Thursday, September 21, 2023
On Wednesday, I voted in the affirmative on a final tax reform bill that will provide greatly needed-relief to constituents and improve affordability and competitiveness in Massachusetts. The tax package, which is expected to save hundreds of thousands of taxpayers a collective $561 million this fiscal year, will:
- Increase the Child and Dependent Tax Credit from $240 up to $440 per child or dependent.
- Increase the Estate Tax threshold from $1 million to $2 million and mitigate the “cliff effect” with a $99,600 credit for all estates.
- Double the base amount for the state’s Senior Circuit Breaker tax credit, which would be indexed to inflation.
- Increase the cap on the rental deduction from $3,000 to $4,000.
- Increases the Earned Income Tax Credit from 30% to 40% of the federal credit.
- And more.
To view a summary, click here. I will also be sharing more details on my social media on how this tax relief package will benefit you.
I will be hosting virtual office hours on Monday, October 2nd from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. Constituents from Needham, Dover, and Medfield (Precincts 1 & 2) are welcome to reserve 15-minute appointments in advance here. For any questions, email Maureen.Callahan@MAHouse.gov or call my office at 617-722-2070.
- The Needham Harvest Fair is back on Sunday, October 1 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Greene’s Field. This long-standing tradition, presented by the Town of Needham and the Charles River Chamber, showcases Needham-based businesses and community organizations while celebrating the fall season. Be sure to visit my tent P5. For more details, click here.
- In partnership with the Needham Council on Aging, the Exchange Club of Needham will be dedicating its “National Day of Service” on October 28th to helping Needham seniors with a “Clean Up / Fix Up / Spruce Up” day. The Exchange Club of Needham invites all Needham seniors to come forward and let them know how we can “Clean Up or Fix Up or Spruce Up” minor repairs in your home that you cannot get to yourself and with which you would like some assistance. To learn more and participate call the Council on Aging at (781) 455-7555 and ask for Aicha Kelley. When you call, please indicate what you need to be done and what you would like them to do.
- The Needham School Committee will hold a Fall Open House on Sunday, October 1st, 2023 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Harvest Fair on Greene’s Field. The open house is an opportunity to engage in an informal conversation with School Committee Members and the Superintendent with concerns and questions and to share relevant information. All are welcome to drop by.
- Become a peer tutor with Needham Youth and Family Services. Elementary and middle school students in grades 3-8 and high school students in grades 10-12 can apply to become a tutor and tutee pair, meeting once weekly for academic support at the Needham Public Library from October to March. Tutors will be matched with one tutee and receive community service credit for their participation. Tutors must register in order to be eligible for the application and interview process. Spots are limited for both tutors and tutees. To read more about the new structure of the program and to register, please click here.
- Needham Youth & Family Services presents “Candid Conversations for 4th and 5th Graders” every Thursday at the Needham Town Hall. The event will include interactive games, skill building, and developing self-awareness, and communication skills. The event will be held every Thursday from September 28 to November 2 from 4 pm to 5 pm in the Highland Room at Needham Town Hall. Register for free online here.
- The Dover Police Department uses Onsolve CodeRed to notify residents about emergencies and significant events in the community. Sign up for notifications here.
- Participate in the statewide Read-Ins at the Dover Town Library on Wednesday, October 4th from 4 pm to 5 pm. Participation through presenting welcome remarks or simply being present to read any book of your choice would be a meaningful and appreciated demonstration of support for public libraries. No registration is required for the event, for more information, click here.
- The Dover Land Conservation Trust (DLCT) and The Dover Mothers’ Association (DMA) announce a Fall Festival “Double Header” on Springdale Field in Dover, on Saturday, September 30th, 2023 from 3 pm – 7 pm. The DMA will kick things off with their annual “Family Fun Fest” at 3 pm. At 5 pm the festivities continue with the DLCT’s yearly Springdale Field Fest, featuring musical performances from Dover’s very own Backwards Hats and Jamie Walker & Friends. Doverites can enjoy local craft beer, pizza, bbq chicken with Dover’s best musical talent. The celebration is free of charge and completely open and welcoming to the public! For any questions, you can email email@example.com.
- Medfield Together & Bellforge Arts Center would like to invite you to attend CultureFest on October 7 at Bellforge (45 Hospital Road in Medfield) from 10 AM – 3 PM. This free family-friendly festival aims to bring our community together in celebration of and learning about the customs, traditions, artwork, music, and food of diverse people within and around our town. Pre-registration is encouraged. For free tickets and more information, click here.
- Help support Medfield Animal Shelter through Randy’s Rally for Rescues. Randy’s Automotives will be collecting donations of cat litter, paper towels, pet food, and more from September 26 to October 31st. For Medfield Animal Shelter’s wish list, click here.
- Registration for Medfield Foundation’s annual Angel Run is now open. The Angel Run 5K is a community “fun” raiser and family event. It brings members of our community together for a festive event to generate funds in support of Medfield residents in need. In 2006, family and friends created the run in remembrance of Natasha Domeshek. The Medfield Foundation Inc. (MFi) took up the tradition in 2012 and has raised over $280,000 with your help. Please continue the tradition of helping residents in need and register to run, walk, or stroll in 2023. To register, click here. For questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Norfolk County Arbovirus Report
Summer brought an increased risk of mosquito-borne illnesses. West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE or “Triple E”) are viruses that occur in Massachusetts and can cause illnesses ranging from mild fever to more serious diseases like encephalitis or meningitis. Mosquito testing for EEE and other diseases continues, and this section of Fresh Garlick will share weekly reportings of Arbovirus in Norfolk County.
To learn more about mosquito-borne illnesses, click here.
To learn how to protect yourself against mosquito-borne illnesses, click here.
Save The Date! On Thursday, October 5th, please join me and the MA Commission on the Status of Persons with Disabilities in celebrating our Inaugural Celebration! The celebration will be held in the Great Hall of Flags at the State House in Boston from 11 am to 12:30 pm. The Commission will be honoring policymakers for their work in disability employment, recognize Massachusetts businesses that lead the way in employing individuals with disabilities, and share best practices for employers to hire and retain persons with disabilities. This event will be conducted in a hybrid format, register to attend either virtually or in person here.
- The Biden administration has relaunched a website for Americans to order 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.
- The Massachusetts Bureau of Community Health and Prevention is conducting a community health equity survey and wants to hear from you. All responses are anonymous and cannot be traced back to you. To complete the survey, click here.
- The Sumner Tunnel restoration project continues with weekend closures. After a month-long closure of the tunnel, the project moves onto its next phase of weekend closures. The tunnel will be closed at approximately 11 pm Friday night and will reopen to traffic no later than 5 am on Monday. Closures have also been scheduled for the following weekends: September 29, October 20, October 27, November 3, and November 10. For the latest updates on the Sumner Tunnel closures, click here.
- The Women’s Rights History Trail Task Force is inviting the public to submit suggestions for sites to be included on the Massachusetts Women’s Rights History Trail. Over the next few weeks, the Task Force will host listening sessions across the Commonwealth to receive recommendations from the public. Suggested sites should be historically and thematically associated with the fight for women’s rights and women’s suffrage, including the contributions of women veterans; and commemorate individuals who reflect racial, ethnic, cultural, and economic diversity. The dates of the listening sessions and the form for submitting sites can be found here.
- The EOPSS Office of Grants and Research (OGR) makes available several funding opportunities for local municipalities/police departments and nonprofits to competitively solicit funding to address security protection, prevention, intervention, and suppression programming needs. Organizations from municipal police departments to non-profit organizations are eligible for grants. For a full list of available grants, click here.
- On September 19, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education unanimously approved an updated comprehensive health and physical education framework. This update is the first since the guidelines have been updated since 1999. The updated framework is inclusive, medically accurate, and developmentally- and age-appropriate. To read more about the updated frameworks, click here.
- A Governor’s Youth Advisory Council was established to advise the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and the entire administration. The Youth Council will advise the administration on critical issues impacting Massachusetts, such as civic engagement, education, the environment, housing, and youth violence. Applications are being accepted to join the Youth Advisory Council through October 14 for Massachusetts residents aged 16-21. To read more about the Governor’s Youth Advisory Council, click here.