Monthly Archives: April 2013

Medfield Marijuana

Carol Read of Medfield is working in Needham as their federally funded substance abuse coordinator, seeking to reduce substance abuse amongst Needham youth, and she also volunteers with Medfield Cares About Prevention (MCAP) (www.MedfieldCares.org).  Carol also works on the state level with the Massachusetts Prevention Alliance (MAPA), which became active during the recent ballot initiative.  Carol and her MAPA colleagues invited me to attend a kick off dinner last Friday evening for a group called Project SAM, Smart Approaches to Marijuana in Massachusetts.

Project SAM is headlined by

  • former Congressman Patrick Kennedy,
  • a child psychiatrist from Colorado who has studied the increased problems his patients have had because of marijuana, and
  • a former drug adviser to recent U.S. presidents.

Friday evening the Project Sam members shared the data developed in places like Colorado, that has had medical marijuana for a while.  The facts I took home were that

  • the brains of young people are not fully developed until their mid-20’s, making them more susceptible to substances
  • marijuana use by our young people puts them at increased risk for mental health hospitalizations and substance abuse problems in later life (both statistically rise with marijuana use by young people),
  • fairly low levels of marijuana use (2-3 times a week for 2-3 years) were shown by a New Zealand study to reduce IQ by up to 8 points.

If these facts are correct, it is not responsible for we as parents, as adults, as a town, and as a society to allow our young people to injure themselves by means of marijuana use, without giving them all the facts.  The data I heard on Friday evening really scares me for the risks that our youth are taking with the marijuana use that we know is happening in Medfield.  Our youth need to get these complete facts, so they can at least make an informed decision.

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Library Gala 5/4

The Medfield Memorial Library is holding its 4th Annual Library Gala this Saturday from 12-3 PM, and the website shows a panoply of really interesting sounding events and people.  Get the details

greening medfield gala ad

Activities

Sheep Shearing
Petting Zoo
Needle Felting
Spinning Wool & Silk
Rug & Punch Hooking
Monks’ Etchings of Sheep
Bee Products & Info
Jazz Music

Crafts for Kids
Build Recycled Sculpture
Sustainable Farming
Hydroponic Gardening
Living & Eating Green
Plants & Seedlings
Container Gardening
The Giving Tree-A Play

Partners

Animal Shelter
Thunder Hill 4H
Little Bee Hive Farm
Betty Sanders, Master Gardener
Powisset Farm
Medfield Green
Energy Committee
Girl Scouts – Troop #74900

Historical Society
Friends of the Library
Charles River Rug Guild
Esme’s Heart Pockets
Zullo Gallery
Brad Ellenberg Jazz Quintet
Gazebo Players
Deadfield Artists Guild

House “Cherry Sheets” out

House issues its “Cherry Sheets”- the totals –

FY13 = $7,051,687

Gov’s FY14 = $7,148,536

House’s FY14 = $7,157,142

========================

Massachusetts Department of Revenue

Division of Local Services

FY2014 Local Aid Estimates

 

MEDFIELD

 


 

FY2013 Cherry Sheet Estimate

FY2014 Governor’s Budget (H1)

FY2014 House Final Budget Proposal

Education:    

  Chapter 70

5,730,534

5,797,959

5,797,959

  School Transportation

0

0

0

  Charter Tuition Reimbursement

59

67

7,206

  Smart Growth School Reimbursement

0

0

0

Offset Receipts:

  School Lunch

10116

9,260

9,260

  School Choice Receiving Tuition

0

0

0

Sub-Total, All Education Items

5,740,709

5,807,286

5,814,425

 

General Government:

  Unrestricted General Government Aid

1,226,088

1,226,088

1,255,070

   Annual Formula Aid Calculation

0

26,530

  Local Share of Racing Taxes

0

0

0

  Regional Public Libraries

0

0

0

  Urban Renewal Projects

0

0

0

  Veterans’ Benefits

13,333

17,624

16,639

  State Owned Land

31,357

31,380

31,380

  Exemptions: Vets, Blind, Surviving Spouses

& Elderly

26,472

26,028

26,028

Offset Receipts:

  Public Libraries

13,728

13,600

13,600

Sub-Total, All General Government

1,310,978

1,341,250

1,342,717

 

 

 

Total Estimated Receipts

7,051,687

7,148,536

7,157,142

 

 

 

 

FY2014 Local Aid Assessments

MEDFIELD

 

 

FY2013 Cherry Sheet Estimate

FY2014 Governor’s Budget (H1)

FY2014 House Final Budget Proposal

County Assessments:

County Tax

108,925

111,680

111,680

Suffolk County Retirement

0

0

0

Sub-Total, County Assessments

108,925

111,680

111,680

 

 

 

 

State Assessments and Charges:

 

 

 

  Retired Employees Health Insurance

0

0

0

  Retired Teachers Health Insurance

0

0

0

  Mosquito Control Projects

52,872

55,872

55,872

  Air Pollution Districts

4,280

4,445

4,445

  Metropolitan Area Planning Council

3,788

3,883

3,883

  Old Colony Planning Council

0

0

0

  RMV Non-Renewal Surcharge

6,560

5,260

5,260

Sub-Total, State Assessments

67,500

69,460

69,460

 

 

 

Transportation Authorities:

 

 

  MBTA

254010

256,764

256,764

  Boston Metro. Transit District

0

0

0

  Regional Transit

0

0

Sub-Total, Transportation Authorities

254,010

256,764

256,764

 

 

 

Annual Charges Against Receipts:

 

 

  Special Education

0

4,508

4,508

  STRAP Repayments

0

0

0

Sub-Total, Annual Charges

   0

4,508

4,508

 

 

 

Tuition Assessments

 

 

  School Choice Sending Tuition

10,625

5,000

5,000

  Charter School Sending Tuition

0

0

12,041

  Essex County Tech Sending Tuition

0

0

0

Sub-Total, Tuition Assessments

10,625

5,000

17,041

 

 

 

Total Estimated Charges

441,060

447,412

459,453

 

For information about how the estimates were determined and what may cause them to change, click: Local Aid Estimate Program Summary.

 

 

Election today

I voted before going to work this morning, and I was surprised that there was a steady stream of voters when I was there around 8 AM, making me guess that Medfield will exceed the 15% turnout projected statewide.  15% for us would be about 1,200 voters.

Town Clerk Carol Mayer had set up a slick system to handle the two elections at once that we are doing today, both the state primary and the town election on the DPW’s new garage.  I felt badly for Carol, as we left the annual town meeting (ATM) around 11 PM last night, and she probably opened the polls at 6 AM.

When I arrived, John Harney was the stalwart sole sign holder at the entrance to The Center, with a sign for Stephen Lynch.  I am glad that John has such beautiful weather, which is not the case for our usual town elections at the end of March.  One year I recall that I was glad it was cold enough that it snowed, as if it had been five degrees warmer and had rained instead, then I would have gotten really, really cold.

House added education $ to state budget, but none for Medfield

Per John Nunnari –

Medfield was not one of the communities that benefited from the additional Chapter 70 spending debate.

Numbers stayed the same at $5,797,959 for Chapter 70, and $1,255,070 for Unrestricted General Government Aid.

john

==============

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, APRIL 23, 2013…. House lawmakers tacked on close to $27 million in additional spending for education and local aid on the first night of debate on a $33.8 billion fiscal 2014 budget Monday, engaging in sporadic debate, including a fiery back-and-forth over in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants.

MMA alert on the state budget

This from the Massachusetts Municipal Association, on the state budget, last week –

Thursday, April 25, 2013

 

HOUSE PASSES FY 2014 STATE BUDGET

AND $300M CHAPTER 90 BILL;

BOTH MEASURES HEAD TO THE SENATE

Late on Wednesday night, the House of Representatives completed three days of debate on its version of the fiscal 2014 state budget, passing a $34 billion budget plan by a 127-29 vote.  The House members also passed a one-year $300 million Chapter 90 bill by a unanimous 155-0 vote.  Both measures now head to the Senate, where the MMA is urging swift action on Chapter 90 to ensure that cities and towns can move quickly on important road projects without losing more of the construction season.

House Approves $34B State Budget Bill

Amendments Add $5M to Chapter 70, $3M to SPED Circuit Breaker, $500K to Regional Transportation, $2.5M to Shannon Anti-Gang Grants

Amendment to Weaken the Public Safety Residency Requirement Rejected

House members spent 3 days sifting through 888 amendments, including many proposals to increase funding for key municipal and education accounts.  With a bottom line that is $1 billion lower than the Governor’s budget proposal, there were many accounts that legislators were interested in expanding.  In the end, however, House members were moderate in adding back additional funding, although there were a number of areas where progress was made.

The budget includes a $21 million increase in unrestricted general government aid, and this key priority was retained in the final version of the House budget with no changes.

Now that the House has completed its work, it is the Senate’s turn to act.  The Senate Ways and Means Committee is expected to release its version of the fiscal 2014 state budget in mid-May, with Senate debate expected during the week of May 20.  After that, the House and Senate will form a conference committee to hammer out a final version to enact before July 1.  Please review the House action outlined below and contact your Senators to highlight important priorities that you need addressed during the budget debate, especially concerning unrestricted municipal aid, Chapter 70, and the key accounts outlined in this and previous MMA Action Alerts.

Chapter 70 Education Aid

Even though the budget proposed by the House Ways and Means Committee provided a $109 million increase to Chapter 70 to fully fund the foundation budget formula and provide a minimum increase of $25 per student to every city and town, the initial allocation of aid did not include implementation of the 2006 reforms to establish a “target share” equity standard, which is one of the major reasons why the aid distribution in the proposed House budget was significantly lower for many communities and school districts than the budget offered by Governor Patrick in January.

With dozens of House members sponsoring amendments to increase the Chapter 70 distribution, mostly to fully or partially implement the target share reforms, Representatives voted to add $5 million more to Chapter 70 to fund a 15 percent phase-in of target share aid.  Because of the complexity of the formula, the distribution of these funds is limited to a small number of communities and school districts, especially those close to their foundation level with a higher-than-average growth in students.

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE LATEST CHAPTER 70 NUMBERS IN THE HOUSE BUDGET  

Special Education “Circuit Breaker”

The House Ways and Means Committee deserves praise for adding $5 million to the Special Education Circuit Breaker account, partially restoring the $11.4 million cut that was imposed by the Governor last December using his 9C powers.  During the debate, House members voted to add another $3 million to the program, resulting in a final House budget that adds $8 million more to the circuit breaker account than in the Governor’s original budget.

Student Transportation Reimbursements

In December, the Governor cut regional student transportation reimbursements by $1 million, lowering the account to $44.5 million.  The House Ways and Means Committee proposed restoring the $1 million, and during the floor debate, Representatives added another $500,000 in funding, to bring the program up to $46 million.  Full funding would require $78 million.

Shannon Anti-Gang Grant Program

The Shannon Anti-Gang Grant Program was funded at only $2 million in the House Ways and Means budget, and during debate Representatives voted to add $2.5 million to the program, to bring it up to $4.5 million.  This account is crucial to assist those communities dealing with very challenging public safety and gang-related issues.  The program is funded at $6.25 million this year.

Representatives Reject Amendment 30, Which Would Have Undermined the Public Safety Residency Law

The MMA strongly opposed Amendment 30, which would have effectively eliminated the statutory 10-mile residency requirement in state law for police officers and firefighters by unilaterally increasing the limit to 35 miles.  Police officers and firefighters are required by law to live within 10 miles of the community in which they work.  Many cities and towns have included residency provisions in their collective bargaining contracts, and this amendment would interfere with those agreements, disrupting the management of their public safety departments.  A majority of communities have not included any residency provisions in their contracts, as the 10-mile range works well for them, and these localities would suddenly face serious management and logistical issues.  The MMA fought this amendment because it would have negatively impacted police and fire departments across the Commonwealth, and Representatives did not adopt the amendment.  It will be important to monitor this issue to block any attempt to add this item during the Senate budget debate in May.

House Unanimously Passes $300M Chapter 90 Bill

In the midst of the final night of its state budget debate, the House unanimously passed a $300 million Chapter 90 bond bill for fiscal 2014, which would boost funding for the local road and bridge program by 50 percent.  The increase – and expedient passage – have long been top priorities of the MMA and local officials statewide.

House and Senate leaders and the governor are all in agreement on a $300 million funding level for Chapter 90 for fiscal 2014 and beyond.  Any remaining debate is over the details of proposals to raise additional revenue for transportation projects. Leaders in the House and Senate have stated, however, that transportation finance bills passed by each branch earlier this month would cover the $100 million increase in Chapter 90. The unanimous House vote last night appears to reflect that assurance.

The Chapter 90 bond bill now heads to the Senate, and we urge local officials to contact their Senators to make sure the legislation receives immediate consideration .  The release of authorizations for the Chapter 90 reimbursement program has been delayed in each of the past two years, causing cities and towns to miss the bulk of the construction season. This year, the MMA and local officials have expressed concerns that Chapter 90 might again be held up by extended State House debates about new revenues and a multi-year transportation package, which is why the association has been pushing hard for a stand-alone Chapter 90 bill for fiscal 2014.

Legislative leaders have been responsive to the MMA’s concerns. When House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Therese Murray announced a House-Senate transportation finance framework on April 2, supported by the House and Senate Ways and Means and Transportation committees, the plan included a one-year, $300 million Chapter 90 bill as companion legislation. Rep. William Straus of Mattapoisett, House chair of the Transportation Committee, ushered the Chapter 90 bill through the House.

The House adopted one amendment to the bill, which would require cities and towns to use their authorizations from any given year within five years or seek a waiver from the Department of Transportation due to special circumstances. The MMA will be working with the Senate to ensure the workability of the language of this provision.

Swift consideration by the Senate is an urgent priority because the Chapter 90 legislation must go through several additional steps before becoming law and taking effect.  After Senate approval, the bill will need a final vote in the House and Senate, and the bond bill must be signed into law by the Governor.  Then the Legislature will need to pass a “terms” bill to set the terms of the state bond to support the $300 million.  After that measure becomes law, the Governor must then release the full $300 million for distribution.

PLEASE CALL YOUR SENATORS TODAY AND ASK THEM TO PASS THE $300M CHAPTER 90 BILL IMMEDIATELY!! 

CH. 90 LEGISLATION IS URGENTLY NEEDED TO PREVENT ANY FURTHER DELAY IN THE CONSTRUCTION SEASON

New home for Medfield nonprofit news

Announcement from Chris McCue –

Blog: GoodWorksMedfield  (http://goodworksmedfield.blogspot.com)
1st Post: A home for Medfield nonprofit news

Link: http://goodworksmedfield.blogspot.com/2013/04/a-home-for-medfield-nonprofit-news.html

So here’s what it’s about:  a blog specifically for helping our Medfield non-profit and grassroots groups get the word out about all of their “Good Works”. Our community newspapers & Patch do a super job, but I thought having one online location for just local, non-profit news & events would be very helpful and supplement efforts by our well-established media outlets.

I’d love it if you could help me spread the word around town about the blog – especially among our various community groups. In the next day or two, I’ll be compiling an e-mail list of my own local contacts, but given your positions in town, and/or relationships to many of our beloved Medfield nonprofits, I thought I’d start with you first.

All feedback & suggestions on the blog are welcome too!  I do plan on setting up a Gmail account specifically for the blog so that people can send me info. That’s next on my list.

Thanks,

Chris