Thursday, July 28, 2022
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Today, I am proud to announce the passage of Statewide Accelerated Public Health for Every Community (SAPHE) 2.0 in the House. The SAPHE 2.0 Act, which I sponsored, is a transformational bill that will guarantee public health services to ALL Massachusetts residents. This bill will accelerate improvements to this system so that it adequately serves residents regardless of race, income, or zip code. This act will also invest in our workforce to ensure all residents are served by credentialed health agents & public health nurses, increase cross-jurisdictional sharing of public health staff services, and create a uniform data collection & reporting system to protect the public’s health and measure effectiveness of the system.
I am proud of the Massachusetts Legislature’s commitment to addressing disparities in the delivery of public health services, which began in 2015 with the 25-member Special Commission on Local and Regional Public Health (for which I would like to thank Needham’s own Ed Cosgrove for serving as a member) and continued with the passage of SAPHE 1.0 legislation in early 2020. For more information, I would like to share with you a press release that explains the bill in greater detail. You can view it by clicking here.
Yours in Service,
- In Needham, support local businesses at the Needham Farmers Market every Sunday from 11 am-3 pm. In addition to fresh produce, the Needham Farmers Market will also include live music as well as fresh baked goods and other handmade products. For more information, click here.
- In Dover, The Gazebo Players are performing a free show of A Midsummer Night’s Dream on July 30 & 31 at 5:00 pm. Join The Gazebo Players in celebrating their 20th anniversary at the Bellforge Arts Center at Medfield State Hospital. For more information, click here.
- In Medfield, the Bellforge Arts Center is holding its FREE outdoor music festival, “Summer Sounds” on July 30 from 12-7 pm. Summer Sounds will feature live music as well as a variety of food options and a full bar. To find more information and RSVP for free tickets, click here.
- This week, I joined my colleagues in the House to vote in the affirmative on An Act expanding protections for reproductive and gender-affirming care. The Massachusetts Legislature was quick to take action to protect reproductive and gender-affirming health care services in the commonwealth following the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. The bill provides legal protection to abortion providers, out-of-state patients, and insurers; expands access to contraceptives, and helps ensure that women whose pregnancies exceed twenty-four weeks are not forced to leave Massachusetts to access reproductive health care services.
- On Tuesday, I joined my colleagues in the House of Representatives in passing An Act financing the general governmental infrastructure of the Commonwealth. This legislation funds improvements on public buildings and includes a five-year moratorium on a new prison and jail construction or expansion. This piece builds on our 2018 criminal justice reform efforts as we steer people toward effective services and treatment. The bill will now go to Governor Baker for his signature.
- The Commonwealth Corps Internship Program is now accepting applications for the 2022-2023 service term. The service internship program is an opportunity for individuals to develop professional skills and knowledge while positively impacting diverse communities in the Commonwealth. Massachusetts residents of all ages, backgrounds, and identities are encouraged to apply. For more information, click here.
- August 29 is the last day for Massachusetts voters to apply for a mail-in ballot ahead of the September 6 primary. Any mail-in ballot must be requested in writing at least 5 business days before Election Day, your application will only be accepted if it has reached your local election office by the deadline. The VOTESAct law makes mail-in voting permanent while also expanding early-in person voting options. Over 4.7 million ballot applications are expected to be received by voters by July 23. To check your voter registration status, click here.
- Children under five years old are eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19. This expands eligibility for vaccination to nearly 20 million additional children and now everyone six months and older can receive the vaccine. To find locations offering the vaccine, click here.
- The Department of Public Health (DPH) has shared resources for protecting yourself, your family, and your community from COVID-19. The best protection against COVID-19 and getting vaccinated and staying up to date on your vaccine, DPH also recommends six other tools you can use for protection. To view this resource, click here.