Archives for Molly

Col. Julie A. Hall of Attleboro Named as an Unsung Heroine

June 23, 2016

Senator Ross with Col. Julie A. Hall.

Senator Ross with Col. Julie A. Hall.

Boston – On Wednesday, Col. Julie “Jules” A. Hall of Attleboro was honored as a member of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women’s 2016 class of Unsung Heroines. Senator Richard J. Ross recommended Jules for this recognition because of her constant dedication to the nation’s veterans and to her community. Jules was honored alongside the other Unsung Heroines for her outstanding contributions in a ceremony on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016 in the Great Hall of the Massachusetts State House.

“There is no one more deserving of this honor than Jules Hall. Jules has spent her entire life giving back, whether it be by serving her country or volunteering her time for those in need. Jules is one of those rare people who gives her time out of the goodness of her own heart and for the well-being and success of others,” said Senator Ross. “On Wednesday, we took the time to give back to Jules and thank someone who has truly made our community a stronger and brighter place.”

Col. Julie Hall moved to Attleboro in 2009 after leaving Massachusetts in 1978 to serve our country in the United States Air Force. Throughout her impressive career she has been a strong advocate for our nation’s veterans and for increasing opportunities for military women. For her ongoing support and involvement with veterans, in 2014, she was awarded the Deborah Sampson Award for the Massachusetts Outstanding Woman Veteran of the Year. Since retiring in 2009, Julie has given back to the people of Attleboro as a member of the Sturdy Memorial Foundation, Rotary Club of Attleboro, and the Attleboro POW/MIA Council, to name just a few. She is a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #115, the American Legion Post 20 and the Disabled American Veterans Post 91. Recently, Julie was overwhelmingly elected to the Attleboro City Council demonstrating her unwavering commitment to her community and its’ residents.

The Unsung Heroines are women who don’t make the news, but make the difference. They are the women who use their time, talent and enthusiasm to enrich the lives of others and make a difference in their neighborhoods, cities and towns. They are mentors, volunteers and innovators who do what needs to be done without expectations of recognition or gratitude. These women are the glue that keeps a community together and every community is better because of their contribution.

The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women is an independent state agency that was legislatively created in 1998 to advance women of the Commonwealth to full equality in all areas of life and to promote their rights and opportunities. The MCSW provides a permanent, effective voice for the women of Massachusetts.

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


Senate Passes Bill to Support Veterans, Servicemembers and their Families

June 16, 2016

Boston– Today the Massachusetts State Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 2325 “An Act Relative to Housing, Operations, Military Service, and Enrichment, The Massachusetts HOME Act. This legislation expands on the commitment the Massachusetts Senate has to our veterans, servicemembers and their families by providing benefits and services.

The passage of the Valor Act I in 2012 and Valor Act II in 2014 helped Massachusetts become the number one state in the nation for providing for our veterans.

“Massachusetts leads the nation in services and support for our veterans, active servicemembers and their families and the legislation we passed today was a clear continuation of those efforts,” said Senator Ross. “For all that our brave men and women have given this country, they deserve to know that their government and elected officials have their back when they return home, and I believe this legislation confirms this.”

Focusing on housing and long-term support, the passage of the Veterans HOME Act continues the strong reputation that Massachusetts has as a leader in understanding the sacrifice that military personnel and their families make not only while on active duty, but also after returning home.

To increase access to housing for veterans, the bill grants veterans preference in admission for scattered site housing units where no low-income family housing was developed. The bill also requires housing authorities to exclude amounts of disability compensation paid by the federal government for the purpose of computing rent of a disabled veteran.  In addition, the bill gives eligible veterans a preference in housing for the elderly and person with liabilities in all communities, not only the community in which the veteran resides.

To honor the service of veterans and their families, the bill provides a property tax exemption for the surviving spouse of any soldier, sailor, and member of the National Guard or veteran who, during active duty service, suffered an injury or illness which was the proximate cause of death. The bill also gives veterans who have a 100% disability rating for service connected blindness a property tax exemption.

Senator Ross was pleased to see two of his amendments included in the final bill. The first ensures that any employee who is a veteran or is a member of a department of war veterans shall be allowed and granted a leave of absence on Veterans Day and Memorial Day, with pay—currently not a requirement under Massachusetts law.

The second would make veterans eligible to pay in-state tuition rates at the University of Massachusetts, or any other state or community college or university if he or she was honorably discharged from the US armed services after at least 1 year of active service, and either designates the Commonwealth as his or her intended domicile or moves to the Commonwealth and successfully establishes residency within 1 year after matriculation. Presently, a student must have lived in Massachusetts for the 12 months immediately preceding their enrollment at a state university or UMass, and for the 6 months immediately preceding their enrollment in a community college. This measure would allow veterans to attend one of these quality schools at the lower cost charged to Massachusetts residents, while bypassing the extended residency requirement, seeking to make higher education easier and more accessible.

“We can never thank our courageous and valiant veterans enough for all that they have sacrificed, however as a thank you for their service we can ensure that our heroes always have countless opportunities right here in the Commonwealth,” said Senator Ross.

Other provisions of this Act include:

  • The expansion of the Public Service Scholarship to children of any military or service person missing in action and children of prisoners of war;
  • Allows employees of the Commonwealth who are members of the armed forces reserves and are ordered to service for more than 30 consecutive to be paid the regular base salary reduced by the amount received as base pay for military service. It also preserves the seniority or accrued leave time;
  • Allows cities and towns to appoint a veterans agent for 3 year terms instead of the current 1 year term;
  • Creates a post-deployment commission to study ways to improve services to veterans who have been deployed overseas;
  • Adds veteran status as a protected class under the statute prohibiting discrimination in employment.

The bill will now be reconciled with the version passed by the House of Representatives before being sent to the Governor for his signature.

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



Aidan Comerford of North Attleboro Interns with Senator Ross

June 7, 2016

Senator Ross with Aidan Comerford of North Attleboro.

Senator Ross with Aidan Comerford of North Attleboro.


Boston – Over the past few months, Senator Richard J. Ross was pleased to have Aidan Comerford of North Attleboro intern in his State House office.

Born and raised in North Attleboro, Aidan graduated from North Attleboro High School in 2015 and is currently an honor student at Bristol Community College where he is completing general education requirements. Aidan will transfer to a four year institution in 2017, but is still deciding his field of study.

Outside of school, Aidan is an active member of his community. Since 2013, Aidan has volunteered for Madonna Manor Nursing Home in North Attleboro and in 2015 Aidan was voted in as a Representative Town Meeting Member for Precinct 1 in North Attleboro. He is currently in his second term as an RTM Member.

“Aidan is undoubtedly one of the hardest working people I have ever met. His commitment to his work, his studies, and his community is unparalleled and our office is surely at a loss without him,” said Senator Ross. “North Attleboro is lucky to have such a fine constituent and I am confident that this is not the last Beacon Hill has seen of 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