House Votes to Fully Fund Workforce Training Fund
State Representative Paul J. Donato (D-Medford, Malden) joined his colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives in restoring $12.5 million to the Workforce Training Fund, which provides employers with grants aimed at educating and training existing members of the workforce and new hires.
“Providing full funding to the Workforce Training Fund will help Massachusetts businesses thrive and keep people employed across the Commonwealth,” House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo said. “In these challenging economic times, it is imperative that we provide our workforce with the skills needed to succeed in today’s economy.”
“This fund is one of the ways the state can help grow the Massachusetts economy,” said Representative Charles Murphy, Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means. “By giving companies assistance to retrain their employees, we help them increase productivity and expand their capabilities. Creating good-paying jobs is the first step toward economic recovery.”
“In these tough economic times, this bill encourages training and education,” said Representative Paul Donato. “It will help companies to retrain workers and will also help more workers gain employment.”
In order to reinstate the $12.5 million in funding, the House overrode a gubernatorial veto. The legislature’s conference committee budget, which passed last month, provided $24 million for the Workforce Training Fund. The House’s veto override restored the funding for Workforce Training grants to the level of $24 million.
Through the beginning of this year, more than $175 million in grants have been awarded to train almost a quarter-million workers through the Workforce Training Fund.
Campus Crime Bill Passes Senate
Jehlen Legislation Would Require Public Inspection of Records at Private Colleges
The Massachusetts Senate approved legislation filed by Senator Jehlen providing for the public inspection of records at educational institutions. Senate bill 2487 requires that private colleges and universities employing Special State Police officers must make the officers’ crime reports accessible upon request, just as all public colleges and universities, and municipalities are required to do under law.
Currently, the minimal data recorded in a private college’s daily log have been accessible as “public records,” but they may be incomplete to properly inform students and others about actual incident(s) on-campus. This can prevent students from recognizing patterns of serious incidents and being able to take appropriate precautions, or knowing what potential suspects look like. The bill filed by Senator Jehlen would require that private colleges and universities make the non-exempt portions of the officers’ crime reports accessible upon request, and prevent disclosure of information exempted by the Public Records Law, protecting the victims.
“Private colleges and universities play a vibrant role in the Commonwealth. Their campuses are located throughout the state and in many cases woven into private neighborhoods. Making police records available at these educational institutions will play a critical role in helping to keep campuses and surrounding neighborhoods safe,” said Senator Jehlen.
In 2003 the Harvard Crimson sued the Harvard University Police Department to obtain access to their crime reports, arguing that a campus police force that is deputized by the State Police, with full police powers, essentially operates as an agent of the state and should be required to make available police records just as any other department would. The Crimson’s lawsuit was ultimately defeated, the door was left open for the Legislature to modify state law.
This legislation has been endorsed by the Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin and Supervisor of Public Records Alan Cote.
The bill now goes to the House for approval.
- Information from State Representative Paul Donato and State Senator Pat Jehlen