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.
Last week, Governor Deval Patrick signed into law a bill creating a new MetroWest Commission on the Status of Women, Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland) announced.
Modeled after the state-wide Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women (MCSW), the MetroWest regional commission will study and report on the status of women and girls in the region and report findings annually to MCSW. The MetroWest women’s commission will identify and address the challenges that women face in MetroWest communities and work at the local level to promote equal access to health care, employment, education and economic development opportunities for women and girls.
“This commission will amplify the voices of women and girls in the MetroWest region and identify specific ways to advance women’s rights here and across the state,” Senator Spilka said. “We are promoting equality and opportunity for all women in our communities and helping to inspire the next generation of female leaders in the Commonwealth.”
There are currently five county and regional women’s commissions operating under the umbrella of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women in Berkshire County, Bristol County, Cape and Islands, Essex County and Worcester County. The new law fills a gap in commission coverage to ensure that women and girls of MetroWest also have their voices heard.
The MetroWest Commission will consist of nine members appointed by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women, in consultation with local women’s organizations. Applications to serve on the Commission are due December 1st, and all individuals with knowledge of the challenges women face in MetroWest communities are encouraged to apply.
For the purpose of this act, MetroWest communities include: the towns of Ashland, Bellingham, Dover, Framingham, Franklin, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hudson, Maynard, Medfield, Medway, Millis, Natick, Needham, Norfolk, Northborough, Norwood, Sherborn, Southborough, Stow, Sudbury, Walpole, Wayland, Wellesley, Westborough, Weston and Wrentham, and the city of Marlborough.
The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women is an independent state agency created in 1998 by the Legislature to advance women of the Commonwealth to full equality in all areas of life and to promote their rights and opportunities. The Commission works to provide a permanent, effective voice for all women across Massachusetts.
Senator Karen Spilka will host her annual Senior Health and Wellness Fair on Saturday, October 18th from 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Joseph P. Keefe Technical School, 750 Winter Street in Framingham. All MetroWest seniors are invited to learn about ways to continue to lead healthy and active lifestyles.
“Staying happy, healthy and active is important for everyone in our community,” said Senator Spilka. “Each year I am honored to host this terrific day of health and wellness presentations, screenings and educational opportunities, and I always look forward to seeing friends and neighbors from across MetroWest.”
Seniors will participate in a variety of workshops and presentations about senior health programs, benefits and wellness activities. Representatives from a variety of health care and elder services organizations will also be available to share information on services in MetroWest. The Fair will include a continental breakfast, a hot lunch and health screenings for attendees.
More details are available on the 2014 Senior Health and Wellness Fair Flyer.
NOTE: All MetroWest seniors are encouraged to attend this free event, but RSVP is required.
Office of Senator Karen Spilka
State House, Room 320
Boston, MA 02133
Phone: (617) 722-1640
Fax: (617) 722-1077
Legislation will support economic growth and quality of life in MetroWest
The Massachusetts Legislature’s schedule of formal sessions came to a close in the early hours of Friday morning as legislators finalized and enacted a wide range of bills and sent them to the Governor’s desk to be signed, Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland) announced. Legislation includes a comprehensive bill to encourage job creation and continued economic growth, spending authorization for environmental projects and facilities improvements and other initiatives to improve quality of life and promote economic prosperity in MetroWest and across the Commonwealth.