Dear Friends,
Happy Spring!?!? I hope that soon we will be experiencing a true spring and that you and your family enjoyed the winter months together!

My older daughter Madison turned 16 during February vacation week and she and I celebrated the milestone birthday spending the week exploring Rome with daytrips to Florence and Naples/Pompeii. We had an amazing time delving into the history, enjoying the food (and wine!) and just being together. 

Committee Assignments and Legislation Filed

The start of the 190th Biennial Legislative Session of the Great and General Court can appear slow from the outside, as much of the initial work involves legislative briefings, budget meetings, committee assignments, bill filings and the Clerk's office assigning the over 3,700 bills filed in the House and over 2,200 in the Senate that were filed in January.

This session I was excited to be named Ranking Minority Member on both the Joint Committee on Marijuana Policy and the Joint Committee on Public Health, and I retained my seat on the Joint Committee on Transportation. The Joint Committee on Marijuana Policy is a newly formed committee, and we have much work to do in a short period of time as the 6-month delay in implementation of some of the elements of the recreational marijuana legalization and commercialization law expires on June 30th. 

I filed 12 bills that seek to strengthen the public health and public safety protections, alter the structure of the regulatory commission to ensure independence, ensure that the excise tax is adequate to cover direct and in-direct costs of legalization and provide the local control authority to regulate zoning ordinances back to cities and towns. While I am committed to adhering to the will of the voters, I will also ensure that we responsibly launch this entirely new legal market.

The Joint Committee on Marijuana Policy will be holding a public hearing at Shrewsbury High School in the auditorium on Monday, April 10th from 4-7pm. The committee will receive oral and written testimony from local officials, municipalities, advocates and the public regarding implementation and potential improvements, suggested changes or non-changes to the law as it is written today. I encourage you to attend, listen, speak and/or submit testimony.  

The Worcester Telegram wrote a piece last Wednesday on the legislation I filed and the upcoming public hearing of the Joint Committee on Marijuana Policy at Shrewsbury High School. You can read it here.

In addition to the 12 bills I filed related to marijuana, I filed 12 bills that cover a wide range of issues:
  • protecting municipalities from unfunded mandates (co-filed with my Democratic colleague Rep. Jim Arciero of Westford)
  • providing the Lake Quinsigamond Commission with additional authority to regulate the Lake (jointly filed with Senator Michael Moore)
  • an act to decrease food waste by standardizing date labeling of food and encouraging the donation of food to persons in need
  • prohibiting the sale of e-cigarettes to persons under the age of 18
  • protecting taxpayer confidentiality and increasing the threshold for filing a state return for annuities
  • rules and regulations covering boarding kennels and daycare facilities for dogs
  • a special commission to study condominium law and elections
  • allowing school districts to collect a fee transporting students to out of district schools (such as Assabet) similar to their existing bus fee model which they are prevented from doing so now on the premise that the Commonwealth will pay the transportation costs, which it does not
  • supervised medical parole for terminal and extraordinarily incapacitated individuals - supported by all MA Sheriffs as the cost to care for a terminally ill inmate can exceed $1 million. I co-filed this bill with my Democratic colleague Rep. Claire Cronin who is House Chair for the Judiciary Committee and we have 48 bi-partisan co-sponsors of our bill. 
You can find out more on all the bills I filed and the ones I co-sponsored here.

Senator Moore and I also co-filed a home rule petition on behalf of the Town of Shrewsbury that seeks to allow the Board of Selectmen discretion to waive the residency requirement for the Town Manager. Chairman of the Shrewsbury Board of Selectmen Moe Depalo and I testified on Tuesday, March 28th, accompanied by Selectmen Henry Fitzgerald and Assistant Town Manager Kristen Las.

Senator Moore and I attended Shrewsbury High School's Mardi Gras Speech and Debate Tournament to present a Joint Resolution from the MA House and Senate that we sponsored and 67 of our colleagues co-sponsored celebrating March 3rd as  National Speech and Debate Education Day . We presented the Resolution to Shrewsbury High School Speech and Debate Coach Marc Rischitelli, who had brought to our attention the opportunity to acknowledge the day, and on behalf of all the students, coaches and parents involved in supporting this year long club activity that hones quick thinking and effective speaking skills!

Women in Government Mental Health & Substance Use Task Force

As a State Director for the national Women in Government Foundation, I spent the last year working with women legislators from across the country on a Mental Health & Substance Use Disorder Toolkit, which was released in early January at press conferences across the country, including one at the State House. Half of all Americans will have a mental health issue in their lifetime and 27 million Americans report current use of illicit drugs or misuse of prescription drugs. I am proud to have worked with my MA colleagues to share what we have learned and done to address these national issues and impressed with the commitment of so many women legislators across the country to work together in a bi-partisan manner to tackle this epidemic.

Women in Public Service

I always enjoy appearing on WGBH show Greater Boston with host Jim Braude and in February the topic of the show I was invited to be on was one I am passionate about - encouraging more women to run and serve in elected office. The panel that discussed our perspectives included Shaynah Barnes, a Brockton City Councilor at Large and Annissa Essaibi-George, a Boston City Councilor at Large. You can watch it here -- our  piece starts at about 3 minutes in.

I am excited and honored to have been appointed a board member of the
MA Caucus of Women Legislators, a bi-cameral and bi-partisan organization formed in 1975 to enhance the economic status and equality of women and to encourage and support women at all levels of government.  I look forward to collaborating with my colleagues to advance the mission of the caucus.

In late February, I joined my Democratic colleague Representative Claire Cronin of Easton at her alma mater Stonehill College to give a bi-partisan legislative update and to field questions from the Stonehill College students and alumni at the Martin Institute for Law & Society. 

UMass Women into Leadership (UWiL) is a competitive leadership training and professional development program that seeks to prepare women at UMass Amherst for public leadership after graduation. I was invited to participate in a bi-partisan panel discussion "Working Across the Aisle: Negotiation, Diplomacy and Effective Communication" at the 3rd annual UWiL workshop at UMass Amherst.  Young women are less likely than young men ever to have considered running for office, to express interest in a candidacy at some point in the future, or to consider elective office a desirable profession. It is one of my priorities to do what I can to encourage young women to get involved. 

In March, the  GOP Women's Club of Worcester County invited me to be on a panel with my Republican House colleagues Representatives Kate Campanale and Sheila Harrington, where we discussed our priorities, perspective and answered great questions from an engaged group of GOP women!

At the Shrewsbury Diversity Coalition's March monthly meeting held at the Shrewsbury Public Library, I spoke about women in public service as part of a group discussion on different paths women have taken to getting involved, the status of women in public service and what motivates women to want run and serve.

Shrewsbury & Westborough Allocated Funds for Local Road & Bridge Repairs

Last week the House voted on a $200 million bond authorization that includes $980,915 for the Town of Shrewsbury and $783,399 for the Town of Westborough for local road and bridge repairs.  The funds can be spent on a variety of municipal roadway projects, including resurfacing, drainage, sidewalks, traffic control and street lighting. The Senate will now need to vote on the bill before it can be sent to the Governor's desk for his signature.

Town of Westborough Receives a $500,000 Municipal Small Bridge Grant

Westborough was awarded a $500,000 grant for the repair of the Fisher Street Bridge by the Baker-Polito Administration at the State House this past week, attended by Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito,  Westborough Selectmen Denny Drewry, Town Manager Jim Malloy and Town Engineer Carl Balduf, with the entire Westborough legislative delegation in attendance, including my colleague Representative Carolyn Dykema pictured below.

Shrewsbury & Westborough Awarded Fire Safety Program Grants

Shrewsbury has been awarded $5,641 for Student Awareness of Fire Education (SAFE) and $2,996 for Senior SAFE programs, and Westborough received $4,540 for the SAFE program and $2,976 for the Senior SAFE program. Created 22 years ago, the SAFE program is credited with helping to drop the annual rate of children's death due to fire by 70%. Local proof of the success of the program is four-year-old Bryce Babigian who had just attended a presentation by Shrewsbury Firefighter Michael Guarino in his class at Little Colonials shortly before a fire in his own home. Bryce woke to the smell of smoke in his house and alerted his Mom to call 911 and helped get his family out of the house.
Bryce recently received the Young Hero Award at the Shrewsbury Fire Department Annual Firefighter Recognition Awards, along with FF Dave Muntz (FF Service & Achievement Award), FF Bob Ljunggren (Outstanding FF Award) and FF Bobby Fulginiti (Life Saver Award). Congrats to all! 

Project 351

In March I co-hosted a legislative briefing at the State House about Project 351, a year-long service engagement opportunity launched by Governor Patrick and embraced by Governor Baker. Project 351 has an 8th grade student Ambassador from nearly all of our 351 cities and towns, nominated by local educators, who come together Martin Luther King Jr. weekend to begin their year-long service. 

Shrewsbury's Ambassador this year is Preston Karp, who I presented a citation to in front of his Team 8 White at Oak Middle School in late January. Preston was chosen by Oak educators for his exemplary ethic of service and the values of kindness, gratitude, compassion and humility. 

Next weekend I will join the Westborough Project 351 current Ambassador AJ McLucas, past Westborough Ambassadors and other volunteers, for their "Spring Greening" project to collect and sort donations of new and gently-used clothing, books, shoes, baby items and toys to donate to Cradles to Crayons. Donations are accepted now through April 7th at any public school, Forbes building and the library.

Conversations with Hannah

In February I recorded a legislative update with Shrewsbury Library Trustee, Town Meeting Member and Board of Selectmen candidate Beth Casavant as my guest. In March, Jeremy Burton, Executive Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council, joined me to discuss the Community Leaders Study Tour I participated in with 11 of my legislative colleagues when we traveled to Israel in December for nine remarkable days. Click here to see all my latest shows!

Local Events and Initiatives

Spending time in Shrewsbury and Westborough supporting local initiatives, attending events and speaking on issues important to our community are the most rewarding aspects of being State Representative. Here is a sampling of initiatives and events from the last few months.
  • In January I spoke at the Central MA Legislative Library Breakfast held at the Westborough Public Library on the importance of our libraries and library funding, and how lucky we are in Westborough and Shrewsbury to have two terrific Library Directors in Maureen Ambrosino and Ellen Dolan!
  • Attended the India Society of Worcester Annual Meeting. Proud to be a member and always amazed at the breadth of activity. Congrats to fellow member Jonjy Anath who was recently appointed a member of the Commonwealth's Asian American Commission!

  • Shrewsbury Town Manager Dan Morgado received the Shrewsbury Education Foundation's Community Service Award, well deserved recognition for support of our Shrewsbury Public Schools for over 20 years. Proud to present him with a citation and sad to see him retiring this year!
  • Corridor Nine Chamber of Commerce held their annual Legislative Breakfast. I love the opportunity to hear directly from small business owners, business and community leaders about the issues on their minds and affecting their businesses and community endeavors.

  • The Shrewsbury High School Athletic Boosters  "Bowling for Boosters" fundraiser is always fun and I am proud to sponsor it and attempt to bowl!
  • Attended the Chinese Spring Festival organized Brian Xu of the MA Beijing Chinese Language School. Terrific performances!

  • Spring Street School in Shrewsbury and Armstrong Elementary School and Westborough High School in Westborough were honored at the State House for being 2016 Massachusetts Commendation Schools! Proud to represent two communities who highly value education and terrific educators who work hard to provide our students an exemplary education.
  • Enjoyed the opportunity to talk to the PENTA Marketing Mentorship Scholars on "The Role Government Plays in Business" and answered excellent questions asked by the high school students to my legislative colleagues and me.
  • Loved reading Dr. Seuss book "If I Ran the Zoo" to Mrs. Camerato's adorable Kindergarten class at Spring Street School on Community Reading Day.

  • Attended the Eagle Scout Court of Honor for Stephen Nerkowski and Alden Vedder. I am continually impressed by the local Boy Scout program and the dedication of troop leaders, parents and scouts. Congratulations to BSA Troop 4 members Stephen and Alden!
  • I love having young people volunteer in my office. During February vacation, Sanjit Rajagopalan, a freshmen at Shrewsbury High School, joined my office to learn more about state government and to see what a typical day in a legislators life looks like!
  • Honored to speak to the Good Citizens Award winners at the Colonel Timothy Bigelow Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Inspiring high school seniors, including Shrewsbury High School's Jacob Mastrandrea!

  • Attended the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association Legislative Breakfast to discuss the priorities of law enforcement in the 2017-2018 legislative session. Always great to spend time with two of the best Police Chiefs Shrewsbury Police Chief Jay Hester and Westborough Police Chief Al Gordon.
  • Sponsored Corridor Nine Chamber of Commerce Education and Scholastic awards. Terrific to see students from Shrewsbury, Saint John's, Assabet and Westborough High Schools get scholarship awards!

  • Celebrated the opening of the Release Well-Being Center in Westborough, which features a wonderful renovation and reuse of the Nathan Fisher House! Always honored to speak at a ribbon cutting for a new small business and grateful to the Corridor Nine Chamber of Commerce for coordinating the event! Congratulations to founder Linda Townsend for realizing her dream.
  • Congratulations to Captain Robert Theve for being acknowledged by the MA Department of Developmental Services for Promoting Inclusive Community Partnerships. Captain Theve helped fulfill Bryce's life-long dream of becoming a fire fighter by having Bryce volunteer at the Northborough Fire Department. Bryce's Mom Bonnie nominated Captain Theve and I was thrilled to be able to see my newest constituent Bryce!

Events Coming Up!
  • On Thursday, May 4th I will hold a Spring Reception with special guest Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. The event will be held at 6pm at the Beechwood Hotel. More information to come!
  • The 3rd Annual Armed Forces Day Celebration will be held on Saturday, May 20th at SAC Park, 438 Lake Street in Shrewsbury from 9am to 10:30am. Please join us! You can view the event flyer here.
  • Hannah Kane Charity Classic - The 3rd Annual golf tournament will be held on Monday, August 21st at The Haven Country Club in Boylston. Details will be posted soon. Last year the tournament raised $51,000 for our three primary beneficiaries: Shrewsbury Youth and Family Services, St. Anne's Human Services and Westborough Food Pantry. 
Monthly Office Hours

I hold office hours in Shrewsbury and Westborough for residents to stop in and discuss an issue or problem. The upcoming times and locations can be found on my home page at I hope you can join me!  

Thank you for all of your support. As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or my Legislative Aide, Jessica Beliveau. O ur office number is 617-722-2430. I welcome your thoughts, perspectives and questions and please know that it an amazing honor to serve as your State Representative.

With sincere gratitude,
Hannah Kane
State Representative
11th Worcester District

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