Monday, January 17, 2022

Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction.”– the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

The House Republican Caucus honors the life and legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose message of non-violence provided a path for achieving meaningful progress on the issues of justice and equality.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

'A Date Which Will Live In Infamy'

In the early morning hours of December 7, 1941, the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor came under attack. When it was over, 2,403 American sailors, soldiers and civilians were dead and another 1,143 were wounded, leading President Franklin Roosevelt to declare it as “a date which will live in infamy.”

On this National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, the House Republican Caucus honors the memories of those who perished on that fateful Sunday morning 80 years ago. Their service to our nation and their sacrifices will never be forgotten.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving From The Capitol View

The Capitol View wishes you and your loved ones a very safe and happy Thanksgiving! As we gather with family and friends today, let us not forget the many men and women serving in our armed forces who are unable to spend time with their own families to celebrate the holidays this year. We are truly thankful for their continued service to our nation.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Rep. Muratore Appointed to Non-Emergency Human Services Transportation Task Force

House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) has announced his appointment of State Representative Mathew Muratore (R-Plymouth) to serve as his designee on the Non-Emergency Human Services Transportation Task Force.

Created as part of the Fiscal Year 2022 state budget, the 18-member task force is charged with finding ways to improve quality outcomes for consumers utilizing the state’s brokerage system for transportation to doctor’s appointments and other services, particularly for vulnerable populations living in rural and urban areas. The task force will develop recommendations for improving collaboration, service and productivity, while also achieving operational and cost efficiencies throughout the system.

Massachusetts currently uses two Regional Transit Authorities that serve as brokers for the entire state and subcontract with local qualified transportation providers to offer transportation services to clients of agencies that fall under the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS). The Montachusett Regional Transit Authority (MART) services clients in Western Mass., Central Mass., Metro Boston and Northeastern Mass., while the Greater Attleboro-Taunton Regional Transit Authority (GATRA) services Southeastern Mass., Cape Cod and the Islands.

“Matt has an extensive background in human services that has earned him recognition from advocacy organizations such as the Arc of Greater Plymouth and MassAccess,” said Representative Jones. “His knowledge and expertise will be an asset to the task force as it works to improve services for clients utilizing the Commonwealth’s transportation brokerage system.”

Representative Muratore is one of four legislators serving on the task force, which is being chaired by Undersecretary for Human Services Elizabeth Denniston and also includes a representative from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation; three regional transit authority administrators; and two gubernatorial appointees, including a human services transportation planning expert. Other members of the task force represent the Association of Developmental Disability Providers; the statewide Independent Living Council; the Boston Center for Independent Living, Inc.; Arc Massachusetts, Inc.; the Disability Law Center, Inc.; and the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council.

The task force held its first meeting on November 3, and is expected to submit a report with its findings and recommendations by December 1, 2022. It is also authorized to make a draft report available to the public for comment before filing its final version.

Representative Muratore is currently in his fourth term representing the First Plymouth District. A member of the House Ways and Means Committee, he also currently serves as the Assistant Ranking Minority Member of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing; the Ranking Minority Member of the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government; and the Ranking Minority Member of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Representative McKenna Named to State Autism Commission

House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) is pleased to announce his appointment of State Representative Joseph D. McKenna (R-Webster) to the state Autism Commission.

Established by the Massachusetts Legislature in 2014, the Autism Commission is charged with making recommendations on policies impacting individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), including Asperger’s syndrome and Smith-Magenis syndrome. The Commission is responsible for investigating the services and supports that are available to individuals with ASD and recommending improvements when necessary. This includes public and post-secondary education, job attainment and employment, housing and independent living, social and recreational opportunities, and behavioral and mental health services among others.

As part of its duties, the Autism Commission files an annual report with the Governor, the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities, and the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing. This report details the services, supports and treatment available to the state’s autism population, along with recommendations for legislative and regulatory actions needed to improve these services and address any unmet needs.

“I am so excited to deepen the work I can do to help individuals with autism and their families in Massachusetts,” said Representative McKenna. “I have developed many relationships and friendships throughout the ASD community, so I have learned a great deal already about the challenges, big and small, of day-to-day life. I look forward to this opportunity to further the great work that has already been done in MA to break down those challenges and to increase access to all necessary care and services for everyone in this wonderful community.”

“Joe understands the difficulties that individuals with autism and their families often face when trying to access services, and he has been an advocate for breaking down those barriers,” said Representative Jones. “As a member of the Autism Commission, I am confident he will do everything he can to ensure that Massachusetts fulfills its commitment to providing the ASD community with access to comprehensive support services that allow individuals with autism to achieve their full potential.”

Representative McKenna is currently co-sponsoring House Bill 1203, which would expand health care options for individuals with autism by allowing them to remain covered under their parents’ health insurance beyond the age of 26. He also previously co-sponsored legislation requiring training for law enforcement and correction officers on how to engage in appropriate interactions with persons on the autism spectrum who are victims or witnesses to a crime or are suspected or convicted of a crime.

 A member of the House Committee on Ways and Means, McKenna also serves as the Ranking Minority Member of the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure, and is a member of the House Committee on Steering, Policy and Scheduling, the Joint Committee on Revenue, and the Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Businesses.

 McKenna was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2014. He represents the 18th Worcester District, which consists of Webster, Douglas, Sutton, precincts 1 and 4 in Oxford, and precinct 1 in Uxbridge. He also serves on the Board of Directors for The Last Green Valley, Inc. the non-profit stewardship organization serving the Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor in MA and CT.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Veterans Day: Honoring All Who Served

Speaking 32 years ago today at the 1989 Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, the late U.S. Army General Colin L. Powell highlighted the important role veterans have played since America first declared its independence when he said:

“The nation owes a great debt to its veterans, whose service to the nation spans every decade, every year, every day of our country’s existence. Through untold courage and sacrifice, America’s veterans have secured the liberty which the Founding Fathers sought to establish here in the new world. Whenever and wherever the nation has called – in times of darkness and danger as well as in times of peace and prosperity – America’s veterans have been there. Veterans have proudly carried the torch of liberty for all to see.”

The members of the House Republican Caucus join with Americans everywhere to salute our nation’s veterans. The debt we owe our veterans can never be fully repaid. Thank you to all who have served, and to the families that have shared in their sacrifices so that all Americans can remain free

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).