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Carbon pricing becomes a cause for the World Bank and I.M.F.
The New York Times
"Putting a price on carbon pollution is by far the most powerful and efficient way to reduce emissions."  -- Jim Yong Kim, World Bank President.  Here in the U.S., as Washington deadlocks, I want Massachusetts to lead the way.
Food for thought:  Few states match Mass. in income inequality
The Boston Globe
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Boston, MA 02133

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Dear Friend,

This year is unlike other years (see below), so don't break out the spoons, bones,  washboard  and k azoo just yet, but nestled in the gargantuan folds of the new state budget are several items of modest size but local relevance:
  • Funds to partially cover Bedford's expense of educating children who live on Hanscom Air Force Base, a federal enclave beyond the reach of local property taxes;
  • Money to mitigate Concord's cost of providing fire, EMT, and other services to two state-operated correctional facilities within the town;
  • Money to test the water quality of three treasured local rivers, the Assabet, the Sudbury, and the Concord;
  • Funding for Budget Buddies, a non-profit founded by two visionary Chelmsfordians to teach the basics of money management to low-income women;
  • Funds for the WATCH Housing Advocacy Clinic, a friend to poor Waltham tenants trying to access public housing, fuel assistance, and food stamps, or facing threatened evictions and code violations by landlords; and
  • Funding to enable the Community Day Center in Waltham to work with the city's homeless on issues of shelter, mental health, and substance abuse.
So why not strike up the band and start the celebration?  Because, to the surprise of Democrats and Republicans alike, the past several months have seen unusual dips in capital gains tax collections.  The shortfall in revenue may require spending cuts in the form of either short-term gubernatorial vetoes or, later on, emergency gubernatorial impoundments known as 9C cuts.  

Revenue under projections, emblematic of the painfully slow economic recovery we're seeing across the entire globe, are harder and harder to reconcile with the need for modern mass transit, affordable state universities, and the like.  It's time, I think, to tweak the Massachusetts Constitution to allow modest increases in state income taxes on those with very high incomes.  In 2018, two years from now, a constitutional amendment to this effect will likely go before the voters.  In the meantime, we will sweat the budget and fret about under-investing in services.
Sen. Mike Barrett
Targeted by hate in Orlando
"The attack in Orlando was on gay people.  The attack was on Latinos.   The attack was on immigrants.  The attack was on Americans.  The attack was on all of us as human beings.  How to repel the attack?  In the U.S.,  the pace of change is painfully slow in the short run -- but reaches farther than we ever dreamed in the long run.  That's OK.  We'll take it.  For the hard work of making our country a better place, each of us has signed up for the long run."

-- State Sen. Mike Barrett, June 15, 2016, vigil in Lexington, MA after the Orlando massacre.
Chelmsford leaves no pooch behind
My dog Juno and I joined local leaders and their pets for the grand opening of Chelmsford's gorgeous two-acre dog park.
Waltham parties on the Charles
Waltham's Riverfest does a beautiful job of bringing the city together.  On the left, with my wife Nancy and Sonja Wadman of the Waltham Land Trust.  On the right, with Kelly Durkee Erwin; Lisa Lorgeree, President of the Downtown Waltham Partnership; and Doug Waybright, Partnership VP and all-around civic champion. 
3rd Middlesex Area Dems multi-task
The pillars of 3rd MAD -- 3rd Middlesex Area Democrats, the folks who keep my Senate district on the progressive up and up -- really know how to eat breakfast and talk at the same time.  Can be messy!  But always fun.