Small business health insurance enrollment forum on February 12

Representatives Hogan and Benson

Presented by State Reps. Kate Hogan & Jennifer Smith Benson, State Senator Jamie Eldridge. The Assabet Valley Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley

Thursday, February 12, 2015, 5-7pm
Maynard Town Hall (Gianotis Room)
195 Main Street, Maynard

Want to check out whether or not the Health Connector is the right tool for your business? Join us to learn more about the Affordable Care Act. Obtain information and materials to enhance your decision-making on whether or not a Health Care Connector Program is the best option for you, your employees, and your business! The program is currently open to businesses with less than 50 employees, and open enrollment is available on year-round basis.

Assistance will be available at the event to provide in-person guidance, and education about resources available through the Small Business Health Options Program at the Massachusetts Health Connector.

You should attend the Enrollment Fair if any of the following is true:

  1. You are the small business owner with 50 or fewer full-time employees.
  2. You are an insurance broker and you would like to learn more about working with the Massachusetts Health Connector.
  3. Your current small business healthcare premiums are too costly and you would like to “shop around”.
  4. You would like to learn more about the Wellness Program available to small business owners through the Massachusetts Health Connector.
  5. You would like to learn more about the Small Business Healthcare Tax Credit.
  6. You are currently uninsured and would like to better understand what is available through the Health Connector.

For more information, or to RSVP, call Rep. Hogan’s office and ask for Jordan at 617.722.2692, or email Jordan.Eldridge@MAHouse.gov.

Welcome to the new website!

Welcome to my new website!  I have to be honest – my website needed an update.  I wanted a way to directly reach out to you and provide more real time information.  I think this new format will allow me to do that in a seamless way, and will be easier for you to navigate and sign up for updates.

My goal has always been to be as approachable as possible, because my relationship to you is paramount.  With the addition of this blog my staff and I can reach out directly and fill you in on what is happening in Boston and the District.  Cat Bunker and Meagan Greene will also be blogging on what they are working on, whether it’s filing legislation, working with local officials or setting up briefings.  The three of us make up the 37th Middlesex District office and work for all of you.

Right now we are all working on deciding which of the 5,000+ bills that have been filed to cosponsor. We have been hearing from folks in the district on what is most important to you – thank you!  You have truly guided my decisions on what I should support.  We have until Monday to make those decisions, so keep the emails coming.  You can also search for bills by keyword, number or by filer at https://malegislature.gov/Bills/Search.

So, on this snowy day, please take a moment to check out the site.  Let us know what you would like to hear more about by emailing me at jennifer.benson@mahouse.gov, or on facebook, twitter or call 617-722-2430.  And please sign up for real time updates on the website right sidebar.

I’m looking forward to chatting soon!

Jen

State Representative Jennifer Benson Elected To Leadership Role With Women In Government

Rep. Benson sworn into Women in Government leadership

At the 21st Annual State Directors’ and 11th Biennial First Term Legislators’ Conference in St. Pete Beach, Florida, State Representative Jennifer Benson (D-Lunenburg) was sworn in as a 2015 State Director with Women In Government, following her election to this position by her fellow state legislative colleagues this past year.

“Women In Government congratulates Massachusetts State Representative Jennifer Benson in her position as a State Director. State Directors play a critical role in setting policy priorities for our organization,” said Dyan Alexander, Executive Director of Women In Government. “State Representative Jennifer Benson is a recognized leader in her state, and we are excited that she will now share her leadership skills with other women policymakers throughout the country.”

“Last week, I had the honor of being sworn in as a 2015 State Director for Massachusetts with Women In Government, Inc. at the 21st Annual State Directors’ Conference. The conference provided an excellent opportunity to share ideas and discuss policy solutions on a variety of issues with leaders from across the country,” said Representative Benson. “I am looking forward to serving as a State Director with Women in Government, and having an expanded network of women policymakers, who are committed to establishing effective public policies.”

At the 21st Annual State Directors’ Conference, women state legislators heard from expert speakers on a variety of public policy topics and their impact on states. Topics included developing energy diversity, the role of nutrition in healthy aging, methods for creating opportunities for families, diabetes prevention and awareness, and many others. This meeting also provided attendees with the opportunity to network with colleagues across state borders and share best practices to advance successful public policies.

About Women In Government

Women In Government Foundation, Inc. is a national, non-profit, non-partisan organization of women state legislators providing leadership opportunities, networking, expert forums, and educational resources. Women In Government serves all 1,785 women who serve in state legislatures from across the country. For more information, visit http://www.womeningovernment.org.

Benson sworn-in for fourth term as State Representative for 37th Middlesex District

Rep. Benson sworn in

BOSTON—On Wednesday Jan. 7, State Representative Jennifer Benson took the oath of office to serve a fourth term representing the 37th Middlesex District in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. The swearing-in marks the start of the 189th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

State Representative Jennifer Benson (D-Lunenburg) takes Oath of Office in the House Chamber on January 7, 2015.

“I am honored and humbled to be given the opportunity to continue serving the people of the 37th Middlesex District,” said Rep. Benson. “I am looking forward to not only continuing my work on Beacon Hill alongside my colleagues and Speaker DeLeo, but also excited to continue working with the residents and local officials in the district. As we start the new legislative session, supporting public schools and working families, special education funding and prioritizing health care access for all are a few of my many legislative priorities. I am also eager to introduce new bills including campus safety and improving access to healthy food in public schools.”

Rep. Benson represents Acton (Precincts 3, 4, 5), Ayer (Precinct 2), Boxborough, Harvard, Lunenburg (Precincts A, C, D) and Shirley in the Legislature.

Rep. Benson Announces Passage of Regional 911 Legislation

Rep. Benson with police officer

BOSTON – Senator Jennifer L. Flanagan (D-Leominster) and Representative Jennifer Benson (D-Lunenburg) today announced the successful passage of legislation relative to regional 911 emergency communications districts. This legislation provides guidelines and framework for communities interested in establishing regional 911 emergency communication centers.

“This legislation sets up a clear process through which cities and towns can pursue regionalizing their 911 communications, an important cost saving measure that is vital for small communities,” said Senator Flanagan. “It is vital that we continue to make it conducive for cities and towns to streamline these types of functions in order to maximize the funding the state is able to provide municipalities.”

“Regionalized call centers, such as the Nashoba Valley Regional Emergency Communications Center, allow municipalities to see significant cost savings while continuing to provide critical emergency services for residents,” said Representative Benson. “As we continue to encourage regional partnerships in order to make the most of funding and resources, this legislation establishes comprehensive guidelines and makes the process of opening a regional 911 call center more efficient.”

Regionalization of 911 services allows towns to share dispatch services, including both emergency and non-emergency calls, in order to improve the quality of public safety and to provide cost saving measures to municipalities. Since June 2013, the Nashoba Valley Regional Emergency Communications Center has provided such shared dispatch services under an agreement between the towns of Devens, Harvard, Lancaster, and Lunenburg. This legislation will allow additional cities and towns throughout Massachusetts to set up similar services on a regional basis and to be recognized as legal entities.

The bill outlines in statute the agreements between the communities, the powers that regional centers would have, and the process to audit these entities. The legislation also puts forth mechanisms for setting up governance and organizational structures and creates planning committees to discern the feasibility of establishing centers. The bill also mandates that district boards must determine the financial details for upkeep of the centers and that the 911 emergency communication districts provide an annual financial statement to their members. This legislation would mitigate the need for special legislation, which is the current practice for opening a regional 911 center.