State Rep. Shawn Dooley to Host a Forum with Eversource Energy


NORFOLK –
State Representative Shawn Dooley is happy to cordially invite all area residents to a forum with Eversource Energy:

State Representative Shawn C. Dooley

Forum with Eversource Energy

Monday February 12th, 2018

Norfolk Town Hall, Room 124

1 Liberty Ln; Norfolk

7:00 PM

The forum will give residents the opportunity to hear from Eversource on the recent rate hikes and power outages in the area as well as the chance to ask any questions and to express their frustration with price, performance, and any other issues they may be having with Eversource.

“I am happy to be able to bring Eversource to Norfolk to discuss the variety of issues my constituents have been facing over the past several months from the rate hikes to the rash of power outages” said Dooley. “I hope we are able to engage in a meaningful dialogue to gain a better understanding of the situation. I encourage all area residents, not just those in Norfolk, to attend.”

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  • Written by William Rigdon

State Rep. Shawn Dooley Announces $500,000 Bridge Grant for Norfolk

BOSTON – State Representative Shawn Dooley (R-Norfolk) is pleased to announce that the Town of Norfolk is the recipient of a $500,000 grant from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT). The grant is intended to provide funding for the rebuilding of the Lawrence Street Bridge.

The grant was awarded as a part of the Baker-Polito Administration’s Municipal Small Bridge Program. The program is designed to be the lifeline for many older, smaller bridges— between ten and twenty feet in length— that are at risk of closure and serve as a vital artery to schools, businesses, and jobs. Every community is eligible for up to $500,000 in aid each year; however, the town was also the recipient of a $1.8 million MassWorks infrastructure grant last fall that will also be put towards Lawrence Street improvements.

“As a resident of the Norfolk community, I am thrilled to see money coming back into the town” said Dooley of the grant. “The Lawrence Street Bridge is on its last legs and was going to have to be repaired whether this grant money was received or not. With this critical funding, the Town of Norfolk will be able to save money to put towards other needed projects. We all pay enough in taxes, so it’s nice to have some of that money put to good use in the community.”

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State Rep. Shawn Dooley Announces Fire Safety Grants for District

BOSTON – State Representative Shawn Dooley is pleased to announce that the Norfolk, Plainville, and Walpole fire departments have a received a total of over $19,000 in grant money from the Baker-Polito Administration to put towards their Student Awareness of Fire Education (SAFE) and Senior SAFE programs.

The SAFE program was created over two decades ago to help reduce annual child fire deaths by ensuring all young students are adequately educated in the area of fire safety. According to the Administration, this program has helped reduce such deaths by 72% since its inception. Similarly, the Senior SAFE program was created to educate senior citizens on fire prevention and how to be better prepared in the event of a fire.

“As an on-call firefighter and EMT in the Town of Plainville, I am all too aware of the devastation that a fire can cause and the need to ensure that our most vulnerable populations are educated in all aspects of fire safety” said Dooley about the grants. “I am beyond ecstatic at not only the amount of grant money received, but also by the effort and dedication that all of these fire departments put in year after year to better our community.”

 

 

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State Rep. Shawn Dooley to Host State of the District Event

WRENTHAM- State Representative Shawn Dooley is proud to cordially invite all area residents to his 1st ever State of the District event:

State Representative Shawn C. Dooley

State of the District

Thursday January 25th, 2018

Wrentham Senior Center

400 Taunton Street; Wrentham

7-9 PM

The event, to be held two days after Governor Baker’s annual State of the Commonwealth address, will give constituents the opportunity to receive updates on important items including state tax and budget policy, 40B housing, MassHealth, and many other key issues affecting the area directly from Representative Dooley.

The event is free of charge. All are welcome to attend.

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State Rep. Shawn Dooley Files Bill to Align State’s Divorce Process with New Federal Tax Law

BOSTON – In the wake of recent federal tax reform, State Representative Shawn Dooley (R-Norfolk) has filed HD4463 An Act to create a commission to align the Commonwealth’s alimony and child support statutes with the new federal tax policy to study the implications of the new law on the Commonwealth’s divorce process. The bill would establish a nine-member commission, appointed by the Governor; the Speaker of the House; the Senate President; the House and Senate minority leaders; the Treasurer, and the Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court, composed of experts in tax law; family law; and children and family advocacy to spearhead the study. The commission would be focused in specific on the Commonwealth’s alimony and child support statutes as well as procedures related to unallocated support.

According to Dooley, his inspiration for this bill is practical. One of the provisions in the recently passed federal tax reform law eliminates the so-called “alimony deduction” that allows payers of alimony to deduct those payments from their federal tax bill each year. In 2011 the State Legislature passed the Alimony Reform Act that set alimony to 30-35% of the difference between the parties’ incomes. As Dooley points out though, these percentages were calculated with the federal alimony deduction in mind. “Losing this deduction will put stress on all ends of our divorce process” said Dooley. “Many payers will either not be able to afford to continue alimony payments, which will hurt those receiving it, or they will go broke trying to pay. This is an unfortunate consequence of the recent federal tax reform that we must work expeditiously to fix.”

Dooley also adds that he does not believe this will be the first or last change the state will have to make in response to the new federal tax law. “Unfortunately, the problem with our large and complex government is state and federal laws often have an overly symbiotic relationship. A tiny change in federal law can have a massive effect on us here in the Commonwealth. Even though the ultimate result for residents may turn out well, we will have a lot of housekeeping to do over the next year to update our statutes.” That’s why he says he expanded his commission to look at child support and unallocated support not just alimony. “We have to make sure each investigation we do covers all bases and is as comprehensive and sweeping as possible.”

 

 

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Five Students Complete Internships with Representative Dooley

Fall 2017 Intern Photo 2BOSTON—During the fall semester Representative Shawn Dooley (R-Norfolk) was pleased to have five area students complete internships in his office:

  • Katherine Chung (White Plains, NY)—Boston College, 2020
  • Madeleine Nichols (Bloomfield Hills, MI)—Boston College, 2020
  • Carolann Schoenbaum (Newport Beach, CA)—Boston College, 2019
  • Upahar Shah (Kathmandu, Nepal)—Bridgewater State University, Masters Program 2018
  • Nate Wolf (Boston)—Holy Cross, 2022

Dooley’s interns get the opportunity to learn about politics in a hands-on fashion. From campaign life in the district to policy work in the State House, they are exposed to all sides of state and local politics. “It’s a trite expression, but my office truly could not function without our interns” said Dooley. “This particular group of interns was one of the most intelligent, dedicated, and hard-working groups I’ve had. Their service in my office undoubtedly helped me be a better Representative of my constituents. While the work can be challenging, I hope this was a rewarding and fun experience for them all. I know unflinchingly that they will be an asset and a success in anything they choose to pursue in the future. I thank them all for their service to me and all the citizens of the 9th Norfolk District.”

Any high school and college students interested in applying for an internship in Dooley’s office are encouraged to reach out to his Chief of Staff, William Rigdon, at William.Rigdon@mahouse.gov.

 

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State Reps Call For Investigation of Boston Public Schools

BOSTON- After the IRS fined Boston Public Schools $1,000,000 for misusing student activity funds, State Representative Shawn Dooley (R-Norfolk) and State Representative Shaunna O’Connell (R-Taunton) are calling for an independent investigation of the school system by the Auditor of the Commonwealth, Suzanne Bump. Dooley and O’Connell delivered a letter to the Auditor’s office on Friday urging Bump, on behalf of the Massachusetts General Court and the taxpayers of the Commonwealth, “to launch a thorough investigation into Boston Public Schools and its use of student activity accounts.”

While the information was not made public until this week, the issue was uncovered earlier this summer when an IRS audit reported that Boston Public Schools had used student activity funds, designed to be put towards the operation of student clubs and activities, to pay staffers and vendors under the table. In their letter Dooley and O’Connell say that there is a lot of information that the taxpayers of not only the City of Boston but also the entire Commonwealth deserve to know. “The latest stories detail some of the ways these accounts were misused; however, the taxpayers of Boston and the Commonwealth are still lacking important details such as how much money has been misused, who was responsible, and for how long have the funds have been misused” they write, calling this information “vital to maintaining integrity within our public institutions.”

Dooley and O’Connell have also expressed their displeasure in what they call “shameless political games” now playing out after the information was released this week. “News reports detail how Boston Public Schools officials covered up their knowledge of the misuse of funds for several months, how the issue was swept under the rug and released to the public only after the municipal election in Boston, and now how everyone with a stake in the issue is pointing their finger at someone else. The taxpayers deserve better than this” they write to Auditor Bump.

“I may not represent the City of Boston, but it is the collective responsibility of all legislators to watch out for all taxpayers” said Dooley about the letter. “For the taxpayers and students to have to bear the brunt of this folly is an unmitigated outrage. Many legislators often become enraged when constituents oppose tax increases; however, it is precisely incidents like these that cause the general public to lose confidence in our system and become distrustful of our public officials with their money. This matter needs to be investigated independently, swiftly, and thoroughly to assure the public that there is some semblance of honor is our system.”

O’Connell shares a similar sentiment. “I am truly disturbed by the reports regarding the failings of the Boston Public Schools” she remarked. “Our taxpayers and school children deserve accountability.  School funds must be spent in the classroom not on parties and hiring DJs. Abusing these funds is a disservice to the children who we are entrusted to educate. ”

Both Dooley and O’Connell hope to get this investigation moving as soon as possible.

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Local Lawmaker Proposes Increased Oversight for Solar Energy Industry

BOSTON-State Representative Shawn Dooley (R-Norfolk) has filed HD4390 An Act to create a commission to investigate the advertising practices of the solar energy industry with the Massachusetts House of Representatives in an effort to ramp up the Commonwealth’s regulation on solar energy and to crack down on deceptive advertising and trade practices in the industry. The bill would create a seven member commission, composed of both members of the legislature and industry experts, to delve deep into investigating the practices of the major players in the solar energy industry and to issue a report on their findings, including recommending any legislative changes they see fit.

Despite being a small state in a meteorologically inconsistent region, Massachusetts actually ranks in the Top 10 for cumulative solar energy production. The state’s success in solar energy production comes mainly from a lofty goal to produce 1,600 Megawatts of solar energy by 2020, a goal which the Baker-Polito Administration expects to exceed, as well as a plethora of incentive programs, including sales and property tax exemptions as well as net metering. Net metering allows those producing solar energy to sell back any unused energy created by their solar facilities to electric companies for a financial credit.

Fast growth in this industry has not come without its issues though. “I have had report after report telling me that we need to look into the promises solar energy companies are making to customers” said Dooley. “I have a lot of constituents telling me that when they looked into installing solar panels they were told exactly what they wanted to hear, but once they installed the panels the reality turned out to be very different.”

Dooley’s own recent personal experiences have only increased his attention to this issue. In an effort to live more sustainably and environmentally friendly, he recently outfitted his entire home with solar panels. “After over a year of research, I realized there was a huge disparity between the facts and what some sales people would try to tell me. I found that the cost for the same size system could swing by nearly 50% depending on the company and some of the payback and output projections were downright absurd” Dooley reports.

The reports Dooley has received and his own experiences seem to be an accurate representation for the average consumer in the Commonwealth. Last year local investigative reporting from the CBS Boston I-Team and WHDH’s Hank Phillippi Ryan uncovered what became dubbed as the “hidden cost of solar panels.” Customers who had installed solar panels on a leasing basis discovered only after they entered into the agreement that it often prevented them from receiving important federal loans, including mortgages and reverse mortgages. Generally, leasing agreements state that the solar company needs to approve of any property transfers, which the federal government considers a disqualifying encumbrance on a property. Property owners are left with the option to outright purchase the panels, but that usually comes to an unaffordable total in the tens of thousands.

More recently, local reporting from WCVB and Fox 25 Boston has shined a light on the sometimes shoddy work done by solar energy companies. The reports point to many customers who have experienced system breakdowns, a lack of cost savings, and even home damage from solar panels. The customers say their complaints were met with reluctance from their solar provider to fix the issue.

Dooley is happy to take the initiative to protect consumers. “This legislation is only a first step in the process” he said. “Solar energy is no doubt a vital piece to our energy infrastructure and its importance as both a renewable and cost saving energy source will only continue to grow; but as with all new up and coming industries, we need to take a closer look. There are some great companies out there, but we need to protect consumers who are trying to do a good thing by going green from predatory companies whose only goal is to make a quick buck.”

 

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State Rep. Shawn Dooley Participates in National Adoption Month

State Representative Shawn Dooley (R-Norfolk) is proud to announce his participation as a host
during National Adoption Month. Throughout the month of November, his State House Office
will display a photo of Eddie, an energetic 12 year old currently awaitiDooley with Eddieng adoption. Eddie enjoys sharing stories, telling jokes, and making others laugh. He loves to build with Legos and hopes one day to be a WWE wrestler.

The event, organized by the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE), is intended to raise awareness about adoption of children from foster care. The month culminates with National Adoption Day, which celebrates the adoption of hundreds of children from foster care into permanent families throughout Massachusetts.

“I love this event and look forward to participating every year” said Dooley. “As an elected official, I’ve had to deal with a number of issues surrounding adoptions, so I am unfortunately keenly aware of how difficult a situation these kids are in. I want to be able to help in any way I can.”

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State Rep. Shawn Dooley Addresses Opioid Epidemic

Rep. Dooley at No Shame Rally

Over the weekend State Representative Shawn Dooley (R-Norfolk) addressed the “No Shame, Erasing the Stigma” rally put together by the Trinity Church on the Wrentham Town Common. Held on Saturday morning, the rally sought to support all those affected by the opioid epidemic in the local community.

Attendees included survivors, first responders, and family members who were brought together for meaningful reflection, swapping personal stories of how opioids have affected them and played a role in their lives. All those in attendance agreed that a major contributing factor to the epidemic is the feeling of shame surrounding opioid use, which oftentimes drives addicts to avoid getting the help they need. By promoting compassion and education on the subject, the rally hoped to encourage those in need to get help and treat their issue just like they would any other ailment

“This is not a partisan issue, but rather it is a people issue” said Dooley, who is a Plainville firefighter; EMT; and SAFE Coalition board member. “You don’t have to go far to see someone struggling with opioid addiction. It ruins lives, tears families apart, and can even destroy communities entirely. I was honored to speak at the rally, and I have pledged my full-fledged support to their movement as well as any effort to completely eradicate this faceless enemy from our society.”

 

 

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