Archive for October, 2009

Sen. Jehlen to host debate on expanded gambling in Medford – Oct. 15

October 14, 2009

This comes from Senator Jehlen’s Office:

The debate on expanded gambling in Massachusetts is heating up, with hearings scheduled this month, and a vote likely early next year.  One of the first public discussions this year will be held on Thursday, October 15.

I’m inviting you to a debate on the issue on Thursday October 15 from 7:00 – 9:00 at Century Bank, 400 Mystic Avenue in Medford.  The forum will feature speakers representing both sides of the gambling debate.  Knowing the presenters, I can promise an informative and entertaining exchange.

Senator Sue Tucker represents the City of Lawrence and the towns of Andover, Dracut, and Tewksbury.  In 1996, Sen. Tucker organized a statewide coalition against casinos in Massachusetts.  Now she is working with business, political, and the religious communities to build a diverse coalition to defeat any proposal for expansion.

Representative Kathi-Anne Reinstein represents Revere, Chelsea and Saugus.  She has long been a proponent of expanded gaming, believing that it is an economic growth opportunity not only in her native region, but also throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Senator Tucker and Representative Reinstein will present arguments for and against casinos and other forms of expanded gambling in Massachusetts.  Audience members will have an opportunity to ask questions and to express their own opinions.  Light refreshments will be served.

From Woburn, take exit 30 off  Route 93, and turn onto Mystic Ave.  Century Bank is visible on your right. 

Special Joint Committee on Ways and Means Revenue Hearing – Thursday, October 8th

October 7, 2009

Thanks to Chairman Charlie Murphy’s office for this information.

There will be a special consensus revenue hearing being hosted jointly between the House Committee on Ways and Means, the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, and the Executive Office of Administration and Finance.  The hearing is scheduled for tomorrow, October 8th, at 1:00 pm, in Gardner Auditorium.

 The hearing will allow the public to hear directly from administration officials and economic experts about the latest economic trends and updated revenue projections. 

Those invited to testify before the panel include:  

  • Navjeet Bal, Commissioner of the Department of Revenue
  • Howard Merkowitz, Director, Office of Tax Policy, Department of Revenue
  • Michael Widmer, President of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation
  • Dr. David Tuerck, Chairman of the Suffolk University Department of Economics and Executive Director of the Beacon Hill Institute
  • Dr. Alan Clayton-Matthews, Northeastern University
  • Yolanda Kodrzycki, Senior Economist and Policy Advisor of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. 

Improving quality in early education and care by family child care providers

October 6, 2009

Today, at the State House, the Joint Committee on Child, Families, and Persons with Disabilities heard testimony on H494, An act relating to improving quality in early education and care by family child care providers.   Sean is a co-sponsor of this bill which was filed by Rep. Scaccia of Readville.  An excerpt of Sean’s testimony is listed below.

“For our children, there is little more important than starting out the first years of life with a caring and nurturing support system that encourages strong development long into the future.  In Massachusetts, family child care provides 35 percent of the full-time child care in Massachusetts and nearly 70 percent of infants and toddlers in non-parental care are in family child care settings.  More than 5,000 providers care for one or more children of low income working families in their own homes or those of the children.

Studies tell us that parents, nationwide, have difficulties finding quality care for their children.  This is unacceptable and this bill would help families trying to find quality care by providing them with an organized quality workforce.   Giving family child care providers a collective voice will help them enhance the quality of care by providing support and incentives for training and education.  Additionally, research shows that infants and toddlers need secure attachments with quality caregivers in order to thrive socially and cognitively. 

Having caregivers is great, having high quality caregivers is the goal.  This bill creates an environment where caregivers can excel throughout their careers.  We must help family child care providers learn more about promoting children’s development in the earliest years, and we must give high-quality providers the support they need to stay in the field and provide stable care for infants and toddlers.  Research shows this is the time in which having quality care fosters strong development in almost every measure.

We are unable to force caregivers in Massachusetts to stay on the job or take steps to improve their skills. However, we can create opportunities so that when they want to make improvements they can and at the same time, ensure that our children are being cared for by quality caregivers.  This is what H494 represents to me: a better quality of life for family child care providers and quality care for the next generation.”