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Senate Succession Vote 

EDITORIAL: A Government of Men, not Laws The Salem News 

EDITORIAL: Thanks, Lori Marblehead and Swampscott Reporters

     *letter opposing Worthy expediency for expanding public good 

     *letter McGee's vote was principled too

Ehrlich explains her vote on US Senate appointment proposal Marblehead and Swampscott Reporters

House OKs appointing temporary Senate replacement; Ehrlich votes ‘no’ Marblehead and Swampscott Reporters

Reps split on replacement for Kennedy Salem News

Public Education and Chapter 70

State Rep's 'late inning heroics' deliver Village reimbursement

Marblehead Reporter: ...This year was different, however. School Committee Chairwoman Amy Drinker invoked the name of no less than local sports icon David Ortiz to describe state Rep. Lori Ehrlich’s efforts on behalf of the town in securing a commitment from the Massachusetts School Building Authority to reimburse at least 40 percent of the cost of repairs at the Village School.

“In her short time on Beacon Hill, [Ehrlich] has matched any of Big Papi’s clutch Red Sox performances,” Drinker said.

COLUMN: The Missing piece in Education Reform Swampscott Reporter 

By State Rep. Lori Ehrlich
Posted Jan 15, 2010 @ 12:12 PM

I’ve heard loud and clear from Swampscott town leaders and residents that problems with the education funding formula have posed an ongoing struggle.

In 2006, the state Legislature implemented changes to the formula, but to date, these changes have not yet fixed the problem. We have already seen firsthand the impact of meager state funding in our schools — programs and activities beyond enrichment have been cut or deeply reduced. The children of our community deserve better.

This week the state Legislature took up Senate Bill 2247 — An Act Relative to the Achievement Gap. This legislation, sometimes billed as "education reform," primarily focuses on the role of charter schools in underperforming school districts.

The majority of this legislation will not likely affect Swampscott, although there were some sweeping changes made that could in fact hurt our town. I also feel that we cannot have true education reform if we ignore Chapter 70, the primary state aid program for public schools, which includes a complex and confusing formula by which the state allocates education funding.

In the first version of the House of Representatives bill I proposed an amendment to address a major problem with Chapter 70. In many communities like Swampscott, the formula does not accurately represent funding needs. In 2006, the state adapted the Chapter 70 formula with a new provision to phase in funding over five years that would bring every city and town up to the 17.5 percent guaranteed minimum of foundation funding. 

The phase-in has been slow for Swampscott and other communities and many are still below this level. For our town, this translates into a current annual shortfall of $524,000.

Needless to say, this is a significant loss the town must absorb every year and a bright line can easily be drawn to lost programs and teaching positions which ultimately have an impact on the overall quality of education in Swampscott.

The amendment I proposed would have addressed this by mandating that the commonwealth uphold its commitment to bring districts that still fall below the 17.5 percent foundation floor up to that minimum guarantee immediately.

In the end, my amendment did not appear in the final bill and I voted against this flawed legislation which makes sweeping changes to the delivery of education in our state in a rushed process to allow us to better qualify for federal funds.

With the exception of an adequacy study that survived the compromised version of the bill, Chapter 70 was largely ignored and this legislation has the potential to drain funding from traditional public schools across the state.

The most relevant part of this legislative action for Swampscott is the amendment I filed which was co-sponsored by a critical mass of similarly concerned legislators. The issue is now on leadership's radar and we are in a strong position to get it done during budget deliberations in April. Meetings have already begun.

Needless to say, with the current economic climate, we have an extremely challenging battle ahead. I will need your help and support as we demand change and ensure the best possible education for our children.

Toll Equity, Swaptions, and misc. 

Blue Line trainFight to fix toll inequity isn't over yet Salem News Editorial

Settle the toll-equity suit  Marblehead Reporter Editorial 

Next steps proposed in Blue Line expansion Swampscott Reporter

"Clause for Concern"  Lead editorial Boston Globe
Elderly Lynn driver cited in Revere accident  Lynn Item

LORI'S COLUMN: Toll Equity: It's time has come

Ethics bill passes Lynn Item

LORI'S COLUMN: Swaptions: A train wreck coming down the Pike March, 2009(Marblehead Reporter, The Swampscott Reporter, Blue Mass Group and The Salem News)

Quips and Quotes Salem News

Transportation wreck averted Boston Globe

Lawmakers OK transportation fix Lynn Item

Walk for Respect has new meaning for Swampscott school, Students were nearby in fatal attack in D.C.   Boston Globe

Swampscott Walk for Respect gains wide audience, participation  Swampscott Reporter 

Unfairness takes its toll Boston Globe Editorial

EDITORIAL: Spend tolls where they are collected

Our view: House comes one vote shy of real reformSalem News 

Senate, guv continue tango over transportation funding Arlington Advocate
Rooking the Pawns Salem News 

Senate vows to prevent toll hikes slated for July 1  Eagle Tribune

LORI'S COLUMN: Toll equity: Root of the problem lost in the exhaust
Boston Public Garden

EDITORIAL: Limiting the diversion of Pike Tolls Marblehead Reporter

Local reps join battle vs. moving toll monies  Lynn Item

Hundreds sign on to sue Pike over ‘illegal’ toll tax Boston Herald
Under Ehrlich bill, polluters would pay for research Marblehead Reporter

A New Girls’ Network: An Interview with Massachusetts State Representative Lori Ehrlich, D-  Marblehead The Citizen, the newspaper of Harvard's Kennedy School 

Ehrlich pushes library funding amendments  Lynn Item

Marblehead Rep files bill to honor Kennedy Lynn Item

Salem State honors Marblehead's Ehrlich on Earth Day Marblehead Reporter 
Ehrlich to be honored at Salem State event Lynn Item

'Go Green’ growing as Saturday event approaches Marblehead Reporter

House passes transportation-reform bill Marblehead Reporter

SB1870, An Act relating to the Treatment of Elephants 

PETA, Ringling Bros. at odds over the treatment of baby circus elephants WASHINGTON POST

Rep Ehrlich other lawmakers decry treatment of elephants Marblehead Reporter

Mass lawmakers to review treatment of Elephants NECN

SB1870 An Act relating to the Treatment of Elephants text of the bill

Marblehead's Ehrlich in anti-elephant abuse push Lynn Item

Republican all ears to 'abusive' plight of GOP symbolBoston Herald

Elephant abuse by Ringling Brothers

CBS Report on Elephant abuse and lawsuit against Ringling Brothers

Tarra and Bella, by CBS News

Reasons to seek an alternative to the circus w/heartbreaking video

Weymouth senator still pushing for passage of elephant bill The Patriot Ledger

Why we oppose cruelty to elephants Blue Mass Group

The Great MVMS Fluffernutter (Mock) Hearing and Misc. 

Fluff doesn’t have the right stuff — at least for junior legislators Marblehead Reporter and Swampscott Reporter

Local Democratic leaders begin to line up behind Senate candidates Marblehead Reporter

Local on transportation bus Salem News

Safer Alternatives bill faces hearing at State House Lynn Item

Lynn ferry project gets $8.4 million boost Lynn Item

Swampscott gets $20.5 million check for new High School Swampscott Reporter

State presents $20M share to Swampscott High School Lynn Item 

Creditor backs off on Turnpike debt Boston Globe

Get ‘smart’: Grant would bring big changes for Marblehead electric customers Marblehead Reporter

Marblehead Rep files noncompete bill The Lynn Item

Massachusetts Noncompete culture to change NECN

Rep Sponsors Overhaul of Noncompete Agreements Marblehead and Swampscott Reporters

Legislators hear testimony on Noncompete restrictions Xconomy/Boston

60 Minutes covers Coal Ash which makes the case for MA House bill 3669, nationally

Democrats honor Afghan vet Jeff Blonder The Swampscott Reporter

State worries Pike debt deal ‘out of control,’ could hit $363 million

(Marblehead Reporter and State House New Service)

Marblehead - As if a gas tax hike and toll increases weren’t enough.

State Administration and Finance Undersecretary Jay Gonzalez told lawmakers Thursday he believes it’s “quite likely” that the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority’s bond insurer’s credit rating will be lowered further, which would leave the fiscally ailing agency on the hook for a balloon payment valued on Wednesday at $363 million. (...)

Rep. Lori Ehrlich, D-Marblehead, a certified public accountant, called for a “forensic accounting” of the swaptions deals. She said her constituents are “screaming” about toll hikes and gas-tax increases and mindful of the problems in transportation management.

MBTA lessens Marblehead route cuts (Lynn Item by Jack Butterworth)

Heard around town: Motorists enjoy assurances on insurances Salem News

MARBLEHEAD — The town's state representative, Lori Ehrlich, voted with her House colleagues last week to retain the state's insurance appeals board. "It's an important consumer option to preserve," she said. Insurance Commissioner Nonnie Burnes had earlier proposed a new system — with no appeal when you're hit with a surcharge for "causing" an accident — but with an option to find another company that will want your business enough to drop the surcharge.

Local highway infrastructure funding retained Swampscott Reporter

Swampscott - State Sen. Thomas M. McGee, D-Lynn, and state Rep. Lori A. Ehrlich, D-Marblehead, who represent Swampscott on Beacon Hill, announced Monday that the state released $150 million in Chapter 90 transportation grants to cities and towns across the commonwealth. With these allotments Swampscott will receive $233,831 in infrastructure funds.

Ehrlich, a member of the Joint Committee on Transportation, praised the announcement.

“After a tough winter with scarce local funds for repairs, I’m glad for the state’s continued investment in local roads,” said Ehrlich. “Without a safe and functional infrastructure our economy and our cars pay the price.”

Lynn to receive $1M for road repairs by Dan Baer, Lynn Item

Lynn delegates Sen. Thomas McGee, Reps. Robert Fennell, Steven Walsh and Lori Ehrlich announced Thursday Lynn will receive $1,123,792 in Chapter 90 funding to be used for transportation improvements, such as road and sidewalk repairs, bridge work and reconstruction.

Ehrlich attends first Beacon Hill briefing on tax policies (Marblehead Reporter)

Marblehead - As state tax collections spiral downward, federal funds pour in, and talk persists of raising taxes — the gas tax, sales tax and several others — state Rep. Lori Ehrlich, D-Marblehead, and about four dozen lawmakers and aides met Wednesday, March 25, in the first of a series of briefings on issues surrounding the state’s complex tax policies.

"State of the Town" relatively strong

Salem News OUR VIEW: Region gains clout in legislative reorginization 

Speaker appoints committees, sets 9C budget debate  (excerpt) State Rep. Lori Ehrlich, D-Marblehead, an outspoken critic of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority’s proposal for steep toll hikes at the Sumner and Ted Williams tunnels, was appointed to the Special House Committee on Transportation.

Ehrlich: Changes afoot with bus routes (Salem News, Alan Burke)

MARBLEHEAD — This might be an actual case of throwing the bus under the bus.

State Rep. Lori Ehrlich, D-Marblehead, brings grim tidings to the town. While she and others have labored to save Marblehead's bus routes, the number of trips have been reduced.

What's more, Ehrlich makes clear why transportation in general has become a major problem, impacting the state budget. Noting that she's now won a place on the Legislature's Transportation Committee, she winced at what an inside look at the financial shape of the Turnpike Authority revealed.

"You know how you lift up a log and you wish you didn't see that?" she said, adding that the authority's bond rating is verging on "junk status."

Editorial: Bad timing for pay raise (Marblehead Reporter)

State Representative to donate pay raise (Marblehead and Swampscott Reporter)

Some take pay raise, some don't (Salem News)

Locals: Legislators sending wrong message if they accept pay increases (Lynn Item) 

Beacon Hill Roll Call: 100% Roll Call attendance record