State Representative Dave Rogers

UPDATES

2013/2014 Legislative Session Roundup


I would like to take the opportunity presented by this month's email to update you on the accomplishments of the Legislature's  2013/2014 session. I am pleased to report that we have passed a number of pieces of major legislation to help move our Commonwealth forward. The Legislature's ability to act boldly on these important initiatives is particularly notable in light of the profound dysfunction in Washington. Some highlights of the Massachusetts Legislature’s work this session are laid out below.
 
Transportation Finance – The first months of the 2013/2014 legislative session featured a high profile debate over how to fund much-needed transportation investments. I took a very tough vote in support of Governor Patrick’s bold proposal to invest almost $2 billion to improve and expand transportation in the Commonwealth as well as make substantial investments in early education. Ultimately, however, the House and Senate agreed on a more modest bill to raise around $500 million annually. Although I worry this will not be enough to make all of the investments necessary to ensure quality public transit and transportation infrastructure in Massachusetts during the coming years, it is a major step in the right direction. The revenue package also enabled us to fund a $12 billion transportation bond bill for large and small transportation projects throughout Massachusetts over the coming decade, including new Red and Orange Line cars and a project to make major improvements to the intersection of Routes 2 and 16 by Alewife Station.
 
Minimum Wage/Unemployment Insurance Reform – After a statewide push to put the issue on the ballot for which I helped gather signatures, the House and Senate voted to increase the minimum wage in Massachusetts in stages to $11 per hour by 2017 and to make sensible updates to our unemployment insurance system. Come 2017, Massachusetts will have the highest minimum wage of any state in the nation. 
 
Gun Safety – This substantial piece of legislation, which I proudly co-sponsored, reaffirms Massachusetts’ place as a national leader on gun safety. The final bill includes a number of measures to help keep the people of the Commonwealth safe while respecting second amendment rights. The bill eliminates class B firearm licenses for rifles and shotguns, increases fines and penalties for a number of firearm-related offenses, enhances mental health services on school campuses, increases oversight of second-hand purchases, and lays groundwork for gathering data to learn more about firearms in Massachusetts. 
 
Public Housing Reform – Entering the 2013/2014 legislative session, consensus had built around the need for public housing reform in Massachusetts. This consensus resulted in a bill increasing oversight and training for local housing authority staff. The new law also standardizes applications for public housing statewide and creates a pilot program to share housing authority capital costs and stretch our housing dollars as far as they can go.
 
Campaign finance – The corrosive effect of unlimited, undisclosed private money in our political system, particularly given the Citizens United decision, is deeply troubling. We took action this session to protect our democracy by passing a campaign finance reform bill requiring the disclosure of the sources of Super PAC donations.
 
Election law – In an effort to modernize elections in the Commonwealth and to bolster voter turnout, we passed a bill to update our election laws. Changes include: early voting in biennial state elections (starting in 2015), voter preregistration at age 16, online voter registration, and post-election audits.
 
Safe Access – When the Supreme Court struck down the Massachusetts “buffer zone” law, it was imperative that we act quickly to establish new protections for women seeking reproductive health care. In addition to empowering law enforcement officers to disband misbehaving protesters (who would then need to remain 25 feet from the entrance to the facility), the bill disallows injuring or intimidating any person trying to accessing or departing from a facility, impeding any patient or staff member’s access to or departure from a facility, and recklessly interfering with vehicles attempting to access or depart from a facility.
 
Juvenile Sentencing and Criminal Justice Reform – This law brings Massachusetts law in line with the scientific community and Federal rules by trying 17 year-olds as juveniles rather than adults. Although we were not able to pass a larger criminal justice reform bill, the issue has momentum going into 2015 and is a top priority of mine going forward. 
 


Primary Elections


Primary elections for state office will be held on September 9th. I encourage each and every one of you to get out and vote! If you do not know the location of your polling place, you can find out here. Polls will open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m. For those of you who will be out of town on Election Day, the deadline to apply for an absentee ballot is noon on Monday September 8th (the day before the election), which you can do by way of the Massachusetts Secretary of State website.

Alewife Wetlands Stormwater Management Project Named Project of the Year


For those of you unfamiliar with the Alewife Wetlands Stormwater Management Project, I highly recommend that you take a ride or stroll down the bike path leading from Brighton Road in Belmont to Alewife Station and have a look. Paired with a convenient boardwalk, the project is as beautiful as it is functional in its ability to help manage the large quantities of stormwater that accumulate in the Alewife wetlands. The American Public Works Association award is well deserved recognition for this project and all involved in making it a reality. You can read more about the award and project on the Cambridge City wesite.
 

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.
 

Fitchburg Line Improvement Project


The MBTA’s “Fitchburg Line Improvement Project” is underway. The project includes:
  • A new Littleton Station with additional parking (opened summer 2013)
  • Construction of a second track between Acton and Ayer
  • A new South Acton Station
  • Upgraded signal system and track improvements to allow maximum train speed to be increased from 60 mph to 80 mph
  • Improvements to 7 bridges
The project requires the suspension of weekend service in Belmont during periods of 2014 and 2015. This summer there will be no weekend Commuter Rail Service at the Belmont stop for all of September, October, and November. During the summer of 2015, there will be no weekend Commuter Rail service in Belmont from April through November. While this represents an inconvenience, the project is necessary to achieve desired levels of service and make necessary repairs. You can read more about the project on the MBTA website, as you can with every MBTA project.
 

Red Line Closures: The Floating Slab Project


The Red Line will be closing from Alewife to Harvard during weekends in September as a part of the “Floating Slab Project.” The purpose of the project is to make structural improvements to the foundation on which the trains run. You can read more about the project on the MBTA website.

Community Events

TONIGHT - Gubernatorial Debate with the Belmont and Watertown Democratic Town Committees


Come join the Belmont and Watertown Democratic Town Committees TONIGHT at the Belmont Media Center (9 Lexington Street, Belmont, MA  02478) starting at 5:00 p.m. to watch a debate between the Democratic candidates for Governor (the debate begins at 6:00 p.m.). With the primary coming up on September 9th, there are not many chances left to find out who best fits your vision for the corner office once Governor Patrick leaves office. A donation of $20 is requested to cover the cost of dinner from Comella’s and beverages. RSVP to BelmontDTC@yahoo.com if you plan to attend!
 

Cambridge Farmers' Markets


Cambridge hosts a number of farmers' markets, including:

The Cambridge/Charles Square Farmers Market: Held on Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Fridays from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Charles Plaza, by the Harvard Kennedy School and the Charles Hotel.

The Farmers' Market at Kendall Square: Runs Thursdays through October, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and is held in the South Plaza.

The Farmers' Market in Central Square: Running Mondays through November 24th from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., the Central Square Farmers' Market can be found in parking lot #5 on Norfolk St. & Bishop Allen Dr. in Cambridge.

The Cambridge Main Street Farmers' Market: Come support local farming at the Long Wharf Park in Cambridge on Thursdays through October, from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Arlington Farmers' Market


Held in the Russell Common parking lot, the Arlington Farmers' Market happens on Wednesdays from 2:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. through late October. The Farmers Market has one of the area’s largest selections of local, farm fresh produce and baked goods.

Belmont Farmers' Market


The Belmont Farmers' Market is held at the municipal parking lot in Belmont Center, at the intersection of Cross Street and Channing Road on Thursday afternoons beginning at 2:00 p.m. and ending at 6:00 p.m. Open rain or shine (heavy downpours excluded), the Belmont Farmers' Markets is a good place to get local produce and run into fellow members of the Belmont community.

5th Annual  Running with Friends 5K


Come out to run or to cheer runners on in the 5th Annual 5K race to support the Arlington Council on Aging! The race will be held on September 7th and will start at 10:00 a.m. Festivities at the finish line will include enjoy ice cream, a raffle, and music by 105.7 WROR. You can preregister for the race online. Last year’s race boasted over 300 runners, so let’s do better still this year!

Spy Pond work and Fun Day


Join the Friends of Spy Pond for a day for work and fun on the shores of Arlington’s beautiful Spy Pond. The event will be held on Saturday, September 6th from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Come out to help clean up and enjoy activities for kids, Arlington Land Trust boat trips, and tours of Elizabeth Island. You can visit the Friends of Spy Pond website to learn more about this event or the group in general.

September Office Hours


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

Tuesday, September 16th at the Beech Street Center in Belmont from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. (266 Beech Street, Belmont, MA  02478)

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

Saturday, September 20th at SingaBella Café in Cambridge from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (2401 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA  02140)

Saturday, September 20th at Bruegger’s Bagels in Belmont from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (41 Leonard Street, Belmont, MA  02478)

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

Belmont Center Reconstruction Project Public Meeting


The Belmont Town Administration invites all Belmont residents to a public meeting to learn about upcoming reconstruction in Belmont Center. The meeting will be held on September 8th from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Town Hall Auditorium located in Town Hall, 455 Concord Avenue. Parking is available in the Town Hall Lot, along Concord Avenue, Moore Street and Pleasant Street as well as in the Claflin Street Parking Lot located behind Belmont Center.

Arlington Town Night


Arlington Town Night precedes Arlington Town Day each year. Join in the fun and watch fireworks over Arlington Center! The event will be held on the evening of Friday, September 12th and will kick off around 5:00 p.m. with fireworks beginning at dusk. You can read more about the evening here.

Arlington Town Day


The time has once again arrived to celebrate Arlington Town Day! On Saturday, September 13th from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Arlington will be out in force celebrating its wonderful community. Festivities will be held in Arlington Center. You can find out more about Arlington Town Day on the town website.

Public Hearing on Solar Energy in Belmont


Many of my constituents from Belmont have expressed concern over changes to net metering (selling back excess energy produced by solar panels or other electricity generating home systems) in Belmont proposed by Belmont Light. A public hearing on the topic will be held on September 18th at 7:00 p.m. in the Belmont Town Hall Auditorium. You can find out more about net metering and solar energy in Belmont by checking out Sustainable Belmont's work on the issue or directly from Belmont Light.

Danehy Park Family Day


Come out between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 20th for community fun at Danehy Park. Events for kids, food, and performances will be available at what should be a great afternoon. Find out more at the Cambridge City website.

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