Friday, June 29, 2012

House Minority Leader’s Statement on Enactment of Fiscal Year 2013 Budget

House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) issued the following statement today in response to the enactment of the Fiscal Year 2013 budget by the House of Representatives:

“The Fiscal Year 2013 budget, while a difficult balancing act, demonstrates the House of Representatives’ commitment to producing a balanced and tax-free budget.

This legislation was drastically improved by the inclusion of priorities of the House Republican Caucus, including EBT reform, enhancement of the Community Preservation Act, and initiatives derived from the GOP Jobs Package.

While if left to the devices of House Republicans this budget might look different, this document demonstrates to the residents of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that we as a governing body are committed to jobs, government transparency and local aid.

I look forward to Governor Patrick’s timely review of this legislation.”

Thursday, June 14, 2012

House GOP Sends Letter To Senate President and House Speaker Regarding Stalled Chapter 90 Funding

Yesterday, the House Republican Caucus sent a letter to Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Robert DeLeo requesting the release of the Chapter 90 portion of the Transportation Bond Bill.

In the letter, the Caucus urged the Senate President and Speaker of the House to release the Chapter 90 bond money from conference committee and stressed that further refusal to do so will only hurt the Commonwealth’s 351 cities and towns as well as the local contractors who are losing work in the already limited construction season.

Below is the letter in its entirety.


Flag Day

Today we take a moment to pay tribute to something that we might otherwise take for granted on a daily basis. On this day in 1777, the Continental Congress approved the design of a national flag, thus the celebration of Flag Day.

According to reports, in 1776, George Washington commissioned Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross to create a flag for the newly formed nation. At present, there have been twenty-seven official versions of the flag, but the arrangement of the stars varied according to the flag-makers' preferences until 1912 when President Taft standardized the then-new flag's forty-eight stars into six rows of eight. The current version of the flag dates to July 4, 1960, after Hawaii became the 50th state.

The Commonwealth also happens to be home to one of the longest-running Flag Day parades. Since its inception in 1952, the Flag Day parade is held annually in Quincy, Massachusetts. This year the parade celebrates its 61st anniversary.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Representative Ross Appears on the FOX-25 Morning News

In case you missed it, Representative George T. Ross (R-Attleboro) made an appearance on the FOX-25 Morning News today.

As you may have heard, legislation filed by Representative Ross banning the sale of the designer drug called “bath salts,” which contain ingredients similar to those found in illegal narcotics, recently passed the House of Representatives and now stands before the State Senate for consideration.

Representative Ross joined host Shannon Mulaire to discuss the legislation he filed, as well as the potentially deadly effects of this new street drug.

To view the entire segment play the video posted below.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Legislation to Prohibit Sale of “Bath Salts” Passes House of Representatives

Legislation filed by Representative George T. Ross (R–Attleboro) banning the sale of the designer drug called “bath salts,” which contain ingredients similar to those found in illegal narcotics, recently passed the House of Representatives and now stands before the State Senate for consideration.

Attached as an amendment to Representative Kafka’s (D-Stoughton) House Bill 2220, An Act Relative to Trafficking in Methamphetamines, Representative Ross’ amendment seeks to categorize the “bath salts” drug as a Class C substance under the Controlled Substances Act. The ingredients commonly found in “bath salts” are not currently included in our Controlled Substances Act, so these drugs can be sold in convenience stores and online even though they have no legal or practical use.

“I am pleased that the House of Representatives has acted upon this important piece of legislation,” said Representative Ross. “The ingredients found in this hallucinogen produce a potentially dangerous narcotic that is now readily available to anyone in our Commonwealth. In passing this legislation, the House has joined me in taking a proactive approach to this growing epidemic. We must act before it is too late and someone loses their life.”

The active ingredients in the drug “bath salts” include methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDVP) and mephedrone - also known as substituted cathinones. “Bath salts” are typically sold as a white powder and in crystal form, and can be smoked, injected, or snorted, giving users effects similar to cocaine, methamphetamine (meth), or ecstasy. Users’ reactions to the drug can vary but are reported to include: hallucinations, severe anxiety, paranoia, suicidal thoughts and combative behavior, as well as dangerously elevated blood pressure and heart rate.

“It has been a pleasure working with my friend, Representative Ross, to update the Commonwealth’s criminal statutes,” said Representative Kafka. “If passed by the Senate, House Bill 2220 will provide police and prosecutors with the tools necessary to combat the trafficking of methamphetamines, highly addictive and dangerous stimulants, and to deal with the proliferation of bath salts.”

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, as of May 14, 2012, 38 states have enacted legislation banning the substances used to manufacture the drug.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

68th Anniversary of D-Day

On this, the 68th anniversary of the Allied forces storming the beaches of Normandy, we wish to remember all of the brave soldiers who lost their lives fighting to ensure the freedoms of others.

June 6, 1944 is a day that will not soon be forgotten. The military engagement that occurred on this day has long been considered the turning point of World War II in the European theater. Soon after the landing in Normandy, troops left France and continued on through Europe and into Germany. The United States military liberated millions while toppling the Nazi regime. Currently, there are more veterans of the historic D-Day invasion than any other engagement in WWII.

Today, and every other day, we wish to remember the sacrifices and the commitment of the men and women who have served, and continue to serve in the United States Armed Forces.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Western Massachusetts Tornadoes – One Year Later

One year ago today, horrific tornadoes tore through Western Massachusetts leaving a path of destruction. A year later, we remember the individuals who lost their lives and those who suffered incredible property damage and personal loss as a result of those deadly storms.

Through this tragedy, the resolve of the residents of Western Massachusetts affected by this storm was on full display for all to see. In the hours, days, and weeks after the storm, we as a Commonwealth witnessed entire communities come together as one.

To this day, we admire and applaud the spirits and resolve of the residents of Springfield, Monson, Brimfield, Sturbridge, Southbridge, Westfield and Charlton, and we will never forget those who lost their lives on June 1, 2011.