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Will Charlie Baker's Management Skills Be Enough?

Concord's Mara Dolan crisply defines the governor's challenge in a nice piece for WGBH.
Job Licenses in Spotlight as Uber Rises
The New York Times
A good, simple explanation of why taxi medallions -- and other means of restricting competition and consumer choice -- need a rethink.

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Dear Friend,

The 2015-2016 legislative session is in full swing.  New Governor, new Senate President, and (for me) new duties, as Chair of the Post-Audit and Oversight Committee, a unique Senate body with the legal authority to inquire into the conduct of any state program run by the Governor and his appointees.  My appointment to the post comes as Senate President Stan Rosenberg works to elevate the branch's effectiveness on matters of policy.

Recent Oversight Committee priorities include childhood asthma, homeland security issues and climate change.  This is a significant opportunity to shape policies of concern to the district and the state.  I'm honored and challenged by the assignment.

Meanwhile, the bill-filing deadline has come and gone. Among other proposals, I've officially filed SD285, "An Act combating climate change."  The bill places pollution fees on fuels that worsen climate change.  To make sure the fees don't land too hard on individuals of modest means, the bill doesn't let government keep the money.  It's sent back to Mass. residents and businesses as rebate checks.  Sounds circular, but it works -- people conserve and the planet benefits. 

Check out the bill, summary and fact sheet.









Sen. Mike Barrett

State Senate gets sworn in
On January 7th, Mike was sworn in for his second term as Senator of the 3rd Middlesex District. 
Walden Pond Visitor Center Groundbreaking
The new Walden Pond Visitor Center will showcase the pond's truly amazing legacy.  Last year, the state Legislature authorized $2 million in funding.  The groundbreaking kicked off Phase I. 
Youth Mentoring Day on the Hill
Dropped by the 9th annual Youth Mentoring Day at the State House.  The relationships these groups foster are something to behold.  Here with AmeriCorps Ambassadors Sylvia Ngo, Johnny Xu and Melissa Ventola.