Deval Patrick


Massachusetts 1000 Greatest Places… Road Trip Anyone?

Massachusetts legislature has evaluated more than 12,000 nominated locations across Massachusetts and released a list of “1,000 Great Places in Massachusetts”. The greatest places list was approved by legislators and signed by Deval Patrick last year in an effort to lure more tourists to the Bay State. For a fun weekend trip or less-expensive summer vacation, take a Massachusetts road trip – become a tourist yourself!

The list of great Massachusetts places includes the typical tourist spots, but it also mentions the lesser known wonders as well. Some of the obscure places mentioned on the list include: the Paul Bunyan statue in Bellingham, the Songline Emu Farm in Gill and the glacial potholes of Shelburne Falls. Use the 1,000 greatest places list as a map to explore the Commonwealth with a new set of eyes.

While hosting guests from out of state this list is key to showing them the great culture and beauty your Bay State has to offer. Guests may want to tour the more famous locations such as Plymouth Rock, Walden Pond, the Old North Church, Tanglewood and the Cape Cod National Seashore -all of which the list includes. Organized by city your guests can tour just a few surrounding towns and experience more of Massachusetts than the typical vacationer.

Even if you don’t have time for a weekend trip or vacation throw the list of 1,000 greatest places in your glove box for later on. If you finish a meeting early or find extra time to kill these wonderful locations can be a great escape from the daily grind. For the complete list of the Massahcusetts 1,000 greatest places click here.

Massachusetts To Ban Texting Behind the Wheel?

The Massachusetts House of Representatives voted 150-1 last week approving a bill that bans texting while driving for all motorists and imposes a new requirement on elderly drivers. Only a day after the Massachusetts House passed the text-banning legislation the Massachusetts Senate voted in agreement passing the measure as well. This piece of legislation will travel onward to Governor Deval Patrick who has also announced he supports the bill and will review the proposal when it reaches his desk.

If passed the legislation will ban texting sate-wide while driving and restrict those under 18 to use a cell phone while driving except in emergencies. Drivers under 18 years of age who are caught texting and driving under this new legislation will face a $100 find on the first offense, $250 on the second, and $500 on the third and all subsequent offenses. The fine and ticket for texting while driving will not be considered a moving violation and thus are not subject to an insurance surcharge.

The proposed bill will also require drivers turning 75 years or older to take their license in to an RMV office to take an eye exam for a renewal and every five years after their 75th birthday. Another key part in the legislation is a provision created to encourage doctors to alert the state when a patient may be dangerous on the roads.

If this bill makes it’s way to law Massachusetts will join 28 other states and the District of Colombia in banning texting behind the wheel.

Reduced RMV Lines!

The PatrickMurray Administration has moved forward in an effort to make transportation agencies more accountable and strengthen customer service. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) introduced two new RMV initiatives this month that will encourage saving time for driver’s visits to the RMV to cancel a vehicle registration.

An average of 45,000 customers visit an RMV branch to cancel their vehicle registration a month. Prior to the new implementations drivers would have to wait in line at a branch to turn in their plates and receive a proof of cancellation. Today massDOT posted two additional options to cancel a vehicle’s registration:

  • Option 1: Visit the RMV’s online branch at www.mass.gov/rmv to verify plate cancellation. The customer will be instructed to destroy or recycle their license plates and need not visit a branch to return them.
  • Option 2: Under a pilot program available in the Watertown branch and expanded to Wilmington, Worcester and Plymouth by the end of the month, customers will be able to return their plates using a touch-screen kiosk in the branch lobby without waiting in line. Customers will use the touch-screen kiosk to print their own cancellation notices and deposit their canceled plates into the kiosk.

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles has made a large move encouraging drivers to use the online website by offering additional services through the RMV website. Drivers applying for a new license or converting an out-of-state license may fill out the majority of the paperwork online and be ready to complete the transaction in a branch, decreasing the amount of time spent in the branch itself. Other online services offered by the RMV include: license and registration renewals, ordering a Fast Lane transponder, driving record and crash police reports, reviewing a registration, title or lien, and signing up to become an organ and tissue donor.

Online plate cancellation was added to www.mass.gov/rmv website last month as a soft launch.  Thus far the online cancellation has been used by 3,230 customers. Although this service is only a small portion of RMV operations, programmers are looking adding other simple service transactions to self-help kiosks such as paying tickets or citations.

Murphy New Insurance Commissioner

Joseph Murphy has been named the new Commissioner of the Massachusetts Division of Insurance. He has acted as commissioner since September 2009 after Nonnie Burnes resigned from the position. Serving as first deputy of commissions since 2006 he has played an active role in the transition to managed competition. However this is not his only qualifying position, Murphy has also served as: chief of staff and research director of the Joint Committee of Financial Services and the Joint Committee on Insurance in the Massachusetts legislature.

Murphy Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick appointed Murphy to the position. Deval publicly recognized Murphy for his outstanding role in the administration’s auto insurance deregulation and day to day operation of the division including its 130 employees and $12 million budget  since Burne’s resignation.

“Joe deserves a significant amount of credit for the success of managed competition and is a leader in our efforts to stabilize health insurance costs for small businesses. He has a keen understanding of the issues that matter to consumers and insurers alike, and will use his knowledge and experience to help us move forward on auto insurance reform, health care cost containment and a host of other initiatives.”

Governor Deval Patrick

Open Seat in Massachusetts Senate

The race to fill the late Congressman Edward Kennedy’s seat has sparked a anything but a mediocre election. A seat in the Massachusetts Senate hasn’t been open for decades. With the Massachusetts health legislation in pieces, Democrats and Republicans are up for a tough election. The newly elected Senator will be decided the first of December, the date of the Democratic primary.

As the race endures Governor Deval Patrick has appointed Paul Kirk as an interm, temporarily filling the late Senator’s seat. Paul Kirk,  a graduate of Harvard Law School, will fill the position until January when a newly elected Senator assumes office.

Summer and construction..

Summer season is here again! This means one thing… so is construction season.

Massive pile ups and countless detours plague the roads. Massachusetts roads crumbled until Gov. Deval Patrick signed a $2 billion emergency transportation bond, starting hundreds of previously under-funded projects. 

With additional funding: “Massachusetts will see about $115 million projects this summer, compared with $92 million last year.” – Roadway Headaches by Elaine Thompson

With this much construction in Massachusetts this summer you’re bound to drive through it sometime. When traveling through the work zones drive carefully. Fines double in work zones, and the constant construction may change the road’s drivability and sometimes direction. Save yourself a few bucks on tickets, car insurance, and accident’s medical bills, drive safely.

Hummer Tax? Could it effect you?

Governor Deval Patrick, the Governor of Massachusetts, recently announced that he was going to be backing the “Hummer” Tax. It calls for a tax on all larger vehicles that consume larger amounts of gas. If passed, owners of these vehicles will be taxed more when they register their cars with the state.

Mixed views on the tax are already starting to pour in. Some feel the tax is unfair because it is not always a personal choice to have a larger vehicle. Larger families do require more seating when traveling.

On the other side of the argument, people feel that this is a great way to deter people from buying vehicles that are more damaging to the environment.

One aspect of the tax that could have a huge effect on whether or not it is passed is that it effects everyone, not just SUV owners! Although the title is very catchy it does not do the proposal justice. The proposal also calls for a 19 cent tax increase at the pump to help boost the Massachusetts public transportation system! Don’t sit on the sidelines, get involved because this effects us all!

Study: Let the market set auto insurance rates

WHDH-TV in Boston reports on the  further deregulation of the Massachusetts Auto Insurance market.  The story, published in March of 2007, explains the creation of the Massachusetts Automobile Insurance Study Group by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.

Most notably, the study group recommended that rates be set not by Massachusetts state regulators, but by market demand.  What does this all mean?  Essentially, the study group called for the creation of a completely free market for Massachusetts auto insurance, with zero government involvement in the setting of premium rates.

Ready for a Quote?
Get A Quote