Dear Friends and Neighbors,
On Wednesday, I joined my colleagues in the House of Representatives to vote in the affirmative on a $55 million supplemental budget to address immediate COVID-19 needs, including:
- COVID-19 testing in K-12 schools;
- personal protective masks for students and faculty in K-12 schools; and
- promoting vaccination rates for children ages 5-11. This legislation
Additionally, this legislation extends many pandemic era programs including remote notarizations, virtual reserve mortgage counseling, and remote open meeting laws. To learn more, click here.
Relatedly, I am hosting a webinar hearing with the House Chair on Covid-19 and Emergency Preparedness and Management in Needham. You can tune in tonight at 7pm using this link.
Yours in Service,
- In Needham, the Needham Housing Plan Working Group will be hosting a Public Education and Listening Forum on Thursday, January 27 at 7:00 PM via Zoom. This forum will provide an overview of the basics of affordable housing as well as the history of zoning in Needham. For more information, click here.
- Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital – Needham is conducting their community health needs assessment, which identities the priority health needs in the community including social, economic, and environmental factors. Members of the community may participate through virtual listening sessions on February 2 at 9:30 AM or February 8 at 3:30 PM. To learn more and register for a session, click here.
- In Dover, the Dover Cultural Council is seeking input from the community. The DCC survey consists of five brief questions that will help them set funding priorities and better serve the community. To take the survey, click here.
- In Medfield, the Medfield School Committee will be holding their FY23 budget hearing on Thursday, January 27 at 7:00 PM in the Lowell Mason Auditorium at Medfield High School. At this meeting there will be a presentation of the operational and capital budgets for the upcoming year. For more information, click here.
- On Tuesday, the Food System Caucus held a briefing on supply chain and labor shortage issues. This briefing included representatives from across the Commonwealth including the Greater Boston Food Bank, the Merrimack Valley Food Bank, and the Food Bank of Western Mass, Supply chain and labor shortages issues have impacted industries across the Commonwealth, including nonprofits, like food banks. These issues have lead to unpredictability, increased costs, and excess strain on the workforce.
- Today, the MBTA proposed several changes to fares with the aim of improving equity by expanding programs for reduced fare riders. Changes include permanent 5-day FlexPasses on Commuter Rail, lower pricing for 1-day LinkPasses, a new 7-Day LinkPass for reduced fare riders, and more. If approved these changes will go into effect on July 1, 2022. For more information, click here.
- All residential households in the United States are eligible to order one set of four free at-home COVID tests through USPS. Tests are limited to one order per household which includes 4 individual rapid antigen COVID-19 tests. Orders will begin to ship starting in late January. To order your test, click here.
- The Massachusetts Health Connector is currently in its Open Enrollment period, which runs from November 1, 2021 – January 23, 2022. This is a time when MA residents are able to enroll in health insurance coverage through the Health Connector for the first time and existing members are able to shop for a new health insurance plan that meets their needs. For coverage effective February 1, 2022, members must enroll and make a payment by January 23. For more information, click here.