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2015 Committee assignments

I was honored to be appointed by Speaker Robert DeLeo as Vice-Chair on the Committee on Ethics for the 189th General Court. The Committee on Ethics considers all violations of rules and all questions of conduct of Representatives, reports any recommendations relative thereto, and recommends any changes in the rules which tend to facilitate the business of the House. In addition, I was appointed to the Committee on Ways and Means. That committee considers all legislation affecting the finances of the Commonwealth, including the annual state budget.

In addition to those assignments, I will continue my work as a member of Judiciary Committee and will also be a member of the Committee on Labor and Workforce Development. Judiciary handles all matters concerning crimes, penalties and sentencing, criminal offender record information, judiciary, including the recall of judges, the salaries of judges, court clerks and court officers of the various courts, probation officers, juries and jury duty, parole, registers of deeds, and correction issues. Labor and development handles all matters concerning discrimination with respect to employment, the labor laws, and workers’ compensation. 

It was a great honor to receive these appointments and I look forward to my work in the House to advocate on behalf of the residents of Franklin and Medway. Thank you for your continued support and I hope you will stay in touch.

MBTA performance

Commuters riding the trains out of Franklin have faced the frustration of cancelled rides, delays, overcrowding, and communication breakdowns. As a 28 year rider on the commuter rail, Rep. Roy has a pretty good understanding about the importance of performance and reliability. Our office is actively seeking solutions.

"The MBTA should shine in times like this, and we have to work to make the necessary improvements," noted Rep. Roy. "On top of the frustration, the economic research firm IHS Global Insights estimates that the cost of the delays and uncertainty with getting to work are estimated to be $265 million a day to Massachusetts alone. We have to do better."

We have already met with MBTA officials to discuss issues pertinent to area commuters: delayed trains, train capacity, equipment failures, inaccurate alerts, fare collection, refunds, and penalties to Keolis (the operator of the commuter rail system). In addition, Rep. Roy joined his colleagues in sending a letter to Beverly Scott, the MBTA executive director, seeking a plan to address these issues, and seeking refunds for affected commuters. While we have seen some improvements in the last few days, we continue to monitor the situation.

Three reports of interest on this topic include the 2009 independent review of the MBTA, which you can view by clicking here; the Boston Foundation's Cost of Doing Nothing report from 2013, which you can view by clicking here; and the most recent annual progress report from Transportation for Massachusettswhich you can view by clicking here.

Medway receives historical grant

The Medway Historical Society received a $25,000 capital grant from the board of MassDevelopment, the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s partner in the administration of the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund. Accordiing to Sheila Dubrawski, President of the Medway Historical Society, the funds will be used for  much needed improvements to the museum building.

Congratulations to Medway and to the Historical Society.

School to career

Franklin's Donna Cupelo, Region President of Massachusetts and Rhode Island at Verizon Communications Inc., was part of a State House panel on school-to-career connecting activites in Massachusetts.  

Each year, hundreds of employers, including Verizon, provide thousands of jobs and internships for high school students. The General Court supports the School-to-Career partnerships that identify, prepare, and match students with these opportunities to earn and learn at the workplace.

Rep. Roy was pleased to attend the legislative briefing and to support investing in the future of our Commonwealth by investing in these young people.

Independent living discussion

Earlier this month, Rep. Roy joined his colleagues for a fruitful meeting with representatives from the MetroWest Center for Independent Living and Easter Seals Massachusetts to find ways to improve the lives of people with disabilities. We discussed line items in the FY16 budget, along with some proposed cuts that would have a negative impact on the disability community. We thank both groups for providing information that informs our decisionmaking.

The MetroWest Center for Independent Living was created by people with disabilities seeking full integration into society. The Center works to promote access and change within society and responds with programs and services to meet the needs of people of all ages with a wide range of disabilities.

Since its founding in 1944, Easter Seals Massachusetts has had one mission: ensuring that children and adults with disabilities have equal opportunities to live, learn, work and play. 

FPAC receives cultural grant

Franklin Performing Arts Company (FPAC) received a $220,000 capital grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund. This prestigious grant is awarded to cultural organizations for facilities projects with demonstrated benefit to the local economy and transformative impact to the community served.

The grant will be used to fund Phase 2 construction and improvements at THE BLACK BOX, FPAC's new theater, music and event venue located at 15 West Central Street in downtown Franklin. "We are thrilled by the news of this award and excited for the anticipated project renovations to make accessible the facility's second floor, complete the building's exterior, and provide state-of-the-art lighting and sound," noted FPAC Executive Director Raye Lynn Mercer.

"I was pleased to work with the Franklin Performing Arts Company and the Massachusetts Cultural Council to bring these critical funds to our area, and I am excited about the possibilities that lie ahead," said Rep. Roy. "Having a viable performing arts facility in our town center will breathe new life into the downtown area and be an economic boost for the other businesses. We have long valued the arts and cultural resources in our town, and this grant furthers our efforts to continue to make Franklin a great place to live, work and play."

To read more about the grant, click here. For the Milford Daily News report, click here.

Medway and Franklin receive water grants

Medway and Franklin were awarded grants to help the communities with projects designed to meet water supply needs and ensure healthy waterbodies. Franklin will receive $119,000 for stormwater improvements and Medway will get $14,566 for targeted leak detection.

The funding is provided through the Sustainable Water Management Initiative (SWMI) Grant Program. This program is designed to assist eligible public water suppliers and municipalities with Water Management Act permits by providing funds for planning assistance, demand management and withdrawal impact mitigation projects. This grant announcement is the third round of funding made available to communities over the past several years.

Ladybug gets new home

After a summer of touring and festivals, the ladybug sponsored by Franklin’s State Legislative delegation has found a new home. And where better than the home of Franklin’s government.

On Tuesday, February 10, 2015, Rep. Roy, Senator Karen E. Spilka and Senator Richard J. Ross hosted a ceremony delivering the delegation’s ladybug to town officials. 

In 1974 Ms. Palma Johnson’s second grade class from the Kennedy School in Franklin was learning about the legislative process when they decided that they would like to make a difference and try their hand at legislating. Since Massachusetts already had an official state bird, tree and fish, they decided that the State needed an official bug. Ms. Johnson’s class pooled its resources and with the direction of their State Representative worked through the committee process, visited legislators, lobbied on the bill’s behalf and ultimately passed the bill that made the Ladybug the official Bug of the Commonwealth.

“Forty years ago, that second grade class got the ultimate civics lesson and had a direct hand in legislating,” said Representative Jeffrey Roy. “For one of the students in the class — former Rep James Vallee — it sowed the seeds for a 19 year run on Beacon Hill. I am thrilled to honor and recognize that class, and hope that this ladybug will be a reminder to everyone who visits Town Hall that they can play a direct role in their government.”

WCVB's Chronicle was on hand in Franklin to capture the story and will be running a segment on the ladybug on an upcoming show.

To read more about the ladybug story at the State House website, click here. For the Franklin Country Gazette story on the event, click here.
Copyright © 2015 State Rep Jeff Roy, All rights reserved.

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