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
August 28, 2014
Boston – Senator Richard Ross is pleased to announce that he is offering a monthly newsletter for his constituents. This update will provide information on legislation and other issues pertinent to the Norfolk, Bristol & Middlesex District, as well as opportunities for voter input.
“I’m pleased to offer my constituents a State House Update for the month of August. My goal is to update my constituents regularly on the legislation we are working on in addition to the many events going on in the district and specifically their town,” said Senator Ross. “I encourage anyone interested in receiving these regular updates to contact my office personally with their mailing address.”
Any constituent who is interested in receiving a hard copy of Senator Ross’s monthly newsletter is encouraged to contact Senator Ross’s office by email at Richard.Ross@masenate.gov. Additionally, if a constituent would like to be added to his electronic newsletter mailing list, they may email him at Richard.Ross@masenate.gov with their email address.
Please contact the office of Senator Ross with any questions or concerns at (617) 722-1555 or Richard.Ross@masenate.gov.
August 27, 2014
Boston – On Wednesday, Senator Richard Ross submitted a letter to the House Committee on Ways and Means for their immediate consideration of House Bill 3722, An Act establishing an educational mandate task force, intended to provide much needed relief to towns struggling to fund their schools and educational programs.
House Bill 3722 would establish a task force charged with reviewing all mandates on public schools and districts and assessing the feasibility of implementing a master reporting form.
“At a time when our school districts are struggling to meet all of the needs of their students, it is important that we take the time to assess the requirements we, as a legislature, are placing on schools to determine that resources are being used as efficiently and constructively as possible,” said Senator Ross.
As a member of the Joint Committee on Education, regulating these mandates has been a major priority for Senator Ross. In January 2013, Senator Ross sponsored a bill aimed at reducing paperwork and waste within the department of elementary and secondary education. The bill called for the elimination of wasteful publications by utilizing information technology in order to increase efficiency and responsiveness in the Massachusetts school system.
A new draft of this legislation was written in October, accompanying H3722. The legislation is now before the House Committee on Ways and Means.
“I am pushing for this legislation today in response to extensive feedback I have received throughout my district,” said Senator Ross. “With the new school year beginning for many this week, it is my hope that the committee will consider this soon to better serve our administrators, teachers, and students.”
August 15, 2014
Boston – On Thursday, the House and Senate enacted a bill aimed at protecting animal welfare and safety in the Commonwealth. Senator Ross was a cosponsor of the original bill, filed by Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester), which passed the Senate unanimously just before the end of the formal legislative session on July 31st.
“Combating animal abuse in our state has been a major priority of mine, and this legislation makes major strides to tighten our current laws and increase penalties for those convicted of these heinous crimes,” said Senator Ross. “As a dog owner, my hope is that this bill will offer some comfort to our communities and assist in deterring these acts in the future.”
The bill, which garnered both bipartisan and bicameral support, increases fines for those convicted of animal cruelty crimes from $2,500 to $5,000 for a first offense, and raises the maximum prison time from five to seven years for a first offense. The legislation also creates a task force of experts designed to review animal abuse prevention methods and offer recommendations for further action. Under the new law, veterinarians will be required to report suspected acts of animal abuse to law enforcement; better equipping public safety officials targeting these acts of cruelty.
The bill will now be sent to Governor Patrick for approval.
Senator Ross with his dog Colbie, a six year old Australian Shepherd.