Volume 4, Issue 10 | October 28, 2022
Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I hope this newsletter finds you and your loved ones healthy and well as we begin to head into the winter season. This newsletter includes a recently announced opportunity from the federal government, a reminder from the RMV, an update on step therapy legislation, highlights from a selection of recent events and announcements relevant to the district, and a brief public health section.

As always, serving our constituents is our top priority. In November, I will host four in-person office hours. If you cannot attend scheduled office hours, you are welcome to contact my staff to schedule a meeting.

Very truly yours, Joan
Student Debt Relief Application Now Live
The application for the Biden-Harris Administration’s student debt relief program is now live.

The application is straightforward, but please note that borrowers who submitted their applications during its beta test period and received a confirmation email from the U.S. Department of Education do not need to reapply. Those applications will be processed and reviewed in the same manner as all others. Even though the student debt relief program is currently on pause due to legal challenges, borrowers should still submit applications to be considered for potential debt forgiveness.

If questions arise, my office can help connect you with our federal legislators, who can offer further insight into the application.
RMV Inspection Sticker Policy Change
The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is reminding vehicle owners to check the expiration date of their current inspection sticker and get their vehicles inspected on time yearly. Effective Tuesday, November 1, 2022, vehicles with an expired inspection sticker will receive a sticker with the number of the month the vehicle inspection was originally due; not the number of the month the vehicle is now being inspected. Motor vehicles passing the required inspection on time will continue to receive a new sticker with the number of the month the last sticker expired.

As of October 1, 2022, vehicle owners are no longer receiving a printed inspection report when a vehicle passes inspection. Instead, owners can easily access and print a report by going online to Mass Vehicle Check or by using a cell phone and scanning the QR code on the poster displayed at the inspection site. If a vehicle fails the inspection, the owner will be provided with a printed vehicle inspection report by the inspection station.

Information regarding motor vehicle inspections can be found at Vehicle inspections | Mass.gov and Massachusetts Vehicle Check | Mass.gov.
Legislature Passes Step Therapy Legislation, Sends Bill to Governor
On Monday, October 24th, the House officially enacted H.4929 “An Act relative to step therapy and patient safety." The legislation restricts step therapy, a practice in health insurance that involves trying less expensive options before "stepping up" to drugs that cost more. This bill requires insurers (including MassHealth) to provide a streamlined method for patients who wish to use an exception from their insurer’s step therapy protocol. After a compromise was reached between the House and Senate, the bill now heads to the desk of the Governor to be signed.
Members of TUE Committee Visit Vicinity Energy
On Tuesday, October 11th, I joined members of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy to take a tour of Vicinity Energy, the nation’s largest district energy provider. During the tour, committee members learned about Vicinity’s efforts to decarbonize, including the company’s commitment to reaching net zero carbon emissions across its operations by 2050. Learn more about Vicinity Energy here.
Left: Representative Meschino (second from right) joins legislative colleagues and energy representatives in Cambridge on October 11th.

Right: Representative Meschino discusses decarbonization efforts at Vicinity's Kendall Power Station.
Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Committee Holds Oversight Hearing
On October 6th, I attended a hearing held by the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy. This hearing focused on the Department of Public Utilities’ monitoring of MBTA safety operations. Establishing proper oversight of the MBTA and ensuring residents’ safety while using public transit are of the utmost importance.
Representative Meschino (second from left) in the joint committee hearing on October 6th.
Representative Meschino Offers Keynote Speech During Mass Access Fall Meet-and-Greets
This month I joined Mass Access for three fall meet-and-greet sessions in Westford, Hingham, and Athol as the featured keynote speaker. The presentation I gave highlighted H.130, An Act relative to a streaming entertainment operator’s use of the public rights-of-way, a bill that seeks to align the successful franchise fee system with the current era of digital streaming and support our community media centers. 

Looking ahead to next session, I plan to work with co-filers in the legislature to tweak the bill and continue my work with MassAccess to galvanize support for the legislation.

Thanks to Mass Access for having me, to my colleagues Senator Patrick O'Connor and Representative David DeCoste for joining me, and to all the attendees from local media for your excellent work keeping our communities informed and connected.
Representative Meschino joins State Senator Patrick O'Connor and State Representative David DeCoste at the meet-and-greet session in Hingham.
Legislators Drop By Appreciation Event Held by Talking Information Center
I joined Senator Patrick O'Connor, Representative Josh Cutler, Representative Alyson Sullivan, and Ed Perry from 95.9 WATD FM for a legislator appreciation event in late October held by the Talking Information Center (TIC). TIC is a nonprofit radio station serving the blind and print impaired in Massachusetts. Thank you to TIC for your continued work in providing this essential service!
Representative Meschino with fellow legislators and staff of the Talking Information Center at the appreciation event.
Students from Notre Dame Academy Visit State House
On October 12th, students from Hingham’s Notre Dame Academy visited the State House. It was great to see so many girls and future leaders in the Commonwealth’s House of Representatives! During their visit, we discussed the power of representation and the need for more women in leadership roles, especially in government. 

The State House is open for tours, which are given weekdays year-round from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm, and are free of charge. Visit this link to plan a tour or for more information.
Above: Students from Notre Dame Academy pose for a picture on the State House's Grand Staircase with Representative Meschino.

Below: Representative Meschino speaks with students on the floor of the House of Representatives.
New England PANS/PANDAS Association Holds Awareness Walk in Hull
On October 9th, I participated in the first annual PANS/PANDAS Awareness Walk On Nantasket Beach with the New England PANS/PANDAS Association. Before the event, I read a proclamation declaring October 9th, 2022 PANDAS/PANS Awareness Day in the Commonwealth. Thank you to NEPANS for hosting us in Hull!
Representative Meschino (right) joins leaders of the NE PANS/PANDAS Association in Hull.
Announcing Office Hours

Constituent services are our top priority. My Chief of Staff, Legislative Aide, and I continue to work remotely on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays. On Wednesdays and Thursdays, a staff member will be present in the State House. I also host in-person office hours in the district.

If you would like to reserve a time slot for virtual office hours or outside of the times listed, please call the office at 617-722-2320 or email my Legislative Aide.

  • Monday, November 7, 10:00 - 11:00 am, Linden Ponds, for Linden Ponds Residents
  • Monday, November 7, 4:00 - 5:00 pm, Hingham Public Library, 66 Leavitt St, Hingham
  • Monday, November 21, 10:00 - 11:00 am, Hull Council on Aging, 197A Samoset Ave, Hull
  • Monday, November 28, 4:00 - 5:00 pm, Scituate Library, 85 Branch Street, Scituate

To learn more about our constituent services, please visit our website.
CDC Authorizes Updated Bivalent COVID-19 Booster Shot
The CDC has now endorsed the use of booster shots that are specifically reformulated to combat the two most prevalent Omicron subvariants. The CDC recommends that everyone 12 and older who has not received a vaccine within the past 2 months should get the updated booster. However, people who have recently had a COVID infection may consider delaying the booster by 3 months from symptom onset or positive test (if the infection was asymptomatic) according to the CDC’s vaccine advisers.

Updated boosters for kids younger than 12 will likely be made available later this fall. The push for the updated boosters comes at a good time, as health officials are warning that another spike in COVID-19 transmission is likely this fall as people head back indoors once again. The updated boosters are currently available in Massachusetts.
Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine & Booster
Here are the steps to find a convenient location to get a COVID-19 vaccine and booster:

  1. Visit the VaxFinder tool at vaxfinder.mass.gov for a full list of locations. Residents are able to narrow results to search for locations that are offering vaccines and boosters, with appointments available now for booking.
  2. For individuals who are unable to use VaxFinder, or have difficulty accessing the internet, the COVID-19 Vaccine Resource Line (Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 6:00 PM, Saturday and Sunday 9 AM-2 PM) is available by calling 2-1-1 and following the prompts for assistance. The COVID-19 Vaccine Resource Line is available in English and Spanish. Translators are available in nearly 100 other languages.
  3. Parents who prefer to have their adolescent vaccinated by a primary care provider should call their provider’s office directly.

Vaccines are widely available in Massachusetts. Getting vaccinated is the most important thing people can do to protect themselves, their families, and the community.

The COVID-19 booster is safe, effective, and free. People do not need an ID or health insurance to get a booster shot and do not need to show a vaccine card when getting a booster. Additional information on the COVID-19 booster, including FAQs, can be found at mass.gov/COVID19booster.
General Resources

COVID-19 Vaccines

COVID-19 Tests, Cases & Treatment

Town-Specific Information on COVID-19
Basic Needs
  • Tool to find healthy foods
  • Free outdoor Wi-Fi map through the public libraries
  • Eviction Diversion Initiative website with resources for tenants, landlords, and others needing housing assistance
  • SafeLink 24/7 Crisis Hotline for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault: 877-785-2020
  • Mental Health Resources:
  • MassSupport for free mental health support resources
  • HandholdMA.org for parents of school-aged children in Massachusetts concerned about their child's mental health
  • 24-hour Parental Stress Line at 1.800.632.8188, offered through Parents Helping Parents
  • Utilities:
  • The AGO website has a utility FAQ page and consumer flyers with details about available programs to manage bills and prevent shutoff
  • Boating Safety/Vessel Examination:
  • Contact United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Division 12 Commander Matthias Mulvey
Constituent Questions | 617-722-2320 | Office Contact Information
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