Volume 3, Issue 13 | April 30, 2021
Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I hope this finds you all healthy and safe. Below are COVID-19 updates and resources, legislative updates from Beacon Hill, and selected news from the district.

As always, constituent services are our top priority. We continue to work remotely and our office is fully functioning. Please contact us if we can be of assistance.

Very truly yours, Joan Meschino
Baker Administration Announces Plans for Continued Reopening
The Baker-Polito Administration just announced that Massachusetts will reopen some outdoor Phase 4, Step 2 industries effective May 10th and put plans in place for further reopening on May 29th and August 1st.

Effective May 10th:
Large venues such as indoor and outdoor stadiums, arenas, and ballparks currently open as part of Phase 4, Step 1 at 12% will be permitted to increase capacity to 25%. Amusement parks, theme parks and outdoor water parks will be permitted to operate at a 50% capacity after submitting safety plans to the Department of Public Health.

Effective May 29th:
Subject to public health and vaccination data, gathering limits will increase to 200 people indoors and 250 people outdoors for event venues, public settings, and private settings. Additional Phase 4, Step 2 industries will be permitted to open including: Street festivals, parades, and agricultural festivals, at 50% of their previous capacity and after submitting safety plans to the local board of health.

Effective August 1st:
All industry restrictions will be lifted at that time, and capacity will increase to 100% for all industries, with businesses encouraged to continue following best practices. The gathering limit will be rescinded. Depending on vaccine distribution and public health data, the Administration may consider re-evaluating the August 1st date.

For more information on the Massachusetts continued reopening plan, click here.
Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine
  • The Administration has set up a homebound vaccination program. The program provides in-home vaccinations to Massachusetts residents who are unable to leave their homes to receive COVID-19 vaccinations. For more information, including who is eligible and how to schedule appointments, visit this link.

  • A COVID-19 vaccine pre-registration signup system was implemented. The system, as well as more detailed instructions, can be accessed here.

  • Follow this this link to the COVID-19 vaccine map to find the closest vaccination centers and schedule an appointment.
Health Connector Update
The American Rescue Plan delivers new savings for hundreds of thousands of Massachusetts residents through the Health Connector to lower the cost of health insurance. Additionally, the open enrollment period has been extended through July 23rd. To find out more, visit this link. For additional information and to schedule an appointment, visit this link.
MBTA Schedule Update

Beginning May 22nd, the new schedules for MBTA ferry services will include the resumption of direct Boston service from Charlestown and Hingham as well as the resumption of weekend Hingham/Hull ferry service. In addition, initial service will begin to Logan Airport via the Hingham/Hull line. More information can be found here.

Commuter Rail

The Spring 2021 schedule, which began April 5th, provides more trains during the middle of day, offers more consistent service options, and is a significant service increase compared to the Winter Schedule that took effect in December 2020.

Responding to rider feedback, weeknight service after 9 p.m. is preserved as part of the schedule change. Bicycles will continue to be permitted on all trains across all lines as part of the Spring 2021 schedule. More details can be found here.
Baker-Polito Administration Announces $4 Million in Grant Awards for Fire Departments
On April 2nd, the Baker-Polito Administration announced $4 million in grant award funding to 298 fire departments from the FY21 Firefighter Safety Equipment Grant Program. This program will enable fire departments to purchase a variety of equipment that will make firefighters’ jobs safer, including protective firefighting gear, thermal imaging cameras, radios, rescue equipment, and gear washers and dryers. Congratulations to Cohasset, Hingham and Scituate on successful grant awards. To find out more, visit this link.
Massachusetts House of Representatives Passes FY22 Budget
On April 29th, Representative Meschino joined her colleagues to pass the House budget for Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22), which invests in programs and services across the Commonwealth. This budget responsibly addresses the needs of residents and makes investments that set the state on a path toward economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic. Funded at $47.716 billion, the House’s FY22 budget continues its strong commitment to cities and towns, and includes significant investments in education, supportive services for vulnerable populations, and workforce and economic development, among other priorities.
Representative Meschino's Bills Head to Committee
Representative Meschino's bills were recently assigned to committee. Now that each bill is in a committee, hearings will begin to be scheduled for each. You can keep an eye out for hearings by creating a free account in malegislature.gov and following each of Rep. Meschino's bills you are interested in using the starring feature.

To learn more about her priority legislation, click here.
Massachusetts House of Representatives Adopts Resolution Supporting AAPI Communities
Representative Meschino was one of 120 members who signed onto the House Resolution Supporting AAPI Communities. The House Resolution firmly and resolutely states that anti-Asian rhetoric, racism, discrimination, scapegoating, and xenophobia must stop. The Resolution was signed by 120 House members who stand united in solidarity with Asian American and Pacific Islander communities and condemn and denounce all forms of anti-Asian bigotry and violence.
Representative Meschino Joins Senator Markey to fight for Environmental Justice
On April 2nd, Representative Meschino joined Senator Markey, state legislators, and local officials at the Weymouth Compressor Station to support FRRACS in the 6th year of standing up for environmental justice in the community.
Denim Day and Sexual Assault Awareness Month
April was Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Here are resources from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, and here are MA-specific services for sexual assault survivors.

As part of Sexual Assault Awareness month, the Speaker Pro Temp offered remarks at the Rostrum about Denim Day on April 28th, a day when people are encouraged to wear denim in support of sexual assault survivors. Click here to learn more about Denim Day.
Rep. Meschino Attends ECA Massachusetts Chapter Meeting
On April 13th, Rep. Meschino joined Elders Climate Action (ECA) to discuss passing the 2050 Roadmap from idea to bill and most recently, into law. Now that the Roadmap has been codified into law, the group began discussing implementation of the law, including through the electrification of transportation and decarbonization of buildings, both of which are covered by bills Rep. Meschino has filed.

The ECA is the Elders Climate Action Organization. https://ecamass.org/ 
Announcing Virtual Office Hours

We continue to hold office hours via Zoom! Please call the office at 617-722-2320 or email to reserve a time slot in the new year:

  • Monday, May 3, 4-5 PM
  • Monday, May 10, 4-5 PM
  • Monday, May 17, 4-5 PM
  • Monday, May 24, 4-5 PM

To learn more about our constituent services, please visit our website.
Important Links and Resources
  • Finding healthy foods tool

  • HandholdMA.org website for parents of school-aged children in Massachusetts concerned about their child's mental health.

  • Massachusetts residents can seek COVID-19 testing through the Stop the Spread Initiative which provides free testing in high-priority locations.

  • DESE's report on the number of positive COVID-19 cases in schools.

  • SafeLink 24/7 Crisis Hotline for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault: 877-785-2020.

Stay Informed
Visit your town websites to learn the most recent information, local services, and guidance from our municipal officials.

State Resources

Federal Resources
Constituent Questions | 617-722-2320 | Office Contact Information
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