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    Friday, June 09, 2017 00:00
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    Friday, June 09, 2017 00:00


Beacon Hill Roll Call

THE HOUSE AND SENATE. Beacon Hill Roll Call records local legislators’ votes on roll calls from the week of July 24-28.


House 41-116, Senate 32-6, rejected Gov. Charlie Baker’s proposal to make some major changes to MassHealth, the state’s Medicaid program that provides health care for approximately 1.4 million qualified low-income and disabled persons.

Supporters said Baker’s plan is a humane and responsible approach and argued that under the changes, not a single person would lose coverage, and low-income families would continue to have access to zero-premium health plans.

Some opponents said the Legislature just a few days ago held a hearing on these changes and argued more time is needed to consider strategies to control cost growth in MassHealth and the entire health care system. Others said the changes will kick 100,000 working parents off MassHealth in favor of more expensive insurance with less coverage.

In his message to the Legislature Baker said, “Passage of this package in its entirety, a set of changes supported by many stakeholders, is essential to the long-term sustainability of the MassHealth program and the state budget.”

House Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez (D-Boston) led the charge in the House to defeat the governor’s proposal.“We have to be really thoughtful about how we go about this because this is people’s lives that are at stake and we have to make sure we’re careful,” said Sanchez.

“At the Legislature’s request, the [Baker] administration presented lawmakers with a comprehensive package that ensures quality health care coverage for residents, addresses the health care safety net’s fiscal sustainability over time while protecting taxpayers from having to pick up the bill for more individuals’ health care, and the administration looks forward to continuing to work collaboratively on solutions,” Baker’s press secretary Lizzy Guyton said in a statement following the defeat.

Rep. Stephan Hay                       Voted against Baker’s Plan

Rep. Bradley Jones                      Voted for Baker’s plan

Rep. Theodore Speliotis               Voted against Baker’s Plan

Rep. Thomas Walsh                    Voted against Baker’s Plan

Sen. Joan Lovely                        Voted against Baker’s Plan

Sen. Thomas McGee                    Voted against Baker’s Plan


Senate 39-0, approved and sent to the House a bill providing a variety of property tax breaks for seniors, veterans and disabled persons.

Provisions include raising from $1,000 to $1,500 the amount of property tax reduction veterans can earn by doing volunteer work in their city or town; creating a new local option property tax exemption for deaf persons of $5,000 of taxable valuation or $437.50 of actual taxes due, whichever is greater; and allowing more homeowners over 65 to qualify for the state’s $1,070 “senior circuit breaker” tax credit.

Supporters said it is up to cities and towns whether to offer these tax breaks because the breaks are not state-mandated. They noted the reductions will be good for countless low-income seniors, military personnel and disabled persons and might even help some of them remain in their homes, rather than having to move because they can’t afford to pay their property taxes.

(A “Yes” vote is for the bill.)

Sen. Joan Lovely                        Yes

Sen. Thomas McGee                    Yes


Senate 15-23, rejected an amendment that would raise from $1,500 to $2,000 the amount of property tax reduction seniors over 60 can earn by doing volunteer work in their city or town which has opted into this program. Local cities and towns are not required to offer the volunteer program.

Amendment supporters said the increase will give some seniors an additional $500 reduction in their property taxes. They noted this is an important change that will allow more seniors to remain in their homes.

Most amendment opponents said they support the hike but noted that there is already a similar bill that has received a favorable report from the Revenue Committee and will eventually be debated by the Senate. They said that bill, unlike this amendment, has gone through the regular legislative process including a public hearing.

(A “Yes” vote is for the hike to $2,000. A “No” vote is against the hike.)

Sen. Joan Lovely                        No

Sen. Thomas McGee                    Yes


Senate 39-0, approved an amendment that would raise from $1,000 to $1,500 the amount of property tax reduction veterans can earn by doing volunteer work in their city or town which has opted into this program. Local cities and towns are not required to offer the volunteer program.

Amendment supporters said this additional $500 would help many veterans and their families further reduce the cost of their property taxes during this tough economy and in some cases, might even prevent them from being forced out of their homes.

(A “Yes” vote is for the hike to $1,500.)

Sen. Joan Lovely                        Yes

Sen. Thomas McGee                    Yes


Senate 39-0, approved and sent to Gov. Baker a bill annually designating the first week in August as Ice Bucket Challenge Week to honor the contributions of Pete Frates and others who participate in raising funds and awareness to battle amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease).

Frates in the Beverly resident who was diagnosed with ALS in 2012 and has inspired millions of people around the world to dump ice on their heads to raise awareness of the disease and raise money to fight it. The House approved the bill on a voice vote without a roll call.

Supporters said that the ice bucket challenge has raised millions of dollars to help find a cure for ALS. They noted that designating a week as Ice Bucket Challenge Week will help publicize the event and lead to the raising of more money.

(A “Yes” vote is for the bill.)

Sen. Joan Lovely                        Yes

Sen. Thomas McGee                    Yes


HOW LONG WAS LAST WEEK’S SESSION? Beacon Hill Roll Call tracks the length of time that the House and Senate were in session each week. Many legislators say that legislative sessions are only one aspect of the Legislature’s job and that a lot of important work is done outside of the House and Senate chambers. They note that their jobs also involve committee work, research, constituent work and other matters that are important to their districts. Critics say that the Legislature does not meet regularly or long enough to debate and vote in public view on the thousands of pieces of legislation that have been filed. They note that the infrequency and brief length of sessions are misguided and lead to irresponsible late-night sessions and a mad rush to act on dozens of bills in the days immediately preceding the end of an annual session.

During the week of July 24-28, the House met for a total of seven hours and 24 minutes and the Senate met for a total of 11 hours and 36 minutes.

Mon. July 24

House11:03 a.m. to1:33 p.m.

Senate 11:07 a.m. to1:31 p.m.

Tues.July 25

No House session

No Senate session

Wed. July 26

House11:01 a.m. to5:09 p.m.

Senate1:05 p.m. to5:04 p.m.

Thurs. July 27

House11:10 a.m. to11:56 a.m.

Senate 11:15 a.m. to 4:28 p.m.

Fri. July 28

No House session

No Senate session

Bob Katzen
welcomes feedback at
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Lynnfield all-stars wrap up second round in the Bay State Tournament

Trophy Weekend begins Saturday in Andover for these 11 year olds

The summer continues on the diamond for the Lynnfield Little League 11-year-old all-star team. They are about to wrap up the second round in the Bay State Tournament with Trophy Weekend set to begin Saturday, Aug. 5, in Andover.

The Lynnfield boys are 5-4 in the second round after wins this past week against Lowell twice, and Haverhill on Monday, all by identical 7-6 scores. They did lose to Framingham, the best team in the league this year, by a close score, 12-8. The team is 12-6 overall, counting their record in the first round.

In Friday night’s game against Lowell, Nick Grousis shut down the team’s worthy opponent with a solid relief appearance to help secure the win. With runners in scoring position in the sixth, Tyler Adamo lofted a sacrifice fly to tie up the proceedings at six. Nick Lucich scored on the play, but Grousis, ever alert, came all the way home from second base on an errant throw to win the game for his teammates.

In the rematch last Saturday, Christian Rosa started on the hill before Anthony Grabau followed in relief. They each pitched three innings.

The game on Sunday against Framingham was memorable for Adamo, who blasted his first career Little League home run. He also pitched in the game, along with Dan Dorman. Jarrett Scoppettuolo and Dorman paced the offensive attack with two doubles each.

Dorman continued his power surge against Haverhill Monday night with three round-trippers. Two of them were solo shots, and his other blast was a two-run shot to help lead his teammates to victory, 7-6. Dorman’s second solo home run tied up the game in the sixth, setting the stage for the game-winner via a series of walks, errors and a couple of timely hits.

Ryan MacEachern followed Dorman’s homer by getting hit with a pitch. He eventually made it over to third before finally scoring the winning run on a single by Brendan Manoogian.

Matt Papagikos recorded the win on the mound after pitching a couple of solid innings in relief.

The Lynnfield all-stars wrap up the second round on Aug. 3 against Haverhill again (after press deadline), and then they will be getting ready for Trophy Weekend starting on Saturday in Andover.

By Joe Mitchell


Bowler’s wanted for Monday night Men’s League in Wakefield

The Saugus Men’s Bowling League is looking for a few good men. We currently have 10 four-man teams and are looking to expand to as many as twelve teams.

We bowl every Monday evening starting at 6:30 PM at the Wakefield Bowladrome on Water Street in Wakefield. We are generally finished bowling between 8:30-9:00PM.

Our season starts the first Monday after Labor Day and usually runs to the end of April or early May.

The cost of bowling is $16 per week which covers bowling, weekly prizes, annual prizes and a bowling banquet.

We are a 100% handicap league and new teams are formed each year based on the previous year’s averages. We try to make the teams even to encourage fair competition. We make up the teams in August to be ready to bowl in September. Currently six of the ten teams qualify for a year end roll off to determine a champion.

We have three or four fun holiday non-team roll offs each year matching bowlers by their current averages.

If you are interested please contact Bill Napier at 1-781-233-8859 or email him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


A young golfer’s dream came true with a hole-in-one


The goal of every golfer is to record a hole-in-one. Jed Caswell’s dream came true at a young age of 17, during a leisurely summer afternoon round this past Saturday at Reedy Meadow Golf Course in Lynnfield.  He aced the third hole, a 210-yard par 3, using his 4-hybrid club.

Caswell was elated, saying, “The ball was on target, but I thought I had over-hit the green because the afternoon sun made it difficult to see the ball. We then walked up to the pin and there it was sitting in the cup – it’s an unreal feeling.”

Jed is no stranger to the Reedy course, as he has worked at the course for over three years and plays just about every day. Frequently he is seen walking back and forth to the course from his nearby home on Forest Hill. Jed also caddies at Salem Country Club throughout the summer. He will serve as Lynnfield High School’s golf captain this coming fall.

“It’s very busy time, but I wouldn’t change anything about my love for the game of golf,” stated Jed.

Many people have helped Jed’s young golf career, including his coaches, local golf pro Donny Lyons, his grandfather and many more. Jed plans to attend college next year and continue to play golf as much as he can. He is looking forward to the next chance at an ace.


A Mom’s Village to host series of free Pop Up in the Park events across the North Shore

Free music classes, bubbles and snacks for moms and their children

On August 7, A Mom’s Village will be hosting the last in a series of free Pop Ups in the Park across the North Shore. A Mom’s Village will provide its members with fitness classes, child enrichment classes and other amenities to make a mom’s day-to-day life a bit easier.

Moms, caregivers and children are invited to enjoy music, bubbles and free snacks and learn more about A Mom’s Village. The pop-up event will feature a fun, interactive music class designed to introduce children to the world of music through classic and original children’s songs. Children will explore music by playing a variety of instruments designed for their little hands and by participating in movement activities that will have them jumping, wiggling and grooving.

The details for the event are as followS:

August 7, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Music Class Pop Up in the Park

Cy Tenney/Lt. Ross Park

Johnson Street

Peabody, MA 01960

A Mom’s Village seeks to identify and alleviate challenges that women experience in the rewarding (but challenging) role of motherhood. Founded in September of 2016 by Stephanie Keohan and Cindy Solomon, A Mom’s Village is a healthy community in both mind and body, a mechanism of support and a place to build lifelong friendships.


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