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FROM THE OFFICE OF
SENATOR JOAN B. LOVELY

2nd Essex District

Beverly, Danvers, Peabody, Salem, and Topsfield
Dear Neighbor,

Since the beginning of the legislative session back in January 2015, I've received many emails, phone calls, and letters from passionate constituents on bills before the Legislature. This past month, the Legislature reached a significant deadline that impacts many of the bills under consideration. March 16th, the day of the joint rule 10 deadline, was the last day for reports to be made from almost every joint committee. This means that many committees have taken action on the legislation you care about. To see a bill's full history and the latest updates on its status, you may visit the 189th General Court Website. If you ever have any questions about a specific bill or general questions about the legislative process, please don't hesitate to reach out to me or my staff.

I also wanted to take this opportunity to share the latest news from my Senate office. This update highlights several new events, programs, and announcements that took place at the State House and in your community. I hope you find this update to be helpful and as always, please feel free to contact my office with any questions.
                                                              
                                                                      Thanks for reading,
                                                                           
Opioid Bill Signed into Law
On March 14, Governor Baker signed the Legislature's comprehensive substance use treatment, education, and prevention bill into law. To address treatment, the new law limits initial opiate prescriptions to no more than a 7-day supply while also extending this same limitation to all minors. For education, the new law emphasizes the importance of prescriber-patient conversations about the risks of opiates and mandates additional training about substance use disorders. To focus on prevention, the new law empowers patients to request and fill a lesser amount of an opiate prescription, establishes a verbal substance use screening tool for students in public schools, and creates a program for expanded collection and disposal of unwanted prescription medications.
Developmental Disabilities Council &
Arc of Massachusetts Legislative Reception
Last month I had the honor of being recognized as Legislator of the Year at the Arc of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council's 38th Annual Legislative Reception. I was thrilled to see more than 300 attendees at the event advocating for persons with disabilities. Whether it's the turning 22 program, respite services for families, early intervention for toddlers, or resources for individuals with autism, all of these resources provide critical support to persons with disabilities and their loved ones. Thank you to the Arc and MDDC for your incredible partnership, and congratulations to House Majority Leader Ron Mariano on also receiving the Legislator of the Year Award!
North Shore Community College
at the State House
In early March, North Shore Community College President Pat Gentile visited the State House to meet with local legislators about the latest news from NSCC. President Gentile spoke about the challenges and opportunities within Massachusetts's community college system as well as NSCC's effort to improve access, achievement, and affordability for its students. Thank you to President Gentile for the update and for NSCC's continued commitment to quality educational opportunities to residents in our region!
Next-Generation MCAS Review Panel
 
Last November, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted in favor of transitioning to a next-generation MCAS test. Since that time, several workgroups have made notable progress developing this new assessment. Recently, an English language arts and math standards review panel, made up of educators and faculty from across the Commonwealth, began a series of work sessions. While the panel will continue to meet until the end of the summer, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education wants you to be involved in the process as well. To hear from a wider range of educators and parents, the department has created an online survey as a way for you to make suggestions about specific aspects of the standards. Follow the link below to participate in the survey so that your thoughts can be shared with the panel. You can submit feedback until the end of May 2016.

Massachusetts ELA and Math Standards Review Survey
MBTA Performance Dashboard
 
Just last week, the MBTA released an online performance dashboard. Now you can track the reliability, ridership, financials, and customer satisfaction of the MBTA online. The dashboard gives the public access to information the MBTA uses internally to improve the transit systems on-time performance. In addition to the charts and data, the dashboard allows you to join the customer opinion panel survey so that you have an opportunity to let the MBTA know how you think it's doing. Follow the link below to check out the dashboard.

MBTA Performance Dashboard
North Shore & State House Events
Over the past month I had the pleasure of attending several events throughout the Second Essex District and at the State House:

Beverly School Committee Meeting
Representative Jerry Parisella and I spoke to the Beverly School Committee about our efforts to support local schools on Beacon Hill. Rep. Parisella and I talked about some of the key proposals before the Legislature and funding for our public schools.

Salem Partnership Annual Meeting
The Salem Partnership held its 29th annual meeting with Salem Superintendent Margarita Ruiz as its featured speaker. A business collaborative dedicated to advancing the city's economy, the Salem Partnership brings community groups together to promote Salem regionally and nationally.

Essex County Farm Bureau's Legislative Breakfast in Topsfield
The Essex County Farm Bureau hosted North Shore legislators for its annual event at the Topsfield Fair Grounds. The event gives farmers in the area a chance to share their thoughts on the state of the agricultural community.

North Shore Career Center's Empowering Women Panel
The North Shore Career Center hosted an "Empowering Women" Panel, featuring information on training options, employment, and job seeking strategies. During my remarks, I highlighted the Senate's recent action to encourage private companies to expand gender diversity on their board of directors as well as legislation to address pay equity.
LGBT Elders in an Ever Changing World Conference
In collaboration with several organizations, North Shore Elder Services hosted its 5th Annual LGBT Elders in an Ever Changing World Conference. The daylong conference focused on interdisciplinary practice and policy for working with older adults in the LGBT community through speaking presentations and breakout sessions.
Independent Living Education Day
Independent living centers from across Massachusetts, including the Independent Living Center of the North Shore and Cape Ann, visited the State House to advocate for important resources for persons with disabilities. Independent living centers like the ILCNSCA do tremendous work in our local communities to promote self-advocacy and independence for persons with disabilities.
Public Records Conference Committee Meetings
The House and Senate conference committee tasked with reconciling the differences between two versions of the public records reform bill held three open meetings in March. During the meetings, the conferees heard comments from several offices and organizations on key provisions in the bill.
April District Hours
Beverly Council on Aging
Friday, April 8 9-10AM

Danvers Council on Aging
Friday, April 15 9-10AM

Peabody Council on Aging
Friday, April 22 9-10AM

Salem Council on Aging
Friday, April 29 9-10AM

Topsfield Town Library
Friday, April 29 12-1PM

Please call (617) 722-1410 to schedule an appointment with my office.

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Office Contact Information:
Massachusetts State House
Room 413-A
Boston, MA 02133

P: (617) 722-1410  F: (617) 722-1347  E: Joan.Lovely@masenate.gov