Dear Friends,
Despite the beautiful late September weather, it is now clear that fall is here! My family and I enjoyed some terrific summer days together in Acadia and now we are all back to our school year schedule with Madison (junior) and Caitlin (sophomore) at Shrewsbury High School, and Patrick is a 6th grader at Sherwood Middle School. I hope that you ended summer rested and renewed!

FY18 State Budget

As I updated in my last communication, the process to put in place a FY18 budget, which is required to be balanced with expenses no greater than available revenue, is a long and arduous task. The Conference Committee budget adopted by both chambers in early July 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 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. The unfettered cost growth of MassHealth curtails spending on other priority areas, including education and transportation.
The Democratic leadership of the House decided to take up the Governor's vetoes in order to override them and restore the funding cuts that the Baker-Polito Administration deemed were necessary in order to balance the budget with available revenues. The Republican caucus had requested that we postpone taking up the Governor's vetoes until at least September tax revenue was known, as September is the 4th largest month of tax collections and the July and August tax revenue were $11 million behind expectations. Instead the House Ways and Mean Chairman introduced 112 overrides adding back $284 million to the state budget that we cannot in good faith know if we can afford.

I am disappointed not only that the overrides were taken up without the benefit of knowing first quarter tax revenue, I am also deeply frustrated at the process. While the Republican leadership provides the 34 caucus members a full list of the Governor's overrides, the Democratic leadership does not provide any guidance on which specific overrides or the total value of the overrides we will take up in formal session, leaving members to scramble as the overrides are voted on at the pace of every 1-2 minutes. Without benefit of tax revenue certainty, lacking both the specifics and totality of the overrides being considered, and taking the recent few past years under-performing tax revenue into consideration and the necessity of mid-years budget cuts in order to ensure a balanced budget, I voted to uphold nearly all of the Governor's vetoes. While some overrides I rejected are very worthy and indeed some are personal priorities, I believe it is my fiscal responsibility to ensure that the state can afford the commitments we make.

Visitors on Beacon Hill

Each week we get visits in our office from many folks who want to discuss an issue or bill that they are passionate about. In early September, I enjoyed visiting with Mike, Erin and Alex who are all extremely talented and competitive Special Olympics athletes!

Legislative/Beacon Hill Update

While the State House is not in formal session in August, there were some bills that moved through in informal session and were signed into law by Governor Baker and work continued on numerous issues on Beacon Hill and across the Commonwealth.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
Governor Baker signed a bill into law, of which I was proud co-sponsor, that recognizes the first week in August as "Ice Bucket Challenge Week" in honor of Peter Frates and ALS Awareness, in the hope that this week will continue to promote awareness of and encouraging donations for ALS research. The simple idea of Pete Frates, deep into his fight with ALS, caused 17 million people to participate in raising over $200 million for research that aided in identifying a new gene tied to ALS. Paul Cellucci, our former Governor and Ambassador to Canada, was a man who made an enormous impact on my personal and political life, is never far from my thoughts. His life was cut short, like so many others, by this devastating disease that is unpreventable and incurable, and I hope we can change that soon.

Westborough Liquor License
Working with my legislative colleagues Rep. Carolyn Dykema and Rep. Danielle Gregoire, who also represent Westborough, we passed a home rule petition to grant an off-premise liquor license to the 7-11 store located at the rotary in downtown Westborough.

RMV & Driver's License Tests
In early August, Fox 25 reported on an issue that I have been working on since September of 2016 - the continued cancelation and rescheduling of driver's license tests months after they are scheduled and shortly before they are scheduled to occur. My legislative colleagues and I have continued to work with the RMV to find a way to better schedule and keep driver's license appointments and increase the number of examiners to meet demand. Click here for the article .
Misrepresentation of Service Dogs
I am a proud to co-sponsor H2277, a bill to make it illegal to misrepresent a pet as a service animal, filed by my colleague and friend, Representative Kimberly Ferguson of Holden. The bill would make it a civil infraction and help combat the growing trend of people ordering "service dog" vests online and misrepresenting their pet as a service dog. True service dogs are trained extensively, not only to assist the person they support, but also to have the temperament needed in all the varied situations they face including interacting with other people. The Boston Globe wrote an editorial in support of the bill that you can read  here .

Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness
I spent the second day of Climate Week in Westborough hearing from Governor Charlie Baker, Secretary of Energy & Environmental Affairs Matthew Beaton, Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack and Public Safety Secretary Dan Bennett discussing the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program. Massachusetts continues to lead the nation on responding to climate change through mitigation, adaptation and resiliency and the Baker-Polito Administration's broad and unified approach across state government and partnering with local officials is one that is paying dividends.
Local Grants

$65,000 Cleantech Innovator Grant Awarded to Shrewsbury Resident
Dr. Yan Wang of AM Batteries received a $65,000 grant to aid in the development of an energy efficient process to fabricate electrodes for lithium ion batteries.  The Baker-Polito Administration awards these grants to early-stage researchers developing innovative clean energy and water technologies across the Commonwealth.

Shrewsbury Secures a $5K Municipal Energy Technical Assistance Award
The Town of Shrewsbury received a grant that will be used to help pursue Green Community designation working in collaboration with the Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission.
Sustainability Grants Awarded to Shrewsbury & Westborough
The Town of Shrewsbury received a $14,400 grant from the Recycling Dividends Program and the Town of Westborough received a $1,250 grant through the Targeted Small Scale Initiative. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection offers the grants for recycling, composting, reuse and source reduction activities that will increase diversion of municipal solid waste and household hazardous waste from disposal.
Community Fundraisers & Town Celebrations
3rd Hannah Kane Charity Classic
I am thrilled to report that the annual charitable golf tournament raised $54,000 for our three primary beneficiaries - St. Anne's Human Services, Shrewsbury Youth and Family Services and Westborough Food Pantry (pictured below). Each of these hard-working human service organizations received $18,000 to support their missions. 

I am extremely grateful to the volunteers, the host committee, the golf participants, the sponsors, and those who donated raffle/auction items, for their roles in making the tournament a success! You can see a full list of sponsors hereWe have already started planning for next year, where we will add to our three-year total of $150,000 donated in support of those who need a helping hand in Shrewsbury and Westborough.

Westborough's 300th Anniversary Parade
On a beautiful Sunday in September the residents of Westborough enjoyed a fantastic 2.3 mile parade as part of the year-long 300th Anniversary of Westborough celebration. The parade route was lined with so many people, all treated to over 140 marching units and 58 creative and unique floats that highlighted the history, community groups, veterans, local businesses, sports teams and schools. I had fun participating in the lead division that included elected officials, and then ran back to a later division to join my fellow members of the Westborough Republican Town Committee who handed out American flags and red, white and blue necklaces to kids, and walked with the mascot elephant "Jimmy" that several members spent the summer months building. The entire parade was uplifting and exciting and I am constantly amazed at all the 300th Anniversary Planning Committee has done to celebrate this important milestone in Westborough's history! I am proud to be a sponsor of this terrific effort and Jim and I are looking forward to the Gala planned for this Saturday night.

Let Your Spirit Serve
Four years ago, we began a tradition of hosting a community fundraiser during the Spirit of Shrewsbury week to highlight our community's strong charitable tradition and to support a local charity. This year "Let Your Spirit Serve" raised $11,500 for Veterans Inc. and their new substance abuse recovery services and addiction treatment programs located at Independence Hall in Shrewsbury that serves male and female veterans from across the state. Veterans in Massachusetts represent a disproportionate share of the substance abuse population and these funds will help Veterans Inc. in their effort to support vets working to regain control of their lives. Thank you to everyone who donated and attended the event, to Ski Ward for hosting and Jim Vuona for serving as DJ, and to the host committee Beth Casavant, Jason Palitsch, Melissa-Pride Fahs, Melissa Byrne, Art Dobson, Gayle Vigeant and veteran members of the Shrewsbury Police Department and Shrewsbury Fire Department. (Photo Credit: Jodie Lenti)

Spirit of Shrewsbury
In its 21st year, the Spirit of Shrewsbury continues to be a highlight of the year, bringing thousands together over the course of the month of September at numerous community events, and concludes with the Family Festival at Oak Middle School on Saturday and the Parade on Sunday down Maple Avenue. I love participating as a sponsor, a community member and as State Representative and have tremendous respect and gratitude for the planning committee who works hard all year long to ensure residents can enjoy multiple opportunities to celebrate our vibrant community! Thank you to my family and friends who helped staff my booth at the Family Festival and walked with us in the Parade!

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:
  • Celebrated the ribbon cutting at Veterans Inc. Independence Hall for the new Clinical Stabilization Services program serving veterans with outpatient and inpatient substance abuse recovery services and addiction treatment. Senator Mike Moore and I were able to secure $50K in the FY18 state budget to help launch the new, first of its kind program specifically for veterans in the nation. Thank you to Veterans Inc. for their tireless efforts to support our veterans, and deep gratitude to all veterans who served our nation.

  • Attended a great celebration for the amazing American Legion Post 397 Baseball Team and their odds defying season - 5th in the nation out of 3,600 teams and winner of the Northeast Regional Championship!! Congratulations to Coach Frank Vaccaro and all the coaches, players and their proud and supportive families who enjoyed another outstanding season!
  • Served as a sponsor of the 6th Annual Kicking Butt for Crohns 5K race organized by college freshman James Canzano and enjoyed volunteering at the water stop with my daughter Caitlin and two of her friends who she met while attending the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation summer camp in August.
  • Joined Corridor Nine Chamber of Commerce to welcome Burtons Grill & Bar to Shrewsbury's new Lakeway Commons, being developed by Grossman Development Group. 

  • Judged the always fun Lake Quinsigamond Boat Show - great job by all the boats with the theme Music this year!
  • Celebrated the opening of Elsie Kaye Glassworks in Westborough, featuring beautiful handmade glass items and you can take classes to learn how to make them yourself. Congrats to owner Holly Kenny and her family.

  • Presented a citation to Spirit of Shrewsbury Grand Marshal Laurie Hogan at the dinner to celebrate her selection and reflect on her enormous service to the Town of Shrewsbury.
  • Joined the Shrewsbury Fire Department for their annual 9-11 Remembrance ceremony.
  • Attended the Eagle Scout ceremony and presented citations to Westborough Boy Scout Troop 100's newest Eagle Scouts - Peter Howarth, Henry Siegal and Adam Tubman!

  • Gave welcoming remarks at the 5th Annual Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress Buddy Walk & Harvest Fair at Lake Chauncy to promote the acceptance and inclusion of people with Down Syndrome.
  • Enjoyed seeing Westborough Police Chief Al Gordon receive a Special Recognition Award for all of his work with the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative as the representative for the MA Association of the Chiefs of Police. Terrific to see Shrewsbury resident Lynsey Hefferan, the JDAI State Coordinator, acknowledged for leading the JDAI team as well! Working to keep youth out of our juvenile justice system by engaging in diverting their trajectory transforms young lives and saves money.

  • Enjoyed visiting and sponsoring the 9th Annual Westborough Arts in Common, where over 30 artisans, numerous local performers and restaurants came together to celebrate the arts and culture, hosted by the Westborough Cultural Council.
  • Spoke to the Rotary Club of Shrewsbury about my activities as State Representative and gave an update on Beacon Hill. Great opportunity to meet with many civic-minded leaders in Shrewsbury!

  • As a member of the Metrowest Veterans Consortium received a briefing on the capabilities of and a tour of the Massachusetts Army National Guard Readiness Center in Natick with Major General Gary Keefe, the Adjutant General of the MA National Guard.
Events Coming Up!
  • Dr. Ruth Potee, a nationally renowned speaker and expert, will give a presentation on "Under Construction! What Every Parent Must Know About Your Tween/Teens Brain Development." The talk will focus on brain development and teen risk taking, including alcohol and substance use. Presented by SCAPE (Shrewsbury Coalition for Addiction Prevention and Education) and sponsored by myself, this forum is free and open to the public, and is scheduled for 7pm on Thursday, November 16th at Shrewsbury High School, with resource/information tables open at 6pm. Please join us and bring a friend. The event flyer can be found here.
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 the home page of my website here. 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, Jessica Beliveau. Our 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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