Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It is with great hope and optimism that I share that this morning I met virtually with 50 chosen candidates from a variety of Massachusetts healthcare programs selected by the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis. Hosted by the Massachusetts Policy Forum this forum provides graduate students in health-related fields the opportunity to connect their work to current policy issues in State Government. The commitment and grit of these accomplished Masters and Doctoral candidates to take on the challenges of public health in these unsettled and distressing times is one of our best hopes for the future.
I wish you all a happy and health new year!
Yours in Service,
- In Needham, the Town is offering grants of us to $10,000 to Needham small businesses. Funds may be used by businesses to help retain and attract workers, provide for greater safety against COVID-19 including purchasing PPE, outdoor dining accommodations, improve ventilation, and other approved operating expenses. Applications are available now and will be accepted through January 31. For more information, click here.
- In Needham, the League of Women Voters of Needham will present a workshop on Monday, January 10 at 7:30 PM via Zoom for Needham voters interested in running for an elected board, office, or Town Meeting Member in the April 12, 2022 election. A panel including the Town Clerk (Tedi Eaton), the Town Moderator (Michael Fee), Select Board member Marcus Nelson and Needham Town Meeting Members will discuss the steps involved in running for an elected position in Needham. Registration is required. Click here to sign up.
- In Dover, the Town is seeking input from residents on creating a cohesive vision for the future development in Dover Village Center. The survey will take five to ten minutes to complete and may help inform potential zoning changes and design standard for the Town. For more information and to take the survey, click here.
- In Medfield, Medfield Community Electricity is a program in development by the Town to provide new electricity options to Medfield residents and businesses. The Town has released a draft plan for the program which is available for public review and comment until January 18, 2022. For more information, click here.
- On Tuesday, I testified in front of the Joint Committee on Education in support of H.597, An Act relative to the reimbursement of school-based care, which I have filed this session. As an integral part of our education system, school nurses advance the well-being and academic success of students. Unfortunately, for some school districts, a balanced budget has come at the cost of full-time school nurses and the vital programming they provide. This legislation would ensure that school-based Medicaid funds, generated from direct nursing services provided, along with related administrative work, is directly returned to School Health Services programming. To read my written testimony, click here.
- On Tuesday, I additionally testified in front of the Joint Committee on Revenue in support of H.2910, An Act addressing COVID-19 impacts on film production in the Commonwealth, which I have filed this session. This legislation creates necessary safeguards for the Commonwealth and production companies in the event of an extraordinary situation, such as the COVID-19 public health pandemic. This legislation serves as an additional component to the Film Tax Credit to incentivize investments in the film industry in the Commonwealth. To read my written testimony, click here.
- As the only legislator on the Opioid Recovery and Remediation Fund Advisory Council, I attended the meeting on Wednesday. This advisory council was convened to develop recommendations for the expenditure of funds recovered through legal claims arising from the manufacturing, marketing, and distribution of opioids. At this meeting we discussed updates on the Trust Fund including its current level and funding are expecting in the future. To learn more about the council, click here.
- The Department of Environmental Protection has announced the second round of the PFAS6 Interim Response Grant Program. This grant program provides funds, including reimbursements for costs and expenses already incurred, to impacted public water systems for measures taken to immediately respond to a discovery of PFAS6 contamination in the drinking water supply. The grant application deadline is February 1, 2022 by 5PM. For more information, 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 January 1, 2022, members must enroll and make a payment by December 23. For more information, click here.
If you are in need of information, resources, or support please visit my website for a list of resources regarding unemployment assistance, food assistance, housing, and mental health. Additionally, for town specific information visit the Towns of Needham, Dover, and Medfield‘s websites.
If you are in need of assistance, my office is still accessible by phone and email so please contact my office and we will get back to you.