Saturday, July 8, 2017

Senate Passes Final FY 2018 Budget

The Massachusetts Senate voted today to approve a final $40.202B billion budget for Fiscal Year 2018. The budget makes reductions in spending from the originally proposed Senate budget due to revised revenue forecasts, but maintains a strong commitment to Chapter 70 education funding and preserving local aid to cities and towns.

"This budget was negotiated in a tough fiscal environment, as projected revenues fell short for a variety of complex reasons," said Senator Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland), Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means.  "We have worked hard to balance fiscal responsibility with our longstanding commitment to the residents of our Commonwealth.  Our fiercest commitment is to our children, and so the final budget contains an overall increase in Chapter 70 education funding.  We also increased local aid to cities and towns, and fought to ensure that the Governor's late-proposed healthcare package was not adopted without the proper public process and transparency."

The FY 2018 budget includes $40.202B in total spending with investments in education, local aid, health care, substance addiction services, developmental services and children and families.  It also deposits $100M into the state's Stabilization Fund.

"This is the harshest state budget since the last recession. It would have been somewhat better had it contained the Senate's modest revenue proposals including those on Airbnb, internet hotel resellers, flavored cigars, film tax, and the CPA," said Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst).  "We can take some measure of pride in what we were able to do for local aid, children, and veterans, but too many were left behind."

"Despite difficult fiscal challenges, this year's budget still includes critical investments in many of our most valuable services and programs," said Senator Sal DiDomenico, Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. "I was proud to work with my colleagues on the conference committee to create a comprehensive final budget that protects many of our communities' top priorities, while also remaining financially responsible. I am confident that the budget we have produced will address the needs of our residents and will continue moving our entire Commonwealth forward."

"This budget makes important strides toward recognizing a fiscal reality that demands both reform and spending restraint," said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester).  "Difficult choices, maintaining priorities like education and local aid, and the absence of a host of new tax initiatives make it a workable document to move forward, yet there is still much to be done in the future."

In response to below benchmark FY2017 revenue, the conference committee took the following steps to close the budget gap:
·      $400M in spending reductions relative to the House and Senate budgets, including a $150M reduction to MassHealth because of efficiencies and enhanced program integrity and $250M in reductions in other areas of the budget
·      $205M in anticipated department efficiencies
·      $83M in additional revenue because the income tax rollback will not be triggered
·      $50M in non tax revenue increase from agencies, departments, trusts or federal resources

The conference committee reviewed and considered the package of proposals submitted by the Baker/Polito Administration regarding the employer assessment and MassHealth benefit and eligibility changes.  The final budget proposes:
·      Including the targeted two-tiered EMAC contribution to generate $200M in revenue
·      Modifying the unemployment insurance schedule that will allow employers to pay approximately $334M less over 2 years than they would have paid under the current schedule
·      Not including any of the new reforms at MassHealth requiring federal waiver changes, other changes to eligibility and benefits, or commercial market reforms

Significant final investments include:
·      $4.74B in Chapter 70 education funding, a $118.9M increase, which amounts to a $30 per pupil increase, 85% effort reduction, and a significant down payment on foundation budget health care rate increases
·      $1.061B for Unrestricted Local Aid to Cities and Towns – a $40M increase
·      $15M for Early Education and Care (EEC) rate reserve
·      $132.5M for the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services to continue to fund beds, treatment centers, life-saving medications and recovery options
·      $61.7M increase to developmental services, particularly in support of the growing Turning 22 population
·      $36M increase in overall DCF funding to continue important initiatives designed to ensure that every family has a healthy, supportive environment

Further recommendations preserved in the conference committee report include:
·      Expansion of the Housing Court, to stabilize housing and keep residents in their homes
·      Creation of a dedicated reserve for CPCS to ensure that these attorneys will be paid regularly for their crucial work moving forward
·      Maintenance of $2M in the budget for the cannabis commission so that the will of voters continues to move forward in a smooth and transparent manner

The FY 2018 conference committee report passed the Senate with a vote of 36 to 2.  The budget will now go to Governor Baker for his signature.

Senator Spilka: Joint Statement on Fiscal Year 2018 Budget
link to Senate Fiscal Year 2018 Budget

In the News: Bissanti arrested on gun charge, MA legislature passes budget

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"Town Council member Andrew Bissanti is facing criminal charges after authorities said he fired a handgun in the air to drive away his daughter’s boyfriend who showed up at their home last Sunday. 
Dennis Lamoureaux, 36, of Woonsocket, R.I., told police he was dropping off a bathing suit belonging to his girlfriend, Francesca Bissanti, 30, around 7 p.m. at her 148 Brook St. home when he was confronted by her father, Bissanti, and her uncle, Vincent Lombardi, 48, of East Brookfield. They yelled at him and told him to leave the property, Lamoureaux said. 
Lombardi then hit Lamoureaux in the face with a soda can, according to reports. As Lamoureaux walked back to his Volvo, Bissanti fired a gun into the air, he said. That is when Lamoureaux said he called police. When they questioned Lamoureaux police said they saw a cut and bruise under his right eye. 
Bissanti told police he only fired his Smith and Wesson Bodyguard 380 semi-automatic pistol when Lamoureaux ignored his repeated requests to leave the property."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Town of Franklin photo Andy Bissanti
Town of Franklin photo of Town Councilor Andy Bissanti

"House and Senate leaders agreed to a $40.2 billion budget that avoids tax increases and mostly holds spending flat at state agencies for fiscal 2018, according to two sources close to the negotiations, including one of the legislators involved in the talks. 
The bill, filed Friday at 9:40 a.m., and scheduled for passage Friday afternoon reflects a new forecast of fiscal 2018 tax revenues that is roughly $700 million below the projection the House and Senate used to build their budget bills this spring, according to Sen. Vinny deMacedo, a Plymouth Republican. 
A separate source close the negotiations said the conference committee agreed to $733 million in budget fixes, including about $400 million in direct cuts from the bills the House and Senate approved this spring. Further explanations about the budget fixes and the327-page bill, which includes 153 outside sections and was crafted behind closed doors of the past month, were not available as lawmakers who crafted the spending plan were not available to discuss it."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

QinetiQ North America expands to Franklin

From the business radar, QinetiQ North America expands to Franklin.

"Transwestern Consulting Group (TCG) brokered the $6.4 million sale of 130 Constitution Blvd. in Franklin, Ma, on behalf of Novaya Real Estate Ventures. 
The 59,970-square-foot industrial building was purchased by Albert Milstein, Barry Kirschenbaum and Sanford Bokor. TCG Partners John Lashar and Chris Skeffington, along with Vice President Roy Sandeman, represented the seller and assisted in sourcing the buyer. 
Novaya purchased the building in 2013 as part of a two-building portfolio in a transaction also brokered by TCG and has since launched a significant capital improvement campaign. Novaya completed a full “vacancy preparation” repositioning of the building, which included painting the warehouse, a floor strip and seal, installing new lighting, and upgrading the dock doors with new levelers. In addition, a new roof and upgraded HVAC units were installed as part of the overall improvement campaign. 
“Novaya did an outstanding job repositioning 130 Constitution Blvd. into a first-class flex/manufacturing facility that really stands out in one of Greater Boston’s strongest submarkets,” said Skeffington. “The new ownership is purchasing a well-located asset that is 100 percent leased to a long-term, well-capitalized tenant.”

Continue reading the full article online

The "well-capitalized tenant" is QinetiQ North America. From the company webpage:
"QinetiQ North America (QNA) shapes the future with innovative products, advanced engineering and research and development for government, civilian, utility and commercial customers worldwide. We pride ourselves on developing, delivering and supporting a portfolio of industry-leading products that have been used and tested for decades. 
We are the world leaders in unmanned systems with proven innovations in military protection technology including ground and aircraft armorRPG protection, and soldier protection systems. We also offer innovative technologies and products for the maritime, utility and commercial safety market. Together, our products aid in situational awareness, protect customer assets, increase mission effectiveness, reduce operational costs and save lives."
Find out more about their products

Visit their YouTube channel

Friday, July 7, 2017

Upcoming Events in Franklin, MA Area: FRI 7/7/17 - THU 7/13/17

FRIDAY 7/7/17
12-6pm   Franklin Farmers Market @ Town Common
8pm   The Black Box Jazz: Steven Kirby Illuminations Project

10-1pm   Franklin Historical Museum Open
10:30am   Jeannie Mack Concert @ Franklin Public Library

SUNDAY 7/9/17
8-9am   Yoga on the Beach (free, all levels welcome) @ Chilson Beach, Beaver Pond
1-4pm   Franklin Historical Museum Open

MONDAY 7/10/17
10:30am   Move Along on the Town Common
2:30pm   Maker Mondays @ Franklin Public Library
7pm   Learn to Cope Franklin Chapter Meeting @ FUSF

TUESDAY 7/11/17
9am   Do Gooders DIYs @ Franklin Public Library
10:30am   Move Along on the Town Common
7:30pm   Franklin and Bellingham Rail Trail Committee Public Meeting @ Franklin YMCA

1pm   Bubble Show with Millie @ Franklin Public Library
6-8:30pm   Concerts on the Common: Leeds, Elain Kessler - children's program

THURSDAY 7/13/17
9:30am   Baby Tummy Time @ Franklin Public Library
10:30am   Story and Craft @ Franklin Public Library
12pm   Park it and Read @ various Franklin Parks - check with the Library
3pm   Memory Cafe for Caregivers and Their Loved Ones @ Franklin Senior Center
5-8pm   Franklin Historical Museum Open
7-8pm   Healing Hearts Community Support Group @ Franklin YMCA

For the Town of Franklin Public Calendar click HERE.

For all other events and Franklin happenings click HERE.

*To submit an event for the Community Calendar, please use this FORM

Senator Spilka: Joint Statement on Fiscal Year 2018 Budget

"On behalf of our fellow conferee's we would like to announce that the Conference Committee working on the FY2018 Budget, has reached an agreement to resolve all differences between the House and Senate versions. The Conference Report will be filed tomorrow morning and the branches will act on the Conference Report in session tomorrow."

Representative Brian S. Dempsey (D- Haverhill) Chair, House Committee on Ways and Means
- Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland) Chair, Senate Committee on Ways and Means

Senator Spilka: Joint Statement on Fiscal Year 2018 Budget
Senator Spilka: Joint Statement on Fiscal Year 2018 Budget

Franklin Public Library: Jeannie Mack Concert!, Saturday, July 8

Jeannie Mack Concert!, Saturday, July 8, 10:30 AM

Jeannie Mack Concert!, Saturday, July 8, 10:30 AM
Jeannie Mack Concert!, Saturday, July 8, 10:30 AM

This was shared from the Franklin Public Library page

Check out the Library newsletter for July to see all that is scheduled for the month

Senator Ross: June 2017 State House News Update

Senator Richard J. Ross, State House Update, June 2017
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State Senator Richard J. Ross (R-Wrentham) proudly serving the Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex District.

State House
Room 419
Boston, MA 02133

Ph: 617-722-1555
Fax: 617-722-1054

Dear Friends,

The summer is flying by. Throughout June, I have had the opportunity to testify on legislation to benefit my disabled constituents, discuss community safety for outdoor joggers and meet with many employers throughout my district.

With a temporary budget in effect for the remainder of the fiscal year, the FY2018 budget will go to committee for final deliberations. I am looking forward to seeing what the conference committee presents and what Governor Baker recommends.

Finally, I have been assigned to the committee to address legislation intended to clarify the language passed regarding the commercialization of marijuana in the commonwealth.

Please read/share my monthly newsletter for a summer legislative session overview, as well as new state house and district updates. It is a pleasure to serve you.

As always, please feel free to reach out to my office directly at 617-722-1555.


Digital Connections Partnership Schools Grant
Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Attleboro Mayor Kevin Dumas and I visited Thomas Willett Elementary School in Attleboro for the announcement of Digital Connections Partnership Schools Grants distributed to eight Attleboro Schools for FY 2017. Lt. Governor Polito announced the recipients of $847,059 in state grants that will support technology infrastructure in the Commonwealth's schools.

The Digital Connections Initiative provides tools, assistance, and funding to bridge the digital divide that exists in some schools across the Commonwealth. This program aims to strengthen and promote twenty-first century teaching and learning.

Technology has become, and will continue to be a big part of the education system in Massachusetts. Grant programs such as the Digital Connections Initiative make resources and tools for an ever-changing classroom environment accessible to schools in my district

Below is a list of Digital Connections Partnership Grants distributed to Attleboro schools for FY 2017.
School Name DCP Grant
Brennan School $10,474
Hill-Roberts School $6,137
Hyman Fine School $6,137
Thacher School $15,982
Coelho School $9,058
Willett School $10,135
Wamsutta School $10,474
Irvin Studley School $8,097
The Digital Connections Partnership Grants are administered by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) and the Massachusetts Department of Information Technology (MassIT).

Note this newsletter was shortened for publication here, to view the full set of contents View this email in your browser


Thursday, July 6, 2017

DelCarte Ponds - Treatment Notification - Friday, July 7th

Treatment of the invasive plants at the DelCarte Ponds will be 7/7/17 subject to the weather. (It can't be a rainy day.) 

The pond will be closed for fishing, canoeing etc. for 24 hours, but the rest of the area for hiking etc. will be open.

Read more:

DelCarte pond recently in the rain with the surface covered with vegetation
DelCarte pond recently in the rain with the surface covered with vegetation
Given the current forecast of 60% chance for rain tonight and 75% chance of rain on Friday, this is likely to be rescheduled,-71.39

Friendly reminder - trash pickup delayed

Reminder: Trash and Recycling Pickup will be delayed a day due to the July 4th Holiday

trash and recycling containers at curbside on a warmer day
trash and recycling containers at curbside on a warmer day

Check out the curbside webpage

Check our the annual recycling flyer

ICYMI: no state budget yet; Hock Y awards; PanMass Challenge; rail trail improvements

ICYMI from the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"Five days into the new fiscal year, Massachusetts has scant and dwindling company on the list of states yet to finalize a 2018 spending plan. 
After Maine and New Jersey reached deals to end their government shutdowns, just six states remain in budgetary limbo: Massachusetts, Oregon, Wisconsin, Illinois, Rhode Island and Connecticut, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 
The sticking points differ among the six outliers, though little is known about the status of talks on Beacon Hill, where conference committees choose to meet privately and negotiators refuse to discuss their dealings. The six conferees did not have their next meeting scheduled as of Wednesday morning, and it’s not known when they last held a meeting."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"The Hockomock Area Y recently recognized several local young adults as the organization’s Youth Leaders of the Year, including Franklin High graduate Hailey DeMello. 
The award recognizes youth members for their commitment and dedication to the community and the positive impact they have. The honors were given at the Y’s annual meeting in May at Lake Pearl in Wrentham."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"Carolyn Bohmiller, 54, and her husband, Paul Bohmiller, 53, are gearing up for their second ride together in the annual Pan-Mass Challenge, two-day bike-a-thon. 
The couple will ride 192 miles from Sturbridge to Bourne Aug. 5-6. While they train, they are collecting donations for the event, which goes toward cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"The state recently overhauled a section of a rail trail that runs through Franklin and Bellingham, but a local group says more work needs to be done. 
Marc Kaplan, the president of the Franklin & Bellingham Rail Trail Committee, said the Department of Conservation and Recreation has finished a project along the local leg of the Southern New England Trunkline Trail. The improved segment, he said, runs between Bellingham’s Lake Street and Prospect Street in Franklin. 
“The work started about the second week of June, so it’s been a three- to four-week project,” he said. ”(That segment) had been cleared out to a certain extent, but there had been a lot of waling (ruts) left over from motorbike usage. It was passable, but it was just a rough stretch of the trail.”

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

parking for the SNETT off Grove St in Franklin
parking for the SNETT off Grove St in Franklin

ICYMI: 40B change for Franklin; Dean scholarship; homework policy up for review; Cultural District moves forward; Town Council says no to MBTA

ICYMI from the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"The town can now say “no” to developers who want to build homes under the state’s affordable housing law. 
The town now exceeds the state-set 10 percent threshold for having its housing stock deemed affordable under Chapter 40B."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"The Town Council has recognized Dean College for stepping up to the plate in providing a special scholarship for a deserving Franklin resident. 
The school recently announced the first-ever Horace Mann Scholarship. The tuition scholarship totals $20,000 per year and will be given to a Franklin resident attending Dean in fall 2018. The scholarship is renewable for up to four years, provided the student maintains a 2.8 or higher grade point average."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"The local school district is re-evaluating the purpose and role of homework in students’ instruction. 
The School Committee debuted a new homework policy at its Tuesday night meeting, after a process in which it solicited opinions from parents and teachers. The committee will have a definitive vote on the policy at a future meeting."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"After years of planning, Town Council has unanimously approved creating a downtown cultural district and will now forward an application to the state for approval. 
According to Director of Planning Community Development Bryan Taberner, the purpose of the state-designated cultural district is to create an area of concentration of arts and culture that will help to draw attention to resources to the downtown, such as the Black Box venue, Dean College, the Franklin School for the Performing Arts and library."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"Town Council made it clear Wednesday night that it does not want the MBTA to install a solar canopy at the Dean Street commuter parking lot because it interferes with the town’s ongoing mission to bring more economic development downtown. 
“We spent $7 million to redo the entire streetscape downtown,” said Town Administrator Jeff Nutting. “This is not the right place.”

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

the 3rd Annual Franklin Cultural Festival is scheduled for July 26-29, 2017
the 3rd Annual Franklin Cultural Festival is scheduled for July 26-29, 2017

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Oak St Teacher Dance Party (video)

The Oak Street Elementary School teachers know how to provide a good example in reading, writing, and arithmetic. Now there is evidence that they also can add rhythm to list of r's. 

While Franklin Matters has been off the grid (yes, off the internet completely) for the past several days, we hope you have enjoyed the scheduled posts. Regular news will begin to be caught up with today and 'new' posts will be shared on Thursday, July 6.

flower peek-a-boo
flower peek-a-boo

Franklin Almanac - Episode 7 (video)

Franklin Almanac, the compendium of life in Franklin. If you missed the broadcast via cable, you can catch up to Episode 7 via the YouTube link. Polikseni Manxhari hosts segments on
  1. Opening- 00:00- 00:43
  2. Healthy Kids Day- 00:44-05:47
  3. Franklin Beautification Day- 05:48-10:17
  4. HMEA 5K- 10:18-15:17
  5. Franklin Fourth of July Celebration- 15:28-22:40
  6. In Memory of Michael Doherty- 22:42-25:15
  7. Final Thoughts- 25:16- 27:18

For more about the Franklin Downtown Partnership

For more about the HMEA

By way of disclosure, I am a citizen member of the Downtown Partnership and a regular volunteer to help the HMEA conduct the 5K road race.

Rep Jeff Roy and HMEA CEO Mike Moloney pushing their HMEA partners in the 5K road race held on May 21, 2017. I provided the 2 mile splits to the runners and captured this photo on Upper Union St

The Mikado Highlights FPAC’S 10th Anniversary Whatever Theater Festival

Franklin Performing Arts Company (FPAC) presents The Mikado at 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 27 and Friday, July 28 on Franklin Town Common. The popular comic opera, with music by Sir Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W.S. Gilbert, was first performed in 1885 and is their ninth of 14 operatic collaborations. With sharp wit and timeless music, the legendary classic satirizes British society and bureaucracy, its politics and institutions.  

The Mikado will be featured as part of the 3rd Annual Franklin Cultural Festival, hosted by the Franklin Cultural District Committee. The visual, performing and culinary arts celebration will take place July 26-30 at various downtown Franklin locations within the proposed Cultural District. Events are offered to the public free of charge.
Franklin Performing Arts Company (FPAC)
Franklin Performing Arts Company (FPAC)

FPAC will also present a 24 Hour Play production on Saturday, July 29 at 8 p.m. at THE BLACK BOX, the company’s home and performance venue located at 15 West Central Street in downtown Franklin. For this theatrical experience, the cast will create, stage, and perform an original show in 24 hours. Rehearsal will begin at 10 p.m. on July 28th, following the final performance of The Mikado. There are no auditions to participate; please call (508) 528-3370 to sign up.

FPAC presents The Mikado and the 24 Hour Play as part of the company’s 10th anniversary Whatever Theater Festival, featured this summer within the Franklin Cultural Festival. Conceived and directed by Nick Paone, the Whatever Theater Festival brings together professional artists, FPAC alumni, students, and community performers in a collaborative theatrical experience that showcases an exciting range of dramatic and comedic works. 

FPAC’s 2017 Whatever Theater Festival is sponsored in part by grants from Foxborough, Norfolk, North Attleborough, and Wrentham Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. For more information, call (508) 528-3370 or visit

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Franklin 4th of July - Tuesday, July 4

The schedule of events for the Franklin 4th of July has been posted to the webpage

Tuesday, July 4

12pm - 5pm Rides and food booths open

Full 4th of July schedule

Per the Franklin Almanac video, one price wrist bands will be available for Thursday, 6 - 10; Saturday 12 -5 and then Monday 6 - 10PM 
All other times the rides would be for the individual tickets

big slide set up on the Town Common
big slide set up on the Town Common

Annie Sullivan's 8th Grade lip dub for 2017 (video)

Annie Sullivan's 8th grade class has an annual tradition to perform and record a lip sync video. The 2017 edition can be found here

The 2016 version can be found here

The 2015 version can be found here

Keller Sullivan schools sign
Keller Sullivan schools sign