“The best way to win someone’s trust is to tell the truth; clearly, forcefully, directly” -Stan
Massachusetts Senators Announce Ambitious “Kids First” Plan to Support Children
BOSTON –Massachusetts Senator Sal DiDomenico (D-Everett), joined by Senate President Stanley Rosenberg (D-Amherst), announced today the launch of a Senate-led, multi-year initiative to identify and support innovative strategies to invest in Massachusetts’ children.
“Kids First” will take a comprehensive and inter-disciplinary look at a wide variety of policy areas which relate to supporting children, such as education, nutrition, public health, housing, and workforce development. The first phase of the initiative will focus on early childhood development from pre-natal through the fourth grade.
The group of nine senators will be led by Senator DiDomenico, and will seek out input on best-in-the nation practices to support children, and will make budget and policy recommendations to support their findings.
“Massachusetts has long been a leader in education, public health, and innovation. However, when it comes to ensuring that all our children have a chance to succeed, there is still work that remains to be done in the Commonwealth,” said Senator Sal DiDomenico. “Kids First will not only explore and identify the best practices and investments we can make for our children today, it will also pinpoint the long term actions we can take that will put children for generations to come on the path to productive adulthood. The Senate strongly believes we must put all kids in Massachusetts first, and I look forward to getting to work on this crucial initiative.”
“From the kids sitting on early education waitlists, to the special needs students and English language learners who need more focus, to the college grads with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt, we must do a better job of investing in children and students,” said Senate President Rosenberg. “What we need is a big-picture blueprint for smart investments in our kids, and a long-term plan to guide resources to where they’ll make the biggest difference. Kids First will deliver that blueprint.”
The group announced they have already scheduled their first meeting for February 3rd with Dr. Jack P. Shonkoff, Director of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, and chair of the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child. The council is focused on a “multi-university collaboration comprising leading scholars in neuroscience, psychology, pediatrics, and economics, whose mission is to bring credible science to bear on public policy affecting young children.”
Early last year, the senate announced a “Work First” initiative, led by Senator Marc Pacheco (D-Taunton) to reform the Commonwealth’s welfare-to-work and job training programs to create more opportunities for people to move from public assistance to work. “Work First” resulted in over $3.4M in targeted new funding in the FY16 budget for workforce training and development
Just days before a long-awaited review of the Massachusetts criminal justice system is set to be released, several Democratic state senators on Thursday detailed their policy proposals for criminal justice reform, which they say will be a major priority this legislative session.
Legislative leaders commissioned the Council of State Governments Justice Center to analyze the state's criminal justice system as it pertains to incarceration, recidivism and supervision. The final report is due out on Tuesday.
Thursday's briefing included Democrats who have all worked on a broad array of reform measures, and are looking beyond the center's proposals.
Last December, activists briefly disrupted a meeting of legislative leaders in protest of a criminal justice reform push they said wouldn’t go far enough to ameliorate racial disparities in sentencing and reduce the number of non-violent offenders serving hard time.
In January, Second Suffolk District Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz called out legislative leadership during a Martin Luther King Jr. memorial breakfast in which she made a forceful plea for action on substantive reforms.
Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg — one of the few legislators from Western Mass. who have held that position — began his career as an aide to then-Sen. John Olver, and has served as Olver’s successor for the past 26 years. During that time, he has worked on myriad issues important to his constituents, from education funding to energy policy; from labor matters to mass transit. The common threads, he said, are the importance of continually making investments in the state’s future, and his philosophy of government as a ‘helping profession.’
A leader in the Massachusetts State House with deep roots in Hampshire County. Passionate about issues ranging from wage equity to expanding rail service across the Commonwealth. Known for his lengthy career as a legislator, including election in ’15 as president of the Massachusetts Senate.
BOSTON –The Massachusetts State Senate unanimously passed a resolution on Thursday condemning the recent Executive Order issued by President Donald J. Trump which bars entry to the United States for certain nationals from seven Muslim-majority nations. The resolution recognizes the unique importance of immigration to the history of Massachusetts since its founding, through the present.
The resolution highlights the Senate’s concerns with President Trump’s January 27th Executive Order on constitutional, moral, and policy grounds. The immigration edict has already impacted individuals arriving in Massachusetts via Logan International Airport, including two University of Massachusetts Dartmouth professors.
“Freedom of religion is central to our strength as a democracy, both as a nation and as a Commonwealth. We will continue to defend the Constitutional rights of the citizens and immigrants of Massachusetts who contribute so much to our culture and our economy. To do nothing in the face of an attack on one of our core freedoms would suggest that we will accept the slow erosion of our Constitutional rights, but we absolutely never will,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg.