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Stella Jeon is 2014Unsung Heroine

It was a great honor and privilege to recognize Stella Jeon as an Unsung Heroine for 2014. She was honored as one of 80 other Unsung Heroines from throughout Massachusetts. The ceremony included citations from the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women, Governor Deval Patrick, Senator Karen Spilka, and Representative Roy.

“Stella Jeon was the ideal candidate for this nomination,” noted Rep. Roy. “Throughout her years of service to the Franklin community, she gave her time, talent, spirit, and enthusiasm to enrich the lives of others. She never sought the limelight and returns each year to the task of making Franklin a great place to live.”

The Unsung Heroines are women who don’t always make the news, but truly make the difference. They are the women who use their time, talent and enthusiasm to enrich the lives of others and make a difference in their neighborhoods, cities and towns. They are mentors, volunteers and innovators who do what needs to be done without expectations of recognition or gratitude. These women are the glue that keeps a community together and every community has them.

Ms. Jeon, age 94, has been a lifelong active participant in the Franklin community as a member of the Franklin Finance Committee, the Franklin Housing Partnership, and the Franklin Industrial Development Commission. She was also a member of the Senior Center Building Committee, the Franklin TRIAD committee, and a volunteer for FISH of Franklin. Stella is now visually challenged, but this has not slowed her down. In fact, she remains active as a member of the Council on Aging and has her own cable television show titled The Senior Circle that she has been doing since 2004. The show provides information on timely topics of interest to Franklin’s senior population through an informal interview format.

Stella was born in Dilofos, a small village in Northern Greece and immigrated to Franklin at the age of six. She graduated from Franklin High School where she served as a class officer. After graduation she attended the Fay school of Boston. She married Nicholas Jeon and had two daughters; Diana, an artist and Deborah, an attorney.

The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women is an independent state agency that was legislatively created in 1998 to advance women of the Commonwealth to full equality in all areas of life and to promote their rights and opportunities. The MCSW provides a permanent, effective voice for the women of Massachusetts.

You can read the Milford Daily News report on Ms. Jeon by clicking here.

Ed Commissioner visits Franklin

We welcomed Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester to Franklin this month to visit several schools and record a cable TV show with Frank Falvey. During the taping, we talked about the future of education in Massachusetts and had a discussion of the implementation of Common Core and PARCC testing. Click here for the Franklin.TV guide to see when the show will be broadcast.

After the taping, we also had the opportunity to visit Keller Elementary, Sullivan Middle, and the new Franklin High School. The Commissioner was impressed and excited about the commitment to education in Franklin and indicated that he is looking forward to a return visit in the near future.

You can view more photos from the visit by clicking here.

DCR lifeguards wanted for summer season

Can you or someone you know swim 500 yards and would like to work for the Department of Conservation and Recreation? If so, DCR is searching for additional lifeguards for pools and waterfront areas statewide.

Click here for a listing of the upcoming testing dates. For more information, please contact DCR aquatics by clicking here or call the DCR Aquatics Hotline at 617-626-1224.

All candidates must be 16 years old or older.

Aid increased for families of public safety employees killed in the line of duty

The House unanimously passed legislation that increases the benefits for families of public safety employees killed in the line of duty from $100,000 to $150,000. This change represents the first increase in the benefit since 1994.

It will retroactively apply to the families of Lieutenant Edward Walsh and Firefighter Michael Kennedy who were killed while fighting a fire on Beacon Street last week, and Plymouth Police Officer Gregg Maloney who was killed in the line of duty on April 1, 2014. These funds are included in a supplemental budget.

Save the date:  2014 Campaign kick-off on May 16

Rep. Roy is pleased to announce that he will be back on the ballot this November in his bid for re-election as State Representative for Franklin & Medway. He made it official by turning in over 300 signatures to the Secretary of State's office last week.

Roy will kick-off his campaign with an event at the Franklin Elks on Friday, May 16 beginning at 6:30 p.m. After the announcement, Jeff's band Ben Gardner's Boat will provide music to round out the evening.

To learn more about the event, click here.

Bond bill reaffirms commitment to local aid and sustainable transportation

Rep. Roy joined his colleagues in the Massachusetts Legislature to enact a $12.766 billion transportation finance bill to bolster the state’s transportation systems, improve existing infrastructure and assist Massachusetts’ communities in funding local projects.  

The bond bill authorizes $300 million in Chapter 90 funding to help municipalities complete road, bridge and infrastructure improvement projects, and requires earlier notification of funding levels so cities and towns can prepare appropriately. This marks the eighth consecutive year that the Legislature has either raised or level-funded Chapter 90.

The bill includes $300,000 to fund improvements along Route 140 at the intersection with Panther Way in Franklin, along with $1,000,000 to assist with reconstruction of Route 109 in Medway.

Oak Street 5th graders visit State House

Rep. Roy hosted the entire 5th Grade class from Franklin's Oak Street Elementary School. The 80 students were a well-informed group and did not hesitate to ask questions and chime in with their knowledge of Massachusetts government. 

They had the opportunity to stand in the center of the universe in the Senate Chamber with Sen. Spilka and got to sit in the House of Representative seats with Rep. Roy. We look forward to seeing these great students in the future.

To see more pictures from the visit, click here.

House passes comprehensive domestic violence legislation

Rep. Roy joined his colleagues in the House yesterday to pass comprehensive domestic violence legislation which creates new criminal offenses and elevated penalties, boosts prevention efforts and seeks to empower victims. Rep. Roy was also a proud co-sponsor of this bill which will close loopholes in current law and create innovative approaches to end the cycle of domestic violence.

The legislation establishes a first offense domestic assault and battery charge that will allow officials to immediately identify an offender who has a history of domestic violence and take appropriate punitive action. As a result, a second offense charge of domestic violence will include cases in which a first offense had resulted in probation or a continuance without a finding. The bill also creates a specific charge of strangulation and suffocation, actions that statistically indicate an abuser is more likely to commit domestic violence related homicide in the future.  

The bill provides enhanced resources to help balance prevention and punishment. By standardizing records and mandating that they are shared across jurisdictions, the legislation ensures key decision-makers have the most accurate information and that parties have access to an offender’s complete history. 

To learn more about the bill and read the full text, click here.

House announces comprehensive autism legislation

Rep. Roy joined his colleagues in the House of Representatives to pass comprehensive autism legislation that will help foster independence for autistic individuals and provide their families with financial tools for long-term planning. 

The bill permanently establishes a state Autism Commission and creates new programs and enhances resources for individuals, families, and education professionals. The Autism Commission will be responsible for making recommendations and monitoring the implementation of policies to improve autism care in the Commonwealth.  

“I’m incredibly proud of this innovative, forward-looking bill,” House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop) said. “Massachusetts has become a national leader in regards to supporting those with autism, particularly through our 2010 insurance legislation, and I believe this bill is the next, crucial step to make Massachusetts the leader in caring for residents confronting autism.”
 
“This legislation is critical to help to ease worries that families have and provide them with the flexibility necessary to meet those challenges,” noted Rep. Roy. “We have several families in the district that need this legislation to assist with the transition to more independent lives as their children grow older. Our focus is on increasing access to quality services that provide the best foundation of care for both children and adults with autism.”

One provision, widely referred to as the ABLE program (Achieving a Better Life Experience), is designed to encourage and assist families with financial planning for individuals with disabilities. Modeled on a federal bill pending in Congress, the tax-advantaged savings accounts can be used to help plan for disability-related expenses, enabling parents of children with disabilities, as well as older individuals with disabilities, to pay for long- term costs.  Contributions to the account grow tax-free and distributions from the account for qualified disability expenses are also tax-free. Eligible costs include expenses for education, medical and dental care, job training, housing, transportation, financial management, assistive technology, home improvements and other uses.  

The legislation also ensures that as the number of students with autism increases, school districts and teachers are able to provide effective education. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) will develop a training program to help teachers educate those with autism in a manner that is individualized and allows them to stay in classrooms, if appropriate.  

The bill will also expand the IQ-based eligibility requirement for adult services provided by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) so that these services can be effectively extended to those requiring care.
Copyright © 2014 State Rep Jeff Roy, All rights reserved.
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