A Barnstable Patriot article written on September 16th offers a firsthand account of Representative Crocker's first stage on Beacon Hill.
‘Challenged, Humbled and Emboldened’
September 16, 2017
As I enter my first autumn as the proud representative of the 2nd Barnstable, I am taking time to reflect upon my first stage on Beacon Hill. The General Court has returned from its slower summer season and we are back to the usual pace of high energy and determination.
So how has my time thus far been spent under the famed golden dome? I have filed several bills that have already received legislation action: House 1497 would give up to $500 in tax credits to family members who expend monies to take care of the needs of other members of their immediate or extended family; it has a hearing in June. House 749 is a bill that would make assault and battery on a police officer (second offense) a felony punishable by up to five years imprisonment, on top of whatever crime to which they are found guilty.
H749 received a great deal of positive testimony from other legislators as well as law enforcement officials from across the state. Currently I am working to have those two bills reported-out favorably from committee and then to the floor for debate. I have also co-sponsored with First Barnstable state Rep. Tim Whelan HB 3657, which would clear up some state statutes that currently do not allow police officers to communicate with the Department of Children and Families regarding domestic violence issues.
Beyond filling bills that I find essential to the function and future of our commonwealth, I have been working hard as a part of my committee assignments. I sit on what are known as “Joint Committees” meaning that they are comprised of both senators and representatives. One of the committees I serve on is the Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery. That committee deals with the opiate addition issue, which is so prevalent in both Barnstable and Yarmouth.
I also serve on the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Disabled Persons, which focuses on such things as the homeless, another key issue in the Second Barnstable District. Finally, I serve on the Joint Committee on Cultural Development, the Arts and Tourism, which is extremely important to our area. Currently the committees are working their way through the literally hundreds of bills that were filed this session, to vote on what bills will, or will not, make it to the floor for debate.
Outside the State House, as part of my service to the 2nd Barnstable, I have had the opportunity to take a few trips to various parts of the state. The Committee on Children, Families and Disabled Persons went to Chicopee to learn about the efforts being made to keep people from falling through the cracks in the system, stressing the importance of keeping families intact.
I also participated in the Commonwealth Conversations Tour, with Senate President Stanley Rosenberg and Cape and Islands state Sen. Julian Cyr. When the tour came to Cape Cod, we discussed health care while in Mashpee and took a tour of an oyster processing plant in Marstons Mills.
Most recently, the Harm Reduction Caucus came to The Barnstable County House of Corrections in Bourne to talk about drug treatments in prison and tour the facility and speak with inmates in treatment programs. Having worked at the Bristol County facility for three years before being elected, I was a little more comfortable inside a jail than some of the members.
All in all, as we enter perhaps the most beautiful season for New England, it has been a tremendous honor and privilege to have been able to work for my constituents. I have been challenged, I have been humbled and I have been emboldened to continue fighting for a better future for my district, the Cape and Massachusetts as a whole.