Friday, September 17, 2021

National POW/MIA Recognition Day


Today is National POW/MIA Recognition Day, a day to honor our prisoners of war and those who remain missing in action, as well as their families. 

Since World War I, 142,233 of our nation’s service members have been captured and held as prisoners of war, including 17,004 who died while imprisoned. More than 81,600 Americans who have served since World War II are still listed as missing in action.

The debt that we as Americans owe to our veterans for their service and their sacrifices is one that we can never fully repay. Today, the House Republican Caucus joins with Americans everywhere as we pause to honor our nation’s POWs, MIA service members and their families, and to remind them that they are not forgotten.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

September 11, 2001: 20 Years Later, We Still Remember ... And We Will Never Forget


“One of the worst days in America’s history saw some of the bravest acts in Americans’ history. We’ll always honor the heroes of 9/11. And here at this hallowed place, we pledge that we will never forget their sacrifice.”
– President George W. Bush, speaking at the dedication of the 9/11 Pentagon Memorial on September 11, 2008.

On September 11, 2001, the United States found itself under attack when four commercial airplanes were hijacked by members of al-Qaeda and used as weapons of destruction. Two of those planes struck and brought down the twin towers of New York’s World Trade Center, while a third plane crashed into the Pentagon in Virginia. A fourth plane – reportedly bound for the nation’s capital – crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania after the crew and passengers attempted to regain control of the plane. All told, nearly 3,000 Americans perished on that terrible day, including 206 with direct ties to Massachusetts and more than 400 first responders.

As we mark the twentieth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, the members of the House Republican Caucus join with Americans everywhere in honoring the memories of those whose lives were cut short by the senseless acts of violence that took place that day. We will never forget the many acts of bravery and heroism that took place on September 11, and we will always remember those who were taken far too soon from their families, friends and loved ones.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Representative Pease Named To Broadband Equity Commission

House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) has selected State Representative Kelly Pease (R-Westfield) to serve on a special legislative commission that will study equity and access issues related to telecommunications services in Massachusetts.

Created as part of the Fiscal Year 2021 state budget, the Broadband Equity Commission has been tasked with developing recommendations “to address inequity and the digital divide for students and families with limited access to telecommunications services,” with a particular emphasis on assisting low-income communities, rural communities and communities of color. The commission is scheduled to hold its first meeting on September 9.

“The increased use of remote and hybrid learning during the pandemic has underscored the disparities in broadband access that exist throughout the Commonwealth,” said Representative Jones. “I am confident that Kelly will play an active role in helping the commission identify ways to address those disparities and ensure that all residents of the Commonwealth have access to this technology.”

As part of its work, the commission will identify obstacles that hinder efforts by the state and local communities to improve their telecommunications infrastructure and access. The commission will also review available federal funding sources, including grant opportunities, that can be used to improve telecommunications access in Massachusetts.

Joining Pease on the commission are several legislators, as well as representatives from the Executive Office of Education and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The commission also includes representatives from Latinos for Education, Inc.; the Massachusetts Broadband Institute; the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council, Inc.; the Massachusetts Municipal Association, Inc.; the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education, Inc.; the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, Inc.; the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, Inc.; the Massachusetts Teachers Association; the New England Cable & Telecommunications Association, Inc.; and the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts. 

First elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in November of 2020, Pease is the Ranking Minority Member of the Joint Committee on Higher Education, and is also a member of the Joint Committees on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets; Education; and Veterans and Federal Affairs.

In addition to the Broadband Equity Commission, Pease also serves as a member of the state’s PFAS Interagency Task Force, which is currently developing response plan strategies, exploring various treatment and disposal options, and assessing how state agencies can reduce or eliminate the risks associated with water and ground contamination caused by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The task force is expected to release its findings and recommendations by December 31.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Representative Howitt To Serve On Auto Body Labor Rates Commission

House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) has appointed State Representative Steven Howitt (R-Seekonk) to serve on a special legislative commission investigating auto body labor rates in Massachusetts.

Created as part of the Fiscal Year 2022 state budget, the 14-member commission has been tasked with conducting an analysis of the state’s auto body labor rates to see how they compare to surrounding states and to determine if the rates are reasonable. The commission will also review the impact of labor rates on the auto body labor workforce, and how managed competition in the automobile insurance market has impacted those rates.

“Steve is a long-time car enthusiast and has served as a member of the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure since he was first elected to the House of Representatives,” said Representative Jones. “His interests and years of experience in these areas make him the perfect choice to serve on this special commission that will work to ensure that auto body labor rates are fair and reasonable.” 

The co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Financial Services, Representative James Murphy (D-Weymouth) and Senator Brendan Crighton (D-Lynn), are co-chairing the special commission, which will also include representatives from the Division of Insurance and the Attorney General’s office, as well as a member representing a vocational-technical school or program who will be appointed by Governor Baker. Additional commission members will be selected by the Automobile Insurers Bureau of Massachusetts; the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Massachusetts, Inc.; and the Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association, Inc.

The commission is scheduled to file a report of its findings, including any legislative or regulatory recommendations, by December 31.

Howitt currently serves as the Ranking Minority Member on both the Joint Committee on Export Development and the Joint Committee on Transportation. He is also a member of the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure.

A member of the House of Representatives since 2011, Howitt represents the Fourth Bristol District communities of Norton (Precincts 1 and 2); Rehoboth; Seekonk; and Swansea (Precincts 4 and 5).

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Representative David Vieira Appointed To Special Commission Commemorating The 250th Anniversary Of The American Revolution

House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) has appointed State Representative David Vieira (R-Falmouth) to serve on a special commission that will develop a comprehensive plan for promoting and celebrating the 250th anniversary of the American Revolution.

The 40-member commission will be led by State Representative Carole A. Fiola (D-Fall River) and State Senator Edward J. Kennedy (D-Lowell), who currently serve as the co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development. In addition to identifying opportunities for individuals and municipalities across the state to participate in the anniversary celebrations and recognize the particular history of their geographical areas, the commission will also investigate and promote under-represented voices in the American Revolution, including women, native peoples and persons of color.

“As one of the original 13 colonies, Massachusetts played a pivotal role in our nation’s quest for self-governance, and the upcoming anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence provides a perfect opportunity to highlight that,” said Representative Jones. “I am confident David’s knowledge and expertise will help the commission develop an inclusive plan for marking this historic event that not only recognizes the prominent role certain communities played, but also acknowledges those individuals and groups whose stories may not be as well known to the Commonwealth’s residents.”

The commission will include members representing the communities of Boston, Cambridge, Arlington, Concord, Lexington and Lincoln, as well as organizations such as the Massachusetts Historical Society; the American Antiquarian Society; the Massachusetts Council for Social Studies, Inc.; the Commission on Indian Affairs; the New England Historic Genealogical Society; Preservation Massachusetts; the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities; and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Governor Charlie Baker’s appointees will include representatives of The Colonial Society of Massachusetts; Boston’s Museum of African American History; the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head Aquinnah; the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe; the Freedom Trail Foundation, Inc.; the Executive Office of Travel and Tourism; the Massachusetts Daughters of the American Revolution; and two scholars with expertise in colonial, revolutionary era history or American civics.

The commission will file a report providing an overview of Massachusetts’ role in the American Revolution, and highlighting the notable battles, events and figures of the era.

First elected to the House of Representatives in November of 2010, Vieira is now in his sixth term representing the Third Barnstable District, which is comprised of Precincts 3, 4, 5 and 6 in Bourne; Precincts 3, 4, 7, 8 and 9 in Falmouth; and the town of Mashpee.

Earlier this year, Vieira was appointed to the Special Legislative Early Education and Care Economic Review Commission, which is developing recommendations for improving how childcare is funded in Massachusetts. He is also currently serving on a special commission studying the state seal and motto to ensure that they “faithfully reflect and embody the historic and contemporary commitments of the Commonwealth to peace, justice, liberty and equality and to spreading the opportunities and advantages of education.”

Sunday, July 4, 2021

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!


Freedom is one of the deepest and noblest aspirations of the human spirit.
– President Ronald Reagan

On July 4, 1776 – 245 years ago today – the original 13 colonies declared their independence from British rule and established the United States of America. This watershed event has long served as a beacon of hope for the world. The Massachusetts House Republican Caucus joins with Americans everywhere today to celebrate Independence Day, and to offer our thanks to the many servicemen and women who continue to uphold the essential freedoms our forefathers envisioned for our nation more than two centuries ago.  Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!

Monday, May 31, 2021

MEMORIAL DAY 2021


On May 27, Massachusetts Military Heroes held its 12th annual Memorial Day Flag Garden ceremony, with families from across the state gathering on the Boston Common to remember their loved ones. Serving as a striking visual backdrop for this event were 37,342 newly-planted flags, each representing a Massachusetts resident who has died in military service to our nation since the Revolutionary War.

In his remarks, Governor Charlie Baker noted that "The one thing I have heard time and time again from Gold Star families, in my conversations with them over the years, is ... 'I hope you never forget and you always take time to honor and remember those who have made possible through their sacrifices all that we hold dear, here in Massachusetts, and across the country.'"

We here at The Capitol View will never forget the many men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation. They gave their lives on the field of battle not only so we can be free, but also to ensure that our children, our grandchildren and future generations of Americans can continue to enjoy the same freedoms. The Massachusetts House Republican Caucus salutes our fallen veterans and offers our enduring gratitude to them and to the families they left behind.

Friday, May 14, 2021

Representative David Vieira Appointed To Special Commission Studying MA State Seal And Motto

House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) has announced his appointment of State Representative David Vieira (R-Falmouth) to serve on a special commission that will investigate and recommend potential changes to Massachusetts’ official state seal and motto.

The 19-member commission will study the features of the seal and motto “that may be unwittingly harmful to or misunderstood by the citizens of the Commonwealth,” and will work “to ensure that they faithfully reflect and embody the historic and contemporary commitments of the Commonwealth to peace, justice, liberty and equality and to spreading the opportunities and advantages of education.”

The state motto is Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem, a Latin phrase that is loosely translated as “By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty.” According to the Secretary of State’s office, the motto “was written about 1659 and is attributed to the famous English patriot, Algernon Sydney.” 

The current version of the state seal, which incorporates this motto, dates back to June 4, 1885. The seal has come under criticism for its depiction of Native Americans, and for its inclusion of an image of a raised broadsword.

“The state seal and motto has been an ongoing source of controversy among the Native American community,” said Representative Jones. “I am confident David will do an outstanding job helping the commission navigate through these concerns and make responsible recommendations for the future.”

In addition to making recommendations for a new or revised state seal design and state motto, the commission has also been tasked with developing ideas for an educational program on the history and meaning of the seal and motto.

The members of the special commission will include the executive director of the Commission on Indian Affairs, along with five members who are lineal descendants of tribes with a historical presence in the Commonwealth, each of whom will be appointed by the Commission on Indian Affairs. Additional members include State Senator Marc Pacheco (D-Taunton) and State Representative Antonio Cabral (D-New Bedford), who currently serve as the co-chairs of the Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight; representatives from Secretary of State William Galvin’s office, the Massachusetts Historical Commission, the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities and Public Policy, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council; and five members appointed by Governor Charlie Baker who have relevant cultural and historical expertise.

The commission is scheduled to file a report with its finding and recommendations by October 1, 2021.

First elected to the House of Representatives in November of 2010, Vieira is now in his sixth term representing the Third Barnstable District, which is comprised of Precincts 3, 4, 5 and 6 in Bourne; Precincts 3, 4, 7, 8 and 9 in Falmouth; and the town of Mashpee.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Rep. Mirra Named To Special Commission Studying The Future Of Work In Massachusetts

House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) has appointed State Representative Lenny Mirra (R-Georgetown) to serve on a special legislative commission that will study and evaluate the future of work in Massachusetts.

Created as part of a comprehensive economic development and jobs creation bill that was signed into law on January 14, the commission will study how automation, artificial intelligence, global trade, access to new forms of data and the internet of things will impact the workforce, businesses and the economy. The commission’s main objective is “to ensure sustainable jobs, fair benefits and workplace safety standards for workers in all industries, including, but not limited to, access to adequate and affordable health insurance, financial security in retirement, unemployment insurance and disability insurance.”

“Lenny is a small business owner who understands the many challenges facing workers and employers,” said Representative Jones. “His experience and expertise will be a tremendous asset to the commission as it develops its recommendations to help the state’s workforce and businesses adapt to changes in technology and meet the challenges and opportunities of a post-pandemic economy.”

“I'm honored to have been chosen by Minority Leader Jones for this very important commission,” Mirra said. “I very much look forward to working on ways to grow jobs in the commonwealth and help businesses grow here.”

The 17-member commission is being co-chaired by Representative Josh Cutler of Pembroke and Senator Eric Lesser of Longmeadow, and will also include Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Rosalin Acosta or her designee as a member. Governor Charlie Baker and Attorney General Maura Healey both have two appointments to the commission, which will include individuals with expertise in future of work issues, workforce training and education, and fair labor and workers’ rights, as well as representatives from the labor community and the business community.

The commission will file a report on its findings and recommendations, including any suggested legislation, by September 1, 2021. The report will include policy recommendations designed to support life-long learning and talent development for workers of all ages; help workers maintain relevant skills or learn new skills; prepare young people to succeed in the careers and workplaces of the future; and incorporate new technologies into workforce training.

Mirra currently serves as the Ranking Minority Member on both the Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Businesses and the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy, and is also a member of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing. He represents the Second Essex District, which is comprised of Georgetown; Groveland; Merrimac; Newbury; West Newbury; Precincts 2 and 3 in Boxford; and Ward 4, Precinct 3 and Ward 7, Precinct 3 in Haverhill.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Representative Kelly Pease To Serve As A Member Of The PFAS Interagency Task Force

House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) has appointed State Representative Kelly Pease (R-Westfield) to serve on an interagency task force that will review and investigate water and ground contamination of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in Massachusetts.

Created as part of the Fiscal Year 2021 state budget, the 19-member task force will work to develop response plan strategies, explore various treatment and disposal options, and assess how state agencies can most effectively reduce or eliminate the risks associated with PFAS contamination. As part of its investigation, the task force will look at the use of fluorinated aqueous forming foam in firefighting and fire training activities and evaluate effective non-fluorinated alternatives, while also examining ways to limit Massachusetts residents’ exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances through food packaging.

“One of the first bills Kelly filed as a legislator was a proposal to have the Department of Environmental Protection study the effect of PFAS substances in commercial products,” said Representative Jones. “His advocacy efforts in this area will serve the task force well as it works to address the serious public health and environmental issues associated with PFAS exposure.”

The task force is being co-chaired by Representative Kate Hogan of Stow and Senator Julian Cyr of Truro, and will also include among its members a scientist with expertise in per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance-contaminated water, and a physician trained in environmental medicine. Additional members serving on the task force include the attorney general; the secretary of energy and environmental affairs; the secretary of public safety and security; the commissioner of environmental protection; the commissioner of public health; the commissioner of agricultural resources; the director of the Massachusetts emergency management agency; the state fire marshal; the executive director of the Massachusetts Municipal Association, Inc.; the executive director of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority; and the executive director of the Massachusetts Water Works Association, Inc.

The task force is scheduled to report back to the Legislature with its findings and recommendations by December 31, 2021.

Pease was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in November of 2020. He is currently serving as the Ranking Minority Member of the Joint Committee on Higher Education, and is also a member of the Joint Committees on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets; Education; and Veterans and Federal Affairs.