Governor Baker Nominates Three to Supreme Judicial Court

Historic opportunity elevates three highly-qualified judges to serve as SJC Associate Justices

In an historic and unprecedented opportunity to uphold the tradition of excellence of the Commonwealth’s highest court, Governor Charlie Baker today nominated Superior Court Justices Kimberly Budd, Frank Gaziano and David Lowy to serve as Associate Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court.

“These distinguished and well respected judges will bring nearly a century of combined experience to the Supreme Judicial Court, having dealt with the most complicated civil and criminal cases before the courts of the Commonwealth,” said Governor Baker. “I thank the Supreme Judicial Court Nominating Commission, my Chief Legal Counsel Lon Povich and Sharon Casey, the Executive Director of the Judicial Nominating Commission, for their diligent and tireless work in recommending a diverse group of candidates of the highest caliber and character, and we also wish the departing justices well in their retirement and future endeavors. Our legal system and the citizens of Massachusetts will be served well by the wealth of trial experience, temperament and sense of justice brought to the bench by these nominees.”

The nominees and their families joined Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito for a formal announcement today at the State House. The nominees, if confirmed, will replace Justice Francis Spina, Justice Robert Cordy and Justice Fernande Duffly who announced their retirements earlier this year.

“We have the utmost confidence these jurists will serve the Commonwealth’s highest court with distinction for years to come,” said Lt. Governor Polito. “All three have set themselves apart by their keen intellect, respectful demeanor and dedication to fairness in the judicial system. We look forward to the Governor’s Council’s consideration of our nominees and on behalf of the Commonwealth, thank Justices Spina, Cordy and Duffly for their service.”

The Supreme Judicial Court is the Commonwealth's highest appellate court, consisting of the Chief Justice and six Associate Justices. The seven Justices hear appeals on a broad range of criminal and civil cases from September through May and issue written opinions that are posted online.

In February, Governor Baker named a statewide 12-member Supreme Judicial Nominating Commission (SJC-NC) to recruit, screen and recommend applicants to fill an unprecedented number of upcoming vacancies on the Commonwealth’s highest court. All judicial nominations are subject to the advice and consent of the Governor’s Council.

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Baker-Polito Administration Awards $55,000 in Housing Grants to Three Communities

North Reading, Agawam and Danvers Receive $55,000 to pursue housing and planning goals

 The Baker-Polito Administration announced a total of $55,000 in Planning Assistance Toward Housing (PATH) grant awards to North Reading, Agawam and Danvers to assist these communities in meeting their housing needs. Nineteen communities across the Commonwealth have received PATH grant awards since the program’s authorization in 2014.

North Reading and Agawam both received $15,000 in funds to create a Housing Production Plan. Housing Production Plans allow communities to proactively plan for development and meet their needs for affordable housing.

Danvers received $25,000 in funds to create a new zoning overlay district in its downtown. This grant assists Danvers in re-imagining its downtown district in accordance with the community’s local vision, creating design guidelines and preparing new mixed-use zoning regulations that will bring the new district to fruition.

“These targeted investments in North Reading, Agawam and Danvers, will allow for long-term planning with an eye towards our increasing housing needs across the Commonwealth,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Together, we can advance strategies that will support economic growth and housing development throughout Massachusetts that incorporates smart, efficient planning and local needs.

“As an Administration, we are at our best when partnering with municipalities and empowering local communities to plan their own future,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “PATH grants are one way we can support locally-driven efforts and encourage community-driven development.”;

“By approaching long-term planning together, communities can determine their own path towards sustainable growth,” said Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash. “Looking ahead, these strategies will unlock potential for substantial economic development, and encourage smart growth across the Commonwealth.”;

“PATH grants give communities a key tool in planning for their future, utilizing local solutions to solve local needs,” said Undersecretary of Housing and Community Development Chrystal Kornegay. “Partnerships like this between the state and municipalities contribute to the success of Massachusetts everywhere.”;

The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) oversees the PATH program, a $600,000 fund that helps communities expand housing opportunities through community-based activities on municipally-owned sites; changes to land use and zoning; planning for housing and mixed-use development in specific geographic areas; and the implementation of strategies identified in DHCD-approved Housing Production Plans.

The fund, which was authorized in 2014, has awarded $391,300 to-date, supporting multi-family housing development efforts in 19 communities. Over $200,000 remains in the fund for future projects.

Grants are reviewed by a committee that includes MassHousing, the Massachusetts Housing Partnership, and MassDevelopment. DHCD accepts grant applications on a rolling basis. 


Baker-Polito Administration Awards $3.6 Million in Grants for Facilities Development to Increase Quality in Early Education Programs

The Baker-Polito Administration and the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC) today announced $3.6 million in grant awards for facility improvements at early education and care programs that serve low income children. Six agencies were selected to receive an Early Education and Care and Out of School Time grant, which will help increase the quality of their early education programs through critical facility repairs and renovations. Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito made the announcement at the new Guild of St. Agnes early education program in Webster, the site of one of the facilities funded by the 2016 grant awards. 

"The Early Education and Care and Out of School Time grants are a critical resource for helping ensure that our early learning program environments support children's learning," said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. "By providing high quality facilities for children to grow and thrive in, we are both helping foster their success and building a more prosperous future for all of us."

The $3.6 million in FY16 grant awards will improve the quality of existing settings for approximately 500 children in programs licensed by the Department of Early Education and Care, will increase the capacity of these programs to serve an additional 119 children in higher quality settings, and will support the creation of 179 jobs during the grant period. 

The Early Education and Care and Out of School Time grants are financed through the state's capital budget and provide matching funds that leverage private investment. The Baker-Polito Administration's FY17 Capital Budget Plan included $4 million for the Early Education and Out of School Time grant program.

"It is well established through research that environments influence the architecture of a child's developing brain, so having program spaces that facilitate positive experiences for children is critical," said Early Education and Care Commissioner Tom Weber. "The planned facility developments will modernize spaces, improve the efficiency of systems, and provide better environments for the children that support their optimum growth and learning." 

All of the programs selected to receive a grant award serve publicly subsidized families, have demonstrated financial need, and have secured additional funding to pay for a portion of their project costs. The Department of Early Education and Care partnered with CEDAC's affiliate, the Children's Investment Fund, to administer the grant awards. All of the grantees are tax-exempt non-profit corporations or organizations in which a non-profit corporation has a controlling interest.

“The EEOST Capital Fund is a critical resource for helping non-profit child care providers improve the spaces where so many low income children attend child care,” said Theresa Jordan, Program Manager of Children’s Investment Fund. “It has helped fund renovations and construction of centers, creating wonderful learning environments across the Commonwealth. The child care community is grateful that policymakers had both the vision and commitment to quality that led to establishment of the Capital Fund. This Fund has made Massachusetts a national leader in developing facilities that support children’s education and wellbeing.”

Sixteen organizations submitted requests for funding that totaled over $12 million combined. The applicants selected for a grant award demonstrated sound feasibility of project, readiness for implementation, and likely potential for long-term sustainability and success. The grantees and their award amounts are listed below:

Lead Agency

Service Area

Award

Aspire Developmental Services

Lynn

$1,000,000

Brookview House, Inc

Boston

$450,000

Community Art Center

Cambridge

$750,000

Epiphany School

Boston

$500,000

Guild of St. Agnes

Webster

$700,000

Rainbow Child Development Center

Worcester

$200,000

The grants were financed through the Early Education and Care and Out of School Time Capital Fund, which was established in 2013 through An Act Financing the Production and Preservation of Housing for Low and Moderate Income Residents. The legislation that established the capital fund provided $45 million in general obligation bond funding over five years.