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Massachusetts Aims to Streamline Procurement Processes to Boost Civic TechRoute Fifty, 6/15/2015

“The commonwealth’s Tech Hub Caucus wants to create a matchmaking service for startups and municipalities. Massachusetts’ Tech Hub Caucus is pushing public-private partnership legislation that would see startups pilot civic tech products and services in participating cities in the commonwealth.”

Tech advocate Spilka sits in unique vantage point in Senate, Worcester Business Journal, 6/9/2015

“Spilka said it’s crucial for high-tech companies to get engaged in government policy at all levels. ‘Public policy will be made, and changes will happen, but we need the technology sector and the innovation sector to be at the table in the development of that policy so that what we end up with makes sense and is fair and is practical,’ she said.”

Speakers announced for Boston Olympics panel in Ashland, The MetroWest Daily News, 6/9/2015

“A three-time paralympic medalist and the president of a prominent architectural firm will offer their views at a forum Wednesday in Ashland on Boston’s bid to host the 2024 Olympic Games.”

Sen. Spilka Receives Young Democrats Women’s Caucus Legislator of the Year Award, Framingham Patch, 6/4/2015

“Senator Karen Spilka, a Democrat who represents Framingham, received the Legislator of the Year Award from the Young Democrats of Massachusetts Women’s Caucus at the group’s annual Ladies in Blue fundraiser on Tuesday.”

Boston 2024 campaign making a stop in Ashland, MetroWest Daily News, 6/2/2015

“After the United States Olympic Committee in January selected Boston to be the country’s bid to host the 2024 Olympics, area officials and residents have had a lot of questions about the impact the games might have on MetroWest. To answer some of those questions, state Sen. Karen Spilka, D-Ashland, along with several regional organizations have invited representatives from the Boston 2024 campaign to make a stop in Ashland as part of its 20 in 20 series.”

Senate Budget Increases Education Funding For Framingham, Framingham Patch, 5/28/2015

“The budget includes $100,000 for the Resiliency for Life program in Framingham to support academic intervention and dropout prevention and $1 million in additional funding for Framingham schools to bring the school district closer to its target share of education spending.”

State Senate passes $38.1 billion budget, Boston Globe, 5/22/2015

“Senator Karen E. Spilka, chairwoman of the Senate budget-writing committee, said in a statement that the spending plan ‘builds on the themes and investments of the Senate Ways and Means recommendations to lift all families and invest in our future.’ She said she is proud of the ‘spirited, thoughtful debate this week.’”

Editorial: Mass. Senate’s budget brings relief for working poor into sight, Boston Globe, 5/21/2015

“The state Senate rose to the occasion on Tuesday, unveiling a thoughtful response to Governor Baker’s budget. In its plan, the Senate’s Democratic leadership preserved one of the Republican governor’s most important proposals, a boost in the earned income tax credit for the working poor, while offering a credible alternative funding mechanism.”

Senate votes to increase state’s earned income tax credit, Boston Globe, 5/21/2015

“State senators voted Tuesday afternoon to expand a tax credit that benefits hundreds of thousands of low-income workers and quickly found themselves in a standoff with Governor Charlie Baker over how to pay for it.”

State Senate plan aims to help long-term unemployedBoston Globe, 5/12/2015

“As the state’s unemployment rate continues to improve, there’s one group of workers who are missing out on the good times: the long-term unemployed.”

Early-ed spending up in Senate’s proposed $38 billion state budget, Boston Globe, 5/12/2015

“Senate leaders unveiled a $38 billion budget Tuesday that would hold the line on taxes while spending a bit more on early education, worker training, and efforts to maintain the state’s edge in the innovation economy. With the state staring down a $1.8 billion fiscal gap, Senator Karen Spilka, chairwoman of the chamber’s budget-writing Ways and Means Committee, told reporters the spending plan is only the start of a years-long effort to strengthen Massachusetts families.”

Like House, Senate budget hews close to Baker on taxes, spending, State House News Service, 5/12/2015

“A $38 billion budget proposal put forward Tuesday by Senate Democratic leaders would give Gov. Charlie Baker more direct control over the MBTA and make small targeted investments in areas like early childhood care and workforce training, and does not propose any tax increases or expanded tax breaks.

Senate panel seeks to curb cost of overdose drug, The MetroWest Daily News, 5/12/2015

A $38 billion budget plan being unveiled today in the Massachusetts Senate targets more funding to help drug addicts, according to the author, including money to launch a bulk purchasing program for naloxone, the drug used to reverse overdoses.”

Senate budget proposal focuses on education, economic development, social services, The Republican, 5/12/2015

“State Sen. Karen Spilka, D-Ashland, the chairwoman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, said the budget is centered on a theme of ‘lifting all families.’ ‘We have balanced fiscal discipline with compassion while preserving governmental services and investing in the future,’ Spilka said.”

Boston’s paid parental leave to get statewide look, Boston Business Journal, 5/4/2015

“Boston city councilors unanimously voted to give its non-union employees paid parental leave, a standard many advocates are hoping lays the foundation for such a change statewide…’When I took a maternity leave, I worked for the state. I took it without pay and it was difficult,’ said State Sen. Karen Spilka in an interview. ‘Both times it was without pay. It’s difficult and there are many families that cannot do that. Nobody should have to choose between their jobs and their own health and the wellbeing of their families.'”

Sen. Spilka highlights need for innovation, The MetroWest Daily News, 4/17/2015

“Speaking to the MetroWest Chamber of Commerce, Sen. Karen Spilka stressed the importance of innovation in the region, what she called a hotbed for progress.

At a legislative lunch on Friday at the Natick Hampton Inn, Spilka, D-Ashland, said MetroWest excels in innovation, with various biotech and start-up companies leading the way. Allocating money for transportation, infrastructure and STEM programs in the state budget, Spilka said, would help the MetroWest economy grow in 2015.”

Senate tweaks Baker’s state worker early retirement plan, The Boston Globe, 4/11/2015

A key state Senate panel, concerned that Governor Charlie Baker’s plan to entice thousands of state workers to retire early could be too disruptive, has approved legislation that would cap the program at 4,500 workers.

The measure, to be taken up by the full Senate on Wednesday, would also allow the administration to exclude certain “critical” workers from the program — aiming to keep road work, assistance for the intellectually disabled, and other state services on track.”

Senate adds cap, reporting mandate to early retirement bill, State House News Service, 4/10/2015

“‘I’ve tried to listen to all the senators’ concerns and the result, I think, is that the Senate has crafted a strong bill that offers several tools to achieve savings without undermining the operation of state government,’ committee chairwoman Sen. Karen Spilka said in an interview.”

Senate panel seeks limits on Baker’s early retirement plan for state workers, Associated Press, 4/10/2015

“Sen. Karen Spilka, chairwoman of the committee, said the bill would achieve roughly the same savings as sought by the governor without undermining government operations.

‘The state’s fiscal situation is tight, but we must allow agencies to continue to deliver high quality services and fulfill their core missions,’ said Spilka, an Ashland Democrat, in a statement.”

Senate focuses on getting more welfare recipients working, The MetroWest Daily News, 3/29/2015

“‘This is a priority for the senate, getting people back to work,’ Sen. Karen Spilka, D-Ashland, said. ‘Helping people get the skills, the tools, the resources they need to get back to work makes a lot of sense.'”

Franklin: Best Buddies comes to Keller, Country Gazette, 3/25/2015

“Starting next month, the Helen Keller Elementary School will offer the only Best Buddies program in the country for third- and fourth-graders…State Sen. Karen Spilka, D-Ashland, brokered discussions with Best Buddies National and school officials. Best Buddies has never developed a slate of programs for students in elementary school before.”

Lawmakers discuss human services initiatives at Natick breakfast, The MetroWest Daily News, 3/20/2015

“As state officials work through budget woes, local lawmakers said Friday they would do their best to support human services workers and initiatives.

‘Our hearts are with all of the programs you work for (and) advocate for,’ state Sen. Karen Spilka, D-Ashland, told human services workers gathered at Natick Elks for MetroWest Human Services Advocacy Coalition’s 13th annual legislative breakfast.”

Budget bill with $$$ for snow and ice, shelters clears Senate, State House News Service, 3/19/2015

“Proposing to give cities and towns five years to pay off snow removal bills piled up from this winter, the Senate on Thursday passed a $361 million midyear spending bill that would also finance excess costs for public employee health insurance, pay for additional emergency shelter assistance and support family social workers.”

Gender quotas not the answer, The Boston Globe, 3/11/2015

“At the State House, Karen Spilka, chairwoman of the powerful Senate Ways and Means committee, and Patricia Haddad, the third-ranking member of the House, are making noise with a resolution proposed in January. They set a 2018 goal for Massachusetts companies that have boards with nine members or more to have a minimum of three female directors; smaller boards should have a minimum of two women. Firms should also have policies to increase gender diversity among their leadership and measure their progress annually.”

“Rosenberg’s budget chief Sen. Karen Spilka called the Baker budget ‘a good first step,’ but suggested the Senate would look to balance the need to control costs with a desire to be “compassionate.” Rosenberg, Spilka and members of the Senate have been meeting about budget priorities and soliciting input from the public during a series of ‘community conversations’ around the state that wrap up next week.”

Lawmakers scan the stars at Framingham State,The MetroWest Daily News, 3/2/2015

“In what seemed more like a field trip for grown-ups than an official legislative expedition, state senators visited Framingham State University’s McAuliffe Center Monday afternoon while on a listening tour around the region.”

Senators’ listening tour to make stop at FSU, Wicked Local Framingham, 2/27/2015

“A legislative listening tour around the state will be making a stop in Framingham next Monday to give state senators a glimpse of Framingham State University’s McAuliffe Center.”

Senator Spilka to Kick off Commonwealth Conversations MetroWest Listening Tour, Framingham Patch, 2/24/2015

“On Monday, March 2, Senator Karen Spilka, a Democrat from Ashland who represents Framingham, will continue a statewide tour of Senate districts, visiting businesses, universities and local organizations to listen to the concerns of the residents of MetroWest.”

Legislator Profile: Senator Karen E. Spilka, AFT Massachusetts Advocate, February 2015

“‘If we are truly gong to educate our children for the 21st century,’ she suggests, ‘we need to involve critical thinking, problem solving and taking time for true discourse and collaboration in the classroom….'”

Senate president: MBTA woes result of neglect, The MetroWest Daily News, 2/19/2015

Senate President Stan Rosenberg and Senator Spilka discuss MBTA challenges, Olympics bid transparency, the Senate’s new vision of “shared leadership” and other issues impacting MetroWest.

Recovery continues, challenges remain, The MetroWest Daily News, 2/15/2015

“State Sen. Karen Spilka, D-Ashland, said she sees education as the key to keeping the area competitive in 2015 and beyond. ‘What we’re trying to work on is continuing with science, technology, engineering and math education in our schools,’ she said, noting the high demand for workers in those fields. ‘There are jobs out there right now that our kids can fill.'”

Hopkinton Celebrates Marathon at 300th Anniversary Kickoff Ceremony, HCAM-TV, 2/10/2015

Senator Spilka highlights Hopkinton’s sister city relationship with Marathon, Greece at the Town’s 300th Anniversary Celebration.

Delegate Ladybug landing in new Franklin home, Feb. 10, Wicked Local Franklin, 2/8/2015

“After a summer of touring and festivals, the ladybug sponsored by Franklin’s state legislative delegation has found a new home. And where better than the home of Franklin’s government?”

MWRTA celebrates driver training effort in Framingham, The MetroWest Daily News, 2/6/2015

“‘It’s public transit with a heart,’ said state Sen. Karen Spilka, who was instrumental in getting the Legislature to approve $100,000 for the program last year.”

Spilka brings compassion to budget challenge, The Boston Globe, 2/6/2015

“State Senator Karen Spilka has spent the past week moving into a corner office in the East Wing in the State House while undertaking a crash course in state budgeting as the new chairwoman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee.”

Spilka: Challenge Startups, Cities to Innovate, EfficientGov, 2/5/2015

“In an interview with EfficientGov, Massachusetts State Senator Karen Spilka discussed her recent Innovative Communities legislative proposal that aims to better connect municipalities to startups in the tech sector.”

Agreement Reached on 4.8 Percent Revenue Growth Forecast, State House News Service, 1/30/2015

“Gov. Charlie Baker’s top finance aide and the budget chiefs in the House and Senate said they anticipate revenues hitting $25.479 billion in the fiscal year that starts July 1…Administration and Finance Secretary Kristen Lepore, House Ways and Means chair Brian Dempsey (D-Haverhill) and Senate Ways and Means Chair Karen Spilka (D-Ashland) will use the number to build their fiscal 2016 budget recommendations.”

Visitors bureau celebrates area’s growing clout, The MetroWest Daily News, 1/30/2015

“MetroWest lawmakers, public officials and business leaders touted the region’s burgeoning tourism industry at the MetroWest Visitors Bureau’s fourth annual celebration breakfast Friday morning at the DoubleTree Hotel.”

The Download: State Senator Karen Spilka, The Boston Globe BetaBoston, 1/29/2015

“State Senator Karen Spilka has been a champion of the region’s innovation community. She shares her digital habits with The Download.”

Restoring credibility on Beacon Hill, The MetroWest Daily News, 1/25/2015

 “‘I feel reinvigorated and rejuvenated,’ Sen. Karen Spilka, D-Ashland, told me Friday. Spilka, a tireless negotiator who isn’t intimidated by complicated issues, has been tapped by Rosenberg to chair the powerful Ways & Means Committee. She said she’s already looking for ways to make Ways & Means, traditionally the black box within the black box where the most serious deals are made, more transparent and inclusive.”

Ensuring privacy in the mailbox, The Boston Globe, 1/25/2015

“Legislation filed by Senator Karen Spilka and Representative Kate Hogan would require insurance companies to automatically send explanations of benefits to the person treated, not the subscriber; and that they send no statement at all for no-copay services.”

‘Honor your history’, The MetroWest Daily News, 1/23/2015

“About a 100 people gathered in the high school’s auditorium to kick off the town’s 300th anniversary celebration.

Spilka noted the town’s early days as a shoe manufacturing community transforming into a ‘world-class technology hub’ and a driver of economic growth. Spilka, who lives in Ashland, says she has a unique link to the town’s history.

‘My house was in Hopkinton until Ashland broke off in 1846,’ she said. ‘I do consider myself an honorary resident.'”

Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg unveils senior leadership, State House News Service, 1/21/2015

“One of the most intensely scrutinized and coveted positions – chair of the powerful budget-writing Senate Ways and Means Committee – went to Ashland Sen. Karen Spilka, a sixth-term Democrat.”

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