State Representative Dave Rogers

Updates

 

House Releases Gun Safety Bill


As I have previously written about both on my website and in local publications, House Speaker Robert DeLeo convened a task force to study gun laws in Massachusetts and to make gun safety recommendations. On May 27th, Speaker DeLeo released a bill based on the 44 recommendations, which I promptly co-sponsored. The bill makes many improvements to gun safety, including:
  • Second hand gun sales will be required to take place at a registered firearms dealer and will require a background check.
  • The Executive Office of Public Safety and Security will create a state-wide “suitability standard” for firearm identification (FID) cards and licenses to carry based on existing federal standards.
  • Police Chiefs will be able to deny firearm identification cards for rifles and shotguns based on the new suitability standards.
  • The history of every firearm used in a crime will be traced, and all data from these investigations will be recorded and stored.
  • Penalties for not reporting lost or stolen firearms, carrying while intoxicated, improper storage, and carrying on school grounds are increased.
  • Applicants renewing their FID cards must verify that none of their firearms have been lost or stolen.
  • Class B licenses to carry will be eliminated.
  • Standardized curriculum for gun safety training will be developed.
  • A number of requirements and supports for schools, particularly regarding emergency response and mental health.
Between the support for gun safety legislation from outside of the building and the intention of House leadership to pass this bill, I am hopeful the House will move quickly on this issue. I look forward to casting a vote to help protect everyone in the Commonwealth.

 

Election Law Reform Bill Becomes Law


The conference committee report resolving differences between the House and Senate election laws bills was finally released, passed in both bodies, and signed into law. I am proud to be a co-sponsor of the legislation and wrote an op ed on the final legislation, which you can read on my website.
 

Mass Ave Construction Under Way


The initial steps in the Mass Ave rebuild project are underway. Scheduled for completion in the spring of 2016, the $6.84 million project will, in the words of MassDOT “reallocate roadway space on this section of Massachusetts Avenue to include a three-lane cross-section for vehicles along with new bicycle and pedestrian amenities.  Sidewalks will be rebuilt, crosswalks enhanced, and traffic signals modernized.” Work will be done in Arlington from Pond Lane (just east of Arlington Center) to the Cambridge line. Early steps will include putting up signage, protection from erosion and tree damage, and preliminary drainage work and will not impact sidewalks or traffic during peak hours. You can find out more about the project here and can get email updates about its progress here. Any immediate questions or concerns can be directed to the project liaison, Nathaniel Cabral-Curtis, by email or at 617-482-7080.
 

Facebook Transition


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 my political and community outreach from my political page. Please “like” my official State Representative page here.
 

Massachusetts State Democratic Convention


The Massachusetts State Democratic Convention will be held on June 13th and 14th at the DCU Center in Worcester, MA. The convention is an endorsing convention, at which delegates will vote for candidates for several statewide offices. As a State Representative I have the privilege of attending the convention as a delegate.


Education Vote


Last week, the House took a vote on a bill affecting public and charter schools in Massachusetts. As a very strong supporter of our traditional public schools, had the vote been a straight up or down vote on whether to allow a broad expansion of charter schools, I would have voted "No". However, the legislation presented a more complicated set of choices and policies that I believe benefit our public school system.
 
The bill includes an “Opt Out” option to prevent "skimming" of those students who may be easiest to teach. Any new charter schools created will not be allowed to pick and choose students. I am pushing to make that provision apply to all charter schools, not just those that may be created by this legislation. In that sense, this legislation may actually mark the beginning of important reforms to charter schools that advocates for traditional public schools have long sought.
 
The legislation also has turnaround provisions for Level 3 schools to prevent them from becoming vulnerable to takeover by a charter operator. As with the “Opt Out” provision discussed in the preceding paragraph, this is another reform that advocates for traditional public schools are pleased with.
 
Finally, the bill lifts the cap on how many charter schools can be in a specific school district, but leaves the cap on the overall number of charter schools permitted in Massachusetts in place. As this legislation lifts the local cap rather than the State-wide cap, only 6 school districts out of 351 cities and towns in the Commonwealth will be affected at this time. Although I am not particularly supportive of this measure, its impact will be mitigated by the House having voted to fully fund charter school reimbursement for fiscal year 2014. Making this commitment to restoring money to local school districts lessens the financial impact made by the presence of charter schools and is something that I will continue to fight for in coming years and budget debates.
 
Ultimately, this was a challenging vote for a compromise bill. I have not changed my fundamental skepticism about charter schools, and I will continue my strong support for continuing to improve our public school system.

 

Community Events

Sustainable Belmont Monthly Meeting

Join Sustainable Belmont for their monthly meeting! All meetings are open to the public. Active members will share progress on various initiatives and discussion and planning will ensue. Come share your expertise, volunteer your time, and relay your experience around sustainable activities in our community. The meeting will be held in the Flett Room at the Belmont Public Library, at 7:00 p.m. on June 4th.

Cambridge Affordable Housing Information Session

Come learn more about Affordable Housing and Affordable Rental and Homeownership Programs in Cambridge. The meeting will be held in the Beech Room of the Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway, Cambridge at 11:00 a.m. on June 7th.

Sustainable Belmont Hosts Citizen's Climate Lobby

Join the Sustainable Belmont and Citizen's Climate Lobby to learn about a revenue neutral solution to mitigate climate change. The event will be held in the Assembly Room of the Belmont Public Library from 11:45 a.m. 2:45 p.m. on June 7th and will feature free pizza!

Mass Incarceration Working Group Event

Join the Working Group on Mass Incarceration! Come participate in the discussion with Jack Cole of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition on June 10th at the First Parish Unitarian Universalist of Arlington, 630 Mass Ave, Arlington from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Mass Incarceration Working Group Screens "The House I Live In"

Join the Working Group on Mass Incarceration for a screening of the excellent documentary “The House I Live In.” The film will be screened on June 11th at the First Parish Unitarian Universalist of Arlington, 630 Mass Ave, Arlington from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Belmont Farmers' Market Opening

I am honored to have been asked to cut the ribbon at this year’s first Belmont Farmers’ Market! The Belmont Farmers’ Market will kick off its season with a ribbon cutting on Thursday June 12th at 2:00 p.m. in the parking lot behind Belmont Center and will be open until 6:30 p.m.

June Office Hours


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

Tuesday, June 3rd at the Beech Street Center in Belmont from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. (266 Beech Street, Belmont, MA  02478).

Thursday, June 19th at Kickstand Cafe in Arlington from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. (594 Mass Ave, Arlington, MA  02476).

Saturday, June 21st at Singa Bella Cafe in Cambridge from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (2401 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA  02140). 

Saturday, June 21st at the Sweet Peach Diner from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (628 Trapelo Road, Belmont, MA  02478).

Public Information Meeting About the Mass Ave Project

Come to an Arlington Town public information meeting about the Reconstruction of Mass Ave from Pond Lane to the Cambridge line at the Thompson School, in the Gymnatorium, 60 North Union Street, on Monday, June 16th at 7:00 p.m.

Arlington Elder Abuse Task Force Holds Inaugural Meeting

Come to the first meeting of the Arlington Elder Abuse Task Force, with which I will be partnering. The task force, which is the result of a grant from the Executive Office of Elder Affairs, will host a community event on Tuesday, June 24 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the Town Hall Auditorium.
 

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.
Share
Tweet
Forward to Friend
View this message on the web

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences