Rep Roy: What's happening in the 10th Norfolk district
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Rep. Roy has joined the Massachusetts Tech Hub Legislative Caucus created to increase awareness about the goals, capabilities, and reach of the tech economy and will give legislators the opportunity to connect with some of the top tech executives from companies around the Commonwealth. Representative Kathi-Anne Reinstein (D-Revere) will serve as Co-Chair of the newly formed Tech Hub Caucus with Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland).
"Massachusetts is one of the hubs of the knowledge economy, and we need to harness technology to produce economic benefits and create jobs," noted Rep. Roy. "I have been visiting businesses in the district to hear about ways to keep Massachusetts competitive, and to help our businesses thrive.The Tech Hub Caucus will offer a forum to build on these ideas and develop an action plan."
"As technology becomes increasingly present in our everyday lives, growing our tech sector is paramount to the Commonwealth's long-term economic development," Representative Reinstein said. "Opening the lines of communication between lawmakers in the legislature and officials in the tech community enables us to learn from one another. This group will better prepare us to identify polices that foster innovation and drive the tech sector forward. Sustaining a vibrant tech sector will be beneficial across all industries, spurring job creation and expanding opportunities for our own citizens while encouraging entrepreneurs to locate in Massachusetts."
According to the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, there are 10,000 firms in the technology sector in Massachusetts, accounting for 180,000 workers and 20 percent of gross state product. The technology industry is one of the state's most vibrant and important economic drivers, directly and indirectly supporting the employment of nearly half a million residents. Going forward, Tech Hub Caucus meetings will aim to facilitate greater interaction between industry actors and policymakers and drive open conversation around any number of topics relevant to the tech sector, from talent development and the scope of big data to the impact of new tech innovations in health care, energy, and education. The Caucus platform will hopefully prove to be an important step forward for raising tech's profile among state policymakers and supporting more informed decision-making.
Regional dispatch bill becomes law
Last month Governor Deval Patrick signed into law Rep. Roy's bill to establish a regional dispatch center for Franklin, Wrentham, Plainville and Norfolk. Known as of House No. 2189, the law allows the four communities to enter into a written agreement for the purpose of establishing a district to construct, equip, operate and maintain a consolidated regional public safety communications and dispatch center.
"This is an important matter for public safety," said Rep. Roy. "Combining the dispatches for all of the towns will improve the response times, save taxpayer dollars, and make the citizens of the region safer." "The bill would also give the towns quicker access through joint resources. Dispatchers at a regional center will have state-of-the-art tools and the latest technology. Rather than facing the numerous distractions in a typical police station, the dispatchers in the regional center can focus exclusively on taking calls and alerting first responders.
In addition, the consolidation of resources and enhanced technology will allow dispatchers to stay on the line with a caller during an emergency—providing CPR instructions, for example—while another dispatcher follows through with lining up the response resources. And the dispatchers will receive training that will get them up to, and keep them at, professional standards set by the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials-International. In short, the center will offer amenities that communities could not afford by going it alone.
Franklin is featured in a WCVB mystery town slideshow. The slideshow features 43 images from around Franklin, and highlights many of the unique features of the community.
Please check it out by clicking here and see why it is such a great place to live, work, and raise a family.
Interns offer help to community
We had three great interns join us for the summer. Each of them brought a fresh perspective, lots of energy and enthusiasm, and a unique sense of purpose.
This summer, Tim Featherston, a student at the University of Michigan, Susan Siraco, a student at Framingham State University, and Tim Curley, a student at Babson College, complemented our State House team.
"They made some significant contributions to our work on behalf of the citizens of Franklin and Medway, and it was an honor to work along side them," noted Rep. Roy. "They provided help with letters, constituent services, and research, and demonstrated energy, enthusiasm, and diligence at all times."
Congratulations and thank you Tim, Susan and Tim. We wish you the best when you return to school this fall.
2013 Pan Mass Challenge
Earlier this month, Rep. Roy joined over 5,000 riders in the 2013 Pan Mass Challenge. This was his 11th ride and he is shown above with his team Phil's Phriends.
The PMC, which began in 1980, is the nation's oldest and most successful bicycling fundraising event and shows what the determination of each individual can do.
"For the past 11 years, I have enjoyed riding in this event, and channeling energy into funds necessary to help research into finding a cure for cancer," said Rep. Roy. "I am honored by the support received from so many people who have joined the effort to eradicate cancer, and look forward to doing it again next year."
The event has been instrumental in helping Dana-Farber Cancer Institute's clinicians and researchers learn more about cancer and its causes, and to develop new, increasingly effective treatments for this deadly disease. Over the past 33 years, PMC cyclists have ridden to raise and contribute $375 million to cancer research.
You still have time to donate to the cause and can do so by clicking here.
Legislature upholds commitment to local aid
Last month Rep. Roy joined his colleagues in the Legislature to unanimously pass legislation that provides essential local aid to cities and towns. In addition, he supported the FY14 budget which included some increases in Chapter 70 and local aid for all Massachusetts communities, including Franklin and Medway. You can see more details about the budget by clicking here.
"The House has taken decisive action to support the residents of Massachusetts by providing robust local aid and making responsible investments in our state's infrastructure," said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop). "By overriding the veto of local aid, we are ensuring that municipalities can protect key services and make crucial investments to advance the Commonwealth's economic growth."
"The budget reflects the priorities of the Commonwealth and the needs of cities, towns and residents, while also maintaining the highest level of fiscal responsibility and accountability," noted Rep. Roy. "It makes important and thoughtful investments in many of our core services and programs in the Commonwealth, including education, care for the elderly, housing, distressed hospitals and mental health."
The budget increases key areas of local education funding including $4.31 billion for Chapter 70, full funding for educating high-needs special education students and $51.5 million for Regional School Transportation. The budget also allocates a $15 million investment in early education that will take approximately 2,000 children off the waitlist for income-eligible child care. The budget also takes decisive action to increase funding for the University of Massachusetts, state universities and community colleges, including $478.9 million for UMass to prevent tuition and fee increases in the upcoming school year.
The budget provides numerous health and human services provisions including $187.2 million to elder home care services, an increase of $6.2 million that will eliminate the 1,500 person waitlist for elder home care services, and increases funding for housing programs by $18.2 million to ensure safe and sustainable housing options.
The legislation also implements new oversight within the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, which administers the electronic benefits transfer (EBT) program, to bolster the waste and abuse prevention reforms enacted in the FY '13 budget. The budget also creates The Bureau of Program Integrity to provide continuous oversight of public assistance programs while maintaining eligibility verification and ensuring we focus our state resources on those residents who are most in need of state assistance.
Lastly, the budget expands and funds numerous economic development initiatives, including more than $20 million in anticipated gaming revenue to a variety of manufacturing-related programs.
Locally, the FY14 budget also includes a Chapter 70 increase of $157,550 for Franklin and $60,525 for Medway. It also includes a $20,000 grant for Franklin's sculpture park and $15,000 to help fund the Vietnam Moving Wall in Medway.