Representative Joan Meschino works hard for the 3rd Plymouth District. She has achieved many legislative, budgetary, and local accomplishments. Rep. Meschino is a strong voice for clean energy and environmental stewardship, economic development for our Main Street economies, and support services for constituents.
Joan advocated to increase local aid for public education and for public libraries, and to support increased funding for the Department of Conservation and Recreation. Joan is proud to have voted for the Student Opportunity Act in 2019, which is a long term transformative investment in public education and a dedicated path to address the growing funding equity between regions and districts. Joan successfully led the budget advocacy that resulted in substantial additional funding in FY20, FY21, and FY22 for regional distribution networks and databases for our public libraries. Joan also successfully advocated for economic development funding for our towns.
During the 2019-20, 2020-21, and 2021-22 legislative sessions, Joan filed bills concerning energy and the environment, care and protection of children in foster care, campaign finance, food insecurity among community college students and consumer protection. In addition to filing her own bills, Joan continues to lead the call for carbon emission reductions and environmental justice, regional transportation initiatives, public health and promoting opiate addiction prevention and other public health measures, and support for seniors, veterans and vulnerable residents.
During the extended formal session of 2020, a number of Joan’s bills advanced and were enacted. In the fall 2019, An Act relative to campaign finance (H4223) included a provision by Joan to create a commission to evaluate a candidate’s use of campaign funds for childcare. The commission convened in February 2020, and the final recommendation for legislation was submitted before the year’s end. Joan made her maiden speech on this bill. In the spring of 2020, An Act Relative to Children’s Health and Wellness (H4210) included provisions from Joan’s bill An Act to provide notice to counsel of changes to a child or young adult’s placement or other events.
In July 2020, An Act creating a 2050 Roadmap to a clean and thriving commonwealth was passed by the House. The 2050 Roadmap established a 2050 net-zero carbon emission target, established strong interim goals, and required a back-cast analysis to establish the plan to achieve it. The main vehicle for the session’s climate change legislation, the 2050 Roadmap advanced with provisions for grid modernization, additional wind procurement, an increase in the renewable portfolio standards, appliance efficiency, nature based solutions for carbon capture, and environmental justice, among other things. The 2050 Roadmap bill came out of conference committee in early January 2021 and was immediately passed by both the House and the Senate. After the Governor vetoed it, however, the bill was refiled at the start of the 192nd session as S.9. The Legislature ultimately rejected efforts to slow the rate of progress toward net-zero emissions by 2050, while accepting a number of substantive and technical amendments that improved the bill. The final bill was signed by the Governor on March 26th, 2021.
In the summer of 2021, the legislature’s Supplementary Budget, An Act making appropriations for fiscal year 2021 to provide for supplementing certain existing appropriations and for certain other activities and projects (H3973) included provisions from Joan’s bill An Act relative to transportation governance (H3542). The legislation establishes a new board of directors to oversee Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) operations, codifying in statute many of the benefits and positive work of the Fiscal Management Control Board (FMCB). The legislation expands the governance board’s expertise and experience and is designed to build on the FMCB’s work to change cultural expectations at the MBTA.
Joan has spent a tremendous amount of time and energy on addressing issues created by the pandemic. Joan was a vocal advocate for the legislation to enable municipal government to conduct its business remotely, both through its managers and directors, boards and committees and town meeting.
Joan is well positioned to influence policy issues that are important to our community. She serves on the Joint Committee for Telecommunication Utility and Energy, Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure, Joint Committee on Export Development, and Joint Committee on Advanced Information Technology, the Internet and Cybersecurity. She continues to serve as an appointed member to the Ocean Advisory Commission and the Metropolitan Beaches Commission, and she is a co-chair of the newly formed Massachusetts Legislative Climate Alliance Caucus. She also serves as a Board Member of the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators, where she works alongside her fellow legislators to encourage and support women in government and to pursue women’s economic advancement.
While serving as a state representative, Joan was selected in 2019 to participate in the Council of State Governments (CSG) Henry Toll Fellowship program, one of the nation’s premier leadership development programs for state government officials. She was recognized by the Massachusetts Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance with a Presidential Citation in 2019, and she was honored as MassAccess’ Legislator of the Year in 2022.