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House Passes Bill to Address Racial Inequities in Maternal Health

BOSTON - Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) joined her colleagues in the House this week to pass a bill aimed at eliminating racial inequities in maternal health. An Act to reduce racial inequities in maternal health will create a special legislative commission to make recommendations that reduce or remove the kind of racial inequities that result in women of color dying of pregnancy-related causes at more than double the rate of white women. The commission will gather information and raise awareness of this systemic societal problem, in addition to reporting on barriers to equitable maternal care and best practices for remedying inequities. “As the legislature considers issues of racial justice, this focus on maternal health will help lift up women of color, for whom the burdens of racial and gender discrimination have shaped inequities in health care,” said Representative Meschino. “The commission created in this bill will put forward life-saving solutions . . . Read More

2020-08-29T10:24:18-04:00July 2nd, 2020|Public Health|

House Enacts Legislation to Fund Investments in Municipal Roads and Bridges

BOSTON - This week, Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) joined her colleagues in the House to enact a bill authorizing the Commonwealth to borrow $200 million for improvements to municipally-owned roads and bridges dispersed through Chapter 90 grants. These grants reach each of the Commonwealth’s towns and cities directly, continuing the strong tradition of partnership between the state and local communities.  The Chapter 90 program entitles cities and towns to receive reimbursements on eligible municipal projects. The funds are designated for capital improvement projects- the construction, preservation, or improvement of roads and bridges. This legislation will help ensure that our municipal infrastructure can continue on its path to a state of good repair. “I’m proud to see the legislature continue to invest in important local infrastructure,” said Representative Meschino. “These funds are critical for every city and town across the Commonwealth.” The bill also authorized the continued oversight of the Massachusetts . . . Read More

2020-08-29T10:24:31-04:00July 2nd, 2020|Transportation + Infrastructure|

Legislature Approves Fall Elections Bill

This week, Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) and her colleagues in the House and Senate voted to approve the final conference committee report on a bill to help support safe elections in Massachusetts this Fall. H4820, An Act relative to voting options in response to COVID-19, expands the options for both mail-in voting and early voting in person for the 2020 state primary and general election. It additionally provides for public health safeguards for in-person voting, accessibility to voting options for persons with disabilities, equity in access to polling places, early tabulation of ballots by the clerks, and no-excuse early voting by mail for elections through the end of 2020. This legislation protects voters and the integrity of our democracy by ensuring that all voices in the Commonwealth are heard despite the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19. “The right to vote is one of our core democratic foundations,” said Representative Meschino. “The . . . Read More

2020-08-29T10:25:16-04:00July 2nd, 2020|Other Topics, Public Health|

House Passes Measure to Provide More than $1 Billion in Federal Reimbursement for COVID-19 Needs

BOSTON – This week, Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) and her colleagues in the House of Representatives passed a supplemental budget to facilitate allocation of federal CARES Act funding to reimburse communities hard-hit by COVID-19. The spending measure follows the April passage in Congress of the federal CARES Act, which provides federal reimbursement funds for the state to expend on items related to COVID-19. The supplemental budget directs funds to address vital needs including personal protective equipment, field hospitals and contact tracing.  “The House allocation of federal COVID-19 funds is about more than reimbursing the state and our communities for COVID-19 costs,” said Representative Meschino. “It is about shaping investments in public health initiatives and supporting our front-line workers who keep us healthy and safe throughout the pandemic and beyond.” The spending bill includes, among other items: $350 Million for personal protective equipment costs across the Commonwealth; $139 Million for increased . . . Read More

2020-08-29T10:25:37-04:00June 26th, 2020|Budget and Grants, Public Health|

House Passes Bill to Support Commonwealth’s Restaurants

BOSTON – Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) joined her colleagues in the House this week to pass legislation to provide more tools to the restaurants of Massachusetts in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation entitled An act addressing challenges faced by food and beverage establishments resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic (H.4767) aims to assist a sector that has been hit hard by COVID-19. The measures passed are intended to help restaurants weather the economic crisis in the wake of the pandemic. The package eases outdoor dining restrictions, expands alcohol delivery options to include mixed drinks, extends takeout options to February 2021, waives interest on late meals tax payments and caps the amount that can be charged by a food delivery service. In 2019, the House created the Restaurant Promotion Commission, which is being repurposed as the Restaurant Recovery Commission. The bill builds on the House’s general focus on . . . Read More

2020-08-29T10:28:07-04:00June 5th, 2020|Other Topics|

House Passes COVID-19 Elections Bill

BOSTON- On June 4, 2020, Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) joined her colleagues in the legislature to pass legislation to expand voting options in the Commonwealth this Fall, in response to COVID-19. The bill, H.4768 An act relative to voting options in response to COVID-19, takes the necessary precautions to ensure that every Massachusetts resident can exercise their right to vote in the state primary and November general election, while prioritizing public health and safety. “The right to vote is one of our core democratic foundations,” said Representative Meschino. “The House established critical steps to ensure that no resident is disenfranchised by the pandemic. ”The legislation will require the secretary of state to mail all registered voters an application to request a ballot to vote early by mail in the state primary and November general elections this Fall.  Applications with instructions will be mailed by July 15, 2020 for the September primary.  . . . Read More

2020-08-29T10:28:21-04:00June 5th, 2020|Other Topics, Public Health|

House Passes COVID-19 Elections Bill

BOSTON- On June 4, 2020, Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) joined her colleagues in the legislature to pass legislation to expand voting options in the Commonwealth this Fall, in response to COVID-19. The bill, H.4768 An act relative to voting options in response to COVID-19, takes the necessary precautions to ensure that every Massachusetts resident can exercise their right to vote in the state primary and November general election, while prioritizing public health and safety.  “The right to vote is one of our core democratic foundations,” said Representative Meschino. “The House established critical steps to ensure that no resident is disenfranchised by the pandemic. ” The legislation will require the secretary of state to mail all registered voters an application to request a ballot to vote early by mail in the state primary and November general elections this Fall.  Applications with instructions will be mailed by July 15, 2020 for the . . . Read More

2020-08-29T10:32:16-04:00June 5th, 2020|Public Health|

House Passes Legislation to Ensure the Fiscal Health of the Commonwealth

BOSTON – During its historic first remote voting formal session today, State Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) along with her colleagues in the House of Representatives passed legislation to authorize necessary state borrowing during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The legislation, An Act to Facilitate the Delay of the Income Tax Filing Deadline, authorizes the State Treasurer to borrow in anticipation of tax receipts by the end of Fiscal Year 2020 and to repay those sums by June 30, 2021. This action is necessary due to the delay in tax revenue as a result of the extended deadlines of income tax filings and payments to July 15, 2020, which were extended because of the COVID-19 public health emergency. The session, which included remote voting, was the first held following the passage of Emergency Rules enabling Members to vote and debate safely in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill will now . . . Read More

2020-08-29T10:32:33-04:00May 7th, 2020|Budget and Grants|

Massachusetts Legislature Passes Moratorium on Non-Essential Evictions and Foreclosures Amid COVID-19

BOSTON – On April 17, Representative Joan Meschino and her colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives and State Senate passed legislation to provide a critical safety net for renters, homeowners, and small businesses grappling with the economic fallout of the coronavirus public health emergency.  The bill, H.4647, prohibits all non-essential evictions and foreclosures and provides mortgage borrowers with forbearance options and protects tenants from late fees as well as other protections.   To address the COVID-19 public health crisis and its adverse impacts on renters, homeowners and small businesses, the bill includes the following components: A moratorium on all stages of the eviction and foreclosure processes for 120 days from the enactment of the legislation or 45 days after the State of Emergency has been lifted, whichever period of time is shorter.  Prohibits all non-essential evictions for residential properties and small businesses. Prohibits residential landlords from terminating tenancy and sending . . . Read More

2020-08-29T10:32:46-04:00April 20th, 2020|Other Topics|

House Unanimously Passes Legislation to Help Protect Persons with Developmental Disabilities from Harm

BOSTON – This week, Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) and her colleagues in the House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation to create a registry of care providers who have harmed a person or persons with an intellectual or developmental disability. The bill’s purpose is to prevent those providers from being hired for programs funded or operated by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS). The legislation, An Act to Protect Persons with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities from Abuse, creates a registry of care providers against whom the Disabled Persons Protection Commission (DCCP) has made a final decision regarding “substantiated findings” of acts resulting in serious physical or emotional injury of a person with an intellectual or developmental disability. “I was proud to vote in support of this bill to promote the safety and wellbeing of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” said Representative Meschino. “This legislation was thoughtfully developed to combat abuse, . . . Read More

2020-08-29T10:32:57-04:00January 17th, 2020|Other Topics|
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