Archives for Evelyn

Ross Backs Baker Proposals for Common Sense Criminal Justice Reform

April 12, 2017

Boston – State Senator Richard Ross (R-Wrentham) announced his initial support on Wednesday for a bill Governor Charlie Baker is filing that would assist inmates in working off their debt. The legislation aims to help defendants who can’t afford to pay court fees or fines by allowing them to perform community service to cover their debts instead of serving jail time.

The current practice known as “fine time,” jails defendants who fail to pay fines and fees related to the justice system until debts are settled. Governor Baker hopes that his legislation will reduce the number of people incarcerated for simply being unable to pay a fine, while ensuring that penalties are still being repaid.

“In a report released last fall, the Senate Committee on Post Audit and Oversight found that a significant amount of imprisoned individuals owed less than $500 in unsettled fees,” said Senator Ross. “Governor Baker’s bill would directly address the issues with ‘fine time’ as well as pioneer the priorities of criminal justice reform.”

Many Beacon Hill leaders, including Senate President Stanley Rosenberg, have indicated their desire to see more criminal justice reforms instituted.

Ross, who serves as a member of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary, expressed confidence that this legislation will be brought before the committee and addressed by next fall.

Defendants in Massachusetts who are unable to pay fees work off their debt at a current rate of $30 a day. The Governor’s bill would triple to rate to $90 to reduce the time needed to satisfy a debt.

Please contact the office of Senator Ross with any questions or concerns at (617) 722-1555 or Richard.Ross@masenate.gov.

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Ross Backs Measures to Protect Veterans’ Hiring Practices

April 7, 2017

Boston – State Senator Richard Ross (R-Wrentham) is co-sponsoring legislation along with Representative John Velis (D-Westfield) and Senator Michael Rush (D-West Roxbury), that would restore a hiring preference for veterans in all public safety jobs in the Commonwealth and ensure that veterans continue to be prioritized during such hiring processes.

“The Civil Service law recognizes the need to provide preferential treatment to veterans in the hiring process. However, if a town decides to opt out of this system, it is crucial that there is a method in place to protect these experienced and qualified veterans among the hiring practices of local police and fire departments,” said Senator Ross.

A potential unintended consequence of municipalities opting out of the Civil Service system has been veterans no longer receiving the hiring preference provided to them under the law. Without the Civil Service law giving preference to qualified veterans, towns may possibly hire fewer veterans for town public safety positions. If enacted, this legislation could elevate any such concerns.

Please contact the office of Senator Ross with any questions or concerns at (617) 722-1555 or Richard.Ross@masenate.gov.

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Senator Ross Announces Summer Internship Opportunities

March 29, 2017

Boston – Senator Richard J. Ross would like to announce that internships in his State House office are currently available for college students for the summer. All interested students are encouraged to apply.

“State House legislative interns are given a unique opportunity to learn about the lawmaking process and the workings of state government. Ideal candidates are motivated individuals who are eager to learn and grow professionally,” said Senator Ross.

Intern duties include drafting correspondence with constituents, gathering news clips, legislative research and general administrative tasks. Internships are unpaid, but present a chance to learn about state government firsthand. Senator Ross and his staff will work with students to gain credit where applicable.

It is important to note that preference will be given to candidates from Senator Ross’ district, which includes Attleboro, Franklin, Millis, Natick, Needham, Norfolk, North Attleboro, Plainville, Sherborn, Wayland, Wellesley, and Wrentham. If a college student is interested, they are encouraged to send their resume, cover letter, and a writing sample to Richard.Ross@masenate.gov.

Please contact the office of Senator Ross with any questions or concerns at (617) 722-1555 or email Richard.Ross@masenate.gov.

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