Senate Passes Supplemental Budget for FY17, Includes Funding for Cape Cod Regional Technical High School Renovation
The Massachusetts State Senate voted yesterday afternoon on a supplemental budget to close out Fiscal Year 2017 and enable the state to pay some of its outstanding bills, including $49.8 million for snow and ice removal and more than $20 million for state sheriffs. The supplemental budget also includes language to increase the state’s contribution to the building of a new facility for Cape Cod Regional Technical High School, increasing the state’s contribution to the project by $5.3 million. This additional contribution from the state will save Cape taxpayers nearly $10 million when taking into account the interest that would accrue to the towns.
Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro) championed the inclusion of this language in the supplemental budget adopted in the Senate. Representative Sarah Peake (D-Provincetown) secured identical language in the supplemental budget passed yesterday by the House. The measure now goes to the Governor for his signature.
“This measure will save local taxpayers millions of dollars and help our communities finance the proposed $128 million Cape Tech project,” said Senator Cyr. “I am proud to be a part of the collaborative work has been done to ensure high school students on Cape Cod have access to high quality and innovative technical education.”
“The Massachusetts School Building Authority can now reopen the determination of the state’s contribution to the Cape Tech building project and use the highest year when calculating the “proportion of economically disadvantaged students” in the district, thus increasing the state’s contribution by 5.67 reimbursement points for the project,” said Representative Peake. “The state will now pick up 51.12% of the eligible costs, where they would have previously only carried 45.45% of the eligible costs.”Read more
Senate President Stanley Rosenberg has appointed Senator Julian Cyr to Massachusetts' Ocean Advisory Commission. The seventeen member commission is charged with developing a comprehensive Ocean Management Plan to manage the Bay State's ocean waters.
"It is an honor to be appointed to this commission and to continue the advocacy of my predecessors, particularly Senator O'Leary, who championed the legislation that created this panel," said Senator Julian Cyr. "Responsible stewardship of our ocean waters is paramount to the success of Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket; I look forward to working with a diverse set of stakeholders to ensure a sustainable and prosperous future for the Commonwealth."
The Ocean Advisory Commission was created by the Massachusetts Ocean Act of 2008, sponsored by former Senate President Therese Murray, Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, and former state Senator for the Cape and Islands district Robert O'Leary. The passage of this legislation made Massachusetts the first state in the nation to create a comprehensive, science-based plan for the management of its ocean waters. The Commission is also directed to hold public meetings and make recommendations to the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs.Read more
On Wednesday, September 14th, Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst) and Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester) announced the appointments of Senators and retailers to the Senate Task Force on Strengthening Massachusetts Local Retail. The task force was established to work with the Senate to identify ways to help local retailers become more competitive.
Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro) is one of five state Senators appointed by Senate President Rosenberg to the task force, along with Senator Michael Rodrigues, who will serve as Chair, and Senators Mike Barrett, Jason Lewis, and Kathleen O’Connor-Ives. Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr appointed Senators Vinny DeMacedo and Don Humason.
“Growing up in my family business, I have a deep appreciation for the unique challenges and opportunities facing small businesses in the Commonwealth,” said Senator Cyr. “Local retail shop owners are struggling to maintain a decent share of the market, while competing with the pervasiveness of online shopping. Communities like Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket experience the added difficulty of navigating seasonal fluctuations. I am grateful to have a seat at the table in these bipartisan discussions.”Read more
On August 17, 2017, Governor Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Senate President Stan Rosenberg, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and members of the Legislature convened at the Grand Staircase of the Massachusetts State House to present a joint resolution and proclamation denouncing neo-Nazism and white nationalism.
Text of Joint Resolution and Proclamation
WHEREAS, white nationalist organizations in our country have consistently promoted values that are overtly racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-immigrant, and these poisonous ideologies continue to promote hatred, bigotry, and violence specifically against individuals solely on the basis of their race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and immigration status; and
WHEREAS, today, white nationalism and neo-Nazism remain very real threats to the values for which the Commonwealth stands, and their reinvention as the “Alt-Right” should not mitigate their hateful ideologies; and
WHEREAS, while free speech is a bedrock value for the citizens in our Commonwealth and Country, white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups promote a message that is the antithesis of Massachusetts’ dedication to civil rights for all, and is in irreconcilable conflict with our foundational principles of liberty and justice for all; and
WHEREAS, white nationalism and neo-Nazism are continuing to grow as menaces to societal order as they seek to reignite social animosities, reverse improvements in race relations, divide the nation, and foment hatred, classism, and ethnic eradication; and
WHEREAS, the white nationalist and neo-Nazi message of racial and social intolerance has led to senseless acts of violence that continue to terrorize members of ethnic and religious communities;
Be it resolved and proclaimed:
that the totalitarian impulses, violence, xenophobic biases, and bigoted ideologies that are promoted by white nationalists and neo-Nazis are strongly denounced and opposed; and further,
that law enforcement agencies and elected officials at every level of government are urged to condemn white nationalist and neo-Nazi ideology, vigorously pursue justice in response to hate-fueled violence and work to ensure the protection of the marginalized and targeted communities; and further,
that copies of this resolution will be transmitted to the Mayor of Charlottesville, Governor of Virginia and President of the United States.
On Tuesday, July 25, state officials visited the Barnstable Senior Center for Governor Charlie Baker's Council to Address Aging Tour in Massachusetts.
Senator Julian Cyr welcomed staff members of the Executive Office of Elder Affairs to the Cape, and explained some of the most pressing challenges facing a rapidly aging population.
"One in five residents of Barnstable County and one in seven in the state is 65 years of age or older, said state Sen. Julian Cyr. "By 2035, those numbers are projected to grow to one in three Cape residents."
For more extensive coverage of this event, please read this article published by the Barnstable Patriot.
During the State Senate's debate of the FY2018 budget in May, 2017 - State Senator Julian Cyr advocated for $500,000 in funding for LGBTQ youth programs across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The amendment was unanimously adopted, a strong show of support for this critical funding by Democratic and Republican Senators.
During the State Senate's FY2018 budget debate in May, 2017 - Senator Julian Cyr introduced an amendment to add additional funds to the childhood lead prevention and mitigation budget at the state's Department of Public Health. As you'll see in this video, Senator Cyr's amendment was unfortunately not included in the budget - but Senator Cyr, Senator Jehlen, Senator Chang-Diaz, Senator Lewis and Senator Montigny led a spirited discussion on the importance of this funding and discussed prioritization of this matter for later in this legislative session.
On Wednesday, August 2nd, the Barnstable Prevention Partnership held a press conference at YMCA Cape Cod to address the exclusion of the Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund in the FY18 Massachusetts State Budget. The conference focused on the partnership's commitment to the re-authorization of the program that ended its funding on June 30, 2017.
Members of the Cape and Islands legislative delegation including Senator Julian Cyr, Representative Randy Hunt, and Representative Will Crocker expressed their support for the Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund and vowed to fight back against the budget cuts.
"Prevention is among the most effective tools we have to keep people healthy and contain escalating health care costs," said Senator Cyr. "That's why in 2012 Massachusetts established the Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund, a first in the nation program dedicated to funding health prevention at the community level. I am disheartened that the Conference Committee Report did not include a sustainable funding stream for this highly successful program. The re-authorization and funding of the Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund is one of my top priorities, and I am committed to searching for alternative ways to ensure that our most vulnerable populations have access to community health services."Read more