Cape Legislators Support Prevention & Wellness Trust Fund

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." 

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Recreational Marijuana Bill Signed by Governor Baker

On Friday, July 28th, Governor Charlie Baker signed comprehensive marijuana legislation, fully implementing consumer access to adult-use marijuana while creating a robust public health and safety framework. 

This legislation maintains the personal use provisions outlined in the 2016 ballot initiative. Adults 21 and older can use marijuana and possess up to one ounce in public and ten ounces at home. They may possess six plants per person but no more than 12 plants or ten ounces per residence.

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Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Sent to Governor's Desk

On Friday, July 7th, the Massachusetts Legislature voted on a $40.202 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2018. The budget makes targeted investments in local aid, education, substance addiction services, housing, and children and families while accounting for a downgrade in fiscal year 2017 revenues. It also deposits $100M into the state’s Stabilization Fund.

Despite a tight fiscal environment, Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro) was successful in advocating for the inclusion of $500,000 in local aid that had been approved in the Senate’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget, as well as $1.25 million for statewide programs supporting small business development and at-risk youth programs.

Local funding is attributed to organizations on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket that provide invaluable services to children, families, and older adults:

  • $140,000 to Children’s Cove: The Cape and Islands Child Advocacy Center to support their work in providing an efficient and child-friendly facility for child abuse intervention.
  • $85,000 for the Housing Assistance Corporation of Cape Cod to fund a caseworker specifically for people on Martha’s Vineyard and for the work they do to provide a continuum of housing programs for those facing housing instability.
  • $100,000 to support residents of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket to travel to health services provided off-island. Including a $25,000 earmark for Martha’s Vineyard Community Services, advocated for in the House by Representative Dylan Fernandes (D-Falmouth).
  • $25,000 for Sight Loss Services, Inc. allowing them to continue to serve Cape Codders who are gradually losing their sight.
  • $50,000 for The Community Development Partnership to advance public participation in the development of affordable and middle-income housing.
  • $100,000 for the Barnstable County Fire and Rescue Training Academy to cover urgent capital expenses.
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Senator Cyr's Maiden Speech

On Wednesday, May 24, 2017, Senator Cyr gave his maiden speech during the Senate's debate on the FY2018 budget at the State House in Boston. Senator Cyr spoke on the importance of the Small Business Technical Assistance program and the life of a small business family on the Cape and Islands.  




Senate President Pro Tempore Marc R. Pacheco and Senator Julian Cyr Host Public Meeting on Climate Change Issues

(Boston, MA) – On Monday, May 8th the State Senate’s committee on Global Warming and Climate Change will host a public hearing in the Mashpee High School Auditorium from 6:00pm – 8:00pm. This hearing is part of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Future Tour, a new, statewide committee initiative on clean energy, climate change and constituent engagement. More details on the full tour can be found at:

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Future Tour will consist of nine public hearings (the Mashpee hearing is the first one) in various communities across the Commonwealth, from the Berkshires to the Cape, to hear the thoughts and suggestions of constituents and stakeholders on clean energy and climate change issues. In these public hearings, committee members will hear the questions and suggestions of residents regarding clean energy and climate action in a forum-based fashion. As we begin our legislative session, this input is imperative to crafting policy and making sure we implement the proper legislation for Massachusetts.

“I’m thrilled that the first stop for the Clean Energy Future Tour is Cape Cod,” said Senator Cyr. “On the Cape, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket our communities are seeing the effects of climate change firsthand. There will be much to discuss in Mashpee on May 8th.”

“This tour is an answer to thousands of constituent conversations, calls and emails concerning the health and future of our local communities, our state, our country and our world as a whole,” said Senator Pacheco. “Our residents want a strong economy. They want clean air. They want clean water. They want decent surroundings. And most of all, they want a future for their kids. We need to craft legislation that reflects that. This tour will give us a perfect opportunity to hear from our communities who demand a clean energy future.”

"Massachusetts must continue to move towards a green energy future to build a sustainable environment, grow jobs and reduce carbon emissions to combat climate change,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst). “The Clean Energy Future Tour will allow the Committee to hear the thoughts and desires directly from our residents on how we achieve our energy goals.”

Hearings will be hosted in Mashpee, Sudbury, Taunton, the Malden area and Weymouth during the month of May. Hearings will be hosted in the Berkshires, the Springfield area, the North Shore and Boston during the month of June.

Residents can also use social media to voice their thoughts. Tweet your energy and climate ideas to the committee at @MACleanFuture or use the hashtag #MACleanFuture.

For more information, visit the tour’s website at or call Senator Cyr’s office at (617) 722-1570.

WHO: Senate President Pro Tempore Marc R. Pacheco, Senator Julian Cyr, and members of the State Senate’s committee on Global Warming and Climate Change

WHAT: First public hearing of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Future Tour

WHERE: Mashpee High School Auditorium, 500 Old Barnstable Rd, Mashpee, MA 02649

WHEN: Monday, May 8th from 6:00pm – 8:00pm (doors open at 5:30pm)

CONTACT: Senator Julian Cyr’s office at 617-722-1570



Senator Cyr Travels to DC to Advance Cape and Islands Agenda

(Boston, MA) – State Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro) spent three days in the nation’s capital last week. He joined five Senate colleagues and staff in gathering information on the upcoming federal budget process and advocating that changes to the federal budget and programs do not adversely impact the Commonwealth.

“I am glad to have an opportunity to meet with so many federal agencies to advocate for issues vital to Massachusetts, especially those important to Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket," said Senator Cyr. “The Senate delegation made clear how much Massachusetts stands to lose if the administration and Congress move forward with the current budget proposals, and forged contacts that will be valuable as the new administration considers new policies and priorities.”

Under various proposals before Congress, Massachusetts is at risk of losing federal dollars that the state relies on to fund longterm care for seniors, people living with disabilities, health research, transportation infrastructure, housing development, and more. Massachusetts currently receives about $11 billion in federal monies that account for approximately one quarter of the state’s 40 billion dollar budget. In the Trump Administration's skinny budget proposal, Massachusetts is at risk of losing over $2 billion in federal funds.

“These proposed cuts would devastate our state's budget and harm working families throughout the Commonwealth, which is why we traveled to our nation’s capital to meet with our delegation, federal agencies, and national policy organizations to receive as much information as possible about how we can protect Massachusetts moving forward,” said Senator DiDomenico.

While in Washington, Senator Cyr met with a number of federal agencies, including the Department of Transportation, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Education, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Department of the Interior.

Senator Cyr was asked to join the trip given his leadership of the Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Business, an area where the state relies heavily on federal grants and tax credits to invest in communities and promote affordable housing. As the Cape & Islands grapple with a severe lack of affordable and middle-income housing, the Senator stressed the importance continued federal support for community development block grants (CDBG) at a meeting with senior administrators the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

During a meeting at the Department of the Interior, Senator Cyr highlighted the importance of the Cape Cod National Seashore and urged the department to reconsider its decision relative to jurisdiction over Monomoy Island in Chatham. At the Department of Transportation, Senator Cyr discussed the necessity of funding for the preservation and maintenance of local harbors and ports. The Trump Administration has highlighted investment in the nation's ports as a key infrastructure priority. State and federal response to the opioid epidemic were the main topic at a meeting with the Department of Health and Human Services. Senator Cyr urged HHS' Administration of Children & Families to consider the unanticipated needs of families, particularly grandparents raising grandchildren, as a result of the epidemic. The Massachusetts delegation discussed the importance of funding for higher education and student tuition assistance with leadership of the Department of Education. Cyr also met with Pew Charitable Trusts on policy innovations to improve access to dental care, which remains a major challenge for Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket residents.

Additionally, Senator Cyr met with Senator Elizabeth Warren and Congressman Bill Keating. He joined nearly all the members of the Massachusetts’ congressional delegation for a briefing on the implications of changes in federal funding to the Massachusetts.

The trip to Washington D.C. took place from April 25-27th and was organized by Senator Sal DiDomenico (D-Everett), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Affairs. Senator Linda Dorcena-Forry (D-Boston), Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Affairs, Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton), Senator Adam Hinds (D-Pittsfield), and Senator Joe Boncore (D-Winthrop) also participated.

Policy Summit: An Agenda for the Cape and Islands - Full Report

Read coverage of the Policy Summit in the Cape Cod Times  

 Living on the Cape and Islands

Strong communities are welcoming and equitable for all and rely on active citizens.

Facilitator: Jeffrey Soares, Economic Researcher


-       Julie Wake, Arts Foundation of Cape Cod

-       Rene King, YMCA of Cape Cod

-       Collin Mickle, Community Action Committee of Cape Cod & the Islands

-       Edye Nesmith, Cape Cod Council of Churches

Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket have strong traditions of being places of refuge for artists, immigrants, and people looking to start a new life. Understanding the importance of art, culture, and diversity in our communities is paramount to maintaining the vibrancy of the Cape and Islands.

This working group focused on the work being done to preserve and promote arts and culture on the Cape and Islands. It also highlighted different organizations that provide support to our immigrant communities, as well as organizations that seek to strengthen our communities through their services and volunteers.

Key Takeaways:

-       The tone was set with a line from a Maya Angelou poem “Nobody can make it out there alone.”

-       An overarching theme was the arts as central to living on the Cape, economically, educationally, as well as in terms of one’s identity or creating a means to reach out to others. 

-       The arts are an important part of the C & I economy.  In addition to adding to the culture that draws people to the C&I artists contribute to the economy in many ways.  Artists need places to live, studios to work in and places to sell their products.  All the activities contribute to our economy.

-       Organizations like the YMCA and the Cape Cod Council of Churches provide important programs for our communities.  They highlight the importance of volunteers in suppling and helping build our communities.  And, the Y has a program that partners with RISD that uses art to empower young people. 

-       Immigrants make up 6.8% of the population in Barnstable County.  The community is often underrepresented due to concerns of identify themselves.  The Community Action Committee offers legal and other services to the community.   Community support in the form of outreach and communicating to elected officials demonstrating support for the immigrant community is essential. 

Click here to see more from Living on the Cape and Islands.




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Legislators Call for Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station to Shut Down Now

On Tuesday, March 21st Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro) joined Representative Sarah Peake (D-Provincetown), Representative Randy Hunt (R-Sandwich), Representative Tim Whelan (R-Dennis), Representative David Vieira (R-Falmouth), Representative Dylan Fernandes (D-Falmouth), Representative Will Crocker (R-Barnstable), and Representative James Cantwell (D-Marshfield) in calling for the immediate shut down of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station. 

The statement, read aloud by Representative Peake and Representative Hunt, compared the behavior of Pilgrim’s operators to “extending the middle finger to the NRC, the surrounding Plymouth community, and to all that are affected by their poor operating standards. That includes our constituents and most residents of Massachusetts.”

Click here to read the statement to NRC and Entergy from local lawmakers

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