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Manufacturing roundtable

Rep. Roy and Rep. Fernandes hosted a successful roundtable with manufacturing representatives from all 11 communities in the Tri-County Vocational school district. Also in attendance were Treasurer Steve Grossman, Senators Ross, Spilka & Timilty, and Representatives Dykema, Howitt, and Poirier.

Eric Nakajima, the Assistant Secretary for Innovation Policy for the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development, Tom Andrellos from EMC, Bob Vozzella, the manufacturing manager at TE Connectivity and an instructor of manufacturing at Wentworth Institute, and Steven Dockrey, Tri-County’s Superintendent laid out the needs and gaps that currently exist and offered ways to help. We also heard from representatives from Congressman Joe Kennedy's office, the 495 Partnership, and MassMEP about ways to work together to meet the needs and fill the gaps.

The House's manufacturing Caucus will conduct several more of these roundtables across the Commonwealth in an effort to promote manufacturing and open the channels of communication between government, industry, and public/private partnerships. This is all part of the effort to boost economic development and create job opportunities in Massachusetts.

You can read the MDN report on the event by clicking here. Photos from the event can be viewed by clicking here.

Gun violence report released

All private firearms sales should be completed through a licensed dealer, live-fire training should be required for those seeking a license, and the state should comply in a limited capacity with the National Instant Background Check System, according to the long-awaited recommendations of a team of experts advising House Speaker Robert DeLeo on gun policy. 

While concluding that Massachusetts “already has some of the strongest gun laws in the nation,” DeLeo’s Committee to Reduce Gun Violence offered 44 recommendations on Monday to reduce gun violence and gun suicide, to improve public safety, and to standardize gun licensure throughout the state. 

“Virtually every gun begins as a legal gun, in the hands of someone who passed a background check,” the task force wrote in a 23-page report, noting that most gun owners handle their weapons lawfully, and suicide is the leading cause of gun deaths.

The report will help inform the Committee on Public Safety which will consolidate over 60 bills into legislation for consideration by the House over the next few months.

You can view the complete report and its recommendations by clicking here.

To help prepare for the upcoming debate on the report, Rep. Roy spent a day with the Gun Owner's Action League (GOAL) learning about Massachusetts gun laws. The coursework included training in handling firearms, shooting at a range, and a review of safe handling techniques. To view more on the day of training, click here.

Transportation funds approved

Rep. Roy joined his colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives last week in approving a $12.7 billion bond bill to assist Massachusetts communities in paying for local transportation-related projects.  

The bond bill authorizes $300 million in Chapter 90 funding to help cities and towns complete road, bridge and infrastructure improvement projects. This marks the eighth consecutive year that the House has either raised or level-funded Chapter 90.

“Chapter 90 funds are essential to providing stability and prompting economic growth in Massachusetts,” House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo said. “That growth starts on the local level which is why the House has been, and will continue to be, an unyielding champion of municipalities across the state. This bill provides cities and towns with the funds they so rightly deserve.” 

The legislation will improve and modernize the state’s infrastructure system through projects including: $2.97 billion for state-wide roadway and bridge projects; $350 million in investments for Regional Transit Authority improvements; $125 million to support the Department of Conservation in preserving and improving historic parkways; $2.5 billion for MBTA rail improvements including new Red and Orange Line cars.

Funding for the 10th Norfolk District includes $300,000 dedicated to improvements on Route 140 in Franklin at the intersection of Panther Way. 

The bill also includes $50 million in grant monies for the ‘complete streets’ project which supports investments that accommodate users including motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, and public transit.

The bill now moves to the Senate.
 

CIC grant for dispatch center

Rep Roy  announced that the Regional Dispatch Center for Franklin, Wrentham, Norfolk and Plainville is one of 37 projects slated to receive funding from the $4 million Community Innovation Challenge (CIC) grant program.  The program incentivizes and supports regionalization and other cost saving initiatives that will change the way local governments do business to maintain service delivery and stretch every tax payer dollar as far as possible.

The grant provides $20,000 to fund the 4-town GIS Mapping Project to assist with the Regional Dispatch Center established by the Legislature in July of last year. Known as of House No. 2189, the law allows Franklin, Wrentham, Norfolk and Plainville to construct, equip, operate and maintain a consolidated regional public safety communications and dispatch center. 

“The CIC Grant is essentially the foundation for the Regional Dispatch Center,” said Franklin Fire Chief Gary McCarraher, who was at the State House on Thursday to collect the grant. “It will create a model for better, faster response times, enhanced efficiency and it will allow towns to share resources across borders.” 

Tryi-County students visit the people's house

Last week featured Early Education and School Age Education Advocacy day at the State House. Students and educators came from across the Commonwealth to speak with legislators on the importance of high quality early education. Franklin’s own Tri-County High School sent more than 25 students from their Early Childhood Education program to speak with Rep. Roy about the need and importance of early childhood education, pre-K and kindergarten for all students, and to ask for the necessary moneys and legislation to make it a reality.

The Great Hall where everyone congregated to start the event was packed with advocates. It was a true testament to how important this topic is and how seriously this state appreciates education. Rep. Roy discussed the importance of state government, getting involved, and early education with the students and their teachers in the House Chamber.

For more pictures from the tour, click here.

Medway schools tour

Rep. Roy went on tours of all four public schools in the Medway School System -- McGovern, Burke-Memorial, Medway Middle School and Medway High School. Each tour gave an in-depth look into the unique culture of that individual school.

We had time to visit with infant, Pre-K and Kindergarten students at Burke Memorial and then got to attend a Winter Concert put on by Burke-Memorial Students. At McGovern Rep. Roy had the opportunity to read a book to Ms. Jackson's 1st Grade class and then pass out copies of the Lady Bug story to each student.

At the High School Rep. Roy met with members of the Student Council, and had lunch with the Superintendent, High School Principal and other members of the Medway School System Administration. The tours were a great opportunity to get a sense for the needs and desires of each individual school and was the perfect occasion to discuss current and future concerns.

To view more photos from the tour, click here.

Office hours

Friday, 2/21/2014
 
 9:00-10:00 AM, Medway Town Hall, Sanford Hall, second floor, 155 Village St. (Joint office hours with Rep. Fernandes)
 
Thursday, 2/27/2014
 
5:00-6:00 PM, Franklin Municipal Building, Room 106, 355 East Central St.

All office hours are open to any residents of Franklin and Medway who may have questions or concerns that they wish to bring to his attention. Walk-ins are welcome; no appointment necessary.
 
Constituents are also invited to call Rep. Roy at his State House office at (617) 722-2400, stop by Room 134 in the State House, or email him at Jeffrey.Roy@MAhouse.gov.

License plate bill to be heard this month

Our license plate bill will be heard by the Joint Committee on Transportation on February 12, 2014 at 10:00 am. House Bill 3136 would reduce the number of initial applicants required to purchase specialty plates in advance, and those additional ones during the first two years from 1,500 to 500. So, instead of 3,000 applicants, 1,000 would be sufficient.

By lowering the initial threshold for specialty plates, we can help charitable groups who are finding it difficult to raise money and keep their programs going. The current system creates substantial obstacles for smaller nonprofit groups that wish to benefit from the issue of the special plate series.  By lowering the number of license plate applications needed in order to obtain approval from the Registry of Motor Vehicles, all charitable foundations will have a better opportunity to be successful in getting their plates into production. As a result, there will be an increased the long-term revenue stream that these small charities need. And it has bipartisan support in the House.

Rep. Roy has been researching plate legislation throughout the United States and has even toured the plate manufacturing facility at MCI Cedar Junction in Walpole. These efforts are to make certain that the bill is revenue neutral and will not increase costs to the Commonwealth. He has worked closely with Paul Yorkis of Medway in the preparation and presentation of this legislation. Yorkis has been instrumental in working with the MA Association of Realtors Welcome Home Fund which has sold over 500 plates, but are far below the current threshold. 

Most states embrace the special license plate and have much lower thresholds. As a result, hundreds of charitable entities have been able to increase funds available to fulfill their missions. States like Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey and Ohio impose minimums of no more than 500 plates. Missouri requires only 200, and Georgia will manufacture a plate for as few as one applicant. The State of Indiana has the most lenient requirements, and through a process of on the spot printing, can produce 2D printed (no raised letters) license plates for as many or as few drivers as they want. And in Indiana, over 100 special plates are offered to its citizens on behalf of charitable organizations.

You can view the full text of the legislation by clicking here. You can view the legislative fact sheet on the bill by clicking here. Last May, the bill  was featured in a Worcester Telegram & Gazette story.To view that story, click here.
Copyright © 2014 State Rep Jeff Roy, All rights reserved.
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