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No community immune from opioid abuse

A few weeks ago, the Franklin Town Council hosted a thoughtful discussion on the opioid epidemic. While I was pleased to be a part of that discussion, it was unsettling to see the damage that is wreaking havoc on people and their families; those who struggle daily with the disease of addiction.

No community is immune from this crisis, but there are multi-faceted ways to address it. The Legislature has taken a number of steps through laws and budget appropriations to get in front of the problem. And it has been supportive of efforts to establish community coalitions to confront opioid abuse. In February, our office began the process of setting up a community coalition in the area and we will continue with these efforts in conjunction with the District Attorney, local officials, the police, the school department, medical and mental health professionals, and residents.

The first meeting of the Community Coalition in Franklin will take place on Tuesday, June 29, 2015 at 7 pm. If you have any ideas or would like to help in this effort, please reach out to us by clicking here.

It will take a team effort to take on this epidemic, but together we can save lives and heel fractured families. I look forward to working with you. 

Medway student earns prestigious scholarship

Medway student Dominik Guyette was one of only twenty-five recipients in Massachusetts to be presented with a prestigious 2015 Herter Scholarship for his academic prowess and aspirations for higher education.

The Christian Herter Memorial Scholarship Program provides financial assistance to students who have a desire to further their education and the academic ability to back it up. It is different, however, in that it identifies recruits during their sophomore and junior years, and targets those with challenging socio-economic backgrounds and environmental conditions.

Dominik is a wonderful reflection on his family and his community and Rep. Roy was honored to be on hand to present Domink with a House citation.

Unemployment rate drops again

The Bay State's unemployment rate ticked down to 4.7 percent in April, the seventh consecutive month to see a decrease as Massachusetts picked up 10,100 jobs, according to preliminary state estimates.

The April rate, as reported by the state's Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, comes in below the U.S. unemployment rate of 5.4 percent. The state's unemployment rate in March was 4.8 percent.

Most of April's gains came from the private sector. The largest gains were in the education and health services sector (4,500 jobs over the month); professional, scientific and business services (3,700); and leisure and hospitality (1,900). The construction sector added 1,500 jobs. Two sectors lost jobs: manufacturing (2,300) and trade, transportation and utilities (900).

Student debt burdens

The Boston Globe ran a story on student loans that observed that crushing debt is making a generation put off living their lives.

Forty-three percent of student borrowers have delayed starting a family because of those loans, according to a 2013 survey by American Student Assistance, a Boston nonprofit that provides financial guidance for students. 

The Legislature is considering a number of bills to address this issue. Among them is Rep. Roy's bill which calls for an investigation by a special commission of the "Pay it Forward" model of higher education financing, similar to Washington and Oregon’s Higher Education Financing plan. If the bill is enacted, the study would focus on the particular intricacies, details, and mechanics of funding, implementing, legislating and administering a “Pay it Forward” model, with specific regard to funding, programmatic practicality, and feasibility. 

You can view the complete text of the bill by clicking here.

Memorial Day 2015

It was a fitting and somber Memorial Day in Franklin, with cemetery services, a parade, and then a speaking program on the Town Common. The day's events were well attended with residents taking time out to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for us.

Rep. Roy was honored to make remarks as part of the services. As he noted, the day is a time of remembrance and reflection on the knowledge that our freedom in America is attached to great sacrifice. And it's a day to gather and thank 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.

Franklin forward event

Rep. Roy had the honor of speaking at the Franklin Forward event at the new Franklin High School, stressing the importance of biotechnology on a local, state, and national level. The event was hosted by ZeptoMetrix, the Franklin based biotech company that generously donated the state of the art equipment and funds necessary to build the brand new science labs in the school.

Also in attendance was Congressman Joe Kennedy (D-MA) and Congressman Chris Collins (R-NY). The purpose of the company‘s visit was to recognize the district’s STEM program and to discuss the town’s goal of attracting similar companies.

ZeptoMetrix’s incredible generosity set Franklin’s students up for success in the biotech field. Coming out of high school, Franklin students will have experience and the tools necessary to be successful in the sciences. 

For the Milford Daily News report on the event, click here.

TechHub event on IoT

More than 300 technology industry leaders, legislators, and staff from various state agencies gathered on Beacon Hill for the 3rd Technology State House Day hosted by the Tech Hub Caucus.

The event featured a discussion of the Internet of Things (IoT), featuring both local tech companies and global corporations with a presence in the Commonwealth that have developed connected technologies driving innovation in industries such as energy, government, health care, and transportation.

Rep. Roy co-hosted two of the round-table discussions at the event. The first was a “table talk” regarding government solutions to the state’s recent technological boom. The second involved the innovation of transportation throughout the state that touched on the policy framework that would allow such transportation innovations to be possible by bringing private industry and government together.

Verizon was represented by Franklin residents Donna Cupelo and Joe Zukowski, two well-respected leaders in the industry.  Chris Goode, Senior Vice President and Chief Public Affairs Officer at EMC in Franklin was also on hand to offer his expertise.

Tech is a key component of the state’s economy. According to the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council’s 2015 State of Technology Report, there are more than 13,500 tech companies in Massachusetts, 20% of the Commonwealth’s workers (619,000) are directly & indirectly employed in tech & tech-induced jobs, and Massachusetts ranks #1 in the nation for its share of employment in high-tech jobs. 

Learn more about the event by clicking here.

Fuel cell vehicle in Medway

As a Chevy Volt driver and a big supporter of alternative sources to power vehicles, Rep. Roy was thrilled to take the new Toyota Mirai out for a spin in Medway. The car is a fuel cell vehicle, powered by hydrogen, and produces zero emissions.

This vehicle that Rep. Roy drove is one of only 6 in the United States today and was the pace car at NASCAR's 400 Sprint Cup in AprilThank you to Medway's Charlie Meyers for bringing the car to the area and for spreading the word on this new technology.

The vehicle is expected to be in dealerships in 2016.  You can see more about it by clicking here.  
Copyright © 2015 State Rep Jeff Roy, All rights reserved.

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