State Representative Dave Rogers

UPDATES

FY2016 Budget Process


The House passed its version of the FY2016 budget in late April, and I reported extensively on it in May's newsletter. Since then, the Senate has passed its budget and a conference committee is now negotiating the differences between the two. You can review my coverage of the House budget and as always you can learn more about the Senate budget on Senator Will Brownberger's website.

Mugar Development in Arlington


As many of you may know, a new development has been proposed in East Arlington. The development would be located on a key piece of wetlands owned by the Mugar family and situated just off Route 2. This development would both exacerbate flooding concerns and continue the development of one of the Greater Boston Area's last urban wilds. Particularly in light of climate change and the resulting unpredictable and more extreme weather that lies ahead, this development is not a good move. I joined a huge turnout of Arlington residents and elected officials in speaking out against this development at a meeting with developers on May 23rd. You can read more about the issue and join the Coalition to Save the Mugar Wetlands at the group's page on Facebook.

Mass Ave Reconstruction Update


Construction is ongoing on Mass Ave in Arlington. The project is the result of considerable planning and community input and will upgrade a stretch of road that has needed improvements for some time. The projected schedule for the coming three weeks will be:
  • The week of June 1st: Signal foundations will be laid at the intersection of Teel St/Thorndike St/Mass Ave, sidewalks will be poured from Cleveland Street to Marathon Street, between Marion Street and Elmhurst Street, and between Amsden Street and Henderson Street, and sidewalks will be excavated between Marathon Street and Trowbridge Street.
  • The week of June 8th: Sidewalks will be excavated and curbs reset from Henderson Street to the Alewife Brook Parkway as well as from Orvis Road to a stopping point opposite Oxford St., and underground work to support site lighting will take place from Orvis Road to Lake Street and from Marathon Street to Trowbridge Street.
  • The week of June 15th: Sidewalk pouring will continue on the left side of Massachusetts Avenue to the Alewife Brook Parkway and sidewalks will be excavated and curbs reset from Egerton Road to the vicinity of Milton Street.
You can learn more about the Mass Ave Reconstruction project on the Arlington Town Website.

Legislation


Each newsletter provides me with a good opportunity to highlight a couple of my bills that I think are particularly timely. Last month's newsletter featured two of my criminal justice reform bills. This month I would like to highlight three bills that I have filed in conjunction with Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan.
  • H1556: An Act providing further protection for Grand Jurors: Grand jurors have expressed dissatisfaction that they are only exempt from future service for the same amount of time (three years) as trial jurors, despite the significantly greater commitment required of grand jurors. This proposal expands the exemption period to six years. This bill also addresses concerns about retribution from their employers due to prolonged absence by amending amend the statute to require an explanation of employer civil and criminal liability in the materials provided to grand jurors.
  • H1557: An Act to properly punish the solicitation of felony crimes: Currently in the Commonwealth, the crime of solicitation (encouraging someone else to commit a crime) is a misdemeanor, even when the crime being solicited is a felony. So, for example, solicitation to commit murder can only be prosecuted under the common law misdemeanor crime of "solicitation of a felony" which provides for a maximum penalty of no more than 2½ years in the house of correction.  This proposal tracks the conspiracy statute to provide appropriate penalties for solicitation based on the crime which is being solicited.  Our state supreme court touched on this issue in Commonwealth v. Barsell, 424 Mass. 737 (1997) (vacating state prison sentence for conviction for solicitation to commit murder, on grounds that solicitation is an offense at common law and thus merely a misdemeanor, and noting, “The task of revising the schedule of punishments, long overdue though it may be, must be undertaken by the Legislature.”). The Boston Globe recently published a piece about a case in which the changes proposed in this bill would be helpful.
  • H1558: An Act to Define Inducing a Minor into Prostitution: In response to a 2011 Appeals Court decision, this bill provides a much needed clarification to this criminal statute by broadening the circumstances under which someone can be prosecuted for inducing a minor into prostitution. Currently G.L. c. 272, section 4A, reads in part that “whoever induces a minor to become a prostitute, or who knowingly aids and assists in such inducement, shall be punished...”  In 2011, the Appeals Court adopted a narrow interpretation of the words in the statute “become a prostitute” to mean that the prosecution would need to offer proof that the minor had never engaged in prostitution before.  The bill would eliminate this “defense” by amending the statute.  The bill replaces “induce a minor to become a prostitute” with “induce a minor to engage in or to agree to engage in or offer to engage in prostitution or in sexual conduct with another person in return for a fee.”
It is notable in the context of my support for substantial criminal justice reform that two of these bills increase penalties or establish new penalties. While I am a strong supporter of reducing penalties in some areas (doing away with mandatory minimums for drug offenses and adjusting the point at which some low-level, non-violent crimes become felonies, for example), there is also important work to be done to make sure our laws are appropriately punishing serious crimes. As always, you can review all of the bills that I have filed on my website.

Community Events

Community Meeting on the Route 2/16 Project


As I have previously mentioned in this newsletter, there is a project that is just now underway to make substantial improvements to the intersection of Route 2, Route 16, and Alewife Brook Parkway by Alewife Station. The project will be low impact - any lane closures will be during off-peak hours at night - and should expand capacity at one of the Commonwealth's most heavily trafficked intersections. An informational public meeting will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 16th at 60 Acorn Park in Cambridge. You can read more about the project, its projected schedule, and get details about the public meeting on June 16th on my website.

TONIGHT: Community Meeting with Boston 2024 in Arlington


Starting tonight at 6:30 p.m., Boston 2024 will be coming to Arlington Town Hall to discuss the possibility of Boston hosting the Olympics. The meeting will provide an opportunity for residents to ask questions of committee members about what hosting might mean for our part of Massachusetts.

TONIGHT: Belmont Town Meeting


Belmont Town Meeting will resume tonight, beginning at 7:00 p.m. at Chenery Middle School. I will be giving my annual presentation on my work at the state level, the state budget, and some ongoing projects in the 24th Middlesex District. All are encouraged to attend!

Sustainable Belmont


Sustainable Belmont will have a meeting at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 3rd in the Flett Room at the Belmont Public Library. Come for a chance to talk with fellow environmentally concerned Belmontians and to learn what you can do to help.

Cambridge Arts River Festival


One of the highlights each year, the Cambridge Arts River Festival will be held on Saturday, June 6th from 12: 00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Mass Ave between Prospect street and Sydney street in Central Square.

Arlington Farmers Market Opens for the Season


On Wednesday, June 10th the Arlington Farmers Market will open for the season. The market will be open from 2:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and will be held in Arlington Center, in the Russell Common parking lot, behind Park Terrace, just off of Rte. 60/Rte 30.

Belmont Farmers' Market Opens for the Season



On Thursday June 11th, the Belmont Farmers' Market will open for the season. The market will be open from 2:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and is located in the Belmont town center parking lot by intersection of Cross St. and Channing Rd.

Cambridge Farmers' Markets


Cambridge hosts farmers markets every day of the week, some of which have already kicked off their seasons and others of which will be opening in June. You can read about each farmers' market in Cambridge at the city website's farmers' market page.

Arlington's Feast of the East


East Arlington's annual street fair "Feast of the East" will take place on Saturday, June 13th from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. along Mass Ave from Capitol Theater to Trinity Baptist Church. Come out and join members of the East Arlington community for a day of food and fun for all ages!

June Office Hours


I will hold office hours at the following times and places during June. I encourage any and all to stop by and speak with me about any concerns or to offer any input you might have.

Tuesday, June 2nd from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Beech Street Center in Belmont (266 Beech Street, Belmont, MA 02478).

Saturday, June 13th from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Verna's Donut Shop in North Cambridge (2344 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02140)

Saturday, June 13th from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Bruegger’s Bagels in Belmont (41 Leonard Street, Belmont, MA 02478).

Tuesday, June 16th from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Kickstand Cafe in Arlington (594 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington, MA 02476)

You can also always contact me at any time in my office at 617 722 2400 or at dave.rogers@mahouse.gov.
 

Sustainable Arlington


Sustainable Arlington will be meeting on June 16th starting at 7:30 p.m. in the Arlington Town Hall Annex. Come for a chance to talk with fellow environmentally concerned Arlingtonians and learn how you can help.

Brendan Grant Memorial 5K


The 14th annual running of the Brendan's Home Run 5K Race and Walk will take place on Sunday June 21st at the Belmont High School track. The charity walk will begin at 9:30 a.m., the road race will begin at 10:00 a.m., and the youth races will begin at 10:005 a.m. The event raises money to support the Brendan Grant Foundation. you can find out more about the race at its website.

Other Events


You can also look at the town and city calendars for Arlington, Belmont, and Cambridge to find out about more town meetings and community events.

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: 617-722-2400. Personal cell phone: 617-817-9395. Website: repdaverogers.com.

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.
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