Archive 2008 - 2019

Senate Update

by Senator Karen Spilka

Encouraging Economic Development and Job Creation

Late last night, we passed a major piece of legislation to support innovation and promote job creation. The bill focuses on boosting the state's economic drivers, including innovation and Big Data, manufacturing, workforce development, tourism and marketing. 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.

Among many initiatives designed to support small businesses and workforce training, the bill advances one of my long-standing priorities as co-chair of the Tech Hub Legislative Caucus to encourage computer science education in Massachusetts public schools. I also successfully advocated for programs to advance the state's manufacturing sector, including a layoff aversion consulting program and an analysis of manufacturing supply chain in Massachusetts. The bill also expands a tech internship program I worked to establish in 2012.

The legislation also includes a sales tax holiday on August 16th and 17th!

Supporting Environmental and Clean Energy Projects


Medway's Choate Park, a terrific example of MetroWest natural resources.

The Environmental Bond Bill authorizes nearly $2 billion in spending over 4 years for the preservation and improvement of land, parks and clean energy across MetroWest and the state. The bill includes 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 promote energy efficiency.

I was pleased to advocate for projects specifically for MetroWest, and the final bill supports major projects in Framingham, Holliston, Hopkinton, Ashland, Medway, Franklin and Natick, as well as a MetroWest regional project. Well-maintained, accessible recreational trails and open space have a major impact on quality of life, and 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.

Protecting Victims of Domestic Violence

Too many people are victims of terrible acts of domestic violence. Last night, we passed comprehensive legislation overhauling our existing laws to best ensure the safety of victims, strengthen penalties for perpetrators and prevent future acts of domestic violence by raising public awareness of how to handle these issues. As Senate chair of the conference committee working out the differences between two versions of this bill, I am especially pleased that we were able to reach a compromise that will make a real difference for victims who often suffer in silence. With these reforms, we are ensuring that victims receive the services, support and compassion they deserve, and we are showing that abuse simply will not be tolerated here in the Commonwealth.

Substance Abuse Recovery and Treatment

We also took important steps to address the public health and safety crisis of addiction by improving access to treatment and recovery options in our communities. Our children and loved ones are struggling with the heart-breaking consequences of addiction and substance abuse, and this bill aims to break this cycle of addiction.

Gun violence

The legislature took action to reduce the impact and prevalence of gun violence in Massachusetts in a new law that calls for stricter background checks, enhanced penalties, new gun-related crimes, increased protections in schools and other provisions designed to ensure a safer Commonwealth. We are working to prevent future tragedies in our communities, while protecting the rights of those who practice gun ownership in a safe, responsible, and lawful way. 

Animal Cruelty

Senator Spilka's dogs Brisco and Lincoln.

As a dog owner and animal lover, I strongly believe all animals deserve to live in a safe, loving environment. In response to horrific animal abuse that came to light in the Puppy Doe case earlier this year, the legislature passed an important bill strengthening animal cruelty laws. Animal abuse is simply unacceptable, and I am always fighting for the humane treatment of animals. I am proud to support this law that will ensure that Lincoln, Brisco and all animals in the Commonwealth are safe from harm

Warm Regards,


Senator Karen E. Spilka

2nd Middlesex and Norfolk


Office of State Senator Karen E. Spilka

Room 320, State House

Boston, Massachusetts  02133

Phone: (617) 722-1640 - Fax: (617) 722-1077