Dear Friends,
I hope that you have endured the frigid cold days and that they are now well behind us! My family and I enjoyed a wonderful holiday season and are excited to see what 2018 holds. I hope you each had opportunity to make new memories with family and friends during this festive time of year and that 2018 is a happy and healthy year for all of your loved ones.
Webelo Visitors on Beacon Hill

During Christmas vacation week, I enjoyed hosting Shrewsbury's Webelo Den 1, Pack 62 and their families at the State House, where they were recognized during an informal session and toured the beautiful building before enjoying pizza in the House Members' Lounge.

Legislative/Beacon Hill Update

While the State House was not in formal session from mid-November till the new year, there were some bills debated and passed during October and early November. There were also many bills not requiring a roll call vote that moved through the House in informal session over the last six weeks, and hearings continued on numerous bills while work continued on many issues on Beacon Hill and across the Commonwealth. I am proud to say that I maintained a 100% voting record in the first year of this legislative session, participating in all 305 roll call votes.

Criminal Justice Reform
In November, the House debated an omnibus criminal justice reform bill which included a major bi-partisan-supported bill that I filed with my colleague and House Chair of the Judiciary Committee, Representative Claire Cronin (D-Easton), on supervised medical parole for terminal and extraordinarily incapacitated inmates. While 47 of the 52 correction systems in the United States offer some legal procedure for incarcerated persons to petition for release based on health, Massachusetts does not. Our bill was supported by the Massachusetts Sheriff's Association as correctional facilities are unable to provide appropriate medical care for some terminally ill or extraordinarily incapacitated prisoners, necessitating frequent trips to outside medical facilities that are costly, not just in terms of direct treatment expense, but also in transportation costs and staff time. The total expenses can cost many tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. You can watch my speech on the House floor during the debate in support of this important component of the criminal justice bill   here .

The omnibus legislation also provides for bail and minimum mandatory sentencing reforms, the reclassification of fentanyl as a Class A substance, and the establishment of a special commission to study the operations of the state crime lab. Several Republican-sponsored amendments were adopted as part of the final House bill, including proposals to:
  • set a minimum mandatory prison sentence of one year and as many as 10 years for committing assault and battery on a police officer, along with a potential fine of between $500-$10,000;
  • establish a statewide sexual assault evidence kit tracking system within the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS), which will conduct an audit of all existing untested kits associated with a reported crime to determine the state's existing backlog;
  • add "a finding of guilty or not guilty by reason of insanity" to the definition of what is required to be disclosed on a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) report;
  • allow judges to hold individuals facing a third OUI charge if it occurs within 10 years of a prior OUI conviction, a change that was made after a recent SJC case declared the wording of the existing law to be ambiguous;
  • expand witness intimidation protections to include victim witness advocates, correction officers, court reporters and court interpreters; and
  • require outstanding Sex Offender Registry Board (SORB) fees to be reported to the Department of Revenue (DOR), Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) and Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) within 60 days of an offender's initial and annual registration date, while also authorizing the interception of tax payments by DOR and prohibiting license or registration renewals by the RMV until the fees have been paid.
The debate on criminal justice reform was not without controversy, however, as a Republican amendment to hold drug dealers accountable for their actions was watered down through an inoculating floor amendment. I supported the original amendment to impose a mandatory prison term of five years up to life for selling drugs that lead to death, but this effort was undermined by the passage of a further amendment that calls for the proposal to be studied, rather than implemented immediately.
The Senate passed its own version of a criminal justice reform bill in October. A six-member conference committee was recently named to try to work out the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. A link to my full press release with more details on the bill can be found  here .
Handicapped Parking Fraud Legislation Signed into Law
Legislation that increases the penalties for the fraudulent use of disability parking credentials and additional statutory authority for the RMV that can be used in the process of reviewing applications and investigating fraudulent claims for handicap placards and license plates was passed by both chambers and signed into law in late November. The Community Advocate noted the passage of the bill!

Unfunded Mandates
At the beginning of the legislative session, I teamed with my House colleague, Representative James Arciero, (D-Westford), to file legislation protecting municipalities from unfunded mandates. The bill would require that any legislation which imposes a cost on municipal governments include a fiscal note or study which clearly explains the cost associated with implementing or administering the legislation, and it not be enacted until an appropriation was secured, satisfying the cost to implement.
Along these lines, I recently supported efforts to reimburse cities and towns for the costs associated with implementing the state's new early voting law during the 2016 election cycle. In February of 2017, State Auditor Suzanne Bump ruled that some of the expenses incurred by municipalities constituted an unfunded mandate and should be paid by the Commonwealth.
In October, the House unanimously approved the appropriation of $485,559 to help cover these costs through an amendment to a supplemental budget.  Although this funding was not included in the final spending bill, the Division of Local Mandates in the State Auditor's Office has been directed by the Legislature to certify these costs, with a final report due to be filed on January 10, 2018. I will continue working with my colleagues in the upcoming year to ensure that Shrewsbury and Westborough receive this funding reimbursement.
Veterans Legislation
The House passed a bill that I co-sponsored that allows municipalities to establish a local Veterans Memorial and Patriotic Celebration Fund by authorizing cities and towns the ability to allow a check-off box on their municipal property tax or motor vehicle excise tax bills, or a separate form enclosed with these bills, for residents to make a voluntary donation over and above the amount owed on their tax bills.  These donations will then be used to help fund the creation and restoration of municipal war monuments and to support other local activities honoring the contributions and sacrifices of the community's veterans.
The House also passed a bill that requires a designated parking space to be made available free of charge to veterans at all city and town hall parking lots during regular business hours.
Additional Legislation Passed
  • The establishment of a Home Care Worker Registry in the Department of Elder Affairs.
  • Legislators approved changes to the state's sheltered English immersion law to give cities and towns more flexibility in helping children successfully develop their English language skills, and also directs the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to establish "seals of bi-literacy" for high school graduates who are proficient in English and another language.
  • In October, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed legislation to ban the sale, purchase or ownership of a "bump stock" device.
  • The ACCESS Law (Advancing Contraceptive Coverage and Economic Security in our State), which requires health insurers to cover FDA-approved birth control without a co-payment, but exempts churches and church-controlled non-profits.
Local Legislation Filed

Shrewsbury Home Rule Petition
Chair of the Shrewsbury Selectmen John Lebeaux and Assistant Town Manager Kristen Las joined Senator Mike Moore and I to testify before the Joint Committee on Housing on a home rule petition that Senator Moore and I filed - S731, An Act relative to affordable housing in the town of Shrewsbury. This bill, that Senator Moore and I have filed in previous sessions, would classify manufactured homes in Shrewsbury as low or moderate-income housing for the purposes of Chapter 40B, as long as the home has been situated on the same parcel of land for at least 20 years.

Westborough BORO Program
Representatives Carolyn Dykema, Danielle Gregoire and I co-filed H3992, an Act relative to establishment of a revolving fund for a school learning lab within a vocational-technical program offered by the Town of Westborough Public Schools. The home rule petition would allow Westborough to establish a school learning lab training site which constitutes an "in district" program, in the form of a candy shop, called "The Sugar Shack." The legislation authorizes a revolving fund so that income derived from the purchase and sale of products, and expenditures necessary for the purpose of the program, may be made through this vocational-technical program. In November, Westborough School Committee member Lisa Edinberg, Superintendent Amber Bock, and Director of Student Services Sherrie Stevens joined me to testify on the bill, and in late December, I joined my legislative colleagues and Westborough school personnel, students and many others, in celebrating the opening of The BORO (Bridge Over to Right Opportunities) Program in  beautifully renovated space just off the rotary in downtown Westborough. 

Public Hearings, Committee and Commission Work & Beacon Hill Updates

Alzheimer's Hearing
In October, the Joint Committees on Elder Affairs and Public Health held an informational joint hearing on Alzheimer's Disease. The four-hour long hearing featured compelling testimony from ten different panels covering numerous topics ranging from research to caregivers. We know that this disease is the most expensive one for caregivers and over 70% of people with Alzheimer's are cared for at home. The most astonishing figure I learned in the hearing was that only 45% of people with dementia have been told of their diagnosis by their doctor, which is completely unacceptable and leaves people suffering with dementia without access to the care and support they need.

Domestic Violence Hearing
In October, during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Joint Committee on Public Health and the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators held an important hearing on Domestic Violence as a public health issue. Through the first nine months of this year, 19 people had already been killed as a result of domestic violence in Massachusetts and the CDC estimates in Massachusetts that one in four women and one in ten men have experienced victimization by an intimate partner. Domestic violence perpetrated on victims can also give rise to chronic illness, mental health issues, homelessness, and a diminished capacity to be an active member of family and community life. Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, who leads the Governors Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Commission, and Secretary of Health and Human Services Mary Lou Sudders, testified along with many other experts and advocates regarding support services, prevention and response protocols, state policies and many more topics. Earlier in the month I co-signed a resolution addressing domestic violence in Massachusetts, and ADVISE of Shrewsbury held its annual vigil on the town common for victims and survivors of domestic violence.
Bio-Pharm/Bio-Manufacturing Industry
In October, I attended a two-day conference in Cambridge on the life sciences industry with fellow legislators from across the country and several weeks later I toured AstraZeneca's Research and Development Campus and Bio-Hub in Waltham with some of my legislative colleagues. In late November, I toured AbbVie Bioresearch Center and then attended a Bio-manufacturing Competitiveness discussion geared toward building an action plan for continued growth in the industry in Massachusetts. The biopharma industry is part of the #1 biotech cluster in the world located right here in Massachusetts - with universities, hospitals and an educated workforce making this location ideal. The employment grew at 4.8% last year in this industry here, adding 3,000 more jobs to our state and helping drive our economy.
National Adoption Month
November is National Adoption Month and each year I participate in the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange's initiative of hosting a portrait of a waiting child. This year a photo of Veronica, a sweet 17-year old young lady who is loving, compassionate and willing to help anyone in need, graced my office. Veronica loves to sing and laugh and visit the American Girl Doll Store, and she bravely wishes and waits for the joy, security and love of a forever family, and in her words, "a Mom to look up to."

MA Food Systems Forum
Two years after the completion of the Massachusetts Local Food Action Plan the Massachusetts Food System Collaborative hosted a Food System Forum in Leominster to learn about what has been accomplished towards the goals of the plan and to discuss future work. I am a member of the Massachusetts Food Policy Council and the Chair of the Council is MA Commissioner of Agricultural Resources John Lebeaux who gave an update and overview of the plan. The afternoon panel session on legislative and administrative advocacy used my bill H3327 An Act Encouraging the Donation of Food to People in Need, which focuses on updating civil liability protections for people who donate food, so that more people will donate. Best of all, the delicious lunch was all locally sourced! In November, we also held a Food Policy Council meeting at the State House, focused on the Healthy Incentive Program (HIP) that has put local produce within financial reach of low-income households and brought hundreds of thousands of dollars to local farms. Central MA has realized 32% of the statewide program dollars.

Framingham-Worcester Commuter Rail Line
In December, I joined several of my legislative colleagues, the new General Manager of the MBTA Luis Ramirez, and Jessica Strunkin of the 495/Metrowest Partnership, to ride the Commuter Rail in from Westborough. We discussed numerous issues that the delegation has been working on and spent the ride to Boston talking with commuters about their experiences relying on this line to commute each day. We received a lot of quality feedback, particularly regarding on-time performance and parking, and I will continue as a member of the Joint Committee on Transportation to push for more progress on the quality, access and reliability of this critical public transportation network.


Local Grants/Awards

$499,388 Awarded to Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School
The Workforce Skills Capital Grant from the Baker-Polito Administration enables the school to modernize the lathe training program for students in the Advanced Manufacturing day or evening programs. The equipment will give students the opportunity to learn Computer Numerical Control Lathe concepts.

Carlstrom Pressed Metal Receives Manufacturer of the Year Award
As a member of the Legislature's Manufacturing Caucus, I was pleased to nominate Westborough-based Carlstrom Pressed Metal with a Manufacturer of the Year Award and to see David Carlstrom accept the award at a State House ceremony recognizing 53 manufacturers that are truly making it in Massachusetts. Carlstrom Pressed Metal is a contract manufacturer of light and heavy metal stampings that has been manufacturing for over 65 years.

TriStar Plastics Corporation of Shrewsbury Secures a $42,700 Workforce Training Grant

The grant is offered to businesses and business consortiums in the Commonwealth to train newly hired and current employees, and it enables TriStar Plastics to train 37 workers with the anticipation of adding two additional positions by 2019. Businesses who completed grants in 2017 added jobs at a rate of 8.21%, more than double the statewide average of 3.09%.
C ommunity Events, Town Celebrations & Recognitions
Dr. Ruth Potee Presentation: "Under Construction! What Every Parent Must Know About Your Tween/Teens Brain Development"
I met Dr. Potee, a nationally renowned speaker and expert, during the work I did to oppose Question 4, the legalization of marijuana in 2016. I was very pleased to sponsor this community awareness forum on brain development and teen risk taking, including alcohol and substance use, with the Shrewsbury Coalition for Addiction Prevention and Education, of which I am a member. Dr. Potee's incredible knowledge combined with her tremendous communication skills makes the overwhelming information she presents much easier to understand. While several hundred- people attended the event at Shrewsbury High School, we also asked Shrewsbury Media Connection to record the presentation, so if you missed the informative talk you can watch it here . I also encourage folks to like the Shrewsbury Coalition for Addiction Prevention and Education FB page (@SCAPEShrewsbury) to keep abreast of ways that you can help prevent addiction and substance misuse in our community


Lakeway Commons Grand Opening
The much-anticipated rejuvenation of the former Spag's site occurred in late October with a fabulous and poignant Grand Opening Celebration of Grossman Development Group's Lakeway Commons. Unveiling a beautiful bronze memorial to Anthony "Spag" Borgatti and the special legacy of Spag's, Howard Grossman brought much needed new investment, commercial tax revenue and new jobs to Shrewsbury with an economically and aesthetically successful development at the landmark destination.

Westborough's 300th Anniversary Celebrations

The fall brought two final events to the amazing year-long celebration of Westborough's 300th anniversary. The 300th Anniversary Gala was held in a storefront transformed to the 1920's and so many turned out to enjoy the exciting evening complete with vintage cars. Representatives Carolyn Dykema, Danielle Gregoire and I happily sponsored the evening photography and enjoyed attending the joyous event! In November, the Town Manager's Reception rounded out a fantastic year of well-planned, well-executed and super fun events celebrating the Commonwealth's 100th Town celebrating its' 300th year! Thank you to all members of the 300th Anniversary Committee who went above and beyond and delivered a memorable year of events for all to enjoy.


Former Shrewsbury Town Manager Dan Morgado Receives Municipal Leadership Award
I was honored and excited to give remarks on and present to former long-time Shrewsbury Town Manager Dan Morgado the Worcester Regional Research Bureau's Fairman C. Cowan Municipal Leadership Award. The distinguished award is presented to a person of merit, one who leads with purpose and passion, and has made significant contributions to his or her community. Dan Morgado was an excellent choice for this fitting recognition and many of his colleagues in Shrewsbury town government and those that have had the privilege of working with Dan, including Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, attended the Research Bureau's 32nd Annual Meeting to see Dan honored.

Selectman George Barrette Awarded the 2017 Frances Borger Klempner Community Service Award
Representatives Danielle Gregoire, Carolyn Dykema and I nominated Westborough Selectman George Barrette for this community service award for his civic engagement, community involvement, support of elders and his leadership in making Westborough a dementia-friendly community. George received the award at the BayPath Elder Services 40th Annual Meeting, where George is well known as a tireless advocate and member of the Board of Directors. Congratulations George!
Shrewsbury Paraprofessional David Lowy Acknowledged by Westborough Teacher
I was thrilled to present David Lowy, a paraprofessional at Floral Street School, with a citation from the House of Representatives acknowledging his journey of perseverance that he has generously shared with students of 3rd grade teacher Tom Salvemini's class at Westborough's Hastings School for many years. David is a friend and a role model of mine, who has accomplished so much in life with his tremendous courage to overcome the adversity of becoming a quadriplegic at 19 years old. David lives his joy-filled life with purpose and shares his story with young students so that they can understand the value of perseverance in their lives.

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.
  • The Southgate Women's Circle invited me to speak again this year at their October monthly breakfast and I gave an hour-long presentation titled "Facing Public Health Challenges Head On: Massachusetts Response to the Opioid Epidemic and Legalization of Recreational Marijuana." It was a pleasure to speak to this engaging group of women!
  • Attended a wonderful celebration at the grand opening of the Gurdwara Sahib (Sikh temple) in Westborough with Governor Charlie Baker, Congressman Jim McGovern, Sheriff Lew Evangelidis, Representative Kim Ferguson, Westborough Selectmen Denny Drewry and Bruce Tretter and Shrewsbury Selectman John Lebeaux.
  • Enjoyed attending the terrific annual meeting of You Inc. to see awards given to incredible individuals who have overcome and given so much, and to congratulate one of my former colleagues Roy Angel who was elected the incoming Board Chair.
  • I gave legislative updates to both the Shrewsbury Housing Authority and the Board of Selectmen and updated the Lake Quinsigamond Commission on the status of the bill H4039, an Act relative to the Lake Quinsigamond Commission which is working its way through the legislative process.
  • Quinsigamond Community College hosted a legislative breakfast to discuss the critical access community colleges provide to better employment and lifelong earning opportunities, and the necessity of being able to provide increased scholarships so that all have can have a chance at a successful career. We are fortunate to have a strong network of community colleges.
  •   Loved my annual opportunity to read to Mrs. Hogan's 2nd grade class at Floral Street School as part of Rotary Club of Shrewsbury's Reading Day!
  • Attended the ceremony where Deborah Penta of PENTA Communications received the 2017 Good Scout Award for personifying the Scout Oath and excelling in her career and personal life! Many spoke to acknowledge Deborah, but by far the most compelling speaker was Deborah's 15-year old son, Michael!
  • I joined members of the Lake Quinsigamond Watershed Association for an informative tour organized by Barbara Kickham Sahagian of the Worcester Lake Avenue Sewer Pump Station which is the site of the August 2017 overflow into Lake Quinsigamond that closed the Lake to use for a few days. Phil Guerin, head of the Worcester Department of Public Works explained to us the nature of the system issues that led to the overflow and the work done to prevent that situation from happening again.
  • Participated in Westborough and Shrewsbury's always moving and respectful Veterans Day observances.
  • The Martha's Circle of the First Congregational Church of Shrewsbury, where my family belongs, invited me to speak at their monthly gathering. It was special to speak to women I have known for years as a member of the church and to give them an update on my work as their advocate on Beacon Hill. 
  • The Westborough Turkey Trot had an amazing turnout - I was proud to be a sponsor for the third year and for the first time was able to attend, as the last two years we have been away for Thanksgiving week!
  • I visited the Shrewsbury Fire Department Call Firefighters meeting to see Chief Jim Vuona pin two recent Department of Fire Services Call Firefighter Class 67 graduates Cameron Tracia and Christopher White. I was happy to be able to congratulate and present each of them with a citation. The third graduate, Logan Campos, could not attend the meeting.
  • Celebrated the Fourth Annual Westborough Economic Development Committee awards presentation honoring 12 business/groups for their success.
  • The Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission Legislative Affairs Breakfast was held at the Shrewsbury Public Library and focused on Drinking Water Infrastructure, with Shrewsbury Water/Sewer Superintendent Bob Tozeski giving a good briefing on some of the local challenges and opportunities with water infrastructure.
  • The Worcester Chamber of Commerce held their Annual Business Meeting with a capacity crowd of 800 people gathered at the DCU to hear the Governor address the Worcester business community and the work the Baker-Polito Administration has done to make the Massachusetts business environment stronger.
  • I joined several of my legislative colleagues and the Speaker of the House to tour New England Studios at Devens where I once worked early on in my career as Director of Marketing and Product Development for MassDevelopment. We toured the sets where the new TV show series Castle Rock is being filmed and we discussed the local economic impact of movies and TV shows being produced in Massachusetts. 
  • Representatives Carolyn Dykema, Danielle Gregoire and I toured the Department of Youth Services Zara Cisco Borough youth girls center and Allen Hall youth boys facilities in Westborough with the Commissioner and his team. We met and talked with the staff and young people at the facilities working to make better choices in their young lives.
  • Senator Moore and I enjoyed our annual tradition of hosting a Thanksgiving Turkey Luncheon and a Christmas Luncheon together at the Shrewsbury Senior Center. Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School culinary students catered the delicious Christmas meal and the choir sang beautiful songs and spread holiday joy! Watch the Christmas luncheon and hear the terrific choir sing on my show, Conversations with Hannah, as well as view gallery of pictures from the event here.
  • Enjoyed attending and participating in many festive seasonal favorites, including the Friends of the Shrewsbury Public Library Annual Holiday Open House, the Shrewsbury Police "Fill the Wagon Toy Drive," the Corridor Nine Chamber of Commerce Holiday Party, Wreaths across America wreath laying at Mountain View Cemetery, lighting the Menorah in Westborough, and the India Society of Worcester's A Christmas Celebration held at Floral Street School in Shrewsbury. 
  • Presented a citation at the terrific retirement gathering for Michael Pagano of Lamoureux Pagano Associates, celebrating his numerous architectural achievements. Shrewsbury is so fortunate to have had his incredible skills on many of our town building, including the library, senior center and school buildings.
  • Honored to speak to the Southern Worcester County Chapter of the Retired Educators Association of Massachusetts at the chapter's annual holiday luncheon at the Publick House in Sturbridge, and enjoyed sitting with several former Shrewsbury public school teachers for the delicious lunch!
  •   Celebrated the 90th birthday of Lucy Ward, a remarkable woman whose family has ensured the continued operation of Ski Ward!
  • Participated in my first Eagle Scout Board of Review, attended the Eagle Scout Court of Honor for Aditya Khanna and heard Girl Scout Carrie Hess give an overview of her Girl Scout sponsored Destinations adventure trip - always so impressed with the Scouts I meet!


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. 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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