< Back to Blog


Thursday, April 25, 2024

 

 

The House of Representatives is actively engaged in our budget debate. As the House Chair of the Education Committee, I spoke on behalf of the House actions and support for the Education and Local Aid items in the budget. My colleagues and I are deeply connected to the values of the constituents in our districts. In Massachusetts, one of the greatest values is education and although there is much work to do Massachusetts ranks #1 in public education in our nation. Massachusetts is home to over 1.3 million children under the age of 18. 343,000 of whom are under the age of 5, nearly 915,000 enrolled in public schools, 29,000 students who are homeless, and more than 75,000 educators.

The pandemic and our volatile economic recovery have exacerbated the challenges and illuminated the great needs regarding early education and child care, public education in grades K-12, and the many needs of our children including social-emotional and behavioral health needs of all

learners and the importance of educational resources for all residents through our public libraries.

The House budget fully funds the Student Opportunity Act now in Year 4; funds universal school meals funds the Special Education Circuit Breaker, invests in Early Literacy, increases the per-pupil minimum aid to $104 ( a 247percent increase) increases the Chapter 70 formula funding in every District.

It is also my pleasure to express respect, appreciation, and gratitude to the educators of Massachusetts and the staff who support them. To demonstrate our commitment to teachers of today and of tomorrow the budget includes scholarships and loan repayment assistance programs for our public school educators.

To read my entire speech on the education budget, click here. click here.

 

 

District Updates

 

 

 

Needham

  • On Thursday, May 2nd, students from Needham High School will lead the first in a series of community workshops that focus on race and racism, history, shared language, self-reflection, upstanding, and equity. The event will be held at the Center at the Heights from 6:30 PM to 8 PM. The interactive workshop will be facilitated by Needham High School’s Courageous Conversations on Race students. For more info and to register, email kking@needhamma.gov.

 

  • The Needham Community Council will be holding an Antiques & Collectibles Sale from May 2nd to May 4th. The sale will be held at the Needham Community Council Thrift Store (570 Hillside Ave). Proceeds from the sale and the thrift store fund the many programs sponsored by the Needham Community Council. For more information and sale hours, click here.
  • Plugged In’s Pathway to Music Open Mic has been moved to today, Thursday, April 25th. The event will be held from 6 PM – 8:30 PM at the Center at the Heights (300 Hillside Ave). All ages, all abilities, and all musical skills are welcome. This is a free event held monthly by the Plugged In Band Program. To learn more about Plugged In and their events, click here.
  • This Saturday, April 27th, is Needham Drug Take Back Day at the Needham Police Station from 10 AM to 2 PM. Unused and expired prescription and over-the-counter drugs will be accepted. They will not be accepting needles, thermometers, inhalers, medical waste, or illegal drugs. There will be drive-thru and drop-off options available. For more information, click here.

 

Dover

  • Powissett Farm hosts a special Spring family walk this Sunday, April 28th to visit vernal pools. The walk will be held from 11 AM to 12:30 PM. The vernal pools are seasonal wetlands that appear after the winter months and provide water, shelter, and food to animals. For more information or registration, click here.
  • This Friday, April 26th Dover Unplugged is packing 18,000 meals for Ukrainian and Haitian migrants. The event will take place at St. Dunstan’s Church (18 Springdale Ave) with multiple volunteer shifts throughout the day. The meals will be distributed and shipped to Kyiv, Ukraine and The Immigrant Family Service Insitute to help recent Haitian migrants in Massachusetts. To find more information or to sign up, click here.
  • The Dover Parks and Recreation’s Spring and Summer Brochure is now available. The brochure includes various spring and summer programs as well as events offered throughout the warmer months. To view the brochure, click here.
  • Registration remains open for Dover’s April Spring Clean-up. In 2023, 400 residents participated in this effort to clean up 100% of the 159 streets and parks. All Dover residents are invited to help achieve this goal again. All local clubs and organizations are encouraged to join the clean-up. To register, click here.

Medfield

 

  • Join Medfield Outreach on Thursday, April 25th at 7 PM for a discussion with Dr. Crystal Collier on how to use brain science to parent modern teens and tweens. The event will be held in person at Thayer Homestead (2B Oak St, Medway, MA) and streamed live virtually. To register for the event, click here.
  • Support Medfield Lions Club’s Annual Fire Truck Golf Ball Drop Fundraiser. Purchase balls at $5 each to participate in the ball drop which will be held on Sunday, May 5th at 1:30 PM on the grounds of Wheelock School. Venmo payments are still being accepted. For more information on the event or purchasing golf balls, click here.
  • This weekend is Medfield History Weekend! Celebrate with several events throughout town from Friday, April 26th to Sunday, April 28th. The weekend will offer a mix of free and paid attractions, with proceeds benefitting Medfield’s non-profit historical preservation organizations. For a full schedule of attractions and events, click here.
  • The Town of Medfield is seeking public feedback on the Medfield Industrial-Extensive district. Help the town plan the Medfield IE district by filling out the survey on what types of businesses and amenities you would like to see in the district. To complete the survey, click here.
  • Support the Medfield Library by purchasing a Friends of the Medfield Library Spring Tote Bag. The tote bags cost $15 each and proceeds go to supporting the Medfield Public Library programs and services. Bags are available to purchase at the library circulation desk. For more information, click here.

 

 

 

Statewide Updates

 

 

  • MassHealth will receive federal authority to expand eligibility for individuals and lower insurance costs for Massachusetts families. The new federal authority will make health care more accessible, equitable, and affordable for hundreds of thousands of Massachusetts residents. The 1115 waiver, approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) through December 2027, supports continued progress toward comprehensive, equitable health care for the agency’s more than 2 million members, with a focus on expanding coverage and addressing health-related social needs. To read more, click here.
  • The Executive Office of Economic Development (EOED) and the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism (MOTT) have announced the Destination Development Capital (DDC) Grant program for fiscal year 2025. Destination Development Grants are included in the economic development plan, “The Mass Leads Act: An Act Relative to Strengthening Massachusetts’ Economic Leadership,” as a strategy to support critical capital improvements at tourism assets across Massachusetts. The FY25 DDC grant program is anticipated to be funded at up to $5 million through the Capital Budget. The competitive grant program will award funds to strengthen the economy of Massachusetts through destination development projects that enhance tourism sustainability and have the potential to increase non-resident visitation. To learn more, click here.
  • In honor of Earth Week, $775,000 will be allocated to install new air quality sensors across the state and put advanced monitoring technology into environmental justice communities to track local air quality and protect public health. The funding was announced by Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) Commissioner Bonnie Heiple during a tour of a MassDEP air monitoring station in Kenmore Square in Boston – one of 24 air monitoring stations currently located across the state. To learn more, click here.
  • The Healey-Driscoll Administration announced that the Department of Higher Education (DHE) has moved the priority deadline for its largest state financial aid program, MASSGrant, from May 1st to July 1st, 2024. This later deadline gives Massachusetts students more time to complete their FAFSA for the 2024-2025 academic year. MASSGrant is a need-based financial aid program that helps to cover educational expenses at state public and private colleges and universities. During FAFSA Week of Action, the administration is encouraging students to complete their FAFSA as soon as possible. “I join with my colleagues in the House of Representatives as we welcome all tools available to aid students and their families to meet the challenges of financial concerns and, more importantly, the great opportunities of higher education,” said State Representative Denise Garlick, House Chair of the Joint Committee on Education. To learn more, click here.
  • The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Health Alert Network (HAN) Health Advisory to alert health providers to the global and domestic increase in measles cases. It is recommended that children in Massachusetts and those traveling internationally 6 months and older are current on the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine. To view the full alert, click here.
  • The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) is accepting applications for lifeguards, swim instructors and other pool and waterfront roles across the state for the 2024 summer season. Qualified candidates, who apply early and work through the end of the season, can earn up to $1,250 in bonuses, in addition to a competitive hourly rate of between $22 and $27, dependent on the position and associated certifications. For more information, click here.
Get Newsletter