Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Yesterday, as your Representative and Vice Chair of the Ways and Means Committee, I participated in the Ways and Means Committee hearing on the Governor’s revised FY21 budget recommendations. The Governor’s cabinet officials presented virtual testimony on the budget and the work agencies are doing to preserve services so the needs of the residents of the Commonwealth can continue to be met despite revenue shortfalls of approximately $3.5 billion going forward. The public is also welcome to submit written testimony to the Committee.
Over the course of the day, we heard presentations on how key areas of our budget related both to health and the economy have been impacted by COVID-19, including our health and human services agencies serving many of our most vulnerable individuals, economic development including housing agencies, labor and workforce agency and the department of transportation. Additionally, we discussed the need to strengthen our local and regional public health.
As we move forward, we are living in three fiscal years with closing out the FY20 budget, writing the FY21 Budget (ends June 30 , 2021) budget, and planning for the FY22 Budget (July 1, 2021-June 30, 2022). The Executive and Legislative branches are working to utilize the stabilization fund and state revenue and federal resources presently available to provide stability in our Commonwealth. The health impacts on the residents of our Commonwealth are immense and the economic and budget crisis caused by the pandemic are acute, prolonged and unpredictable but it will will end.
My goal, as your Representative and Vice Chair of Ways and Means is to provide stability to our towns, cities and State and sustain services to nearly 7 million residents of our Commonwealth consistent with our Massachusetts values.
Yours in Service,
- In all Towns, the in-person early voting period will begin on October 17 – October 30. Early voting is taking place each day during this period at the Needham Town Hall, Dover Town House, and Medfield Town Hall. For information on specific hours for early voting, click here.
- In Needham, Park and Recreation is holding a Fall Family Fun Day to celebrate Halloween on Saturday, October 24 at the Rosemary Recreation Complex. Families will be able to carve and decorate a pumpkin and enjoy a Halloween themed Story Walk along the Rosemary Trail. To register for this event, click here.
- In Dover, the Dover Cultural Council is now accepting grants applications for the calendar year starting 2021. Dover non-profits and qualifying organizations are invited to apply for a cultural grant for programs to be provided to the Dover community. Applications will be accepted now through November 16, 2021. For more information please click here.
- In Medfield, the annual meeting of the Medfield Food Cupboard will be held on Tuesday, November 10 at 6:30 PM. All community members are welcome to attend and meeting information will be available online a week prior to the meeting. For more information on the Medfield Food Cupboard, click here.
- Today, Governor Baker announced a $774 million economic recovery plan called, “Partnerships for Recovery”. This plan includes $115 million in new funding being directed to small businesses and Main Streets hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more about this plan, click here.
- The Massachusetts Center for the Book has opened submissions for the 21st Annual Massachusetts Book Awards. The award recognizes significant achievements in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, middle-grade/young adult literature, and picture books/early readers written by current Massachusetts residents. Click here to learn more.
- This week is the third annual Mass STEM Week. The Museum of Science has released a brief video from the President on the key role it plays in cultivating a love of science for everyone. To watch this video, click here.
- The Department of Public Health is monitoring the presence of mosquito-borne diseases in Massachusetts, including West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). Currently, Massachusetts has found positive mosquito samples of WNV and EEE and there are 5 known human cases of EEE and 8 known human cases of WNV. To learn more, click here.
Reopening Updates – Phase 3: Vigilant
- The State is currently in Phase 3 of Massachusetts Reopening. If you have questions, input, or comments regarding the Reopening Massachusetts plan, you can submit comments online. These comments can be used by the Administration to support efforts to methodically reopen the economy amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here for the form.
- If you are in need of resources, information, or support, please visit my website for a list of resources. Additionally, our local boards of health, the Department of Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control are continuing to maintain websites with the most updated information regarding COVID-19 that you can access here:
- Needham Health Department Updates
- Medfield Updates
- Dover Updates
- Department of Public Health: Click here or Call 2-1-1.
- Reopening Massachusetts
- COVID-19 Travel Order
- Centers for Disease Control
Please remember social distancing and wearing a mask is the most effective tool to contain the spread of COVID-19.
In addition to these updates, my office is still accessible so please continue to reach out and we will get back to you.