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– Friday, April 21, 2017
Page 4
Lynnfield celebrates Patriots’ Day with first of many ceremonies
By Melanie Higgins
n what Veterans Affairs Di-
rector Bruce Siegel hopes
will be“the first of many”, Lyn-
nfield held a memorial last
Monday for those who died
fighting for American inde-
pendence more than two
centuries ago.
The memorial, which fea-
tured veterans from Ameri-
can Legion Post 131 and lo-
cal boy and girl scouts, was
held at the Old Burial Ground
across f rom the Meet ing
House. As a group of spec-
tators looked on, Father Paul
Ritt read a prayer for the fall-
en soldiers.
Attendees especially paid
homage to Daniel Townsend,
the first man from Lynnfield
to be killed in the Battle of
Lexington and Concord on
April 19, 1775. Townsend is
buried at the grounds.
Almost 500 men from the
Boston area fought in the
battle that fateful day, which
would claim 49 l ives but
would provide the impetus
for the war that led to the
declaration of independence
from the British Empire. The
occasion holds special sig-
nificance for New England-
ers, although the holiday is
observed throughout the
There were no roll calls in the
House or Senate last week.
As the first order of busi-
ness back in January, the Leg-
islature approved an $18 mil-
lion pay raise package includ-
ing hiking the salaries of the
two leaders who filed the bill,
House Speaker Robert De-
Leo (D-Winthrop) and Sen-
ate President Stan Rosenberg
(D-Amherst), by $45,000 from
$97,547 to $142,547. The
measure also hikes the pay of
the Legislature’s two Repub-
lican leaders, Sen. Bruce Tarr
(R-Gloucester) and Rep. Brad-
ley Jones (R-North Reading)
by $37,500 from $85,047 to
$122,547. Another provision
hikes the salaries of the gov-
ernor and the other six con-
stitutional officers by rais-
es ranging from $30,048 to
$47,083; and hikes the pay of
the state’s judges and court
clerks by $25,000.
The only part of the pack-
age that applies to all 200
legislators increased the an-
nual general expense allow-
ance for each member from
$7,200 to $15,000 for mem-
bers whose districts are with-
in a 50-mi le radius of the
Statehouse and to $20,000
for districts located outside
of that radius. Prior to this in-
crease, the most recent in-
crease in the general expense
allowance was a hike from
$3,600 to $7,200 in 2000.
According to the state trea-
surer ’s office, the mi leage
from a legislator ’s home to
the Statehouse is calculated
“using the standard of quick-
est route (time to destina-
The expense allowance is
used at the discretion of indi-
vidual legislators to support
a variety of costs including
the renting of a district office,
contributions to local civic
groups and the printing and
mailing of newsletters. Legis-
lators are issued a 1099 from
the state and are required to
report the allowance as in-
come but are not required to
submit an accounting of how
they spend it.
Beacon Hill Roll Call has ob-
tained the list of how much
each senator and represen-
tative is receiving as an ex-
pense allowance under this
new system.
When each legislator re-
ceived a flat $7,200 under the
old system, the total spent
was $1,440,000. Under this
new system, the total spent
will be $3,174,052. That’s an
increase of $1,734,052.
Nine legi s lators decid-
ed against taking the raise
and are still collecting only
the original $7,200. Anoth-
er 136 asked for and are re-
ceiving the raise from $7,200
to $15,000 while 53 legisla-
tors are receiving $20,000 be-
cause they said they live more
than 50 miles from the State-
house. One legislator decided
to take $9,252. Another de-
cided not to take an expense
The package also put an
end to legislators collecting
per diems which are trav-
el, meals and lodging reim-
bursements collected by the
legislators.The amount of
the per diem varies and was
based on the city or town in
which a legislator resides and
its distance from the State-
house. In 2016, 103 or more
than one-half of the state’s
200 legislators were paid per
diems totaling $278,601.
Under current federal law,
the same 53 legislators who
live more than 50 miles from
the Statehouse are eligible
for a special federal tax break
that has been criticized for
years. A 1981 federal law al-
lows them to write off a dai-
ly expense allowance when
filing their federal income
tax return. The complicated
system determines a daily
amount, ostensibly for meals,
lodging and other expenses
(978) 531-5311
Spring Entertainment Schedule:
- Diezel
- Back to the 80s
- Joshua Tree
- World Premiere
- Fast Times
- Lucky 13
Wild Side
- Souled Out Showband
- Midnight Goggles
- Brick Park
- Revolver
Beacon Hill
Roll Call
By Bob Katzen
Shown, from left to right, are Paul Donato, Joe Turketa, Chuck Leach, Tom Bogart,
Father Paul Ritt, John Harrigan, John Lukas, Ron Nutter, and Bruce Siegel.
Paul Donato
Ron Nutter