MAJOR BILLS DELAYED IN CONFERENCE COMMITTEE

COMPOUNDING PHARMACY REFORM

WELFARE REFORM

MERCURY THERMOMETERS

EARLY VOTING - ELECTIONS REFORM

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Small Business Week 2012

In an ongoing commitment to small businesses in Massachusetts, members of the House Republican Caucus joined their House colleagues in promoting “On Main Street,” an event honoring National Small Business Week.

Caucus members visited a handful  of Massachusetts’ nearly 585,000 entrepreneurs and small business owners to thank them for their important contributions to the Commonwealth’s economy and to promote this summer’s movement to shop small and local.

Please see below for pictures of members of the House Republican Caucus at businesses within their communities.


Representative George N. Peterson, Jr. (R-Grafton) at All-Steel Fabricating in North Grafton


Representative Elizabeth Poirier (R-North Attleboro) at Sakura in South Attleboro


Representative Bradford R. Hill (R-Ipswich) at the Clam Box in Ipswich



Representative Steven Howitt (R-Seekonk) at Phoenix Inc. in Seekonk



Representative Shaunna O'Connell (R-Taunton) at Deanna Tobacco & Cigar in Taunton



Representative George T. Ross (R-Attleboro) at Jonathon's Cafe in Attleboro



Representatives Kevin Kuros (R-Uxbridge) and Ryan Fattman (R-Sutton) at Millville Gas in Millville



Representative Dan Winslow (R-Norfolk) at Bourque's Restaurant in Norfolk



Representative Donald H. Wong (R-Saugus) at the Saugus Deli in Saugus


Representative Geoff Diehl (R-Whitman) at the Mighty Tomato in East Bridgewater


Representative Vinny deMacedo (R-Plymouth) at the Water Street Cafe in Plymouth

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day 2012


George Orwell once said, “we sleep safely in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.”

As Massachusetts and the nation observe Memorial Day, we pause to honor the many brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Throughout our nation's proud history, many have answered the call to serve, and many more continue to place themselves in harm's way in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Today, we honor all of our veterans for their service to our country, and for the sacrifices they have made to preserve the many freedoms we all too often take for granted.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

House of Representatives Adopts The VALOR Act

In an ongoing commitment to providing jobs and expanding access to a range of services for veterans, active-duty military and their families, the House Republican Caucus joined their House Democratic colleagues in passing The Valor Act.

Passed in advance of Memorial Day, The Valor Act works on many fronts to assist veterans and active military members by improving business, educational, and housing opportunities.

“I am pleased that the House has come together in a bipartisan manner to ensure that we have the resources in place for the Commonwealth’s servicemen and women when they return home from active military deployment,” said Representative Jones. “By passing The Valor Act, the House and Senate have reaffirmed their commitment to creating jobs for military personnel while expanding benefits and services for veterans and their families.”

Recognizing the pivotal role education plays in job creation and retention, the Valor Act includes Republican-led provisions – initially offered in the GOP Jobs Package – that require public institutions of higher learning to adopt new policies and procedures to award proper academic credit for a veteran’s prior military training, coursework and experience.

Additionally, the state’s boards of professional licensure will now consider military education, training, and service by an individual who is a member of the Armed Forces or the military reserves toward qualifications required to receive a license or certification.

Furthermore, the bill adds Massachusetts to the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children, making it easier for the children of military personnel to transfer between school districts and states.

To address the 13.1% national unemployment rate for post 9/11 veterans, The Valor Act also includes provisions to help veterans transition into civilian employment by allowing for at least a 90-day license renewal extension for certain Department of Public Safety licenses for service members returning from active duty.

The proposals offered by House Republicans also dovetail with provisions of the Valor Act facilitating seed money for the start-up and expansion of veteran-owned businesses as well as promoting public/private partnerships and the participation of service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses in public construction and design projects.

Finally, in addition to requiring the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs be a veteran, the legislation helps ease the costs of housing, utilities, medical services and food for Gold Star Families, and expands eligibility for the Massachusetts Military Family Relief Fund while eliminating the $2,500 Property Tax Exemption Cap for Gold Star Spouses.

The Valor Act will now be sent to Conference Committee.


Friday, May 11, 2012

Final Day of Public Hearings for GOP Jobs Package

In case you missed it, the final two bills in a 5 bill omnibus jobs package filed by the Republican Legislative Caucus received a public hearing yesterday.

The Joint Committee on Revenue heard testimony on House Bill 4036, An Act Incentivizing Job Creation and Reducing the Burdens on Small Businesses. The legislation, filed in response to the Republican Legislative Caucus’ statewide Jobs Tour, seeks to address the central role Massachusetts’ tax system plays in addressing the recovery gap and the continuing jobs crisis in the Commonwealth.

Furthermore, House Bill 4036 seeks to incentive job creation while reducing the burdens of small businesses by: (1) encouraging in-state business creation and providing predictability throughout the year for small businesses, (2) offering tax-free savings assistance to first-time homebuyers and ensuring that Massachusetts workers have access to affordable housing opportunities, (3) incentivizing the registration of commercial vehicles in Massachusetts as opposed to neighboring states while making the commercial vehicle registration process more accommodating, and (4) offering two new tax expenditures - Job Creation Tax Credit and Angel Investor Tax Credit.

Additionally, the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing conducted a public hearing regarding House Bill 4034, An Act Reducing the Health Care Burden on Businesses.

This comprehensive piece of legislation focuses on the central role healthcare plays as one of the greatest impediments to job growth in Massachusetts.

House Bill 4034 seeks to create jobs via Massachusetts’ healthcare system by: (1) reforming fair share contributions, (2) increasing the Full Time Equivalent (FTE) threshold from 10 employees to 50, (3) reducing healthcare mandates, (4) suspending the prescription drug requirement from the minimum creditable coverage guidelines, and (5) reforming medical malpractice.

Below, you will find letters of testimony submitted to the aforementioned Committees by House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr.

Additionally, Representative Vinny deMacedo appeared on the Jeff Katz show to provide listeners with a recap of Wednesday’s public hearings on the business regulations component of the GOP Jobs Package and to give a brief preview of yesterday’s public hearing on revenue and healthcare.

Click here to listen to the interview in its entirety.

H. 4036_Revenue
H.4034 Healthcare

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Day Two of GOP Jobs Package Public Hearings

In case you missed it, the 3rd of 5 omnibus jobs bills filed by the Republican Legislative Caucus received a public hearing yesterday.

The Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight heard testimony on House Bill 4037, An Act Providing Regulatory Reform to Promote Job Growth . This legislation, filed in response to the Republican Legislative Caucus’ statewide Jobs Tour, seeks to address government regulations as an impediment to job growth in Massachusetts.

House Bill 4037 seeks to alleviate burdensome regulations by: (1) reforming our regulatory process, (2) redefining the definition of Independent Contractor, (3) streamline and clarify local permitting, (4) update and reform our unemployment insurance program, and (5) repeal the Treble Damages law.

Below, you will find a letter of testimony submitted to the Committee by House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr.

H. 4037_Business Regulations

Additionally, Representative Jones appeared on the Jeff Katz show to provide listeners with a recap of Tuesday’s public hearings on the education and energy components of the GOP Jobs Package and to give a brief preview of yesterday’s public hearing on business regulations.

Click here to listen to the interview in its entirety.

Finally, the schedule of remaining public hearings on the GOP Jobs Package is as follows:

Thursday, May 10th

10:00am: House Bill 4036, An Act Incentivizing Job Creation and Reducing the Burdens on Small Businesses – Joint Committee on Revenue (located in A-2)

1:00pm: House bill 4034, An Act Reducing the Health Care Burden on Businesses – Joint Committee on Health Care Financing (located in A-2)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

House Republicans Seek Stricter Hiring Practices at Gaming Commission

Led by House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) and members of the House Republican Leadership team, the House Republican Caucus successfully advocated for the adoption of an amendment to the Supplemental Budget requiring stricter candidate vetting procedures, including mandatory background checks, for all persons applying for employment with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

While the Gaming Law signed by Governor Patrick already outlines steps the Gaming Commission can take to thoroughly vet all applicants for employment, recent media reports have called into question the Commission's application and integrity relative to those hiring procedures.

“The original Gaming Law outlined a reasonable and appropriate vetting procedure, but apparently that wasn't enough. It is unfortunate that the House of Representatives now has to legislate common sense,” said House Minority Leader Brad Jones. “The Commission's track record calls their judgment into question. By offering this amendment, we will require the Commission to conduct thorough vetting of applicants, and to maintain a level of integrity that is expected from the taxpayers of Massachusetts.”

In addition to requiring background checks, which are standard in many application processes, this amendment will require that the Commission, shall at all times, strive to avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all matters under their jurisdiction and shall require all staff and personnel subject to their direction and control to observe the same standards of fidelity and diligence.

The amendment will be sent as part of the comprehensive Supplemental Budget to the Senate for consideration.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Public Hearings Held on GOP Jobs Package

In case you missed it, 2 of the 5 omnibus jobs bills filed by the Republican Legislative Caucus received a public hearing today.

The Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy heard testimony on House Bill 4038, An Act Relative to Cost-Effective Energy Policies and Electricity Cost Reduction. The legislation, filed in response to the Republican Legislative Caucus’ statewide Jobs Tour, seeks to address the staggering cost of electricity in the Commonwealth - one of the factors suppressing economic growth, discouraging job creation and driving businesses to relocate to other states.

Furthermore, House 4038 seeks to lower electricity costs and bring transparency to the ratepayers of the Commonwealth by: (1) requiring public utilities to competitively solicit long-term renewable energy contracts, (2) encouraging the incorporation of small and large hydroelectric generation in the Commonwealth’s renewable energy portfolio, and (3) establishing a 10-year independent commission to annually evaluate the environmental benefits and economic costs associated with current and proposed energy and electricity policies.

Additionally, the Joint Committee on Higher Education conducted a public hearing regarding House Bill 4035, An Act Relative to Creating Job Opportunities Through Improving Access to Education, Empowering Vocational Schools, and Investment. This comprehensive piece of legislation focuses on the central role education plays in addressing the recovery gap and the continuing jobs crisis in Massachusetts.

House Bill 4035 seeks to create jobs via Massachusetts’ educational system by: (1) renewing the focus on vocational-technical programs and vocational-technical school districts across Massachusetts, (2) lowering the unemployment rate for veterans by rewarding these men and women for the skills they gained while serving our country, (3) creating a program that will help our students become job-creators as they turn their ideas for products and businesses into a reality, and (4) proposing a Finish Line Scholarship Program to help students finish their degree by paying for fees and tuition of their final year of an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.

Below, you will find letters of testimony submitted to the aforementioned Committees by House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr.

Finally, as you may remember, in February, House and Senate Republicans announced that they would be submitting a comprehensive and innovative jobs package. Filed as five omnibus bills, the jobs package targets five key areas – business regulations, education, energy, healthcare, and taxes – that are key to facilitating economic growth in Massachusetts.

Residents and business owners alike are welcome – and encouraged – to join members of the House Republican Caucus in either attending the hearings in person, or submitting letters of written testimony to the Chairs of the appropriate Joint Committees.

The schedule of remaining public hearings on the GOP Jobs Package is as follows:

Wednesday, May 9th

1:00 pm: House Bill 4037, An Act Providing Regulatory Reform to Promote Job Growth – Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight (located in B-1)

Thursday, May 10th

10:00am: House Bill 4036, An Act Incentivizing Job Creation and Reducing the Burdens on Small Businesses – Joint Committee on Revenue (located in B-2)


H4038TestimonyJobsBill Energy

H. 4035 Education



Monday, May 7, 2012

GOP Jobs Package to Receive Public Hearings

In case you missed it, 4 of the 5 omnibus jobs bills filed by the Republican Legislative Caucus will receive public hearings this week.

As you may remember, in February, House and Senate Republicans announced that they would be submitting a comprehensive and innovative jobs package. Filed as five omnibus bills, the jobs package targets five key areas – business regulations, education, energy, healthcare, and taxes – that are key to facilitating economic growth in Massachusetts.

Residents and business owners alike are welcome – and encouraged – to join members of the House Republican Caucus in either attending the hearings in person, or submitting letters of written testimony to the Chairs of the appropriate Joint Committees.

The schedule of hearings is as follows:

Tuesday, May 8th

10:00am: House Bill 4038, An Act Relative to Cost-Effective Energy Policies and Electricity Cost Reduction – Joint Committee on Telecom, Energy and Cable (located in A-1)

10:30am: House Bill 4035, An Act Relative to Improving Employment Opportunities Through Access to Education – Joint Committee on Higher Education (located in A-2)


Wednesday, May 9th

1:00 pm: House Bill 4037, An Act Providing Regulatory Reform to Promote Job Growth – Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight (located in B-1)


Thursday, May 10th

10:00am: House Bill 4036, An Act Incentivizing Job Creation and Reducing the Burdens on Small Businesses – Joint Committee on Revenue (located in B-2)