Also of note:
"Barrett adds funds for Waltham programs"

Waltham News Tribune

"Barrett added funds for The Waltham Partnership for Youth, which combats problems facing local teenagers. The funds would be used to help the organization expand their youth mental health and substance use prevention work."

In the State House:
"Mass. Senate Unanimously Approves Hands-Free Distracted Driving Bill"


"The legislation also requires law enforcement to collect racial and ethnic data on all traffic stops as a way to track for profiling or biased application of the new restrictions."

"Abortion Rights Supporters, Opponents Turn Out For State House Debate Over ROE Act"


Proud to co-sponsor the ROE Act.

Worth reading:
"Defining generations: Where Millennials end and Generation Z begins"

Pew Research

I'm Dad to two wonderful Millennial women. I think they and their friends will be interested to read this -- a piece on Gen Z, the new generation growing up behind them.
Go to the web:
Like me on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter
Be in touch
State House
Suite 109-D
Boston, MA 02133

Phone: 617-722-1572
Share this email
Dear Friend,
With Donald Trump in the White House, Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, and abortion as a federal right hanging in the balance, protecting women's choice is becoming a struggle waged state by state.  

So far this year, four jurisdictions have banned abortion after the first six weeks of pregnancy, which means bans would take effect before many women know they're pregnant.  A fifth state, Alabama, has gone even further, banning abortion outright and decreeing life sentences for doctors who perform the procedure.

All of this brings to memory the bad old days, in which a good many women seeking an abortion paid a price with their health, and some paid a price with their lives.  That's why I support a new pro-choice bill pending before the Massachusetts Legislature, formally entitled "An Act to remove obstacles and expand abortion access" and known informally as the ROE Act.

One purpose of ROE is to change several restrictive Massachusetts laws that have been inoperative for years but remain on the books.  If not repealed, these Big Brother laws, meant to intimidate and obstruct, will re-apply as soon as the federal right weakens or disappears.
In place of Big Brother, the ROE Act offers  protections to ensure that no person is denied care, has care delayed, or is forced to go elsewhere for care.  Example: Women are occasionally given the heartbreaking diagnosis later in pregnancy that their child, once outside the womb, will not be able to survive.  The Act gives women in this terrible situation access to abortions here in Massachusetts.
Another example: Current law routes younger women to court when they want to waive parental involvement, leaving the decision to a judge who isn't trained to recognize signs of abuse or coercion.  In a perfect world, all  of us would arrange for every single pregnant teenager to have a supportive parent to whom she could turn.  But a young person who isn't so fortunate, faced with the prospect of finding her way through an impossibly complicated judicial system, will end up trapped.  The ROE Act ensures that women in this situation can bypass the courts and make their way directly to a doctor and a safe medical setting.

My position, in a nutshell: If the national government voids rights on which we depend, state government must step in and protect such rights whenever it can.  The House, the Senate, and the Governor should enter the ROE Act into the statute books of Massachusetts.

Sen. Mike Barrett
Documenting a war against science

Always a pleasure to hear from the inimitable Naomi Oreskes, renowned historian of science and local resident.  In Carlisle recently, Naomi documented the disturbing story of climate change denial and its role in undercutting government decision-making.  Here, four local champions of climate action pose for a group picture: Launa Zimmaro of Carlisle and the League of Women Voters, Prof. Oreskes, State Rep. Tami Gouveia, and me.
Gann Academy students unearth a hidden -- and shameful -- local story

At the State House, students from Gann Academy in Waltham reported on their amazing, and sobering, project: to research and write the individual biographies of 298 people who once resided in state institutions in Waltham and Lexington and who were then buried anonymously in virtually unmarked graves in Waltham.  For years, each deceased has been known only by a number.  Thanks to students and teachers at Gann, this is beginning to change.  The project has a particularly sad resonance for me: 50 years ago, I volunteered as a Big Brother at the Fernald School, one of the two institutions that treated the deceased -- and the living -- so badly.