Friday, March 8, 2024

Representative Marcus Vaughn Appointed to House Ways and Means Committee

State Representative Marcus S. Vaughn (R-Wrentham) has been appointed to the powerful House Ways and Means Committee by House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading).

The Ways and Means Committee plays a critical role in guiding the state’s budgetary process. In addition to reviewing all legislation that could impact the Commonwealth’s finances, the committee is also responsible for producing spending recommendations for the state’s agencies and departments through the annual operating budget.

“The Commonwealth is facing uncertain economic times, with revenues having consistently fallen short of projections throughout the current fiscal year, leading to mid-year spending cuts by Governor Healey,” said Representative Jones. “The Ways and Means Committee has a difficult task ahead of it as it continues to hold public hearings across the state in preparation for the crafting of the Fiscal Year 2025 budget. I am confident that Marcus will rise to the challenge and will do everything he can in his new committee role to ensure that the new budget is not only balanced and responsible, but also protects the interests of the state’s taxpayers.”

Vaughn is replacing Representative Joseph D. McKenna (R-Webster) on the Ways and Means Committee, after McKenna was named as the Ranking Minority Member of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary to fill the vacancy created by the recent Senate special election won by former Representative Peter J. Durant (R-Spencer).

“I am honored to be appointed to this committee by the Minority Leader and I am looking forward to working with my colleagues to address the fiscal concerns in the Commonwealth,” said Vaughn.

Vaughn currently serves as the Ranking Minority Member of both the House Committee on Operations, Facilities and Security and the Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Businesses. He is also a member of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, and the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security.

In addition to his legislative committee assignments, Vaughn also serves on the state’s Gaming Policy Advisory Committee (GPAC), which was created under the 2011 Expanded Gaming Act that legalized gaming in Massachusetts. The GPAC advises the Massachusetts Gaming Commission on gaming policy issues related to community mitigation funding, addiction services for compulsive gambling, and the public safety impacts associated with the state’s gaming establishments.

Vaughn is currently serving his first term as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. He represents the 9th Norfolk District, which consists of Precincts 3 and 4 in Medfield; Precinct 1in Millis; Precinct 5 in Walpole; and the towns of Norfolk, Plainville and Wrentham.

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

John Marsi Wins Special Election for Durant Seat

Congratulations to Representative-elect John Marsi, the Dudley Selectman who won yesterday’sspecial election to fill the 6th Worcester District seat vacated last November by former Representative (and current Senator) Peter Durant (R-Spencer).

In a statement, House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) commended the newest member of the Massachusetts House Republican Caucus on his victory.

“Congratulations to John on his election. We welcome him to the Republican Caucus and look forward to working with him in the months ahead,” said Representative Jones.

Monday, February 12, 2024

Representative McKenna Appointed to Massachusetts Rare Disease Advisory Council

State Representative Joseph D. McKenna (R-Webster) is proud to announce that he has been appointed by House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) to serve on the Massachusetts Rare DiseaseAdvisory Council.

McKenna is replacing State Representative Hannah Kane (R-Shrewsbury), who previously served on the Advisory Council but has reached the end of her three-year term.

The 29-member Advisory Council is responsible for advising the Governor, the Legislature and the Department of Public Health on the incidence of rare disease in Massachusetts, which is defined in state law as any condition that “affects fewer than 200,000 people in the United States, has status as an orphan disease for research purposes, or is known to be substantially under diagnosed and unrecognized as a result of lack of adequate diagnostic and research information.”

Although it was created as part of a 2021 omnibus healthcare reform bill known as An Act promoting a resilient health care system that puts patients first, the initial proposal to establish a Rare Disease Advisory Council was filed as a stand-alone bill in 2019 with McKenna and Kane as the lead co-sponsors.

“Joe has been at the forefront of advocating for the rights of individuals with rare diseases to ensure that they have access to appropriate health care, and he has continued to promote additional research and the development of effective diagnosis and treatment options for individuals living with rare medical conditions,” said Representative Jones. “Joe’s knowledge and passion for these issues will help provide a seamless transition for the Advisory Council as it continues its important work to assist this previously underserved population.”

In addition to developing and maintaining a comprehensive rare disease plan for the Commonwealth, the Advisory Council is also required to file an annual report by December 31.

“Though my lived experience as a member of a family with an extensive history of Hemophilia, a rare bleeding disorder that claimed the life of my father while also impacting two cousins and a nephew, I know and understand the daily challenges that patients, family members, caregivers, and care providers in the rare disease community face,” said Representative McKenna. “I am passionate about helping to elevate the voice of this incredible community and I am so excited to join many talented and passionate individuals to continue this mission as a member of the Council.”

McKenna was first elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 2014, after previously serving for three years as Chief of Staff to former State Representative Peter Durant (R-Spencer), who was recently elected to the Senate in a special election. In addition to serving as the Ranking Minority Member of both the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure and the House Committee on Human Resources and Employee Engagement, McKenna is also a member of the House Committee on Post Audit and Oversight, the House and Joint Committees on Ways and Means, and the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies.

McKenna represents the Eighteenth Worcester District, which includes the towns of Webster; Sutton; Douglas; Precincts 1 and 4 in Oxford; and Precinct 1 in Uxbridge.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Representative Jones’ Statement on Governor Healey’s Fiscal Year 2025 Budget Proposal

 House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) released the following statement today in response to Governor Maura Healey’s filing of her Fiscal Year 2025 state budget proposal:

“Governor Healey has filed a Fiscal Year 2025 budget that calls for significantly increased spending across state government, but those aspirations need to be tempered by the fiscal realities facing the Commonwealth. After six-plus months of tax revenues coming in lower than expected, Governor Healey has already implemented hundreds of millions of dollars in mid-year cuts and downgraded projected revenues by $1 billion for Fiscal Year 2024. At the same time, funding for the migrant shelter crisis continues to drain much-needed revenues that would otherwise have been spent on other programs and services, with no end in sight, as evidenced by the Governor’s companion piece of legislation filed today that would empty the Transitional Escrow Fund to pay for this program. It’s telling that using the $863 million available in this fund will still leave a projected funding shortfall of about $91 million, a number that is sure to grow unless meaningful reforms are implemented. The members of the Republican Caucus look forward to reading through the Governor’s budget, participating in the hearing process, and learning more about her specific spending plans to ensure that the interests of the state’s taxpayers are protected.”

Monday, January 15, 2024

Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
– the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in his Letter from Birmingham, Alabama jail, April 16, 1963

Throughout his lifetime, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a tireless advocate for justice and equality. As a leader of the American civil rights movement, he proved that non-violent protest can be used to achieve positive change in society. Today, the Massachusetts House Republican Caucus honors Dr. King’s remarkable life and enduring legacy.

Monday, January 8, 2024

Representative Jones’ Statement on Governor Healey’s Fiscal Year 2024 Budget 9C Cuts

House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) released the following statement today following Governor Maura Healey’s announced 9C budget cuts:

“As the state’s fiscal situation worsens, difficult choices must be made to ensure that the Fiscal Year 2024 budget is balanced. In weighing the financial options available to maintain this balance, the state needs to set clear spending priorities to protect essential programs that benefit the residents of Massachusetts and ensure that taxpayer dollars are being managed responsibly. Unfortunately, some of the mid-year spending cuts announced by the Healey Administration today fall short of these goals. The state is hemorrhaging money while the price tag for addressing the migrant shelter crisis continues to climb at an unsustainable pace with no accompanying efforts to reform the system. This is exactly what Republicans predicted would happen when we debated the Fiscal Year 2023 closeout budget in December. The one reform we were able to secure in the emergency shelter program was a reporting requirement from the Administration, but no financial controls to slow this rate of spending which is now crowding out other priorities. As we sift through the fine print of the Administration’s budget balancing proposal it is clear we must do better in meeting the daunting fiscal challenges that lie ahead, and that requires a serious rethinking of our priorities moving forward.”