Governors Baker, Dalrymple Wager Friendly Bet for Frozen Four Semifinal
Boston University takes on the University of North Dakota at 8:30PM in the TD Garden
Ahead of tonight’s Frozen Four hockey semifinal matchup between Boston University and the University of North Dakota, Governor Charlie Baker and North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple have staked a friendly bet on the game’s outcome.
“Playing on home-ice where they already landed this year’s Beanpot, and with the backing of some lucky cupcakes, the Terriers are poised for victory and to move on to another championship game tonight,” said Governor Baker. “I’m looking forward to a great game between these two teams and in good fun, some chocolate-covered potato chips from Governor Dalrymple.”;
Governor Baker has wagered the same lucky Boston cream pie cupcakes from the Koffee Kup Bakery in Springfield, Massachusetts that brought a Patriot’s Super Bowl trophy home earlier this year, while Governor Dalrymple has offered up a package of chocolate-covered potato chips from Carol Widman’s Candy Company in Fargo, North Dakota.
“UND has had a remarkable season and I’m confident that coach Hakstol’s team will advance to pursue their eighth national championship on Saturday,”Dalrymple said. “Tonight’s semifinal game should be an exciting matchup, and I look forward to a UND victory as well as Governor Baker’s Boston cream pie cupcakes.”;
The two teams face off tonight at the TD Garden in Boston at 8:30PM
MBTA Panel Calls for Fiscal Control Board, Multi-Year Plans to Fix Broken System
Governor Charlie Baker released a detailed report compiled by the MBTA special panel and outlined a plan of action to reform and improve the MBTA. The panel’s recommendations include creating a five-member Fiscal and Management Control Board, as well as the creation of one, five and 20 year spending plans after the group uncovered massive structural and management failures that are on pace to bankrupt the system if left unchecked.
Press Briefing Room, Massachusetts State House
CLICK HERE TO WATCH
GOVERNOR BAKER: This advisory panel makes a series of important reform recommendations, but today I’m going to choose to focus on five. First, replace the current DOT board with a fiscal control and management board made up of five members: three appointed by the Governor, and one each nominated by the Speaker of the House and the Senate President. The Governor appoints a chief administrative officer to lead the T, who reports to the control board. Second, build a firewall between the operating and the capital budgets and construct one and five year plans for each. Third, construct and enforce productivity and performance metrics and manage through them all the time. Fourth, assess the T’s most urgent capital and infrastructure needs, authorize a capital appropriation to fund them, and then spend it. Fifth, maximize available own-source revenues, reduce fare evasion, increase advertising and concession revenue, maximize federal grants and revenue, and strategically sell and/or lease the enormous portfolio of T-owned property. Finally, the panel findings make clear, at least to me, that the T’s current way of doing business needs to be remade before it makes sense to invest significant sums of outside new money into its operation. Again, I really want to thank the advisory panel for doing an outstanding job in a very short time, and I look forward to working with the legislature, the folks at the T, and the public, to turn these very necessary reforms into reality.
Governor Baker Highlights Proposal to Double EITC in Boston
Expansion would benefit 400,000 plus residents; increases relief by $196 million
Governor Charlie Baker today visited and toured one of Action for Boston Community Development’s (ABCD) 12 IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites in the Greater Boston area to discuss with organizers, tax prep volunteers and individuals the benefits of doubling the earned income tax credit (EITC) would have on the budgets of low-income working families. Along with his Fiscal Year 2016 budget proposal, Governor Baker filed House Bill 62 expanding the EITC from 15% to 30% of the federal level over two years, directly impacting over 400,000 Massachusetts residents. The proposal would increase the EITC to $1,874 for eligible working families and increase disposable income by $196 million.
“Providing relief to Massachusetts’ working families through the earned income tax credit has proven to be one of the most historically effective programs for supporting low-income workers and spurring economic growth,” said Governor Baker. “Increasing reinvestment in our workers would directly benefit more than 400,000 individuals and their families across the Commonwealth who need an extra hand to make ends meet and support their families."
Governor Baker toured ABCD’s facility on the Boston Common where accountants and accounting students volunteer their time to provide free tax preparation services for low to moderate-income working families. Governor Baker met with ABCD leadership, a site volunteer and several individuals and families who would directly benefit from the EITC expansion.
“ABCD applauds Governor Baker’s action in filing legislation to double the Earned Income Tax Credit for poor working individuals and families in Massachusetts,” said John J. Drew, ABCD President/CEO. “Many of those who benefit from EITC work two or three jobs, but can’t get above the poverty level of $24,250 in annual earnings for a family of four. EITC makes a difference for hard-working residents who struggle to pay for rent, heat and food and helps narrow the ongoing, painful gap between rich and poor.”;
Governor Baker Statement on Guilty Verdict in Boston Marathon Bombing Trial
Governor Charlie Baker released the following statement in response to a jury’s decision to convict Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on all counts for his role in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing:
“I applaud the verdict rendered today by the jury in the Marathon bombing case, and I hope this brings some degree of closure to those individuals and their families whose lives were changed forever on that horrific day.”;
Massachusetts New Governor's Corner Charlie Baker
Governor Baker Appoints 21-Member Judicial Nominating Commission
Statewide panel to screen applications for judicial, clerk-magistrate positions
BOSTON ; Governor Charlie Baker today appointed 21 members to the statewide Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) established in February by Executive Order 558. The JNC is a non-partisan, non-political Commission composed of distinguished volunteers, appointed from a cross-section of the Commonwealth's diverse population that will screen applications for judges and clerk-magistrate positions.
Governor Baker named Paul T. Dacier, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of EMC Corporation and immediate past President of the Boston Bar Association, as the Commission’s Chairman, and selected Carol T. Vittorioso of Vittorioso & Taylor of Leominster and Roberto M. Braceras of Goodwin Procter of Boston as Vice-Chairs.
“This group of qualified individuals will serve Massachusetts’ citizens and judicial system well by ensuring the highest caliber of appointments to sit on the Commonwealth’s courts,” said Governor Baker. “I am confident in Paul Dacier’s leadership as a passionate advocate for a strong and independent judiciary and thank all the members for their willingness to serve in such an important capacity.”;
The JNC seeks judicial applicants who possess the temperament, ability and integrity to freely, impartially and independently interpret the laws and administer justice. It also hopes to recruit applicants who represent not only the geographically diverse parts of the Commonwealth, but also the racial, ethnic, and gender diversity of our citizens.
“The Judicial Nominating Commission’s reflection of our Commonwealth’s diversity and geography will see that everyone is fairly served and represented by the Massachusetts judicial system,” said Lt. Governor Polito, “and I thank the members for lending their expertise to our administration.”;
The JNC’s first order of business will be to review applications for Chief Justice of the Appeals Court,following the announcement by the Honorable Phillip Rapoza that he will retire effective June 30, 2015.
Commission Members Appointed by the Governor are as follows:
Paul T. Dacier, Chairman
Executive Vice President and General Counsel of EMC Corporation, Hopkinton
Carol T. Vittorioso, Vice-Chair
Vittorioso & Taylor, Leominster
Roberto M. Braceras, Vice-Chair
Goodwin Procter, Boston
· J.W. Carney, Jr., J.W. Carney, Jr. & Associates, Boston
· Thomas J. Conte, Mirick, O’Connell, DeMallie & Lougee, Worcester
· Marjorie S. Cooke, Cooke Clancy & Gruenthal, Boston
· Elaine M. Epstein, Todd & Weld, LLP, Boston
· Zoila Marisol Gomez, Gomez & Palumbo, Lawrence
· George G. Hardiman, Law Office of George G. Hardiman, Quincy
· Bernadette Harrigan, MassMutual Financial Group, Springfield
· William D. Jalkut, Fletcher Tilton PC, Worcester
· Barbara J. Kroncke, McCarter & English, Boston
· Jay Lynch, Lynch & Lynch, South Easton
· William H. Mayer, Mayer, Antonellis, Jachowicz & Haranas, Framingham
· Lisa J. McGloin, McGloin & Associates, Lynn
· Jeffrey E. Poindexter, Bulkley, Richardson & Gelinas, Springfield
· Doreen M. Rachal, United States Attorney’s Office, Boston
· Steven M. Reilly, Jr., S.M. Reilly Associates, Springfield
· Steven P. Sabra, Sabra & Aspden, PA, Somerset
· Chi Chi Wu, National Consumer Law Center, Boston
· The Honorable Howard Whitehead, Retired Associate Justice of the Superior Court, Topsfield
About the Chairman Paul T. Dacier:
Paul T. Dacier is currently the Executive Vice President and General Counsel of EMC Corporation, where he has served 25 years, overseeing worldwide legal affairs for EMC and its subsidiaries including internal audits, real estate, facilities organizations, sustainability and government affairs. A past President of the Boston Bar Association (BBA), Dacier co-chaired the BBA’s Strategic Planning Committee in 2008 and joined the Executive Committee in 2010. Dacier was also a member of the Judicial Nominating Commission under Governor Mitt Romney. Dacier received a bachelor's degree in History and a Juris Doctor from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is admitted to practice law in Massachusetts and Wisconsin.
Governor Baker Approves $200 Million in Chapter 90 Funding for Local Infrastructure
Total of $330 million available for municipal roads, bridges and pothole repairs this construction season
Governor Charlie Baker has signed House Bill 3187 authorizing $200 million in Chapter 90 transportation funds for municipalities, bringing the total funding available this construction season to $300 million, with an additional $30 million allocated through the same Chapter 90 formula for winter pothole repair and paving projects.
“Our Commonwealth can only be as strong as every city and town, and Lt. Governor Polito and I are pleased to fulfill our commitment to support municipalities and grant access to critical funding for transportation improvements,” said Governor Baker. “After a rigorous winter, the timely delivery of these funds is a much-needed resource and welcome opportunity to spur economic growth in every zip code.”;
The administration released $100 million in Chapter 90 funding on its first day in office, and in March announced $30 million for a Winter Recovery Assistance Program (WRAP) to provide additional resources to cities and towns after an unprecedented winter. Allocated through an existing fiscal 2015 bond authorization from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), WRAP was distributed through the same formula as Chapter 90.
“As we continue to build strong partnerships with our cities and towns in every corner of the Commonwealth, we are glad to release additional funds to municipalities to assist with local construction projects and boost recovery efforts after an unprecedented winter,” said Lt. Governor Polito. “I look forward to proceeding with my statewide tour to visit with local officials to talk about the important issues facing our cities and towns as we work collaboratively toward a stronger state for all families and communities.”;
Through Chapter 90 bond issuances, cities and towns are reimbursed for eligible transportation projects, submitting qualifying costs to their local MassDOT Highway Division district for review by MassDOT’s Fiscal Department. More information about the Chapter 90 Program is available here:: Click
Baker-Polito Administration Announces Snow Storm Loan Fund to Help Small Businesses Recover from Lost Storm Revenue
Loan Program Will Address Pressing Need for Financial Relief for Small Businesses Impacted by Winter Weather Conditions
In recognizing the hardship that small businesses throughout the Commonwealth have faced in recent weeks due to unprecedented snowfall and historic winter conditions, Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito today announced that the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC) has approved a snow storm loan fund to help small businesses regain financial stability and recover from lost storm revenue. The decision was made during MGCC’s regular board meeting Thursday afternoon.
“As small businesses throughout Massachusetts continue to recover from extreme winter weather conditions that have restricted business, we are pleased to announce this low-interest loan program is available to help them regain their financial stability,” said Governor Baker. “While our local economies continue to bounce back, we encourage everyone to continue shopping at their local retailers, restaurants and small businesses.”
“Our small businesses are the backbone of our economy and it is important that we help ensure their longevity by lending a helping hand when they need it most,” said Lieutenant Governor Polito. “We are confident that our entire economy will continue to recover from one of the toughest winters we have seen in decades.”
MGCC will make up to $1 million in loan funds available to provide micro-loans of $5,000 to $10,000 to small businesses located in communities impacted by the harsh winter weather, particularly those in Boston and in gateway cities. It is anticipated that this program will run through May 2015.
MGCC will be responsible for funding the loan, managing the loan portfolio, collection of interest and principal payments and all decision-making regarding loan approval. For more information about the application and terms and conditions of the loan, please visitwww.massgcc.com.
Governor Baker Signs Executive Order Initiating Regulatory Reform Review
Year-long Review to Reduce Burdensome Regulations to Increase Efficiency and Competitiveness
Governor Charlie Baker signed an executive order immediately initiating a comprehensive review process for all regulations enforced by the Executive Department and leaving in place the regulatory pause announced by the administration earlier this year.
“State government must speak with one voice in its commitment to providing exceptional customer service for citizens, municipalities, businesses, non-profit groups, healthcare providers and educational institutions,” said Governor Baker. “This will be an intensive process that ultimately makes Massachusetts a more efficient and competitive place to live and work, while driving economic growth. I encourage all other areas of state government to put in place a similar process.”;
Executive Branch agencies will be charged with ensuring each regulation is clear and concise and that any newly proposed regulations are measured for their potential impact on businesses of all sizes or other entities, including municipalities and non-profits. Agencies will submit regulatory proposals and impact statements to their secretariat before review by the Secretary of Administration and Finance who will establish a process for encouraging public input, standards and schedules. The business and competitiveness impact statements will also be made available on the Commonwealth’s website. The Secretary of Administration and Finance may also provide for waivers or exceptions to regulations essential to public health, safety, environment or welfare.
“Making Massachusetts a better place for job creation and business development will require conducting a thorough review of our onerous regulatory environment,” said Kristen Lepore, Secretary of Administration and Finance. “I look forward to working with my fellow secretariats and all stakeholders to establish a careful and complete regulatory review process. We will ensure that all regulations administered by the Executive Department benefit the Commonwealth without undue burdens or costs and serve a legitimate purpose in making Massachusetts a safe, healthy, and effective place to do business.”;
Only those regulations which are mandated by law or essential to the health, safety, environment, or welfare of the Commonwealth’s residents shall be retained or modified. In order to find that a regulation meets this standard, the government agency conducting the review must demonstrate that: there is a clearly identified need for governmental intervention that is best addressed by the agency and not another agency or governmental body; the costs of the regulation do not exceed the benefits; the regulation does not exceed federal requirements or duplicate local requirements; there are not any less intrusive or restrictive alternatives; the regulation does not unduly and adversely affect Massachusetts citizens and customers of the Commonwealth, or the competitive environment in Massachusetts; there is a formal process in place for measuring the effectiveness of the regulation; and, the regulation is time-limited or provides for regular review.
Governor Baker Names Michael Chernew and Dimitry Petion to the Massachusetts Health Connector Board of Directors
Governor Charlie Baker today named two final members to the Massachusetts Health Connector Board of Directors, Michael Chernew, Ph. D., Leonard D. Schaeffer Professor of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School, and Dimitry Petion, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mulberry Systems, Inc. Chernew and Petion join Mark Gaunya and Rina Vertes to complete Governor Baker’s four appointments to vacancies on the 11-member Health Connector Board.
“I am pleased to announce these appointments and am confident Michael and Dimitry will bring their wisdom and expertise to the Health Connector Board as we work vigorously to improve a system still in need of much work,” said Governor Baker. “Our administration believes that people are policy and our team is bound to make progress to benefit the Commonwealth.”;
“Our state deserves to have an efficiently run exchange available for individuals and families,” said Lieutenant Governor Polito. “We are pleased to have Mr. Petion and Dr. Chernew join the Connector Board and look forward to their positive contributions.”;
“I look forward to joining the Health Connector Board to fill the health economist seat and bring a new perspective toward increasing efficiencies and the functionality of our health care system,” said Chernew. “I want to thank Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito for this opportunity to serve the Commonwealth and improve health care for our families.”;
“This is a welcome opportunity to represent the interests of small business owners across the state as we strive to make health care more affordable and accessible,” said Petion. “I appreciate the chance to serve on the Health Connector Board during this important time to make positive strides for the business community and help employers improve options for workers.”;
Chernew will sit in the seat reserved by statute for a health economist and Petion will serve in the seat reserved for the small business community. They will participate in the next board meeting on April 9th, and join Gaunya, the broker community member, and Vertes, the health insurance actuary member.
About Michael Chernew:
Dr. Chernew is the Leonard D. Schaeffer professor of Health Care Policy in the Department of Health Care Policy (HCP) at Harvard Medical School. He currently directs HCP’s Healthcare Markets and Regulations (HMR) Lab. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and his Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University. Dr. Chernew is currently both the co-editor of the American Journal of Managed Care and an editor of the Journal of Health Economics. He is a member of the Congressional Budget Office’s Panel of Health Advisors. In the past, he has served on the editorial boards of Health Services Research, Health Affairs and Medical Care Research and Review, as well as on technical advisory panels for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to evaluate the methods that Medicare actuaries use to assess the financial status of Medicare trust funds. He is also the former Vice Chair of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC). Dr. Chernew’s research, which has been widely published and awarded, focuses on different facets of controlling health care spending growth while ensuring that quality of care is maintained or improved.
About Dimitry Petion:
Mr. Petion is President and CEO of Mulberry Systems in Quincy, MA. He has a strong background in engineering and business, having previously served as President and CEO of Advanced Management Services and spent four years at Harvard Street Neighborhood in positions including Chief Operating Officer, Chief Information Officer, and Interim Chief Executive Officer. As a computer engineer and director of several organizations, he brings practical knowledge of business and industry to the healthcare field. Mr. Petion earned his B.S. in Computer Science and Engineering as well as his M.S. in Computer Science from Boston University.