Securing Funding for our Schools:
- Barry worked with Dracut residents to make the new high school project a reality. He was instrumental in securing funding from the Massachusetts School Building Authority for the new Dracut High School. With his efforts, the town received $37 million from the state for the renovation and addition project.
- Barry was also an early supporter of the new Tewksbury high school project and pushed for the construction of a new, energy efficient and technologically advanced facility. He was also instrumental in securing funding from the Massachusetts School Building Authority, which funded 60 percent of the project.
- Andover received its highest allocation of education money ever from the state budget for fiscal year 2013, thanks to then-Senator Finegold’s budget negotiations. Andover received a $1 million increase over the previous year’s funding.
- Barry was a leader in passing legislation to end mismanagement and financial abuses at Special Education Collaboratives. The idea came out of a meeting with the Tewksbury School Committee who were upset by the fiscal abuse happening at the Merrimack Special Education Collaborative. Barry filed an amendment that requires the executive director of each education collaborative to go before the school committee every year, present its budget, and answer questions.
Bolstering Public Safety:
- While a State Senator, Barry successfully pushed for an increase in Shannon Grant funding with Senator Eileen Donoghue. Shannon Grants support regional and multi-disciplinary approaches to combat gang violence through coordinated programs for prevention and intervention. Lawrence was awarded $264k through the program in 2013.
- In 2013, Barry secured nearly $1 million in funding to hire more police officers in Lawrence.
Improving Election Laws:
- Barry was the chief architect of the biggest update to Massachusetts’ election laws in decades.
- The bill brought early voting to Massachusetts, as well as online voter registration, post election audits, and preregistration of 16- and 17-year-olds.
Fighting for the District:
- Barry came out early in support of the new youth center in Andover, and worked with the group to raise awareness for the vote at town meeting.
- He worked to save the town money through promoting the use of green energy. In 2012, six town buildings in Andover received energy efficiency upgrades thanks to a new state grant for Green Communities that will save Andover an estimated $163,000 annually.
- Barry relentlessly pushed for dollars from the state until the Department of Transportation finally apportioned funds for a sound barrier along I-93 in 2011.
- Barry helped facilitate the construction of new senior housing in Dracut at Allard’s Grove.
- Dracut was awarded $11.1 million in funding for a collections sewer project as part of the state’s low-cost State Revolving Fund (SRF) financing, thanks to Barry’s involvement.
- Barry fought to preserve and fund the community preservation trust fund to ensure CPA communities, like Dracut, would receive sufficient state funding for open space preservation projects.
- New businesses have been growing in Lawrence; Barry personally recruited Eastern Bank to locate in Lawrence on Essex Street in the heart of the city. Eastern Bank was the city’s first new retail banking office to open in 23 years.
- Barry has actively supported local development that is revitalizing sections of the city, including the Riverwalk, Union Crossing and new homes in the Arlington and North Common neighborhoods.
- Barry was involved with the Lawrence Public Schools Turnaround Plan. He wanted to ensure that Lawrence students have the best possible education and has advocated for giving the superintendent the tools necessary to make sweeping and lasting changes to improve the education system.
- He advocated on behalf of the Greater Lawrence Community Boating Program by ensuring the passage of his bill that requires the Division of Capital Asset Management to enter into a long-term lease with Greater Lawrence Community Boating Program to give stability to the program and to the youth and families it serves.
- Barry has successfully brought thousands of dollars into the city, including money for water infrastructure improvements, the Lawrence History Center and improvements for Campagnone (North) Common Park.
- Helped Tewksbury become a “Green Community” in 2011, making the town eligible for $207,725 in grants for local renewable power and energy efficiency projects that will save the town in energy costs.
- Barry pushed for the passage of the land conveyance bill that allowed Tewksbury to sell the lot at 918 Main St. (location of old police station) and keep half of the proceeds.
- Barry ushered home rule petitions from Tewksbury through the legislative process, including the sewer debt shift and appointment of the town clerk.
- He successfully advocated for $10 million dedicated to the design and reconstruction of Route 38 in Tewksbury included in a 2014 transportation funding bill.
- At Barry’s request, the lines and crosswalks on Route 38 in Tewksbury were been repainted in August of 2012 to ensure safety for drivers and pedestrians.