State Representative Dave Rogers

UPDATES

2015/2016 Legislative Session So Far


The first half of 2015 has featured a new Governor and Senate President as well as particularly challenging budget negotiations and the beginning of the debate (and a first round of actions) about how to fix the MBTA. Hearings are underway on an array of pressing issues, including Massachusetts' criminal justice system and how to provide affordable, reliable energy in the coming years while meeting the Commonwealth's ambitious goals related to reducing carbon emissions. Both issues are top priorities of mine. Finally, we are poised to act to make important updates to public records law in Massachusetts that will make records substantially more accessible without placing undue burden on record holders. I am confident the rest of the 2015/2016 session will be fruitful. While the Legislature will be in recess during August you can of course reach me in my office at 617-722-2013 or by email.

Budget Overrides


The final step in crafting the FY2016 budget was for Governor Baker to offer vetoes subject to overrides from the Legislature. Governor Baker attempted to cut funding for a number of key programs, including Kindergarten Expansion Grants to support full-day kindergarten, Prisoners Legal Services, the Mobile Rental Voucher Program (a central part of Massachusetts’ affordable housing strategy and flagship investment of the FY2016 budget), services for unaccompanied homeless youth, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which supports the arts throughout the Commonwealth. I strongly advocated for overriding these cuts and ultimately the House and Senate were successful in restoring funding for these programs and many more.

No Boston Olympics in 2024


As most of you have likely already heard, Boston has withdrawn its bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics in the face of declining public support. The Boston bid was never able to gain sufficient traction with the public, and concerns over costs, mischaracterizations by Boston 2024, and the few proven economic benefits led to the eventual demise of the idea. I was wary about the possibility of the Olympics coming to Boston. Of course, foremost among my concerns was the possibility of the games  costing considerable taxpayer money.  My support for the games ultimately would have hinged on whether or not taxpayers were appropriately protected. To that end, I co-sponsored legislation designed to force completely transparent disclosure pertaining to the Olympics bid and, had the bid not been withdrawn, would have supported efforts to put the matter on the ballot in 2016. In the end, although messy and at times contentious, I think the process led to the right conclusion. Hosting the Olympics was simply too fraught with risk, without enough evidence of broadly shared public benefit.

Unclaimed Property


As many as 1 in 10 citizens of the Commonwealth, including many of my constituents, are owners of unclaimed property. Unclaimed property includes savings accounts, checking accounts, unpaid wages or commissions, stocks, underlying shares, uncashed dividends, customer deposits or overpayments, certificates of deposit, credit balances, refunds, money orders, paid-up life insurance policies, safe deposit boxes, and uncashed benefit checks, and gift certificates, all of which sat unused and were ultimately taken by the state. If you own unclaimed property you can recover it here.

Interview with Arlington Public News


I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Erin Dixon of Arlington Public News for a conversation about my work at the State House, some of my legislative priorities and why I like being a State Representative. You can see our conversation here.

Legislation


Each month I take the opportunity provided by my email newsletter to highlight a few of the bills I have filed. This month I want to focus on three public health bills I have filed that pertain to indoor air quality. They focus primarily on air quality in schools because poor indoor air quality disproportionally affects children.

H2042: An Act Relative to Improving Asthma in Schools
This bill requires schools with high levels of asthma to create indoor aid quality plans and recommends that they form environmental health committees. Additionally, the bill requires public schools to use cleaning products that meet certain environmental standards.

H2043: An Act to Establish a Division of Indoor Environments Within the Department of Health (filed jointly with Senator Pat Jehlen)
This bill creates the Division of Indoor Environments within the Center for Environmental Health. The development of this division would result in better administration and enforcement of existing laws and regulations related to indoor air quality.


H2044: An Act Promoting Radon Testing
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer nationally, causing about 21,000 cancer deaths in the United States each year. Massachusetts has high radon levels, and, as mentioned above, children are particularly vulnerable. This bill requires (subject to appropriation) that all schools and childcare centers undergo periodic radon testing and, in cases where dangerous levels are found, mitigation.


As always, you can review all of the bills that I have filed on my website.

Community Events

Mugar Update and Public Meeting Announcement


On Wednesday, August 12th starting at 7:00 p.m. Oaktree Development will present their plan for a development at the Mugar site to the Arlington Board of Selectmen at a public meeting in the Arlington Town Hall (730 Mass Ave) auditorium. I have made my opposition to the development abundantly clear. Developing such a critical floodplain and overcrowding Arlington's roads and schools is an idea that should be left behind. A strong showing of support at the meeting on August 12th will be important in the effort to prevent the development from going forward, and I hope to see you there. If you cannot attend but would like to voice your opinion, you can write an email to the Board of Selectmen and it will be delivered at the meeting.

Meet Belmont


One of Belmont's most well attended and informative events of the year, the 13th annual Meet Belmont will be held on Tuesday, August 25th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the cafeteria of Chenery Middle School (95 Washington Street, Belmont). There is no better way to learn about what is going on in town than to pay a visit to Meet Belmont. Attendees will be able to talk with virtually every town organization as well as representatives from many different parts of town government. As always, I am looking forward to attending the event and encourage each and every Belmont resident to do so as well. Even those who have lived in town for many years can learn still more about the goings on in such a vibrant community.

Payson Park Music Festival


Each Wednesday evening through August 26th, at 6:45 p.m. there are fantastic music performed at Payson Park in Belmont. On August 5th The John Babonian Ensemble is performing, followed by Four Guys in Tuxes on the 12th, Blue Dogs on the 19th, and last but not least, The Baha Brothers on the 26th. Check out the Payson Park website to learn more. Recently I was pleased to attend one of the concerts to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the series and had the opportunity to present Tomi Olson with citations from the Massachusetts Legislature to congratulate her for the remarkable work she has done to originate and promote this event.

Danehy Park Music


You can also enjoy live music on Tuesday evenings in July and August from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Danehy Park (99 Sherman Street, Cambridge). Upcoming highlights include the Erik Calderone Group on August 5th and Cat and the Moon on August 19th.

Saturdays at Robbins


The Robbins Library (700 Mass Ave, Arlington) will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. each Saturday through August 29th. Yes, the Children's Room too!

Nature Poetry Walk


This poetry walk will be on Sunday, August 2nd at Lone Tree Hill in Belmont and will run from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., with stops for multicultural poems that pertain to human and wildlife activities in summer. Participants will meet at Belmont's Highland Meadow Cemetery .

Underwood Pool Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening


Belmont's new Underwood Pool is about to open. There will be a ribbon cutting on Saturday, August 8th at 1:30 p.m. at which residents will have the chance to walk around the new facility and the pool will officially open on Monday, August 10th. Belmontians will surely enjoy this excellent new recreational facility for many years to come.

Affordable Rental and Home Ownership Program Information Session


Interested in learning about affordable rental and home ownership programs in Cambridge? The City's next information session will be held on August 11th at the main branch of the Cambridge Public Library from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The Housing Division is currently accepting applications for both the rental and home ownership pools.

Test the PARCC


I am sure that many of you have heard (and may harbor concerns about) the proposal to replace the MCAS test with the new PARCC test. Fortunately for the curious or concerned, Citizens for Public Schools and the Massachusetts Teacher Association will be providing an opportunity for you to actually take the test and see for yourself. You can take the test at Ottoson Middle School (63 Acton Street, Arlington) on Wednesday, August 12th from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. If you plan to attend, please RSVP as the "proctors" will need to prepare computers for all test takers.

Rockin' Robbins Concert


Come down to Robbins Farm Park (61 Eastern Avenue, Arlington) from 5:00 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. on August 29th for 2015's Rockin' Robinns concert. This year's show will feature Walk Don't Run and Just Another Guru, who play everything from rock to pop to folk to soul. The event is free and all are encouraged to bring a picnic.

August Office Hours


There will be no office hours this month, but you can also always contact me at any time in my office at 617 722 2013 or at dave.rogers@mahouse.gov. Office Hours will resume in September.

Farmers' Markets and Farm Stands


Arlington, Belmont, and Cambridge all host farmers' markets and farm stands that have opened up for the summer and fall months. These markets provide great fresh produce and other delicious options.

Belmont Farmers' Market

Open on Thursdays from 2:00 to 6:30 p.m, the Belmont Farmers' Market is located in the Belmont town center parking lot by the intersection of Cross St. and Channing Rd.

Arlington Farmers' Market
Open on Wednesdays from 2:00 to 6:30 p.m, the Arlington Farmers' Market is located in the Russell Common parking lot in Arlington Center, behind Park Terrace, just off of Rte. 60/Rte. 30.

Cambridge Farmers' Markets
Cambridge has a variety of farmers' markets open every day of the week at different locations. Check out their website to find out more information about each farmers' market.

Belmont Acres Farm
Belmont Acres Farm - previously Sergi's Farm from 1947-2011 - is open on Saturdays from 1:00-5:00 p.m. and on Tuesdays from 3:00-6:00 p.m. You can find the stand at 34 Glenn Road off of Blanchard road.

Farmer Tim's Vegetables
This year Belmont Acres Farm will be joined by a new farm stand in town - Farmer Tim's Vegetables - which will be open from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m in the Boston Musicians' Association parking lot at 130 Concord Avenue (across from the entry to Belmont High School). Tim Carroll, a long-time Belmont resident who recently purchased a farm in Dudley, will sell produce from that new farm.

Social Media


I am glad to have already connected with many of you on Facebook. Due to the limitations on personal Facebook pages, however, I plan to start to do more of my political and community outreach from my political page. Please like my official State Representative page here. You can also follow me on twitter to find out more about my representation of the 24th Middlesex District.

Contact Me


I welcome your input and hope to hear from you on issues of mutual concern. Email: rep.dave.rogers@gmail.com.
State House office phone: 617-722-2013. Personal cell phone: 617-817-9395.
Website: repdaverogers.com.
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