Showing posts with label governor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label governor. Show all posts

Friday, January 5, 2024

MA State of the Commonwealth address scheduled for Jan 17, 2024

Maura Healey (@MassGovernor) posted Wed, Jan 03, 2024:
"This week, we'll mark one year since @MassLtGov and I were sworn in.

A year of saving people money.
A year of creating opportunity.
A year of making Massachusetts stronger.

On January 17th, tune in as I deliver my first State of the Commonwealth Address. #MASOTC "

MA State of the Commonwealth address scheduled for Jan 17, 2024
MA State of the Commonwealth address scheduled for Jan 17, 2024

Sunday, April 9, 2023

"The site operates as 'a nonpartisan, open source, and nonprofit project;”

"ONE OF THE most well-worn complaints among political watchers in Massachusetts is that the government can be, well, hard to watch. The state Legislature is one of the least transparent lawmaking bodies in the country – exempt from public records laws, with decisions often made in closed committee sessions with little revelation about who voted for or against a given piece of legislation.

Being generally outraged about local government on Twitter, Facebook, or other social media sites may be cathartic, but is perhaps not the most efficient way to push for change. Now a team of volunteers is taking a swing at making online engagement with the Legislature feel a bit more civil, structured, and achievable for individuals and organizations.

The website MAPLE (the Massachusetts Platform for Legislative Engagement) launched this month, focused on encouraging and facilitating public testimony on legislation. The Legislature does collect and post some public testimony already, but the MAPLE group is trying to improve what they see as an imperfect system. A motivating question for the co-creators was whether the online spaces where the public gathers to express views online could “be designed better to allow us to channel our energy for productive improvements for the communities that we touch?”
Continue reading the article online at Commonwealth Magazine ->

Check out the MAPLE site yourself here ->
"The site operates as 'a nonpartisan, open source, and nonprofit project;”
"The site operates as 'a nonpartisan, open source, and nonprofit project;” 

Monday, December 5, 2022

Fiscal year 2024 budget cycle timeline changes slightly with a new Governor

The Town of Franklin starts the Fiscal Year 2024 budget cycle as soon as the tax rate is set for FY 2023. The budget cycle flowchart is posted on the Town page ->

The assumptions on State aid (Chap 70, etc.) usually come in January with the release of the Governor's Budget. The first year of the legislative 2 year cycle the release is call H1, the second year H2. With a new Governor, the timeline starts later in their first term.
"House 1; House 2
The Governor's budget recommendations for the next fiscal year. According to the Constitution, it must be filed within 3 weeks of the convening of the Legislature in January. Newly-elected governors must file House 1 within 8 weeks. In the second year of a legislative session, the Governor's budget is referred to as House 2."
Incoming Governor Healey is required to release their new budget on or before March 1, 2023.

Last year, we recorded a budget cycle conversation with Comptroller Chris Sandini and Treasurer/Collector Kerri Bertone. We get into the budget cycle and all the ins and outs of the details. The only thing that has changed is during the recording we were talking of the possible AAA rating. Since then, the Town has officially been awarded that. You listen to that discussion here:

Visit the Town Budget page for all the info on the cycle and recent budgets

The State budget terminology listing can be found online ->

The full State budget timeline can be found ->

The FY 2023 & Prior info can be found online ->

Town of Franklin budget cycle
Town of Franklin budget cycle

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Mass Legislature Passes Bill to Prevent Student Loan-related License Revocation

Bill will prevent individuals with outstanding student loan debt from having their  

professional licenses revoked 


On Monday, November 21, the Massachusetts Legislature passed legislation to prevent individuals who default on their student loans from having their license or professional certification revoked as a result. As of Fall 2022, approximately one million Massachusetts residents hold a combined total of nearly $31 billion dollars in federal student loan debt, with an average debt of $34,146 per borrower. 


"Student loan debt disproportionately affects young, low-income individuals who are making the kinds of investments in their future that we should be encouraging," said Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). "Revoking professional licenses that they obtained with a student loan does nothing to solve the problem of loan defaults, and it actively makes the problem worse by preventing new professionals from having the means to pay off their loans. I want to thank Senator Eldridge for his attention and determination in seeing this common-sense bill over the finish line." 


"I am proud to announce that the Senate has passed the license revocation ban bill, known as an act prohibiting license revocation for student loan default. Nearly one million Massachusetts residents are struggling because of student loans. As the federal moratorium approaches its end, we must recognize Covid-19's continuous impact on employment and borrowers' financial situations," said Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton), Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary. "The bill will ensure that borrowers, who are heavily burdened by student loans, can still continue their career and work towards repayments of their educational loans. Thank you to Representative Higgins for her leadership on filing and fighting for this legislation. Congratulations to the hard-working advocates, and staff." 


Under current Massachusetts law, residents can have their licenses or professional certification revoked, denied, or refused for renewal as a result of defaulting on their student loan debt. Massachusetts is one of only 14 states with such a law. The bill does away with the law and blocks any state agency or board of registration from denying or revoking any license or professional or occupational certificate or registration based on an individual's default on an educational loan. 


The bill does not change the state's ability to use traditional loan collection tools. 


Having previously passed both the Senate and the House of Representatives, the bill goes to the Governor for his consideration. 

Mass Legislature Passes Bill to Prevent Student Loan-related License Revocation
Mass Legislature Passes Bill to Prevent Student Loan-related License Revocation

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Governor-elect Healey announces transition committee chairs

"Ten days after her historic win, Governor-elect Maura Healey announced 15 committee co-chairs will join her transition team as she prepares to take office in January.

The Cambridge Democrat, who won the Nov. 8 election by a landslide, announced Friday a transition team that includes former state transportation leaders, community advocates, business and nonprofit leaders, and a former White House official.

She had previously announced that Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll, the lieutenant governor-elect, will chair the transition. The team had also launched a website to solicit applications from those who wish to serve in the administration as well as offer the public a chance to weigh in on what an incoming Healey administration should prioritize."
Continue reading the Boston Globe article (subscription maybe required)

CommonWealth Magazine coverage ->

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.


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

Thursday, October 13, 2022

MA Governor candidates Healey and Diehl square off in first debate

"Democrat Maura Healey and Republican Geoff Diehl tangled in their first televised debate on Wednesday, parrying over Donald Trump, abortion rights, and who voters should trust most as governor to help lower costs and taxes across the state.

Healey and Diehl traded barbs throughout the hour-long forum, which served as a contrast in visions of the issues most pressing for voters. The attorney general repeatedly painted Diehl as wildly out of step with the Massachusetts electorate, while Diehl cast the front-runner as a threat to the pocketbooks of residents.

Healey, a South End Democrat, fashioned herself as intensely focused on addressing affordability, promising she is “going to cut taxes” and throwing support behind a tax relief package that Governor Charlie Baker, the Republican incumbent, had pushed since January."
Continue reading the Boston Globe article online (subscription may be required) 
"DEMOCRAT MAURA Healey and Republican Geoff Diehl held their first gubernatorial debate Wednesday night, with both candidates linking the other to the policies and beliefs of their party’s leader.

Healey, the state’s attorney general and the clear frontrunner in the race according to polls, repeatedly hammered Diehl for his close ties to former president Donald Trump, who is not well liked in Massachusetts.

“Let’s be clear about who we are,” Healey said. “My opponent has said recently that he backs Donald Trump 100 percent of the time. He has said he wants Donald Trump to be president in 2024. He chaired his presidential campaign. He continues to play from the Trump playbook and wants to bring Trumpism to Massachusetts. I will continue to talk about this Geoff because those are values, those are principles, those are ways that we have rejected time and time again."
Continue reading the CommonWealth Magazine article online

Republican Geoff Diehl and Democratic Attorney General Maura Healey, the candidates for governor, met for a debate on Wednesday night.STEVEN SENNE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Republican Geoff Diehl and Democratic Attorney General Maura Healey, the candidates for governor, met for a debate on Wednesday night. STEVEN SENNE/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Monday, September 19, 2022

"our democracy remains in jeopardy"

"Nearly two years after President Donald Trump refused to accept his defeat in the 2020 election, some of his most loyal Republican acolytes might follow in his footsteps.

When asked, six Trump-backed Republican nominees for governor and the Senate in midterm battlegrounds would not commit to accepting this year’s election results, and another five Republicans ignored or declined to answer a question about embracing the November outcome. All of them, along with many other GOP candidates, have preemptively cast doubt on how their states count votes.

The New York Times contacted Republican and Democratic candidates or their aides in 20 key contests for governor and the Senate. All of the Democrats said, or have said publicly, that they would respect the November results — including Stacey Abrams of Georgia, who refused to concede her 2018 defeat to Brian Kemp in the state’s race for governor. Kemp, now running against her for another term, “will of course accept the outcome of the 2022 election,” said his press secretary, Tate Mitchell."


“The most important thing is to not get depressed about the elections and say, ‘Oh, it’s going to be stolen, so what’s the point of doing this?’” Diehl, the Republican nominee for governor of Massachusetts, said in a recent radio interview.

Diehl’s spokesperson, Peggy Rose, replied “no comment” when asked if he would agree to the outcome of the November election.

His Democratic opponent, Maura Healey, the state’s attorney general, said, “We will always accept the will of the people.”

Continue reading the article online ->

Geoff Diehl, the Republican nominee for governor in Massachusetts, has not said whether he would accept the election's results. DAVID L. RYAN/GLOBE STAFF
Geoff Diehl, the Republican nominee for governor in Massachusetts, has not said whether he would accept the election's results. DAVID L. RYAN/GLOBE STAFF

Saturday, January 15, 2022

CommonWealth Magazine: "State budget writers forecast continued growth in tax revenues"

"Budget officials on Friday revised upward their revenue forecast for the current fiscal year by $1.5 billion and then projected the state’s tax take would rise 2.7 percent in the next fiscal year, which begins July 1. 

The “consensus revenue” figure of $26.915 billion for fiscal 2023 agreed on by Secretary of Administration and Finance Michael Heffernan, Senate Ways and Means Chair Michael Rodrigues, and House Ways and Means Chair Aaron Michlewitz was toward the middle of the range forecasted by the state Department of Revenue at a hearing last month. 

The policymakers were swayed by economists’ predictions of a rise in revenue ($967 million) as society continues to recover from the pandemic. But those same economists, at December’s hearing, warned that there is also significant uncertainty. In the last couple of years, taxes have come in far higher than expected, mainly due to federal recovery efforts injecting large sums of money into the economy, and the state has revised its tax revenue numbers during the course of the year. "

Why share this item? 
As we get into the budget season, it really starts with the State budget when the Governor introduces his view of the budget on the 4th Wednesday of January. The Governor's numbers generally are used to determine the Chap 70 and local aid expected for Franklin which accounts for about 25-30% of our total revenue. 

Listen to the revenue calculation describe in the recent Finance Committee meeting and you'll hear how the revenue is calculated and then adjusted as the year progresses and the State finalized their budget (usually around Aug/Sep), and after Franklin gets peak at its own revenue and how those projects are coming through (or not) before setting the tax rate in December to 'close out' the budget cycle for a fiscal year.

"The annual budget process begins each year when the Governor files recommendations as a bill with the House of Representatives. Under the state Constitution, the Governor must submit a proposal by the 4th Wednesday of January or, in the event of a new term, within five weeks later. This bill is called House 1 or "House 2" depending on the year."

The golden dome of the State House. (Photo by Andy Metzger)
The golden dome of the State House. (Photo by Andy Metzger)


Thursday, January 6, 2022

Mass News Items of Note: 'qualified immunity' sharply divides commission; Allen unveils a 'democracy agenda'


"A SHARPLY DIVIDED commission established to study qualified immunity – a controversial legal doctrine that shields police officers and other public employees from liability from civil lawsuits – is recommending that lawmakers not change the law for at least two years.  
But the commission did recommend two changes that could make it easier for people to bring civil lawsuits against public employees in state courts, even with the qualified immunity doctrine unchanged. "
Continue reading the article online

"DEMOCRATIC GUBERNATORIAL candidate Danielle Allen unveiled a democracy agenda on Wednesday, outlining a host of initiatives to encourage greater voter participation and civic involvement and reduce the influence of money in politics.

Some of the proposals are part of the current debate on Beacon Hill — same-day voter registration, the establishment of Indigenous People’s Day as a state holiday, the creation of a new state flag, and allowing communities to embrace ranked-choice voting and a lower voting age without state approval."
Continue reading the article online

Allen led the Commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship to produce a report "Our Common Purpose 

Her gubernatorial campaign ->

Allen unveils a 'democracy agenda'
Allen unveils a 'democracy agenda'

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

MA Political News: Downing withdraws; Auchincloss reflects during The Codcast (audio)

Democratic gubernatorial race change 

"Ben Downing, the Democratic former state senator who staked his gubernatorial bid on progressive policies like universal child care and aggressive climate action but struggled to gain traction in fund-raising, said Tuesday that he is ending his campaign.

Downing, 40, pointed to financial challenges as the reason for dropping out of the race, adding that he made the decision “with a heavy heart.”

“You don’t get into a race with this as the intended outcome or even the expected outcome,” he said in a phone interview Tuesday. “But I’d like to think and hope we added a little bit to it along the way.”

Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)

CommonWealth Magazine coverage

"REP. JAKE AUCHINCLOSS, the newest member of the state’s congressional delegation, is finishing his first year in the House. To say it’s been a tumultuous initiation to Congress would be an understatement. His first days in office saw a mob-led insurrection in the Capitol building, and he faced a vote soon after on impeachment of a sitting president. 

Auchincloss, a 33-year-old Newton Democrat who won the seat vacated by Joe Kennedy, says on The Codcast that the jarring events of his early days in office have cast into sharp relief the natural tension that exists between staying true to the values of the constituents you represent while also working to advance their priorities."
Continue reading the article online

Direct link to audio for The Codcast ->

Or listen via the embedded file here:

Auchincloss reflects during The Codcast (audio)
Auchincloss reflects during The Codcast (audio)

Thursday, June 24, 2021

MA News Briefs: Governors race adding candidates ; Baker proposes to expand tax break holiday

Governors race adding candidates 

"Another day, another candidate in the race for Massachusetts governor not named Baker. Or Healey, for that matter. 

With today’s campaign launch by Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, three Democrats have now formally announced bids for the state’s top job. The Jamaica Plain lawmaker joins former Senate colleague Ben Downing and Harvard professor Danielle Allen in the race for the Democratic nomination."

Continue reading the article online 

Gov Baker proposes to expand tax break holiday

"WITH MASSACHUSETTS on track to end the year with a multi-billion dollar surplus, Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday proposed a two-month sales tax holiday that would give consumers a break from the state’s 6.25 percent sales tax in August and September in an effort to drive shoppers to local businesses. 
The major tax relief proposal would cost the state an estimated $900 million in forgone revenue, but the Republican governor said it would also be a way for the state to show appreciation to business owners and consumers who have contributed to the surplus by finding ways to support each other during the COVID-19 pandemic."
Continue reading the article online 


Monday, June 21, 2021

New York Times: "From the pandemic’s earliest days, the C.D.C. was subject to extreme politicization"

"In November, an independent team of academics and public-health experts who called themselves the Covid Rapid Response Working Group gathered on Zoom to puzzle over what had by then become the pandemic’s most vexing challenge: how to make all schools safe for full-time, in-person learning as quickly as possible. Schools had not proved to be a hotbed of coronavirus transmission, but beyond that the research was complicated, and communities were divided about how to balance the risks. Some people wanted a full reopening, immediately, no exceptions. Others were terrified to return at all.

So far, there was no national plan for how to move forward. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was advising everyone to wear masks and remain six feet apart at all times. But that guidance was a significant impediment to any full-bore reopening, because most schools could not maintain that kind of distance and still accommodate all their students and teachers. It also left many questions unanswered: How did masks and distancing and other strategies like opening windows fit together? Which were essential? Could some measures be skipped if others were followed faithfully?"
Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)

Danielle Allen, head of the Safra Center at Harvard, led Covid Rapid Response Working Group. You may recall that she also recently declared she would be running for MA Governor.

You can listen to Danielle on an episode of  "Toward a More Perfect Union"

listen to Danielle on an episode of  "Toward a More Perfect Union"
listen to Danielle Allen on an episode of  "Toward a More Perfect Union"

Monday, June 14, 2021

Boston Globe: "Harvard professor Danielle Allen to launch historic bid for governor"

"Harvard professor Danielle Allen will launch a historic campaign for governor on Tuesday, entering the Democratic field as the first Black woman to run for the executive office as part of a major party in Massachusetts at a time when women and people of color are breaking barriers in city and state government.

Allen, 49, joins what’s likely to be a crowded primary with a hefty academic resume but no experience holding elected office.

A MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient and the head of Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics since 2015, Allen says she is running to bring the lessons of her career as a political philosopher — that government must meet a high bar, serving all people — to Beacon Hill.

And her bid solidifies a family legacy steeped in fights for racial justice: a grandfather who helped found the first NAACP chapter in his North Florida community, where doing so meant risking one’s life, and a grandmother, working as a nurse in the segregated South, who dreamed that one day her offspring would study at Harvard."
Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)

You can listen to Danielle on an episode of  "Toward a More Perfect Union"

I have read her book on the Declaration of Independence "Our Declaration." She provides a slow reading of the text with insights and perspectives you don't get elsewhere. Well worth the time to read.

"Our Declaration"
"Our Declaration"

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

"The current state of unpredictability has would-be candidates already feeling out plans"

A blockbuster showdown for governor. A wide-open race to be the state’s top prosecutor. A primary between a secretary of state on the verge of history and a fellow Democrat trying to unseat him.

As summer unofficially dawns, each scenario is possible as Massachusetts’s 2022 state election cycle quietly hums to life. It’s greased by uncertainty, and fueling the potential for a gamut of history-making races and possibly, widespread change at the top of state government.

The prospects depend heavily on the decisions of the six statewide constitutional officers. Five, including Governor Charlie Baker, Attorney General Maura Healey, and Secretary of State William F. Galvin, have not said whether they’ll run again, and many in office remain undecided on whether to seek reelection, according to advisers and the officeholder themselves.

Continue reading the article online (Subscription may be required)

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

"the bolder the action the broader the benefits”

"BEN DOWNING, a former state senator from Western Massachusetts, on Monday launched a run for governor, laying out a liberal policy platform that aims to address inequality amid the recovery from COVID-19.  

With a slogan of building a “fairer, stronger Massachusetts,” Downing, a Democrat, said in an interview that he thinks Republican Gov. Charlie Baker “lacks the urgency needed” to tackle issues like transportation, climate change, education, and housing. Downing argued that a bolder plan will be necessary as the state returns to a new normal post-pandemic. “Normal isn’t good enough for working families. It’s not good enough for our black and brown neighbors,” he said."
Continue reading the article online

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

What is Rhode Island doing to re-open schools?

From the Boston Globe, an article of interest for Franklin: 

"What Governor Gina Raimondo announced Monday was effectively an extension of the biggest project affecting students and parents in Rhode Island: the reopening of schools. She said districts have until Oct. 13 to start in-person learning -- the day after Columbus Day.

But she made clear her plan is flexible. The districts that are ready to go can open with in-person learning on Sept. 14, but the more apprehensive superintendents – and there are plenty – have an extra month to gradually allow students to move from distance learning to in-person learning.

“We’re going to give this a try, and like everything we’ve done together over the past six months, if it doesn’t work, we’ll adjust,” Raimondo said during a press conference on Monday. “If we have problems, we’ll deal with it, but we owe it to our children to get them back into school.”

Raimondo has been clear for weeks that she believes schools should reopen to all students as soon as possible for two key reasons: 1. We don’t know this for sure, but it’s reasonable to assume that in-person learning is more effective than distance learning. 2. She wants Rhode Island’s economy to continue reopening, and that’s nearly impossible if parents have to stay home with their children all day."
Related article on re-opening in RI

School districts express concerns

Friday, April 24, 2020

In the News: Charles River Meadowlands study completed

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"After nearly two years of effort, the Beta Group recently completed a draft study of the Charles River Meadowlands in Bellingham, Franklin and Medway.

“Joining three communities around a shared natural asset, the Charles River Meadowlands, is what this project is all about,” said Kelly R. Carr, senior associate at BETA Group, Inc., the consulting firm that conducted the study.

Dating to early meetings in 2016, the Meadowlands Initiative ( has sought to bring focus and awareness to the hundreds of acres of public wetlands and borderlands controlled by the US Army Corps of Engineers in the three towns.

Originally acquired in the 1970s and 1980s for flood control, and incorporated in the Charles River Natural Valley Storage Area, the region has been gradually walled off from the public by roadways and rapid private development. However, each of the towns has land holdings for conservation and other purposes that abut the federal lands, effectively creating a large natural sanctuary similar in scale to the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Concord."

View a copy of the full report:

In the News: Charles River Meadowlands study completed
In the News: Charles River Meadowlands study completed

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

In the News: A new job in a time of chaos; school buildings to remain closed for school year

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

"Ann Mariano had just settled into her role as the district’s new technology chief when she unexpectedly had to get computers into the hands of some 2,000 students as fast as possible.

Schools were shuttered temporarily at first due to the COVID-19 threat, but most school officials realized the closures would become long-term. On March 20, she and other officials scrambled to get thousands of Chromebooks out to students who would need them to take part in remote learning. Devices were readied for distribution that evening, with school officials rapidly crafting a way to keep track of which student had what device.

“Everyone was chipping in. We were constantly trying to think of what the next thing would be,” said Mariano, of Franklin. “The biggest lesson I’ve taken away from this is how everyone is part of the puzzle.”

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"School buildings in Massachusetts will remain closed through the end of the academic year, but remote learning will continue, Gov. Charlie Baker announced Tuesday.

There hasn’t been any strong guidance about how to operate schools safely as the state works to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the Republican governor said.

“We believe therefore that students cannot safety return to school,” Baker said.

All non-emergency child care programs will remain closed until June 29, he added. Right now, there are 523 emergency child care programs statewide serving families of essential workers."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

school buildings to remain closed for school year
school buildings to remain closed for school year