Dear Friends,
April 8th is my one-year anniversary of being sworn in by Governor Charlie Baker as State Representative for the 11th Worcester District. It is an amazing honor to represent the citizens of Shrewsbury and Westborough at the State House and to advocate for our communities. I love being your State Representative and I hope that over the past year you have seen my joy, passion and commitment to this role, and that I have illustrated effectively how I am delivering on the promises I made to you when I campaigned for the opportunity to advocate for Shrewsbury and Westborough.

Re-election Kick-off

This past March I kicked off my re-election campaign with special guests former Governor William Weld and First Lady Jan Cellucci. I t was the late Governor Paul Cellucci who encouraged me to serve in public service and who recruited me to work in the Weld/Cellucci Administration. His commitment and legacy inspires me every day. I was thrilled to have Governor Weld and Jan Cellucci join me as I shared the progress I had made in my first year and my priorities for a second term. I promised all that I will never forget that it is the people of the district who sent me to Beacon Hill, so while I strive to be an effective representative inside the State House, I am always cognizant that my work must be meaningful and visible to all of the people living in Shrewsbury and Westborough. 

Community Forum on the Opioid Epidemic

On average, 4-5 people a day in Massachusetts are losing their lives to an opiate overdose. No community is immune - the opiate crisis has hit all communities, including Shrewsbury and Westborough.  
On Monday, April 11th, at 7:00pm at Shrewsbury High School, I am co-hosting a community forum about the opiate epidemic, along with the Shrewsbury Coalition for Addiction Prevention and Education (SCAPE), District Attorney Joe Early Jr., Central MA Opioid Task Force and Senator Michael Moore.
This forum is designed to raise awareness and educate parents and community members about the actions they can take to limit the exposure to opiates and learn about the resources available should a family or friend need them.
The panel will be moderated by Shrewsbury High School Principal (and member of SCAPE) Todd Bazydlo , and include District Attorney Joseph Early, Charles Faris, CEO/President of Spectrum Health Systems, Lt. James Lonchiadis of the Shrewsbury Police Department, Cassandra Andersen from the Dept. of Public Health, a parent of a recovering addict and a person in recovery, as well as Senator Mike Moore and me.
Resource tables will be open 7pm-7:30pm and the panel presentation with a time for questions will run from 7:30pm-9pm. I hope you can join us.

Women in Government

In early January, I was sworn in as a State Director for the Women in Government Foundation, joining 199 other women state legislators nominated from across the country to help promote the role of women in public service and work on important policy issues that face the nation and the Commonwealth. I am also serving on the Women in Government Mental Health and Substance Abuse Task Force and will travel this coming weekend to meet with other legislators to focus on these complex issues and discuss what we can do legislatively to help address the challenges. 

495/MetroWest Partnership Advisory Board

The 495/MetroWest Partnership is an advocacy organization representing 35 communities that promotes sustainable economic development, "smart" growth and transportation development.
I was pleased to be asked to join the board, which includes business leaders from both the private and public sectors, as well as state legislators and local officials, as a member of the Advisory Council and support the strong work of the Partnership. I am particularly focused on the transportation issues and challenges in the region, and I will continue to be a very strong advocate for the prioritization of the 495/90 and 495/9 interchange projects as critical to the ongoing economic development of the region.. 

Conversations with Hannah

Last week I recorded a new episode of my local access show and was joined by Westborough Selectman George Barrette. We spent time discussing the upcoming Community Forum on the Opioid Epidemic and what we have done at the state and local level to combat this problem, and we also discuss the state and local budgets. Click here to see the latest episode!

2016 Legislative Update

The House and the Senate should be very busy the next few months as the formal legislative session will end on July 31st, meaning all bills that have been filed and released from committees must come before both chambers for action before the legislative session ends, otherwise they will need to be refiled and begin the process anew in January 2017.  Here are a few of the bills that we have voted on or taken some action on since January.
1.  Landmark Opioid Legislation  - Governor Baker recently signed into law a bill (H 4056) that included limits for first-time opioid prescriptions for adults and all opiate prescriptions for minors to a seven-day supply, gives patients the ability to request that a doctor prescribe less than the standard number of opioid pills or have a pharmacist fill less than the full amount of an opiate prescription, and will make screening of middle and high school students for signs of substance abuse and addiction more regular across Massachusetts. It also requires that doctors check the Prescription Monitoring Program before subscribing to ensure that patients are not visiting multiple doctors for pills, as well as many other new checks and balances to prevent the misuse of opiates. While this legislation is a step in the right direction, we know it will take more than any one bill to bend the curve on this terrible epidemic.

2. Reforming Civil Commitment for Women - In January, the Governor signed into law a bill that had been filed numerous times by many legislators over a 30 year history. The bill ensured that no woman who was civilly committed by a loved one for a substance abuse issue would be sent to MCI Framingham, a prison, for treatment. The past practice of sending a woman struggling with a disease who had not committed any crime to a prison for treatment has finally been corrected.

3. Legalizing Recreational Marijuana Ballot Initiative Hearing - In March, the Joint Committee on the Judiciary took testimony on the statuary version of the ballot initiative to legalize and regulate the sale of recreational marijuana. I led off the testimony of many opponents of the bill, including House and Senate colleagues, pointing out that the ballot initiative was written "by the marijuana industry, for the marijuana industry". The initiative is extremely favorable to the billion dollar marijuana industry at the expense of the taxpayers of the Commonwealth. The bill also makes it very difficult for cities and towns to regulate the industry given industry favorable language in the bill that strips traditional local control mechanisms. In addition to the growing scientific evidence of marijuana's harmful impacts, particularly on our youth and their developing brains, the medical community also focused on the increases in youth use that has followed in states that have legalized and the difficulty of controlling the edibles market which represents more than half the sales in Colorado.  

Chapter 90 Funds for Local Road & Bridge Repair 
Last week the House voted on a $200 million bond authorization that includes $992,496 for the Town of Shrewsbury and $790,190 for the Town of Westborough  for local road and bridge repairs.  The funds can be spent on a variety of municipal roadway projects, including resurfacing, drainage, sidewalks, traffic control and street lighting. The Senate will now need to vote on the bill before it can be sent to the Governor's desk for his signature.

5. Transportation Network Companies Regulatory Bill  - The Governor filed a bill last spring to provide a regulatory structure to the new app based ride for hire industry. While the bill brought to the House floor had some provisions that I felt were unnecessary, overall the bill met the legislative intent of the Governor's bill to foster innovation and economic growth while protecting public safety and I voted with 138 of my colleagues to pass the bill, which now awaits Senate action.

6. License Suspension Law Repealed - A 1989 law requiring individuals to forfeit their driver's license for 5 years and pay a $500 fee for reinstatement for certain minor drug-related offenses was repealed, while keeping the sanctions in place for anyone convicted of drug trafficking. The 1989 law was a requirement at the time to accept certain federal funding, however, the law served as a barrier for those individuals convicted of minor drug crimes who had served their time, been rehabilitated and were now looking to begin new lives which included the ability to drive to new employment and other activities.  The bill passed unanimously in the House and was supported by the MA Sheriff's Association and the MA District Attorney's Association as well as the Attorney General.

7. Constitutional Amendment on Stabilization Fund Expenditures  - In February, at the Constitutional Convention of the House and Senate, I voted in the affirmative to require a supermajority, two-thirds vote, to be required to appropriate funds from the state's Stabilization Fund, otherwise known as the "Rainy Day Fund." Unfortunately, the amendment failed 49-140. I believe it is critical to have the fiscal discipline to keep the Stabilization Fund solvent and only use those funds in times of economic downturns to mitigate cutbacks and help preserve essential state programs and services. Each of the eight years preceding Governor Baker saw draw downs on the fund as part of the yearly budgets, and as it remains today only a simple majority is required to allocate Stabilization Funds to another use.

8. Public Health Committee Released Omnibus Tobacco Bill - In early March, the Joint Committee on Public Health, of which I am a member, released an omnibus bill that seeks to reduce tobacco use and nicotine addiction among youth. Among other provisions, the legislation will prohibit the sale of all tobacco and nicotine delivery products, including e-cigarettes, to anyone under the age of 21. Nine out of ten daily smokers first tried a cigarette before age 19, and tobacco and nicotine use remains the leading cause of preventable illness and premature death in MA, and requires the Commonwealth and residents to spend more than $4 billion in healthcare related costs each year. The bill will hopefully be taken up by the full House and Senate before session ends in July.

9. Shrewsbury Authorized Additional Liquor License for Whole Foods- Senator Michael Moore and I worked together to get the Home Rule Petition, authorized by Town Meeting last fall, passed through both the House and the Senate, and the Governor signed the legislation in mid-March. The additional liquor license granted to the Town will authorize the sale of beer, wine and liquor for off-site consumption by Whole Foods Market, a substantial part of Grossman Development Group's new Lakeway Commons Development. 

FY 2017 Budget Update

The Governor filed his FY17 budget in January, showing a 3.5% increase over FY16. Next week the House Ways and Means Committee will release the House version of the nearly $40 billion budget, with all House members then having less than 2 days to file amendments. The House will then debate the budget the week of April 25th while the Senate will take it up in May. Once both chambers have passed a budget, a conference committee will be formed to work out the differences, and a final budget will be presented to both chambers to adopt and send to the Governor. The Governor will then have 10 days to review the budget and issue any line-item vetoes that the House and Senate will then each have the opportunity to override.
While much remains to be done before we have a final budget, there does seem to be agreement that this year's budget will contain no new taxes or tax increases and not require any rainy day funds to balance it. My hope is that the House budget will provide some additional education funding while maintaining the increase in local aid that the Governor filed in his budget.
This past January, I invited Shrewsbury Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Sawyer in to meet with House Ways and Means Chairman Brian Dempsey, who had graciously agreed to meet with us to discuss the pressure on our local school budget from increased tuition rates being adopted by the state for some of the out of district schools some of our students attend, and how difficult those increases are to absorb at the same time state education funding levels are not increasing at the same rate. I am always pleased to accompany our local officials and administrators to discuss local issues and to advocate for Shrewsbury and Westborough.

Local Initiatives & Events

Spending time in Shrewsbury and Westborough supporting local initiatives, attending events and speaking on issues important to our community are the most rewarding aspects of being State Representative. Here is a sampling of initiatives and events from the last few months:
  • Sponsored the Shrewsbury Youth and Family Services Gala where one of the people I admire most in life, Elaine LeBlanc, received the Harry S. Cutting Award for her selfless devotion to helping people in our community through her volunteer role at St. Anne's.
  • Enjoyed the opportunity to speak to the students at St. Mary's on Nation Day, as part of the Catholic School Week.
  • In February I sponsored the Shrewsbury High School Athletic Boosters' Annual Bowling Fundraiser, where Jim and I had a great time, although we definitely did not win for best score!
  • Several weeks ago I met with the Westborough High School Young Republicans Club, a terrific group of students passionate about education, veterans' affairs and preventing illegal drug use, and who want to volunteer in the community and encourage their fellow students to get involved in community service. I am looking forward to working with them and supporting their goals.
  • In March, I visited with members of the Greater Worcester Chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction who worked on the first Veteran's Home Build Habitat for Humanity home in Worcester during Women in Construction week. Earlier this winter I got the pleasure of serving as a guest judge in the "Block Kids" Program in January for 32 3rd graders at the Coolidge School in Shrewsbury.
  • I served as a guest again on WGBH's The Greater Boston Show with host Jim Braude in early March to discuss the recently voted on Transportation Network Companies bill, the MBTA fare hikes, the Opioid bill and the ballot initiative to legalize the use of recreational marijuana.
  • Attended the Worcester County League of Sportsmen's Clubs 53rd Annual Banquet with my good friend, Melbourne Crouse, and many others who enjoy the great outdoors!
  • Joined my area colleagues in the House and Senate as a member of the Corridor Nine Chamber of Commerce Legislative Panel in January and discussed with the chamber members many of the top issues on Beacon Hill and how they would impact the business community and local officials in the area.
  • Met Shrewsbury High School students, Chloe Cicotta and Martin Davis, and Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School student Alexandra Ortiz, who participated in Student Government Day at the State House.
  • I enjoyed attending my first Friends of the Westborough Appalachia Service Project (ASP) Gala and perusing the most impressive silent auction! Funds raised will support the mission work to rebuild homes in rural West Virginia.
  • Joined Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School representatives at the State House as they received a grant of $213,000 to fund the construction of a fully computerized hydroponic greenhouse to support vocational programming in the biotechnology and culinary career areas.
  • I was honored to speak at the 100th Anniversary Celebration of Boy Scout Troop 114 in Shrewsbury. The Troop is one of the oldest in Worcester County and chartered in my home church, the First Congregational Church.  It was a wonderful celebration!
  • In March I attended the UMASS Amherst Women in Leadership (UWiL) dinner and spent the evening talking to the 20 program members selected to participate in the leadership program this year. A very talented and impressive group of young women who I have no doubt will go very far in life!
  • Celebrated Chinese New Year and the 20th Anniversary of the Mass. Beijing Chinese Language School. My parents are living in Beijing for two years so it was quite special to be part of this celebration!
  • Sponsor of the upcoming 9th Annual Shrewsbury Road Scholars 5K Race on Sunday, April 10th at noon. Good luck to all the runners!
  • Shrewsbury Fire Department celebrated the promotion of our new Deputy Fire Chief and Captain, along with recognition of leadership awards.
  • Westborough Fire Department held a promotion ceremony to recognize two new Captains and two new Lieutenants. Congratulations to all and thank you for your commitment to public safety!
  • Last week the  State Police held the Graduation Exercises for the 82nd Recruit Training Troop . Out of the 212 cadets that entered the academy, 158 earned their Badge Pinning. The graduating class took time to honor the memory of Trooper Thomas Clardy who was killed in the line of duty and laid to rest just a week before.

Events Coming Up!
  • 2nd Annual Armed Forces Day event - Saturday, May 21st at SAC Park, 438 Lake Street at 9am. More details to follow soon!
  • I host monthly office hours in Shrewsbury and Westborough for residents to stop in and discuss an issue or problem they need help with in a quieter environment. The upcoming times and locations can be found on my home page on I hope you can join me!  
Thank you for all of your support.  As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or my Legislative Aide Erin Ryan. Our email addresses are and and our office number is 617-722-2430. I welcome your thoughts, perspectives and questions and please know that it an amazing honor to serve as your State Representative.

With sincere gratitude,                  
Hannah Kane
State Representative
11th Worcester District

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