The Environment and Energy
- Authored and passed landmark environmental legislation as House Chairman of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. Legislation passed included the Global Warming Solutions Act, the Green Communities Act, the Massachusetts Oceans Act and the Mercury Management Act.
- Currently, Chairman of the House Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change, and a leader on the environment and clean energy. This session, sponsored bills to incentivize more energy efficient homes, electric vehicles usage, and alternative energy sources.
- Strong and vocal advocate during this session to expand the use of solar energy, authoring several published articles on the issue. Unfortunately, the Legislature’s current attempts to address this issue will have the effect of stifling solar growth in Massachusetts, hurting this important industry and limiting the use of this renewable fuel source; spoke out and voted against the House’s very limited solar bill.
- Leader on legislative efforts to establish strategies to address the current effects of global warming and to protect, plan and adapt for future harm.
- Fought for and delivered additional funding for the Department of Environmental Protection and Office of Watershed Management, and continue to fight for additional funding for important environmental protection programs.
- Supported local bottle, polystyrene, or plastic bag bans to make Brookline a municipal leader on environmentalism.
- Fought for and helped deliver additional state funding for public education, early education through graduate school, including METCO and special education services, while fighting high-stakes student testing, school privatization and attacks on teachers and other public employees. Continuing advocacy for adequately funding public education at every level, during the budget debates and throughout the legislative session, including support for the Fair Share Amendment that will provide an additional $2 billion for public education and transportation.
- Filed legislation in current session to make universal early education and full day kindergarten a reality throughout Massachusetts.
- Worked for Brookline’s 2015 successful property tax override for increased school funding and co-sponsored legislation to reduce the state’s unfunded mandates to ensure Brookline’s schools remain excellent.
- Sponsor of successful Brookline Town Meeting Resolution, passed in November, 2015 in support of a statewide Moratorium on the High-Stakes Use of Standardized Tests in our public schools.
- Chief sponsor of legislation this session to require Transparency and Accountability for Commonwealth Charter Schools; State Auditor Bump testified at Education Committee charter hearing at my request; co-sponsored a successful legislative briefing on the bill, featuring an expert from the Annenberg Institute and a parent advocate from New Orleans; continuing concerns about expanding charters schools; opposed to any increase in the charter cap.
- Continues to fight cutbacks to children and family programs, including housing and homeless relief.
- Chief sponsor of legislation this session to protect affordable housing for seniors and low-income residents.
- Leader in funding for programs providing services allowing elders to continue to live at home (NORC).
- Leader on medical marijuana law to help the dying and chronically ill.
Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
◦ Leader in the legislative battles to protect gay marriage, women's reproductive rights, immigrant rights and to increase the minimum wage.
◦ Fought to stop mandatory sentencing and the death penalty in Massachusetts.
- Advocate for increased state revenue to make the MBTA a 21st Century transportation with reliable service and expanded coverage, including a North/South rail link, while opposing short-sighted and regressive fare hikes.
- Supporter of the Fair Share Amendment that will provide an additional $2 billion for transportation and public education.