Gun Control, Tax Reform, Massachusetts Cannabis Industry 
and more from O'Neill and Associates
CEO's Corner: Inaction on Gun Control Can No Longer Be An Option 

Dear Friend,

In the last 35 days our nation has seen two of the deadliest mass shootings in United States history. Political leaders offer their "thoughts and prayers" for the victims, their families and friends. I don't doubt the sincerity of their condolences, but the killings at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs were committed in a house of worship. The victims were there to pray. While we mourn the victims, we're compelled to point out that our prayers won't return the dead, our prayers won't erase the memories of the survivors, churchgoers who no doubt witnessed horror that will remain with them the rest of their lives. This small, close-knit town lost almost five percent of its residents at Sunday Mass.

Republican elected officials, in particular, reject immediate calls to action. The talking points have been distributed-- it's too soon to talk about gun control; we need to let these families mourn.

The New York Times November 6, 2017 editorial "It's Not Too Soon to Debate Gun Control" offers a forceful, graphical rebuttal to this claim. While we are within days of the killings in Texas, we are 36 days removed from the Las Vegas shooting, 513 days removed from the Orlando Nightclub Shooting, and 1,789 days removed from the slaughter of children at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. If new horrors await us regularly, "it's too soon" can always apply. The claim is hollow. The memory of the victims should demand that we act.

This Fall, Republicans in Congress are attempting to fast-track a tax plan that rearranges the entire economy and skews cuts to corporations and the wealthy. President Trump, Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan declared that Congress must act before the end of the year, tax cuts are so important. But 40 days after more than 500 were wounded or killed in Las Vegas, and only days after more than two dozen were killed in Sutherland Springs, Texas, there is no urgency-in fact there is no effort at all by President Trump, the Senate Leader, or the House Speaker to address the prevalence of military-grade assault weapons in the United States and the horror for which those tools of death are responsible. Let's be clear, the time isn't "right" for gun legislation, it is tragically overdue. To think that partisanship, and fear of the NRA, would be more important than the obligation of elected officials to ensure the basic safety of our citizens is simply unforgivable to me as a former public official.

According to a 2016 study, states with stricter gun laws see fewer gun-related deaths. I am proud to say that Massachusetts is leading the way in gun control-the first state to introduce and pass a law banning the sale of bump stocks, the accessory used by the Las Vegas shooter that allowed him to shoot more than 500 people in a matter of minutes. The effort was introduced by the overwhelmingly Democratic legislature in the wake of the Las Vegas massacre but was met with bi-partisan support and ultimately signed into law by the Baker administration on November 3rd. Fully automatic assault weapons have been banned in the United States since 1935. Many semi-automatic assault rifles, including the the AR-15, were banned from 1994-2004, but in 2004 Congress allowed that law to expire. The AR-15 is manufactured by Colt's Manufacturing Company in Hartford, Connecticut. Since 2004, an AR-15 was used by mass murderers in Sutherland Springs, in Las Vegas, in Orlando at the Pulse Nightclub, in San Bernadino, in
Sandy Hook, and at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. When is it not "too soon"?

Congress should take its lead from the bipartisan approach of effective and thoughtful leadership on gun control in MA. Inaction can no longer be an option.

A few years back I gave a speech in Denver, Colorado where I was asked about my stance on gun control. As a Democrat I feared what reaction the crowd would have to my response. The goal of gun control laws is not to strip individuals of their 2nd Amendment Rights. Individuals are welcome to own and house guns as well as use them for appropriate uses, hunting, skeet and target shooting. No, the goal of gun control is centered on the safety and protection of all. As I finished my statement I braced myself but was pleasantly surprised when I was met with applause. While the 2nd Amendment is a right given to individuals, no one can argue that we also have a right to safety and a feeling of security. By failing to act, Congress leaves the citizens of the United States vulnerable to future attacks. Legislative action is necessary and it must begin today. 

Tom O'Neill
Current Events and Expertise
Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
By John Cahill, Vice Chairman

After much secrecy and delays, House Republicans unveiled last week the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) aim to fast track and send the bill to the Senate by Thanksgiving.

With the passage of the recent budget bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will only require a majority vote in the Senate to pass and Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has said previously that he wants to pass a tax overhaul by year's end. With a 52-seat majority Republicans can only afford to lose two GOP senators. Like the failed attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, this will be difficult.

Massachusetts Cannabis Industry Update
By Chris Niles, Vice President 

The Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) hired a new Executive Director, Shawn Collins, a veteran of the Treasury and the State Senate and is positioned to hit the ground running as he was instrumental in preparing the Treasurer's office to house the regulatory body. The CCC is also looking to fill key staff positions such as a Communications Director and General Counsel in the coming weeks and an initial budget for the commission is expected shortly.

Additionally, the Department of Public Health is continuing its own regulatory process to make changes to how dispensaries in the medical marijuana program operate, that program is due to transition from DPH to the CCC by the end of 2018. 
Client Spotlight
Laurie Hernandez Raised Donations for Cure Alzheimer's Fund to Help Find a Cure for the Disease 

On Sunday, October 22 nd, Olympic gold and silver medalist Laurie Hernandez was in Methuen, Massachusetts at Interstate Gymnastics and Dance, helping to raise donations for Wellesley-based nonprofit Cure Alzheimer's Fund.
The event was part of an ongoing series with Hernandez called Gymnastic Funtastic with Laurie Hernandez. Young gymnasts from across the region raised donations for Cure Alzheimer's Fund in order to win special prizes with the Dancing with the Stars champion, which included the opportunity to attend a clinic with Hernandez, take a selfie with her, and get her autograph. At a Q&A session, the participants all had the chance to hear her describe the road to the Olympics and how she deals with injury and adversity. 
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Rectrix Aviation Launches Non-Stop Weekend Passenger Flights Between Cape Cod and New York City

On October 27, Rectrix Aviation introduced new weekend flights between Cape Cod and New York City's LaGuardia Airport. "Nonstop service between New York City and Cape Cod will offer travelers hassle free access to these exciting destinations," said Rectrix CEO Richard Cawley. Ticket information is available via Rectrix Shuttle's website at

MLRI and Greater Boston Legal Services Lead the Campaign to Lift the Cap on Kids 

Approximately 8,900 children living in poverty in the Commonwealth are denied welfare benefits from the state simply because they were born after their family began receiving benefits. This is an effect of the Massachusetts' "Cap on Kids" policy, which the Campaign to Lift the Cap on Kids - led by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute and Greater Boston Legal Services - are working to see changed.

The statewide coalition working to Lift the Cap on Kids has the support of over 100 agencies and organizations in Massachusetts. With the support of these organizations and citizens of the Commonwealth, the Campaign to Lift the Cap on Kids can change the lives of thousands of children and families. 
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Massachusetts Chemistry & Technology Alliance Hosted " Chemistry Makes It in Massachusetts" Day on the Hill 

In concert with Massachusetts Manufacturing Month, the Massachusetts Chemistry & Technology Alliance held the second annual Beacon Hill day that highlighted the industry's economic impact, issues and showed elected officials what chemistry means to Massachusetts. Companies from across the Commonwealth showcased their applications, products and innovations utilizing chemistry everyday, highlighting yet another manufacturing sector that plays an integral part of the Massachusetts economy.
Today at OA
The Sixth Annual Tip O'Neill Irish Diaspora Awards

The Tip O'Neill Irish Diaspora Award ceremony, held this past October, celebrates the life of Tip O'Neill and honors his dedication to peace in both the United States and Northern Ireland. The award, in its sixth year, recognizes the significance of the Diaspora and celebrates the heritage and culture that has promoted a strong, impressive presence of County Donegal natives abroad. While it has many functions, ultimately, the Tip O'Neill Irish Diaspora Award recognizes the achievements of influential members of the Irish Diaspora community who have found tremendous success in their field of choice while never forgetting their Irish roots.
This year Tom had the honor of presenting the Tip O'Neill Irish Diaspora award to four impressive individuals: President Marty Meehan, University of Massachusetts system; food entrepreneur Frazer Doherty, Founder of SuperJam and member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE); Barbara Koster, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer Prudential Financial; Packie Bonner, formal goalkeeper for Celtic and the Republic of Ireland national team. 
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Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit by best-selling author and MSNBC's Hardball host Chris Matthews

O'Neill and Associates will be celebrating the release of the book Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit by best-selling author and MSNBC's Hardball host Chris Matthews. 

Matthews provides a revealing portrait of the life of Robert F. Kennedy. From his early life to his tragic run for president, Matthews sheds light on the public and private life of Bobby Kennedy in what is bound to be a political classic. The event will be held on Tuesday, November 21, at 6:30 p.m. at the Boston Harbor Hotel. Please contact to RSVP. 
Upcoming Events
  • Wednesday, November 22nd: Annual lighting of the Pilgrim Monument to commemorate the Mayflower Pilgrims first landing in the New World in Provincetown Harbor. The switch will be flipped at 6 p.m. Info here.
  • Tuesday, November 28th: WBZ-TV Presents the "Faneuil Hall Holiday Spectacular" 7:30-8 p.m.
  • Tuesday, December 14th: A Faith That Does Justice Inc. Community Meeting with Ms. Rosanne Haggerty, MacArthur Foundation Fellow, President and CEO of Community Solutions. Info here.
For more information on events please contact O'Neill and Associates 617-646-1000
O'Neill and Associates | (617) 646-1000 |
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