About Joan Meschino

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So far Joan Meschino has created 47 blog entries.

Mass. Seeks to Claw Back at Least $2.7 Billion in Jobless Benefits It Says Were Incorrectly Paid

By Larry Edelman, Globe Staff, in the Boston Globe The Department of Unemployment Assistance made overpayments on about 719,000 claims in 2020-2021. It’s going after recipients even if they weren’t at fault. In the early months of the pandemic, when nearly 700,000 local jobs disappeared in a flash, the Baker administration was caught in a bind: There was a massive backlog of unemployment claims, but laid-off workers needed money fast or a bad economic crisis would only get worse. The Department of Unemployment Assistance rushed to get benefit checks out the door ASAP, even as vetting applicants was made more complicated by the sheer volume of work and confusing eligibility rules for new federal relief programs. While delays persisted, the DUA says it ultimately delivered $33 billion in state and federal jobless payments in 2020 and 2021 to almost 4 million people. But the state’s efforts have been marred by costly . . . Read More

2022-01-18T14:06:11-05:00January 18th, 2022|Op-Eds + Articles|

Department of Fire Services Announces FY22 Firefighter Safety Equipment Grants for Towns in 3rd Plymouth District

(BOSTON) - This week, $5 million in grant funding was awarded to 306 Massachusetts fire departments from the FY22 Firefighter Safety Equipment Grant Program.  The grant program enables fire departments to purchase a variety of equipment that will make firefighters’ jobs safer.  Examples of eligible equipment include, among others, personal protective clothing and equipment; communications equipment; thermal imaging cameras; and health and wellness equipment. Cohasset, Hingham, Hull, and Scituate were among the 306 communities that received awards. Towns in the 3rd Plymouth District received the following funding: Cohasset: $12,190.30 Hingham: $18,830.00 Hull: $11,779.70 Scituate: $11,861.59 “Firefighters provide critical services to our communities on the South Shore, and we need to take good care of them, too,” said Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull).  “The fire departments in Cohasset, Hingham, Hull, and Scituate will be able to use this grant funding to continue their efforts to improve the health and safety of . . . Read More

2022-01-14T16:35:28-05:00January 14th, 2022|Budget and Grants|

Massachusetts Legislature Passes ARPA, FY21 Surplus Spending Bill

(BOSTON) - On Monday, December 13, 2021, Governor Baker signed An Act relative to immediate COVID-19 recovery needs (H.4269,) which allocates $2.55 billion in federal funding granted to the Commonwealth for COVID-19 relief from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and $1.45 billion in surplus tax dollars from fiscal year 2021.  Advanced by the Massachusetts legislature in early December, the bill allocates $4 billion in critical investments to sectors including housing, health care, mental and behavioral health, climate preparedness, education, and workforce development. “A once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in communities, this legislation serves to uplift the residents by strengthening existing programs and services,” said Representative Meschino (D-Hull).  “I am eager to see the positive impact that these relief dollars will have in our district and across the Commonwealth in support of our main street economies.” The legislation includes several initiatives from Representative Meschino’s legislative agenda. An Unemployment Insurance Overpayment . . . Read More

2021-12-22T18:41:47-05:00December 22nd, 2021|Other Topics|

Representative Meschino Joins with House Colleagues to Honor our Veterans

(BOSTON) – On this Veterans Day, the Massachusetts House of Representatives collectively recognizes the courage and sacrifice of men and women in the Armed Forces. Originally known as Armistice Day, Veterans Day was first celebrated in 1919 to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I. Congress formally passed legislation in 1938 designating Armistice Day as a federal holiday. In 1954, following World War II and the Korean War, Congress changed the day’s title from Armistice Day to Veterans Day in order to honor all American Veterans of war. On Veterans Day each year, our communities come together to honor and celebrate the bravery of all Veterans who have served in the United States Armed Forces, whether living or deceased. Massachusetts is home to 323,253 Veterans, some of whom are residents of the 3rd Plymouth District. The Commonwealth has long been a leader in supporting . . . Read More

2021-11-11T14:48:33-05:00November 11th, 2021|Seniors + Veterans|

Massachusetts House of Representatives Passes ARPA Spending Bill

(BOSTON) - At the end of October, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed legislation, An Act relative to immediate COVID-19 recovery needs (H.4219,) that allocates federal funding granted to the Commonwealth for COVID-19 relief from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and surplus tax dollars from fiscal year 2021. Funded at $3.82 billion, the bill aims to close gaps exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, encouraging recovery through one-time investments in housing, environment and climate mitigation, economic development, workforce, health and human services, and education.  After the original $3.65 billion bill was released, more than 1,100 amendments were filed by legislators, and ultimately four consolidated amendments were added to the legislation. The House bill includes $500 million to replenish the Unemployment Trust Fund which will offset businesses’ contributions for unemployment programs. The bill also includes $200 million worth of tax relief for small businesses that paid personal income taxes on . . . Read More

Redistricting Brings Changes to Third Plymouth District

(BOSTON) - Last week, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed legislation, An Act relative to establishing representative districts in the General Court (H 4217,) that established new political boundaries for all 160 House districts.  The Third Plymouth District, represented by State Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull), will be comprised of the Towns of Hingham, Hull, and Cohasset.  The district now includes all precincts in Hingham.  Precinct 3 in North Scituate will be part of the Fourth Plymouth district. After conducting and releasing the U.S. Decennial Census, Massachusetts is constitutionally mandated to change its House, Senate, Governor's Council and Congressional district boundaries based upon the census data.  These changes are meant to align districts with population shifts and provide equal representation to the Commonwealth’s citizens.  As with each redistricting cycle, public participation played an integral role in this year’s process.  Residents of the Commonwealth had numerous opportunities for public participation, including . . . Read More

2021-10-25T17:40:01-04:00October 25th, 2021|Other Topics|

Representative Meschino Bill in Relation to Waivers for Non-Fault Overpayments Receives Support from AFL-CIO, GBLS in Hearing

(BOSTON) - This week, State Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) testified in support of An Act relative to waivers for non-fault overpayments (H4202) to streamline and enhance the standards to determine whether the collection of overpaid state and federal unemployment benefits accrued in 2020 and 2021 will be waived. The bill supports the Commonwealth’s workers and their families by providing clear guidance to the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) on the process and standards to consider no-fault waiver requests. After filing the bill last month, the bill was promptly assigned to the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development and a hearing was held on Tuesday, October 19, 2021. During the hearing, Representative Meschino, Hannah Tanabe of Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS), and John Drinkwater of AFL-CIO, spoke to the significant burdens that the clawback of overpayments have created for the Commonwealth’s workers, through no fault of their own. To . . . Read More

2021-10-22T15:51:24-04:00October 22nd, 2021|Other Topics|

Electric Vehicle Rebate Needs to Increase, Expand

In Commonwealth Magazine FROM THE GRIDLOCK of the Southeast Expressway to Logan Airport and the Cape Cod bridges, traffic congestion is so commonplace in Massachusetts that it’s easy to forget transportation is also our leading cause of climate pollution. All this movement of people and goods fuels the extreme weather trends that threaten our coastal communities, statewide economic vitality, and the very infrastructure that our cars and trucks depend on. Transportation is also responsible for dangerous pollutants that cause heart and lung disease — especially in neighborhoods that border major highways, roads, and distribution centers. Simply put, Massachusetts cannot fight the climate crisis or achieve environmental justice without a clean transportation system. That’s why lawmakers zeroed in on transportation in the Next Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy. The ambitious law, enacted this year, calls for the Commonwealth to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, while establishing short-term goals . . . Read More

2021-10-19T12:04:09-04:00October 19th, 2021|Op-Eds + Articles|

Broad Coalition Urges Support of Legislation to Expand Supportive Housing and Services

Press Release by United Way (BOSTON) – A broad coalition of 70 housing advocates and providers, healthcare institutions, and nonprofit and philanthropic leaders today urged the Joint Committee on Housing to favorably report out new legislation sponsored by State Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) that would transform the Commonwealth’s homeless response system and advance long-term housing solutions throughout Massachusetts. House Bill 3838 – An Act to create and implement a Massachusetts Flexible Housing Subsidy Pool Program to address the medically complex needs of disabled men, women, and children experiencing homelessness – would create a new Massachusetts Flexible Housing Pool (MFHP) – a nimble pot of public and private resources to help meet the complex housing and health needs of individuals, youth, and families experiencing homelessness. The goal of this bill is to expand supportive housing and services for adults, youth, and families experiencing homelessness, and enable funds to get out . . . Read More

2021-10-13T11:07:45-04:00October 12th, 2021|Other Topics|

Advocacy of Federal and State Legislators and Town Officials Results in Scituate Station’s Preservation

(BOSTON) - Today State Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) joined members of the federal delegation, Massachusetts State Senators and Representatives, and town officials in celebrating the U.S. Coast Guard’s decision to preserve its seasonal station in Scituate. Since June 9, when the U.S. Coast Guard announced its intention to shutter the Scituate station as part of a broader effort to consolidate four “redundant” stations across the United States, federal and state legislators alongside town officials have advocated for the station’s preservation using a variety of tactics. On August 31, legislators and officials rallied to save the station, highlighting the many benefits offered by the station and the drawbacks its closure could cause. Shortly after, members of the South Shore Legislative Delegation sent a letter outlining concerns related to the station’s closure to the Commander of the First Coast Guard District, Rear Admiral Thomas G. Allan, Jr.  Following an extended period . . . Read More

2021-10-04T16:10:45-04:00October 4th, 2021|Transportation + Infrastructure|
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