Dear Friends and Neighbors,
In my role as Vice Chair of Ways and Means, I work closely with my colleagues in crafting the State Budget. Wisely, in this unprecedented and unpredictable time, the Legislature and Governor have kept our Commonwealth stable utilizing short term budgets. We are now preparing for a longer-term FY21 budget. Last week, I attended the Ways and Means hearing with leading economists in Massachusetts as they presented their revised revenue projections and predicted a budget deficit with a wide range settling at approximately $3.2 Billion.
This week, over a three day period, I have joined the Chair of Ways and Means in a series of meetings to gain input from 120 State Representatives as we build a budget for our whole Commonwealth. I am in communication with the Town governments in Needham, Dover, and Medfield as well. You may remember that in March, Senator Rush and I hosted the Ways and Means hearing on the Health and Human Services, which comprises nearly 60 percent of the State budget, at Needham Town Hall. How the world has changed! Next week, a virtual public hearing is being scheduled so that the Ways and Means Committee can gain more input.
As always, please contact me with any of your issues and concerns. Your input, needs, and concerns specifically in regards to the State budget are valuable to me in my work.
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, the Town is holding a drive-through drug take-back day for National Prescription Take Back Day on Saturday, October 24 at the Center at the Heights. You will be able to safely dispose of your unwanted, unused, and expired medications between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM.
- In Needham, the 100-day challenge to support local businesses and restaurants is underway. As we enter the fall it is critical that we support these businesses to ensure we maintain our vibrant community downtown. To learn more visit the Needham 100 Day Challenge Facebook and Instagram.
- In Dover, the Town is seeking volunteers to serve on the newly formed Water Resource Task Force. The purpose of the task force is to evaluate Dover’s water sources, supply, and consumption and to create a long-term strategic water plan for the Town to consider. Please click here if you are interested.
- In Medfield, the Town is now subject to a mandatory prohibition on outdoor nonessential water use due to the ongoing drought. This includes the irrigation of lawns and gardens, washing of vehicles other than by means of a commercial car wash, and washing exterior building surfaces. To learn more, click here.
- On Saturday, October 17th the moratorium on eviction and foreclosures in Massachusetts will expire. To support tenants in their homes and the ongoing expenses of landlords Massachusetts has announced the Eviction Diversion Initiative to provide support and resources to tenants and landlords. To learn more, click here.
- The Boston Area Rape Crisis Center has released a set of video workshops for partners, family members, and friends of survivors. These videos are to answer questions and provide resources on how loved ones can support survivors. To watch the videos, click here.
- This week, Governor Baker announced Massachusetts strategies for mitigating COVID-19 this fall. These strategies include contact tracing, building up the PPE stockpile, and helping long-term care facilities prepare through direct support. For more information, 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.