Volume 4, Issue 8 | August 27, 2022
Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I hope this finds you healthy and well. As promised in July's issue, the following newsletter outlines significant accomplishments from the 192nd legislative session, including those that impact the 3rd Plymouth District directly. In addition, you will also find selected news from the district and a brief public health section.

As always, constituent service is our top priority. In September, 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.

Very truly yours, Joan
Representative Meschino Recaps Achievements in 192nd Legislative Session
From responding to the public health crisis to tackling major reforms that impact various sectors and industries, the 192nd Session saw no shortage of legislative action. Significant accomplishments of the legislature can be found below, sorted by theme and featuring notable bills. Included in the recap are significant wins for the 3rd Plymouth District. Please enjoy reading, and do not hesitate to contact my office with any questions you may have on any of the information below. 

Energy & Environment

In March of 2021, the Next Generation Climate Roadmap was passed by the Legislature and subsequently signed into law, overhauling the state’s climate laws, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, advancing the clean energy industry, and prioritizing and protecting environmental justice communities. In mid-August of this year, we built upon the outline created by the Roadmap and passed An Act driving clean energy and offshore wind (H.5060). While focusing on investment in the offshore wind industry, this legislation aims to bolster green transportation, green buildings, and clean power production, while creating thousands of new jobs and economic benefits in the process. 

Important provisions in An Act driving clean energy and offshore wind (H.5060) relate to promoting zero-emission vehicles and fleets and decarbonizing buildings. The legislation draws from elements of bills I filed this session, including:
  • Cessation of in-state sales of non-zero-emission vehicles by 2035 (H3541),
  • Electric vehicle incentive programs, rebates, and rebate programs (H3347),
  • Electric vehicle infrastructure planning and the inclusion for EV charging standards by the Board of Building Regulations and Standards (H3347),
  • Transition fleet vehicles to electric (H3255), and
  • Climate, environmental, and equity goals and standards as well as reforms to Mass Save (H3350), and more!

Transportation and Infrastructure

The legislature passed an annual road-funding bill including millions in funding for the Chapter 90 program, which finances necessary repairs to municipal roads and bridges.

We also passed two major bond bills, a transportation and climate bond bill (H5151) and a general government infrastructure bill (H5065).

In the Transportation Bond Bill (H5151), I initially proposed an amendment for to examine the feasibility and cost of creating a Massachusetts Water Regional Transit Authority. The final legislation ultimately included $28,000,000 to be spent on an intracoastal water-based transportation pilot program that will run for 3-5 years and will include facilities in Gloucester, Salem, Lynn, Winthrop and Quincy and the East Boston, North End, and South Boston waterfront sections of Boston. A huge thank you to House Chair Bill Strauss!

In the transportation bond bill, I also secured $500,000 for a multiyear corridor study that will identify the possibilities for implementing a full double-track commuter rail between Braintree Station and South Station along the Old Colony Commuter Rail Line tracks, aiming to improve commuter-rail capacity.

In the General Government Bond Bill (H5065), I secured an additional $250,000 for the double-track rail study, as well as $500,000 for air handlers in Cohasset school buildings and $500,000 for DCR to conduct an assessment of the Point Allerton seawall revetment in Hull, including the long-term impacts of sea level rise, storm surge, and extreme weather, and to develop both a short-term stabilization plan and a long-term remediation plan for the repair and upgrade of the failed revetment.

*A note: When money for a project is included in a bond bill, it is an "allocation." This is just the first step. Next, we must with work the Administration to appropriate the money for the intended purpose.

I am looking forward to working closely with the administration and my colleagues and residents to advocate for the release of the funds and to get these projects started.

Budgets & Spending Bills

For FY23, the Legislature passed fiscally responsible, comprehensive budgets that make targeted investments in education, housing, substance use disorder services, health care, the environment, and other areas as the state continues to pursue an equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In the FY23 Budget (H5050), I secured $75,000 for a new shared position, a Regional Sustainability Officer, to guide Hingham and Cohasset in the towns' efforts to achieve climate goals. In addition, I was able to successfully advocate for increased funding for the Division of Ecological Restoration (DER) and robust funding for library technology and resource sharing. My advocacy to fully fund these two line-items was also successful in the FY22 Budget. You can read more about the FY23 budget here.

In An Act Relative to Immediate COVID-19 Recovery Needs (H4269,) the first round of ARPA spending that was passed by the legislature this winter, I was able to secure $150,000 to rebuild A Street Pier in Hull. Also included in this legislation was $2.7 million to fund a community college campus hunger pilot program, the language for which drew from a bill I filed alongside Senator Joan Lovely; a public information campaign for waivers for overpayments, which drew from a bill I filed last fall; and $150 million to build new permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless individuals, families, youth and young adults, survivors of domestic violence, seniors and veterans. Initially, the language regarding the $150 million did not include families, youth and young adults as potential beneficiaries of this flexible housing fund, but an amendment I filed brought about this important addition.


The legislature passed An Act relative to establishing representative districts in the General Court (H4217). The redistricting process brings a little change to the 3rd Plymouth District for the next 10 years until the 2030 US Census. 3rd Plymouth now includes all of Cohasset, Hingham, and Hull. After January 3, 2023, Scituate 3rd will be part of the 4th Plymouth District.

Seniors and Veterans

Toward the end of the session, the legislature worked collaboratively to pass two bills relating to our military community members: An Act relative to the governance, structure and care of veterans at the Commonwealth’s veterans’ homes (H5106) and An Act relative to military spouse-licensure portability, education and enrollment of dependents (S3075). The legislation relating to soldiers’ homes makes key reforms to the governance structure of the state’s veterans’ homes, ensures that both homes are federally licensed as health care facilities, mandates increased state management, and provides independent oversight and accountability of veterans’ homes management. The bill relating to military spouse-licensure overhauls aspects of professional licensing procedures, extends in-state tuition rates at public colleges and universities to military members stationed in Massachusetts and their families, includes a tax credit for small businesses that hire members of the National Guard, and requires the governor to annually recognize the founding of several branches of the military.

Public Health

As we approach the two-and-a-half-year mark of living with COVID-19, the legislature continues to be responsive to residents in relation to recovery from the public health crisis. Bills that have served to meet and support residents through the pandemic include measures that extended emergency COVID-19 paid sick leave in Massachusetts, which was originally set to expire in September of 2021, until April 1, 2022 (H4127) and extended the expiration of the provisions pertaining to the Open Meeting Law to March 31, 2023 (S2985).

The pandemic served to emphasize the absolute necessity of investing in our public health systems. In response, the legislature passed a bill (H5104) that, if signed into law, would have strengthened local and regional public health systems and ensured that every resident would have access to foundational public health services. A substantial amendment that would change the intent and impact of the bill, introduced by Governor Baker, has unfortunately caused the legislation to stall.

The legislature also addressed mental health this session by passing the Mental Health ABC Act, legislation that continues the process of reforming the way mental health care is delivered in Massachusetts, with the goal of ensuring that people get the mental health care they need when they need it. You can find our press release on the initial legislation passed by the House of Representatives here.

Finally, following the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling this summer, the Legislature passed H4954 to further protect and expand reproductive health care and gender-affirming services in the Commonwealth.


In addition to the significant investments made in the budgets passed during this session, the legislature passed important bills in the education space. In October of 2021, legislation (H3999) was signed into law, requiring schools where a majority of students come from low-income families to enroll in federal programs allowing them to provide free breakfast and lunch to all students. Another bill (S2557) signed into law in December of 2021 requires students in Massachusetts middle and high schools to learn about the history of genocides around the globe in their curriculum. 

Lastly, I'd like to share that this year’s legislative session saw the naming of the official dinosaur of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the podokesaurus holyokensis!
Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) Encourages EBT Card PIN Changes to Protect Benefits
To protect DTA clients and their benefits from known skimming scams, DTA will be requiring cardholders in certain cities and towns to set a new PIN to use their EBT card if they have not received a new card or changed their PIN recently. Cardholders who need to change their PINs will have already received notification from DTA. Cardholders can change their PIN through automated steps by calling the number on the back of their card. If anyone has trouble changing a PIN, DTA is available to help.

Clients who need to change their PINs will have already received notification from DTA. Instructions for changing PINs can be found at this link.
Farmers Markets in Full Swing
The second full week of August was National Farmers Market Week! This summer I look forward to continuing to support our local businesses and buying fresh produce and goods from our South Shore farmers markets:
  • Cohasset: Thursdays from 2-6 PM on Cohasset Common;
  • Hingham: Saturdays from 9AM-1PM in the Station Street Parking Lot; and
  • Scituate: Wednesdays from 4-7PM at Scituate Town Hall.
Representative Joan Meschino celebrates National Farmers Market Week at the Hingham Farmers Market on August 13th.
Celebrating National Health Center Week
During National Health Center Week, I attended the Hull Manet Community Health Center’s Open House to celebrate the important accomplishments and critical work of health centers and staff in our community and beyond.

To stay up to date with Manet Community Health Center, visit their Facebook page here. The page is active, and recent posts include tips for avoiding heat exhaustion and information about opportunities for vaccination.
Representative Meschino (left) joins Manet Health Center staff to celebrate National Health Center Week on August 8th.
Representative Meschino Celebrates South Shore SNAP Participants
On August 5, I joined South Shore SNAP (Special Needs Athletic Partnership) to celebrate participants in this year’s summer program. The folks behind SNAP do incredible work with our young people, and I was grateful to join them at this year’s luncheon. For more information on SNAP, view the organization’s website here.
Representative Meschino addresses the crowd and interacts with participants of the SNAP program at the organization's celebratory August 5th luncheon.
Friends’ of the Scituate Town Library Celebrates 50 Year Anniversary During Summer Concert Series
From July 6 through August 10, the Friends' of the Scituate Town Library hosted an excellent summer concert series. In addition to the wonderful music from featured bands, those who attended the series enjoyed lawn games and storytelling. Thanks to all who made the events such successes, and please join me in offering my congratulations and thanks to the Friends for 50 years of support for the library and the community in Scituate.
Left: Representative Meschino joins Representative Patrick Kearney to offer the Friends of the Scituate Town Library a citation celebrating the organization's 50th year.

Right: Odaiko New England, Japanese Drummers, performs the August 3rd Concert Serires.
Announcing Office Hours

Constituent services are our top priority. My Chief of Staff 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, September 12, 9:00 - 10:30 am, Willcutt Commons, 91 Sohier Street, Cohasset
  • Monday, September 19, 10:00 - 11:00 am, Hull Council on Aging, 197A Samoset Ave, Hull
  • Monday, September 26, 4:00 - 5:00 pm, Scituate Library, 85 Branch Street, Scituate

To learn more about our constituent services, please visit our website.
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 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
Contact my Campaign Team | Volunteer! | Donate

You are receiving this email because you signed up for our newsletter, or contacted us about a policy issue. We are pleased to share updates and other news with you. 
You can unsubscribe at anytime. Simply click the link below.