June 9th Information &
Resource Update
MassINC Polling Group Commuting Survey

The 495/MetroWest Partnership is teaming up with The MassINC Polling Group and other business groups across the Commonwealth to survey employees about returning to work and the new commute. Please take a moment to complete the survey, and/or distribute the survey to your employees as you are willing. Participants who complete the survey will have a chance to enter a raffle for one of five $100 Visa gift cards.

Last year MassINC conducted a commuter survey, sponsored by the Barr Foundation, to workers statewide which helped quantify to policymakers the magnitude of the impact of the pandemic on businesses and commuting patterns. Now, as Massachusetts reopens after COVID, understanding who will be returning to the office and how they plan to get there is crucial. Click here to access the survey.
Senate Bill Summary: Potential Extension
of Pandemic Emergency Measures

The COVID-19 State of Emergency currently in effect is slated to be lifted next Tuesday, June 15th. During the pandemic, various provisions of emergency measures adopted by executive order and special legislation were to remain in effect only during the State of Emergency or for a designated period thereafter. State policymakers are currently evaluating which emergency measures to extend or make permanent, if any. Our previous update included a summary of legislation filed by Governor Baker, S. 2452, to temporarily extend certain emergency measures.

The Senate Committee on Ways & Means has advanced a more extensive version of the legislation, S.2467, An Act Relative to Extending Certain COVID-19 Measures Adopted During the State of Emergency, expected to be taken up by the full chamber tomorrow. The Senate version of the legislation, among other provisions, would: 

  • Allow certain licensed establishments to sell alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption until March 1st, 2022.

  • Allow a city or town to approve a request for expansion of outdoor table service, including in the description of a licensed premises to permit outdoor alcohol service, until April 1st, 2022.

  • Allow a public body to have remote participation by all members in any meeting of the public body without a physical quorum of the body present at the specified meeting location until April 1st, 2022.

  • Allow a public corporation to conduct an annual or special meeting of shareholders solely by means of remote communication until December 15th, 2021.

  • Allow for participation by remote communication under certain circumstances at any non-profit corporate meeting of the members until December 15th, 2021.

  • Allow a notary public to perform an acknowledgement, affirmation or other notarial act utilizing electronic video conferencing in real time until December 15th, 2021.

  • Allow the select board of a town to vote, in consultation and with the approval of the town moderator, to prescribe the number of voters necessary to constitute a quorum at any town meeting, either representative or open, held until December 15th, 2021.

  • Allow the moderator in a town having a representative town meeting form of government to request the town meeting be held through remote participation, including, but not limited to, by means of a video or telephone conferencing platform, until December 15th, 2021.

  • Allow any eligible voter to vote early by mail for any regular or special municipal or state preliminary, primary or general election held on or before December 15th, 2021.

  • Allow, upon a recorded and public vote by the select board, board of selectmen, town council or city council authorizing early in-person voting, any eligible voter of such municipality to vote early in-person any for regular or special municipal preliminary, primary or general election held on or before December 15th, 2021.

  • Extend until April 1st, 2022 eviction protections that require courts to grant a continuance if the eviction is based solely on nonpayment, the nonpayment was due to a COVID-19 related financial hardship and the defendant has a pending application for rental assistance.

  • Require that reimbursement rates of payment for in-network providers for telehealth services are not less than the rate of payment for the same service delivered via in-person methods until December 15th, 2021.

  • Require acute care hospitals and providers to reimburse in-network carriers at the contracted rate and out-of-network carriers for COVID-19 related treatment at a rate equal to 135 percent of the equivalent Medicare rate, until January 1st, 2022.

  • Allows pharmacists and pharmacy interns licensed by the Board of Registration in Pharmacy and in good standing to administer medication for the treatment of opioid use disorder in opioid treatment programs and certified acute treatment services until April 1st, 2022 or until 10 days after the revocation of the presidentially declared COVID-19 national emergency, whichever is earlier.

  • Require the Governor to provide notice to the legislature not less than 45 days before the termination of any public health emergency.

Click here to access the full text of the Senate legislation. Any legislation clearing the Senate must further pass the House of Representatives, with differences between the two chambers reconciled before proceeding to the Governor for his signature or veto.
Video: Housing Submarkets Presentation & Discussion
This morning, the Housing Committee of the 495/MetroWest Partnership hosted a presentation and discussion with MAPC focused on their Housing Submarkets study, and submarket-specific strategies to meet housing needs and demand through housing and affordable housing production, preservation, and housing stability protections. Click here to view a recording of this presentation and discussion. A housing submarket is a collection of neighborhoods with similar housing stock and housing market characteristics. These characteristics contribute to who can find, afford, and remain in suitable housing in that neighborhood. Presenting on behalf of MAPC were Jessie Partridge Guerrero, Research Manager at MAPC, and Karina Oliver-Milchman, AICP, Chief of Housing & Neighborhood Development.
Virtual State House Day June 15th
Upcoming & Recent Partnership Events

All Partnership events and committee meetings are being held virtually, via Zoom, at present. Committee meetings are open to all interested persons with advance registration.

Upcoming Events:

  • 495/MetroWest Partnership State House Day: The 495/MetroWest Partnership will host our annual State House Day virtually this year on Tuesday, June 15th from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM. This event will feature a keynote address from Senate President Karen Spilka, a roundtable discussion with members of the 495/MetroWest Legislative Delegation, and the unveiling of Strength in Numbers 2021, our annual economic and demographic report highlighting the region’s strengths and advantages. Click here to register for Virtual State House Day.

Recent Events:

  • Climate Legislation Presentation with Secretary Theoharides: On May 18th, the 495/MetroWest Partnership hosted a special presentation from Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen A. Theoharides on An Act Creating a Next-Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy, major climate legislation signed into law earlier this year. Click here to access a recording of this event.
Investor Spotlight: Middlesex Savings Bank

Throughout the Spring, the 495/MetroWest Partnership is acknowledging our Investors in our Information & Resource Updates. Click here to learn about becoming an Investor!
Middlesex Savings Bank, founded in 1835 and headquartered in Natick, Massachusetts, is a mutual savings bank with 32 branch offices located in 27 communities. As the largest independent bank in Massachusetts, with over $5 billion in assets, the bank has been committed to providing outstanding value in consumer banking and business banking products for more than 185 years. For more information, please visit www.middlesexbank.com, and connect on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

The 495/MetroWest Partnership thanks Middlesex Savings Bank for their SUPPORTER level investment! Check out our full list of Investors at 495Partnership.org.
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out if the Partnership can be of any assistance to you:
Jason Palitsch, Executive Director
(774) 760-0495 x105

Thank you for your continued commitment to strengthening our region.