Advantage Plans, Higher Education Educational Attainment and College Readiness, and No. 2 in Patents Granted and Populations with Fast Download Speed.

 

“We are proud to be the first state to be named number one overall in the inaugural Best States ranking as we continue to be a leader in the nation across numerous sectors,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “This honor is a testament of policies and practices that are working and we are dedicated to continuing this progress in every community in the Commonwealth.”

 

The new Best States rankings and platform was designed to inform people across the country about what is working across the country and includes rankings that measure states overall and in seven different categories: education, health care, government, infrastructure, economy, opportunity and crime & corrections.

 

The Leading States Index and analytics for the system were produced by McKinsey & Company to inform state government officials on where to focus their efforts and where to make improvements for their constituents.

 

For more information on methodology and complete rankings, please visit: https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/rankings.


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State Leaders Release Report on Criminal Justice Reform Measures:

 

Boston, MA -- Governor Charlie Baker, Senate President Stan Rosenberg, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, and Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants, along with The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center released a report today which, along with related legislation, outlines ways in which Massachusetts can enhance public safety, avoid nearly $10 million in projected corrections costs by 2023 and accelerate further reduction of its incarcerated population.

 

Compared to other states Massachusetts has a relatively low overall incarceration rate.  However, there remains room for improvement. Two-thirds of those released from Houses of Correction and more than half of those released from the Department of Correction recidivate within three years. With corrections spending over a billion dollars per year the Governor, the Speaker, the Senate President, and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court requested that the Council of State Governments Justice Center conduct a data driven analysis to assist in the development of recommendations to reduce recidivism, improve public safety and generate savings.

 

A bipartisan, inter-branch steering committee and working group were established to support this work. Between January 2016 and January 2017, the 25-member working group met six times, and its five-member steering committee met seven times to review analyses conducted by the CSG Justice Center and discuss policy options. In assisting the working group and steering committee, CSG Justice Center staff analyzed more than 13 million state records, conducted more than 300 in-person meetings, and helped craft research-backed policy options to address the state’s criminal justice system challenges.

 

To that end, policy options outlined in the CSG Justice Center’s report reflect a three-pronged strategy including legislative, administrative and budgetary actions that each branch of government will take to help reduce recidivism within the Commonwealth.  These actions will incentivize participation and expand access to pre- and post-release programming, strengthen post-release supervision, streamline the parole release process and improve and standardize data collection and performance monitoring across the criminal justice system. Actions include a commitment to increased funding for substance use and work training programming, enhancing post-release supervision, and expanding access to earned good time credits for completing recidivism-reduction programs during incarceration.

 

“Massachusetts should be proud that our prison population has declined by 1,300 inmates over the last two years, leaving us with one of the lowest incarceration rates in the country,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “However, we must focus on addressing recidivism by providing opportunities for certain prisoners who are willing to help themselves and participate in programs like workforce skills training opportunities that put them on the path to being productive members of society once their sentence is served.”

 

“The steering committee, co-chairs, and working group used their deep experience and unique perspectives to work with the CSG Justice Center to produce this informative report,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “We look forward to continuing our exchange of ideas with all stakeholders and implementing important reforms on criminal justice.”

 

“Thank you to the CSG Justice Center and everyone who put so much time and effort into this report,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst). “It will help inform our work on Criminal Justice Reform this session. We will incorporate its findings into what I hope will be real substantive changes to the entire range of issues facing our criminal justice system that will reduce recidivism, improve public safety, and generate savings.”

 

“I thank the CSG Justice Center and the Working Group for their detailed analysis and thoughtful recommendations,” said Speaker Robert DeLeo (D-Winthrop). “By taking an encompassing approach that includes legislative, administrative and funding components, I believe that we can make lasting change. I am particularly invested in ensuring that support programming – for example job training, substance addiction programs, and help securing housing - is of the highest quality.”

 

"I am grateful for the hard work and perseverance of the CSG and the Working Group, as well as the leadership and teamwork of my steering committee colleagues--Governor Baker, Lieutenant Governor Polito, President Rosenberg and Speaker DeLeo," said Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants. "The resulting report and legislative and policy proposals highlight the need for a comprehensive approach to reducing recidivism that combines an individualized focus on a defendant's risk, needs, and responsivity to programs; increased access to and incentives for education, job training, and treatment programs for defendants both in prison and during post-release supervision; and a recognition of the importance of facilitating a defendant’s reintegration into society. By examining these issues, the CSG project has enabled us to take a step forward in reforming our criminal justice system and created a springboard for further reforms."

 

The justice reinvestment process began in August 2015 when leaders from all three branches of government officially requested intensive technical assistance from the CSG Justice Center with the support from The Pew Charitable Trusts and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance. Twenty-six states have successfully used the justice reinvestment approach to date, including Idaho, North Carolina and West Virginia.

 

To read the full report, click here.


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Baker-Polito Administration Awards $39 Million in Capital Grant Funding to Educational and Research Institutions:

 

Grants will advance scientific discovery and prepare a highly skilled STEM workforce

 

Gloucester, MA -- Governor Charlie Baker and the Massachusetts Life Science Center (MLSC) today announced $39 million in capital funding for research centers and life sciences training facilities at colleges, universities, middle schools and high schools across the Commonwealth. An event was held today at the Gloucester Marine Genomic Institute with Governor Baker to announce the awards on the North Shore. Regional events will be held in the coming weeks to formally announce the projects that will be funded in other areas of the state.

 

“Our administration is proud of Massachusetts’s global leadership in the life sciences, and we are committed to advancing that standing, training the next generation of entrepreneurs, and connecting residents across the state to careers,” said Governor Baker. “The projects that we are announcing today demonstrate our commitment to investing in the innovation economy, supporting game-changing technological research, and creating jobs in every region of the Commonwealth.”

 

“These capital grants from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center deepen our administration’s efforts to build vibrant regions, from Cape Ann to the Berkshires,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “By training middle school and high school students on state-of-the-art STEM equipment, and creating new pipelines for workforce development and scientific breakthroughs, these awards will create new economic opportunities in communities, and help build a stronger Massachusetts.”

 

“The MLSC continues to make major capital investments to support education and training at academic institutions across the entire Commonwealth in order to meet the workforce needs of our state’s fastest-growing industry,” said Travis McCready, President and CEO of the MLSC. “Through these resources, our academic institutions will be better positioned to connect students with job opportunities in the Massachusetts life sciences ecosystem, and our research institutions will have the infrastructure that they need to accelerate research and improve patient care.”

 

“One of our capital investment plan priorities is to make strategic investments in the future workforce of the Commonwealth, including STEM programs for our students,” said Administration and Finance Secretary Kristen Lepore. “By awarding these capital grants today, the administration is once again leveraging our resources to invest in the Commonwealth’s growing biotech industry.” 

 

“Massachusetts is building the nation’s most competitive economy by investing in workforce development, and in the infrastructure of innovation,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “By spurring new scientific breakthroughs, and improving the quality of STEM education for students across Massachusetts, these awards will help make the Commonwealth a more dynamic place to live and work, and they will equip local residents with the skills needed to retain Massachusetts’s title as the most innovative state in the nation.”

 

Governor Baker announced a total of $35 million in MLSC competitive capital funding, for research and workforce training infrastructure at 14 higher education institutions and research institutes. The awarded projects will maintain Massachusetts’s leadership in life sciences research and development, and will deepen career pathways for students from the Pioneer Valley to the South Coast. 

 

The following projects will receive funding:

BioBuilder Learning Lab, Cambridge - $500,000

The BioBuilder Learning Lab will expand its curricular offerings, expanding innovative, hands-on STEM programming to roughly 1,000 new students, as well as hundreds of secondary and post-secondary teachers and community participants.

 

Bristol Community College, Fall River - $4,400,000

MLSC funds will help Bristol Community College overhaul its science and engineering buildings, and upgrade its STEM laboratories, modernizing the college’s academic and workforce offerings, and allowing BCC to equip students with the skills to obtain employment in bio-molecular, biochemical, and biotechnology laboratories, and in biomedical manufacturing facilities.

 

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston - $4,629,019

MLSC grant funding will support the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Advanced Cell Therapy Unit, which will establish partnerships with commercial partners to refine cell therapy manufacturing processes, validate manufacturing procedures, and provide manufactured cellular products for patients enrolled in FDA-approved clinical trials.

 

Dean College, Franklin - $297,030

Dean College will update its laboratory equipment and training programs to expand STEM programming for the college’s diverse student community, and develop new courses in biotechnology and molecular biology.

 

Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute, Gloucester - $2,744,219

The Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute will establish a world-class marine genomics research institute on Gloucester Harbor, integrating the dynamic components of scientific discovery, workforce development and investment, and diversifying Gloucester’s maritime economy.

 

Harvard Medical School, Boston - $4,345,000

Harvard Medical School will partner with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to establish a new research and education program in regulatory science and precision medicine, focusing on overcoming the most difficult steps in drug development, to address unmet medical needs at lower cost.

 

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston - $4,912,307

Grant funding will support the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s creation of the BioBank for Microbiome Research (BIOM-Mass), an integrated platform that will dramatically increase capacity of the Massachusetts life sciences community to collect, use, and analyze microbiome-based biospecimens in human populations.

 

Framingham State University, Framingham - $454,000

Framingham State University will use MLSC capital funds to advance the completion and equipping of 16 new state-of-the-art biology and chemistry laboratories, and to equip classroom space for other STEM-focused academic programs, including mathematics and computer science.

 

Institute for Protein Innovation, Boston - $5,000,000

The IPI will build and operate an open-source antibody discovery platform focused on protein therapies, with the long-term goal of developing antibodies targeting the entire human extracellular proteome. This resource will enable scientific advances that drive economic activity, spur startup formation, and advance Massachusetts' competitive edge as the world leader in life sciences research and innovation.

 

Merrimack College, Andover - $500,000

MLSC funding will support the development of Merrimack’s Center for Innovation in Science and Engineering, deepening employment pipelines between the university and area life sciences and health sciences companies.

 

Mount Wachusett Community College, Gardner - $1,646,787

MLSC grant funding will allow MWCC to renovate and equip classroom space, upgrading aging and outdated equipment, and launching a new Medical Laboratory Technology/Clinical Laboratory Science facility.

 

Smith College, Northampton - $496,638

Smith College will purchase advanced instrumentation equipment for two college research centers, allowing Smith to train life science majors with state-of-the-art technology, and grounding the college’s K-12 outreach endeavors in highly relevant practice.

 

UMass Lowell, Lowell - $5,000,000

Capital grant funds will provide UMass Lowell with the capacity to construct new research and teaching labs in biomedical engineering, deepening the university’s capacity to equip students with the training needed to advance the state’s medical device industry.

 

Westfield State University, Westfield - $75,000

Westfield State University will undertake significant capital improvements to classroom space, allowing the university to upgrade biotechnology workforce instruction.

 

The MLSC’s Competitive Capital Program provides grants for capital projects that support the life sciences ecosystem in Massachusetts by enabling and supporting life sciences workforce development and training, research and development, commercialization and manufacturing in the Commonwealth. The program funds high-potential economic development projects by nonprofit entities that make significant contributions to the state’s life sciences ecosystem. To date, the MLSC has awarded or committed more than $405 million to support capital projects across the state.

 

Today, Governor Baker also announced a total of $4 million in capital funding, for 49 recipients across Massachusetts, through the MLSC’s STEM Equipment and Supply Grant Program. For the first time, MLSC is pairing capital STEM equipment grants with resources for teacher professional development, to train educators on new STEM equipment. The MLSC is awarding a total of $400,000 in teacher professional development grants to the capital grant recipients. 

 

Governor Baker announced funding for the following schools:

* Bartlett High School, Webster - $16,112

* Bay State Academy Charter Public School, Springfield - $110,000

* Boston Educational Development Foundation, Inc., Boston - $222,415

* Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical High School, Taunton - $100,000

* Brockton High School, Brockton - $109,988

* Brooke Charter High School, Boston - $100,000

* Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, Cambridge - $105,000

* Chelsea High School, Chelsea - $108,029

* Chicopee Comprehensive High School, Chicopee - $105,579

* Collins Middle School, Salem - $39,525

* Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School, Fall River - $99,951

* East Boston High School, Boston - $110,000

* George Keverian Middle School, Everett - $59,629

* Global Learning Charter Public School - New Bedford $107,982

* Gloucester High School, Gloucester - $109,154

* Goodrich Academy, Fitchburg - $105,345

* Greater Lawrence Technical High School, Andover - $93,410

* Holyoke High School and Dean Technical High School, Holyoke - $210,798

* Jeremiah E. Burke High School, Boston - $105,700

* John D. O'Bryant School of Mathematics and Science, Boston - $186,420

* Lynn English High School, Lynn - $57,311

* Madison Park Technical Vocational High School, Boston - $110,000

* Malden High School, Malden - $26,000

* Massachusetts Biotechnology Education Foundation, Cambridge - $95,000

* Matthew J. Kuss Middle School, Fall River - $40,530

* McCann Technical School, North Adams - $29,164

* Medford Vocational Technical High School, Medford - $99,516

* Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical High School, Lexington - $108,172

* Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School, Fitchburg - $99,697

* Nashoba Valley Technical High School, Westford - $101,476

* New Bedford High School, New Bedford - $110,000

* New Bedford Middle Schools, New Bedford - $25,000

* Northbridge High School, Whitinsville - $110,000

* O'Malley Innovation Middle School, Gloucester - $56,933

* Prospect Hill Academy Charter School, Cambridge - $21,000

* Quaboag Middle Innovation School, Warren - $50,000

* Quincy Middle Schools, Quincy - $121,890

* Richardson Middle School, Dracut - $60,000

* Shawsheen Valley Technical High School, Billerica - $110,000

* Sizer Charter School, Fitchburg - $14,780

* Snowden International School, Boston - $101,600

* South High Community School, Worcester - $91,609

* Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School, North Easton - $99,995

* Springfield High School of Commerce, Springfield - $110,000

* Springfield Renaissance School, Springfield - $40,040

* TechBoston Academy High School, Boston - $105,970

* Tenney Grammar School, Methuen - $49,678

* Veritas Preparatory Charter School, Springfield - $38,000

* Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School, Haverhill - $109,342

 

The MLSC’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Equipment and Supplies Grant Program funds the purchase of equipment and supplies for high schools and middle schools in the Commonwealth. The program helps schools train students for life sciences careers, increase student achievement and student interest in STEM fields, and support the implementation of the state's STEM standards. The competitive program is open to vocational-technical high schools, public high schools and middle schools located in Gateway Cities, and public high schools and middle schools with economically disadvantaged student populations. To date, the STEM Equipment and Supplies Grant Program has awarded more than $16.3 million to 149 different schools and organizations throughout Massachusetts, and leveraged more than $1 million in matching funds from industry partners.

 

About the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center:

The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) is an investment agency that supports life sciences innovation, education, research and development and commercialization. The MLSC is charged with implementing a $1-billion, state-funded investment initiative. These investments create jobs and support advances that improve health and well-being. The MLSC offers the nation’s most comprehensive set of incentives and collaborative programs targeted to the life sciences ecosystem. These programs propel the growth that has made Massachusetts the global leader in life sciences. The MLSC creates new models for collaboration and partners with organizations, both public and private, around the world to promote innovation in the life sciences. Learn more at http://www.masslifesciences.com/.


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Governor Baker Seeks $200 Million in Chapter 90 Transportation Funds for Local Infrastructure Improvements:

 

Administration requests funding for municipal bridge, road, and infrastructure improvements

 

Boston, MA -- The Baker-Polito Administration is filing “An Act Financing Improvements to Municipal Roads and Bridges,” which requests $200 million in Chapter 90 funds for local transportation infrastructure projects across Massachusetts.

 

“We are proud to once again file for $200 million for Chapter 90 funds for cities and towns as we approach the road construction season,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This essential and flexible funding allows our municipalities to make infrastructure upgrades that promote reliability and public safety on roads and bridges, as well as economic development and job creation, and we hope for swift action by the legislature.”

 

Through the Chapter 90 program, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) reimburses cities and towns for costs incurred for eligible transportation projects. Funding is awarded by municipality, and is predetermined by a formula that includes factors such as population, road miles, and employment. This is the third year that the Baker-Polito Administration has filed for $200 million for Chapter 90 funds. In total, since taking office in 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration has released $500 million in Chapter 90 infrastructure funds.

 

“Our administration has prioritized strengthening the state’s relationship with the Commonwealth’s cities and towns, and Chapter 90 funding is an important resource in that partnership,” said Lieutenant Governor Polito. “In addition to unrestricted local aid and Chapter 70 education monies, these infrastructure funds are yet one more tool for local leaders to apply to their specific needs and improve their communities.”

 

The legislation includes a technical change to allow municipalities to more easily use Chapter 90 funds upon approval of the grant by MassDOT, removing an existing requirement that an appropriation be made by the local legislative body.

 

“Prioritizing aid for our cities and towns has always been at the forefront during our budget planning process, and the administration has continued this commitment this year,” said Administration and Finance Secretary Lepore. “Local aid, including Chapter 90 funding, is key to ensuring all communities across Massachusetts thrive.”

 

“We are proud to work closely with cities and towns to improve transportation infrastructure,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “Chapter 90 funding allows municipal leaders who best know the needs of their communities to make crucial capital improvements that keep the Commonwealth moving forward.”

 

In addition to the Chapter 90 funding, the legislation also includes $30 million for a mobility assistance program through which MassDOT can purchase accessible vehicles on behalf of municipal transit agencies, local councils on aging, and private non-profits to provide transportation services to seniors and individuals with disabilities. The bill also provides $70 million for upgrades to the Registry of Motor Vehicles’ core information technology system, ATLAS.

 

In one of his first official acts after taking office in 2015, Governor Baker directed MassDOT to release $100 million in Chapter 90 funds that had been promised the previous year, fulfilling a commitment made to cities and towns. In total, the Baker-Polito Administration has released $500 million in Chapter 90 infrastructure funds, and if approved by the legislature, today’s request would bring that total to $700 million.

 

More information about the Chapter 90 Program is available here.


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Governor Baker Announces Launch of Search for Permanent MBTA General Manager:

 

Recommends Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB) exercise two-year extension to 2020

 

Boston, MA -- Governor Charlie Baker today announced that Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Secretary Stephanie Pollack is launching the search for a permanent CEO and General Manager for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA).  Governor Baker also recommended in his address before the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, that the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB) exercise the two-year extension of its governance of the MBTA, as permitted by statute. Chief Administrator Brian Shortsleeve will continue to serve as Acting General Manager in the interim and will sit on the search panel.

 

“The MBTA is showing real progress in its turnaround, from vastly improved winter operations to cutting its operating deficit by more than half, but more work is needed to deliver better and more efficient results to riders and taxpayers,” said Governor Baker. “As the MBTA enters this next phase, the time is right for a transformative and permanent General Manager with a strong business background and experience in delivering major capital programming and providing direct service to customers. The unrelenting dedication and talent provided by Secretary Pollack, Brian Shortsleeve and Jeff Gonneville, has steered the MBTA in a better direction, and we look forward to their steady leadership as the search for a turnaround CEO proceeds. The Fiscal and Management Control Board is playing a critical role in reforming the MBTA and we welcome their request to extend their governance to continue the MBTA’s turnaround.”

 

Secretary Pollack, who by statute is charged with hiring the MBTA’s General Manager, has created a GM Search Advisory Panel, and is in the process of securing an executive search firm to identify a CEO-style GM whose primary focus will be to continue the work of changing the MBTA’s culture to focus on performance, capital investment and improved customer service. The search process will be coordinated closely with members of the FMCB, and board member Steve Poftak will serve on the search panel.  

 

“The MBTA now has the momentum to implement changes which will give customers the service they need and deserve and to rebuild its aging infrastructure,” said Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack. “A new General Manager and the continued partnership of the Fiscal and Management Control Board will create the stability necessary for the MBTA to complete its transformation into the high performing, customer-focused transit agency to better serve the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”

 

Chief Administrator Brian Shortsleeve, who assumed the dual  role of Acting General Manager in July 2016, and MBTA Chief Operating Officer Jeff Gonneville, will continue their current leadership positions at the MBTA, focusing respectively on the MBTA’s fiscal sustainability and day-to-day operations, and serving on the search panel. Shortsleeve has served in his dual roles since July, 2016, when he assumed the role of Acting General Manager.

 

“I look forward to assisting in the search for a permanent General Manager who will continue the progress we have made in delivering better service for our riders,” said Acting General Manager and Chief Administrator Brian Shortsleeve,” and focusing full time on the MBTA’s long term fiscal sustainability for taxpayers.”

 

By statute, the FMCB sunsets at the end of June, 2018, with the option for the board to exercise a single, two-year extension through June, 2020. Extending the existing governance model for two years will ensure a longer-term structure is in place for General Manager candidates to consider while the search is underway and after their selection.


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Governor Baker Releases Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Proposal:

 

$40.5 billion budget invests in local aid, education, workforce development, and key support services without raising taxes; proposes new method for making deposits to the Stabilization fund, including a $98 million deposit in FY18

 

Boston, MA -- Today, the Baker-Polito Administration filed its Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) budget proposal, a $40.508 billion spending plan which funds key priorities including local aid, education, workforce development, housing and homelessness services, and substance misuse prevention programs, while keeping spending in line with recurring revenues and does not raise taxes. 

 

“This budget reaffirms our commitment to the hardworking people of the Commonwealth to propose a balanced budget that significantly invests in education, workforce development and funds to fight the opioid epidemic -- without raising taxes,” said Governor Baker. “While practicing fiscal discipline and reining in spending, we are also pleased to introduce new initiatives like the ‘Learn to Earn’ program to shrink the unemployment and underemployment gap in our state and a $4,000 tax-credit for employers hiring an unemployed veteran.  I look forward to working with our colleagues in the legislature so that we can all make Massachusetts a better place to live, work, and raise a family.”

 

The FY18 proposal increases spending by 4.3%, or 2.7% net of MassHealth revenue, over Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17) estimated spending, and relies on a consensus tax revenue estimate of $27.072 billion, which is 3.9% growth over the revised FY17 tax revenue projection. 

 

“Our administration has been pleased to deliver on our promise to give communities a voice and place at the table on Beacon Hill – and we remain committed to doing so going forward,” said Lt. Governor Polito. “Our budget proposal once again provides a promised increase in unrestricted local aid equal to consensus revenue growth, historic levels of Chapter 70 education aid, funding for the Community Compact program, and other grant programs to provide local government with the resources they need to be successful.”

 

“Our Fiscal Year 2018 budget proposal makes significant progress for the Commonwealth’s fiscal outlook,” said Administration and Finance Secretary Kristen Lepore. “We nearly eliminate the structural deficit from a few years ago, significantly reduce the use of non-recurring revenue, hold the line on taxes, responsibly deposit money into our reserves, and pay down important long-term obligations like our unfunded pension liability.”

 

House 1 funds the administration’s past commitments of staff increases at the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and substance misuse prevention efforts, and also increases funding for Chapter 70 education aid, unrestricted general government aid (UGGA) at 100% of consensus revenue growth, homelessness prevention services, the Department of Developmental Services (DDS), and recommends a new program to connect more job seekers with employment.

 

Stabilization Fund Reform and Deposit:

House 1 also recommends a new method to increase the Stabilization Fund during periods of economic growth, providing for a $98 million deposit into the fund in FY18, with potential for an additional deposit based on year-end surplus. If enacted, the new law would provide for two phases of rainy day fund deposits: first, a budgeted transfer of 50% of the consensus revenue estimate’s projected excess capital gains, and second, a requirement that 50% of above-budget tax revenue at the end of a fiscal year be directed to the Stabilization Fund, prior to year-end closeout and the finalization of consolidated net surplus.

 

Chapter 70 Funding at an All-Time High:

In the first two years of the Baker-Polito Administration, Chapter 70 aid to school districts has increased by $227 million to $4.628 billion, an all-time high, and Special Education Circuit Breaker funding has increased by nearly $20 million.

 

House 1 proposes a $91.4 million increase in Chapter 70 aid, providing at least a $20 per pupil increase to all 322 operating districts across the Commonwealth, supporting an 85% effort reduction to bring under-aided districts closer to their spending targets, and begins to address the rising cost of healthcare and retiree benefits in foundation budgets.

 

New “Learn to Earn” Program:

House 1 recommends $4 million for a new Learn to Earn initiative, led by a broad cross-secretariat working group. This program will provide credentials and employment for unemployed and underemployed individuals in occupations in high demand fields through partnerships between public agencies, businesses, community-based organizations, and career centers. As part of the $4 million request, the administration proposes $1 million to be allocated to address barriers to employment commonly encountered by the underemployed and unemployed, including transportation and child care expenses.

 

Launch of Career Pathways Program to Train Future Workforce:

The FY18 budget proposal includes nearly $200 million in funding across secretariats for workforce development programs, a $10.5 million increase from FY17. Part of that increase will go towards a coordinated strategy to expand and improve high quality career pathways, based on aligning and maximizing existing workforce training and career education capacity, and building stronger connections with employers. Five line items will be consolidated into the new “STEM Starter Academy and College and Career Pathways” account to allow for greater flexibility and coordination between college and career pathway investments and business sectors in need of trained employees. 

 

Increased Eligibility for Homelessness Voucher Program:

House 1 continues the Baker-Polito Administration’s effort to fight homelessness by investing over $500 million for housing and homelessness prevention services. An $11 million increase in funding will be included for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP), $3 million of which will increase supportive housing units by nearly 50% to a total of 620 units.

 

The proposal also includes language to allow families to keep their MRVP voucher eligibility as they work to grow their income, increasing qualifying standards from 50% of Area Median Income to 80%. This will ensure individuals do not lose housing supports before they are able to become self-sufficient.

 

Increased Support for Older Adults:

The administration’s FY18 proposal includes a $10.7 million increase in funding for the state Home Care Program to provide seniors in need of a wide array of services. This increase will support coverage for over 1,200 new low-income seniors, ensuring that they are not placed on a waitlist to receive services.

 

House 1 will also continue to fund the Supportive Senior Housing program, which allows 6,000 elderly residents of state-aided housing to remain in their homes and receive assisted living level of care. We also provide $7.2 million in level funding for the Elder Nutrition Program, enabling the delivery of over 1.1 million meals.

 

The administration recommends $29.2 million, a $1.1 million increase over FY17, to investigate cases of elder abuse, including physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, as well as neglect or exploitation, in addition to $14 million in funding for local Councils on Aging (COA).

 

Governor Baker also plans to sign an Executive Order in the coming weeks that will establish a Council on Older Adults, that will focus on policies and programs that make it possible for even more older adults and seniors to live vibrant, purposeful lives.

 

New Proposal for Civilly Committed Males:

The Baker-Polito Administration proposes an increase of $1.75 million, for a total of $10 million, to refocus Section 35 treatment for males in the Commonwealth by repurposing the MCI-Plymouth facility into the Massachusetts Alcohol and Substance Abuse Center (MASAC) at Plymouth. This funding would increase available beds by 45, for a total of 255 beds. Men who have been civilly committed to the soon to be decommissioned MASAC center at Bridgewater will be transferred to the new facility in Plymouth.

 

Good Government Solutions:

House 1 proposes capping sick time at 1,000 hours, or six months at work, for state employees in the Executive Branch, bringing Massachusetts in line with other states and to avoid excessive payouts for sick time to retiring employees.

 

House 1 also includes an outside section authorizing the Pension Reserves Investment Management board to manage the assets for the MBTA retirees, which will benefit these retirees by increasing returns and lowering administrative costs.

 

The Baker-Polito Administration's FY18 Budget Highlights by the Numbers:

Fiscal Overview:

* Nearly eliminates the inherited structural deficit by reducing the budgeted use of one-time revenues to under $100 million, down from $1.2 billion in FY15

 

* Deposits $98 million into the Stabilization Fund

 

* Fully annualizes previous tax cuts, including the increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit from 15% to 23% of the federal credit in FY16, and the reduction of the income tax rate from 5.15% to 5.10%

 

* Holds the line on no new tax rate increases

 

Strengthening Our Communities:

* Once again increases UGGA by 100% of revenue growth (3.9%), or $40 million, to $1.062 billion total

 

* Funds $6.8 million for Community Compact related programs

 

* Increases funding for State Police anti-drug trafficking program by $1.2 million to expand the program from 9 to 20 communities

 

* Supports $6 million for Shannon Grants for gang prevention initiatives

 

* Funds a new State Police class for 130 recruits

 

Investing in Our Schools:
* Increases Chapter 70 education aid by $91.4 million, for a total of $4.719 billion in funding

 

* Includes $7 million for rate increases for Early Education and Care for center-based child care providers

 

* Supports teacher and leader development with a $2 million increase

 

* Provides $31.1 million for the continued implementation of the next generation of the MCAS exam

 

* Supports a $10.3 million increase for higher education campus budgets

 

Enhancing Workforce Skills, Job Training, and Economic Development:

* Funds a new “Learn to Earn” initiative for grants to partnerships to help unemployed and underemployed individuals gain credentials for occupations and employment in high demand fields

 

* Increases funding for Connecting Activities by $500,000 that will double the number of STEM-related work-based learning experiences for high school participants

 

* Provides $1.3 million in new funding for an Adult Basic Education Pay for Success program contract for vocational English for Speakers of Other Languages classes and skills training services

 

* Increases funding by $1 million for Dual Enrollment, to allow under-served high school students to receive college credit while in high school

 

* Provides $1.5 million for a new round of Urban Agenda Economic Development Grant Program

 

Mental Health Support at Bridgewater State Hospital:

* $37 million  increase for a new clinical contract to care for patients at Bridgewater State Hospital, and implementation of a new model to move Corrections Officers to the outside of the facility to provide security and expand the size and scale of the clinical program offered inside the hospital.

 

Fighting the Substance Misuse Epidemic:

* Repurposes MCI-Plymouth into the Massachusetts Alcohol and Substance Abuse Center (MASAC) at Plymouth allowing men who have been civilly committed to the soon to be decommissioned MASAC center at Bridgewater to be transferred to the new facility, and provides an increase of $1.75 million in funding for an additional 45 treatment beds

 

* Sustains $145 million in funding for DPH programming for substance misuse prevention and treatment services

 

* Provides $13 million for DMH to continue its funding commitment of 45 beds for women’s addiction treatment services at Taunton State Hospital

 

* $37 million  increase for a new clinical contract to care for patients at Bridgewater State Hospital

 

Addressing Homelessness and Housing Insecurity:

* Provides over $500 million in funding for housing and homelessness prevention services

 

* Includes $11 million increase for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program, $3 million of which will support 200 additional supportive housing units

 

* Increases funding for DMH’s Safe Haven Program for the chronically homeless with mental illness by over $900,000 to annualize FY17 addition of 33 beds

 

Supporting the Department of Children and Families:

* Provides a $26.9 million increase to DCF

 

* Includes $9.8 million to fully annualize additional social worker and support staff positions created in FY17

 

* Recommends $6.4 million for projected caseload increases and the annualization of FY17 investment in 193 additional beds for clients

 

To access the Governor’s filing letter, budget message, and specific account information click here.


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Baker-Polito Administration Proposes Historic Education Funding; $40 Million Increase in Local Aid:

 

Local aid to increase by 100% of projected revenue growth; over $4.7 billion total for public schools

 

Boston, MA -- Today at the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s (MMA) Annual Meeting, Governor Charlie Baker announced the Baker-Polito Administration’s Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) budget proposal will include an increase of over $91 million in Chapter 70 education funding, totaling over $4.7 billion in total aid to public schools, including an increase of at least $20 per pupil to all 322 operating districts. The budget will also include a $40 million increase (to a total of $1.062 billion) in unrestricted local aid to the Commonwealth’s cities and towns, representing 100% of the rate of increase of projected tax revenue growth.

 

We are committed to investing in our cities and towns to support their efforts to drive our Commonwealth’s economic growth and prepare our children for a successful future,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are proud of the strong municipal partnerships our administration has fostered and look forward to more collaboration ahead as we strive for stronger schools and communities.”

 

Yesterday at the MMA’s Opening Session, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito announced the administration’s plans for an $8.8 million local funding and grant package for municipalities, including $4 million for Community Compact grants and $2.8 million for the District Local Technical Assistance Program in the FY18 operating budget and $2 million in the FY18 Capital Budget, released in the spring, for the Community Compact IT Grant Program.  Lt. Governor Karyn Polito has served as a champion for the administration’s municipal partnerships, entering into 252 Community Compacts that represent over 600 community-crafted, mutual best practices aimed at improving local fiscal policies, sustainable energy practices and advancing economic development and affordable housing.

 

“As former local officials, Governor Baker and I appreciate the importance of our municipal relationships and the certainty state government can deliver in local aid increases and historic education funding levels,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Through the Community Compact Program, we have been fortunate to work closely with leaders from our cities, towns, and regional planning agencies to build strong local partnerships.”

 

“The administration has kept to its commitment of supporting our communities,” said Secretary of Administration and Finance Kristen Lepore. “From local aid to the Community Compact to updating laws and regulations, we have made certain that local governments have the tools they need to succeed.”

 

In his budget proposals to date, Governor Baker has honored a commitment to increase unrestricted local aid by 75% of projected revenue growth in his first budget, and 100% of growth in subsequent years. A 3.9% consensus projected revenue growth for FY’18 was announced by Secretary of Administration and Finance Kristen Lepore and the chairs of the Senate and House Ways and Means Committees earlier this year.

 

Last summer, Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito joined local officials to celebrate the passage and signing of municipal modernization reform legislation, enhancing partnerships between state and municipal governments by eliminating or updating obsolete laws, promoting local independence, streamlining state oversight and providing municipalities with greater flexibility.


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Baker-Polito Administration Announces $8.8 Million in Local Grant and Community Compact Funding:

 

Boston, MA -- Speaking at the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s (MMA) Annual Meeting today, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito announced that the Baker-Polito Administration plans to file $4 million for Community Compact grants and $2.8 million for the District Local Technical Assistance Program in their Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) operating budget proposal, to be released next week. Lieutenant Governor Polito also announced that the administration plans to include $2 million in the Governor’s FY18 Capital Budget, released in the spring, for the Community Compact IT Grant Program.

 

“Establishing our administration as a reliable and responsive partner for the Commonwealth’s cities and towns has been a top priority since day one,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We look forward to building on that commitment through our upcoming budget proposal and continuing all of our work with local officials on making Massachusetts a great place to live, work, and raise a family.”

 

“As former local officials ourselves, the Governor and I understand how important a town’s relationship with state government can be,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “As Chair of the Community Compact Cabinet, I have been fortunate enough to work with cities, towns, and regional planning agencies on establishing best practices, upgrading essential IT infrastructure, and identifying thoughtful efficiency and regionalization opportunities. The Baker-Polito Administration looks forward to another successful year of state and local partnership.”

 

“We are pleased to once again provide this important funding to invest in our communities,” said Secretary Kristen Lepore. “We have spent over $15 million on Community Compact programs over the past two operating and capital budgets, and the FY18 commitment will allow this successful program to support best practices at the local government level.”

 

In the FY18 budget proposal that the administration will file next Wednesday, $2 million will be proposed to continue the Community Compact’s Best Practices Program. To date, 252 cities and towns from across the Commonwealth have signed a community compact with the state. Of the more than 600 best practices identified, approximately 75% of them are either complete or underway.

 

The administration’s budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year will also include $2 million for the Community Compact’s Efficiency and Regionalization Grant Program. Administered in two rounds per fiscal year, the first round of grant applications in FY17 was highly competitive and led to $1.25 million in grants for 72 municipalities and 10 school districts. The application process for the second round of this fiscal year is currently underway and closes on February 1st.

 

Additionally, $2.8 million will be included in the Baker-Polito Administration’s FY18 budget proposal to continue funding the District Local Technical Assistance Program, so the state can continue working with the 13 regional planning agencies across the Commonwealth on technical issues dealing with economic development, housing, transportation and environmental projects at the local level.

 

In the Governor’s third capital budget, released this spring, $2 million will be provided for the Community Compact IT Grant Program. In the program’s first year, grants were awarded to 52 municipalities for various projects aimed at driving innovation at the local level. The FY17 grant application period runs from March 1 -- April 1 and those municipalities who have signed up for the Best Practice program by February 15th are eligible, except for those who received an IT grant in FY16.

 

About the Community Compact Cabinet:

Formed in January 2015, the Community Compact Cabinet is chaired by Lt. Governor Polito and comprised of the secretaries of Housing & Economic Development, Education, Transportation, and Energy & Environmental Affairs, the Senior Deputy Commissioner of Local Services, the Assistant Secretary of Operational Services, and the Chief Information Officer of the Commonwealth. The Community Compact Cabinet elevates the Administration’s partnerships with cities and towns, and allows the Governor’s Office to work more closely with leaders from all municipalities. The Cabinet champions municipal interests across all executive secretariats and agencies, and develops, in consultation with cities and towns, mutual standards and best practices for both the state and municipalities.  The creation of Community Compacts creates clear standards, expectations and accountability for both partners.


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Schools, economic equity, infrastructure and public safety prioritized in third State of the City Address:

 

Boston, MA -- Mayor Martin J. Walsh delivered his third State of the City Address at Symphony Hall, sharing historic progress in broadening economic opportunity, keeping Boston accessible for all residents, and expanding opportunities to high-quality education. In his address, Mayor Walsh reaffirmed his commitment to lead "a city that lifts everyone as it rises," and announced plans to invest in new and existing schools, allocate more money for affordable housing and open space, upgrade infrastructure to fix traffic and double down on community-driven public safety.

 

"Because of our work together, Boston is stronger than it has ever been in our history," Mayor Walsh said. "We are a city that believes every single person deserves an equal chance to thrive and when we stand together, there's nothing we can't achieve."

 

Investing Equitably in Public Education, Eliminating the Opportunity Gap:

In his remarks,  Mayor Walsh stated that public schools are the foundation of equal opportunity and recalled barriers that faced students as recently as three years ago, including lack of pre-kindergarten seats, the shortest school day in the country and aging school facilities. Since 2014, the Walsh Administration successfully prioritized expanded access to high-quality education by extending the school day in 57 schools serving over 23,000 students, investing in hundreds more pre-kindergarten seats across the city and launching a free college tuition program for BPS students at Bunker Hill, Roxbury and Mass Bay Community Colleges.

 

In his address, the Mayor announced:

* $1 billion investment in new schools to support BuildBPS, the unprecedented school facilities master planning process that will help transform school buildings in every neighborhood into state-of-the-art educational facilities.

 

* Comprehensive legislation to bring an estimated $35 million of increased investment in education to Boston by fixing the charter school finance model and fully funding the cost of educating the highest need students.

 

* Legislative proposal to eliminate the opportunity gap in early childhood education by offering high-quality, free pre-kindergarten for every four-year-old for the first time in Boston's history by redirecting existing tax revenue produced in Boston back to is residents.

 

Bringing Opportunity to the Entire City:

A comprehensive effort by the Walsh Administration to create jobs and broaden opportunity for all residents has resulted in an additional 60,000 jobs and cut the unemployment rate to 2.4%, the lowest on record. A record 7,400 homes were built for low and middle income families and 1,052 formerly homeless were housed and provided the services they need to succeed.

 

* Proposing $100 million from the sale of the Winthrop Square Garage downtown to revitalize public housing in East Boston and South Boston; to improve Franklin Park and Boston Common, and to complete the original plan for the Emerald Necklace.

 

* Bringing library services back to the Chinatown neighborhood, located at the China Trade Center, which will provide services such as computer access, book-checkouts and educational support.

 

* Making the entire 8-mile Fairmount Line a jobs corridor with affordable housing.

 

* Filing legislation this week to protect residents from displacement.

 

Making a Stronger, Safer City through Community:

Mayor Walsh is committed to creating safer neighborhoods by doubling down on community-driven public safety strategy. Since 2014, violent crime is down 9%, property crime is down 16% and arrests are down 25%. Last year, shootings were down 6%, which is a drop of 16% from the 10-year average. In an effort to increase diversity, Mayor Walsh funded the return of the Police Cadet program, with 70% people of color, 33% women and 100% Boston residents in the first class.

 

* Creating Neighborhood Trauma Teams in Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan, East Boston and Jamaica Plain to coordinate immediate response and sustained recovery for all those affected in the aftermath of violence.

 

Upgrading Infrastructure to Fix Traffic:

Safe and reliable modes of transportation are key to a strong economy. To address traffic challenges, Mayor Walsh has upgraded Uphams Corner, broke ground on a redesigned Commonwealth Avenue from Brighton to Allston to Fenway, and focused on completing Central Square in East Boston.

 

* Secured $300 million to address traffic challenges citywide and working with residents to transform traffic flow.

 

* Cutting-edge traffic-light technology to Boston's busiest streets that allow for adjusted signal timing at intersections based on real-time traffic conditions and results in fewer stops at red lights, less traffic congestion and reduced emissions.

 

* Called for a comprehensive, fully-funded plan to move the T into the 21st century with better commuter rail service, bus routes and dependable trains.


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Governor Baker Signs Electric Vehicle Promotion Legislation:

 

Bill Encourages the Purchase and Use of Zero Emission Vehicles in the Commonwealth

 

Boston, MA -- Today, in a bipartisan effort to promote the sale and use of zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) in the Commonwealth, Governor Charlie Baker signed Senate Bill 2505, An Act Promoting Zero Emission Vehicle Adoption. The legislation works to increase access to ZEV charging stations for the general public by prohibiting owners of public charging stations from charging users a subscription or membership fee and requiring the use of payment options available to the general public. Further, the legislation allows municipalities and private businesses to restrict parking spaces specifically for ZEV use, and builds upon the Baker-Polito Administration’s ongoing commitment to adopting emerging clean energy technologies as the Commonwealth continues to add renewable energy generation into the Massachusetts’ diverse energy portfolio.

 

“Adopting clean technology and promoting additional zero emission vehicles is a critical piece of meeting our emissions reductions goals,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Today’s zero emission vehicle legislation makes major strides towards providing consumers with confidence that charging stations will be available to them, whether on a long trip or at work, a commonly cited hurdle in transitioning from traditional to zero emission vehicles.”

 

“Our administration is committed to improving the Commonwealth’s transportation infrastructure and this legislation will give electric vehicle owners the confidence they need to travel our state roadways with access to charging stations,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “We look forward to working with our state and municipal partners to find increased opportunities to integrate more electric and fuel efficient vehicles into their fleets to save taxpayer dollars and reduce emissions.”

 

In 2016 the Baker-Polito Administration committed $14 million to the Commonwealth’s electric vehicle rebate program, Massachusetts Offers Rebates for Electric Vehicles (MOR-EV), more than doubling the historic funding of the MOR-EV program. Massachusetts automotive consumers can qualify for rebates ranging from $750-$2,500 on the purchase or lease of more than 25 qualifying new electric vehicles, including battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric and fuel cell electric vehicles. Since June 2014, the MOR-EV program has issued or reserved over $7 million for 3,355 vehicles, cutting the state’s greenhouse gas emissions output by an estimated 9,255 short tons annually.

 

“The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to promoting clean transportation as one of the most direct and cost-effective ways to reduce emissions,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “As the Commonwealth continues to make impressive strides towards increased electric vehicle adoption, this legislation gives our municipal, business and state partners the tools they need to build upon that growth.”

 

“The increased adoption of electric vehicles is a key component of our mission to create a clean and resilient energy future for the Commonwealth,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson. “This legislation, paired with our nation leading MOR-EV rebate program, positions Massachusetts to further reduce emissions and meet our targets under the Global Warming Solutions Act.”

 

The legislation tasks DOER and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) to study state fleet electrification opportunities and file a report with the Legislature by October 1, 2017 and for MassDOT and EEA to study the feasibility of levying surcharges on ZEVs to offset gas tax revenue losses by December 1, 2017.

 

Senate Bill 2505 authorizes the Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS) to work with the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) to promulgate regulations around ZEV charging stations for residential and commercial buildings. It also allows electric distribution companies to submit proposals to the Department of Public Utilities for approval of cost recovery to construct, own, and operate publicly available electric vehicle charging infrastructure while tasking DOER with adopting interoperability billing standards for charging stations (effective January 1, 2018).

 

“Massachusetts is a leader in promoting clean technology and jobs,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop). “Encouraging the use of zero emission vehicles is another example of our commitment to a greener economy and culture.”

 

“Increasing access to charging stations for electric vehicles is critically important to shifting away from our reliance on fossil fuels,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst). “This bill moves the Commonwealth in the right direction to encourage the development and success of an important technology to help address climate change while also promoting alternative transportation technologies.”

 

“Under the Baker-Polito Administration, Massachusetts continues to position itself as a national leader taking innovative approaches to energy diversification,” said House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading). “Today’s bill signing represents another important step forward in the state’s ongoing efforts to promote the expanded use of environmentally-friendly zero emission vehicles.”

 

“Tailpipe emissions from vehicles represent a large portion of the generated carbon monoxide and greenhouse gases that are generated each day,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester). “Taking affirmative action to reduce our environmental impacts while advancing the technologies of zero emissions vehicles will move us towards reaching our global warming benchmarks.”

 

“This legislation is a great step forward in reducing our state’s transportation emissions and helping fulfill our goal to have 300,000 zero emission vehicles on the road by 2025,” said Chairman Frank I. Smizik (D-Brookline). “Ensuring our state has reliable and accessible charging infrastructure will allow residents to make environmentally conscious decisions and move Massachusetts towards a sustainable future.”

 

“With this law, Massachusetts is taking a major step toward making EVs the new norm for driving in our state,” said State Representative Jonathan Hecht (D-Watertown). “With predictable, convenient access to charging, consumers will find it easy to use the great new EVs manufacturers are bringing to market.  Consumers will enjoy the low ‘fuel’ and maintenance costs of EVs and we will all benefit from the cleaner air and reduced GHG emissions.”

 

“Increasing the use of zero emissions vehicles would help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, and I’m very pleased to have worked with my Senate and House colleagues to pass environmental legislation that will further help us reach the greenhouse gas reduction goals set by the Global Warming Solutions Act,” said State Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton). “We have taken significant steps this year to protect our environment, and I wish to thank Senate President Rosenberg, Chairwoman Spilka, and their staffs for their work on this legislation, as well as the Baker-Polito Administration and Secretary Beaton for their overall support of Zero Emissions Vehicles.”

 

In December, state energy officials announced that Massachusetts, along with Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Vermont, will share a portion of a $500,000 federal Department of Energy grant to assist in further collaboration between the Commonwealth and Plug In America to accelerate the deployment of ZEVs through the Mass Drive Clean initiative.

 

“Massachusetts is a leader in reducing carbon pollution from power plants and buildings. This bill shows we are serious about tackling the transportation sector, which now comprises 40% of our greenhouse gas emissions,” said Massachusetts Sierra Club Chapter Director Emily Norton. “A huge thanks to Governor Baker and our legislative leaders in the House and Senate.”

 

Begun in 2015, Mass Drive Clean is a highly successful pilot program that has resulted in over 1,000 drivers and passengers test driving one or more electric vehicles at employer sponsored and public events to date. The drives are a way for interested drivers to get behind the wheel of multiple makes and models of these clean vehicles.  Each driver is surveyed before and after driving, with 83% saying that their overall opinion of a ZEV is better than before their test drive and 68% said that were more likely to purchase one now that they had experienced the performance of the cars. Plug In America has shown in California that about 10% of ride and drive participants will purchase a ZEV within six months.


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Massachusetts Awarded $2 Million to Improve Career Education:

 

Commonwealth among recipients of New Skills for Youth grant from JPMorgan Chase and CCSSO

 

Boston, MA -- The Baker-Polito Administration announced today that the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. have selected Massachusetts as one of 10 states to receive a $1.95 million grant to strengthen and expand high-quality career-education pathways for students.

 

The grant, which will be distributed over the next three years, is part of the $75 million, five-year New Skills for Youth initiative developed by JPMorgan Chase in collaboration with CCSSO and Advance CTE and aims to strengthen career-focused education starting in high school and ending with postsecondary degrees and/or industry-recognized credentials aligned with high-skill jobs.

 

"Our administration has focused on aligning our K-12 schools and higher education system with the needs of our workforce so that our students, employers, and communities will share a stronger future," said Governor Charlie Baker. "Lieutenant Governor Polito and I are honored that Massachusetts and the potential of our students will be recognized through this grant." 

 

"We thank JPMorgan, the Council of Chief State School Officers and other partners who have helped make this grant award possible," said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. "This New Skills for Youth grant complements our administration's prioritization of STEM-focused career education by developing more high-quality pathway programs and expanding the number of students who graduate from high school with college credits and real world experience."

 

"This important grant opportunity comes at an optimal time for the Commonwealth and perfectly aligns with our administration's career and technical education priorities for Massachusetts in this and coming years," said Secretary of Education Jim Peyser. "Creating high-quality career pathways will not only offer our students and their families more opportunities to succeed in school and in their careers, but also help strengthen the Massachusetts economy."

 

"Constant changes in technology and globalization make it imperative for the Commonwealth to increase opportunities for skill acquisition for all our students," Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Ronald L. Walker, II, said. "This grant will help us continue the work of creating effective career on-ramps for younger workers through education pathways."

 

"I am thrilled that Massachusetts students will be among the beneficiaries of this grant," said Massachusetts Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester. "I look forward to continuing our collaboration with educators and industry to set students on a clear path toward their own career goals."

 

"This grant will have enormous impact for some of our neediest students," said Higher Education Commissioner Carlos E. Santiago. "We owe it to them to make sure that career exposure and training is integrated into a robust curriculum that will give them what every employer demands – a full box of workplace-ready tools, including quantitative reasoning skills, critical thinking skills, and the ability to write well, to work as part of a team and to lead."

 

Massachusetts has received the grant from CCSSO for the New Skills for Youth initiative after a rigorous review process, which included examination of the state's plan to transform the process of designing and developing career preparedness education programs.

 

This includes:

* Launching a major competitive grant program to fund the creation of high-quality career pathways that fully prepare students for high-skill, high-wage careers; 

 

* Developing a comprehensive career advisement system in partnership with the Massachusetts School Counselors Association so that all students can make more informed college and career choices; and

 

* Creating clear guidelines to help high schools develop and implement high-quality career pathways that will better prepare students for success after graduation.

 

"Preparing our youth for high-quality and in-demand careers is critical to the future strength of our communities," said Rick MacDonald, head of commercial banking in New England for JPMorgan Chase. "This investment will help to open more career pathways and give more young people the chance to learn, compete, and succeed." 

 

"Bunker Hill Community College is committed to creating clear pathways to fulfilling careers for our students," said Bunker Hill Community College President Pam Eddinger, whose institution participated on the state team applying for the grant. "This grant will allow us to continue this important work through our partnerships with local businesses and corporations and well as high schools."

 

"As an employer, I know how critical career-focused education is, and it has been exciting to be part of the team pursuing this grant," said Susan Coghlin Mailman, president of Coghlin Electric Contractors, Inc. "I appreciate the coordinated effort that our state is putting forth in order to strengthen opportunities for our youth which will ultimately create a stronger and more qualified work force."

 

In March 2016, JPMorgan Chase and CCSSO awarded Massachusetts a $100,000 grant as part of the first phase of the New Skills for Youth initiative for planning and early implementation of long-term career readiness education programs that align with the needs of employers. Twenty-four states and the District of Columbia received Phase I grants.

 

The grant awarded today represents the second phase of the New Skills for Youth initiative, which provides 10 of the original 24 recipients with funding to execute the career-readiness plans they developed during the first phase. 

 

About CCSSO:

The Council of Chief State School Officers is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. The organization provides leadership, advocacy and technical assistance on major educational issues. It seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses members' views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress and the public.

 

About JPMorgan Chase & Co.:

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.5 trillion and operations worldwide. The firm uses its global resources, expertise, insights and scale to address some of the most urgent challenges facing communities around the world including the need for increased economic opportunity.


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Governor Charlie Baker makes anti-gang funding grant announcement at the Grand Staircase in the Statehouse with elected officials, members of law enforcement, and other stakeholders behind him.

Baker-Polito Administration Awards $5.7 Million to Combat Community Gang Violence:

 

Grants to 15 cities and 11 partners will support outreach to at-risk youth, gang task force personnel

 

Boston, MA -- Today, Governor Charlie Baker and Secretary of Public Safety and Security Dan Bennett announced the release of $5.7 million in competitive grant funds to communities and local partners to bolster their efforts combatting gang violence. The awards were made to 15 communities and 11 research partners through the Shannon Community Safety Initiative, which targets gang violence in the Commonwealth.

 

“Shannon Grants support critical programming that provide education, training and employment direction for young people at risk of becoming involved in youth violence or gang activity,” said Governor Baker. “Our partnership with cities and local organizations enables crucial outreach to vulnerable youth, diverting them away from gangs and towards positive and productive futures.”

 

“The Commonwealth’s cities are on the frontlines of combatting gang violence, and the state-local collaboration supported by Shannon grants is an important tool to help them impact the lives of at-risk youth,” said Lt. Governor Polito. “We all have a role to play in protecting our young people from gang activity, and this funding supports important outreach that can keep teenagers on a path to success.”

 

“This funding enables my department to continue working with at risk youth and make a difference on the impact of gang violence in Boston,” said Boston Police Commissioner William Evans. “I want to thank Governor Baker and Secretary Bennett for their continued support of the Shannon Grant Program and the work of the Boston Police Department.”

 

The grants provide funds to communities that demonstrate high levels of youth violence and gang problems, a comprehensive plan to work with multi-disciplinary partners and a commitment to coordinated prevention and intervention strategies. Funded strategies include social intervention and opportunity provision programs, as well as gang task force personnel costs and overtime.

 

“We are thrilled to continue working in collaboration with law enforcement and community groups to support at-risk youth in the Metro Mayors communities,” said Marc Draisen, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, which staffs the Metro Mayors Coalition (MMC), a group of 14 cities and towns who collaborate in addressing common issues confronting urban core governments. MAPC manages the grant for the MMC communities of Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Quincy, Revere, Somerville, and Winthrop. “We thank Governor Baker and the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security for their ongoing support of this important program to prevent youth violence and crime.”

 

“The communities and partners who take part in this program have given themselves the tools necessary to make a serious impact on youth violence and gang activity,” said Secretary Bennett. “The disruption of illegal activity makes these communities safer while getting young lives back on track.”

 

Sites chosen by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security to receive an award demonstrated high levels of youth violence and gang problems within their locality, submitted a comprehensive plan to work with multi-disciplinary partners, and committed to providing a coordinated prevention and intervention strategy.

 

The municipalities and research partners awarded are as follows:

Shannon Community Safety Initiative Grant Sites:

* Boston - $1,114,789.29

* Brockton - $329,190.60

* Fall River - $384,235.07

* Fitchburg (incl. Gardner) - $138,687.30

* Haverhill (incl. Methuen) - $82,667.60

* Holyoke (incl. Chicopee) - $413,071.88

* Lawrence - $221,216.37

* Lowell - $531,920.00

* Lynn - $189,851.22

* Metro Mayors Coalition (incl. Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Quincy, Revere, Somerville, Winthrop) - $335,735.89

* New Bedford - $382,068.35

* Pittsfield - $73,297.29

* Springfield - $552,526.23

* Taunton (incl. Attleboro) - $68,562.07

* Worcester - $494,824.84

 

Local Action Research Partners:

* Clark University - $42,481.00

* Community Resources for Justice - $ 42,492.39

* Institute for Community Health - $41,838.61

* Kelley Research Associates- $38,240.00

* North Shore Community College - $27,943.40

* Roger Williams University - $ 40,347.92

* Salem State University- $31,687.72

* University of Massachusetts, Amherst - $42,500.00

* University of Massachusetts, Boston - $ 42,500.00

* University of Massachusetts, Lowell (Haverhill/Methuen Site) - $ 24,993.83

* University of Massachusetts, Lowell (Lawrence Site) - $ 24,993.83

* University of Massachusetts, Lowell (Lowell Site) - $ 49,980.40


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Massachusetts Selected to Partner in Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing Innovation:

 

Public-private partnership will develop and commercialize new advanced manufacturing technologies, and train a skilled workforce

 

Boston, MA -- Today the Baker-Polito Administration is pleased to announce that Massachusetts will be a partner in the nation’s first manufacturing innovation institute in biopharmaceutical manufacturing. The biopharmaceutical manufacturing innovation institute is the sixth Manufacturing USA project secured under the Baker-Polito Administration.

 

The $250 million biopharmaceutical innovation institute is a national public-private partnership, awarded through Manufacturing USA, a federally-authorized network of manufacturing innovation institutes. Federal matching funds for the manufacturing innovation institute will be provided by the US Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology. The University of Delaware convened this Manufacturing USA team.

 

Massachusetts will anchor the northeastern node for the biopharmaceutical manufacturing project, which will be known as the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL). The NIIMBL project will be led regionally by a consortium of small, medium, and large biopharmaceutical industry partners from across the supply chain, along with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Quincy College, UMass Lowell, UMass Medical School, and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI).

 

The Commonwealth is supporting NIIMBL’s collaborative research and development, and workforce training efforts, through a five-year, $20 million commitment from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC). The Commonwealth’s matching contribution leverages $70 million in federal funds, awarded to the national project, and additional matching funds from private sector participants.

 

“Massachusetts leads the nation in the development and deployment of advanced manufacturing technologies, and this new biopharmaceutical manufacturing innovation institute will ensure that our globally competitive life sciences cluster continues to deliver cutting-edge therapies, while providing quality manufacturing jobs to the citizens of Massachusetts,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “NIIMBL continues our administration’s substantial investment in public-private research partnerships that open new advanced manufacturing pathways for workers across Massachusetts. We look forward to collaborating with our partners in the federal government, academia, and the private sector, as we continue to build a foundation for dynamic economic growth.”

 

“Our administration is harnessing advanced manufacturing and workforce development to build prosperity across Massachusetts, and NIIMBL advances these efforts in meaningful ways,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “By strengthening the ties between academic research institutions, commercial biopharmaceutical research and development efforts, and the manufacturing community, we will create new capacity to manufacture modern biopharmaceutical therapies in Massachusetts, and continue to broaden the reach of the life sciences cluster throughout the Commonwealth.”

 

A shift in the delivery of medical treatments, from powder-based medicines based on chemistry and manufactured in large batches, to biologics, cell therapies, and gene therapies, presents new challenges for the manufacturing of biopharmaceutical treatments at scale. The National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals is a public-private partnership that seeks to solve challenges related to the production, testing, and regulation of new treatments.

 

NIIMBL is a process innovation effort that aims to reduce the risks associated with manufacturing new therapies, improve efficiency in order to deliver new therapies to patients more quickly and at lower cost, and increase the quality and safety of new biopharmaceutical products.

 

The project will also train an advanced manufacturing workforce, capable of working in new biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies.

 

“Being selected as the Northeast node for the National Institute for Innovation in Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing, and the federal funding that comes with it, will further strengthen Massachusetts’s position as the world’s leading ecosystem for drug development, from discovery, right through to commercialization and fabrication,” said Travis McCready, President and CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center. “This Institute will build connections between our biomanufacturing innovators in industry and academia, and will connect the innovation going on in manufacturing with the innovation going on in the lab. This will translate into technical innovations to improve the biomanufacturing process, allowing for new drugs to reach and help patients more efficiently, and at lower cost.”

 

“Biopharmaceutical manufacturing innovation at MIT and in our region is reflected by the many small and large companies -- and talented faculty and students --- that have come out of such research,” said MIT Provost Martin Schmidt. “Those companies have settled in Massachusetts to be part of the growing innovation ecosystem anchored in Kendall Square but linked to vibrant regions across the entire Commonwealth. MIT looks forward to continuing to be a strong partner in NIIMBL's national efforts to de-risk manufacturing technologies for new biologic therapies, and to educate and train the future workforce of these companies.”

 

“The University of Massachusetts is proud to leverage the Massachusetts BioManufacturing Center (MBMC) at Lowell and MassBiologics in Boston and Fall River as part of the NIIMBL effort,” said UMass President Marty Meehan. “UMass has years of experience assisting biotechnology companies in developing GMP compliant manufacturing processes and in producing FDA-licensed therapeutics, offering solutions that improve productivity, quality and cost. NIIMBL reflects our commitment to expand these public-private partnerships that contribute to the research, innovation, economic development and workforce development needs of the Commonwealth.”

 

“WPI was founded more than 150 years ago to support education and workforce development during the industrial revolution, and we look forward to driving innovation, career development, and other techniques to support 21st century biopharmaceutical manufacturing initiatives,” said WPI President Laurie Leshin. “For the past decade, WPI has been home to three bioscience facilities that are instrumental to education and innovation in biomanufacturing. We are committed to making those facilities -- the Life Science and Bioengineering Center, the Bioprocess Lab, and the Biomanufacturing Education and Training Center -- indispensable resources for organizations seeking competitive advantages in a global manufacturing economy.”

 

“Quincy College is proud to comprehensively teach the laboratory and critical thinking skills necessary to enter the growing biomanufacturing industry in Massachusetts and beyond,” said Bruce Van Dyke, Chair of the Biotechnology and Compliance Program at Quincy College. “Through lectures, seminars, and over 450 hours of hands-on laboratory experience, students earn an Associate of Science or Certificate in Biotechnology and Good Manufacturing Practice, and are fully trained to begin working in the biomanufacturing industry at entry-level positions. As a partner in the NIIMBL Project, our role would be to train individuals to fill biopharmaceutical manufacturing positions in the local workforce.”

 

Manufacturing USA, formerly known as the National Network for Manufacturing Institutes, is a network of competitively awarded public-private innovation institutes. Manufacturing USA seeks to spur research into cutting-edge technologies that can be applied to advanced manufacturing processes. Bidders frequently form teams of universities across different states, with regional nodes supporting the lead bidder. The federal awards are leveraged several times over through a series of state and industry matches.

 

Massachusetts is convening a national effort to develop revolutionary fibers and textiles, and the state is a participant in regional manufacturing innovation institute nodes in photonics, flexible hybrid electronics, smart manufacturing, and rapid process intensification.


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Governor Baker Unveils Workers' Compensation Pilot for Opioid-Related Cases:

 

Two-year pilot voluntarily expedites cases, pain management options for injured workers

 

Boston, MA -- Today, Governor Charlie Baker joined Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Ronald L. Walker, II and Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders to announce a new voluntary program to assist injured workers who have settled workers' compensation claims get treatment for pain management, aimed at limiting the use of opioids or other narcotics.

 

"Coordinating alternative viable chronic pain management options between an injured worker and their insurance company can reduce the chance of addiction to prescription opioids," said Governor Baker. "Judges have seen a rising number of overdoses and deaths as these proceedings play out in the courts and this pilot will help resolve cases more swiftly as another tool for fighting the opioid epidemic."

 

The program seeks to resolve court cases more swiftly by assigning a care coordinator to mediate treatment options between an injured worker and the insurance company paying for medical care.

 

"This program is an important tool for changing behaviors and curbing the devastating opioid epidemic impacting Massachusetts," said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. "Instead of sending injured workers home with prescription opioids to ease the pain in the short term, we can assist them in understanding the long-term repercussions and other pain management options available to them."

 

Workers compensation cases are handled by judges in the Department of Industrial Accidents, an agency within the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.

 

"This program can help to increase trust between injured workers and their insurers to ensure what's best for an individual's health and recovery," Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald L. Walker, II said. "We hope the acceptance of this mediation process by both sides will offer opportunities that lead to better care and fewer cases of addiction."

 

Massachusetts is one of the first states to implement this type of program for worker's compensation cases involving long-term opioid use. Ohio launched a similar program in October, and in January, 2017, New York will begin allowing parties to request an expedited hearing before a judge for cases involving over-use of medication.

 

"It is important that we help individuals get effective treatment in order to recover from addictions and get back to work. We know that treatments can lead to recovery," Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders said. "Care coordination is especially important to guide workers to the appropriate treatment and recovery support services."

 

The pilot program is designed for individuals with settled workers' compensation cases, who are still being treated with opioids, but the insurance company seeks to stop payment for continued-use of opioids. These types of cases can take up to a year to settle while an individual is continually prescribed opioids.

 

"In my courtroom, I have seen too many people become addicted to drugs due to a work injury," Department of Industrial Accidents Senior Judge Omar Hernandez said. "We felt their frustration and were pleased to work toward a pilot that we believe will help these individuals find a better way to address their injuries."

 

The program will be voluntary for both the injured worker and the insurance company. There will be no additional costs to the state to implement the new process, which fast-tracks court proceedings to mediation and assigns a care coordinator. In developing the program, the Department of Industrial Accidents sought input from insurers, injured workers, physicians, and substance-use specialists.

 

A nine-person committee is being formed to oversee the pilot program, consisting of:

* Henry Bratcher, of Engelberg, Bratcher & Kenner, a Boston law firm

 

* Dr. Roberto Feliz, a specialist in pain management

 

* DIA Senior Judge Omar Hernandez

 

* Deborah G. Kohl, an attorney who represents injured employees

 

* Jessica Muradian, deputy chief of staff for the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development

 

* Tracey Nicolosi, assistant director of Quality Assurance and Licensing at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health

 

* Judy Walden Scarafile, a registered pharmacist and a member of the Regional Substance Abuse Council for Barnstable County

 

* Dr. Tony Tannoury, assistant professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Boston University School of Medicine and director of spine services at Boston Medical Center

 

* AFL-CIO President Steven Tolman


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Baker-Polito Administration Reaches Agreement with Transportation Network Companies to Begin Implementation of Nation's Most Comprehensive State Background Checks:

 

Voluntary agreements with Uber and Lyft begins implementation of public safety requirements of new TNC law one year ahead of schedule

 

Boston, MA -- Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced that the two largest Transportation Network Companies (TNC) in Massachusetts have entered into agreements with the state, ensuring the immediate implementation of the most stringent ride-for-hire background check system of any state in the country.

 

The agreements were executed individually between the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) and Uber and Lyft. The agreements require the companies to begin background checks for all TNC drivers operating within the Commonwealth by January 6, 2017, and guarantees that every TNC driver in the Commonwealth will have passed the state background check no later than April 3, 2017.

 

“The safety and security of the riding public is our top priority, and I am pleased this agreement will set a national standard for the most comprehensive state background checks for TNC drivers in the country,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “With the signing of these agreements, consumers who take advantage of the innovative technology services provided by Transportation Network Companies can have confidence that the driver has undergone a thorough background check that includes both criminal and driving records.”

 

Background checks will begin a year ahead of schedule, highlighting the administration’s commitment to prioritizing the safety of consumers utilizing transportation network services in accordance with An Act Regulating Transportation Network Companies.

 

“It is incredibly important that drivers employed with Transportation Network Companies are fully vetted before transporting people, along with their families, to their destinations,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “By taking proactive steps with Uber and Lyft, our Administration is underscoring our dedication to safe travel options for all.”

 

Under the voluntary agreements, background checks will be conducted by the DPU’s newly created Transportation Network Company Division. Drivers employed by Uber and Lyft will undergo a full state Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) background check, including confirmation that the driver is not a registered sex offender. Additionally, drivers will be subjected to a bi-annual national commercial background check conducted by the TNC companies. Drivers who do not meet the suitability standards set forth in the agreements will not be permitted to operate in Massachusetts.

 

"Transportation network companies have driven a tremendous amount of change in this industry, and with that change comes a responsibility to make sure that passengers using these services are as safe as they can be,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Security Daniel Bennett. “I am pleased that the leading transportation network companies have agreed to have their drivers undergo a full state Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) background check.”

 

In August, Governor Charlie Baker signed bipartisan legislation that created a modern statewide regulatory framework for TNCs within Massachusetts. The legislation, H. 4570, includes several components for the protection of consumers including support for transparent pricing, properly marked and inspected vehicles, clear insurance standards, authorization of service at Boston Logan International Airport and the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC), and the strongest state background check requirements in the nation.

 

“Public safety is the highest priority of the Department of Public Utilities’ Transportation Network Company Division,” said Department of Public Utilities Chairman Angela O’Connor. “By entering into these agreements, the TNC Division can immediately implement a comprehensive background check system that will protect consumers and enhance public safety, while allowing cutting edge technology companies to succeed here in the Commonwealth.”

 

As public safety aspects are implemented under these agreements, the DPU will continue to prepare draft regulations for public review and comment in 2017, ensuring that all remaining aspects of the TNC law are implemented on schedule.


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If You See Something, Say Something Campaign: 2016-2017 School Year:


Jimmy Hui, President/Chief Executive Officer at The Jimmy Hui Foundation office would like to welcome back to the students, staff and the families of Quincy Public Schools in the 2016-2017 school year here in the City of Quincy.

 

The 2016-2017 school year will be stepping up in the plate and in the gear to make sure that our students, staff and the families of Quincy Public Schools are safe and sound in the school buildings with a full supervision by the security officers from Quincy Public Schools Security Department and the school resource officers from Quincy Police Department here in the City of Quincy.

 

The North Quincy Nights Strategic Response Unit will be working very closely with our partners: Quincy Public Schools, Quincy Police Department, MBTA, MBTA Transit Police Department, Massachusetts State Police Department, Norfolk County Sheriff Department, Quincy Fire Department and the Brewster Ambulance throughout the school year with any emergency situation at any school districts in all across the citywide here in the City of Quincy.

 

We are also asking the students, staff and the families of Quincy Public Schools should be remain in the vigilant where you are surrounding in the public places on the busy street intersections and on the school grounds throughout the school year in the order to report for any suspicious activities, please contact the law enforcement 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.

 

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

Quincy Police Department: DARE Division

Quincy Police DARE Officer John Grazioso: (617) 745-5735 or e-mail: jgrazioso@quincyma.gov

Quincy Police DARE Officer Don Sautter: (617) 745-5735 or e-mail: dsautter@quincyma.gov

 

Quincy Police Department: Community Policing Unit:

Lieutenant Tim Sorgi, Supervisor: (617) 770-4993 or e-mail: tsorgi@quincyma.gov

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Quincy Police Department: School Resource Officers:

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

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

Officer Matt Pantazelos (North Quincy High School): E-mail: mpantazelos@quincyma.gov

 

Quincy Public Schools Security Department:

Michael Draicchio, Director of Safety, Security and Transportation: 

E-mail: michaeldraicchio@quincypublicschools.com

 

Sheila Calabro, Security Officer at North Quincy High School: 

E-mail: shielacalabro@quincypublicschools.com

 

Rick Palumbo, Security Officer at North Quincy High School: 

E-mail: richardpalumbo@quincypublicschools.com

 

Kevin Keith, Security Officer at North Quincy High School: 

E-mail: kevinkeith@quincypublicschools.com

 

Steve McGowan, Security Officer at Quincy High School:

E-mail: stevemcgowan@quincypublicschools.com

 

Tom McInnis, Security Officer at Quincy High School: 

E-mail: tonymcinnis@quincypublicschools.com

 

John Hyacinthe, Security Officer at Quincy High School: 

E-mail: johnhacinthe@quincypublicschools.com

 

Mark Spendlove, Security Officer at Quincy High School: 

E-mail: markspendlove@quincypublicschools.com

 

Please enjoy for the rest of 2016-2017 school year and get a good education for your children in the classroom!


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Announcements:

City View With Mayor Thomas P

City View With Mayor Thomas P. Koch | Courtesy of: City of Quincy & QATV

 

Quincy Access Television Channel 11 Program Schedule:

Date

Time

Friday, March 24, 2017

6:00 p.m.

9:00 p.m.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

9:00 a.m.

6:00 p.m.

9:00 p.m.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

9:00 a.m.

6:00 p.m.

9:00 p.m.

Monday, March 27, 2017

10:00 a.m.

Schedule is subject to change by the Quincy Access Television Production.


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Sound Advice With Attorney Thomas F. Williams

Courtesy of: Thomas F. Williams & Associates

 

Quincy Access Television Channel 8 Program Schedule:

Date

Time

Show

Friday, March 24, 2017 6:00 p.m. Practicing Law

Sunday, March 26, 2017

3:30 p.m.

Schedule is subject to change by the Quincy Access Television Production.

 

WATDS 95.9 FM Program Schedule: (Live Streaming Audio)

Date

Time

Show

Saturday, March 25, 2017 11:00 a.m. -- 12:00 p.m. Sound Advice w/ Attorney Williams

Tune in on WATDS 95.9 FM to listen the Sound Advice with Attorney Thomas F. Williams to share with his legal advice and takes your call. Call in ahead at (781) 837-4900 with your questions throughout the show.


Quincy Public Schools

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Quincy Public Schools: 2016-2017 School Year Calendar:

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

 

Update: Wednesday, March 22, 2017

 

School District

School Calendar

Last Day of Seniors (Day of 168) Thursday, June 1, 2017
NQHS Class of 2017 Graduation Monday, June 12, 2017
QHS Class of 2017 Graduation Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Last Day of School for students (Day 180) Friday, June 23, 2017*

* = Subject to change if the weather permitting.


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Boston Public Schools: 2016-2017 School Year Calendar:

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

 

** Update: Thursday, March 16, 2017 **

 

School District School Calendar
Last Day of School for Seniors Friday, June 7, 2017
Last Day of School for students (Day 179) Tuesday, June 27, 2017 
Last Day of School for students (Day 180) Wednesday, June 28, 2017*

* = Subject to change if the weather permitting.


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.


MBTA Red Line Service Advisory Alert

MBTA Red Line Service Advisory Alert:

 

Branches Affected: Ashmont / Braintree

Saturday, March 25, 2017 and Sunday, March 26, 2017

 

Due to the Winter Resiliency Improvement Project, buses will replace Red Line Braintree branch service between Braintree and Quincy Adams Stations and Ashmont branch service between Ashmont and JFK/UMass Stations in both directions from start to end of service beginning on Saturday, March 25, 2017 and Sunday, March 26, 2017.

 

Regular Red Line train service will resume at the start of service on the following Monday, March 27, 2017. All shuttle bus stops are accessible for persons with disabilities.

 

Shuttling the following stops: Braintree Branch:

* Braintree

* Quincy Adams

 

Shuttling the following stops: Ashmont Branch:

* Ashmont

* Shawmut

* Fields Corner

* Savin Hill

* JFK/UMass


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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 Department of Public Works: Street Sweeping Information:

Mayor Thomas P. Koch | Daniel G. Raymondi, Commissioner of Quincy Public Works Department

 

April 2017:

Ward 1 and 2:

Monday, April 3, 2017 through Friday, April 7, 2017

 

Ward 3 and 4:

Monday, April 10, 2017 through Friday, April 14, 2017

 

Ward 5 and 6:

Tuesday, April 18, 2017 through Friday, April 21, 2017

 

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 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.


School Closing Information

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School Closing Information: 2016-2017

 

**Update: Monday, January 2, 2017**

 

Please do not call Quincy Public Schools or Transportation Office on the transportation issues for your child's school district such as private schools or public schools due to the weather permitting here in the City of Quincy or outside of the City of Quincy as well.

 

Quincy Public Schools parents and guardians, students, teachers and the employees should be encouraged to watch or listen their school cancellation update to find out if the school is open, closed, delay or cancellation from the local television stations and radio stations.

 

If you're college student, please watch the local news station or listen local radio stations to find out if your college or university is open, closed, delay or cancellation in your communities.

 

If the City of Quincy is declaring for the snow emergency or state of the emergency in the particular weather permitting.

 

Television Station

Radio Station

WBZ (CBS) Channel 4 & WSBK (MY) Channel 38 WBZ NewsRadio 1030 AM
WCVB (ABC) Channel 5 & METV Channel 5.2 WRKO 680 AM
WHDH Channel 7 & WLVI (CW) Channel 56 WATDS 95.9 FM (South Shore)
WBTS (NBC) Channel 10  WTKK 96.9 FM
WFXT (FOX) Channel 25 WMEX 1510 AM

 

Comcast Cable Provider for the Quincy Residents:

Quincy Access Television Channel 8

Quincy Government Access Television Channel 11

Quincy Education Access Television Channel 22


City of Quincy Winter Parking Rules Policy

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City of Quincy Winter Parking Rules Policy: October 15, 2016 - April 15, 2017:

Mayor Thomas P. Koch | DPW Commissioner Daniel G. Raymondi

 

* No Parking allowed on either side of Emergency Arteries during a Snow Emergency. Emergency Arteries are identified by signs.

 

* Residents on the side streets (not emergency arteries) are allowed to park on the EVEN side of the street, this winter season.

 

* Overnight parking is a prohibited without a Resident Parking Permit. Permits are available at the Quincy Police Department at (617) 479-1212.

 

* Vehicles in the violation of winter parking rules will be towed at owner's expense. Also, if your vehicle is hampering snow plowing operations (i.e. parked too close an intersection, etc). It will be towed.

 

* The average tow fee is $125.00, plus cost of storage. No Exceptions can be made for the short-term (10-15 minutes) per parking.

 

* To find out if a snow emergency has been declared:

   * City of Quincy official website: quincyma.gov or Twitter: @CityofQuincy for an updates.

   * Quincy Department of Public Works Snow Hotline: (617) 770-SNOW (7669) for a recording.

   * Quincy Department of Public Works Snow Hotline E-mail: snowhotline@quincyma.gov (24 hours)

   * Quincy Department of Public Works Snow Hotline Telephone: (617) 376-1927 (24 hours)

   * Quincy Access Television: QATV Channel 8 or QATV Channel 11 for an updates.


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Quincy Public Schools Security Department E-mail Directory: 2016-2017

 

Michael Draicchio, Director of Safety, Security and Transportation: 

michaeldraicchio@quincypublicschools.com

 

Sheila Calabro, Security Officer at North Quincy High School: 

shielacalabro@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

 

Steve McGowan, Security Officer at Quincy High School:

stevemcgowan@quincypublicschools.com

 

Tom McInnis, Security Officer at Quincy High School: 

tonymcinnis@quincypublicschools.com

 

John Hyacinthe, Security Officer at Quincy High School: 

johnhacinthe@quincypublicschools.com

 

Mark Spendlove, Security Officer at Quincy High School: 

markspendlove@quincypublicschools.com

 

Subject to change for the 2016-2017 school year of e-mail directory.


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Jimmy Hui's Message Blog:


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Quincy Access Television:


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Quincy Public Schools: