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Thursday, February 29, 2024

 

 

Legislative Updates

 

 

Yesterday, I joined my colleagues on legislation that will enable the Commonwealth to leverage the interest earned by the Stabilization Fund, which currently stands at a historically high balance of $8.2 billion, to bolster our ability to compete for federal funds and pay down debt obligations, such as pensions and other post-employment benefits. The Rainy Day Fund will give Massachusetts a competitive edge to compete for federal funding, it takes money to make money. With the passage of this bill, Massachusetts will be able to more aggressively compete for federal funding made available through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the Inflation Reduction Act, and the CHIPS and Science Act. The bill now returns to the Senate for further consideration. To view the bill, click here.

 

Presidential Primary Early Voting

 

 

Needham

Early voting for the Presidential Primary will be available in the Select Board Chambers at Needham Town Hall from Saturday, February 24th to Friday, March 1st for all registered voters of the Town of Needham. In-person Early Voting Hours:

  • Friday, March 1: 9 AM – 5 PM

Dover

Early Voting in Person will be held at the Dover Town House, in the Great Hall located at 5 Springdale Avenue on the following dates and times:

  • Friday, March 1: 9 AM – 1 PM

Medfield

Early Voting for the Presidential Primary will be at the Medfield Town House (2nd floor) from February 24th to Friday, March 1st for all registered voters. In-person Early Voting Hours:

  • Friday, March 1: 9 AM – 12 PM

 

 

 

District Updates

 

Needham

  • The Online Safety Coalition and the Needham Community Council hosts “Navigating A Digitally Demanding World: Get Simple Strategies for Teens and Families” on Thursday, February 29th. This FREE event will be held from 6 pm to 8:30 PM at Powers Hall. This workshop will be presented by Joni Siani, a broadcast journalist, dynamic lecturer author, filmmaker, radio personality, and Media and Communication professor at Lasell University in MA. To register, click here.

 

  • Register by March 15th to participate in The Needham Free Library and Neighborhood Forest’s 15th Annual Free Tree Program for children. This program celebrates Earth Day and teaches children about the importance of environmental stewardship through planting and watching trees grow. Through the program, free tree saplings are available during Earth Week which runs April 22nd through April 26th. To register for the free program, click here.
  • Needham Public Health announces the results of the Town’s first Community Health Assessment (CHA). Needham’s assessment was compiled through the accumulation of data from several sources that provide an in-depth analysis of the health and safety needs of Needham. The Town’s priorities in the areas of public health that were identified include access to transportation resources for healthcare needs, the cost of living burden, mental health and substance use, as well as physical health which includes heart disease and other risk factors. The full report and executive summaries can be found here.
  • Needham Youth & Family Services is offering a free six-week after-school social group for 4th and 5th graders. “Candid Conversations” provides an opportunity for kids to come together and practice social building and developing self-awareness with friends in a fun and relaxing environment. They’ll play interactive games, do arts and crafts and other activities while making connections with others. The group will run on Thursdays from 4-5 pm in the Highland Room of Town Hall starting March 7th until April 11th. For questions, contact Ellen Whirley at ewhirley@needhamma.gov or (781) 455-7500 extension 266.

Dover

  • Join Powisset Farm for a family-friendly stroll and maple sugaring demonstration on Saturday, March 2nd from 10 AM to 11:30 AM. The guided stroll and demonstration will be led by a recipient of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation’s “Outstanding Park Interpreter” award. For tickets to the event, 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 the March 5th election. 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

 

  • Medfield Parks and Rec are hiring Camp Counselors and Lifeguards for the summer. Camp Counselor positions are starting at $16 an hour and Lifeguards are starting at $18 an hour. Please submit Lifeguard applications to Katie Walper at kwalper@medfield.net and Camp Counselor joonley@medfield.net. Deadline for applications is March 25, 2024. To find applications, click here.

 

  • The Medfield High School Theatre Society presents PUFFS on Friday, March 1st and Saturday, March 2nd. PUFFS follows the tale of young wizards as they navigate friendship, acceptance, and the importance of loyalty. PUFFS is recommended for ages seven and up due to some light innuendo. To purchase tickets, click here.
  • A list of candidates on the upcoming election ballot is now available. The Annual Town Election will be held on Monday, March 25th. To view the Medfield residents that will be on the ballot, click here.

 

Statewide Updates

 

  • $16.3 million in Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund (WCTF) grants were awarded to nine organizations to upskill 1,860 individuals for careers in high-demand occupations in healthcare and behavioral health sectors across Massachusetts. The funding will support initiatives to train and hire unemployed and underemployed individuals while providing current employees with the skills to meet the needs of Massachusetts employers for roles such as Emergency Medical Technician, Certified Nurse Assistant, and Mental Health Peer Support Specialist. To learn more, click here.
  • Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell announced her strategic plan, which will guide the work of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office (AGO) through 2027. Prioritizing values such as equity, accountability, and dignity, the strategic plan lays out goals and strategies to advance justice and expand opportunity for all across the Commonwealth. The plan builds upon the existing work and legacy of the Office in key areas and emphasizes the Attorney General’s commitment to advancing economic mobility and consumer protection; combating hate while standing up for diversity and safeguarding civil rights; and ensuring safe and healthy communities. To view the plan, click here.
  • The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) today announced that reservations for camping at parks across Massachusetts will open to the public on March 6, 2024 at 9 a.m. Visitors can make reservations for one of DCR’s campgrounds up to four months in advance of their arrival date through ReserveAmerica. Reservations are available for DCR’s 25 campgrounds beginning in April and running through October. 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.
  • 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 Covid tests per household. At-home testing is essential to slow the spread of the virus and reduce the number of new cases across the Commonwealth. To place an order, visit COVIDTests.gov.
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