State Representative Dave Rogers

UPDATES

My Maiden Speech on the Passage of Legislation to Properly Punish the Solicitation of Felony Crimes in the House


H1557, An Act to Properly Punish the Solicitation of Felony Crimes - a bill I filed in conjunction with District Attorney Marian Ryan - has passed the House. Currently in the Commonwealth, the crime of solicitation (encouraging someone else to commit a crime) is only a misdemeanor, even when the crime being solicited is a very serious felony, including premeditated murder. An Act to Properly Punish the Solicitation of Felony Crimes addresses this shortcoming of our legal code by scaling punishment with the severity of the crime solicited. Although many of the bills I filed this session reduce penalties and seek to reform a criminal justice system rife with overly burdensome mandatory minimum sentences, when a situation arises in which a domestic violence abuser has a sophisticated plan to have his wife killed, 2.5 years in a House of Correction simply does not cut it.

I also delivered my maiden speech in support of the bill.

 

WATCH IT HERE

State Representative Dave Rogers' Maiden Speech

Facing Revenue Shortfalls, House and Senate Agree on Reduced Budget


The conference committee appointed to resolve the differences between the House and Senate FY2017 budgets has returned its report. Negotiations were extended and became more difficult in light of decreasing revenue forecasts. Both budgets had been based on 4.3% projected revenue growth, but with revised projections anticipating growth closer to 2.7%, some reductions were needed. The conference committee report is more modest that the budget was initially expected to be, totaling $39.145 billion, approximately $1 billion or 2.6% higher than FY2016, but less than the budget the House originally passed back in April.

Despite this reduction in how much spending will increase, the budget maintains many key - if moderately sized - investments in areas such as local aid for education and unrestricted general government aid (both receive the same increase in the final House and Senate budget as they did in each chamber's initial proposal), as well as substance abuse treatment and early education.

I am also pleased to report that both of the earmarks I supported for Belmont - $50,000 for stormwater management and $50,000 for energy efficiency programming - were included in the final House and Senate budget along with funding for the Children's Room, the Arlington Youth Counseling Center, and Monument Park in Arlington.

We passed the budget this past Thursday. Governor Baker has ten days from then to make his line item vetoes, which the Legislature will then have the opportunity to consider and possibly override.

Non-Compete Legislation Passes in the House
 

This past week the House passed legislation regulating the use of non-compete agreements in Massachusetts. As many of you may know, non-compete agreements are used by companies to protect trade secrets, but in certain cases have become overbearing and a major burden on those in the workforce. The bill passed in the House limits the duration of the agreement to 12 months (with some exceptions), prohibits their use with those under 18 years old, keeps them geographically reasonable, and establishes a "garden leave clause" guaranteeing that workers leaving a job be paid half of their salary for the duration of their restricted period. The issue will now pass to the Senate for consideration.

July: The Final Month of the 2015/2016 Session
 

July will be the final month of the 2015/2016 Legislative Session. Although informal sessions will be held throughout the remainder of 2016, formal sessions in which major legislative proposals are debated will end on July 31st. This will be our busiest month of the two year period as we will be finalizing the budget and passing legislation on a number of other issues that have been debated throughout the session. I will be using next month's newsletter as an opportunity to reflect on what we have accomplished.

Participatory Budgeting in Cambridge
 

Each year as part of the city's budget process, members of the Cambridge community have the opportunity to spend $700,000 through a public deliberative process among voters. You can even propose your own project, so long as it fits the relevant criteria. You can check out what has been proposed, propose your own project, and find out more here.

MBTA Resources
 

Performance Dashboard: The MBTA has released a new performance dashboard. The interactive site has a number of features and will allow riders to monitor a variety of performance metrics including ridership, whether the MBTA is on budget, and perhaps most usefully whether or not trains and buses are running on schedule. 

 

Rider Census: The MBTA is currently conducting a system-wide census of its ridership. The Census, which takes about 5 minutes to complete, helps the MBTA collect information that plays an important role in planning service and ensuring service is provided fairly. The MBTA will use the data collected in the Rider Census to evaluate current service, to plan future service, and to analyze the potential rider impacts of service or fare change proposals. In addition, the census satisfies a requirement to survey riders every five years about their demographics and trip-making characteristics. 

Belmont Light Energy Efficiency Grant Program


Belmont Light operates an energy efficiency grant program that many Belmont residents have taken advantage of to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. You can find out more on the town website.

Belmont Cultural Council Survey


The Belmont Cultural Council is conducting a survey of Belmont residents to get public input about how best distribute its funds. This is a great chance to give some input into what you want out of the arts in Belmont.

Register to Vote


Massachusetts residents can register to vote online. If you are not registered to vote or have family and friend that are yet to do so, be sure to encourage them to to register!

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 want to research whether or not you own unclaimed property, you can find out here.

Legislation


I have been using this newsletter as and opportunity to highlight one or more of the bills I have filed each month. I have now run through each of the 26 bills I filed for the 2015/2016 legislative session. As always, you can review all of the bills that I have filed on my website

Community Events

BTDC Meeting

The Belmont Town Democratic Committee will meet on Thursday, July 7th at 6:30 p.m. in the Selectmen's Room of Belmont Town Hall.

Taste of Cambridge

Over 100 Cambridge restaurants will contribute to the 14th annual Taste of Cambridge event at Central Square. Come enjoy locally made delicacies from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 12th. All proceeds from ticket sales go to five non-profits targeted at drug and alcohol treatment and prevention in Cambridge.

Annual CDCC Fundraiser

The Cambridge Democratic City Committee is hosting its annual summer event with Attorney General Maura Healey on Wednesday July 20th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. To find out more about the event visit their website.

Cambridge Jazz Festival

On July 31st, the 3rd annual Cambridge Jazz Festival will be held at Danehy Park. This festival features both local and internationally known Jazz performers. Attending the festival is free and is an all day event. Walter Beasley is the headline act.

Summer Concert Series

The Payson Park Music Festival in Belmont restarted earlier this month and will run until August 31st.  This festival features local bands in the area playing live music in Belmont’s Payson Park starting at 6:45 p.m. Live music for children start at 10:30 a.m. on Friday mornings.

Arlington EATS Starts July 11

Starting Monday July 11th, Arlington EATS will start providing six weeks of lunches and food pantry access for the summer. Food will be served at the Thompson School Cafeteria (North Union Street Entrance) at 12:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Visit their website to learn more.

Other Events


There are a number of other places to find out about events in your community:

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.

July Office Hours


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

Thursday, July 7th from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Farmers Market in Belmont Center.

Tuesday, July 12th
 
from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Beech Street Center in Belmont(266 Beech Street, Belmont, MA 02478).

Tuesday, July 12th from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Kickstand Cafe in Arlington (594 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington, MA 02476)

Friday, July 15th from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Fiorella's Express in North Cambridge (2401 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02140).

You can also always contact me at any time in my office at 617 722 2013 or at dave.rogers@mahouse.gov.
 

Farmers Market Season Begins


The Arlington Farmers Market opens June 8th and is held every Wednesday 2:00pm to 6:30pm in Arlington Center in the Russell Common parking lot, behind Park Terrace. The Belmont Farmers Market opens June 9th and is held every Thursday 2:00pm to 6:30pm in the Town Center parking lot. Cambridge has a farmers market every day of the week: check out the times and locations here

Local Media


Arlington, Belmont, and Cambridge are vibrant communities that sport multiple local news platforms that are worth perusing to learn more about what is going on in your community.

Arlington:
Belmont Cambridge

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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