Showing posts with label public policy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label public policy. Show all posts

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Interested in Public Records Law? This discussion might be for you

Join us Nov. 18 along with @RappaportCenter for a Greater Boston Debate Series event exploring whether the MA public records law promotes democracy in the state, featuring  @Becca_Rausch,  @raylaraja, and moderated by @CommonWealthMag 's  @shiraschoenberg. 

Register here ->

Interested in Public Records Law? This discussion might be for you
Interested in Public Records Law? This discussion might be for you

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Boston Globe: "The Last Best Shot"

"This state and nation have a clear choice. We can mark the start of a future in which COVID is relegated to little more than a nuisance, or we can watch the disease spiral further out of our grasp. Nearly 18 months after the pandemic shuttered much of the world, we are still in a state of uncertainty, one that threatens to steal yet another season and kill people who don't need to die. This special section is meant to reinforce a simple fact: The only way out is vaccination. For every eligible person. Now. "
Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)

Boston Globe: "The Last Best Shot"
Boston Globe: "The Last Best Shot"

Friday, August 6, 2021 More Perfect Union - 019 - Public Health

"In this episode, Frank and the group discuss public health, what's a right and what needs to be enforced, and why the government needs to play a part in protecting the public."

Direct link ->

More Perfect Union - 019 - Public Health
More Perfect Union - 019 - Public Health

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Boston Globe: "Local officials say Baker is failing to invest in state’s broken public health system"

"Local public health officials were excited when the Baker administration recently announced a modest grant program to help beleaguered towns and cities be better prepared for the next pandemic. For the first time in decades, they said, the state was investing new money on the front lines of disease prevention.

But then came Governor Charlie Baker’s announcement on Thursday that not a single dollar out of $2.8 billion in federal pandemic relief funding he plans to allocate would go toward public health programs. Instead, he said, the money would be used to ease the state’s housing crunch and other priorities.

Now, some of the same leaders who were praising the administration days ago are lamenting what they say is Baker’s shortsightedness. They believe the governor is missing a historic opportunity to make a dramatic new investment in the state’s tattered public health system."
Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

FM #492 - Senator Becca Rausch - 03/11/21 (audio)

FM #492 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 492 in the series. 

This session of the radio show shares my conversation with Senator Becca Rausch

We had our conversation via conference bridge to adhere to the ‘social distancing’ requirements of this pandemic period.

We talk about: 
Last meet/recorded Aug 14, 2020 on the Franklin Town Common
How are you doing?
Priorities this year
Vaccine equity/ post pandemic
Voting rights

Links to the Senator’s pages as mentioned during our conversation are provided in the show notes.  

Our recording runs about 41 minutes, so let’s listen to my conversation with Senator Becca Rausch. Audio file = 


Senator Becca Rausch home page: 

Her issues page:    

Leadership Lunch series celebrating women in March on Facebook Live:

Sign up for a spot during one of her virtual ‘office hours’ 

From the archives: our conversation recorded in August 2020  


We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio (

This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin but we can't do it alone. We can always use your help.
How can you help?

  • If you can use the information that you find here, please tell your friends and neighbors
  • If you don't like something here, please let me know

Through this feedback loop we can continue to make improvements. I thank you for listening.
For additional information, please visit  or

If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com

The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana"  c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission.

I hope you enjoy!


You can also subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters audio on iTunes or your favorite podcast app; search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"

Senator Becca Rausch (Twitter profile image)
Senator Becca Rausch (Twitter profile image)

Friday, January 11, 2019

"the Commission was unable to come to an agreement on joint recommendations"

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

"After holding on to their public records law exemption in a landmark 2016 reform law aimed at making government more transparent, lawmakers assigned to come up with ways to open up the Legislature have now blown past two deadlines and are entering 2019 without consensus recommendations. 
In late 2017, as a statutory deadline approached for a commission tasked with studying the public availability of legislative records and information, the group had yet to meet, and lawmakers gave their colleagues on the panel another year to complete their work. 
The extra year, however, did not lead to the delivery of recommendations. The group of six representatives and six senators charged with examining legislative transparency and whether to apply public records law standards to the state Legislature is entering the 2019-2020 session, and near-term rules debates, with no report."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

For access to information on the Legislative Branch (both House and Senate)

Find information on the Legislative Branch of the Massachusetts state government
Find information on the Legislative Branch of the Massachusetts state government

Monday, November 16, 2015

In the News: public records, Bye Bye Birdie

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin

Holding out hope for legislative action on a public records overhaul, Secretary of State William Galvin said he and his allies are working to gather signatures for a similar initiative petition by Wednesday's deadline. 
"It's a hustle because it's 64,000 and some change," Galvin told the News Service on Friday. Asked if he would meet the requirement, Galvin said, "I hope. I also hope I don't need them."

Read the full article online here (subscription may be required)

Liam Devine, of Franklin, will have a principal role in Dean College’s “Bye Bye Birdie” from Nov. 18 to Nov. 22. 
“Bye Bye Birdie,” set in the 1960s, tells the story of Conrad Birdie, an Elvis-like rock-’n’-roll singer and his hapless agent Albert Peterson. The rock singer travels to a small Ohio town to make his “farewell” television performance and kiss his biggest fan before he is drafted. Songs include “Put on a Happy Face” and “A Lot of Livin’ to Do.”

Read the full article online here (subscription may be required)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Code of Conduct

From the Franklin Town Code site:

No member shall vote on any matter where the member's private or family interest will conflict with the public's interest as set out in the State Conflict of Interest Law, MGL c. 268A.,conflict%20of%20interest,interests%20of,interests,conflict,interest,of#10436526

screen grab of MA.GOV State Ethics Commmission webpage
screen grab of MA.GOV State Ethics Commmission webpage

Code of Conduct

Section 23(b)(2) Improper Use of Public Position

Section 23(b)(2) provides that a public employee may not knowingly, or with reason to know, use his official position to secure unwarranted privileges or exemptions of substantial value for himself or others. Under section 23(b)(2), the Commission has consistently prohibited public employees from using their titles, public time and public resources to promote private interests.

Section 23(b)(3) Appearances of a Conflict of Interest

Section 23(b)(3) prohibits a public employee from knowingly, or with reason to know, engaging in conduct which would cause a reasonable person to conclude that any person or entity can improperly influence the employee or unduly enjoy his favor in the performance of his official duties, or that he is likely to act or fail to act as a result of kinship, rank, or position of any person.

For example, issues may arise under this section if a matter involving a non-immediate family relative, a close friend or business associate, or a civic organization in which a public employee is a member comes before the public employee in his official capacity, even if the public employee is not otherwise required to abstain under G.L. c. 268A, sections 6, 13 or 19. The public employee's private relationship with such an individual or organization creates an impression that he could be biased in his official actions as a result of the private relationship.

These and other references can be found here

and here

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Prop 2 1/2 Limits Growth

This posting was originally made on June 26, 2008. Since that time, there has been an extended conversation going on in the comments. In order to bring those comments more to the light, I am updating this to bring it forward from the June archives.


HIDDEN CONSEQUENCES: LESSONS FROM MASSACHUSETTS FOR STATES CONSIDERING A PROPERTY TAX CAP, is a report issued by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in May. In part, it summarizes:

“Across Massachusetts, a number of communities have been forced to lay off teachers, police officers, firefighters, and other public employees; close fire stations; shut libraries, senior centers, and recreation centers or sharply reduce their hours; and scale back public school programs. One town even turned off its street lights to save money,” said Iris Lav, the Center’s deputy director and co-author of the report.

According to the report, Proposition 2 ½, which limits the growth in communities’ property tax revenue for all services including education to 2.5 percent a year, has:

  • Arbitrarily constrained local revenues without considering the actual cost of providing services. “The fundamental problem with property tax caps is that they don’t make public services any less expensive,” said Lav. ”Costs like employee health insurance and special education are largely beyond localities’ control, and they’re rising much faster than the cap allows. Nor does the cap hold down the cost of heating buildings and operating school buses when oil prices are skyrocketing.” When these things occur, as they have in Massachusetts, other services have to be cut to fit total expenditures under the cap.

Read the full posting on the Franklin School Committee blog

Read the full report as referenced here.