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EMC visit

Rep. Roy joined Senator Warren and Senator Spilka for a tour at EMC in Franklin to see the innovation economy in action. Joe Tucci, EMC's CEO and Chairman of the Board, was a gracious host and offered great insight into how government can work with industry leaders to keep the economy moving in the right direction and keep America at the top of the heap. You can see the Milford Daily News report about the visit by clicking here

Tech Hub Caucus meets on healthcare

Rep. Roy met with a diverse set of leaders from the Massachusetts technology community this month during a meeting of the Massachusetts Tech Hub Caucus. The event focused on the emerging field of Healthcare Innovation & Technology and was hosted by the Verizon Innovation Center. Tech Hub Caucus’ legislative members had the opportunity to hear from a diverse set of Health IT leaders and to hear about the impacts that innovative health technologies are having on healthcare delivery, patient outcomes, and in reducing costs.

"This event was a great opportunity to hear from industry leaders about the innovative projects they are working on in Massachusetts," said Rep. Roy. "I was particularly interested in hearing about what we can do in government to encourage innovation in healthcare technology and support job growth in our area."

“Technology is influencing industry all across the board, and healthcare is a dominant example,” noted Donna Cupelo (see photo above), a Franklin resident and Verizon’s lead executive for New England. “With the massive amount of data being produced, and cutting edge research taking place every day, healthcare and technology go hand in hand.”

The event was organized by the Tech Hub Collaborative, in partnership with three of the state's most prominent technology industry associations: Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC), Massachusetts Innovation and Technology Exchange (MITX), and TechNet. The Massachusetts Tech Hub Caucus officially launched earlier this year to bring policymakers and the technology industry together in a forum to explore the tremendous tech innovations occurring statewide across all sectors and their impact on the Massachusetts economy and workforce.

Medway parade celebrates 300th

Thousands of local residents lined the roads last Saturday afternoon to watch a parade celebrating Medway's 300th anniversary. Rep. Roy was honored to join the marchers for the 2 1/2 hour celebration.

"This parade demonstrated the pageantry of small-town America, and highlighted Medway's rich history," noted Rep. Roy. "It was an honor to participate and I was thrilled to see the throngs of people who came out to be a part of the town's 300th birthday party."

The parade had more than 1,200 participants, including more than 23 musical acts, a 40-person unicycle contingent, the Budweiser Clydesdales, and a host of floats.

The town has a great website devoted to the Medway 300th which you can view by clicking here.

National Guard Streamer Ceremony

Rep. Roy was honored to witness the ceremony at the State House when Massachusetts National Guard units were presented with battle streamers for their flags, denoting the places they have been deployed in the past few years. National Guardsmen marched up the front steps of the State House to the Hall of Flags, where they were awarded the battle streamers by Gov. Deval Patrick, the commander in chief of the Massachusetts Guard.

There are more than 8,200 men and women who serve in Massachusetts units. The ceremony was last held in 2008. Some of the units’ banners marched through the State House date back to the 1700s and the Civil War. The streamers symbolize a unit’s history and where its members have fought. You can see more photos from the ceremony by clicking here.
 
The National Guard in the United States traces its origins back to 1636 in Salem. On Dec. 13, 1636 the first muster was held on Salem Common. It was the first time a militia regiment drilled for the common defense of a multi-community area, laying the foundation for what became the National Guard. The tradition of parading the unit colors of the Massachusetts National Guard through the front doors of the State House began in December 1865 when Gov. John Andrew received the tattered and badly worn colors of servicemen returning from the Civil War.

Tech tax repealed

Last week, the House voted 156-1  to repeal the state's new computer services tax. The Senate also voted unanimously to repeal it and Governor Patrick signed the legislation a day later.

The sales and use tax related to computer system design and to modification, integration, enhancement, installation, or configuration of standardized or prewritten software. It was a part of the transportation package passed in April to address the state’s crumbling infrastructure which could cost up to 16,500 jobs and up to $26 billion in increased operating costs for vehicle owners. 
 
When the tech tax was passed earlier this year, lawmakers vowed to revisit its impact if the impact was broader than anticipated. “We made it very clear months ago we would continue to monitor and watch this tax,” noted House Ways & Means Chair Brian Dempsey. House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo also noted that "our vote sends a strong message to the world that Massachusetts is the place for innovators to succeed and thrive.”

Over the summer Rep. Roy met with a number of constituents and businesses from the 10th Norfolk District to hear their concerns. In August, he met with the owner and several programmers at Cabem Technologies, a small business based in Franklin and Newton that provides custom software development solutions and technology services (see photo above). There, he could see firsthand how business owners and programmers were having difficulty implementing the new legislation.

"I was happy to have a chance to meet and speak with so many people about this important issue," noted Rep. Roy. "The engagement with small business owners was critical to the resolution of this problem, and it was great to see that  we could work together to find a solution."

SNETT tour

Rep. Roy joined 30 riders for a guided bike tour of the Southern New England Trunkline Trail (SNETT). The trail offers some exciting recreational opportunities, and also has some economic development potential. Bill DeSantis, the Corporate Director for Bicycle Pedestrian Transportation for VHB Enginerring, was our guide and gave us a great tour along with historical perspectives of the rail line and industries supported by it. You can see more photos from the ride by clicking here.

New law pulls 17-year-olds into juvenile justice system

Gov. Deval Patrick signed a law this month removing 17-year-old offenders from the adult court system in a move designed to help the courts put more youthful offenders on the track toward rehabilitation while also complying with a federal mandate to separate the younger inmates from the general prison population. Roy. Roy voted in favor of this bill.
 
Dozens of lawmakers and advocates showed up at the State House to watch Patrick sign the bill, heralded as a win for youth and their families to prevent teens from falling into a pattern of reoffending. 
 
Massachusetts joins 39 other states, the District of Columbia and the federal government in treating 17-year-olds as youthful offenders, though minors accused of violent crimes can still be prosecuted in the adult court. Supporters argued that studies have shown teenagers have a better chance of being rehabilitated in the juvenile court system, and are at less risk of physical assault in prison. 
 
The Massachusetts Bar Association applauded the new law and “for rectifying the inequity of treating 17-year-olds as adults, regardless of the crime or circumstances surrounding their arrests,” MBA Chief Legal Counsel and Chief Operating Officer Martin Healy said in a statement. “This is more than just common sense; this is an important and much-needed change that ensures 17-year-olds are placed in a more effective rehabilitative setting.”

You can view the complete text of the new law by clicking here.

Copyright © 2013 State Rep Jeff Roy, All rights reserved.
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