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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.

 

Sincerely,

Richard J. Ross Signature

Richard J. Ross

State Senator

Senator Ross Announces Legislative Passage of FY18 Supplemental Budget

Boston – State Senator Richard J. Ross (R-Wrentham) is pleased to announce that both the House of Representatives and the Senate, have finally passed the FY18 Supplemental Budget, sending it to Governor Charlie Baker for his signature.

Last week, Senator Ross, along with approximately 40 other members of the legislature, sent a letter to House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, Senate President Karen E. Spilka, House Ways and Means Chairman Jeffery Sanchez, and Senate Ways and Means Vice-Chairwoman, Joan B. Lovely, that strongly urged them to take action and implement the FY18 supplemental budget funds.

The FY18 supplemental budget included funding allocated to many deserving programs, but given the upcoming deadline for closing the books on Fiscal Year 2018 approaching, the legislators have requested that the House and Senate prioritize certain items. These specific items would have the most direct impact on local aid and would provide substantial financial relief to our cities, towns, and local school districts.

“I can’t stress enough the vital importance of seeing that these programs are properly funded, said Senator Ross. The people of the Commonwealth expect these critical education and infrastructure programs to be funded and followed through. I am confident that Governor Baker will sign this budget so that these programs can be properly funded expeditiously.”

 

The items included in the budget are:

  • $10M for municipal clean water projects
  • $5M for targeted intervention and turnaround efforts to close student achievement gaps in districts with high concentrations of low-income students
  • $10M for the Community Preservation Trust Fund
  • $40M in funding for municipal road repairs and maintenance, above the $200M that was previously committed under the Chapter 90 program
  • $7.5M for school districts to hire counselors, social workers, and mental health workers
  • $7.5M in matching grants for security and communications upgrades for K-12 schools and for public colleges and universities
  • $2M for a statewide “say something” educational campaign

 

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Senator Ross Offers Annual Beach Report to Constituents

Boston – Senator Richard Ross is pleased to make available the latest edition of the Marine and Freshwater Beach Testing in Massachusetts Annual Report. The report provides a tremendous amount of information on public state beaches and water safety in Massachusetts by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Bureau of Environmental Health, and Environmental Toxicology Program.

 

The Marine and Freshwater Beach Testing in Massachusetts Annual Report contains resources on bathing beach water quality as well as information regarding dates when beaches are open, bacteria levels, and health risks associated when swimming in contaminated water. This report is a culmination of surveys from 2017 and is a good resource for creating awareness of the health status of many beach locations this year.

 

“I am pleased to offer this report to my constituents. Especially during the summer months, this report is an excellent resource for the people of Massachusetts,” said Senator Ross. “I encourage any constituents to reach out to my office if they are interested in receiving a copy of this publication.”

 

Any constituent who is interested in receiving the Marine and Freshwater Beach Testing in Massachusetts Annual Report is encouraged to contact Senator Ross’ office by email at Richard.ross@masenate.gov.

Ross Backs Bill to Expand Veterans Benefits

Boston – Senator Richard J. Ross (R-Wrentham) recently voted in favor of “The Brave Act” – new legislation that will expand benefits and increase access to a range of services for veterans, active-duty military and their families. The bill has been filed by Senator Mike Rush (D-Norfolk & Suffolk) announced who also serves in the united States Naval Reserve.

 

Understanding the sacrifice that military personnel and their families make not only while on active duty, but also after returning home, the Massachusetts Legislature has consistently provided a continuum of major veteran legislation to help with those who sacrifice the most for our freedoms.

 

“The BRAVE Act demonstrates Massachusetts’ commitment to the great men and women of our armed forces,” Said Senator Ross. “This legislation continues Massachusetts’ proud legacy of supporting our veterans.”

 

On the recognition front, the legislation designates the 5th day of April as Gold Star Wives Day and the last Sunday in September as Gold Star Mothers and Families Day and directs cities and towns to designate reserved parking for veterans at all city and town halls.

 

The bill also grants paid military leave for those called to duty by the armed forces for up to 40 days for training and operation purposes.

 

To help ease the costs of housing, the legislation changes the requirement for veterans to receive property tax exemptions from residing in the Commonwealth for five years down to two years.  It also increases the amount a veteran can earn on their property tax exemption for volunteering in their city or town.

 

The BRAVE Act increases the burial expense paid by commonwealth from $2,000 to $4,000 for indigent veterans to receive to adequately provide for a dignified funeral. It also exempts any veterans who receive annuities for service to their country from income calculations when applying for state programs or services.

 

The bill also addresses the following by:

 

  • Addressing emergency medical transportation reimbursements;
  • Revising Veteran Court Diversion programs;
  • Updating the veteran bonus program at the State Treasurer’s Office, and;
  • Provides several studies and analysis regarding higher education, incarcerated veterans, and National Guard recognition.

 

The BRAVE Act, which now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration, is the legislature’s latest effort to support veterans, military members and their families.

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