Volume 4, Issue 6 | June 24, 2022
Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I hope this finds you healthy and well. This newsletter includes legislative updates, including the House of Representative's recent approval of a nearly $11 billion transportation and infrastructure bill and landmark mental health legislation, selected news from the district, and a public health update on vaccines for our youngest residents.

As always, constituent service is our top priority. In July, I will host three in-person office hours. If you cannot attend scheduled office hours, you are welcome to contact my staff to schedule a meeting.

Lastly, please enjoy the holiday next weekend, and stay safe as you celebrate!

Very truly yours, Joan
Massachusetts Legislature Celebrates Pride Month, Juneteenth with Ceremonies, Flag Raisings
The Pride Flag (left) and the Juneteenth Flag (right) are flown above the Massachusetts State House.
During June, the Massachusetts State Legislature held two flag raising ceremonies at the State House in honor of Pride Month and Juneteenth.

Pride Month commemorates the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots that occurred 53 years ago in response to police raids at the Stonewall Inn in NYC. During Pride, we celebrate and honor the LGBTQ+ community.

Juneteenth was observed on Monday, June 20th this year, a year after it became a federal holiday. June 19, 1865 was the day that Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, to order freedom for the enslaved Black people in the state. It was two months after the Confederacy had surrendered in the Civil War and about 2 1/2 years after the Emancipation Proclamation ended slavery in the Southern states.
Massachusetts House Passes $10.9 Billion Transportation and Infrastructure Bill
The Massachusetts House of Representatives passed a transportation and infrastructure bill this week that authorizes $10.9 billion for projects, including $400 million for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) to address ongoing safety concerns identified by the Federal Transit Administration’s Safety Management Inspection and $250 million for the East-West passenger rail project.

The legislation also includes two amendments I filed regarding double-track rail and the ferry system. One of the amendments calls for $500,000 to be allocated for a multiyear corridor study that will identify rights-of-ways and a range of possibilities for a double-track commuter rail between Braintree Station and South Station along the Old Colony commuter rail line tracks. The other amendment calls for $100,000 for the Water Transportation Advisory Council to conduct a study on the feasibility and cost of creating a Massachusetts Water Regional Transit Authority (MWRTA) and expanding the ferry system.

“An Act relative to Massachusetts’s transportation resources and climate” (H.4897) passed the House of Representatives 155-0. It now goes to the Senate for their consideration.
MA House of Representatives Passes Landmark Mental Health Legislation
Earlier this month, the House of Representatives passed groundbreaking legislation that makes critical investments in behavioral and mental health services.

Some highlights from the bill are included in the graphic below, and for more on the legislation, you can view my office's press release here.
Mass Cultural Council Releases Grant Reports for FY22; $347,400 goes to 3rd Plymouth Recipients
This month, I joined the Mass Cultural Council in celebrating the Agency’s FY22 grant awards supporting the cultural sector – defined as the arts, humanities, and sciences – in the 3rd Plymouth District. This year, Mass Cultural Council awarded a total of $347,400 to recipients in Hingham, Hull, Cohasset, and Scituate. 

A complete grant report is available online here. Congratulations to the recipients!
Representative Joan Meschino Visits, Volunteers at Holly Hill Farm
Earlier today, I visited Holly Hill Farm in Cohasset with my staff and Senator Patrick O'Connor to tour the farm and to volunteer. Holly Hill Farm is a certified organic farm that utilizes regenerative farming practices, set on conservation land in Cohasset.

Many thanks to the staff at Holly Hill Farm and to Janice McPhillips for organizing the day's events! To learn more about Holly Hill Farm, visit https://hollyhillfarm.org/.
Holly Hill Farm Staff, Representative Joan Meschino, Rep. Meschino's Interns Nina Miscioscia and Jade Larsen, and Senator Patrick O'Connor at
Holly Hill Farm
Representative Joan Meschino harvests garlic scapes during a visit to Holly Hill Farm for a Volunteer Day.
Hingham's Leavitt Sutton, Maguire-Eisen Recognized as Commonwealth Heroines by Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators
On Wednesday, Hingham residents Katie Leavitt Sutton and Maryellen Maguire-Eisen received recognition from the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators during the Caucus’s annual Commonwealth Heroine Awards celebration. I nominated Katie to receive this recognition for the work she does to foster community and champion anti-racism in Hingham and beyond, and Maryellen was nominated by State Senator Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth) for her extensive work to encourage sun safety and skin cancer prevention.

Commonwealth Heroines are women who have been chosen by their legislators for their extraordinary acts of service. The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women says that the women who are recognized “perform unheralded acts daily that make our homes, neighborhoods, cities and towns better places to live.”

As Community Programming Chair for the Hingham Unity Council, a non-partisan group that seeks to bridge differences and build a culture of dignity and respect, Katie Sutton is a driving force behind the important diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging work pursued by the Council. She embodies the Council's mission and leads by example, always striving to bring people together while recognizing our common humanity. Her effective advocacy is grounded in kindness and marked by her genuine concern for the well-being of her community.

In addition to her work on the Council, Katie serves on the Anti-Racism Task Force at the Episcopal Parish of St. John the Evangelist. A graduate of Cornell and New York University School of Law, Katie is an experienced website developer and graphic designer. She is also a wife and mother to three sons.

Maryellen is the Executive Director at Children's Melanoma Prevention Foundation, which aims to educate children and those who care for them about sun protection and skin cancer prevention and to advocate for laws that protect children from developing skin cancer. She has taught a curriculum on skin cancer prevention and sun safety in hundreds of schools during the past fifteen years in addition to lecturing nationally and publishing extensively on these topics.

Maryellen holds a Master's Degree in Science from Simmons College. She is married and has two children.

Please join me in offering my congratulations to Katie and to Maryellen!
Representative Meschino joins Commissioner Mary-dith Tuitt (middle) of the MA Commission on the Status of Women and Katie Leavitt Sutton (right) during the Commonwealth Heroine Award Ceremony on Wednesday, June 22.
Student Artists Recognized During 67th South Shore Arts Festival
This month, I attended the South Shore Arts Festival in Cohasset. The festival showcased craft and fine artists from New England and beyond. Featuring a juried art exhibition and members’ show, live music performances, artist demonstrations, children’s art activities and a young artist exhibition, the festival is a wonderful event.

Special congratulations to Katelyn Taira and Mia Nagle for their participation in the Inspired I program at the South Shore Art Center!
Student artists gather during the South Shore Arts Festival in Cohasset on Friday, June 17th.
Representative Joan Meschino Celebrates Graduates from Hingham PD's Citizen's Police Academy
Earlier this month, I was able to attend the Hingham Police Department’s Citizen’s Police Academy graduation ceremony, where 12 deserving citizens were celebrated for completing the program. The program covers a variety of topics and activities, including motor vehicle law, domestic violence, animal control, a ride-along with an officer, and a K9 demonstration. Congratulations to the graduates!

More information on the Academy can be found at hpd.org/195/Citizens-Police-Academy.
Representative Meschino addresses the graduates during the Hingham Police Department's Citizen's Police Academy Graduation.
Announcing Office Hours

Constituent services are our top priority. My Chief of Staff, Director of Constituent Services and Communications and I continue to work remotely on Mondays and Fridays. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, a staff member will be present in the State House. I have also returned to hosting 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 Chief of Staff.

  • Monday, July 11, 9:00 - 10:30 am, Willcutt Commons, 91 Sohier Street, Cohasset
  • Monday, July 18, 10:00 - 11:00 am, Hull Council on Aging, 197A Samoset Ave, Hull
  • Monday, July 25, 4:00 - 5:00 pm, Scituate Library, 85 Branch Street, Scituate

To learn more about our constituent services, please visit our website.
Public Health Officials Encourage Vaccinations for Residents ages 6 Months and Older
Following updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vaccines are now available for individuals 6 months and older. The COVID-19 vaccine has been shown to be safe, effective, and protective against serious illness.

More information on vaccines for different age groups can be found here: https://www.mass.gov/covid-19-vaccine
Getting a Booster
If you or your child are eligible, here are the steps to find a convenient location to get a COVID-19 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 boosters, with appointments available now for booking. Many locations are booking appointments out weeks in advance.
  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 winter moratorium on utility shutoffs ended on April 1. The AGO website has a utility FAQ page and consumer flyers with details about available programs to manage bills and prevent shutoff
Constituent Questions | 617-722-2320 | Office Contact Information
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