UPDATES FROM STATE REP. KATE HOGAN


State Rep. Kate Hogan, 3rd Middlesex District
Bolton Hudson Maynard Stow
November 12, 2020

Dear Friends,

I hope that you – and those you care about – are healthy and well.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’d like to offer my gratitude to the Third Middlesex voters who cast their ballots for me. I am grateful for your support and am privileged and honored to serve you and the towns of Bolton, Hudson, Maynard and Stow.
 
To all who exercised their constitutional right to vote, I thank you for your commitment to democracy this election season. I am especially grateful to our Town Clerks, their staff, poll workers and everyone who worked and volunteered to make our election so successful. More than 3.45 million residents in Massachusetts voted in this election, 300,000 more than voted in 2016. Two million of those voters cast their ballots before November 3 – a landmark in Massachusetts’ election history. As always, the Third Middlesex District led the Commonwealth with high voter turnout.

We knew this would be an historic election with regard to voter turnout and I am so proud of everyone who worked hard to ensure our electoral system could support such turnout. I’m proud to be part of the Massachusetts Legislature’s efforts to protect the rights of voters and to make voting safer and more accessible during the COVID-19 pandemic. In July, we passed legislation to implement an early vote-by-mail system, expand early voting periods and make in-person voting safer and more efficient. 

Our work continues: This week the Massachusetts House is debating its version of the Fiscal Year 2021 state budget. My colleagues and I are meeting to deliberate and deliver a $46 billion budget bill that prioritizes supporting individuals, families, and youth while also promoting economic stability and development. Some of my priority amendments include: funding the Regional Economic Development Organization Program Grants, providing funding for the Maynard Commuter and Senior Shuttle services and Fresh Start Furniture Bank in Hudson, and continuing critical water quality monitoring programs in our local rivers.

Our work combatting the spread of COVID-19 also continues. Unfortunately, as much as we wish for a return to normalcy, this virus continues to demand vigilance, patience and perseverance. Governor Baker announced new health advisories as case numbers across the Commonwealth are rising. As you consider the upcoming holidays, please heed Secretary Scudders' advice to be careful when gathering for Thanksgiving, as many people with COVID-19 are asymptomatic. 

If you have questions or need assistance, please contact me at kate.hogan@mahouse.gov or 617-722-2199. This email and phone number are the most efficient ways to contact me right now and the best way to ensure a prompt response to your inquiry. I also post updates daily on Facebook.

Best,
Signature
Kate Hogan
State Representative
Third Middlesex District
(617) 722-2199
MASSACHUSETTS UPDATES &
NEWS FROM THE STATE HOUSE
Our fight against the coronavirus and COVID-19 has not ended. Please continue efforts to curb the virus’ spread by continuing to practice social distance, wearing face masks in public, and washing your hands. 

As of November 11, there are 25,055 active cases of COVID-19 estimated in Massachusetts. Since the previous day, there are 2,495 newly reported cases and 37 newly reported deaths due to COVID-19. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health shares updated numbers on its website each day.

Across Massachusetts, the 7-day average positivity rate is 2.88%, compared to a national positivity rate of 8.7%. A report of COVID-19 data by community is available here and includes key metrics with a breakout of the average daily cases per 100,000 and the average percent positivity (last 14 days) for towns in the Third Middlesex District:

Bolton – 9.9 average cases per 100,000; 1.57% positivity
Hudson – 14.9 average cases per 100,000; 2.82% positivity
Maynard – 9.6 average cases per 100,000; 2.14% positivity
Stow – 4.9 average cases per 100,000; .76% positivity 

New COVID-19 Health Advisories Earlier this month, Governor Baker cited trends that are heading in the wrong direction (cases up by 278% and hospitalizations up by 145% since Labor Day) and issued the following new measures:

Stay At Home Advisory The revised Stay At Home Advisory instructs residents to stay home between 10 pm and 5 am. The Advisory allows for activities such as going to work, running critical errands to get groceries and address health needs, and taking a walk.

Early Closure of Businesses and Activities The following businesses and activities must close to the public each day between the hours of 9:30 pm and 5:00 am:
  • Restaurants (in-person dining must cease at 9:30 PM, although takeout and delivery may continue for food and non-alcoholic beverages, but not alcohol)
  • Liquor stores and other retail establishments that sell alcohol must cease alcohol sales at 9:30 PM (but may continue to sell other products)
  • Adult-use marijuana sales must cease at 9:30 PM (not including medical marijuana)
  • Indoor & outdoor events
  • Theaters/movie theaters (including drive-in movie theaters), and performance venues (indoor and outdoor)
  • Youth and adult amateur sports activities
  • Golf facilities
  • Recreational boating and boating businesses
  • Outdoor recreational experiences
  • Casinos and horse tracks/simulcast facilities
  • Driving and flight schools
  • Zoos, botanical gardens, wildlife reserves, nature centers
  • Close contact personal services (such as hair and nail salons)
  • Gyms, Fitness Centers and Health Clubs
  • Indoor and outdoor pools
  • Museums/cultural & historical facilities/guided tours

Face Covering Order The revised order requires all persons to wear face-coverings in all public places, even where they are able to maintain 6 feet of distance from others.

Gatherings Order The new gatherings order reduces the gathering size limit for gatherings at private residences: indoor gatherings at private residences are limited to 10 people and outdoor gatherings at private residences are limited to 25 people. The limit on gatherings held in public spaces and at event venues (e.g. wedding venues) remains the same. The new order also requires that all gatherings (regardless of size or location) must end and disperse by 9:30 pm.
 
The new gatherings order also requires that organizers of gatherings report known positive COVID-19 cases to the local health department in that community and requires organizers to cooperate with contact tracing. The gatherings order authorizes continued enforcement by local health and police departments and specifies that fines for violating the gathering order will be $500 for each person above the limit at a particular gathering.

The "Stop the Spread" strategic testing program will continue to provide low barrier, free, and easy to access testing to all Massachusetts residents. There are two sites in Marlborough: Marlborough Hospital and AFC Urgent Care. Details of the program and testing sites are available here.  

Preventing child sexual abuse The Massachusetts Legislative Task Force on the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse recently released a new first-of-its-kind tool, www.safekidsthrive.org, to help organizations that work with children and youth develop and implement child sexual abuse prevention plans. It is a user-friendly, customizable website that is designed to make it easier for busy organizations to keep kids safe. We encourage you to visit this website to learn more about child sexual abuse prevention and to encourage the organizations that work with your children to use it to prevent child sexual abuse. Click here to visit Safe Kids Thrive and learn how the organizations that work with your children can prevent child sexual abuse.

Diversity & Inclusion at the State House House Speaker Robert DeLeo recently announced plans to build on previous comprehensive reforms addressing human resource procedures within the Massachusetts House of Representative. A new House Working Group focused on incorporating racial justice and enhancing diversity and inclusion in the House will be Chaired by Rep Frank Moran and Leader Kate Hogan.

Mental Health Resources If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, or a loved one is, and you do not want to call 911 and are hoping to avoid the emergency room try calling your local Emergency Service Program (ESP) (this is also referred to as a mobile crisis team). This is a state service at no cost to those with MassHealth (Medicaid), Medicare, or people without health insurance. Some people with commercial insurance can also get these services. Don’t face a crisis alone. Call the Emergency Services Program at 1-877-382-1609 available 24/7/365. 

The State has also launched a new online guide to help families navigate their children’s mental health journey. The site helps you answer questions like: "Should I worry?" "What can I do?" and "Who can help?"
MAIN STREET UPDATES
LatinX Trailblazers – Maynard restauranteurs Alma and Alonso Moreno were honored recently when the Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus held a virtual celebration of Latinx Heritage Month. Nominated by Representative Hogan, the Morenos were recognized for their efforts in creating local restaurants that not only serve wonderful fresh food and drinks, but also deliver a cultural experience for patrons.
Honoring Maynard Police
Rep. Hogan visited the Maynard Police Department and presented House of Representatives Resolutions to Officer Karl Nyholm and Lieutenant Stephen Jones in honor of their years of dedicated service and for their many accomplishments policing the town of Maynard.

l-r: Maynard Police Chief Michael Noble, Retired Officer Karl Nyholm, Rep. Hogan, Retired Lieutenant Stephen Jones and Deputy Chief Christopher Troiano
Recycling Grants Awarded in Bolton, Hudson and Maynard The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) recently announced recycling grants under its "Sustainable Materials Recovery Program," to these 3rd Middlesex District communities. Bolton, Hudson and Maynard each qualified for the Recycling Dividends Program (RDP) for their efforts in implementing policies and programs proven to maximize materials reuse and recycling, as well as waste reduction. Communities that earn RDP payments must reinvest the funds in their recycling programs for things such as new recycling bins or carts, public education and outreach campaigns, collection of hard-to-recycle items and the establishment of recycling programs in schools, municipal buildings and other public spaces.

Food Security Grant goes to Stow Farm As part of the effort to address urgent food insecurity for residents across the Commonwealth as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Baker-Polito Administration joined with the legislature to announce a new round of awards in its Food Security Infrastructure Grant Program. Congratulations to the Small Farm, Inc. in Stow for its grant to purchase SNAP processing equipment.

Cultural Council Grants Available The Mass Cultural Council's Local Cultural Council (LCC) Program funds thousands of community-based projects in the arts, humanities and sciences annually. Each year, LCCs award more than $3 million in grants to more than 6,000 cultural programs statewide. The program promotes the availability of rich cultural experiences for every Massachusetts resident. Applicants should apply directly to LCCs. In Maynard, projects referencing Maynard's 150th anniversary will be given special consideration. The next deadline is December 14. More information is available here.

Ideas for Building Safe Downtown Spaces to Visit this Winter Bench Consulting has released its Winter Places Guide with ideas for low-cost, quickly-implementable ideas to drive visitors back to main streets and downtowns and provide a safe, vibrant space for area residents and visitors to gather outdoors this winter. The Guide includes detailed project pages, tips for implementing ideas and possible funding sources. Download the Guide here.


Rep. Hogan Rep. Hogan presented a House citation to Hudson high schooler Jake Marrazzo at the book signing for his new book, One Wants to Be A Letter.







Rep. Hogan visited Mullahy Cheese Shop and presented a citation to Show Owner Katie Mullahy Quinn to commemorate the Hudson store's 5th anniversary. 
Maynard Hometown Heroes A video is available of the special ceremony that was held earlier this fall to commemorate Maynard's Hometown Heroes Program. It includes some special moments and highlights each of the banners that have been hung so far. Please view and enjoy video the here.
Hudson Farmers’ Market will host two fresh air Winter Markets on November 21 and December 19 from 11 am to 2 pm.
HOUSING ASSISTANCE
The Eviction Moratorium in Massachusetts ended on October 17. If you are struggling to make rent or mortgage payments, there are resources available:

Visit www.mass.gov/CovidHousingHelp to learn more about state financial aid programs for eligible households.

Call 2-1-1 to connect with housing resources.

Talk to your landlord to create a plan - do this early!

Emergency Rental Assistance Program in Maynard The Town of Maynard is offering an Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) to provide temporary, monthly rental assistance in the form of a grant to eligible households with a loss of income due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This program is funded by the Maynard Affordable Housing Trust. Details can be found here and applications are available here.






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