Governor Baker Signs Executive Order to Strengthen Municipal Partnerships 

New Executive Order Creates The Community Compact Cabinet To Elevate Municipal Relationships With Governor’s Office

 January 2015

Governor Baker today signed his first Executive Order, creating the Community Compact Cabinet, to elevate the Administration’s partnerships with cities and towns in all communities of the Commonwealth.  Chaired by Lt. Governor Polito, the Community Compact Cabinet will allow the Governor’s Office to work more closely with leaders from all cities and towns.

“Karyn and I both served as selectmen in our hometowns and clearly understand the important challenges encountered in our local communities,” said Governor Baker.  “I am pleased to sign this Executive Order which gives cities and towns a real seat at the table in our Administration. State and local government are tightly intertwined and with Karyn at the helm of the Community Compact Cabinet, our Administration will be better equipped to respond to their needs and  create safer, stronger communities across the Commonwealth."

“This is a critical first step in the right direction for our Administration,”; said Lt. Governor Polito.  “I look forward to championing this effort throughout the Commonwealth to partner with our hardworking municipalities and pave the way for better and brighter opportunities in our schools and communities.”;

About Executive Order:

• Empowers Lieutenant Governor Polito to be a champion for municipal issues across state government

• Restructures the Department of Revenue to include a new Senior Commissioner for the Division of Local Services, reporting directly to the Commissioner

• Creates a Community Compact Cabinet that will work toward mutual accountability, work to reduce red tape, promote best practices, and develop specific “community compacts” with local governments.

• These community compacts will create clear, mutual standards, expectations, and accountability for both the state and municipalities as we seek to create better government for our citizens.

This Executive Order will revoke and supersede Executive Order 537, which was invoked under the previous Administration in September 2011 and relegated municipal affairs to the Executive Office of Administration and Finance.

Next week, Lt. Governor Polito will kick-off a statewide tour to meet with local mayors and address ways to strengthen partnerships in our communities.  Polito will discuss the $100 million in new Chapter 90 funding that was released on the Administration’s first day in office to fund local road and bridge repairs for every city and town in the Commonwealth.  The Baker Administration has pledged to protect local aid, funding for the homelessness and the Department of Children and Families.

Governor Baker announced his first Executive Order today at the Massachusetts Municipal Association Opening Session in Boston.

TEXT OF THE EXECUTIVE ORDER

By His Excellency 

CHARLES D. BAKER GOVERNOR

  EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. ____ 

Revoking and Superseding Executive Order 537

CREATING THE COMMUNITY COMPACT CABINET

            WHEREAS, cities and towns are at the front lines of delivering services to the citizens of the Commonwealth;

WHEREAS, cities and towns are vital partners in creating the conditions under

which economic development flourishes throughout Massachusetts;

            WHEREAS, cities and towns face increasing pressures on municipal and school budgets, which impacts those essential services;

            WHEREAS, cities and towns, through local aid and other programs, are partners with the Commonwealth;

            WHEREAS, the Commonwealth wishes to recommit itself to a stronger partnership with its cities and towns;

            WHEREAS, cities and towns have the right to hold the Commonwealth accountable, the Commonwealth has the right to hold cities and towns accountable, and the citizens have the right to hold all levels of government accountable.  There should be a new compact between the state and our communities to create more effective, efficient and accountable governments.

            NOW, THEREFORE, I, Charles D. Baker, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution as Supreme Executive Magistrate, Part 2, c. 2, § 1, Art. 1, do hereby revoke Executive Order No. 537 and order as follows:

            Section 1.  There is hereby established within the Executive Office of the Governor, a Community Compact Cabinet to advise the Governor on its areas of responsibility set forth in Section 4 below. 

            Section 2.  There shall be, within the Department of Revenue, a Senior Deputy Commissioner, Division of Local Services, who shall report to the Commissioner of Revenue and shall be responsible for the operations and activities of the Division of Local Services.  In addition, the new Senior Deputy Commissioner will also be the primary lead on local issues on behalf of the Secretary of Administration and Finance.

            Section 3.  The Community Compact Cabinet shall be chaired by the Lieutenant Governor.  The Senior Deputy Commissioner, Division of Local Services shall serve as the Vice-Chair of the cabinet.  The cabinet shall also include the Secretary of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, the Secretary of the Executive Office of Education, the Secretary of Transportation, the Secretary of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, the Assistant Secretary for Operational Services, the Chief Information Officer, and any other person whom the Lieutenant Governor may designate from time to time.

            Section 4.  The Community Compact Cabinet shall have the following areas of responsibility:

(a)   to champion municipal interests across all executive secretariats and agencies;

(b)   to develop, in consultation with cities and towns, mutual standards of best practices for both the state and municipalities, working toward the creation of community compacts that will create clear standards, expectations and accountability for both partners;

(c)    to develop ideas to incentivize adoption of best practices at the municipal and school district level;

(d)   to work with the Local Government Advisory Commission (the “LGAC”) to resolve issues and implement recommendations made by the LGAC and approved by the Governor;

(e)   to review state regulatory burdens on municipalities and school districts and recommend reforms to lessen the burdens on municipalities and school districts;

(f)     to understand the major cost drivers of municipalities and school districts and identify actions that the Commonwealth, municipalities and school districts can take to control them;

(g)   to identify and remove barriers to economic development opportunities for cities and towns; and

(h)   to empower cities and towns and school districts by finding new ways for local governments to leverage state resources and capacity.

Section 5.  All agencies subject to the Governor’s control shall provide assistance to the Community Compact Cabinet by sharing information and expertise, as requested.

Section 6.  This Executive Order shall continue in effect until amended, superseded or revoked by subsequent Executive Order.

Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston this 23rd day of January in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen and of the Independence of the United States of America two hundred thirty-nine.

Massachusetts New Governor's Corner Charlie Baker


Baker-Polito Administration Announces Health Connector, MassHealth Appointments

New executive director to assume role at the Connector as MassHealth Director position elevated to Assistant Secretary role

January 2015

Governor Charlie Baker today announced two key healthcare appointments who will be tasked with ensuring that Massachusetts’ Medicaid population are receiving proper coverage and that healthcare consumers have the tools necessary and readily available to seek out insurance on the private market and Connector website.

Governor Baker announced the position of Director of MassHealth will be elevated to Assistant Secretary for MassHealth under Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders and appointed Daniel Tsai to that post. This change in designation will allow for enhanced coordination between MassHealth and other state agencies and empower policy, payment and service reforms needed to benefit members and the Commonwealth.

Louis Gutierrez, a longtime information technology and planning specialist in the private sector and state government, was announced as the Executive Director for the Massachusetts Health Connector. Mr. Gutierrez will be officially appointed to the post by Administration and Finance Secretary Kristen Lepore under her office’s statutory authority as Chair of the Health Connector Board of Directors.

“Massachusetts has long been a leader in healthcare reform, but we must always look for ways to improve on how we serve those in need and ensure our residents have the information needed to find affordable coverage,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “I am confident in Daniel’s ability to fill this new and expanded role as Assistant Secretary to facilitate further cooperation among agencies who assist and care for our Medicaid population, and Louis’ talent will be a welcome voice and mind for those families and individuals searching for quality and affordable healthcare.”;

"I believe deeply in the mission of MassHealth and the important services it provides for our most vulnerable populations," said Daniel Tsai. "I am humbled and honored to have this opportunity to work with Governor Baker and Secretary Sudders to enhance the voice of these individuals in state government."

“Rapidly evolving technology presents us every day with new opportunities and unique challenges to improve operations and services to our consumers -- in this case, healthcare for the people of Massachusetts,” said Louis Gutierrez. “I am looking forward to serving with Governor Baker as we work to streamline access to healthcare for those needing coverage for themselves and their families.”;

MassHealth, the state’s Medicaid program, provides access to critical, affordable and quality health care to the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable populations in the communities where they live. MassHealth serves 1.7 million low-and moderate-income individuals and individuals with disabilities, or approximately one in four Massachusetts residents. Through grants and demonstrations, MassHealth seeks to enhance the ability of hospitals and community health centers to more efficiently and effectively deliver integrated health care services to the MassHealth members they serve.

The Health Connector is Massachusetts’ own health insurance marketplace for individuals, families and small businesses to shop for health and dental coverage, helping Massachusetts to achieve the highest rate of health insurance coverage in the nation. Problems developing with the site last year cost hundreds of millions of dollars in recent technology fixes and temporary Medicaid coverage plans for over 300,000 residents, contributing to Massachusetts’ recently announced, $765 million budget deficit.

About Daniel Tsai:

Daniel Tsai currently serves as a Partner in McKinsey & Company’s Healthcare Systems and Services practice, co-leading the firm’s Medicaid service line.  He has significant experience designing and implementing innovative, state-wide payment systems for Medicaid, Medicare and Commercial populations, and has worked closely with multiple Medicaid programs, private payers, and Fortune 50 health services companies. Tsai regularly leads workshops and conference sessions on health care payment and care delivery strategies and holds an A.B. in Applied Mathematics and Economics from Harvard.

About Louis Gutierrez:

Louis Gutierrez has spent the last seven years as a principal in the Massachusetts-based IT consulting firm Exeter Group. Until this appointment, he served on the boards of directors of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and the New England Health Exchange Network. He is returning after previous roles in Massachusetts state government and information technology, including Chief Information Officer for the Commonwealth in the Romney, Weld and Celluci administrations where he was also an Assistant Secretary for Administration and Finance. Gutierrez also served as a Senior Vice President and Chief Information and Technology Officer (CIO/CTO) at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care during its 1999-2002 corporate turnaround, and was a 2002 recipient of Computerworld’s Premier 100 award for distinguished CIOs.


Governor Baker, Lieutenant Governor Polito, and Secretary Walker Statements on December Jobs Report

January 2015

Governor Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, and Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Ron Walker released the following statements regarding December job growth and unemployment figures announced this morning:

“Today’s jobs report shows progress as the Commonwealth continues to reduce unemployment, but there is still much work to be done.  Our Administration is committed to closing our state’s deficit and focusing on meaningful steps to improve employment opportunities for everyone everywhere, especially veterans returning home, students entering the workforce, and those living in regions of our state still waiting for economic recovery,” said Governor Baker.

“I am pleased to see positive movement in the latest jobs report and look forward to replicating the same success seen in the greater Boston area in every region of the Commonwealth,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito.

“Fostering a better economic environment in every corner of the Commonwealth will require a balanced approach of fiscally responsible planning, improved job training programs and increased partnerships between our universities and businesses—a formula set to get more people into sustainable and good-paying jobs,” said Secretary Ron Walker.

Background:

Preliminary estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics show Massachusetts added 10,900 new jobs in December.  Since December 2013, Massachusetts has added a net of 60,900 jobs; with 58,400 jobs added in the private sector.  Additionally, last month’s total unemployment rate fell to 5.5 percent, down 0.3 of a percentage point over the month and down 1.6 percent for the year.


Baker-Polito Administration Names Daniel Bennett Secretary of Public Safety

January 2015BOSTON –

 Governor Charlie Baker today named Worcester County Senior First Assistant District Attorney Daniel Bennett as Secretary of the Executive Office of Public Safety. Bennett brings two decades of legal experience to the administration, and is recognized for his work as a public prosecutor and effective manager committed to public safety. 

“Ensuring the safety of the Commonwealth’s residents will be critical to building stronger, safer schools and communities across the state,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Massachusetts’ law enforcement has made great strides in protecting our communities and I look forward to joining Daniel to enhance the trust forged between public safety officials and the community.  Daniel’s integrity and service will be a great asset to our administration and the people of Massachusetts.”;

“I am honored and privileged to join the Baker-Polito administration,” said First Assistant District Attorney Dan Bennett, “and I look forward to making Massachusetts a safer place to live, work and raise a family for everyone.”; 

About Daniel Bennett: 

Daniel Bennett has been a Senior First Assistant District Attorney in Worcester County since 2011 where he was named a 2013 Prosecutor of the Year by the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association.  Prior to joining the Worcester District Attorney’s office, Daniel was senior trial counsel in the Middlesex District Attorney’s office where he began his career as an assistant district attorney in 1994.  In between two terms of service with the Middlesex District Attorney’s office, Daniel worked in the gang unit of the Suffolk District Attorney’s office and spent eight years in private practice.  



Governor Baker Extends Massachusetts Health Connector Payment Deadline Through January 28

January 2015

Governor Charlie Baker announced a payment deadline extension for the Massachusetts Health Connector.  The deadline for enrollment was set for tonight for individuals to select and pay for a health care plan, but due to overwhelming wait times, the Baker Administration has ordered the Massachusetts Health Connector to continue accepting payments until next Wednesday for enrollees seeking coverage for February 1st.     

Massachusetts Health Connector call centers and a walk-in center (located at 133 Portland Street, Boston) will be open the following times for individuals to make payments for their applications for insurance plans to begin on February 1st:

·         Saturday, January 24th from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

·         Monday, January 26th from 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM

·         Tuesday, January 27th  from 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM

·         Wednesday, January 28th  from 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM

"With long wait times, the Health Connector is still struggling to meet the needs of health care consumers, and with that in mind we believe extending the deadline for payment is the right thing to do,” said Governor Baker

Individuals can go online, contact the call centers, visit the Portland Street walk-in center or mail payments to the Health Connector only to complete the payment process for enrollees seeking coverage for February 1st.  Individuals submitting new enrollment applications can be submitted until February 15th to select a health care plan beginning March 1st

Massachusetts Health Connector Contact Information: