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Rep. Roy's Pay it Forward bill highlighted in this WBZ News report.

Paying it forward on college costs

We all know parents and students are struggling with the soaring costs of college. This year, I filed a proposal to help students get an education without being swallowed up by debt. It's called called Pay it Forward and it is the subject of House Bill No. 1062


Under this program it wouldn’t cost students anything to go to college while there. And after graduation, students wouldn’t be thousands of dollars in debt. Instead, they pay for their education by having a small percentage taken out of their paychecks over the next 20 or 30 years. The exact amount would depend on their actual income.

The bill was considered by the Joint Committee on Higher Education at its â€œInvestment and Funding” hearing last week. I will keep you posted on its progress in future newsletters. Of course, there are pros and cons, and that's precisely why the proposal calls for a study of the Pay It Forward model. And we are looking at similar approaches being considered in Washington and Oregon as well. 

You can learn more about it by clicking on the WBZ News report video above.

This proposal is one of the many ways your legislature is working to make Massachusetts a great place to live, work, and raise a family. Please continue to share with me your thoughts on this bill and any other ways you think we can be of assistance.

Horace Mann statue funds approved

The Franklin Town Council voted to allocate $46,000 to a project to build a statue of Horace Mann, securing the final piece of funding needed to honor the man known as the father of public education. In tandem with the $50,000 secured by Franklin's legislative delegation, the move fully funds the $96,000 project and construction will begin soon.

Erecting the statue will not only recognize Horace Mann in his birthplace, but it will also be a shining monument to public education in the United States. Given the community's high expectations for public education, it is only fitting that we dedicate a place in town for such a monument to the man and his legacy.

This statue and park will be located in downtown Franklin in a high profile location and will serve as a gateway to the community on Route 140. The downtown is currently undergoing re-construction and this park and statue will compliment that project, help boost economic development in the area, and enhance the cultural district. Additionally, as the location of the former Horace Mann School, it is wonderful to continue his legacy in that spot.

Rep. Roy, Sen. Karen Spilka, and Sen. Richard Ross promised to seek state assistance for the project and worked with their colleagues on Beacon Hill over the past year to make it happen. The FY16 state budget (line item #7008-0900) includes $50,000 for the construction of the statue in Horace Mann Park.

Standards set for train service

Dissatisfied with the reliability of the region’s commuter-rail service, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority vowed to get closely involved in its contractor’s day-to-day operations and adopted specific goals for the on-time arrivals of its trains. The agreement instills a sense of urgency into the strategy for service improvements to be made in the short term.

Under the agreement between the MBTA and Keolis Commuter Services, the areas of focus include on-time performance (OTP), staffing, operations, equipment maintenance, customer service, fare collection, and winter weather resiliency plans. 

"We can, and will do better," said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. "I'm pleased that Keolis has agreed in writing to work harder to achieve our shared goal of providing the level of service Commuter Rail customers expect and deserve."Under the plan, the MBTA will require Keolis Commuter Services to operate trains on time at least 92 percent of the time. That would be a marked improvement over its performance during storms last winter, when tens of thousands of commuters were stranded by late or canceled trains.

Click here for the full Boston Globe report.

Medway forges Community Compact

It was an honor to Have Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito in the area this month to sign the Community Compact agreement with the town of Medway.

The agreement was forged to institute best practices in the area of citizen engagement. It will provide assistance from the Commonwealth for deployment of technology solutions, including a public communication and professional development strategy.

Medway is the 26th Massachusetts community to enter into such an agreement. To learn more about the Community Compact program, click here. To view the Milford Daily News report on the Polito visit, click here.

MWSCW hearing next week

The MetroWest Commission on the Status of Women (MWCSW) holds its inaugural public hearing on Wednesday, September 30th  2015, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., at Mass Bay Community College in the Framingham Auditorium, 19 Flagg Drive, Framingham. For directions, click here.

The MWCSW invites all residents and community leaders to attend and speak about the issues facing women and girls in the MetroWest. "We need to hear first-hand about the concerns and challenges affecting the lives of these women and girls in the region. We want to discuss them as a community in order to begin to see a better way forward," said Franklin resident Denise Schultz, the MWCSW Chair. 

The MetroWest Commission on the Status of Women was created through legislation co-sponsored by Rep. Roy and established on January 8, 2015. The MWCSW is comprised of nine volunteer Commissioners who are charged with identifying the challenges that women face in MetroWest communities and working at the local level to address these challenges. 

For more information, email Denise Schultz by clicking here or call her at 508-612-5950. Those planning to attend are encouraged to submit their testimony before the hearing. Testimony, comments, and RSVPs will be accepted on the Commission’s FB page which you can view by clicking here, via tweet @WomenMetroWest, or by email.
Cooking with the Franklin legislative delegation.

Cooking with the delegates

Rep. Roy joined his colleagues Senator Karen Spilka and Senator Richard J. Ross at a taping for some cooking shows to benefit the Franklin Food Pantry.

They worked with Trisha Perez Kennealy from Artistry Kitchen in Franklin to prepare healthy meals from food available at the food pantry. The meals included several variations of chicken, a kale soup, and a sausage stir fry. Each were prepared in under 30 minutes.

The above segment features a sausage stir fry, a great meal that can be put together in 20 minutes.

State Rep for the Day

Our office recently invited Medway's Shawn Santilli to the State House to act as State Representative for the day. He and his family participated in a tour of the State House, had a meeting with Rep. Roy in his office, visited the House Chamber, and had a meeting with the Governor’s staff in the Governor’s ceremonial office. Shawn made an excellent Representative and we look forward to seeing him back in the building soon. To see more pictures from the visit, click here.
Copyright © 2015 State Rep Jeff Roy, All rights reserved.

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