Kearney Goes to Bat for Fishing Industries

Kearney urges committee to pass laws ensuring year round viability for the lobster industry, strongly supports fair budgeting process for MA Dept. of Marine Fishery.

WESTBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS -- Representative Patrick Kearney (D - Scituate) testified in support of the commercial lobster and fishing industries at a hearing of the Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture Committee held in Westborough at the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. Kearney is the sponsor of HB 814, 815, and 816. If passed into law, HB 814 will keep lobster fishing open year-round. HB 815 will give the Fishermen Partnership a permanent seat on the Seaport Economic Council. HB 816, a bill co-sponsored by Representative Capano (Lynn) ties the funding of the Massachusetts Department of Fisheries’ budget to the annual revenue of the commercial fishing industry.

Regarding HB 816, Kearney stated that “a government agency ought not to grow while putting regulations on the backs of fishermen which ultimately put people in our community out of business”. The bill would essentially require that the yearly operating budget of the MA Department of Marine Fishery be funded based on a formula in proportion to the loss or gain of revenue of the commercial fishing industry which is meeting the regulations of that government department. 

When asked about HB 814, Kearney reiterated what he has been saying all along: “it’s a false choice between being environmentally friendly and being in support of the lobster industry that supports thousands of jobs here in Massachusetts. Despite all the fearmongering about whales being harmed regularly by Massachusetts lobster traps, our lobster industry has taken steps over a twenty-year period, at its own expense, to be environmentally conscious. Lobstermen should be rewarded for such initiatives, but instead, state regulators are threatening to restrict their livelihood even further. That’s why legislative action is needed to ensure that our lobster industry is viable year-round”.

Additionally, Kearney also testified in opposition to the ban on commercial striped bass fishing. Out of all the striped bass that are caught in Massachusetts, only ten percent are caught by commercial fishermen. There is no reason to cripple people’s livelihood when the majority of bass are being caught by recreational fishermen who won’t be affected by the legislation.

 

 


Representative Patrick Kearney Commemorates the Irish Easter Rising of 1916

 

SCITUATE MA -- Representative Kearney joined other elected officials to speak at the Cole Parkway Bandstand in Scituate Harbor earlier today to honor the courage of the Irish Volunteers who rebelled against the British Government on April 24th 1916 in Dublin. Representative Kearney expressed immense pride in his district, which has the largest Irish population of any district in America. His remarks follow below:

"It is my pleasure to be here today to commemorate as significant an event as the Easter Rising — an event which, in its many tragedies and courageous acts, forged a future of freedom known by some as the “Rolling Rising” for the country of Ireland, AND, I would say, instilled in the hearts of so many the rising dreams of opportunity, democracy, and learning awaiting them across the Atlantic in this nation.

Today, the Irish Riviera of Scituate, is a testimony to the hard work, ingenuity and family values of fishermen, moss gatherers, shipbuilders, industrialists, teachers and pastors. I am joined here today by my aunt Elizabeth MacCurtain Kearney whose grandfather and his brother mobilized the people of Cork to fight for the independence of Ireland.

Commemorating the event in Scituate, the most densely populated Irish town in the United States, serves as a reminder that courage, bravery, and belief in a dream can bring about meaningful change. Quite frequently we hear about the visions of the American dream, and, today, I reflect upon those visions of the Irish not only as dreams, but as reminders that their dreams stemmed from the very need to survive.

We are here as neighbors, friends, and engaged citizens to be inspired by the courage of those we commemorate today. As we address brown water, increased need for senior services, housing, and, education, we are inspired to do what is right in the face of all of our modern-day challenges. Although sometimes standing up and doing what is right is not always popular, and, in the case of Tomas MacCurtain, sometimes fatal, we know from the hard-won victories of those before us, that change comes at the expense of some for the greater good of all. We shall continue to pay tribute to their sacrifice and remember them in our minds, and, in our hearts".


Rep. Kearney Gets Fishermen Seaport Economic Council Seat

Governor Baker changes charter to include Massachusetts Fisherman’s Partnership, following a bill filed by Rep. Kearney in January

GLOUCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS – On Friday, the charter of the Seaport Economic Council was revised to give a position on the council to a representative of the Massachusetts Fisherman’s Partnership. Ed Barrett, a fisherman and Marshfield resident, will be the first such representative. Representative Patrick Kearney (D - Scituate) has championed this issue since his election last November. During his first week in office, Kearney filed legislation alongside Senator Patrick O’Connor (R - Weymouth) to make sure the fishing industry is represented on the Seaport Economic Council.

The Seaport Economic Council helps coastal communities such as Marshfield and Scituate improve local assets to facilitate economic growth. It is responsible for millions of dollars in grants every year, helping with projects such as the Marshfield Harbor Safety Building and revitalization of the pier. Adding the fishing industry’s perspective will help the council understand an essential part of the state’s coastal economy.

“I want to thank Governor Baker and Lieutenant Governor Polito for listening to hardworking commercial fishermen.” said Kearney. “The charter revisions will make sure fishermen will have a voice when decisions are being made about our coastal economy.”

“At a time when national politics is all about dysfunctional partisan conflict and name calling, it’s great to be in a state where Democrats and Republicans can work together to deliver real results,” Kearney continued. “Senator Patrick O’Connor was a wonderful partner in cosponsoring the legislation. We worked well together every step of the way, which is the only way this idea could have become a reality so quickly. The Baker/Polito administration was extremely receptive to my proposal and the concerns of Massachusetts fishermen. This was a team effort where everybody put party labels aside and focused on what was best for Massachusetts.”

 


House Passes Its Budget for the 2020 Fiscal Year

SCITUATE, MASSACHUSETTS -- On Thursday April 25th 2019, Representative Patrick J. Kearney joined his colleagues in the House to pass its Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) budget. The budget would invest $42.7 billion in programs and services across the Commonwealth. This would include major investments in education, housing, substance abuse disorder services, health care, and other areas while projecting a more than $200 million deposit into the Stabilization Fund. The FY2020 budget helps communities, families, and individuals around the commonwealth and inside the district. “I am particularly very proud of the substantial increases for the education allocations for the Circuit Breaker Special Education reimbursement, the new opioid treatment centers, and police training. I know Plymouth County 4th district will benefit greatly from these budget increases,” Representative Kearney said.

Representative Kearney prioritized increasing state library funding, and, worked closely with constituents of Marshfield and Scituate on successfully increasing the line item for Massachusetts libraries from $9,456,327 to $10,024,327. Kearney explained, “sustaining libraries helps not only the district but the Commonwealth in sustaining the database and delivery services which constituents of all ages and walks of life depend on for education, job retraining, and everyday information needs.” In addition, Representative Kearney has worked closely with the Marshfield Boys and Girls Club since his election. He has joined in the State House’s effort increase the House Budget by $2 million in order to continue support for this vital statewide organization.

While focused on big picture funding amendments that support the district’s local needs, Representative Kearney also made sure that $10,000 was included in the FY2020 House Budget for the Friends of Marshfield Dog Park.

Representative Kearney’s persistent efforts continue as state leadership and the legislative body as a whole prioritize severe matters, such as water infrastructure, coastal resiliency, healthy communities, and the environment. “The budget will now go to the Senate,” Kearney said, and, I look forward to the due diligence of my colleagues in the Senate, and, in joint conference committees.”


REPRESENTATIVE PATRICK KEARNEY NAMED TO PUBLIC SAFETY AND HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE

Scituate, MA: Representative Patrick Kearney of 4th Plymouth District, Marshfield and Scituate, announced his appointment to four legislative committees of the 191st Massachusetts General Court: Steering, Policy and Scheduling; Export Development; Housing; and, Public Safety and Homeland Security. 

“It’s exciting to serve on committees that address key issues for my constituents,” Kearney said. The Housing Committee is a natural fit since affordable housing and increased property development have been issues in both Scituate and Marshfield. Export Development aligns with his focus on sustaining local businesses including commercial fishing. Global markets are increasingly important for commercial fishermen, and, Kearney looks forward to helping them navigate this complex environment.  

“As a legislator, I believe that there needs to be more full and open debate of the issues on the House floor,” Kearney said. As a member of the Steering, Policy and Scheduling Committee he will work hard to keep the voters’ priorities before the House. 

Lastly, Representative Kearney’s appointment to the Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee speaks to his strong commitment to civil defense both as a graduate of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy Navy Strategic Sealift Readiness Midshipman Program, and, as an Ensign of the U.S. Navy Reserves. Kearney has already been a leader on these issues, cosponsoring a bill that would ensure Coast Guard members are paid during a government shutdown. 

“I’m looking forward to advocating for Marshfield and Scituate on each of these committees. This is going to be a long session with lots of complex issues. Now, the real work of the 191st Congress can begin on behalf of my constituents and the greater Commonwealth,” Kearney said as he returned to his temporary office space in the energetic Bullpen, B-1 of the State House basement.


State Representatives Seek Payment to Military Families During Federal Government Shutdown

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS -- On January 12th 2019, State Representatives Patrick Kearney (Scituate) and Maria Robinson (Framingham) filed a bill that would allow the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to pay its residents that are on active duty with the Coast Guard while the federal government remains shut down.  

The bill seeks to provide payment to Coast Guard members in Massachusetts who continue to serve the people of the Commonwealth, despite not receiving paychecks during the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. 

“The men and women of the United States Coast Guard are duly diligent and as members of the United States military, sacrifice every day to protect our country’s waterways and communities. The last thing we should be doing right now is holding their paychecks hostage at the time of this longest U.S. Government shut-down in history,” said Kearney, an Ensign in the United States Navy Reserves and licensed United States Coast Guard Captain.

“Seeing our military families line up at shelters and worrying about missing mortgage payments is heartbreaking and completely against our American values,” said Robinson.

Currently, just under 2,000 active Coast Guard personnel who are residents of Massachusetts are facing the ramifications of unpaid status. 

Representatives Kearney and Robinson are seeking a FY2019 supplemental budget to ensure support for active military and their families during the government shut-down.

 


Kearney Advocates For Local Fisherman and Helps Them Win Seat on Governor's Commission on Fisheries; Addresses Opioid Crisis; Visits with Marshfield Seniors

MARSHFIELD/SCITUATE – As Patrick Kearney continues to knock on hundreds of doors, listening to voters’ concerns while campaigning for the 4th Plymouth District State Representative seat, he’s already working hard across party lines for the constituents of the district, in a variety of settings.

Just this week, Kearney worked with State Representative Joan Meschino and State Senator Patrick O'Connor to successfully advocate for the South Shore Lobstermen to have a seat on the Governor's Commission.

“I’d like to thank Rep. Meschino, Sen. O'Connor and Local South Shore Lobster Fishermen’s Association President John Haviland for working with me to pass language that gives our lobstermen a seat on Governor Baker's Commission on Fisheries. As State Representative, I will continue to work with both parties to advocate on behalf of our local community.”

More than any other candidate, Kearney has the most thorough understanding of the fishing community here in Scituate and Marshfield, due to his experience working in the industry.

“I also deeply appreciated the attentiveness of Meschino and O'Connor to this issue and our local fishing community,” added Kearney.

Kearney also participated in the Scituate Chamber of Commerce “Meet the Candidates” Forum last week. He said that he continues to prioritize working with local and state officials to address the opioid crisis which continues to devastate families.

“We cannot hold off on legislation of pharmaceutical practices and safety measures any longer,” he said. “I will not stand by as victims of addiction and their families suffer.”

Finally, Kearney joined over a hundred seniors who turned out for the 15-year anniversary celebration of the Marshfield Senior Center Saturday. “The accomplishments of the center staff and town officials in providing a breadth of social, learning, health and wellness services are truly outstanding,” noted Kearney. “I’m most impressed that the Fitness and Wellness Initiative alone has reached a total of 11,000 units in a given period. As your next State Representative, I will be an unrelenting advocate for funds and legislation to support the building and service needs of the Marshfield and Scituate Senior Centers,” Kearney stated.


Kearney Endorsed by New England Narcotics Enforcement Officers Association and Marshfield Teachers’ Association

The New England Narcotics Enforcement Officers Association as well as the Marshfield Teachers’ Association have recently endorsed candidate Patrick Kearney for 4th Plymouth District State Representative.

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Kearney Connects with Voters at Community Grassroots Events

Patrick Kearney, State Representative Candidate for Marshfield and Scituate, continues his campaign pledge to know the voters.

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Patrick Kearney and Sean Costello Hold Unity Breakfast

Patrick Kearney, Democratic nominee for State Representative in the 4th Plymouth District, and Sean Costello, who also sought the Democratic nomination, held a “Unity Coffee” on Wednesday, September 14 th at 7:00 AM.

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