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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

This fall, the House of Representatives voted to allocated $4 billion of federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to communities and programs that were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since this legislation has been signed into law, I wanted to share with you two ways this transformational money is being implemented.

This week, the Commonwealth began the distribution of the first round of $500 payments for low-income workers under the COVID-19 Essential Employee Premium Pay Program. The payments will be mailed to approximately 500,000 people over the next week.

Second, the Commonwealth has launched a new hiring and training employer grant program, “HireNow”, which will support employers in growing back their workforces. $4,000 grants per employee will be available to businesses to cover the cost of training or to be used as a signing bonus. Businesses in the Commonwealth have worked hard to stay open despite the many challenges that they have faced in the last two years, and this program will support these businesses in addressing their persistent workforce challenges. To learn more about this program, click here.

Yours in Service,
Denise

District Updates

  • On Monday, March 28 from 5:00 – 7:00 PM I will be holding virtual office hours for residents of Needham, Dover, and Medfield. You may sign up for a 15-minute slot to discuss your questions, concerns, or issues over Zoom or by phone. To register for a time, click here.
  • In Needham, the Public Information Officer, Cyndi Roy Gonzalez, will be holding a preview of the redesigned town website on Tuesday, March 29 at 6:00 PM via Zoom. The new website reflects the community input received over the last several months. For more information, click here.
  • In Dover, Aquarion Water is currently undergoing a water main flushing program that will take place over approximately the next four weeks. Flushing is being completed overnight from 9:00 Am to 5:00 AM Monday through Friday. For more information, click here.
  • In Medfield, the Annual Town Election is taking place on Monday, March 28 from 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM at the Council of Aging Center at 1 Icehouse Road. Absentee ballot applications must be completed by Friday, March 25 at 12:00 PM and all absentee ballots must be returned to the Town Clerk’s Office by 8:00 PM on Monday, March 28. For more information, click here.

 

Legislative Updates

  • On Tuesday, I spoke at the MassNAHRO Virtual Legislative Day. This day is an opportunity for Housing Authority professionals and members of their Boards to advocate to legislators on bills and budgetary issues that impact public housing in the Commonwealth. At this event I shared the story of the Needham Housing Authority, and how our community supports the Housing Authority and its residents.

 

Statewide Updates

  • The Massachusetts Cultural Council has launched its sixth economic impact survey for the cultural sector, to continue to understand how COVID-19 influences individuals and cultural organizations. The economic impact surveys seek to collect new economic impact data from Massachusetts artists, cultural sector workers, and cultural organizations. For more information, click here.
  • MindWise, a service of Riverside Community Care, delivers evidence-based mental health and substance use information to organizations, schools, and mental health professionals. MindWise has a digital resource library that contains information on behavioral health literacy, mental health awareness, suicide prevention, and more. To view these resources, click here.
  • This year, the tax filing deadline is Tuesday, April 19. If you were uninsured for all or part of 2021, you can now fill in a box on your Massachusetts state tax return to get more information on free or low-cost health insurance through the Massachusetts Health Connector. To learn more about simple-sign up, click here.
  • Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are free, safe, and effective against COVID-19 and are available to individuals who live, work, and study in Massachusetts. To find a vaccine clinic, click here.
    • Individuals age 18 and older are eligible to receive any vaccine or booster
    • Individuals ages 12-17 are eligible to receive a Pfizer booster
    • Individuals ages 5-17 are eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine
  • Massachusetts is now offering digital vaccine cards through the MyVaxRecords tool if you received your vaccine in the Commonwealth. MyVaxRecords utilizes your vaccination records from the Massachusetts Immunization Information System. To access your digital vaccine card, click here.

Resources

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.

Email: Denise.Garlick@mahouse.gov
Phone: 617-722-2582