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Is It a Crime to Be Poor?
The New York Times
Modern day debtors' prisons?  This is deeply disturbing.  My committee is taking a hard look at Massachusetts' policy.

DNC platform mirrors Massachusetts' agenda
The Boston Globe
Senate President Stan Rosenberg takes a wide view on how the national Democratic Party and the Massachusetts Senate are aligned.
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Dear Friend,
This past Sunday, at approximately midnight, with House and Senate members present and working, the year's Legislative session came to an end.  Members now turn to their districts and the election process.  In the past month or so, the Great and General Court (let's hear it for old-time titles!) passed bills to:
  • Close the gender pay gap, mandating equal pay for equal or comparable work;
  • Limit physician over-prescription of painkillers, an inadvertent contributor to opioid addiction;
  • Update the "public records" statute, opening up access to government documents;
  • Ban discrimination against transgender people;
  • Aid the emergence of "clean" electric power generated by windmills and dams; and
  • Set legal rules of the road for Uber, Lyft, and other ride-sharing companies.
Other bills failed to get over the finish line.  In the next legislative session, 2017-2018, we need to --
  • Guarantee workers time off with pay to care for a newborn, a sick family member, or an elderly parent;
  • Bar the use of credit checks in hiring and promotions (excepting financial services), a practice that bears no meaningful relationship to job performance;
  • Raise the smoking age to 21;
  • Reduce excessive prison terms for nonviolent offenders and curb the state's reliance on an almost invisible revenue source -- fines, fees, and penalty money collected from the family members of prisoners;
  • Continue the growth of clean electric power by stepping up the role of photovoltaics (sun to energy); and
  • Provide nationwide leadership on global warming, by "putting a price on carbon" in Massachusetts.
May you and your family think happy thoughts and enjoy the summer. 
Sen. Mike Barrett
Why carbon pricing -- in under 4 min.

I took to the State Senate floor recently to call for a price on carbon in Massachusetts -- the most effective way for government to combat climate change.  In terms of the state's carbon reduction targets, I outline where we've made progress, where we're falling short, and where we need to step up the effort. 
Waltham welcomes Wolverine
Wolverine makes great shoes (my wife and I love our Merrells).  Very happy the company's New England operations are now in Waltham.  Here I am, cutting the ribbon with the Guv, his wife Lauren, Waltham Mayor McCarthy, and the Wolverine team.
Carlisle hosts 3rd MAD bbq
Big thanks to Bob and Marsha Wallhagen for hosting a terrific summer picnic.  Bob's a spark plug among Democrats in Carlisle and throughout the region.