FY20 budget keeps state on good path

I was proud to be a part of the unanimous vote to approve the FY20 budget. Funded at $43.1 billion, the budget makes major investments in education, housing, substance use disorder services, health care, and other areas while projecting a more than $476 million deposit into the Stabilization Fund – bringing the fund’s balance to more than $3 billion to safeguard the future of vital programs and services.

The budget includes the largest annual increase ever ($269 million) in K-12 education spending support through the state's Chapter 70 account, drug pricing control reforms, and directs $50 million to help stabilize the nursing home industry.

Franklin and Medway will receive state assistance in a number of areas as well.

For Franklin, the state is "hitting the reset button" on charter school reimbursements, and will provide nearly $1 million in charter tuition reimbursement in addition to $28,416,161 in Chapter 70 aid. Franklin will also get $50,000 for the SAFE Coalition to provide support, education, treatment options, and coping mechanisms for those affected by substance use disorder; $100,000 for the construction of a parking lot at the Franklin State Forest; $58,000 for its Substance Abuse Task Force; $25,000 for the Franklin Downtown Partnership; and $50,000 to develop and implement a vaping prevention program in the Franklin public schools.

Medway will see $10,501,419 in Chapter 70 aid; $170,000 for the purchase of public safety equipment; $135,000 for accessibility and safety improvements at the Lovering Heights Senior Citizens Complex; $25,000 for the community farm and $100,000 for programs for at-risk students in the Medway Public Schools, including the T.H.R.I.V.E. Substance Abuse Prevention Program.

Massachusetts is dealing with several important societal issues, like the opioid epidemic, public safety, aging infrastructure, and an aging population. The budget strikes a balance that takes on these challenges and maintains our commitment to our communities, our children, our seasoned citizens, and the disabled as well as advancing economic development and the arts.

Unsung heroine

Jennifer Knight-Levine was honored Tuesday as a member of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women's 2019 class of Unsung Heroines. Jennifer was nominated by Representative Jeffrey Roy (D-Franklin) because of her years of dedicated service and for her role in founding the SAFE Coalition and helping people struggling with substance use disorder in Franklin and surrounding communities. Jennifer was honored with 130 other Unsung Heroines in a ceremony in the Great Hall at the State House in Boston.

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MATA Legislator of the Year

I was truly humbled and honored to receive the 2019 Mass Academy of Trial Attorneys Legislator of the Year award. Coming from my peers in the law community made it exceptional. As I noted in my remarks, a trial lawyer ignited the flame of liberty in 1761 and in the 258 intervening years, lawyers have advocated and continued our journey on the path to freedom and justice. It was wonderful be there with my family, friends, several House colleagues and so many champions of justice. Thank you to everyone at MATA for this opportunity and I look forward to continuing our work together.

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Mosquito and EEE info

Much has been written and said about mosquitos and EEE over the past few weeks and our office has been staying on top of the issue with regular updates from the Department of Public Health (DPH). Mosquito control activities are continuing across the state to reduce public health risk from EEE, including local coordination regarding enhanced ground and truck spraying and ongoing monitoring of mosquito samples.

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Pushing tables at Plainridge

Rep. Roy joined area colleagues to testify in favor of a bill that would allow for table games at Plainridge Park Casino. Given the intense competition from the likes of Twin River and Tiverton, right over our southern border in Rhode Island, it is time to act in order to protect Massachusetts jobs and revenue from leaving the state all together. Our area has seen many positive benefits from Plainridge Park, and the Commonwealth has received just over $300 million in tax revenues to date. We’d hate to see this threatened by a competing state that’s doing all it can to cannibalize our business.

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2019 Pan Mass Challenge

Rep. Roy completed his 17th Pan Mass Challenge last month, riding 192 miles in two days to raise money to find a cure for cancer. Roy has been riding with the team Phil's Phriends since 2003. The team has raised over $1.2 million for cancer research. The ride included a loop around Gillette Stadium which you can view here. For more about the PMC and how you can help in the fight, click here.

Book talk: Mobtown Massacre

On Sunday, Sept. 15 at 1:10 p.m., Rep. Josh Cutler will be at the Franklin Historical Museum to shine light on a little-known episode in American history that helped shape the course of war and the free press. His book Mobtown Massacre - Alexander Hanson and the Baltimore Newspaper War of 1812 is a gripping story of the press under attack, a fiery young editor who put his principles above popularity, and a challenge to populist thought that brings history to life. The book also foreshadows the toxic political arena in America today, but stands as a shining example of political courage.

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Harm Reduction Commission

Rep. Roy recently completed work with the Harm Reduction Commission which produced an extensive report earlier this year on additional straetgies to address the opioid epidemic. He drafted an op-ed piece for the Boston Globe on the work and his experience with the Commission that you can view by clicking here. The work recognizes that we need to be creative and offer a panoply of options to give people more opportunities to receive treatment and recover from a horrific disease that continues to plague our communities, destroy countless lives, and tear families apart.

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Tri-County Van

Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School recieved a new handicap accessible van available to transport students with disabilities. It’s the first handicap accessible van for the school. The van will be used to transport students both to and from the school and to field trips and special events. Rep. Roy was able to secure the funding last year from the states’ FY19 budget to help purchase the van.

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Copyright © 2019 State Rep Jeff Roy, All rights reserved.

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