Showing posts with label MASSTer List. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MASSTer List. Show all posts

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Permitting Reform: The key to Unlocking Massachusetts’ Energy Revolution -Thursday, April 6

The path to achieving decarbonization goals and ultimately a net-zero Commonwealth faces a challenge: The arduous and lengthy process of upgrading the local and regional electric grid and permitting new energy infrastructure. The recently passed Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law lay the financial incentives and support to expand ambitious infrastructure investments that can usher in a clean energy future. But projects typically encounter an uncertain fate on the ground, including a maze of litigation and unnecessary permitting delays that are making climate goals increasingly difficult to meet.

The permitting reform challenge involves balancing critical review processes that ensure equitable stakeholder participation with the urgency to upgrade current infrastructure and install the next generation equipment. As Massachusetts considers reforms designed to streamline energy infrastructure regulation, join the MASSterList and the State House News Service for an important panel discussion on this critical policy issue with Massachusetts energy leaders, advocates, and key legislators.

For sponsorship opportunities, contact Dylan Rossiter:
MCLE New England — 10 Winter Pl, Boston (Downtown Crossing), MA 02108
8 AM networking/light refreshments — 9 AM panel discussion
  • Rep. Jeffrey Roy: House Chair, Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy
  • Lizzi Weyant: Deputy Executive Director for Public Affairs and Advocacy, Metropolitan Area Planning Council
  • Elizabeth Turnbull Henry: President, Environmental League of Massachusetts
  • Steve Woerner: President, National Grid New England
  • Colin A. Young: Reporter, State House News Service (moderator)

Affiliated News Services, LLC | 568 Washington St, Wellesley, MA 02482

Sent by

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Ending Hunger in Massachusetts - Forum scheduled for Wednesday, January 25

As the costs for basic necessities rise, more Massachusetts residents living on the economic margins must choose between buying groceries and paying for housing, transportation, childcare and other basic utilities. It's a dilemma that plays out in hundreds of thousands of Massachusetts households every day. Hunger and access to proper nutrition remain pervasive, with nearly 1 in 3 adults experiencing food insecurity in Massachusetts in 2021, an increase from 2020. Hunger in Massachusetts is significantly higher among Black and Latinx populations, and visits to local food pantries have not returned to pre-pandemic levels. Food insecurity rates among Massachusetts college students, seniors, and immigrants also remain surprisingly high. The issue of food insecurity recently gathered national leaders at a historic White House Conference – 50 years in the making – on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health where a national strategy to end hunger and reduce diet-related disease in America by 2030.

Now, leaders across the Commonwealth are convening and building a framework, drawing on the expertise spearheaded and piloted here, to advance our state's food security by 2030 as well. Join a State House News Service/MASSterList forum featuring leaders, advocates, and experts for a discussion of opportunities and obstacles for Massachusetts to advance this national strategy across the Commonwealth.

For sponsorship opportunities, contact Dylan Rossiter:
Wednesday, January 25 | 8:15 a.m. - 10 a.m. | MCLE Boston (Downtown Crossing) | Doors open for light refreshments and networking at 7:30 a.m.
Keynote Remarks (taped)
U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern
7:30 - 8:30 a.m. — Networking and light refreshments

8:30 - 8:45 a.m. — Keynote remarks from U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern (taped)

8:45 - 9:45 a.m. — Panel discussion
  • Catherine D'Amato, The Greater Boston Food Bank President and CEO
  • Erin McAleer, Project Bread President and CEO
  • Sen. Jo Comerford, Co-Chair, MA Food System Caucus
  • Rep. Hannah Kane, Co-Chair, MA Food System Caucus
supporting organizations
About Fresh, Children's Health Watch, Community Servings, Daily Table, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, Food Bank of Western MA, MA Food System Collaborative, Mass General Brigham, Mass Law Reform Institute, Stone Soup Café, Worcester County Food Bank

Affiliated News Services, LLC | 568 Washington St, Wellesley, MA 02482
Sent by

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Please don't make this an "apathy election" - get out and vote on or before Nov 8

“There does seem to be a certain lack of intensity.”

⁃ Sec. of State Bill Galvin on the 2022 state election

There’s your early leader in the clubhouse for understatement of the year. And according to Galvin, the “slow” pace of mail-in voting points to a turnout of hundreds of thousands fewer voters than the last midterms.

It’s not as if the 2018 ballot was significantly sexier than this year’s uncompetitive dud. The Warren-Diehl Senate race never polled closer than 22 points. The Baker-Gonzalez gubernatorial matchup was like an old Mutt & Jeff comic strip without the hilarity. The ballot questions were low-key affairs.

This cycle features an open governor’s race that held the potential for competitiveness until GOP leadership drove their chances into a bridge abutment, vacancies for attorney general and auditor, and ballot questions touching on third-rail issues of taxation and immigration. And while the Congressional seats are barely contested, a red-hot battle for Capitol control in the lower 49 states could have conceivably pulled out some message-sending locals."
Continue reading Jon Keller's opinion online ->

The Election Collection contains all the info that should be helpful to Franklin voters. If you don't find something, please let me know and we'll se if it can be obtained.

Election Collection 2022: State election November 8
Election Collection 2022: State election November 8

Saturday, October 22, 2022

MASSterList: Healey - Diehl debate recap - Oct 21, 2022

Early in-person voting starts Saturday. You can find local hours and locations here. According to the secretary of state's office, 1.07 million voters, or 22.1 percent, have requested mail in ballots so far, and already 151,407 have been returned with votes cast.

For those who are still waiting to vote, Democrat Maura Healey and Republican Geoff Diehl squared off for the second and final debate of the gubernatorial campaign last night on WCVB Channel 5.

Two polls released this week showed Healey with imposing leads in the race, ahead by 23 points in one survey and 30 in the other. Diehl likely needed something major or something memorable last night to alter the dynamics of the race, and that arguably didn't happen.

That's not to say, however, the two candidates didn't have a lively back-and-forth over everything from energy costs and taxes to abortion rights and COVID-19 precautions.

ON ELECTION INTEGRITY: Healey wasted no time going after Diehl and his ties to former President Donald Trump. With the first question about whether the candidates would accept the results of the Nov. 8 election, both said, "Absolutely." But Healey accused Diehl of making the kinds of "dangerous" statements questioning the integrity of the 2020 election that led to the Jan. 6, 2021 riots at the Capitol.

"My opponent is an election denier. He supports election deniers out there," Healey said.

Diehl responded by saying that both he and his bank account are aware that President Joe Biden won the 2020 election, but said there's nothing wrong with questioning whether mail-in ballots in many states were handled properly.

ON COST OF LIVING/TAXES: Healey said her top focus as governor will be making Massachusetts more affordable, and that starts with "cutting taxes." Healey again said she looks forward to seeing $3 billion in rebate checks go back to taxpayers, and urged the Legislature to pass the tax reforms put forward by Gov. Charlie Baker. She also highlighted her plan to create a $600 per child tax credit for to help families with the cost of everything form groceries to daycare.

Diehl also said, "Of course, I'm going to cut taxes," though he was less specific on how. Instead, he questioned Healey's commitment by pointing to her support for Question 1, which would raise taxes on wealthy households by levying a 4 percent surtax on income over $1 million.

Later in the debate, Diehl said he doesn't "anticipate ever raising taxes" as governor, while Healey said she didn't want to "commit to particular pledges." The Democrat sounded a lot like Baker 2.0 who in his 2014 campaign would not sign a no-new-taxes pledge because he said it could handcuff him in the future should an opportunity for tax reform arise requiring some rates to be raised and others lowered.

ON ENERGY: No matter the question, Diehl returned again and again over the course of the one-hour debate to energy, and specifically Healey's effort to block the construction of two natural gas pipelines through Massachusetts. The Republican blamed Healey for what is projected to be a costly winter for homeowners, and said her support for a rapid transition away from fossil fuels would drive businesses and families out of the state.

Diehl said he supports renewables, but does not believe in setting an "arbitrary" deadline to make the full switch to clean energy sources.

Healey said her actions actually saved ratepayers money by preventing the oil companies from charging customers for the construction of the pipelines, and called on the Legislature to use some of the state's surplus to provide home heating relief to residents while she works with the Congressional delegation to secure federal aid.

"The idea that I created the high cost of energy, there's a war on in Russia and Ukraine. That's not Massachusetts's fault," Healey quipped.

ON ABORTION: While Diehl wanted voters to believe Healey, as attorney general, is responsible for the high cost of oil and gas this winter, he also contended that as governor he would have no power to influence access to abortion.

Diehl supported the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, but said as governor he would protect a woman's right to choose because the Legislature had spoken on the issue and with Democratic supermajorities on Beacon Hill the state laws on this matter are unlikely to change.

"There's no way I'm changing that law," Diehl said.

"I just don't believe that," Healey shot back, crediting Baker once again for acting quickly after the Dobbs decision to protect access in Massachusetts through executive order, and later by signing a new law.

Healey said the next governor will have a lot of influence in the abortion space with respect to things like MassHealth coverage and how state agencies support health care providers.

"It's just not the case that it doesn't matter who the governor is," Healey said.


Did someone send you today's edition? Click here to subscribe and wake up with MASSterList!

MASSterList: Healey - Diehl debate recap - Oct 21, 2022
MASSterList: Healey - Diehl debate recap - Oct 21, 2022

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Insights on Ballot Question 3 from MASSter List

"Go to www.foodstoresma.orgYou won't find anything. Neither will you if you check the bank account of Food Stores for Consumer Choice, the ballot committee formed to oppose Question 3.

That's because after losing a Supreme Judicial Court case where companies, including Cumberland Farms, sought to have Question 3 disqualified from the ballot, the stores are not fighting passage of the question that will remake the rules around alcohol sales and licensing in Massachusetts.

Question 3 proposes to increase the combined number of licenses a retailer can hold for the sale of all alcoholic beverages and beer and wine from nine to 18 by 2031, but will reduce the cap on licenses for the sale of all-alcoholic-beverage from nine to seven. It will also prohibit self check-out of alcoholic beverages, make out-of-state licenses an acceptable form of ID for alcohol purchasing, and change the formula under which fines for selling to minors are calculated (something food stores opposed).

The question was proposed and is backed by independent package stores. It was pitched as a compromise with the food stores to avoid a fight over simply lifting the cap on licenses altogether.

While Cumberland Farms and other chains didn't necessarily see it that way, Louis Rizoli - former counsel to the House and the chair and attorney for the Food Stores for Consumer Choice - said there will be no last minute infusion of corporate cash to fight the measure.

"There's no coordinated opposition to this ballot question," Rizoli said. "Some food stores like certain provisions of question three and oppose others." 

A statement of opposition was printed in the "Information for Voters" guide mailed to homes, but Rizoli said food stores like Cumberland Farms and Stop & Shop are "more interested in obtaining a separate license," which was proposed in a bill (H 318) this session and will be refiled next year. 

In 2020, Cumberland Farms pursued a ballot question that proposed to create a new food store license for the sale of alcohol and eventually lift all license caps, but it ultimately dropped its campaign amidst the pandemic and chose to fight for a legislative solution this cycle instead.

That bill did not gain traction with lawmakers as an alternative to the ballot question, but depending on what happens in November a new bill cycle begins in January.

Meanwhile, the 21st Century Alcohol Retail Reform Committee has raised $823,450 over the past two years in support of its ballot measure, mostly from the Massachusetts Package Store Association, and spent $723,565 to make its case to voters. In its Sept. 20 report to the Office of Campaign and Political Finance, it reported having $99,884 left in the bank.

Probably more than enough when no one's spending to fight you on the other side. "
Shared from the MASSter List of Tuesday, Sep 27, 2022


Insights on Ballot Question 3 from MASSter List
Insights on Ballot Question 3 from MASSter List

Friday, September 23, 2022

Tufts University's Center for State Policy Analysis provides insights on Ballot Question #2

"If there's a question on the November ballot that will cause voter's to sit up and scratch their head for a minute, it's probably Question 2.

Supporters of the dental insurance initiative say it is intended to wring out wasteful spending from the system by requiring at least 83 cents of every dollar collected in premiums to go toward care, and not administrative costs, taxes or profit. This is also known as a loss-ratio.

But what will it mean for consumers? A new report published this morning by Tufts University's Center for State Policy Analysis concludes that if Question 2 passes, it could cause some smaller insurers to leave the market, leaving consumers with fewer choices.

As for cost, one way insurers could try to come into compliance with the new rules would be to allow dentists to charge more for services. That would cause patients to more quickly hit their annual caps and wind up paying more out of pocket. CSPA Executive Director Evan Horowitz, however, writes in the report that "while it might inspire price increases that trickle down to consumers, the scale of these increases should be limited."

Other mechanisms insurers would have to meet the 83 percent loss-ratio would be to lower consumer premiums, cover more services or streamline their operations.

Horowitz said part of the problem in predicting the scale of the impact to the dental insurance industry is that the question has been "built on relatively thin information. It’s not clear whether dental insurers are currently close to — or far from — the proposed 83 percent requirements." Massachusetts would also be the first state in the country to impose an 83-cent loss-ratio on dental insurers.

Based on available data, CSPA finds that most large insurers probably have loss-ratios close to 80 percent, making compliance a lighter lift.

"Based on the limited information we do have, it seems likely that insurers will be able to meet the new standards with a mix of operational changes that includes somewhat increased prices for dental care," Horowitz concludes."

Shared from the MASSterList email ->

Direct link to the report ->

PDF of the report ->

Tufts University's Center for State Policy Analysis provides insights on Ballot Question #2
Tufts University's Center for State Policy Analysis provides insights on Ballot Question #2

Additional coverage on this ballot question from CommonWealth Magazine

Saturday, September 3, 2022

Sign up for the MASSter listing for more MA news

Want more MA news in addition to the Franklin information shared here? A good source recently found is the MASSter List. You can sign up for one daily email with a look to the day and a recap of information focused on MA.
"The MASSter source for news and analysis about politics, policy, media, and influence in Massachusetts. Tips:"

Sign up online for this newsletter ->

You can also go direct to a couple of my key MA sources, the Boston Globe and CommonWealth Magazine.

Franklin is not a news desert as we have multiple sources of info.
  • Franklin Town Online delivers to each US Postal box once a month
  • The Franklin Observer provides their views via a daily email
  • The Milford Daily News & MetroWest Daily News sometimes will provide coverage

Dan Kennedy of Northeastern has compiled a listing of the news sources for MA. He publishes a podcast on "What Works" and as part of that shares the listing here -> ttps://

Sign up for the MASSter List for MA news
Sign up for the MASSter List for MA news

For more about the Franklin Matters information process, visit this link