Tuesday, July 25, 2017

same day registering to vote is on it's way

From the Globe:

 A huge victory for voters came today from the Suffolk Superior Court who ruled that the 20 day cut-off for voters to register before an election is unconstitutional. In a lawsuit filed last year by the ACLU on behalf of the Chelsea Collaborative and MassVote, argued that the law is unnecessary and arbitrary. Sec Bill Galvin is making arrangements to appeal, but at the end of the day and perhaps before this election season, those who haven't registered to vote will be able to do so on the spot. This is long overdue and will help residents feel n more connected to the voting system and our democracy.

SJC rules local police can't act as arm of ICE

From the Globe

In summary what this means is that local cops can't hold a person who is wanted solely for immigration violations. This does not mean that wanted criminal's will not be detained by local cops if the Fed's want them for other violations. There are a few Republicans at the State House who will propose a bill that flies in the face of the SJC ruling. Not much chance of that bill moving anywhere but the trash can.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Concerts on the Common

I'll have a tent at the Concerts every Friday night from 6:30 to 8:30. Stop by and say hello.


Monday, July 17, 2017

The Marijuana compromise bill... by Senator Bownsberger

We’ve finally reached agreement on a marijuana bill.  I hope that most voters will feel that the language improves on what the majority approved last November while fundamentally respecting the majority’s intentions.
First, to highlight some things that the compromise bill does not do:
As to local voter approval, the compromise does provide that if a community voted against the ballot question last November and local officials want to implement the expressed will of their community by imposing a ban on marijuana establishments, they can do so between now and 2019 without going to the voters a second time.  This affects 91 communities comprising 28% of state’s population.
Second, to highlight the major things the compromise bill does do:
As to regulatory structure and scope,
  • Broadens the governance of the new state regulatory agency, the Cannabis Control Commission, by dividing the appointing authority among the state’s top elected officials.
  • Fills out “boilerplate” powers, duties and procedures for the CCC that were absent in the ballot question language.
  • Strengthens public health protections – the ballot language gave the CCC the authority to regulate advertising, packaging and labelling and to require purity testing, but the compromise bill provides much stronger and more specific direction to the CCC.
  • Defines research questions to be answered by the CCC in the course of implementation.
  • Consolidates the regulation of adult recreational marijuana and medical marijuana under the single new authority.
  • Moves the medical marijuana language approved by the voters in 2012 to a new statutory home as Chapter 94I, while preserving the approved language and regulations issued under it.  Previously, this language was not properly codified.  There are a few minor changes, mostly to clarify and streamline procedures for patients.
  • Clarifies procedures for local ballot questions limiting the number of marijuana establishments and adds new language to assure that zoning and other regulations will not be used to evade the requirement of voter approval for numeric limits.
  • Caps the fees that municipalities can charge prospective licensees at 3% of gross sales – the ballot question included no cap.
  • Makes certain possessory offenses civil that remained criminal under the ballot question
  • Adds language assuring that people with prior convictions for possession under the old laws can have their records sealed.
  • Add language intended to direct benefits of the new law to communities that were impacted by enforcement under the old law.
Other measures
  • Adds language authorizing full background checks for commission employees and applicants for licenses, but does not alter the principle that people having criminal records but without felony drug convictions records should not be barred from employment by a licensee.
  • Reduces the head start in the application process for adult recreational store licenses that the ballot question gives to medical marijuana licensees – this should move the market out more rapidly.
  • Creates a new provision for cultivation of industrial hemp and also supports small growers through a new cooperative concept.
Finally, the compromise does increase the excise tax on marijuana from 3.75% to 10.75%.  It also bumps up the excise that municipalities may add from 2% to 3%.  So together with the state sales tax of 6.25%, the maximum tax goes from 12% to 20%.
That total tax is still among the lowest in the nation and should not, in itself, be a barrier to expansion of the legal market.  I came to peace with the tax increase when it dawned on me that it would give both state and local regulators stronger incentives to actively support expansion.
The compromise reached by negotiators from the House and Senate is subject to final approval in each branch later this week.
I’m hopeful that with these changes, we will be on our way to a well-regulated market in marijuana products that will replace our dangerous and destructive illegal market.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

It's official.. these are the candidates

From the Source:

Individuals certified to be on the ballot are: Benjamin Neves-Grigg Sr., Joshua HorriganDhruba Sen, Priscila Sousa, Yvonne Spicer, John Stefanini, and Mark Tilden.
There will be a preliminary election on September 26 to narrow the candidates. The top two vote getters will appear on the November 7 ballot.

At-Large City Council

Voters will elect two at-large councilors. Individuals certified to be on the ballot are: George KingChristine Long, Pablo Maia, Samuel J. Mercurio, Jr., and Cheryl Tully Stoll.
As there are 5 candidates certified, there will be a preliminary election to narrow the number of candidates to four on September 26.

District City Council

Voters will elect one councilor for each district. City Council districts with more than two candidates will have a preliminary race on September 26 to narrow the candidates to two.
The top two candidates from the Sept. preliminary election will then appear on the November 7 ballot. Write-in candidates will be allowed in November.
Those certified to be on the ballot are:

Framingham School Committee

Presently, the Framingham School Committee is comprised of 7 members elected town-wide. Under the new city government, there will be 9 members elected by district.
Voters will elect one councilor for each district.
As no race has more than two candidates there will not be a preliminary race for any of the School Committee seats in September 26. But all of those listed below will be on the Tuesday, November 7 ballot. Write-in candidates will be allowed in November.
Those certified to be on the ballot are: