May 2014 Office Update

Stanley Farm Visit

District Events

In May, I completed another round of office hours in the 37th Middlesex District. My staff and I held office hours in Harvard, Lunenburg, and Boxborough. It was excellent to see familiar and new faces out in the district. If you were not able to attend office hours this time around, I will be hosting them again in the fall. If you wish to schedule a meeting in the meantime, my staff and I are always available to meet with constituents at the State House, and in the district. You can schedule a meeting by calling my Boston office at 617-722-2430.

It was quiet around the District this month, but I did have the opportunity to tour the Stanley Farm in Boxborough, with Senator Eldridge, Selina Shaw, Boxborough’s Town Manager, and Brad Mitchell from the Massachusetts Farmers Bureau Federation. It was a beautiful day for a tour. Additionally, Senator Eldridge and I participated in the Memorial Day Parade in Boxborough.

At the State House

The House met for three Full Formal Sessions during the month of May to consider An Act relative to improving student achievement (H3984), An Act relative to the expansion of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (H3952), among others. House Bill 3984 was redrafted, as H4108, and passed to be engrossed, in the House. House Bill 3952 was also redrafted, as H3952, and passed to be engrossed. The House will spend the next two months trying to take action on as many bills as possible, as the end of the two year session is July 31st.

Joint Committee on Health Care Financing

The Joint Committee on Health Care Financing currently has over 90 bills in the Committee. Some are bills the committee requested reporting extensions on, and others are secondary bills received from other committees.

Other Committee Updates

The Joint Committee on Telecommunications Utilities and Energy (TUE) did not hold any hearings during the month of May.

As I mentioned in my last update, Chairman Keenan appointed me to the bottle law deposit subcommittee tasked with the objective of working out a compromise on the bottle deposit law expansion. Over the past month, the Bottle Bill subcommittee has been meeting regularly. My colleagues and I have all been invested in the discussions, and ensuring we hear from all sides on the issue. The Joint Committee on Public Service did not hold any hearings during the month of May.

After School and Out-of-School Time Coordinating Council (ASOST)

As the co-chair of the After School and Out-of-School Time Coordinating Council (ASOST), I was invited to attend the 2014 National Meeting of the National Network of Statewide Afterschool Networks and the Afterschool for All Challenge in Washington, D.C. The conference was an excellent educational opportunity to better understand what other states are doing and how the federal government can assist in these efforts. Throughout the conference, I was invited to speak on a panel, “Working Together for the Win: Policymakers and Networks Move the Needle”. Additionally, I was honored to be a recipient of the Afterschool for All State Champion award.

As always, I encourage each of you to keep in touch by contacting my office at 617.722.2430 or sending an email at Jennifer.Benson@MAHouse.gov.