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Senator Richard J. Ross, State House Update, August 2015
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State Senator Richard J. Ross (R-Wrentham) proudly serving the Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex District.

State House 
Room 419
Boston, MA 02133

Ph: 617-722-1555
Fax: 617-722-1054
Email:richard.ross@masenate.gov

Dear Friends,

Though the State Legislature has not been formally in session during the month of August, I have had the opportunity to visit all of the towns in my district and hear your many concerns. 


Please read my newsletter for information on important issues that will be taking over Beacon Hill come September and how to stay in the know.

As always, thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve you.

Sincerely,

REMEMBERING ATTLEBORO MAYOR JUDY ROBBINS
 
I just want to take this opportunity to honor former Mayor Judith Robbins. It would be hard to find anyone more dedicated, more respected, or more devoted to public service. As the first female president of the Attleboro City Council and record setting 12 year tenure as mayor, Judy was constantly breaking barriers for the city she loved.
 
In my time knowing her, I was always impressed by her kindness, strength, and perseverance in the midst of hardship. I had the privilege of working with her on a number of regional economic development issues while she served as the head of the Attleboro Redevelopment Authority, and more recently on a local environmental cleanup project. Her guidance and wisdom were always appreciated, and she was a true public servant through and through, working tirelessly for those she had grown to love in the city of Attleboro.
 
These past few weeks the outpouring of love for Judy has been absolutely inspiring. There are not enough words to encapsulate how much she has done for the city or where this city would have been without her.
 
Judy may be gone, but her legacy, work, and impact lives on. Her fearlessness and courage remain a shining example of all that can be accomplished through public service and giving back to one’s community. Thank you Judy.
RIVERSIDE COMMUNITY CENTER

I recently visited the Riverside Early Intervention Program in Needham and spoke with Scott Bock the Founder/President/CEO of Riverside Community Care and Joanne Sweeney the Program Director.

Riverside Community Care has been around for decades and today serves over 40,000 people across the Commonwealth. Spanning across 70 cities and towns, Riverside is dedicated to providing sustainable growth and positive change in families throughout Massachusetts.

The Early Intervention Program in Needham supports families with a broad range of needs, working to make a difference in their lives and securing their long term health. It was a privilege to not only witness the incredible work of Riverside and their staff, but to speak to countless families about how Riverside has changed their lives for the better.

For more information on the Early Intervention program, please visit Riverside's website here.
 MILLIS THANKS BUZ DOWNING
 
This past month, the town of Millis came out to recognize the lasting impact and work of Herman "Buz" Downing.

Buz dedicated over 60 years of service to Millis, ensuring its safety and security. Upon his arrival to Millis in 1955, Buz began using his time managing the Emergency Operations Center. Through his leadership, Buz was able to develop an emergency management plan, and lead the town through several high-pressure situations, including a number of weather related emergencies.

Millis is a safer place to live because of Buz's work. His selfless service and commitment to public safety are a lasting testament to all that can be accomplished when we give back to our community.

The Emergency Operations Center will now forever be known as the Herman "Buz" Downing Emergency Operations Center. Thank you Buz, and best of luck in your retirement. You deserve it.
UBER LEGISLATION
 
I have heard from a number of constituents regarding the regulation of transportation network companies, such as Uber and Lyft. First of all, I appreciate you sharing your concerns and experiences with these companies with me. These companies provide a number of benefits to our neighborhoods, including innovative transportation services as well as the opportunity for individuals to work part time. However, as a legislature it is also critical that we confirm that these companies are adhering to appropriate laws and are working for the benefit of our constituents.

In September, the Joint Committee on Financial Services will consider a number of bills related to the regulation of transportation network companies, including one filed by Governor Charlie Baker as well as one filed by Senator Linda Dorcena Forry and Rep. Frank Moran. This will give us the opportunity to consider whether such regulation is necessary to protect the safety of Massachusetts consumers and make certain that these companies are complying with all applicable Massachusetts laws.

I assure you that I will take all of your thoughts and concerns very seriously as I consider these bills and await the results of the public hearing.
GOV SIGNS EITC INTO LAW
 
Earlier this month, Governor Charlie Baker enacted a fifty-percent increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for over 400,000 working individuals and families in the Commonwealth.

The bipartisan increase was included in the final version of the FY16 budget while maintaining a voter-mandated tax reduction and without implementing any new taxes or fees. For low-to-moderate households, they can expect to see the EITC increase to 23 percent on January 1, 2016.

For families that are eligible, they would be able to see almost an additional $500 in savings every month which is simply remarkable. By putting money back in the pockets of hardworking taxpayers and families, we are building a stronger more sustainable Commonwealth and protecting the integrity of Massachusetts voters at the same time.  

I applaud both the efforts of Governor Baker and my colleagues in the legislature to act swiftly on this and enact meaningful, visible change. I look forward to the continued work we will be able to accomplish this session. For more information on the EITC, please click here.
SENATOR ROSS ON BEACON HILL

In addition to serving the 12 cities and towns across the Norfolk, Bristol, and Middlesex District, I also serve as the Assistant Minority Leader of the Massachusetts State Senate, the Ranking Minority Member on the Committee on Ethics as well six other legislative committees. This means staying on top of not only what is going on in my district, but what is on the minds of my colleagues and people all across the Commonwealth.

Check out my legislative committees below and feel free to use their pages as a resource for upcoming hearings regarding pertinent legislation. If you have any questions, you can email me at Richard.Ross@masenate.gov.
BACK TO SCHOOL
 
This week marks the beginning of a new school year for thousands of students across the Commonwealth. I wanted to take the time to extend my sincerest thanks and gratitude to the teachers, administrative officials, and staff who work tirelessly everyday to provide our children with the best education possible. As a parent and a legislator, I have seen the incredible work of our public school system, proving there is nothing more important than a strong education.

Massachusetts has some of the best schools in the country with our students ranking in the top in math and science. This is all due to the dedication of our teachers who motivate our students everyday to love learning and realize their potential.

Thank you for everything you do and thank you for inspiring the next generation of leaders.
This past summer, I was pleased to have Dan Black of Needham intern in my State House office.
 
Dan Black is a lifelong resident of Needham, and attended Needham Public Schools until his graduation from Needham High School in 2013. Dan is set to graduate from the University of Maryland, College Park in the spring of 2017 with a degree in Government & Politics. Aside from his interest in politics and law, Dan is a devoted Boston sports fan and an avid skier.
 
Dan is a very hardworking and conscientious individual who has an exceptionally bright future ahead of him. Interning at the State House, in a fast-paced setting can be tough, but Dan rose to the challenge. It was great having him this summer and I look forward to witnessing the great work he continues to do.
NATIONAL RECOVERY MONTH
 
September is National Recovery Month. Every year, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) works to raise awareness of the impact of mental health and substance abuse issues across the country and the power of recovery. It is no secret that Massachusetts is in the midst of a serious opioid epidemic, but there is hope for the many that are suffering. 

To learn more about SAMHSA's efforts and the work being done for National Recovery Month, visit SAMHSA's website here.

If you or someone you know is need of assistance, please call 800-327-5050 or visit the Massachusetts Substance Abuse Information and Education Helpline website here.
Last month, I had the pleasure of welcoming the Secretary of Veterans Services Francisco Ureña to Wrentham and North Attleboro. Secretary Ureña and I were able to sit down and talk about veterans issues across the Commonwealth, critical services for those in need, and important resources for veterans. You can watch our discussion here

If you are a veteran in need of assistance, please visit the official website of the Department of Veterans’ Services at http://www.mass.gov/veterans/
SMALL BIZ SPOTLIGHT: FRANKLIN LIQUORS

Serving the community since 1978, family-owned Franklin Liquors has been providing high-grade wine, beer, and liquor products to its customers for over 30 years. However, this neighborhood favorite is so much more than a liquor store. With a strong online presence and an emphasis on wine education, Franklin Liquors has consistently redefined what it means to shop smartly and locally.

Franklin Liquors is run by lifelong Franklin residents Mark and Mike Lenzi. Their staff, including Mark’s son Joe, are highly educated and willing to assist any customer, whether it be a first time buyer or a wine aficionado. In their store they have wine dispensaries to try before you buy, interactive stations, and an online store making it easier than ever to ensure you are purchasing the best possible product.

In addition to offering a wide selection of new and up-to-date items on a daily basis, Franklin Liquors is a great venue for residents interested in exploring and learning more about wine. At their store they have a wine tasting and education room hosting the Franklin Wine Club as well as adult education programs for Franklin, Medway, and the Tri-County area. For more information on how to enjoy wine at home, you can visit their website, follow their social media pages, or sign up for their newsletter to learn all you can and become an expert as well.

With all of this, it is no wonder Franklin Liquors was voted the Readers Choice for Best Liquor Store in Franklin and the 16 Town Region in both 2014 and 2015. Over the past three decades, Mike and Mark have taken their business and expanded, making it not just a place to buy fine wine, but a place to discuss, learn, and grow as a community.

For more information on Franklin Liquors, please visit www.franklinliquors.com.

If you would like your business to be a part of the Small Business Spotlight or would like to nominate a small business, you can email me at richard.ross@masenate.gov. To see the places I have visited so far, check out my website here.

Senator Ross Announces Office Hours in September

Senator Ross and his staff will be holding office hours at locations throughout the Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex District to provide constituents with an opportunity to meet Senator Ross and discuss any matters of importance to them. Constituents may contact Senator Ross’ office at (617) 722-1555 to register for a meeting in advance.         

Tuesday, September 8th
Wayland Town Hall, 41 Cochituate Road, Wayland
11:00am-12:00pm

Tuesday, September 22nd
North Attleboro COA, 204 Elm Street, North Attleboro
10:00am-11:00am

Thursday, September 24th 
The Center at the Heights, 300 Hillside Avenue, Needham
10:00am-11:00am

Monday, September 28th
Natick Community Center, 117 East Central Street, Natick
10:00am-11:00am

ATTENTION VETERANS:

If you would like a copy of the "Guide to Veterans’ Laws and Benefits," please email me at richard.ross@masenate.gov, and I will mail a copy to you. This is an excellent resource, and a must for any veteran and their family.
With the House and Senate returning from August break soon, we will have a busy session ahead of us. Do you have any ideas for how Massachusetts can be doing things better to save taxpayer dollars? Your thoughts and input are what is most important to me, so please click the button below, and let me know what you need me to focus on so that I can better serve you!
Your Thoughts
Thank you for taking the time to read this monthly update on what I have been working on over the past few months. If there is someone you know who would like to receive my State House Update, share this newsletter and invite them to sign up for our mailing list today!

Please feel free to contact my office regarding any questions or concerns you may have. You may also check my website for the most up-to-date information on Beacon Hill. It is my pleasure and honor to continue serving you as State Senator, and I look forward to providing you with the newest updates next month.
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Copyright © 2015 State Senator Richard J. Ross, State House Update, All rights reserved.

This newsletter is a service to the people of the Norfolk, Bristol, and Middlesex District and for Informational Purposes only.


Our mailing address is:
Massachusetts State House
24 Beacon Street, Room 419
Boston, MA 02133

Ph: 617-722-1555 Fax: 617-722-1054 Email: richard.ross@masenate.gov

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