Dear Friends,
It's hard to believe that August is upon us. I hope that you have enjoyed the beautiful summer days and made good use of the rainy ones. I am excited to be headed to Maine with my family this week for our annual vacation together along the coast near where I grew up. 

Marijuana Law 

This past Friday, I was proud to stand with my colleagues as Governor Baker signed the Safe Access to Marijuana Legislation into law. This new law allows for stronger public health protections and public safety measures, strengthens the regulatory structure and has the strictest advertising and marketing guidelines in the nation to help limit exposure of youth to marijuana. I brought Madison and Patrick in to attend the signing of the bill with me, unfortunately, Caitlin was still recovering from having her four wisdom teeth out, so she stayed home. 

Two and a half years ago, when I began my run for State Representative. I met with Jody Hensley, then a Westborough School Committee member, who was deeply concerned about legalizing marijuana.  Jody's persuasive advocacy sparked my interest in this complex issue. 25 months ago I co-hosted a briefing at the State House for my legislative colleagues and their staff members to discuss the potential impacts of a likely ballot question to legalize recreational marijuana. Over the past two years I prioritized elevating the discussion so that all voters understood before last November's election that the decision to legalize marijuana wasn't just philosophical - that the implementation of how you legalized and commercialized marijuana was important and impactful - especially in terms of youth use. 

The last seven months I have worked with my colleagues as the Ranking Minority Member of the Joint Committee on Marijuana Policy to listen to the concerns of all parties.  I was very glad to see Westborough Town Manager Jim Malloy testify on a panel with other municipal officials at a public hearing at the State House, and in mid-April I hosted a public hearing for the Joint Co mmittee on Marijuana Policy at Shrewsbury High School, where a strong showing of central MA folks offered their perspectives on whether or not the ballot initiative as passed should be amended or adopted into law as written. In late June I gave my maiden speech urging my House colleagues to pass the marijuana legislation before us. You can watch my speech  here .

The following four weeks in June and July I worked with my five fellow conferees to negotiate a Conference Committee bill based on the separate House and Senate bills. We worked hard to ensure that the necessary structure and safeguards were in place to safely and effectively regulate this new, legal marketplace.

While our marijuana excise tax is the 2nd lowest in the nation, it still provides sufficient revenue to cover our direct and indirect regulatory costs, with additional funding available to cover substance abuse prevention and treatment, public safety and public health campaigns relative to legalization.

Likewise, our first in the nation requirement to prohibit TV, radio, billboard, print or internet advertising and marketing for marijuana unless proven that at least 85% of the audience is over 21 years of age, based on reliable, up to date audience composition data, will make a real and substantive impact on what our youth see and hear in terms of marketing marijuana, and we know that less exposure for youth to marijuana messaging means less youth use.

In April, I was proud to receive, along with my Senate colleague Jason Lewis, the American Nurses Association of Massachusetts Friend of Nursing Award for my work in marijuana policy.

While I am glad that I devoted the time and effort to partake in this important policy questions, I am also happy to move on and now devote my time to new challenges!
FY18 State Budget

The process for developing a yearly state budget is long and arduous. In December of each year a consensus revenue number is adopted that aligns the Governor's office, Senate and House leadership on what amount of tax revenue the state expects to receive in the following fiscal year, based on input from economists and finance and revenue officials in the Baker/Polito Administration.

The Governor then releases his budget in January, followed by the House releasing, debating, amending and adopting a budget in April, the Senate releasing, debating, amending and adopting a budget in May, and then a Conference Committee comprised of three members each of the House and Senate (two Democrats and one Republican from each body generally drawn from the Ways and Means Committees) begins the process of developing a budget that reconciles the two versions adopted by each body. The Conference Committee budget is then presented to both chambers for a straight up or down vote - at this point you cannot amend the budget. Once both chambers adopt the budget, it is then sent to the Governor, who has 10 days to review the budget, propose amendments, veto specific-line items, and/or sign the budget into law. The House and Senate can then decide if they want to take up any of the Governor's amendments or vetoes. The Democratic leadership of the House and Senate has decided to postpone taking up the Governor's vetoes until after Labor Day, hoping to see stronger tax revenue than projected in the first few months of FY18 to justify the overrides.

The Conference Committee budget adopted by both chambers and sent to the Governor reduced spending by $400 million from the budget adopted by the House in April, and the Governor then reduced the budget by another an additional $320 million and attempted corrective action to remediate rising and unsustainable MassHealth costs, which now account for over 40% of the state's budget (up from 30% just seven years ago). The Governor had proposed a package of reforms for the Legislature to adopt, but unfortunately the leadership in both chambers declined to take action on the reforms necessary to rein in costs.  I am dismayed at the lack of willingness to address critical drivers in the ever-increasing cost of the MassHealth program. The Republican caucus, along with a few of our Democratic colleagues, believe we need to take action now to address expense growth that far exceeds revenue growth and an unsustainable movement of people from employer-sponsored plans or plans offered through the Health Connector, onto the fully subsidized MassHealth system. The unfettered cost growth of MassHealth also curtails spending on other priority areas, including education and transportation.

Despite the fiscal challenges and diminished tax revenue, the state budget provides increases for two important areas that impact municipal and school budgets - local aid and education funding. The FY18 state budget will provide Shrewsbury with $19,706,038 in Chapter 70 education aid and $2,782,874 in unrestricted state aid. Westborough will receive $7,878,155 in Chapter 70 education aid and $1,157,670 in unrestricted state aid. The budget also includes $50,000 in funding for a substance abuse treatment clinic, operated by Veterans Inc. in Shrewsbury, that Senator Moore and I advocated for throughout the budget process. The specialized 32-bed, evidence-based clinical stabilization services facility will prioritize serving men and women veterans from across the Commonwealth. Veterans represent a disproportionate share of the substance abuse population.  To read more about the FY18 state budget, please click here.

Legislative Update

Food Waste Policy and Legislation
Eliminating food insecurity and food waste are two issues I am passionate about and this legislative session Senator Eileen Donoghue (D -Lowell) and I filed bills to eliminate obstacles to donating food which will reduce hunger and waste.  Last week, Senator Donoghue and I co-hosted a forum on Food Waste at the State House to draw awareness to these issues and legislation filed to address these issues in this session. As a member of the Massachusetts Food Policy Council working with the  Massachusetts Food System Collaborative , I know far too well the statistics - approximately 40% of food produced in the United States goes to waste - 63 million tons annually - the single largest component of landfill waste in Massachusetts. And 12.7% of our U.S. households are unable to put adequate food on the table. We can do better by donating food to those in need and helping our environment. 

An Act Relative to Supervised Medical Parole of Terminal and Extraordinarily Incapacitated Inmates
In early June, I testified before the Judiciary Committee on H3494, An Act relative to supervised medical parole for terminal and extraordinarily incapacitated inmates, a bi-partisan supported bill I co-filed with House Judiciary Chair Claire Cronin. The bill, supported by the MA Sheriff's Association who also testified at the hearing, would provide a legal procedure for terminally ill or extraordinarily incapacitated inmates to seek supervised conditional medical parole. 47 of 52 correctional systems in the US have a process to petition for release on health grounds - MA is one of 5 states that do not. The cost to care for some terminal or permanently incapacitated inmates at end of life is exponentially expensive due to transportation and security costs to take inmates to outside medical facilities or to guard while hospitalized. This bill creates a five-member medical parole board comprised of 2 doctors, a retired judge, the chair of the parole board and a designee of the Governor to determine eligibility based on medical reasons, with the superintendent of the correctional facility or sheriff making the recommendation to the medical parole board. The medical parole board can also revoke, amend or revise any supervised medical parole if it believes it is warranted. I am pleased that the bill has been supported by many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and I am hopeful that we can advance this bill as part of the criminal justice reforms being discussed. While MA has one of the lowest rates of incarceration, we have among the highest rates of recidivism and the reforms proposed seek to lower those rates, thereby saving taxpayer dollars.

Graduated State Income Tax
For the second time in two years, I voted against placing a graduated income tax on the 2018 state ballot. I believe this proposal is misleading and starts us down a dangerous path. Given that the Massachusetts Constitution prohibits the specific appropriation of funds, the graduated income tax, while in theory being earmarked for transportation and education, will in reality likely not be given exclusively to those causes. Additionally, Massachusetts taxpayers have made it clear on five separate occasions that they are opposed to implementing a graduated income tax. In order to support our small business owners and to ensure a thriving state economy with continued low unemployment rates, I have opposed implementing a hefty additional tax burden and I remain committed to examining our current spending practices to ensure a more effective and efficient use of the funds currently available. Despite opposition from the Republican caucus and 20 Democratic colleagues, the House passed the "Millionaires Tax" by a vote of 134-55, which mean it passes the legislative hurdles to make the 2018 ballot.
Pregnant Workers Fairness Act
A bill I co-sponsored, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, was signed into law last week. The new law, supported by business groups like Associated Industries of Massachusetts, provides for reasonable accommodations to pregnant workers at their request - like increased bathroom breaks and a temporary transfer to a less strenuous position, and makes it illegal for employers to not hire a woman because she is pregnant.
Increase in Survivor Benefits for the Families of Public Safety Officials Killed in the Line of Duty
This past spring, the legislature supported an increase from $150,000 to $300,000 in a one-time, tax-free payment to the families of first responders killed in the line of duty. The increase was included as language in a supplemental budget bill that was approved by the House and Senate in late March, five days after firefighter Joseph Toscano collapsed and died while fighting a fire in Watertown.
An Act Relative to the Residency Requirement for the Town Manager of the Town of Shrewsbury
Senator Moore and I co-filed this home rule petition on behalf of the Town of Shrewsbury. The bill, which was signed into law in early July, allows the Shrewsbury Board of Selectmen, at their discretion, to waive the residency requirement for the Town Manager.

An Act to Allow School Districts to Collect a Fee Associated with Nonresident Pupil Transportation
Senator Mike Moore  and I testified at the Joint Committee on Education public hearing, along with Shrewsbury Assistant Superintendent of Schools for Finance and Operations, on a bill that we co-filed to provide parity in the charging of bus fees to students who attend out of district schools when the Commonwealth doesn't provide for full reimbursement of the transportation costs, despite the requirement to do so. In Shrewsbury, students riding a bus to the high school must pay a school bus fee, yet the school system is not allowed to charge students who take a bus to an out of district school, such as Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School, the same bus fee.  

Act Relative to Lake Quinsigamond Commission
This bill, which I co-filed with Senator Moore and my colleagues whose districts include Lake Quinsigamond, will clarify and codify existing practices and responsibilities of the Lake Quinsigamond Commission into law. Peter Collins, Chair of the LQC joined me to testify at the public hearing, and we are working with Committee staff to advance this bill forward. 

Committee Work

In addition to holding public hearings on the bills that were sent to the Joint Committee on Transportation and the Joint Committee on Public Health, the Committee conducts tours and briefings through-out the session to ensure legislators are briefed on germane issues beyond what has been filed. In May, I toured Logan Airport as a member of the Transportation Committee. We had a briefing with Massport officials, a drive around the perimeter of the airport and across the busy runways, and an overview by Logan's Fire Department and State Police Troop F.  Logan Airport sees 37 million passengers a year, an amount climbing that requires strict diligence in being certain all aspects of the airport are highly functioning, safe and welcoming.

As a member of the Public Health Committee, we toured the Seven Hills Pediatric Center in Groton. The care provided at the Center by the healthcare professionals is amazing, and as a proud Seven Hills Foundation Trustee I was pleased to have my legislative colleagues gain a better understanding of some of the challenges that healthcare organizations such as Seven Hills face.
Local Grants

Assabet was awarded a Skills Capital Grant of $244,510 to support construction of a new greenhouse that will provide hands on learning in advanced manufacturing, biotech, computer programming and web development. I saw the greenhouse being built by Assabet students when I visited the culinary program for a delicious lunch in May and it looked fabulous!

Shrewsbury Secures $22K in Climate Change Adaptation Grants
The Town of Shrewsbury received a grant through the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness program. The funds allow Shrewsbury to address the local impacts of climate change, both at present and in the future, and the grant is very timely as the Town works to update its existing 2012 Open Space and Recreation Plan and 2016 Master Plan that are currently being implemented by the Master Plan Implementation Committee.
State House/Beacon Hill Events
Reframing Islam Exhibit Hosted at State House
I co-hosted "Reframing Islam: A Photographic Resolution" which is a photo exhibit by photography professionals Brittany Hathaway and Erica Chick. The exhibit showcases intimate portraits of Muslim Americans and their heartfelt personal statements to the world to engage audience members in an effort to relinquish the fear of the unknown and to promote acceptance of the Muslim community. Several participants from the Muslim American communities from across Massachusetts attended to answer questions. I had met Brittany at  Al-Hamra Academy  in Shrewsbury when her exhibit was on display at the school and I was very pleased to co-host the well-attended exhibit at the State House with my colleague, Rep. Kim Ferguson.

Department of Developmental Services Lifetime of Support Award
My friend Bryce Grenier received "A Lifetime of Support" award and I was honored to present him with a citation from the House of Representatives acknowledging his award. Bryce volunteers at the Northborough Fire Department and always has a positive attitude, works hard and reveres the man who made his dream to work at a fire station a reality, Captain Robert Theve, who was also honored with an award. 

Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness
Organ and tissue donation was the focus of a State House event earlier this spring. 22 people die a day waiting for a donation and over 1,000 transplants occur in Massachusetts each year. My colleague, Representative Edward Coppinger, spoke of his own experience receiving a donation from a living donor, his sister. Ed Behn of Westborough, pictured with me below, donated a kidney and spoke to me of his urgency to help after losing a friend who died while waiting for a donation. The focus of the event included registering people over the age of 50 as organ donors who have traditionally not signed up. You can register online here

Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators
The Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators (MCWL) held our first ever Denim-Day at the State House in April during Sexual Assault Awareness Month to highlight that there is no excuse and never an invitation to sexually assault someone, no matter what they are wearing. One of our legislative priorities this session is passing an Act Concerning Sexual Violence on Higher Education Campuses to create a safer experience for the 500,000 students at colleges and universities in MA. An unacceptable one in four women, one in six men, and one in two transgender people experience sexual violence in their lifetime.
I am honored to serve on the MCWL board and in April we met with Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito to discuss the caucus legislative priorities, how we can work together on joint priorities and how we can help promote the involvement of women on state boards and commissions. In July, I was very excited to see Shrewsbury resident and my good friend, Melissa Pride-Fahs, sworn in as the Governor's appointment to the Commonwealth Corporation where I know she will serve with distinction!

Massachusetts Families Organizing for Change
This statewide, grassroots coalition is dedicated to and composed of individuals with disabilities and/or chronic illness and their family supporting them. I was pleased to speak at their advocacy day at the State House and thank my neighbor and Central Massachusetts coordinator  Celia Brown  for the opportunity.

2017 Unsung Heroine Award
In June, my nominee Susan Falzoi was honored with a 2017 Unsung Heroine Award by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women. Mrs. Falzoi's significant contributions to Shrewsbury, including being one of the founding members of the Spirit of Shrewsbury Family Festival and a critical organizer of the event now in its 21st year, make her an outstanding community member!

Suffolk University Republicans Club
In April I enjoyed talking to the Suffolk University  Republicans  Club and was grateful to Shrewsbury 's own  John Medlinskas , President of the Club, for the invitation to share my perspective on state issues.

Junior League of Boston
The Junior League to Boston invited me to be a panelist in "How I've Affected Change: Real Life Stories from Women in our Community." I joined Sarah McCarthy Welsh, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus and Eva Millona, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition to discuss our own opportunities to affect change. Many terrific questions from the attendees and I loved hearing the stories of other women advocates!

Anti-Tobacco Poster Contest Winner
Shreya Budakoti, a 6th grader at Sherwood Middle School, was one of 12 winners chosen out of 3,800 entries in the 2017 Anti-Tobacco Poster Contest! Shreya and her family moved to America from India in September 2016. It was an honor to meet such a remarkable young lady and give her a tour of the State House, along with her Sherwood teacher, Ms. LeeAnn Sinclair.

Local Events and Initiatives

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.
3rd Annual Armed Forces Day
Celebrating the branches of our military and the courageous men and women who serve in the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy is a highlight of my year and I was honored to host the 3rd Annual Armed Forces Day event on May 20th at SAC Park with my legislative colleagues in the Central Massachusetts Veterans Service District of Grafton, Northborough, Shrewsbury and Westborough. We were joined by special guests Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Congressman Jim McGovern and Massachusetts Secretary of Veterans Services Francisco Urena. For those who weren't able to attend, you can watch the celebration here and I hope you can join us next year!

Shrewsbury Changing of the Guard
In early July, longtime Shrewsbury Town Manager Dan Morgado retired after 20 years of exemplary service and we welcomed Kevin Mizikar as our new Town Manager! 

More Local Events/Initiatives
  • In early April, a member of the 495/MetroWest Partnership Advisory Board, I co-hosted the Suburban Edge Commission meeting at Shrewsbury Town Hall, where Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito and Secretary of Energy & Environmental Affairs Matthew Beaton spoke about energy policy in the Commonwealth.
  • I attended the exciting announcement of a $5M grant from the Baker/Polito Administration and a $2.5M investment from GE to fund "PracticePoint", an integrated engineering/healthcare research and development center located at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI).
  • Proud to have sponsored Shrewsbury Youth Hockey Squirt Gold team, champions at a fall tournament in Springfield and champions in their division in the Northstar League. Great teamwork by Charlie, Ethan, Chris, Luke, Michael, John, Patrick, Drew, Gavin, Jack, Bodhi and Jad, and super coaching by Corey, Mark and Bob!

  • Spoke to my son Patrick's 5th grade class at Sherwood Middle School during the school's annual His/Her Story Day, where members of the community come in to talk to middle school students about their life as a 5th or 6th grader, and share a hobby or interest. Thankfully the other students found me slightly more interesting than my son!
  • Wonderful tribute to Reidar Pedersen as the Scandinavian Athletic Club (SAC) dedicated the soccer field in "Ray's" name, recognizing his long service to the club, his commitment to his heritage, and his love of his family and Shrewsbury. 

  •   Attended the Rotary Clubs of Shrewsbury and Worcester's terrific first annual book launch of "From my heart" - creative writing submissions from students from Shrewsbury High School and Abby Kelley Foster Public Charter School in Worcester. Such amazing young people in our communities with creative minds who are now published authors!
  • Volunteered with many others at the annual Letter Carriers Food Drive for the Worcester County Food Bank!
  • Inspired by Westborough High School student Corinne Sciarappa and her battle with cancer, that has required over 140 units of red blood cells and platelets, I gave blood at a Red Cross Blood Drive for the first time and I am looking forward to giving again soon!
  • Always enjoy supporting the Corridor Nine Chamber of Commerce and attending events, including the Annual Business Expo and the Annual Meeting that featured guest speaker Secretary of Energy & Environmental Affairs Matthew Beaton and the annual recognition of business and community leaders.


  • Shrewsbury Firefighter Don Milosz retired after 34 years and 8 months of dedicated service to our community and two Shrewsbury Firefighters, Jim Zack (Class 253) and Patrick O'Neill (Class 254), graduated from the MA Firefighting Academy this spring. Thank you for choosing a life of selfless service to protect and keep safe the residents of Shrewsbury!
  • Venerini Academy invited me to speak to their engaging 8th grade student during Community Reading Day!
  • On Memorial Day, I joined Shrewsbury and Westborough residents in honoring those that gave all for our nations freedom, and the new 9/11 memorial in Westborough was dedicated in a moving ceremony.

  • The Boy Scout troops in Shrewsbury and Westborough continue to amaze me, with congratulations to Westborough Boy Scout Troop 100's newest Eagle Scouts Joseph Liebert, Nathaniel Hastings, William Savage, Kevin Martin, Sarthak Dalal and Declan Mazur and Shrewsbury Boy Scout Troop 158's newest Eagle Scout Thomas Freeman!
  • Spoke at the Groundbreaking and Dedication Ceremony of the new senior living community "The Residence at Orchard Grove" which is conveniently located at the end of my street!

  • Westborough's Gibbons Middle School 8th grade Green Team visited the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate and I was asked to speak to them before they began their Senate Immersion Program about why I wanted to be a public servant. It was a great opportunity to talk about one of my political heroes, former Maine U.S. Senator Margaret Chase Smith who was the first woman to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives (1940-48) and the U.S. Senate (1949-72), ten of those years in the Senate with Senator Kennedy. The Kennedy Institute offers a great learning opportunity for students to see the legislative process in action!
  • Lots of fun at the 1st annual Shrewsbury Soak! Thanks to Donnie Green for spearheading this effort to raise funds for Shrewsbury Youth and Family Services and Shrewsbury Recreation Dept. Thank you to all who paid $$$ to soak me!

  • Enjoyed celebrating with Chris and Pam Provo the 25th anniversary of their successful local business Provo Financial Services!
  • A fun day in Westborough as the 2nd Annual Mass Fish & Wildlife Open House and the Westborough 300th Anniversary Family Fun Day at Lake Chauncy took advantage of beautiful June weather.
  • I joined Mrs. Robertson's and Mr. Gildea's 5th grade classes at Mill Pond School to see their presentation on their year-long experiences in Project Based Learning. I was lucky enough to join them last October during their focus on elections and I loved seeing their individual project binders and how much they all learned this year!
  • Toured the beautiful gardens on the Shrewsbury Garden Club Garden Tour in late June - Jim and I loved seeing what other gardeners create in their yards! Congrats to the Club celebrating its 60th anniversary!
Events Coming Up!
  • On Monday, August 21st, I will host the 3rd Annual Hannah Kane Charity Classic. Last year the golf tournament raised $51,000 for our three primary beneficiaries: Shrewsbury Youth and Family Services, St. Anne's Human Services and Westborough Food Pantry. We can't wait to exceed that this year!
  • Looking forward to marching in the Westborough 300th Anniversary Parade on Sunday, September 10th at 1pm! Come on out to downtown to watch the milestone parade and enjoy all the floats!
  • Let Your Spirit Serve - on Thursday, September 21st at 7pm at Ski Ward we will be holding our annual charity event during the Spirit of Shrewsbury week and this year we are raising funds for the new Clinical Stabilization Services program at Veterans Inc. in Shrewsbury. Click here to learn more!
Monthly Office Hours

I hold office hours in Shrewsbury and Westborough for residents to stop in and discuss an issue or problem. The upcoming times and locations can be found on my home page here. I hope you can join me! 
Summer at the State House

With opportunities to attend legislative session, hear from guest speakers, and contribute to the daily responsibilities of a legislative office, an internship it is a great way to learn about state government and everything that goes in to representing the people of the 11th Worcester District.

I was pleased to welcome recent high school graduates Nicole Vandal of Shrewsbury who heads to Amherst College this fall (pictured below along with my Legislative Aide Jessica Beliveau) and Vrinda Punj who heads to UMass Lowell, for internships this summer. I wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors and I am grateful for all their assistance over the past few months! 

Thank you for all of your support. As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or my Legislative Aide, Jessica Beliveau. O ur office number is 617-722-2430. I welcome your thoughts, perspectives and questions and please know that it is an amazing honor to serve as your State Representative.

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

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