MAJOR BILLS DELAYED IN CONFERENCE COMMITTEE

COMPOUNDING PHARMACY REFORM

WELFARE REFORM

MERCURY THERMOMETERS

EARLY VOTING - ELECTIONS REFORM

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Solutions to Public Safety in Lawrence

In case you missed it, earlier this week Representative Paul Adams (R-Andover) delivered letters to Governor Deval Patrick and Lawrence Mayor Willie Lantigua regarding a potential solution to the public safety issue that currently faces the city of Lawrence.

The letters to Governor Patrick and Mayor Lantigua come after a night of near riots in Lawrence last week. According to an article that appeared in the Eagle Tribune, “just after 1 a.m., some 800 people jammed the Essex and Newbury street area creating ‘near riot conditions’ and ‘mayhem’ for an undermanned police shift to contend with, officers said.”

In his letter to Governor Patrick, Representative Adams said in part, “Ongoing violence in the city and chaos involving hundreds of people on Sunday, August 21 reflects a pressing, dangerous problem, but it is just the latest incident since more than 40 police officers were laid off last year – almost 30% of the police force of a city of nearly 80,000,” The letter to the Governor goes on to say, “Since last summer, nearly every category of criminal activity has increased by double digits, including murder. This is unacceptable.” Additionally, Representative Adams calls on the Governor to call in additional State Police to “help maintain order for a 2-3 month interim period.”

Representative Adams’ solution to the overlying issue of violence in the city of Lawrence - $1.2 million in Local Aid reversions that Lawrence is set to receive thanks to a House GOP led budget initiative. The Andover Republican lays the claim that the monies that Lawrence will recieve in reversions should be used to re-hire as many police as possible. In addition to re-hiring law enforcement officers, Representative Adams advocates for a “temporary policy to close bars and nightclubs one hour earlier (to 1 A.M.) on weekend evenings.”

On the heels of Representative Adams’ letters to Governor Patrick and Mayor Lantigua, the Eagle Tribune wrote an editorial in support of Representative Adams’ proposals. The editorials says in part, “It is refreshing to hear a local elected official express an opinion on the violence plaguing Lawrence and offer proposals to address it. Others — Mayor William Lantigua, some members of the City Council and the rest of Lawrence's legislative delegation — have been silent while the city they were elected to serve tears itself apart.”

The editorial goes on to say, “The added state aid gives Lawrence leaders an opportunity to protect better the lives and property of city residents. Failing to seize that opportunity is an abdication of their primary responsibility to those they were elected to serve.”

Click here to read the Eagle Tribune editorial in its entirety.

Representative deMacedo Appears on FOX-25 News

In case you missed it, Representative Vinny deMacedo appeared in a story that aired last night on the FOX-25 News. As you may have heard, Onyango Obama, President Obama’s uncle, was recently arrested and charged with drunk driving. It has since been discovered that Onyango Obama has been living in the United State illegally with both a social security number and a Massachusetts driver’s license. Rep. deMacedo joined Mike Beaudet to discuss why a person living illegally in the United States was able to access both a Social Security number as well as a Massachusetts drivers license.

To view the entire segment play the video posted below.

Obama's illegal immigrant uncle had valid license: MyFoxBOSTON.com

Friday, August 26, 2011

Hurricane Irene 2011

With Hurricane Irene barreling up the Eastern seaboard, we here at the Capitol View Live wanted to take a moment to share with you some hurricane related information and resources that we have compiled. Below are some common sense tips compiled from various organizations including the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, and the State of Massachusetts Animal Response Team.

Before the Storm

Preparation is key when it comes to any sort of inclement weather. However, when dealing with hurricanes or tropical storms there are a few basic ideas that will not only help protect you and your family, but will also protect your home.

1. Trim back trees and shrubbery around your home. Remove diseased or damaged tree limbs that could be blown down, causing damage, during a storm.
2. Clear clogged rain gutters. Hurricanes/tropical storms often bring torrential rain. Providing clear drainage will help prevent misdirected flooding..
3. Bring in outdoor items to bring inside such as lawn furniture, trash barrels, hanging plants, toys and awnings that can be broken or picked up by strong winds and used as a missile.
4. Have a certain amount of cash available. If power is lost, ATMs may not be working.
5. Make a record of your personal property. Keep an itemized list of your furniture, clothing and valuables to assist adjusters in case of a claim. Back it up with photographs or video.

These are just a half dozen ideas that will help you keep your family and home safe during a hurricane or tropical storm. For more ideas, you can check out MEMA’s web page by visiting www.mass.gov.

Keeping your Pets Safe

Just as we prepare our family and home for a hurricane/tropical storm, we must also prepare our pets. Below are some simple steps to make sure that Fido can ride out the storm safely and comfortably.

1. Make plans ahead of time to take your pet to stay at relatives, friends or a kennel outside the affected area.
2. Prepare an emergency kit for your pets; include collars & leashes, a 3-5 day supply of food and water, a manual can opener, bowls, litter boxes, photographs of you with your pet, and a week’s supply of medications that your pet may be taking, including instructions (in case you and your pet are separated).
3. Have copies of your pets’ vaccinations, medical records and prescriptions in a clean plastic bag or waterproof container.
4. Make sure your pets wear collars with current license and rabies tags, and identification tags that include information on where you will be staying during the emergency.

For additional information about keeping your pets safe, go to the State of Massachusetts Animal Response Team (SMART) website at www.smart-mass.org.

Useful Contact Information

The numbers listed below should be consulted when any questions you may have regarding hurricane/tropical storms may arise.

1. For all emergency’s – 911.
2. For non-life threatening emergencies - 211.
3. National Grid Gas Emergency Line – (800) 233-5325.
4. National Grid Electric Emergency Line – (800) 465-1212.

Post Hurricane/Tropical Storm

Even though the storm may be over, this is often when most dangers are present.

1. If you have been evacuated, do not return to your home until you have been directed to do so by state or local officials.
2. Drive only when and where necessary. Streets may be filled with debris or flooded. Closed roads are for your protection, in that they may be flooded, weakened and could collapse.
3. Upon returning, do not turn on any electronic equipment until the electricity has been safely restored.
4. Take photographs or video of damage. Keep a detailed record of all cleanup costs.
5. If your home, apartment or business has suffered damage, call your insurance company or agent who handles your flood insurance right away to file a claim. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administers the National Flood Insurance Plan (NFIP) through the Federal Insurance Administration (FIA). The NFIP makes flood insurance available in communities that adopt and enforce ordinances to reduce flood damage.
6. Be a good neighbor. Make sure those around you are safe and have the help that they need.

It is the hope of the Capitol View Live that the information and phone numbers provided above are of value and assistance to you. We hope you all have a safe weekend and we look forward to seeing you back here next week.

19th Amendment Anniversary

Today marks the 91st anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. Let us never forget the long battle that courageous women like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton fought so that women are able to have the same voting rights as their peers. The suffrage that generations of women endured should serve as a reminder to future generations that a person’s goals, no matter how lofty or extreme, are always within reach.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Representative Jones Appears on the Jeff Katz Show

In case you missed it, House Minority Leader Brad Jones recently appeared on the Jeff Katz Show.

This morning, Representative Jones joined host Jeff Katz to discuss the recent filing of legislation, which if passed, stands to bring expanded gaming to the Commonwealth.

Click here to listen to the segment in its entirety.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

House Minority Leader to Make Media Appearance

Minority Leader Brad Jones will be on air with Jeff Katz on Talk 1200, tomorrow morning at 7:45am. Representative Jones will be discussing the recent filing of legislation that aims to bring expanded gaming to the Commonwealth.

Be sure to check out Representative Jones. In case you miss it, we'll be sure to post his appearance on www.thecapitolviewlive.com tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

House Minority Leader’s Statement on the Filing of Legislation to Bring Casinos to Massachusetts

House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. issued the following statement today in response to legislation being filed to bring expanding gaming to the Commonwealth:

“Having been a long-time proponent of bringing expanding gaming to Massachusetts, I believe resort-style casinos stand to bring both economic growth and development to the state. Not only will the Commonwealth as a whole benefit from the influx of revenue, but residents of the Bay State stand to benefit from the jobs that will come as a result of the gaming industry establishing itself here in Massachusetts.

I am, however, quite frankly disappointed to have received more information regarding the proposed legislation from members of the media, rather than from my colleagues across the aisle.

I look forward to an in-depth and transparent review of the legislation as proposed by the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, and remain hopeful that the process going forward will make up for the shortcomings of the process thus far.”

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Secure Communities…The Time is Now

In case you missed it, multiple media outlets have reported that an individual suspected of drunk driving and operating without a license struck and killed a man in Milford this past weekend. The other side of the equation; the person charged with these crimes is an illegal immigrant with a criminal record.

According to reports in the Boston Globe relative to the fatal accident that took place in Milford over the weekend, Nicolas Guaman is being arraigned on eight charges, including vehicular homicide while under the influence, and unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. Mr. Guaman is also living illegally in the United States.
Once again, it has taken another case of an individual’s death to bring to light the issue of Secure Communities. Media reports and information from the Milford Police Department shed light on the fact the Mr. Guaman had been arrested in 2008 on charges of assault and battery on a police officer and at least one public employee and of breaking and entering.

This latest case begs the question as to whether or not the tragic and untimely death of this individual in Milford can be laid at the doorstop of the government, and their inability or unwillingness to address the issue of Secure Communities and the broader issue of illegal immigration.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

House Minority Leader’s Statement on Evergreen Solar Filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection

House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. issued the following statement today after Evergreen Solar announced they had voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection:

“The fact that Evergreen Solar has filed for bankruptcy protection should serve as a lesson to the Patrick Administration that throwing money at what they decide is the” industry du jour” won’t necessarily translate into success for the Commonwealth.

Not even a year ago, Governor Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Murray were riding the Evergreen Solar horse all the way to re-election. And now the horse is no more. The Patrick/Murray Administration refrained from doing their due diligence, and instead wrote a $58 million dollar check from the taxpayers’ check book.

In a time where individuals and families are struggling financially, we need to be much more judicious in how we spend taxpayer dollars: on targeted, responsible investments to spur economic growth within Massachusetts.”


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Monday, August 15, 2011

Letter to Chairman Linsky Regarding Allegations of Misuse of Taxpayer Resources

In case you missed it, today Representatives Sheila Harrington and Kevin Kuros, the Republican members on the Committee on Post Audit and Oversight, delivered a letter to Chairman David Linsky regarding the recent findings from the State Auditor’s office.

Last week, multiple news sources reported on an investigation by the State Auditor revealing the inappropriate use of close to $30 million public tax-dollars by a public agency responsible for special-needs children.

According to an article in the Boston Globe, some of the misuse included “up $4.3 million in credit card charges for alcohol - which [State Auditor] Bump said is prohibited by state law - as well as country club outings, golf fees, entertainment, and personal transportation through the use of 17 credit cards.”
Representatives Harrington and Kuros have penned a letter asking Committee on Post Audit and Oversight Chairman David Linsky to “conduct an immediate oversight hearing.”

The letter to Chairman Linsky argues that, “In this time of scarce resources, we owe it to taxpayers to ensure their dollars are being spent wisely and efficiently. In addition, we owe it to those who have endured the effects of extreme budget cuts to ensure money cut from one area of the state budget is not being wasted in another.”

Below is the letter that was sent to Chairman Linsky by Representatives Harrington and Kuros.


August 15, 2011

The Honorable David P. Linsky, Chairman
House Committee on Post Audit and Oversight
State House, Room 146
Boston, MA 02133

Dear Chairman Linsky:

As members of the Committee and on behalf of the House Republican Caucus, we write to urge the Committee to undertake a review of the numerous allegations of misuse of taxpayer resources by certain non-profit organizations.

Several months ago, the media brought to light serious irregularities and lax oversight relative to the Greater Lawrence Community Action Council. Subsequently, Inspector General Greg Sullivan released a report detailing the misappropriation of millions of dollars of public funds by the Merrimack Special Education Collaborative. Today, based on findings released by State Auditor Bump, we have learned that the extent of this inappropriate spending has greatly exceeded initial reports. As members of the Committee, we feel this extraordinary event has reached such a critical point that we must respectfully request that the Committee to conduct an immediate oversight hearing.

The purpose of this hearing would be threefold. First, we think it would be helpful to understand the nature, scope and seriousness of the allegations against these organizations. Second, we need to develop a clear understanding as to whether these allegations and concerns relative to the misuse of taxpayer funds are even more widespread. Finally, we need to understand what happened and how to determine what rules, regulations, and even laws we should propose to ensure these abuses cannot happen in the future.

In this time of scarce resources, we owe it to taxpayers to ensure their dollars are being spent wisely and efficiently. In addition, we owe it to those who have endured the effects of extreme budget cuts to ensure money cut from one area of the state budget is not being wasted in another.

While we understand the Joint Committee on Post Audit and Oversight is undertaking a review, we fear the problem may be more pervasive and, as such, believe the Committee should use its authority and charge under the Rules of the House to initiate its oversight and review.

We appreciate your consideration of this request and would be happy to discuss it with you at your convenience. We look forward to your response.

Sincerely,



Representative Kevin J. Kuros
Representative Sheila C. Harrington


Cc: House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo
House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

POW/MIA Flag Presentation

In case you missed it, Representatives George T. Ross and Betty Poirier, along with the Attleboro POW/MIA Remembrance Committee presented House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. with a MIA/POW flag. The flag, which will be placed in front of the House Republican Leader’s Office, was a gift from the Attleboro POW/MIA Remembrance Committee.

Monday, August 8, 2011

In Our Thoughts and Prayers…

It is with the heaviest of hearts that we recognize the loss of 30 American lives in Afghanistan over the weekend. Included in the lives lost was a hometown hero; Navy SEAL Kevin Houston from Cape Cod. These soldiers gave the ultimate sacrifice while protecting our freedoms. Their selfless dedication and service to our country will not soon be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and families of these brave soldiers.

Representative Ross Appears on the FOX-25 Morning News

In case you missed it, Representative George Ross made an appearance on the FOX-25 Morning News today. As you may have heard, Representative Ross has filed a bill that would ban the sale of “bath salts” in Massachusetts. Rep. Ross joined Elizabeth Hopkins to discuss the legislation he has filed, as well as the potentially deadly effects of this new street drug.


To view the entire segment play the video posted below.

Banning Bath Salts: MyFoxBOSTON.com

Friday, August 5, 2011

Representative Ross Appears on NECN’s “Broadside” and the Jeff Katz Show

In case you missed it, Representative George T. Ross recently made two media appearance to discuss legislation which he filed to ban the sale of “bath salts” in Massachusetts.

This morning, Representative Ross was on-air with Jeff Katz on Talk 1200. Click here to listen to the segment in its entirety.

Yesterday, Representative Ross was a guest on Broadside with Jim Braude where he joined guest-host Joe Battenfeld to discuss the proposed legislation. To view the entire segment play the video posted below.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Representative Ferguson Named “Legislator of the Year”

In case you missed it, Representative Kim Ferguson was named “Legislator of the Year” by the Holden Landmark newspaper. The Reader’s Choice Award is voted on by residents from Holden, Paxton, Princeton, Rutland, and Sterling. Representative Ferguson, a freshman legislator, represents the towns of Holden, Hubbardston, Oakham, Princeton, Rutland, Precinct Sterling and Westminster. Congratulations Representative Ferguson!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Representative George T. Ross Files Legislation to Prohibit Sale of “Bath Salts”

In case you missed it, Representative George T. Ross (R–Attleboro) recently filed legislation that, if passed, would ban the sale of the designer drug referred to as “bath salts” and containing ingredients likened to those found in illegal narcotics.

House Docket 3953, An Act to Include Substituted Cathinones, Also Known as ‘Bath Salts,’ in Class C Substances, seeks to categorize the drug, referred to on the streets as “bath salts,” as a Class C substance under the Controlled Substances Act. Because the ingredients commonly found in “bath salts” are not currently included in our Controlled Substances Act, these drugs can be sold legally in convenience stores and over the Internet with no legal and/or practical use.

The active ingredients in the drug “bath salts” include methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDVP) and mephedrone - also known as substituted cathinones. “Bath salts” are typically sold as a white powder and in crystal form, and can be smoked, injected, or snorted, giving users effects similar to cocaine, methamphetamine (meth), or ecstasy. Users’ reactions to the drug can vary but are reported to include hallucinations, severe anxiety, paranoia, suicidal thoughts and combative behavior, as well as dangerously elevated blood pressure and heart rate.

‘The ingredients that are found in this hallucinogen marketed as “bath salts” produce a potentially dangerous narcotic that is now readily available to any individual,’ said Representative Ross. ‘In filing this legislation, it is my intention to take a proactive approach to this growing epidemic before it is too late and someone loses their life.’

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, as of July 14, 2011, 25 states have already enacted legislation banning the substances used to manufacture the drug, and 11 other states currently have legislation pending.

Representative Winslow Appears on NECN’s “Broadside”

In case you missed it, Representative Dan Winslow made an appearance on Broadside with Kennedy School of Government lecturer Elaine Karmarck yesterday. Representative Winslow joined guest-host Joe Battenfield to provide post-debt ceiling insight and analysis. To view the entire segment play the video posted below.