Shawn Fitzgibbons Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 12:02PM
It has been another busy few months on Beacon Hill and in the City of Newton. As your State Representative, I am pleased to share with you some legislative successes including a bill I sponsored to expand juvenile jurisdiction and the passage of a balanced state budget. In the district, we can now focus on the Auburndale Commuter Rail Accessibility Project and bring it to 100% design phase
I hope you’ll take a moment to catch up on what I’ve been working on.Budget & Legislative Successes
Rep. Khan Secured Funding for Invasive Weeds in Charles River Lakes DistrictThis year in the final FY14 Budget, I was able to secure $350,000 for the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) for the removal of Invasive Aquatic Species, which will expend $125,000 from that to fight the expansive infestation in the Charles River Lakes District.
In addition to the $125,000 for the Lakes District, through its public private partnership program DCR agreed to match $25,000 raised by Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) and Citizens Alliance for NOxious weed Eradication (CANOE), with $50,000 of partnership funds bringing the total funding to $200,000.
These funds will be instrumental in conducting large-scale mechanical “harvesting” to remove water chestnuts and other invasive weeds that have long plagued the Charles River Lakes District, a section of river bordered by Waltham, Weston and Newton. The harvesting, scheduled to begin this summer, will target the two-mile river stretch of flat-water between Commonwealth Ave, in Newton and the Woerd Ave. boat launch in Waltham, where roughly 50 acres of weeds compromise the health of the river. There is a limited window of just a few weeks in August for harvesting before the water chestnut drop their seeds on the riverbed, so the mechanical harvesting will continue in the spring of 2014.
Rep. Khan Announces Juvenile Justice Bill Unanimously Passed House and Senate
I am pleased to announce that my legislation, An Act Expanding Juvenile Jurisdiction (H.1432) was passed unanimously May 22, 2013 by the House of Representatives and July 30, 2013 by the Senate. This legislation will raise the Juvenile Court’s youth jurisdiction from the 17th birthday to the 18th birthday as it stands in 38 other states. This legislation will reduce the number of young adults going into the adult prison system thereby lowering costs to the Commonwealth.
My bill also requires these youth to participate in specialized treatment and counseling that is not available in the adult prison system. Teenage inmates held in adult facilities are at a much higher risk for abuse, sexual assault and suicide than others and are more likely to reoffend than teens in juvenile facilities, partly because they are surrounded by more hardened criminals. We are hopeful this bill will soon reach the Governor’s desk and be signed into law.House Passes Legislation to Support Housing Bond Bill
On June 7, 2013 the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed An Act financing the production and preservation of housing for low and moderate income residents, otherwise known as the Housing Bond Bill. This bill authorizes $1.4 billion in investments over the next five years to finance the production and preservation of low and moderate income housing,
The $1.4 billion includes $500 million for the rehabilitation and modernization of state-assisted public housing. These funds cannot be used to create new state-owned public housing, but to expedite the turnover of dilapidated units once vacant. The bill also includes $55 million to facilitate modifications for the elderly and disabled to allow them to remain in their homes.District News
Progress for Auburndale Commuter Rail Accessibility Project
On July 7, 2013, I along with MassDOT held a community meeting for constituents to learn more about the Auburndale Commuter Rail Accessibility Project. Presenters included a representative from the MBTA and the architectural and engineering teams which have been contracted by DOT for the design of the new station. They discussed the design and provided detailed information regarding the construction, the timeline and many other concerns raised by the community. Ultimately, the project was well received and I look forward to continuing the development of this project in the near future.
I would like to extend my sincere appreciation and thanks to my Auburndale constituent Lynn Slobodin, Ken Brennan, President of the Auburndale Village Bank, and Alderman Jay Harney for their help in organizing this important meeting and ongoing project.
Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women Honors Unsung HeroinesRep. Khan with honorees Adrienne Hartzell Knudsen, Sheila Decter, Lisa Rosenfeld
and Rep. Ruth Balser at the MCSW Unsung Heroine CelebrationOn April 29, 2013, the Newton Delegation nominated Adrienne Knudsen Hartzell of Auburndale, Sheila Decter of Newton Centre, Lisa Rosenfeld of Newton Highlands and Emily Rubenstein of Newton, to be honored at the 2013 Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women Unsung Heroine Celebration with 82 other women from across the Commonwealth.
My nominee, Adrienne Hartzell, has served as the Executive Director of New Philharmonia Orchestra since the orchestra’s 1995 inception. A talented cellist, Adrienne is a member of Boston Baroque and performs in a wide variety of ensembles throughout New England. A former faculty member of the Wellesley College Music Department and All Newton Music School, Adrienne is a founding member of the Newton Cultural Alliance, working to bring the arts and cultural organizations of Newton together to better serve the community. In addition, she leads the New Phil’s music enrichment community outreach program at Perry School in South Boston through a grant from John Hancock.
Awards, Appointments and Special Events 2013
2013 Caring Bear Award
Rep. Khan receiving the Caring Bear AwardOn April 9, 2013 I was presented the Caring Bear Award by the Caring Force, which is a campaign spearheaded by the Provider’s Council that advocates for fair funding of essential services.
The mission of The Caring Force is to empower those who care about the human services sector to advance an agenda that creates an environment in Massachusetts that protects our most vulnerable neighbors and creates a stronger economy with the pay, recognition, and respect our workers deserve. The Caring Force is the first-of-its-kind grassroots human services advocacy movement, empowering a diverse group of individuals who want to see a stronger human services sector in Massachusetts.
BU’s Nursing Archive Associates Honors Rep. Khan with the Mary Ann Garrigan Award
On April 9, 2013, as a Psychiatric Nurse Clinical Specialist and a voice for nursing, I was honored to speak at Boston University’s Nursing Archive Associates Annual Meeting and receive the Mary Ann Garrigan Award to honor outstanding professional achievement in nursing. My remarks centered on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Report, and the increasing demands for health care. I also discussed the implications for nurses and nursing in the Commonwealth and throughout the nation, including some of the work I have been focusing on in the Legislature regarding School Nurses, Public Health Nurses, and the Advanced Practice Nurses: Nurse Midwives, Psychiatric Nurse Clinical Specialists, Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Anesthetists.
Mary Ann Garrigan, former Professor of Nursing at Boston University School of Nursing founded the Boston University Nursing Archives, a special collection of the Boston University Library. This achievement is important in that the B.U. Archives was the first of the Centers for Nursing History that have since been established at other major universities.
2013 Green Decade Individual Environmental Leadership Award
Rep. Khan with her granddaughter Viveca Winston-Khan
Rep. Khan with President Marcia Cooper and past President and Founding Board member Peter Smith
On May 28, 2013, Green Decade recognized my work on the Newton Lower Falls Community Center (NLFCC) renovations. I was able to secure state funding of $500,000 in a Capital Bond Bill which was approved by the legislature and later funded by Governor Patrick for major improvements that allowed a deep energy retrofit renovation for the NLFCC. The City can expect energy savings in excess of 70%, even a greater cost reduction in its operations and maintenance and a significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from this building over the coming years. I organized a team effort with Mayor Setti Warren, Alderman Deb Crossley, Jonathan Kantar from Newton’s High Performance Building Coalition, and Judy Dore from Newton’s Parks and Recreation Department that delivered concrete results.
The building’s new roof has significant insulation and light tubes to allow natural light into the corridors. An old, oil fired boiler and steam system was replaced with 96% efficient condensing boilers and a hot water system. Outdated, single pane windows and uninsulated wall systems were replaced with a triple pane fiberglass window system, insulated walls and soffits, as well masonry walls that have been filled with spray insulation. This may be Newton’s most energy efficient building and will serve as a model to help advance energy efficiency measures in other city buildings.
Summer interns Madelene Reichard and Sam HyunI was pleased to host a very talented group of interns this summer, and give them the opportunity to observe how politics works on the state level, assist with a variety of projects in the office, and attend daily seminars allowing them to meet a number of noteworthy political figures, such as Governor Deval Patrick and President Barack Obama.
Thanks to Hannah Breen, a second year student at Leeds University in England; Lee Guekguezian, a rising Senior at Newton North High School; Sam Hyun, a graduate of Newton South High School and rising Senior at Allegheny College; David Melly, a graduate of Newton South High School and rising Junior at Cornell University; Madelene Reichard, from Alaska, granddaughter of Dorothy Reichard and rising Junior at the University of Oregon; Sierra Weiss, a Newton resident and rising Senior at Gann Academy, and Alana Winston-Khan, a rising eighth grader at Oak Hill Middle School.
Enjoy the rest of your summer and have a wonderful Labor Day!