Bedford, Burlington and Wilmington came out big winners this month, when the legislative budget was released and signed by the Governor.
Among our greatest challenges has been maintaining the economic growth of our district, while addressing its affects on traffic and the environment. For that reason, one major during my three-plus terms has been to help create a shuttle network that will take workers to our district, so we can fill our job openings without adding cars to the road.
I'm thrilled to report that for the second straight year, the Commonwealth has included $125,000 for the Middlesex 3 Coalition to start this project, specifically for our local restaurant employers. We thought we had it done last year, but the federal government surprised us with restrictions to $290,000 we were awarded over three years. This state aid will provide enough of a spark during this year to get this project off the ground.
Another priority has been to make sure Bedford continues to receive $571,000 annually to educate the children of military families living at Hanscom. Consider that done. One again, Sen. Mike Barrett and I were able to secure funding to help our town support our troops by providing a first-class education to the high-school aged children of these families.
Turning to Wilmington, I was excited to have the opportunity alongside Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, (R-Gloucester,) and Representative David Robertson, (D-Tewksbury,) our success in securing $30,000 in the fiscal year 2020 budget to help with repairs and renovations at Wilmington's Buzzell Senior Center. Myself and Rep. Robertson filed language that would provide $20,000 for the center. This funding was adopted by the House in May.
As Vice Chairman the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, I continued my work on the issue of legal sports betting. The Committee and I have carefully listened as groups and lawmakers provided testimony on bringing legal sports betting to the Commonwealth, all of which, the committee and I take into consideration as we craft a policy recommendation to the House.
As always, thank you for your continued interest in what we do and your support. I hope to see you at one of our open office hours, or public events.
The shuttle will begin soon! With $125,000 in additional state funding, Burlington's restaurants will be able to turn to workers from other areas to fill current job openings.
Our district is experiencing historically low unemployment rates, making it hard for our businesses to access labor. At the same time, workers from other communities are having a tougher time finding jobs. A few years ago we identified a way to link these pockets by providing a shuttle run by the Middlesex 3 Coalition -- a group of business and municipal leaders from the 9 towns and one city along the Route 3 corridor.
The plan is for the state and the Town of Burlington to contribute initial funding, and for the businesses who use the shuttle to take over once it us running. Federal funds had been committed, but the commitment was later withdrawn due to unanticipated restrictions. But the state has stepped forward, and this project should be rolling shortly.
Read more on the progress of the shuttle initiative
Supporting residents who live on Hanscom Air Force Base
With the support of my colleague Sen. Michael Barrett (D-Lexington,) we were able to secure
funding for critical local aid along with Chapter 70 Education f
unding increases for the town of Bedford. This included $517,000 for the education of children of military families who live on Hanscom Air Force Base.
Overall the town of Bedford received $5,595,167 which was a $762,857 increase over fiscal year 2019. Shawsheen Tech, which also educates Bedford students, received $6,470,511, a $39,150 increase over last year.
Continuing to procure funding for Hanscom students is of the highest priority for both Sen. Barrett and me, as we both know how important it is to military families and children, and to our local economy. It is another great example of the continued commitment the Commonwealth has to my district and those who devote their time and lives to protecting our country.
Advocating on behalf of peer-reviewed science
In an era when otherwise trusted science has been repeatedly questioned at the national level, we filed H.471 An Act
Relative to Science Curriculum Standards in front of the Joint Committee on Education, and I joined Bedford's Alan MacRobert to testify in support of that legislation.
Alan, a science writer and advocate spoke on behalf of his wife Abby Hafer who wrote much of the bill, then reached out to our office in hopes we would file and support it. We answered that challenge, because it's a good bill. With states in other parts of the country passing legislation that will allow teachers to suggest to our children that topics like evolution, climate change and the holocaust are actually up for debate, we want to protect our students. Our bill will make sure only peer-reviewed, scientific subject matter is presented to students.
To learn more about Abby's passion for education and the field of science click
Helping mold future leaders
we hosted five,
dedicated, thoughtful and driven local students at our State House office as a part of our annual summer internship program. Bedford residents Connor Green, Parker Taggard and Sheri Assi, Burlington's Leila Kiddu, Newburybort's Eleanor Fremont-Smith and Bedford resident Sherry Assi completed six-weeks of important policy work.
Each intern chose their own topic for a self-researched and written policy project. Each piece of writing showcased their skills and style and it was enlightening to read all of them at the end of session.
Our future is bright with students like these working to become the leaders of tomorrow. I wish them the best of luck.
If you are impressed with Ken's work on Beacon Hill and want to support the cause, please
. Any donation you can spare, or time you can volunteer is a welcome help that does not go unnoticed. Every dollar and gesture is appreciated, thank you.
Lost and Found
Ken is helping Treasurer Deb Goldberg identify residents of the district who have unclaimed money held by the treasurer. More than a million dollars is sitting with the Commonwealth, waiting to be claimed.
We urge you to visit
to see if there is lucre awaiting your claim. It is easy, and certainly worth the effort.
We always appreciate your support. Any donation you can provide will help us commincate our message to you and other constituents.
11 a.m., to 12 p.m.
Burlington Council on Aging, 61 Center St.
1 to 2 p.m.
12 Mudge Way,
Burlington Office Hours:
9 a.m., to 10 a.m.
True North Cafe, 204 Cambridge St.
Bedford Office Hours:
10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Peppers Grille, 321 Great Road.
Wilmington Office Hours:
noon to 1 p.m.
As Good as it Gets, 35 Lowell St..