Minuteman Bikeway Anniversary News

Submitted by Suzy Enos on behalf of Bikeway25.org

Governor Charlie Baker has issued a Governor’s Citation to the Town of Bedford on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the Minuteman Commuter Bikeway. He recognized our ‘vision in planning, advocating, creating and maintaining the Minuteman Commuter Bikeway – a treasured resource providing healthy, clean transportation and recreation.” It’s great to have the Minuteman top of mind for Governor Baker as Bedford waits for funding for the Minuteman extension to the Concord line. Stop by the Friends of the Minuteman booth at the Anniversary Celebration to see drawings and status of the extension.

Bedford’s festivities begin at the Bikeway Source (across South Road from Depot Park) at 11 am on Saturday, September 29, with special events along the trail as it wends its way to Arlington.

State Senator Mike Barrett Joins Worldwide Summit on Global Warming

Submitted by the Office of State Senator Mike Barrett

State Senator Mike Barrett (D-Lexington) is in San Francisco this week to participate in the Global Climate Action Summit organized by California governor Jerry Brown and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The invitation came from organizers of the event. Barrett, Senate chair of the state legislative committee concerned with energy issues, wrote legislation approved unanimously by the Senate earlier this year to “put a price on carbon.” Barrett, along with many economists, contends that carbon pricing is the single most effective step a government can take to combat climate change.

Legislation Regarding Campus Sexual Misconduct Surveys, Civics Education, and Consumer Protections against Data Breaches

Submitted by the Office of Rep. Ken Gordon (D-Bedford)

Representative Ken Gordon (D-Bedford) joined his colleagues in the Legislature to numerous pieces of legislation last week including a bill requiring civics education curriculum in all Massachusetts public schools, a bill that would protect Massachusetts consumers, and a bill that would require higher education institutions to conduct climate surveys relative to sexual misconduct every two years.

Massachusetts Legislature Gives Clean Energy a Boost

Submitted by the Office of State Senator Mike Barrett

Governor Charlie Baker has signed An Act to Advance Clean Energy, with a formal signing ceremony to be announced.

On the last day of July, in the closing hours of the Legislature’s two-year session, negotiators for the Senate and House hammered out agreement on a bill that will boost electricity from solar and wind, get a better handle on natural gas leaks, and create “clean peak” incentives for driving down energy use at the busiest times, when the costliest and dirtiest electric power turns on.

Archaic Laws Governing Women’s Reproductive Rights Repealed

Submitted by State Representative Ken Gordon (D-Bedford)

Representative Ken Gordon (D-Bedford) recently joined his colleagues in the Legislature to pass legislation repealing unconstitutional laws that impose criminal penalties for such health and family care treatment as abortion and contraception in Massachusetts. With an uncertain future for federal action on landmark reproductive rights, Massachusetts took decisive action to protect the rights for women across the Commonwealth. The bill was signed into law by Governor Charlie Baker on Friday, July 27, 2018

Legislature Sends Final FY19 Budget to Governor Baker

Submitted on behalf of Senator Michael Barrett and Representative Ken Gordon

Senator Michael Barrett (D-Lexington) and Representative Ken Gordon (D-Bedford) joined their colleagues in the Legislature to send a final version of the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) budget to the Governor on Wednesday following a conference committee report submitted on Wednesday morning. In addition to funding important programs and services throughout the Commonwealth, the House FY19 budget included important local aid and Chapter 70 Education funding increases for the Town of Bedford, as well as $517,000 for the education of the children of military families who live at Hanscom Air Force Base.

State Senate says Community Access TV should go HD

Submitted by State Senator Mike Barrett (D-Lexington)

Local State Senator Mike Barrett (D-Lexington) joined his Senate colleagues to pass a bill requiring cable companies to provide High Definition (HD) capability to Community Access channels and to include detailed programming information in viewers’ electronic guides.

The bill means that community TV will be on the same playing field as bigger channels. It allows local media stations access to Electronic Programming Guides and channel signal quality that is comparable to pay stations — now and in the future.

Paid Family & Medical Leave: When Everyone Wins, We all Win

By State Rep Ken Gordon

When Governor Charlie Baker signed Paid Family & Medical Leave into law last week – based upon a program that I helped write that was included in a bill that I filed in the House – he introduced a program that will improve the life of every working family in Massachusetts. But just as important, it will provide valuable assistance to small and medium sized business as well.

We all know why a worker would welcome the opportunity to spend 12 weeks with a newborn or newly adopted child, without worrying about how they will pay the rent. Our imaginations don’t have to stray too far to guess why a worker confined to a hospital recovering from a heart attack, stroke or effects of surgery would welcome 20 weeks of paid leave. Or why a worker would treasure the opportunity to have the time to console a hospitalized child, spouse or aging parent without the stress of bills going unpaid.

Legislature Passes Rep. Gordon’s Bill To Create Paid Family and Medical Leave As Part of “Grand Bargain”

Submitted by the Office of State Representative Ken Gordon (D-Bedford)

The Massachusetts House and Senate passed a statewide program that will provide a Paid Family and Medical Leave program to most all workers in the Commonwealth, as part of a consolidated bill that will also incrementally raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour over five years and raise the minimum wage for tipped workers to $6.75. The bill will also create a permanent sales tax holiday each August and eliminate the requirement that employers pay their workers time a half on Sundays and holidays.

Rep. Gordon authored much of the Paid Family Leave bill that was incorporated in the package. He spoke about the family leave policy at the State House as 126 House members voted in favor of the bill, to 25 against. In the Senate, the bill passed 30-8.

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