Lowell Sun Praises Senator Donoghue's First Year in Office

JUNE 01, 2011

From the Lowell Sun editorial "A Solid Start", published June 1, 2011   Eileen Donoghue might be a freshman legislator, but the Lowell Democrat has proved that shecan find her way around the Statehouse when it counts.The first-term state senator picked up where Steve Panagiotakos left off, advocating for issuesand programs crucial to the people of her district during a very difficult budget season.While legislation for municipal health-care reform and a Probation Department overhaul tookcenter stage, Donoghue worked with other senators, most notably Barry Finegold, D-Andover, toensure that crime-fighting initiatives and cultural programs didn't get short shrift in the Senate's$30.5 billion spending plan.Donoghue's voice was heard loud and clear for a boost in funding for the Shannon Grantprogram that helps urban centers to control youth violence. Tight budgets since 2007 have seenfunding slip from $11 million to $4.5 million a year ago. The Senate added $1 million to theprogram for fiscal 2012, after Donoghue and Finegold noted the sense of urgency in cities acrossthe commonwealth for expanded police patrols and youth recreational programs.Donoghue scored another success in helping to secure a $1 million funding increase to theMassachusetts Cultural Council budget, which helps support 400 nonprofit organizations and37,000 jobs. Arts and cultural programs, cut 41 percent since 2009, will now see a chance formodest growth. The state's economy should also get a boost from the $7.45 million line item.For every dollar invested in the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Donoghue said $5 is generatedin tax revenue through tourism and in-state spending. She said the business communityis "connected to the cultural community" of Massachusetts and stands to suffer if programs arecut.   Read the full article here.

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