Priorities include consumer protection, women’s equality and health, under-served and vulnerable groups
Senator Karen Spilka today announced key pieces of her legislative agenda for the new 2015-2016 legislative session. In addition to her economic development and innovation priorities, Senator Spilka will continue to advocate for consumer protection, women’s equality and health, transportation issues and vulnerable populations in MetroWest and across the Commonwealth.
“These bills address many different issues and challenges that people in our community and state-wide face,” said Senator Spilka. “I look forward to another session of speaking up for those who don’t always have a voice and working to secure a brighter future for under-served and at-risk residents of MetroWest and the Commonwealth.”
Priorities Include Civic Innovation, Crowdfunding, Entrepreneurship & Education
Senator Karen Spilka today announced key pieces of her economic development legislative agenda for the new 2015-2016 legislative session. Senator Spilka will continue to advocate for programs and policies that encourage economic growth, job creation and innovation across all sectors of the Massachusetts economy.
“I am always looking for new ways to help Massachusetts companies start, grow and thrive here,” said Senator Spilka. “We need to continue to support all sectors of our economy, foster innovation and improve education and workforce training opportunities. I look forward to a new session advocating on behalf of smart economic development policies for MetroWest and the Commonwealth.”
Senator Spilka will also continue her work to boost the state’s thriving life sciences, biotech and technology sectors in particular as co-chair of both the Biotech Caucus and the Tech Hub Caucus.
Senator Spilka’s bills to advance economic development and encourage job creation and innovation include:
On Monday, January 12th, Massachusetts Legislative Tech Hub Caucus Co-Chairs Senator Karen Spilka and Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante will update legislators and people from the startup and tech community on a proposed “Innovative Communities” bill for the 2015-2016 legislative session. The new Innovative Communities program would serve as a common place of access, education and connection for startups and municipalities seeking innovative technology solutions.
The bill is based on the winning idea from November’s Idea-a-thon, a first-of-its-kind event hosted by the Tech Hub Caucus to hear directly from the tech community about ways to help Massachusetts technology companies start, grow and thrive here. The winning team presented an idea to make it easier for startups to navigate the procurement process and contract with government.
At the meeting, Senator Spilka will discuss the ongoing, collaborative process of transforming the winning idea into draft legislation and invite attendees to share feedback.
Innovative Communities Working Group Meeting
Monday, January 12, 2015
4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
State House, Room 222
This month, the Tech Hub Caucus held a first-of-its-kind tech policy “Idea-a-thon,” based on the model of a software Hack-a-thon, at PayPal’s Start Tank incubator. People from the start-up and tech communities in Massachusetts joined forces with state legislative leaders and policy experts to talk about challenges that businesses face and brainstorm innovative solutions.
How can government help technology companies start, grow and thrive here?
At the event, people identified their “pain points” and pitched ideas to solve these problems. The winning idea, chosen by seven celebrity judges, will be filed as a bill in January.
The Idea-a-thon was just the beginning – government and the tech community need to keep talking and working toward solutions together!
Click here for more photos from the Idea-a-thon.
Senator Karen Spilka or representatives from her staff will be available for district office hours in Framingham and Natick on Thursday, November 6th. Constituents are invited to share their concerns, questions and policy priorities and hear updates on the latest news and events from the State House and in the district.
Framingham Office Hours
11:30 AM-12:30 PM
400 Cochituate Rd., Framingham
Natick Office Hours
179 W Central St. Natick
Residents who are unable to attend or are interested in scheduling an appointment should feel free to contact Senator Spilka’s office at (617) 722-1640 at any time.
Wednesday, November 5th
5:00 – 7:30 PM
One International Place, 6th Floor, Boston
Join Tech Hub Caucus Co-Chairs Senator Karen Spilka and Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante, government leaders and key players in the tech community for a single evening “idea-a-thon.” Brainstorm and help craft a list of new ideas for Massachusetts State Government. And just like in School House Rock, the winning idea will be turned into a bill and sent on its way to Beacon Hill!
Medway and Franklin received state grants to support local efforts to increase recycling and reduce waste, Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland), Representative Jeffrey Roy (D-Franklin) and Representative John Fernandes (D-Milford) announced today.
“Recycling and waste reduction efforts improve the health of our communities and protect our environment for future generations,” Senator Spilka said. “These grants will allow Franklin and Medway to continue to advance innovative green initiatives that save money on waste disposal costs, cut greenhouse gas emissions and encourage the use of sustainable energy.”
“Franklin and Medway both have a long and successful history of improving energy use and recycling while reducing waste and cost,” said Representative Roy. “These grants will go a long way to continue these valiant efforts and ensure cleaner communities for years to come.”
“I join with Representative Roy and Senator Spilka in welcoming these grant awards to Medway,” said Representative Fernandes. “These timely and targeted state grants will enable Medway to continue its successful and effective efforts aimed at promoting recycling community-wide, which directly benefits the environment, reduces the overall waste stream and lowers related trash removal costs.”
The Town of Medway received $25,000 to hire local waste reduction enforcement coordinators to assist in enforcing compliance with existing recycling programs and an additional $1,000 grant for other small scale recycling initiatives.
The Town of Franklin received $7,500 to expand its existing recycling program to collect carpet materials at municipal recycling stations. Franklin also received a $1,000 grant for outreach and educational materials for the Town’s drop-off recycling program.
The grants are funded through the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s Sustainable Materials Recovery Program (SMRP). The SMRP funds recycling, composting and reuse activities to limit the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators. Waste prevention and recycling reduce greenhouse gas emissions by capturing the embodied energy in every-day product and packaging waste and converting these sources into new products with a smaller carbon footprint.