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Senate Passes Bill to Protect Privacy of Personal Electronic Information

July 23, 2014

privacy

The Massachusetts Senate today unanimously passed legislation updating privacy protections for personal electronic information, lead sponsor of the bill Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland) announced. The Electronic Privacy Act would require law enforcement to obtain a warrant to access personal information derived from telecom customers’ cell phone and internet use.

“The fundamental right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure is firmly entrenched in our state’s history,” Senator Spilka said. “Our phones and laptops store some of our most private thoughts and details of our everyday movements and activities, and this personal information should not be open to government inspection without a warrant. This bill strengthens public safety and protects the privacy of law-abiding people, updating our search warrant laws to fit the realities of the digital age.”

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Senate Passes Bill to Protect Public Safety And Support Access to Care

July 16, 2014
Senator Spilka and colleagues from the legislature testifying before the Judiciary Committee in support of the Safe Access Bill.

Senator Spilka and colleagues from the legislature testifying before the Judiciary Committee in support of the Safe Access Bill.

The Senate on Wednesday passed legislation to enhance public safety and remove barriers to access reproductive health care facilities in Massachusetts, Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland) announced. This action follows the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down buffer zones across the nation, including the existing 35-foot buffer zone that was passed by the Legislature in 2007.

“This bill takes important steps to ensure women’s health, safety and dignity, while addressing the Supreme Court’s concerns,” Senator Spilka said. “All women are entitled to safe access to health care services, and I am pleased that we will continue to protect these rights for women in our communities.”

To enhance the ability of law enforcement officials to maintain public safety, the bill prohibits certain conduct outside reproductive health care facilities that threatens access and safety.

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Senator Spilka and Tech Hub Caucus Discuss Support for Small Business Entrepreneurs

July 15, 2014

Event at PayPal’s ‘Start Tank’ Incubator Highlights Partnerships Between Small and Large Companies that Drive Economic Growth

On Tuesday, the Massachusetts Tech Hub Legislative Caucus hosted a group of over 80 technology entrepreneurs, business executives and state legislators at an event at PayPal’s headquarters in Boston’s Financial District, Caucus co-chair Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland) announced. The meeting focused on the significant private sector investment that is boosting the technology ecosystem in Massachusetts, with a particular focus on larger companies that that support the growth of tech startups through entrepreneur incubator programs and small business accelerators.

Tech Hub Caucus co-chairs Senator Karen Spilka and Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante kick off Tuesday's event at eBay's Start Tank incubator.

Tech Hub Caucus co-chairs Senator Karen Spilka and Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante kick off Tuesday’s event at eBay’s Start Tank incubator.

During the event, legislators and business leaders toured the Start Tank facility and participated in an interactive panel discussion on the challenges that small tech companies face as they attempt to grow in Massachusetts. The group also focused on the role that public policy plays in the growth of these companies.

“Partnerships between larger companies and start-ups and partnerships with government are key for ensuring Massachusetts stays on a path of economic growth and prosperity,” said Senator Spilka. “Today’s tour and discussion highlighted the ways that incubators and accelerators like the Start Tank are encouraging innovation, new ideas and continued growth in our state’s thriving tech sector.”

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Keeping the Massachusetts Economy Growing

July 14, 2014

How can we support all sectors of our economy, and how can we support our youth, our workforce and our communities?

Read Senator Spilka’s column in the MetroWest Daily News about efforts by legislators to create a climate in Massachusetts that allows businesses to continue to grow and thrive and to help workers in our communities develop skills and find jobs.

Senator Spilka with representatives from the MetroWest Chamber of Commerce, Marlborough Economic Development Council and MassDevelopment at the BIO International Convention in San Diego, touting the benefits of doing business in MetroWest.

Senator Spilka with representatives from the MetroWest Chamber of Commerce, Marlborough Economic Development Council and MassDevelopment at the BIO International Convention in San Diego, touting the benefits of doing business in MetroWest.

Senate Passes Bond Bill Supporting Environmental and Energy Projects in MetroWest

July 11, 2014
Ashland State Park, a terrific example of MetroWest natural resources.

Ashland State Park, a terrific example of MetroWest natural resources.

On Thursday, the Massachusetts Senate unanimously passed a bill providing for the preservation and improvement of land, parks and clean energy in the MetroWest region and the Commonwealth, Senator Karen Spilka announced.

“Well-maintained, accessible recreational trails and open space have a significant impact on quality of life in MetroWest and across the state,” said Senator Spilka. “These projects will encourage people to get outdoors, be active and create connections with the community while enjoying the beautiful natural resources our region has to offer.”

This legislation authorizes a $1.9 billion, 4-year capital plan, including funding for energy and environmental infrastructure, water and air quality protection, innovative green projects, recreational trails and other initiatives to preserve and protect natural resources and encourage energy efficiency.

Senator Spilka successfully advocated for funding for the following projects to preserve and improve recreational trails and access to open space in MetroWest:

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Senate Passes Bill to Assist Individuals with Autism

July 8, 2014

The Senate on Tuesday unanimously passed a bill to expand treatment and support for individuals with autism or a developmental disability across the Commonwealth, Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland) announced.

“This legislation provides critical resources for individuals with autism spectrum disorders and other intellectual or developmental disabilities,” said Senator Spilka. “We must continue to ensure that everyone has access to the tools and support they need to overcome challenges, realize their abilities and thrive in our communities.”

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Senate Passes Bill to Promote Economic Growth

July 1, 2014

The Senate on Tuesday passed legislation 37-1 to promote economic development and provide incentives to create jobs and stimulate the Commonwealth’s economy, Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland) announced. The bill makes targeted investments in the state’s economic drivers including innovation and Big Data, workforce development, tourism and marketing.

“This bill takes important steps to encourage economic growth and support innovation across MetroWest and the entire state,” Senator Spilka said. “We are improving opportunities for education and lifelong workforce training for people in our communities, especially in the STEM subject areas, and we are helping to connect businesses with the educated, skilled workforce they need to continue to grow, thrive and compete in Massachusetts.”

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