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  • Massachusetts State House

    Massachusetts State House

  • Senator Richard J. Ross

    Senator Richard J. Ross

Senator Ross in the News

Senator Ross in the News

Read about Senator Ross in the news and view press releases on legislation, upcoming events and community updates.
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Inside the State House

Inside the State House

Read about legislation that Senator Ross has sponsored and view upcoming events taking place at the State House.
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Senator Ross on the Go

Senator Ross on the Go

View photos of Senator Ross at the State House and at events throughout the Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex District.
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Looking for Senator Richard Ross’ campaign website? Click the link below to visit and learn more about Senator Ross on the campaign trail.
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Hello Friends,

Welcome to my State Senate website! Here you will find legislative and local updates, important state resources, and information on the ways that my office may be able to assist you. It is a true honor to represent the residents of the Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex district in the Massachusetts Senate. I encourage you to keep me informed of the issues that are most important to you, and to sign up for my newsletter to receive periodic updates from my Senate office.



Richard J. Ross Signature

Richard J. Ross

State Senator

Senate Takes Action on Addiction Prevention

October 1, 2015

Boston –Today, Senator Richard J. Ross joined his colleagues in the Massachusetts Senate in unanimously adopting a bill intended to reduce the rate of opioid addiction and increase efforts to retool pain management practices through policy changes at state agencies and municipal health, safety and education departments.

The Senate bill, An Act relative to substance use prevention, was developed from recent findings of the Senate Special Opioid Committee, of which Senator Ross is a member, following a year-long effort to produce recommendations to further strengthen opioid abuse prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery options.

“Over the past several years, we have seen with alarming regularity an increase in drug-related deaths across the Commonwealth. This opioid epidemic touches every community and no family is immune to it. Last session, we passed comprehensive legislation that made a strike against this epidemic, but today we went a step further by focusing on education and prevention,” said Senator Ross.

The Senate Special Opioid Committee first convened in January 2014 in response to the substantial increase in reported overdose emergencies and fatalities across Massachusetts.  Deaths from heroin and other opioids totaled more than 1,200 in 2014, a spike of 34% over 2013 and 88 percent greater than 2012.

Components of this legislation include:

  • Directing the newly formed Drug Formulary Commission to publish a list of non-opiate pain management products that may be used as lower risk alternatives,
  • Establishing a voluntary program for a person in recovery to record a non-opiate directive. This would allow a person to have a clear indicator in their patient record that a health care practitioner shall not administer or prescribe opiate drugs to that person,
  • Limiting opioid prescriptions in an emergency department to a 5-day supply;
  • Establishing a Drug Stewardship program for drug manufacturers to allow patients to safely dispose of unwanted drugs,
  • Creating a school-based screening and referral system,
  • Ensuring patient access to pain management consultation,
  • Expanding our “Good Samaritan” legal protections for first responders to possess and administer Naloxone.

Senators considered more than forty amendments during debate of the bill and adopted several sponsored or cosponsored by members of the Republican Caucus, which:

  • Lessens unused and unwanted prescriptions by requiring a practitioner to consult with a patient to determine preferences for reduces quantities and dosages of opioid medications, a so-called partial fill option,
  • Assists local police departments by providing service referral and education training for individuals seeking treatment at local police departments,
  • Makes a requirement for school districts to conduct student drug screenings to be subject to state appropriation,
  • Creates a special commission to examine roadside drug testing,
  • Requires an assessment of the capacity for inpatient substance abuse treatment,
  • Includes a module on addictive substances to be part of driver education courses for Junior Operators,
  • Requires that a practitioner receive informed consent from the parent or guardian of the minor prior to prescribing a controlled substance,
  • Requires acute hospitals to report the number of newborns exposed to controlled substances.

“It is my hope that this legislation will not only reach those who are already in need of addiction treatments, but also our children who are most susceptible to outside influences. This legislation provides key tools for our schools, physicians, and public safety officials to limit the amount of unused and unwanted prescription pills available, keep our communities safe, and ultimately save lives,” said Senator Ross.

The first piece of legislation released by the Committee and signed into law in August 2014 required private insurance companies to cover up to 14 days of detoxification services and inpatient treatment for private insurance clients, 14 days of inpatient treatment for MassHealth patients, and expanded treatment options for patients and doctors. The insurance coverage mandates go into effect today, October 1st, 2015.

Opiates are responsible for more annual deaths in Massachusetts than auto accidents and guns combined.  The bill, S2020, now moves to the House of Representatives.

Please contact the office of Senator Ross with any questions or concerns at (617) 722-1555 or



William Rigdon of Norfolk Interns with Senator Ross

September 28, 2015

Senator Ross with William Rigdon of Norfolk.

Senator Ross with William Rigdon of Norfolk.

Boston – Over the past few months, Senator Richard J. Ross was pleased to have William Rigdon of Norfolk intern in his State House office.

William Rigdon was born and raised in Norfolk, graduating top of his class from King Philip Regional High School in 2013. Currently, Will attends Boston University’s Questrom School of Business and is pursuing a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Business Law. Will just started his third year and final year at Boston University and hopes to attend law school once he graduates.

In his spare time, Will serves as the Assistant Umpire-in-Chief for the Norfolk Baseball Association and Team Manager for Norfolk County Babe Ruth Baseball.

“Will was an immense asset to our office, especially during FY16 budget debates this past summer,” said Senator Ross. “He is an incredibly smart and dependable individual with a passion for public service and learning about state government. There is no doubt in my mind that he will go far and the town of Norfolk is definitely lucky to have him.”

Throughout the year, Senator Richard J. Ross hosts interns in his State House office from across the Norfolk, Bristol, and Middlesex District. The internship program allows for students to gain professional experience, listen to speakers from across Massachusetts government, and acquire a better understanding of matters impacting their hometown and the Commonwealth as a whole.

Please contact the office of Senator Ross with any questions or concerns at (617) 722-1555 or



Small Business Spotlight: V. H. Blackinton & Co., Inc., North Attleboro

Small Business Spotlight: V. H. Blackinton & Co., Inc., North Attleboro

September 16, 2015

With Blackinton's Chief Operating Officer David Long, Vice President Rick Isacco, and the Controller Jeff Boutin.

With Blackinton’s Chief Operating Officer David Long, Vice President Rick Isacco, and the Controller Jeff Boutin.

For 163 years North Attleboro-based V. H. Blackinton & Co., Inc. has been the leading manufacturer of police, fire, military, and government badges in the United States. This business, founded in 1852, has thrived in the niche market of badge manufacturing due to the hard work and dedication of their longstanding management team and staff. I had the pleasure of speaking with the Chief Operating Officer David Long, Vice President Rick Isacco, and the Controller Jeff Boutin about the enduring success and growth of this local company in Attleboro Falls.

Since the beginning, under the leadership of founder Virgil Blackinton, V. H. Blackinton & Co. has been focused on quality craftsmanship and artistic skill. Virgil’s creations were always held in high esteem, and as demand increased, especially for more intricate designs, so did his small business.

Virgil’s appreciation for both artistic vision and craftsmanship is what has kept Blackinton successful for so long. The ability for Blackinton’s artists and designers to be inspired by new ideas while maintaining the integrity of their work is why Blackinton continues to be an industry leader, working with a network of over 800 dealers across the country.

Blackinton also utilizes their resources to help give back. In 2012, the company launched their Breast Cancer line of pink badges to help raise awareness, donating 10% of sales to two charities: the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation and the Firefighter Cancer Support Network.

Today, Blackinton continues to look toward a very bright future. The company’s 60,000 square foot facility in Attleboro Falls and over 200 employees keeps the work and jobs local which is so crucial for our community. With Blackinton already expanding their network internationally, the quality and impact of their product are sure to last for a very long time.

For more information on V. H. Blackinton & Co., Inc., please visit

If you would like your business to be a part of the Small Business Spotlight or would like to nominate a small business, email Senator Ross at