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Busy days in the district and on Beacon Hill

The year has seen a lot of activity in the 10th Norfolk District. In this issue of the State House Report, you'll find stories on a study tour in Belgium, our Life Sciences Day, opioid legislation, events in the district, and a visit by longtime WCVB-TV reporter Susan Wornick.

In the middle of all this activity, I am happy to report that I returned nomination papers to the Secretary of State's Office and I will be on the ballot in the fall seeking a third term as your State Representative. Our campaign kickoff event will take place on Tuesday, June 28, 2016 at 6 pm at the Black Box in Franklin. Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III will be joining us to help launch the 2016 campaign, and I hope you can be with us as well.

It has been an honor and privilege to serve the residents of Franklin and Medway, and I would enjoy the opportunity, with your support and guidance, to continue to be your voice on Beacon Hill.

Thank you for your continued support.


Study tour in Belgium

This month, Rep. Roy joined a legislative delegation for a 6-day study tour in Belgium to learn about history, culture, politics, economics, and life in this European nation.

The journey included stops at the European Parliament in Brussels, the U.S. Embassy in Brussels, UNITEE (a European Confederation representing more than 15,000 New European Entrepreneurs and Business Professionals), the International Festival of Language and Culture, KYM International (a non-governmental international humanitarian relief and development organization), the Intercultural Dialogue Platform, Voka (Flanders' Chamber of Commerce and Industry in historic Bruges), and the port city of Antwerp.

Each stop and meeting offered an opportunity to learn about the Kingdom of Belgium, a sovereign state in Western Europe. It is a small, densely populated country which covers an area of 11,787 square miles and has a population of about 11 million people. Belgium is home to two main linguistic groups: the Dutch-speaking, mostly Flemish community, which constitutes about 59% of the population, and the French-speaking, which comprises 41% of all Belgians.

Belgium is a founding member of the European Union, Eurozone, NATO, OECD and WTO, and a part of the trilateral Benelux Union. Its capital, Brussels, hosts several of the EU's official seats as well as the headquarters of many major international organizations.

The trip also offered the opportunity to explore the history and culture of this low country which shares borders with France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Many beautiful pieces of art are housed in centuries old buildings and churches. Contributions to painting and architecture have been especially rich dating back to the 15th century.

It was an enlightening trip and provided a better understanding of the complexities and challenges facing Europe today. The educational forums, presentations, and cultural visits provided great background and context on issues such as economic development, security, politics, and social justice and gave us a chance to make some great European contacts and connections.

Amazingly, Rep. Roy ran into several people with Franklin roots while on the trip. It was good to see that our area is well represented on the world stage.

You can learn more about the journey and see some photos by clicking here.

Caring Bear Award 

The Caring Force in gold flooded the State House and rallied in the Hall of Flags. Rep. Roy was honored to receive a Caring Force Bear in recognition of his work on legislation to ease the burden of student loans on human service workers.

The annual Caring Force Rally which is an opportunity to get Legislators, human service sector workers, and those who they serve into one room. For the past four years Rep. Roy has been a champion for this cause and has attended or participated in every Caring Force Rally during his time at the State House. 

This year's focus was on student loans. Crushed by college loan debt, 600 Caring Force members showed up in support of the loan repayment bill which would give those that help thousands of others across our Commonwealth some relief. 

Rep. Roy received the Bear along with long-time advocates Senator Jen Flanagan of Leominster and Rep. Gloria Fox of Boston.

Governor signs comprehensive law combating opioid addiction 

Rep. Roy joined many of his colleagues as Governor Baker signed H4056 An Act relative to substance use, treatment, education and prevention. 

It is a huge step forward in the battle over opioid abuse and is considered, by some, to be the most comprehensive law in the nation to combat opioid addiction. The legislation addresses education, prevention, treatment, and recovery issues and works to address an issue that has claimed thousands of lives over the past several years.

Most importantly, it takes another step toward acknowledging that addiction is to be treated as a disease rather than a crime.

Among its provisions, the law puts a seven-day-supply limit on first-time opiate painkiller prescriptions, with some exceptions. It allows people to opt for less medication than prescribed.

It requires school districts to verbally screen students for addiction risks and to establish substance abuse prevention policies. It also creates new training programs for health care providers and law enforcement.

It requires doctors to check a prescription database before handing out an opiate prescription. It requires drug companies to take more ownership over collecting unused medication. 

To learn more about the legislation and view more pictures from the bill signing, click here.

Memorial Day

The rain did not dampen the spirit of Memorial Day. Both Franklin and Medway celebrated with services honoring and remembering our military heroes who answered the call of duty, served in harm’s way for the sake of this country, and paid the ultimate price so that we could be free. 

During his remarks, Rep. Roy asked those gathered to remember one of Franklin’s fallen heroes named Harry R. Bean. We lost him on December 6, 1950 during the Korean conflict at the tender age of 22.

Like all soldiers, Harry pledged to fight for us, protect others, and pay the ultimate sacrifice if they must. They fight as a team and as a family, and they look out for one another to their last dying breaths. It’s as noble a calling as any; and on Memorial Day, we honor all of those who took that pledge but never returned home.

Life Sciences Day

Rep. Roy, Sen. Karen Spilka and Sen. Richard Ross hostedTravis McCready, the President and CEO of the MA Life Science Center in Franklin for a number of roundtable discussions centered on Education and Business development.

More than thirty Life Science experts, educators, legislators, town and state officials, and advocates attended the various roundtables. 

“Massachusetts’s is world renowned for both its educational opportunities and its innovative technology industry, and the Life Sciences are no exception,” said State Representative Jeffrey N. Roy (D-Franklin), “Every year Billions of dollars are injected into the Massachusetts economy through medical, biotech and other Life Sciences from all over the world. Franklin, in particular, has been committed to supporting the Life Sciences, taking the necessary steps to zone accordingly, invest in industrial zones, and as a result was rated Platinum by the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council for BioReadiness. As they move to Massachusetts’s seeking an innovative workforce, out of state companies, like Zeteptometrix, look for a town like Franklin with great schools, cheap rent and accessibility to move to and do business in. I am looking forward to a lively discussion on how to make Franklin an even better place to live and do business.”

For the Milford Daily News report on the visit, click here. Click here to view more pictures from the day.

Taking the keys from Mom

Rep. Roy spent a wonderful afternoon at Benchmark Senior Living with Susan Wornick, a longtime WCVB-TV reporter (1981 until 2014). She came to Franklin to speak about the difficult conversation involving taking the keys from Mom and Dad.

It all started with a trip to the airport, when Susan realized her 101 year old moms license had expired. In sharing the rest of the story, Susan engaged the audience in a riveting conversation and offered poignant advice for those facing this common challenge with humor and love. She did so respectfully and with a sense of humor.

Susan is a master storyteller and gave Rep. Roy some ideas to bring back to Beacon Hill to address this issue. Some of the topics included making it easier to obtain a state ID for elders, laws to protect elders from scams, registry enhancements, and driver-less cars.

The talk was recorded by Franklin TV and will be replayed over the next few weeks for local audiences.

Red Triangle Award

Rep. Roy was honored to receive the Red Triangle Award from the Hockomock YMCA's Bernon Family branch in Franklin.

The award recognizes individuals and organizations for their partnership and support of the programs and activities of the Y, helping all of us meet the changing needs of our community. 

At the ceremony, Rep. Roy was joined by his family, friends from S.A.F.E. (Jim Derick and Jenn Knight) and his legislative colleagues (Sen Richard Ross, Rep Betty Poirier, and Rep Jay Barrows), who have been active over the years in support of the Hockomock Y, our community partner. 

National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit

Rep. Roy traveled to Atlanta with members of the SAFE Coalition and Norfolk DA Michael Morrissey to attend the national summit on the public health crisis that has gripped America.

While there, the group met with a number of groups and learned new strategies to fight substance abuse disorders. They also participated in a panel discussion on the topic with President Obama.

Upon their return, Rep. Roy and SAFE President Jim Derick appeared on Norfolk DA Michael Morrissey's cable show to talk about the opioid epidemic and the conference. You can view that video by clicking here.

It was a tremendous learning experience and the group is anxious to bring what we they learned back to our communities.

HMEA's incredABLE Day

Rep. Roy ran in HMEA's 15th Annual Walk, Run and All Day Family Fun day in Franklin. He was honored to push Kayla in her wheelchair (and at times, get pulled) for the 5K event.

Despite the rain, hundreds of families and runners from celebrating the ABLE in all of us.

HMEA’s incredABLE annual signature family event and fundraiser raises funds so those with autism and other developmental disabilities have the services and supports they need to reach for independence.

“We want to focus on what people with autism and other developmental disabilities can accomplish and teach us,” said Mike Moloney, CEO of HMEA. “Let’s build on the strengths that we all have.”
HMEA looks to pioneer policies that will improve health and human services in Massachusetts. Moloney said he sees HMEA not only as a health and human services agency, but a family service agency, too.
Copyright © 2016 State Rep Jeff Roy, All rights reserved.

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