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Groton Charter Approved

& "There Is A Congestion Crisis in Massachusetts"
by Connie Sartini
State Representative Sheila Harrington provided a legislative update to the Select Board, starting with the announcement that Governor Charlie Baker signed the much-awaited approval to the updated Groton Town Charter earlier in the week. She brought a signed copy for the Board.
     Rep. Harrington advised that the supplementary budget for cities and towns passed the House and is now in the Senate for their approval, which she expects in January.
     She cautioned about the results of the recently approved ban on all flavored tobacco products in electronic, chewable and menthol form, essentially taking menthol cigarettes off the market. She said, “It is not going to do what people think it will do. People will take their business to the State of New Hampshire, and this will hurt Massachusetts businesses on the border. It is overreach.” Harrington advised that she did not support this bill.
     Harrington stressed, “There is a Congestion Crisis in Massachusetts for anyone travelling into Boston during the morning commute.” She advised that some of the arteries need to undergo renovation including the Sumner Tunnel. “This is a huge bombshell for Transportation,” she said because they have to go with the lowest bid, and can’t require a timeframe for the work to be completed. “It doesn’t make sense, and it hurts people, and we need to change the way this works in Massachusetts. We need to try to create incentives for businesses and people to move to less congested areas. We are way over what our roads are built to handle.” She noted that two of the worst areas are the Sumner Tunnel and the Allston/Brighton Exit.
     Rep. Harrington advised that the Lowell Judicial Center for the various courts in Lowell has no Probate Court or Family Law Court. If someone is in need of these services, they must go to Cambridge, which from this part of the state could take over two and a half hours.
     Lastly, a request for the increase in the number of liquor licenses is now in the Steering Committee before being introduced as a House Bill.
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