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From your legislator.

Byline: State Sen. Harriette L. Chandler

After a busy and productive legislative session, I am pleased to share with you some of the recent highlights of this past legislative term.

An overdue reform of the Criminal Offender Record Information law was signed by Gov. Patrick on Aug. 6. As a lead sponsor of this bill, I believe this new law, supported by a wide array of advocates and law-enforcement professionals, will allow those who have served their time to more quickly get back to being productive citizens.

Despite a tough state fiscal climate, I successfully amended the budget to restore $6.7 million in grants to communities for full-day kindergarten programs. This funding shows our commitment to education innovation and excellence in the commonwealth. Full implementation is dependent on recently secured federal funds.

In the final days of the formal legislative session, I served on the Conference Committee relative to small-business health insurance costs. Working with my colleagues, we reconciled the differences in the bill and sent it to the governor in time for his approval on Aug. 10. This law takes a major step in the right direction to aid small businesses, which have for too long been hit hard by the rising cost of the health insurance they provide to their employees. I was also pleased that my bill relative to the clarification of ownership of museum property became law, which will benefit museums in Massachusetts by allowing them to dispose of long-abandoned items.

Closer to home, Rep. Jim O'Day, D-West Boylston, and I sponsored a bill to sustain clean drinking water for West Boylston, which was also enacted just before the end-of-session deadline. The bill, which deals with land acquisition and well exploration, will ensure continued progress on an important project that had been at a standstill.

I hope you will share in my enthusiasm for some of these legislative achievements that will positively affect not only the commonwealth but Central Massachusetts in particular.

State Sen. Harriette L. Chandler, D-Worcester, represents the 1st Worcester District of Berlin, Boylston, Clinton, Precincts 3 and 4 in Holden, Northboro, Precincts 1, 2 and 4 in Paxton, Princeton, West Boylston and Wards 1 to 4, 9 and 10 in Worcester. She can be reached at (617) 722-1544 or by e-mail at Harriette.Chandler@state.ma.us.
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Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Sep 2, 2010
Words:385
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