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Revisiting grad tax
Boston Herald

Massachusetts is one of only 16 states that doesn't have a graduated tax on personal income.  A bill I've filed would amend the state constitution to include one.  Time to narrow our widening disparities in income.  A constituent from Chelmsford, Adithya Raajkumar, makes the case. 
Stated plainly but well, the case for helping the planet by putting a price on pollution -- meaning a fee on carbon.

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Dear Friend,

Earlier this month, my State Senate colleagues and I stopped by businesses, universities and organizations throughout the region.  The goal was to hear directly from residents about the issues they want us to tackle this legislative session.

At each stop along the way we heard firsthand accounts of people's experiences.  A bi-partisan citizen forum at the end of the day, I'm pleased to report, was a big hit -- respectful and informative.

Take a look at some of the highlights below.








Sen. Mike Barrett

Military R&D at Lincoln Laboratory
We dropped by MIT Lincoln Laboratory.  The translation of military R&D to non-military uses is as robust today as it was when ARPANET led to the development of the internet.  My colleagues told me they were astonished by what they saw.
Helping troubled teens in Lowell
My colleagues and I visited the United Teen Equality Center in Lowell.  UTEC was founded for local teens in response to gang violence.  We heard from a young man who's a recovering addict.  He talked about how he turned his life around thanks to mentoring he received there.  A staff member mentioned he got up at 4:30 am that day to take a teenager to the methadone clinic.  That's commitment. 
STEM education at Framingham State
FSU's state-of-the-art McAuliffe Center gets kids interested in science at an early age.  Having a mock Mission Control Center and planetarium on site doesn't hurt.  FSU partners with NASA, MIT and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics to make it happen.  FSU President F. Javier Cevallos, above, gets things kicked off.  Photo thanks to Sen. Spilka's office. 
Packed house at an evening forum

More than 200 people crowded into the day's last meeting.  Attendees mentioned funding for public transportation, the role of money in politics, the need to put a price on carbon, funding for civil legal aid, and health care cost containment.