Friday, July 29, 2022

Franklin Unified Basketball Team visited the State House on Thursday

Via Lisa Berger

"FHS unified basketball/team mass at the State House!!! What a great day and honor!! Thank you Representative Jeff Roy!"

Via State Representative Jeff Roy:

"It was a treat having the beloved Franklin Unified Basketball Team in the State House yesterday to be honored by the House and Senate for sportsmanship and bringing home the gold medal. The visit included stops in my office, the House and Senate Chambers, and the Gov’s office."

 Via Senator Becca Rausch:

"You all are all stars, @FranklinHS Unified Basketball! It was an honor to welcome these gold medalists and young leaders into the Senate chamber today. Congrats again on your huge victory, and thank you for representing MA at the @specialolyUSA . We are so proud! @TOFranklinMA"

FHS Unified team visit to State House for tour
FHS Unified team visited the State House for tour

FHS Unified team visited the House Chambers
FHS Unified team visited the House Chambers

Additional photos can be found in the first two tweets

Shared from Twitter -



Boston Globe: "Jacob Jette takes charge in Franklin’s American Legion championship victory over Leominster"

"The four games leading to the final of the Massachusetts American Legion Senior Baseball Tournament all saw sixth or seventh-inning comebacks. In the championship game, Jacob Jette wouldn’t have it. 
The eventual tournament MVP fired 71 of his 107 pitches for strikes, racking up eight strikeouts in 6 ⅓ innings (he was pulled due to tournament pitch count rules) to earn the 6-2 victory over Leominster for Franklin (20-4) at Milford’s Fino Field. 
“My changeup was working really well,” Jette said. “It’s on and off, but today it was good. I was getting ahead on batters a lot with my curveball, which really helps.” 
Jette (1 for 4) pitched in the high school state championship for Franklin, where he pitched well but Taunton got the win. Coach Tyler Pasquarosa said this game felt like his second chance."
Continue reading the Boston Globe article (subscriptions may be required)

Via FHS Coach Zach Brown:
"Today was surreal! Watching 3 All-Star teams win Championships all at the same site & seeing each age group & all the families supporting each other was amazing! Franklin=Special Town! Congratulations to the 9u, 10u, 11u& 12u teams that won today! #PantherPride #FranklinStrong"

Boston Globe: "Jacob Jette takes charge in Franklin’s American Legion championship victory over Leominster"
 Boston Globe: "Jacob Jette takes charge in Franklin’s American Legion championship victory over Leominster"Photo by A.J. TRAUB

Massachusetts Legislature Passes Veterans' Home Governance Legislation

The Massachusetts Legislature today passed An Act relative to the governance, structure and care of veterans at the Commonwealth's veterans' homes which makes key reforms to the governance structure of the state's veterans' homes, ensures that both homes are federally licensed as health care facilities, mandates increased state management, and provides independent oversight and accountability of veterans' homes management. Following the tragedy at the Holyoke Veterans' Home in 2020, which resulted in the COVID-19 related deaths of 78 veterans, the Legislature established the Special Joint Oversight Committee on the veterans' Home in Holyoke COVID-19 Outbreak to investigate and make recommendations which resulted in this legislation.

"By taking significant steps to change how our veterans' homes are governed and managed, and by establishing protocols that are designed to identify and correct any examples of mismanagement or inadequate care as quickly as possible, this legislation will help to ensure that a tragedy similar to what occurred at the Holyoke Soldiers' Home will never happen again in Massachusetts," said House Speaker Ronald J. Mariano (D-Quincy). "I want to thank Leader Wagner, Chairman McMurtry and members of the conference committee, my colleagues in the House, as well as Senate President Spilka and our partners in the Senate for their hard work, and for prioritizing the health and well-being of the Commonwealth's veterans. They deserve nothing less."

"As the daughter of a veteran, I continue to be heartbroken for the families of those who lost their lives to COVID-19 at the Holyoke Soldiers' Home," stated Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). "I would like to thank Senators Rush, Velis and Tarr for their work on this conference committee, as well as Speaker Mariano and all of the House conferees for their partnership in service of our veterans. This important reform to the governance of veterans' homes in Massachusetts is a major step toward rethinking how we deliver care to veterans of every generation across Massachusetts and ensure that our veterans are connected to their communities."

"I am honored to have led the House's effort to reform the system of governance at the two state-operated veterans' homes, streamline and modernize veterans care, and create a clear chain of command with a new cabinet-level secretary of veterans' services," said Representative Joseph F. Wagner (D-Chicopee), Second Assistant Majority Leader and House lead of the conference committee. "This legislation not only addresses a structurally deficient authority at the homes, but instills a greater level of care for veterans statewide, consistent with our prior action in authorizing $400 million for a new and an additional $200 million for other veterans' housing projects. This report puts emphasis on our commitment to provide veterans the care they deserve, with dignity and honor."

"The tragedy of the state's soldiers' homes did not happen overnight. It was the culmination of years of mismanagement, a lack of oversight, and a plethora of serious structural deficiencies which ultimately cost over one hundred veterans their lives," said Senator Michael F. Rush (D-Boston), Senate Majority Whip and Senate lead of the conference committee. "The Commonwealth's veterans deserve better. Today, thanks to the efforts of Senate President Karen Spilka, Speaker Mariano, Leader Joe Wagner, and my colleagues on the conference committee, we have created a strong framework to ensure they receive the best a grateful public can offer."

The legislation creates a direct line of authority by creating a Secretary of Veterans' Services position, with a corresponding executive office in the Commonwealth, as the ultimate appointing authority of the superintendents of the two state-operated homes. It also creates a newly constituted 19-member Veterans' Homes Council to advise the Secretary to ensure the health and well-being of veteran residents. The council is tasked with reviewing and approving the local Board of Trustees' nomination for superintendent of their respective home before submitting the final candidate to the Secretary for consideration of appointment.

The legislation also makes the superintendent the administrative head of a state-operated veterans' home, prescribing them with concrete responsibilities. It includes critical qualifications for the role, requiring that the individual selected be a licensed nursing home administrator, and be a veteran or have experience in the management of veterans in a long-term care or nursing home facility. The medical director of each state-operated veterans' home will recommend to the superintendent all medical staff, physicians, and nurses at the respective home for their review for hiring.

"A bill of this magnitude is always a product of collaboration and compromise, and this legislation is no different. I would like to thank Speaker Mariano and Leader Wagner for their steadfast leadership and guidance through this process," said Representative Paul McMurtry (D-Dedham), House Chair of the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs. "I believe that the compromise reached in this conference committee produced a strong bill that delivers on its original goal of providing a structure to our veterans homes that protects our veterans and gives them the highest quality of care and dignity they've earned and deserve."

"From streamlining the chain of command and clarifying the responsibilities of the superintendent, to elevating the veterans Secretary to cabinet level and expanding the Department of Public Health's role, this legislation contains important improvements for our Commonwealth's veterans' homes," said Senator John C. Velis (D-Westfield), Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs. "I want to thank my fellow conferees for their work throughout this process and for their commitment to getting a piece of legislation to the Governor's desk this session. At the same time, we know that this work must continue. That is why I am so grateful to Senate President Spilka for appointing me to lead the Senate working group that will oversee implementation of this legislation, identify what we need to improve on further, and continue to work to ensure that the tragedy that took place at the Holyoke Soldiers' Home never happens again."

To further protect the health and safety of residents and staff, the report requires all state-operated veterans' homes be licensed as nursing homes by the Department of Public Health (DPH), a provision that was not previously enforced in state law. It also directs the department to conduct inspections of the homes biannually—and monthly during a declared state of emergency—with a timeframe for when violations must be resolved. Each state-operated veterans' home must apply and maintain certification from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to participate in such programs on behalf of their residents, as well as adhere to federal guidelines for trauma-informed care.

The comprehensive bill also reaffirms the role of the Executive Director of Veterans' Homes and Housing, who will now oversee the Veterans' Home Council as chair, in addition to their other responsibilities. The report goes further in enhancing the care of all veterans in the Commonwealth by creating an Office of the Veteran Advocate, appointed by the Governor, Attorney General and State Auditor, independent of any supervision control by an executive agency, to guarantee veterans residing in the state are always receiving services in a humane and dignified manner. The legislation also establishes the position of ombudsperson for each veterans' home to advocate on behalf of the residents and staff at the home.

"I want to thank my colleagues on this conference committee for their hard work and dedication through this process," said Representative David F. DeCoste (R-Norwell). "I am certain that the mandated improvements in management controls, certifications and medical professional requirements will greatly improve operations in both the Holyoke and Chelsea Soldiers Homes." 

"We have a solemn obligation to support those who enter harm's way on our behalf in the uniform of our military and our state has a proud legacy of leading this nation in meeting that obligation in offering support for those men and women," said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester), a member of the bill's conference committee. "I am thankful that the conference committee retained my amendment to require that the Secretary of Veteran's Services be a veteran and a full member of the Governor's cabinet because this will allow the Secretary to faithfully give veterans a voice that they have always deserved. The Holyoke and Chelsea veterans' homes, and any future homes, should be a place of respite, care, and safety where a veteran can live their days with dignity. This bill sets the stage for accountability, a firm chain of command, proper licensure, and experts to make sure that the administration of these homes are modernized and fully committed to those in their care."

In May 2021, the Legislature approved a $600 million bond authorization—with $400 million for the construction of an updated Holyoke Veterans' Home facility and $200 million to increase geographic equity and accessibility for veterans not primarily served by the veterans' homes in Chelsea or Holyoke.

Having been passed by the House and Senate, An Act relative to the governance, structure and care of veterans at the Commonwealth's veterans' homes now goes to Governor Baker for his signature.

Link to Legislation ->

Massachusetts Legislature Passes Veterans' Home Governance Legislation
Massachusetts Legislature Passes Veterans' Home Governance Legislation

Franklin School for Performing Arts (FSPA) schedules Open House for prospective students & families

The Franklin School for Performing Arts (FSPA) will hold Open Houses for prospective students and families at 38 Main Street on Tuesday, August 2 from 3-7 PM and Saturday, September 10 from 10 AM - 2 PM!

The community is invited to tour the facilities, observe classes, speak with faculty and staff, and learn more about FSPA programs in music, dance, and drama, whether for recreational enjoyment or serious  study.

Invite a Friend!!

Franklin School for Performing Arts (FSPA) schedules Open House for prospective students & families
Franklin School for Performing Arts (FSPA) schedules Open House for prospective students & families

Franklin Families = sign up for Youth Basketball at Downtown Sports this winter!

Youth Basketball Association at Downtown Sports!

Dear Basketball Families,

Downtown Sports would like to welcome you to one of our newest winter offering, the Youth Basketball Association for players in Grades K-4

To improve outcomes for players in basketball we surveyed parents, listened to coaches one-on-one, and facilitated focus groups on improving results on the court.

From this collaborative work we created the Youth Basketball Association which we feel can provide an alternative for families looking for more engagement and growth.

Some Highlights of the YBA...

  • Program runs from late November to Early March.
  • Provides one weekly, weekday Targeted Training Session (Practice) which will be facilitated by a lead coach and supported by your child's head coach. This will always be on the same day and time.
  • Game modifications utilized based on best-practice for the grades/grade-spans we service. Ex. Size of Ball, Rim Height.
  • Game Times (Saturday's) always at the same time each week.
  • Professional Development for our Head and Assistant Coaches and an expectation of teaching the same skills so all players are provided a guaranteed curriculum. 
  • Supplemental Training option on Friday afternoons focused on dribbling and/or shooting. 
  • A Travel Team Option (Grades 2-3)
  • A per hour cost rate that is similar to other area programs which includes a team pinnie and all weekly practices/games.

Our Divisions include:

  • Kindergarten Co-ed
  • 1st/2nd Boys
  • 1st/2nd Girls
  • 3rd/4th Boys
  • 3rd/4th Girls
  • Travel 2nd Boys for players who demonstrate grade-level proficiency in basketball
  • Travel 2nd/3rd Girls  for players who demonstrate grade-level proficiency in basketball

To Register, please click here. Once at the page view by category and scroll down to Winter Basketball. 

If you have any other questions regarding this new Winter Basketball Program do not hesitate to reach out to the Coaches at Downtown Sports

Franklin Families = sign up for Youth Basketball at Downtown Sports this winter!
Franklin Families = sign up for Youth Basketball at Downtown Sports this winter!

Where is Downtown Sports? 240 Cottage St, Franklin
Visit their webpage ->

Beacon Hill Round up: likely tax rebate coming in some amount/form; MA Senate union debate goes forward

"In a surprise, Baker says taxpayers could receive ‘north of $2.5 billion’ in tax relief under little-known law" 

"With state coffers overflowing, Massachusetts taxpayers could receive nearly $3 billion in tax relief under an obscure 36-year-old law, Governor Charlie Baker’s administration said Thursday, surprising lawmakers just as separate tax relief talks seemed to be reaching a crescendo.

The likelihood of a decades-old law forcing the state to give back billions to taxpayers quickly shook Beacon Hill on the same day data showed the economy had edged closer to, if not officially in, a recession.

It also complicated legislators’ negotiations over a $1 billion package of tax breaks and rebates — a mammoth proposal lawmakers pursued to help ease the pinch of ballooning inflation but were still scrambling to complete before their legislative session ends Sunday night.

How much the state could ultimately hand back to taxpayers is unclear. But Baker said Thursday that the state appears poised to trigger a 1986 voter-passed law that seeks to limit state tax revenue growth to the growth of total wages and salaries in the state."
Continue reading the Boston Globe article (subscriptions may be required)

CommonWealth Magazine coverage

Mass. Senate president won’t voluntarily recognize staff union effort, doesn’t ‘see a path forward’

Nearly four months after legislative staff in the Massachusetts Senate formally asked President Karen E. Spilka to recognize them as an employee union, Spilka rejected the effort.

“The Senate does not at this time see a path forward for a traditional employer-union relationship in the Senate as we are currently structured,” she wrote in a staff email on Thursday evening.

Staffers expressed dismay at her decision.
Continue reading the Boston Globe article (subscriptions may be required)

The union responded Senate President Spilka's statement with their own:

Boston Globe: Drought conditions persists

"The rain has been a no-show and the parching persists. The area of Massachusetts experiencing severe drought conditions has expanded south from the northeastern corner of the state, according to the latest report from the US Drought Monitor.

The monitor released the data Thursday on its website, which said the readings were valid as of Tuesday morning.

Areas experiencing severe drought now include all of Essex, Middlesex, Suffolk, and Norfolk counties as well as parts of Worcester, Bristol, and Plymouth counties. "
Continue reading the Boston Globe article (subscriptions may be required)

Also a link to an article with photos showing the effects of the drought around the state


Selling stuff online? Here’s how to avoid a scam

Consumer Alerts from the Federal Trade Commission

Selling stuff online can be a great way to make some extra cash. Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and other sites attract a lot of buyers — and scammers. Here are some ways scammers try to cheat you and what to do about it.

For more info visit ->

Advice for selling things online

Franklin TV and schedule for Friday, July 29, 2022

  • or 102.9 on the FM dial = Friday

9:00a/12:00p /6:00p Chapters – Jim Derick  Insightful, life-affirming stories and interviews

10:00a/1:00p/7:00p Music to Lift the Spirit - Jim Derick & Frank Falvey

11:00a/2:00p/8:00pm Senior Story Hour – Senior Center Scribblers Group

  • Franklin All Access TV - Our Public Access Channel (Comcast 8, Verizon 26) = FRIDAY

7:30 am ArtWeek: John Christoforo
9:00 am Frank Presents: Caron Grupposo
10:00 am Physician Focus: Guns and Public Health
11:00 am Senior Connection: Hearing Loss
11:30 am Norfolk County Prevention Coalition: Healthy Communities
12:00 pm Brook'n'Cookin: Tai Salad
12:30 pm Sandhya: Donuts
1:00:00 pm Mass Department of Public Health: CO-VID 19
1:30:00 pm Pizzapalooza: Meat-Lovers Pt. 2
2:00 pm New England Candlepins: Fall 2019 Show 6
3:00 pm SAFE Coalition: Michelle Palladini
4:00 pm Senior Connection: Hearing Loss
4:30 pm FSPA: Spring Concert Show 2
7:00 pm Celebrate With Pride: Pt. 1

  • Franklin Pride TV - Our Educational Channel (Comcast 96, Verizon 28) = FRIDAY

7:00 am Public School Event: Lifelong Music Pt. 2 05-13-19
8:30 am It Takes A Village: Philip Hulbig
9:30 am Pack 92 Pinewood Derby 2022
11:30 am FHS Varsity Softball: v Needham 04-29-22
1:30 pm Public School Concert: FHS Concert Night 2019
3:30 pm Critical Conversations: Social Media
6:00 pm Let's Talk Sports: Unified Basketball
7:00 pm FHS Boys Varsity Lacrosse: v Oliver Ames 05-02-22
9:00 pm FHS Varsity Baseball: v Catholic Memorial 04-20-22

  • Franklin Town Hall TV - Our Government Channel (Comcast 11, Verizon 29) =  FRIDAY

8:00 am Zoning Board of Appeals: 06-30-22
2:00 pm Zoning Board of Appeals: 06-30-22

Get this week's program guide for Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio ( online   

Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio (
Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio (

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Governor Charlie Baker Signs Fiscal Year 2023 Budget

Governor Charlie Baker today (7/28/22) signed the Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) budget, a $52.7 billion spending plan that supports the Commonwealth’s communities, families, businesses, and workers. The budget fully funds the continued implementation of the Student Opportunity Act, while expanding proven programs and making record investments in early education and childcare, housing and homeownership, college financial aid, economic and workforce development, behavioral health care and local aid.

The FY23 budget is in balance, does not rely on one-time revenue sources, and does not raise any new taxes or fees; rather, it incorporates $315 million to support permanent tax reductions that are expected to be enacted through separate legislation pending in the Legislature. Several of the expected tax measures were first proposed in the Administration’s FY23 budget plan filed in January, including an increase to the rental deduction cap, expansions of the dependent care and senior circuit breaker tax credits, and estate tax reforms.

“With the Commonwealth in a historically strong fiscal position, the FY23 budget supports tax relief for hundreds of thousands of taxpayers, while making record investments in education and local aid,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Since coming into office, our Administration has worked closely with the Legislature to ensure the budget is structurally sound and protected from unpredictable economic fluctuations, and I am pleased to sign another budget that maintains this commitment while making investments help Massachusetts’ families and communities grow and thrive.”

“The FY23 budget maintains our Administration’s strong support for the Commonwealth’s cities and towns and expands services in acute areas of need, like housing stability, education and childcare access, workforce development, transportation, substance addiction treatment and behavioral health care,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “This funding will further our work to encourage the economic growth of our communities, promote equitable access to opportunity and support the health and wellbeing of all residents.”

The FY23 budget incorporates an upgraded $39.576 billion base tax revenue forecast, an increase of $2.66 billion above the total FY23 consensus tax projection set in January. This revenue supports a total of $52.7 billion in gross spending, excluding the Medical Assistance Trust Fund transfer, which reflects approximately 9.3% growth in appropriations over Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22).

As enacted, the budget anticipates a sizable deposit into the Stabilization Fund of nearly $1.5 billion, which would increase the balance of the Fund from an already historic high of $6.9 billion to $8.4 billion. This would represent a $7.3 billion increase in the balance of the Stabilization Fund since the Baker-Polito Administration came into office in 2015 – an achievement made possible by the Administration and Legislature’s close collaboration and commitment to responsible management of the Commonwealth’s finances. 

“Fiscal responsibility has been a cornerstone of the Baker-Polito Administration, and we are proud of the work that has been done over the last seven years to bring the budget into structural balance and build up reserves, which will protect the Commonwealth from economic volatility and ensure the continuity of vital government services in the long-term,” said Administration and Finance Secretary Michael J. Heffernan. “We thank our colleagues in the Legislature for their partnership in developing this impactful spending plan that sustains critical supports for the Commonwealth’s communities, families, and workers.”

The revenue upgrade incorporated into the budget also affords a number of substantial one-time transfers and reserves in FY23, including: a $266 million reserve to support MBTA safety and workforce initiatives; a $175 million transfer to a new trust fund dedicated to supporting high-quality early education and care; a $150 million transfer to the Student Opportunity Act Investment Fund; $100 million for a supplemental transfer to the Commonwealth’s Pension Liability Fund; and $100 million for a transfer to the State Retiree Benefits Trust Fund.

Investing in Massachusetts’ Future

The FY23 budget makes record investments in the Massachusetts education system across all levels, from childcare to higher education. It continues to fully fund the implementation of the Student Opportunity Act with a $5.998 billion annual Chapter 70 investment, along with a $67.7 million increase over FY22 for special education circuit breaker reimbursement for cities and towns and a $89.2 million increase in charter school reimbursement funding. The Governor also signed a new one-time investment of $110 million that will support a pilot free school meal program for students in K-12 schools.

In addition to the $175 million trust fund transfer to support high-quality early education and care, the FY23 budget provides a total of $1.184 billion for the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC). Notably, this includes $250 million for grants to help stabilize early education and childcare providers through the pandemic recovery period, $60 million for childcare provider rate increases and funding to support the full implementation of a more equitable parent fee scale that will result in virtually all subsidized families paying a fee that is 7% of their income or less in FY23.

The FY23 budget also provides $1.61 billion for college affordability, degree completion, and workforce readiness. This funding supports more than $190 million in support for financial aid, which includes an expansion of the MASSGrant Plus program that will enable all low-income, in-state undergraduate students to attend public higher education without incurring debt for mandatory tuition and mandatory fees. The budget also includes over $30 million to scale up college and career pathway programs for high school students with a focus on equity and recruitment of high-need student populations.

The budget furthers supports job readiness and efforts to connect students and workers to high-demand career pathways with increased funding for programs within the Executive Office for Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD). It includes $28.5 million for the YouthWorks Summer Jobs program, $23.9 million in total funding for the Career Technical Initiative, $17 million for the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund, and $15 million for MassHire one-stop career centers.

As Massachusetts’ economic recovery continues, the budget supports the Baker-Polito Administration’s focus on promoting equitable growth and opportunity for communities and businesses across the Commonwealth. The budget provides $32.2 million for the Small Business Technical Assistance Grant Program, which supports diverse entrepreneurs and small businesses, along with $20 million for the Community Empowerment and Reinvestment Grant program, $17.2 million for local economic development projects, and $10.7 million to support Massachusetts tourism and hospitality. 

The FY23 budget builds on the Administration’s efforts to promote equality and opportunity for communities of color with more than $50 million across the budget supporting targeted programs and initiatives aligned with the recommendations of the Governor’s Black Advisory Commission (BAC) and Latino Advisory Commission (LAC). The budget also fully funds the Supplier Diversity Office (SDO), which promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion in state contracting and ensures accountability and compliance with diversity goals.

To continue supporting local communities throughout Massachusetts, the FY23 budget increases the Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) investment by $63.1 million above FY22, for a total of $1.231 billion. A further $20.7 million in funding is provided for Community Compact-related programs including best practices and regionalization and efficiency grants.

Recognizing the challenges of the housing market, particularly in the aftermath of COVID-19, the FY23 budget makes investments to create long-lasting improvements in housing stability and access to homeownership. Building on the Eviction Diversion Initiative (EDI), the budget implements major reforms and significantly increases funding for rental assistance, re-housing benefits and housing vouchers. Along with eligibility expansions that will multiply the number of households served and increase benefits, the budget invests a historic $150 million in Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT), an increase of $128 million (582%) above FY22, and it provides $59.4 million for HomeBASE, a 129% increase vs. FY22. It also supports $110 million for homeless individual shelters, a 90% increase above FY22, and $154.3 million for Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP), which will support enhanced benefits and reforms that will give families more housing choice and flexibility.

The budget sustains support for core health care programs and makes investments to expand services for the most vulnerable, while improving access to health care for all residents. Within the $19.480 billion gross / $7.301 billion net MassHealth budget, $115 million will fund nursing facility staffing rate increases and supplemental payments. The MassHealth budget also incorporates a gross increase of $73.2 million to expand the Medicare Savings Program, which will reduce out-of-pocket health care spending and prescription drug costs for approximately 65,000 low-income seniors and disabled individuals.

The MassHealth budget includes $115 million to support the expansion of outpatient and urgent behavioral health services; further FY23 investments in behavioral health care include $20 million for a clinical behavioral health worker loan forgiveness program and a $20 million for a trust dedicated to supporting the expansion of access to and utilization of behavioral health services.

The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated substance addiction issues across Massachusetts, and the FY23 budget continues to ramp up funding to combat this public health crisis. The budget includes $597.2 million in total funding for a wide range of harm reduction, treatment, and recovery programs that support individuals struggling with substance addiction and programs that work to prevent substance addiction through education, prescription monitoring, and more.

The budget also continues efforts to ensure survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence have access to necessary services and supports, a priority of the Baker-Polito Administration. $132 million in total FY23 funding is allocated for services to prevent and treat sexual assault and domestic violence, a 104% increase in funding since FY15.

Outside Sections and Earmarks

As part of the budget-signing, Governor Baker vetoed $475,000 in gross spending, signed 153 outside sections, and returned 41 to the Legislature with proposed amendments.

Notable outside sections returned with amendment include:
  • Adding the most important provisions from the Administration’s dangerousness bill into the section that would provide free phone calls to inmates.
  • Amending an outside section relating to the Children and Family Legal Representation Trust Fund to require that money in the fund may only be spent on expanded guardian ad litem appointments in care and protection cases
  • Requiring the Health Connector to study implementation steps and costs of a Connector Care pilot program
FY23 Budget Highlights:

K-12 Education
  • Fully funds the implementation of the landmark Student Opportunity Act, adding a total of $651.8 million in new spending above FY22:
    • $494.9 million increase in Chapter 70 funding, including an increase in minimum per-pupil aid from $30 to $60, for a total Chapter 70 investment of $5.998 billion
    • $67.7 million increase for special education circuit breaker reimbursement for local cities and towns
    • $89.2 million in additional funding for charter school reimbursement
  • $150 million for a one-time transfer to the Student Opportunity Act investment trust fund
  • $110 million for a pilot free school meal program for students in K-12 schools
  • Over $30 million to scale up college and career pathways
  • $15 million for scholarships and loan forgiveness programs for public school teachers
Early Education and Childcare
  • $1.184 billion for Early Education and Care (EEC), including:
    • $250 million to support continued stabilization of childcare facilities
    • $60 million for center-based childcare provider rate increases
  • In addition to the above funding, a one-time $175 million transfer to a new trust fund dedicated to supporting high-quality early education and care
Higher Education

$1.61 billion for the Department of Higher Education, University of Massachusetts, and state universities and community colleges, including:
  • More than $190 million to support financial aid, including $18 million to support an expansion of the MASSGrant Plus program that will enable all low-income, in-state undergraduate students to attend public higher education without incurring debt for mandatory tuition and mandatory fees and $15 million for financial aid increases at the University of Massachusetts
  • $22 million in financial aid for Massachusetts students attending private institutions
  • $8.8 million for foster care financial aid and fee waiver programs to maintain support for over 1,400 students attending private and public campuses who are currently or were previously in DCF custody and care, or who have been adopted through DCF
Supporting Local Government

Total investment of $1.231 billion in Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) for local cities and towns
  • $20.7 million for Community Compact related programs including best practices and regionalization and efficiency grants, an increase of 63% above FY22, including $5 million for the Public Safety Staffing Grant Program and $3 million for district local technical assistance
Housing and Homelessness

$884.6 million for the Department of Housing and Community Development, a $300.5 million (51%) increase above FY22, which includes:
  • $219.4 million for the Emergency Assistance family shelter system
  • $154.3 million for MRVP to support more than 10,000 vouchers in FY23
  • $150 million for Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT), an increase of $128 million above FY22
  • $110 million for Homeless Individual Shelters and $5 million to continue an innovative model to create new housing opportunities with wraparound services for chronically homeless individuals
  • $92 million in funding for Local Housing Authorities
  • $59.4 million for HomeBASE Household Assistance
  • $12.5 million for a collaborative program through which the Department of Mental Health provides mental health services and DHCD provides rental assistance
Economic Development
  • $32.2 million for the Small Business Technical Assistance Grant Program for entrepreneurs and small businesses, especially those owned by women, immigrants, veterans, and people of color
  • $20 million for the Community Empowerment and Reinvestment Grant program to support development in socially and economically disadvantaged communities
  • $10.7 million to support the Massachusetts tourism and hospitality sector
Labor and Workforce Development
  • $28.5 million for the YouthWorks Summer Jobs Program to subsidize summer job opportunities and provide soft job skills education for youths
  • $23.9 million in total funding for Career Technical Institutes, which provide pathways to high-demand vocational trade careers, including plumbing, HVAC, manufacturing, and robotics
  • $15 million for MassHire one-stop career centers
  • $600,000 for a new appropriation to expand research and analytics capabilities to enhance data-driven workforce development strategies
Health and Human Services
  • $230 million for Chapter 257 human service provider funding
  • $115 million to expand outpatient and urgent behavioral health services at MassHealth, plus an additional $20 million at the Department of Mental Health for clinical behavioral health worker loan forgiveness
  • $73.2 million gross to expand the Medicare Savings Program, reducing out-of-pocket health care spending and drug costs for approximately 65,000 low-income older adults and disabled individuals
  • $720.4 million for the Executive Office of Elder Affairs, including $24.9 million for grants to Local Councils on Aging, $7.9 million for supportive senior housing, and $2.5 million for geriatric mental health services
  • Fully funds the Turning 22 program at the Department of Development Services and other agencies
  • $1.2 billion for the Department of Children and Families (DCF), an increase of $368.7 million (45%) since 2015, including $13.4 million to support families that are fostering children in DCF care and to encourage recruitment of new foster families
  • $174.2 million in funding for Veterans’ Services and the Chelsea and Holyoke Soldiers’ Homes, which includes a $13.2 million (37%) increase above FY22 for the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home to support the Fall 2022 opening of a new 154-bed state-of-the-art Community Living Center
  • $15 million in grants to local health departments to support municipalities' capacity to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic
Substance Addiction Prevention and Treatment
  • $597.2 million for substance addiction prevention and treatment services across the budget, an increase of $478 million since FY15
Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence
  • $132 million, a 104% increase since FY15, in support of services to prevent and treat victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, including $1.5 million in new investments to combat human trafficking
Promoting Equality and Opportunity
  • More than $50 million supporting the recommendations of the Black Advisory Commission (BAC) and the Latino Advisory Commission (LAC)
  • $1.55 billion in total budget transfers for the MBTA
  • $457 million for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), including $95 million for snow and ice operations and $3.4 million to support implementation of new funds provided through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act
  • $266 million for a reserve to support MBTA safety improvements and workforce initiatives
  • $96.5 million for Regional Transit Authorities
  • $11.6 million for the Merit Rating Board
Energy and the Environment
  • $134 million for the Department of Conservation and Recreation, including funding for the Summer Nights program and the Swim Safe Massachusetts program to enhance and promote water safety
  • $45.4 million for Environmental Protection Administration
  • $30.6 million for the Massachusetts Emergency Food Assistance Program
  • $5.4 million for climate change and adaptation preparedness
Criminal Justice and Public Safety
  • $445.1 million for the State police public safety and crime lab operations, including funding to support the 87th and 88th Massachusetts State Police Recruit Training Troops
  • $12.3 million in funding for the Shannon Grant program to fund anti-gang and youth violence prevention efforts
  • $10.4 million to fully fund tuition and fee waivers for National Guard members
  • $11.7 million for the Municipal Police Training Commission to implement bridge academies, expand training capacity, and annualize training requirements such as de-escalation and school resource officer trainings
  • $5.8 million to support the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission and four other new commissions created in the Police Reform bill
  • Eliminates all parole and probation fees, building upon the 2018 Criminal Justice Reform legislation which eliminated fees for parolees on supervision for less than a year
Securing and Modernizing Government IT

$163.3 million for the Executive Office of Technology Services and Security to support:
  • Management of Cyber Security Operations Center (SOC)
  • Continued migration of applications and infrastructure to cloud, third-party on-premise, and Software as a Service (SaaS)
  • Continuation of EOTSS customer engagement initiative to enhance IT and security service offerings across Commonwealth agencies 
  • IT strategy consulting services in support of priority state agency and cross-secretariat initiatives
  • Business intelligence (BI) and data analytics support for state agencies
  • Centralized software and IT contract compliance program
To view the FY23 budget, click here

Video of the Governor's press conference when he signed the legislation including the follow-up questions from the press present

Electric Youth Concerts on the Common!

Electric Youth (EY) is back from their 3-week concert tour of Belgium, France, Switzerland, and Italy! 

You have 3 more chances to see the 2022 group perform with the Boston Show Band this summer!

HOPKINTON COMMON - July 31 at 5:00 PM

NORFOLK COMMON - August 4 at 6:30 PM

FRANKLIN COMMON  -  August 5 at 6:00 PM - Featuring Future Shock! 

Electric Youth on tour in Europe, 2022
Electric Youth on tour in Europe, 2022

2 passes complete, looks like 1 to go - King St paving status

Hopefully the last pass of paving will complete on Thursday. 

I also hope that the white lines return soon. Given the behavior of some of the drivers today (after the paving crews finished) making three lanes where there normally were two.

After King St, the crews will work on East Central (from Ruggles to Lewis), Union (from Beaver to School St), and Beaver St (from the RR tracks to I-495 overpass) - possibly in that order. We'll watch for updates from the DPW.

Know someone going to college? Consider the "College Admissions Insights" session scheduled Aug 1 at 1 PM

Know someone going to college?

Is the process anything like when you considered college? Or your kids did?

For answers to these questions, consider joining Allison Sherlock, Director of Admission at Saint Michael's College for an informative session on what the college admissions process is like these days. 

Allison will provide some insights on 
the application process (now a Common app)
what the student (and family) should consider in their college search
lessons learned from reading more than 10,000 college entry essays

When: Monday, August 1, 2022 at 1:00 PM  

Where: Franklin Senior Center (conf room) and via Zoom

To attend via Zoom, use this form and we'll email the link  ->

Who is Allison? (aside from my daughter)

Allison graduated from Franklin High in 2004, earned her BA in 2008 and her Masters in 2016 both at Assumption College.

Allison has worked in admissions at Assumption, MCPHS University, Wheelock College, and for 5 years at Saint Michael’s mostly as a Regional Recruiter, now currently as Admissions Director.

Her full LinkedIn profile can be found online at

Consider the "College Admissions Insights" session scheduled Aug 1 at 1 PM
Consider the "College Admissions Insights" session scheduled Aug 1 at 1 PM

Did you know that Tri-County Athletics has a newsletter to subscribe to?


  • Fall Registration Checklist
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  • Fall Sports Directory

You can sign up to receive updates as frequently as they are posted

Did you know that Tri-County Athletics has a newsletter to subscribe to?
Did you know that Tri-County Athletics has a newsletter to subscribe to?