Monday, September 10, 2012
Brownsberger believe state has three directions it can take to save future MBTA service.
To the editor: I am deeply committed to avoiding MBTA service cuts and also to improving the quality of MBTA service. We squeezed through the planning for the current year without major service cuts, but it's time to start the conversation about a long-term fix. Here is the political challenge we face: No other part of the state is as directly dependent on public transit as the core of the Boston area. The statewide sales tax already funds roughly three/fifths of the budget of the T (covering all debt service costs plus over 40 percent of all other costs). Legislators from other parts of the state are naturally resistant to increasing the subsidy for T riders. Thirty-seven percent of people working in Boston commute by public …
Saturday, August 18, 2012
State Senator stands behind Sheriff Peter Koutoujian's proposal to build a jail in Billerica.
- POLICE & FIRE
Saturday, August 18, 2012
The following release was provided by State Sen. Will Brownsberger's Office: Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian together with Middlesex police chiefs and Legislative leaders announced that a proposed regional lockup to serve communities across Middlesex County has moved a major step closer to reality. After Koutoujian, local officials and police chiefs secured House and Senate backing for the project in the final weeks of the Legislative session, the Executive Office of Administration and Finance committed to funding the $1.5 million estimated project cost using capital expenditures. “Securing funding for the regional holding facility was a team effort that included every police chief in Middlesex County,” said Koutoujian. “A …
Friday, August 3, 2012
Most major legislation for the session has been completed.
Friday, August 3, 2012
This is a report from Mass. State Sen. Will Brownsberger on the past legislative year on Beacon Hill. On Tuesday night [July 31] (the Massachusetts state legislature) finished formal sessions for the 2011-2012 legislative session. Most of the major legislative activity for the session is therefore complete. We do have the opportunity to pass less controversial measures during the informal sessions that will continue through the end of year. Outcomes of note in the 2012 leg of the session include: Outcomes of note in the 2011 legislative session include: Click here for a fuller itemization of legislation passed in the present session. Click here for my overview of the 2009-2010 session. If there are particular bills that you want to check …
Monday, July 30, 2012
Gov. Patrick on Saturday sent the anti-crime bill back to the Legislature.
Gov. Deval Patrick set in motion a wave of criticism when he sent back on Saturday, July 28, the popular "three strikes" crime bill on the grounds that it lacked sufficient provisions for judicial discretion. Warning of possible unintended "unjust consequences" that can arise from mandatory sentencing laws, Patrick wrote in a letter to the Legislature, "None of us is wise or prescient enough to foresee each and every circumstance in which the new habitual offender provisions may apply." On Monday afternoon, the House rejected Patrick's amendment by a vote of 132-23, according to The Boston Globe. Patrick has not indicated whether he would veto a bill that doesn't have the amendment. Belmont State Sen. Will Brownsberger voted against the …
Friday, July 20, 2012
State senator one of seven in upper chamber voting against popular repeat offenders bill.
A bill that toughens sentences for violent repeat-offenders passed the Senate Thursday after having been overwhelmingly in the House Wednesday evening, July 18. But in an op-ed sent to Belmont Patch, State Sen. Will Brownsberger – one of the seven who voted against the popular bill – said while more acceptable from the first draft of the bill in November, the measure "leaves much to be done" in overall sentencing reform before he can back it. "Our correctional system is overloaded and so is less capable of doing the careful evaluation of offenders necessary to identify those most likely to hurt people if released," said Brownsberger, who voted against the first draft as a member of the state House of Representatives before winning a …
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Require corporations to report expenditures over $250 in an election.
One of my concerns in the closing days of the legislative session is to pass Senate 304, a bill strengthening Massachusetts’ election spending disclosure rules. In Massachusetts, our statutory framework for disclosing independent election spending does not cover spending by corporations. Independent election spending is election spending other than contributions to candidates. To be considered independent spending, the spending must be made without coordination with the candidates, otherwise it is considered a campaign contribution. Until the Citizens United decision, independent election spending by corporations was outright illegal under Massachusetts law. As a result, there is no provision in our disclosure framework to cover it. Our …
Monday, July 2, 2012
State Sen. Will Brownsberger on the concern of the influence of money in politics.
Monday, July 2, 2012
Recently, many colleagues and constituents whom I greatly respect have urged me to vote Yes on a Senate resolution urging Congress to: "send to the states for ratification a constitutional amendment to restore the First Amendment and fair elections to the people." The resolution is a response to the Citizens United case, in which the Supreme Court ruled that corporations (and, by implication, individuals) may spend as they wish to influence the outcome of an election, provided that they are spending independently instead of giving to a candidate. I share the widespread concern about the influence of money in politics. And I recognize the unpopularity of the Citizens United decision. I strongly support pending legislation to improve …
Thursday, June 21, 2012
State senator introduce language assisting senior advocates who asked for a limitation on rate increases for seniors and disabled persons.
Monday, June 11, 2012
State Sen. Will Brownsberger says the state budget looks good for towns, but its future remains uncertain.
The following was submitted by State. Sen. Will Brownsberger, D-Belmont, who represents Belmont: How is the state doing financially? What can cities and towns expect from the state? In short, the answers are: Pretty well and cities and towns can expect continued moderate aid growth, but the outlook is uncertain and the state is likely to continue to neglect real needs. The state seems to be wrapping up the current fiscal year in good condition. Year to date tax collections through May are essentially right on target – just $12 million under a target of $21 billion. Supplemental spending – spending above the annual budget level – has run well below last year's level. The state's "rainy day" fund should finish the year at $1.4 billion, …
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Buses from Watertown will take people to the event at the State House in Boston.
The Bay State's Armenian community will fill the State House on Friday, April 20 for the annual commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. This year's cermony will take place at 10:30 a.m. The event is both solemn and celebratory, recognizing the genocide of 1.5 million Armenians between 1915 and 1923 by the Ottoman Turkish government, as well as honoring survivors and looking forward as Armenian American descendants commit themselves to preserving their culture and working for humanitarian projects and awareness, according to a press release from State Sen. Will Brownsberger's office. Buses to the State House will leave at 9 a.m. from St. James and St. Stephen’s Church in Watertown. The bus service is donated by the Knights of Vartan, Ararat…