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Thursday, February 1, 2024

2024 Report to the Community

Happy, healthy new year to you and yours!

Please join me for my annual “Representative’s Report to the Community”. I will share the work for constituents, our Towns of Needham, Dover, and Medfield, and the Commonwealth. Most importantly, I will listen and learn as we discuss your issues and concerns and plan for

the work of 2024.

See you soon!

District Updates

 

Needham

  • The Babson College Needham Town Scholarship is now accepting applications. Applications are open to Needham residents as well as other Needham High School students and alumni who are interested in attending Babson College for the 2024-2025 academic year. The Needham Select Board each year selects recipients for the scholarships funded by Babson College. The scholarships are awarded based primarily on financial need and the number and dollar amount of scholarships may vary based on the pool of qualified applicants. To find the application or to learn more, click here.
  • Registration for a plot at the Needham Community Garden Beds is now open for the 2024 season. All registrations include a 4 x 12 feet garden bed filled with compost, unlimited daytime access to the Community Bed area, and use of supplies such as tools and wheelbarrows. There are 150 beds for lease. Priority will be given to Needham residents. To register, click here.
  • The Needham Police are asking residents to stop using mail drop boxes. Suspects have been entering stand-alone mailboxes and stealing its contents. All mail should be brought directly into the post office during hours of operation. If you have used the mailboxes, it is suggested that you monitor your bank statements. You do not need to contact the police unless there are irregularities in your bank account. For more details, click here.

 

 

Dover

 

 

  • On Monday, February 5th at 7 pm, I will be holding my annual Report to the Community at the Dover Sherborn Middle School. I will be sharing a recap of our work and accomplishments for the Town of Dover and listening to your concerns. The event will be held both in person and virtually. To register for the virtual stream, click here.

 

  • A special town election will be held on March 5th to fill the unexpired term for Selectman. Polls will open at 7 am and close at 8 pm. Voters have the option to vote by mail, vote early in person, or vote in person on the day of March 5th. To vote in the March 5th election, voters must register no later than Saturday, February 24th. Nomination papers for Selectman are due to the Clerk’s Office on Friday, January 12th by 1 pm. For more information, click here.

 

  • Persons over the age of 65 may qualify for tax relief exemption programs. Property Tax Exemption for Person Over 65 (Clause 41c) administered by the Assessor’s Office may qualify seniors for an exemption that discharges a taxpayer from the legal obligation to pay a part of the tax assessed for the fiscal year. Other property tax relief exemption programs are available. Applications are due April 1, 2024, for fiscal year 2024. Contact the Assessor’s office at 508-785-0032 ext. 241 for an application or additional information.

 

 

Medfield

  • Afterschool Program (MAP). MAP is a non-profit, parent-based cooperative that provides quality care and enrichment to children in preschool to the sixth grade. To inquire about the 2024-2025 school year program, email Director Annette Gallagher at annette.map@comcast.net, and in the subject line write “JUMP START 2024-2025, KINDERGARTEN 2024-2025”, or the grade your child will be entering for the upcoming school year. In your e-mail, please provide your name, your child’s name, phone number, and your preferred email address. To learn more, click here.

 

  • The Sands for Seniors program provides free 5-gallon buckets of sand to seniors to prevent slip and falls. The sand is made available thanks to a partnership between The Center at Medfield and Willis Hardware Inc. Limited quantities are available. If you’d like to learn more, please call the Center at (508) 359-3665.
  • Enjoy a sound and light instrument installation at the Bellforge Arts Center on Friday, February 3rd. The sound sculpture will be open to guests from 5 pm to 9 pm. The event is free and open to all ages. Tickets are required for entry. To reserve free tickets, click here.
  • Nomination papers for the Annual Town Election are now available at the Town Clerk’s office. Nomination papers are due back to the Town Clerk’s office by February 5th at 5 pm. The Annual Town Election will be held on Monday, March 25th. To view open positions, click here.
  • The Blue Moon Bagel Cafe and Medfield Lions Annual Coat Drive will continue through February! Bring your new or gently used coats to Blue Moon Cafe and drop them in the collection box located just inside the front door. Coat donations will continue to be accepted through February 28th. For more information, click here.

 

 

Fiscal Year 2025 Budget 

 

 

 

The Governor announced the administration’s budget recommendations for Fiscal Year 2025. The budget proposal totals $56.1 billion, a 2.9 percent growth over Fiscal Year 2024. The FY25 budget sees increased investments in housing, education, climate, transit, and workforce development from the year prior. Investments in the budget include the continuation of universal school meals, a new gateway to pre-k investment, and a doubled MBTA operation and system budget. The budget now goes to the House for review and debate. To view the Governor’s message, click here. To learn more, click here.

 

 

Statewide Updates

On Tuesday morning, Governor Healey announced her intention to expand funding for early childhood education in Massachusetts. This included plans to continue to fund the Commonwealth Cares for Children (C3) grants for early childhood education facilities, increasing the eligibility threshold for the Child Care Financial Assistance program from 50% of Area Median Income up to 85%, and expanding the Commonwealth Preschool Partnership for universal Pre-K to every Gateway City in Massachusetts. As House Chair of the Joint Committee on Education, I look forward to working with the Healey administration and my colleagues in the Legislature to support the vital work of early childhood educators in this year’s budget. To learn more, click here.
  • The third round of the MA Repay Program is now open. The additional $16.5 million will be available to support health and human service workers across the state. The MA Repay Program helps people enter and stay in the healthcare field, addressing workforce shortages. Through this additional investment, MA Repay will provide educational loan repayment to direct care professionals and supervisors of direct care professionals who provide treatment, support, or services to clients or their families in a home-based or community-based human service organization. To learn more about the Repay Program, click here. For more information about how to apply, click here.

 

  • Over $365,000 will be allocated to restore 24 acres of wildlife habitats across Massachusetts. The MassWildlife Habitat Management Grant Program provides crucial financial assistance to private and municipal owners of conserved lands to improve habitat for wildlife, steward biodiversity, enhance climate resiliency, and promote public recreational opportunities. To learn more, click here.
  • The Healey-Driscoll Administration laid out its plan for Advancing Health Equity in Massachusetts (AHEM), an initiative to eliminate racial, economic, and regional disparities in health outcomes. Led by Secretary of Health and Human Services Kate Walsh and Undersecretary for Health Dr. Kiame Mahaniah, the initiative will engage agencies and stakeholders from across the state in reworking the systems that lead to poor outcomes for vulnerable communities. To learn more, click here.
  • New affordable housing development projects announced across the state. This includes twenty-six projects in nineteen communities which are supported by state funding and tax credits. These projects will support the production and preservation of more than 1,900 housing units. To learn more, click here.
  • Healey-Driscoll Administration announced that they have delivered $13.1 million to 21 school districts through the Commonwealth Preschool Partnership Initiative (CPPI) to support their efforts to expand access to high-quality preschool. The $13.1 million in funding will support 2,456 slots for children across 164 classrooms. To learn more, click here.
  • The new Massachusetts Application for State Financial Aid (MASFA) is now open. This form will allow currently enrolled undocumented college students in Massachusetts to apply for state need-based financial aid for the first time. The MASFA is an alternative form that provides students who cannot complete the Free Application for State Financial Aid (FAFSA) due to their immigration status a way to apply for state need-based financial aid. To access the application, click here. To learn more about MASFA, click here.
  • The Biden administration continues to offer up to four free tests per household in anticipation of a potential increase in COVID cases during the fall and winter months. At-home testing is essential to slow the spread of the virus and reduce the number of new cases across the Commonwealth as the weather gets colder and more events move indoors, increasing the risk of transmission. To place an order, visit COVIDTests.gov.
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