State Representative Dave Rogers

Senate Budget Review

The House having already passed its version of the FY 2014 state budget, May marked the Senate’s turn to receive a budget from their Ways and Means Committee, debate amendments, and ultimately pass it. 

The Senate budget will now go to a conference committee with the House budget, where three members from each body will resolve differences between the two plans. The document that emerges from the committee cannot be amended and is typically passed in short order by both bodies. 

While the House budget made substantial investments in higher education, the Senate budget makes significant investment in early education, providing funding to bring 2,000 children off of the preschool waiting list. While this is not enough, and far shy of what Governor Patrick proposed in his budget, it is still a meaningful step in the right direction.  

Other steps taken in the Senate budget that were not in the House budget were an overhaul of Sex Offender Registry and an expansion of the 5-cent bottle deposit to sports drinks and water (the Expanded Bottle Bill).  As the Expanded Bottle Bill has not passed by way of the normal legislative process after repeated attempts over many years, advocates for the measure on the Senate side have tried the approach of adding it to the budget. As a co-sponsor of the Expanded Bottle Bill, I am hopeful that it will survive the conference committee process and I will be lobbying my colleagues behind the scenes to try to make that happen.

U.S. Senate - Special Election

As most of you know, we are in the midst of a special election for the United States Senate. I strongly endorse Ed Markey, and hope you will join me in supporting him come June 25th.  Ed is a leader on countless progressive causes and has the necessary experience to enter the Senate prepared to make an immediate impact on the issues so many of us care about. 

Ed Markey will defend a woman’s right to choose, continue his long-standing work to pass gun safety legislation, stand up for the environment, and join with Senator Elizabeth Warren as a formidable delegation. This is a particularly crucial moment for Washington DC; with Congress at a standstill, we need statesman who have the political savvy to work with both parties and the knowledge to help solve complex questions. Without question, Ed Markey is this kind of candidate.

If you are at all inclined, you can sign up to volunteer here or can contact the Belmont, Arlington, and Cambridge campaigns. Less than a month to go -  we can do this!

Belmont Land Use: Testimony

I recently had the opportunity to offer my first testimony in person in support of a bill.  Joining with Belmont Town Administrator David Kale and other Belmont officials, I spoke before the Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight in support of a bill I filed to allow Belmont to purchase a piece of land from the state.  Previously used as an incinerator site, this piece of land could be used for a variety of important public purposes, including perhaps a playing field, solar farm, or countless other important uses. Our testimony was well received, and I am hopeful that the bill will be reported favorably out of committee.

Office Hours

Saturday, June 8th 
9:30 am at Jam ’n Java
(594 Mass Ave, Arlington)

Saturday, June 8th 
2:00 pm at Sweet Peach Diner
(628 Trapelo Road, Belmont)

Transportation Revenue Package Update

The transportation revenue package that I have written extensively about is currently in conference committee. The House plan, which I voted against because I felt it inadequate to meet the challenges we face, provides $500 million in funding while the Senate plan provides $800 million. I hope to see as high a number as possible emerge from the conference committee, which has met infrequently and has an imminent deadline by which it must release a synthesis of the two bills.

Community Events

Arlington Master Plan
The Town of Arlington is holding public meetings for Arlington residents to give their input on Arlington’s Master Plan. Find out more here  The remaining meeting is Wednesday, June 5th from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Hardy School Cafeteria (52 Lake Street, desserts available).

Belmont Town Meeting will continue its annual budget debate on June 5th at 7:00pm at Chenery Middle School.

Arlington’s Town Hall and Gardens centennial celebration is June 7th. Come to the Robbins Memorial Garden from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm for a cash bar and hors d'ouvres, and then to Town Hall from 7:15 pm to 9:00 pm for the rest of the celebration. Tickets are $40. More information here.

Come join with local environmental groups to support the Silver Maple forest and the Alewife Wetlands on June 14th at Alewife T station. From 7:00 am to 9:00 pm information will be available and your presence is needed to help build the coalition that we need to save this precious piece of urban wild from development; in addition to its value as a substantial piece of urban wild, the Alewife wetlands and Silver Maple Forest are a crucial asset in our efforts to adapt to the changing climate.

June 25th is the special election for United States Senate. Polls will be open from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm. If you do not know where to vote, enter you address here.

Joey’s Park

The process of moving towards a new Joey’s Park has been a wonderful; from the plans designed by the students at Winn Brook Elementary to the lovely party after Town Day, this project has been one that the Belmont community has rallied around. Now we can all continue this community spirit by bidding in the Joey’s Park Online Auction. Get your bids in by June 8th to continue to move this worthy project forward!

Friday Water Services

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation typically runs weekend-only lifeguard coverage at ponds, lakes, pools, and spray decks. Given the heat of this May, however, they have decided to expand this service to include Fridays. Here are two local places now open on Fridays (regular summer hours begin on June 22nd):
  • Walden Pond State Reservation, Concord
  • Beaver Brook, Belmont
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