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Dear Friend,
I've become Senate Chair of the Committee on Utilities & Energy, and my duties have expanded in an unexpected way. As President Trump backs the federal government out of international relations and international relationships, state officials, me included, are finding ourselves drawn in. 

Nowhere is this truer than in worldwide efforts to combat climate change.  Last month I was asked to address a World Climate Summit in Morocco, where I discussed a bill I've filed to create a purely voluntary way, at zero expense to the state treasury, for Massachusetts residents to help poor countries deal with rising ocean levels, expanding deserts, and increasingly erratic weather. 

This was not a purely academic discussion.  U.K. Professor Benito Muller, founder of Oxford Climate Policy and my host and inviter, hopes that other "subnational" jurisdictions -- state, provincial, and city governments -- in better-off countries might be inspired to give their citizens similar options.
"An Act enabling taxpayer donations to the Least Developed Countries Fund," Senate bill 2056, would add a new "check-off" option to Massachusetts personal income tax forms, to allow individuals to voluntarily donate to a United Nations fund set up to aid developing nations beset by climate change. 

Mass. taxpayers already donate $1 million-plus annually, via six existing check-offs, to help cover the travel of Massachusetts-based Olympians, advance Homeless Animal Prevention and Care, and support other good causes.
Every year for as long as I can remember, I've used my own state income tax form to give $1 dollar, over and above my state tax payments, to each of the current six options.  This new seventh option would have distinctive dimensions: it would be the first to directly address climate change, and the first to express friendship with poor countries at a time when the federal government is gripped by isolationist fervor.
S.2056 has been referred to the Joint Committee on Revenue. I'm hoping for a Committee recommendation in favor of passage, after which it will head to the Senate floor for debate. I welcome your thoughts.


  Sen. Mike Barrett
Warren wows in Concord
1500 people showed up to hear from the inspirational  U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren  in Concord. State Rep.  Cory Atkins  and I were delighted to welcome her to Concord-Carlisle Regional High School, where she spoke about her work in Washington and Massachusetts. 

Answering questions from the audience, Senator Warren thanked grassroots organizations for saving healthcare in the US, spoke of the need to respect and honor our transgender troops, and strongly condemned Nazis and white supremacists following the violence in Charlottesville.

Thank you, Elizabeth, and thanks to everyone who attended --
we packed the auditorium, piled into the cafeteria, and overflowed onto the lawn!

Time for presidential candidates to release their tax returns
In 2016, Donald Trump shattered our confidence by refusing to disclose his tax returns. In doing so, he broke with well-established tradition and expressed disrespect for the idea of financial transparency.

This month I testified at a public hearing on my bill requiring presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns before appearing on the ballot in Massachusetts.

The Joint Committee on Election Laws also heard from Secretary of State Bill Galvin, who expressed his support for the legislation.

If we can pass this bill, we will inspire other states to follow.

 Bedford Day is outstanding
In Bedford I marched alongside residents, old and new, to celebrate a community with a diverse and welcoming population and a thriving civic culture.