Archive 2008 - 2019

State House Update from Rep. Carolyn Dykema

by Leah Robins

While snow days have given the kids extra down time, things have continued to be busy in the district and at the State House. Pressing issues like addressing gun violence, supporting struggling families with services, and responding to challenges at some state agencies have been front and center. More details are included later in this newsletter. As a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means charged with drafting the House budget, the past few weeks have been particularly busy with hearings across the state to review budget requests with state agencies.


This winter has also been a time when many of you have contacted my office. Whether it's needing help signing up for a health plan, sharing your concerns about firearms violence, or offering your support for labeling of "GMO" foods, you've been in touch, and I appreciate the opportunity to hear from you.


I'll look forward to seeing many of you at the upcoming marathon. As always, thank you for the privilege of representing you.


Rep. Carolyn Dykema Signature


Legislative Highlights
  • Local Legislation.Several local bills were passed recently with the help of the local delegation, including the establishment of an OPEB trust fund for Holliston to save for municipal employee benefits, a bill to increase membership on the Board of Selectmen to five and authorize the Town Manager to sign town warrants in Southborough, as well as approval for an additional liquor license and a charter change for Westborough.
  • Act of Release of Body by a Medical Examiner,
    filed by Sen. Karen Spilka and Rep. Kate Hogan which I was pleased to co-sponsor, is now law. This act allows a family to put a family member to rest without permission of a spouse who may have been responsible for ending the family member's life. This legislation was filed in response to events in the aftermath of the tragic death of Framinham's Heather Allene to domestic violence.
  • An Act Relative to Screening for Newborn Heart Defects requires medical facilities that provide birthing and newborn services to adopt protocols for screening for congenital heart defects. Taking measures to correct heart defects early in a child's life can dramatically increase a child's lifespan.
  • An Act Relative to Unlawful Sexual Surveillance, the "Upskirt Bill," clarifies existing law to make "upskirt" photos subject to the same criminal penalties that previously existed for photos of partial or total undress.  
  • An Act Relative to Flood Insurance. Many residents in the district and throughout the Commonwealth are being affected by new FEMA Floodplain Maps and federally-mandated flood insurance hikes that are resulting in increased premiums.  The House passed a bill enacting various provisions to protect homeowners from financial impacts and it now heads to the Senate.    
  • The House and Senate passed major pieces of legislation on veterans benefits, welfare reform, transportation bonding and compounding pharmacies which are in conference committee. Final versions of the bills are expected to pass this spring.   

Holliston Elementary School Tour with Early Education Commissioner Weber


Representative Dykema and Principal Linda Weene talking with a student in a Montessori classroom

Unique among elementary schools in Massachusetts, Holliston's Placentino School operates three distinct programs for students-Traditional, French Immersion and Montessori.  


In January, Early Education Commissioner Thomas Weber made a trip to learn about our Montessori program. As a mother of two children who participated in the Montessori program, I was thrilled to participate in the event. 


Commissioner Weber, Principal Weene and Representative Dykema 

Principal Linda Weene and Superintendent Dr. Brad Jackson led a tour of the classrooms and a discussion about the increasingly important role of early education in improving lifetime achievement for our children.