Monday, July 17, 2023

Rep. David DeCoste Named to Special Legislative Commission Studying the Civil Service Law

House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) has announced his appointment of State Representative David F. DeCoste (R-Norwell) to serve on the SpecialLegislative Commission to Study and Examine the Civil Service Law.

Established as part of the policing reform bill signed into law on December 31, 2020, the special commission is tasked with studying the employment, promotion, performance evaluation and disciplinary procedures for civil service employees, as well as employees of communities not subject to the civil service law. Based on its findings, the commission will make recommendations for changing the law to improve diversity, transparency and representation of the community in the recruitment, hiring and training of civil service employees and employees working in communities not subject to the civil service law.

A previous iteration of the special commission issued a report on March 30, 2022, which called for lowering barriers to the civil service exam fee waivers and supporting cadet programs and diversity scholarship models, among other proposed policy changes. Language included in a supplemental budget earlier this year revived the commission with the goal of supplementing its previous report with further recommendations, which are now due by May 31, 2024.

“As a career Army veteran who served 22 years on active duty, David is well aware of the importance of the civil service law in helping our veterans who honorably served in the U.S. military to secure employment,” said Representative Jones. “His insight and expertise will help guide the commission as it works to build on the previous recommendations to further improve the law and promote more diversity in the workforce.”

The 29-member commission is co-chaired by Representative Ken Gordon (D-Bedford) and Senator Michael Brady (D-Brockton), who also serve as co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Public Service. The commission includes representatives of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts; the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People New England Area Conference; the Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus; the Massachusetts House Asian Caucus; the Massachusetts Municipal Association; the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association Incorporated; the Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers, Inc.; the Fire Chiefs’ Association of Massachusetts, Inc.; the Mass. Veterans’ Service Agents Association, Inc.; and the Disabled American Veterans, Department of Massachusetts, Inc.

DeCoste currently serves as the Ranking Minority Member on both the Joint Committee on Public Service and the Joint Committee on Housing. He is also a member of the House Committee on Operations, Facilities and Security, as well as the Joint Committee on Transportation and the Joint Committee on Racial Equity, Civil Rights, and Inclusion.

First elected to the House of Representatives in November of 2014, DeCoste represents the 5th Plymouth District communities of Hanover, Rockland, Hanson (Precinct 1) and Norwell (Precincts 1 and 2).

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

House and Senate Republicans Call for Release of Municipal Road and Bridge Funding

House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) and Senate Minority Leader Bruce E. Tarr (R-Gloucester) issued the following joint statement today regarding the ongoing Chapter 90 conference committee negotiations, along with a letter to the conferees urging swift action on the areas of agreement between the two branches:

“The Chapter 90 road and bridge program provides a critical source of state funding assistance for our cities and towns so they can address their local transportation infrastructure needs. Although the House and Senate engrossed their respective bills in March, we have now gone nearly four months without a resolution, and it is time to break this impasse. While there are some provisions that remain a source of disagreement and still need to be worked out by the House and Senate, there is also much common ground to be found in the two bills that can be acted on now to ensure this money starts flowing to our cities and towns. Today we are calling on the members of the conference committee to break the months-long deadlock and report a bill in part that includes at least the $200 million in Chapter 90 funding, as well as funding increases for other critical municipal transportation grants on which the two branches are already in agreement.”

A copy of the letter sent to the Chapter 90 conferees is attached below.

July 11, 2023

The Honorable Brendan P. Crighton
State House, Room 109-C
Boston, MA 02133

The Honorable William M. Straus
State House, Room 134
Boston, MA 02133

The Honorable Paul W. Mark
State House, Room 504
Boston, MA 02133

The Honorable Brian W. Murray
State House, Room 134
Boston, MA 02133

The Honorable Patrick M. O’Connor
State House, Room 419
Boston, MA 02133

The Honorable Steven S. Howitt
State House, Room 237
Boston, MA 02133

Dear Conferees:

On behalf of the members of the House and Senate Republican Caucuses, we are writing to respectfully request that you take immediate action to resolve the current impasse on Chapter 90 funding for Fiscal Year 2024 by reporting a bill in part to deliver this crucial funding to our 351 cities and towns.

We understand that disagreements remain between the House and Senate over certain sections of the Chapter 90 bill that would allocate funding increases to a variety of transportation-related grant programs. However, there is no such disagreement over the underlying proposal to deliver at least $200 million to local communities for critical road and bridge repairs. Therefore, we implore the conferees to move forward with the immediate release of this funding by reporting a bill in part, while continuing to attempt to reconcile the differences that remain in the other sections of this legislation.

Although the final passage date of the Chapter 90 bill has varied from session to session, the goal has always been to approve the funding in a timely manner so municipalities can take full advantage of the spring and summer construction seasons. Unfortunately, we are fast approaching one of the latest dates for finalizing action on this important program, and our cities and towns are paying the price for this inaction.

Given the continued stalemate between the two legislative branches, we urge you to prioritize the release of at least $200 million in Chapter 90 funding and any additional transportation-related municipal grant funding that is not in dispute without further delay. We thank you for your consideration in this important matter.


Bradley H. Jones, Jr.
House Minority Leader

Bruce E. Tarr
Senate Minority Leader

Tuesday, July 4, 2023


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


Today marks the 247th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, a watershed event that continues to serve as a source of hope and inspiration for people around the world. As we celebrate our country’s Independence Day, the members of the Massachusetts House Republican Caucus join with Americans everywhere to honor those who are currently serving in our armed forces, as well as the many generations who came before them. Their service and sacrifices have ensured that we continue to enjoy the many essential freedoms that were envisioned by the Founding Fathers at our nation’s birth.