Governor signs college closure bill

Last week, Governor Charlie Baker joined me, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Senate President Karen Spilka, Secretary of Education Jim Peyser, Senator Anne Gobi, the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts (AICUM), Higher Education Commissioner Carlos Santiago, and SEIU Local 509 to sign An Act to Support Improved Financial Stability in Higher Education (H4099) which will clarify and enhance the authority of the Board of Higher Education to monitor the financial health of Massachusetts colleges and universities.

This legislation requires any institution facing financial challenges that may jeopardize the institution’s ability to fulfill its obligations to current and admitted students to notify the Board of Higher Education, as well as submit a contingency plan for approval that includes arrangements for students to complete their studies. It also requires training for boards in financial metrics and fiduciary responsibilities.

It was a great day for students and their families, as this legislation will provide transparency and restore confidence in our higher education institutions. Through this legislation, the state will be a partner in providing transparency and accountability to promote resiliency and financial stability, and to ensure that our students have access to the opportunities that they need, that they can count on, and that deliver for the long-term strength of our state.

You can view the text of the legislation by clicking here. You can view the video of the speech I delivered on the House floor by clicking here. You can read the Milford Daily News report on the bill by clicking here, the Governor's press release by clicking here, and my blog post by clicking here.

Firefighting training

Rep. Roy joined the Franklin Fire Department for live training in a burn building, along with Town Administrator Jamie Hellen and Town Councilors Melanie Hamblen and Matt Kelly. This experience reminded us how lucky we are to have so many dedicated, professional and brave firefighters ready, willing and able to serve in our department. They routinely go above and beyond the call of duty to make sure we are safe. And that’s something for which we are all grateful. You can see more photos and info about the training program by clicking here. And this Milford Daily News report ought to get you fired up about the experience.

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Medway Route 109 project complete

Rep. Roy attended and spoke at the ribbon cutting commemorating the completion of the Route 109 project in Medway. The project featured good coordination between state and local officials – both financially and on the ground.

The Route 109 project resulted in tremendous enhancements to Medway’s business district, including resurfacing and reconstruction, sidewalks, signage, street lighting, and aesthetic improvements. New streetlights were installed and turn lanes were widened. They also adjusted the grade on a portion of Main Street. And finally, there’s a new entrance to Choate Park.

This work could not have been done without patient residents, businesses and other users of Main Street who weathered the storm for three years. Everyone knew it was worth it for the community enhancements. The changes made this business and recreation district an improved and safer place for both drivers and pedestrians.


Plansee USA Company in Franklin, received a Manufacturer of the Year Award at the Fourth Annual Manufacturing Award Ceremony at the State House. The company is a leading manufacturer of heat resistant metals. An international, private company with facilities in Europe and the United States, Plansee has seven U.S. production sites employing 1,100 employees. In Franklin, Plansee occupies 62,000 square feet and specializes in machining and fabrication of Molybdenum and Tungsten products. Plansee holds more than 2,000 patents worldwide and serves clients from the development of prototypes through the manufacturing of products. Some important Plansee products include shielding for high temperature furnaces, components for x-ray tubes and CT scans and components used for the manufacture of LED chips and transistors. Plansee was nominated by State Representative Jeffrey N. Roy (D-Franklin).

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Regis Education Leadership Talk

Rep. Roy participated in the Regis College Department of Higher Education annual voice of leadership event last month. The event drew 100 graduate students together for a discussion of the state of higher education, policy making, and the role government can play.
It was an exceptionally engaging conversation and Rep. Roy was thrilled to be a part of the conversation. The future of education is bright with this group of young leaders ready to take the reigns. Many thanks to Regis President Antoinette Hayes and Prof. Heather Maietta for the kind invitation and for being such gracious hosts. And thank you to the students for accepting the torch and committing your lives to the education of young minds.
Rep. Roy joined Board of Higher Ed Chair Chris Gabrieli, author Paul Tough, economist John Freidman, and a gathering of leaders and key stakeholders in our higher education system for a lunch dialog on college as a social driver of mobility.

The discussion was focused on Tough's book The Years that Matter Most and the research behind the book. We also discussed the work of Opportunity Insights, whose mission is to develop scalable policy solutions that will empower families throughout the United States to rise out of poverty and achieve better life outcomes.

The discussion was helpful to the work of the Higher Education Committee.
Author Paul Tough was kind enough to sign a copy of his book after the talk.

Public Higher Ed Campus Tours

The Joint Committee on Higher Education reached the halfway point on its mission to visit all 29 public colleges and universities in the commonwealth. We started on Friday, September 27 and had made it to 16 schools as of last week. In the last two weeks, the MetroWest visits to Framingham State University and MassBay Community College were followed by a trip to the Merrimack Valley to see UMass Lowell, Middlesex Community College, and Northern Essex Community College.

These visits provide the committee with a first-hand look at the facilities, provide opportunities to meet with faculty and administrators, and to hear from students about their experiences. The tours  include meetings with campus leaders, faculty, staff, and students at each of the institutions. 

"It's ambitious, but when appointed to chair this committee, one of the very first things I did was to print out a map of the 29 public institutions in the Commonwealth to plan the trip," said Representative Roy. "We want to experience what life is like on these campuses which should provide a better context for the budget and legislative decisions we make. And the tours will provide an up close and personal view of each campus to give us a better perspective on the issues faced by those in each academic community.”

You can see photos from our tours on Facebook by clicking here.

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Copyright © 2019 State Rep Jeff Roy, All rights reserved.

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