Excise Tax Payment Due Monday, March 19

The City of Somerville reminds residents that excise tax payments are due Monday, March 19, 2018. Payment methods accepted include cash, checks, and credit cards, and payments can be made online at www.somervillema.gov/payments, in person at City Hall during normal business or by using the payment box out front, or by mail addressed to Attn: Treasurer/Collector, City of Somerville, 93 Highland Ave., Somerville, MA 02143. Please note that the credit card processor charges a convenience fee for using a card to pay.

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HANDICAPPED PARKING MISUSE CRACKDOWN MEASURES IN PLACE

By Bob Katzen

The House 154-0, Senate 37-0, approved and the governor signed into law a measure cracking down on the misuse of handicapped parking placards including increasing the period of license suspension for wrongful use or display of a placard from 30 to 60 days for a first offense and from 90 to 120 days for a second offense.

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ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS BILL (H 4032) APPROVED

By Bob Katzen

The House 155-1, Senate 37-0, approved and Gov. Baker signed into law a bill that would give public school districts the power and flexibility to offer other English Language Learner (ELL) programs in addition to or instead of the current sheltered English immersion program. The current immersion program, approved by Massachusetts voters on a ballot question in 2002, requires all students, including those not yet fluent in English, to be taught English by being taught all subjects in English and to be placed in English language classrooms.

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$18 MILLION PAY HIKE ON BEACON HILL

By Bob Katzen

House 116-43, Senate 31-9, overrode Gov. Baker’s veto of an $18 million pay raise package including hiking the salaries of the two leaders who filed the bill, House Speaker Robert DeLeo (D-Winthrop) and former Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst), by $45,000 from $97,547 to $142,547. The measure also hikes the pay of the Legislature’s two Republican leaders, Sen. Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester) and Rep. Bradley Jones (R-North Reading) by $37,500 from $85,047 to $122,547. Another provision hikes the salaries of the state’s judges by $25,000 over an 18-month period.

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POSTPONED: Cedar St. / Highland Ave. Intersection to Close for Approximately 3 Weeks for Construction, ‪Beginning March 19‬ (Previously Scheduled for March 12)

Closure to be in place 7 a.m. through 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The full closure of the Cedar St. / Highland Ave. intersection, initially scheduled to being on Monday, March 12, has been postponed. Continue reading POSTPONED: Cedar St. / Highland Ave. Intersection to Close for Approximately 3 Weeks for Construction, ‪Beginning March 19‬ (Previously Scheduled for March 12)