Representative Meschino Files Bill in Relation to Waivers for Non-Fault Overpayments

(BOSTON) - Last week, State Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) filed An Act relative to waivers for non-fault overpayments (HD4461) to streamline the standards that 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 eases the strain placed on the Department of Unemployment Assistance by an unprecedented number of waiver applications.  Unemployment insurance (UI) benefits provided, and continue to provide, critical support for workers and their families throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.  Millions turned to UI to pay for basic living expenses, which in turn sustained the Massachusetts economy as the money claimants received flowed back into their communities.   However, many workers are now being asked to repay tens of thousands of dollars in “overpaid” benefits, nearly all of which were made through no fault of the worker.  Overpayments were in fact often caused . . . Read More

2021-09-20T15:41:22-04:00September 20th, 2021|Other Topics|

Bill Supporting Parents Running for Public Office Receives Backing from Legislators and Advocates at Hearing

(BOSTON) – At a hearing held yesterday by the Joint Committee on Election Laws, legislators and advocates testified on behalf of H.769/S.475, An Act supporting parents running for public office filed by Representatives Joan Meschino (D-Hull), Representative Mike Connolly (D-Cambridge) and Senator Patricia Jehlen (D-Somerville). The legislation would allow donated campaign funds to be used to pay for child care expenses. Consistent with federal law and similar to legislation passed in seventeen other states, the proposed legislation would update campaign finance law to cover child care expenses that would not exist but for the candidate’s campaign. By removing one of many barriers parents and guardians face as they seek opportunities in public service and by making the pathway to elected office more accessible, this legislation will result in a more diverse and inclusive candidate pool. These companion bills are refiles and were endorsed this year by the Massachusetts Caucus . . . Read More

2021-09-16T16:12:31-04:00September 16th, 2021|Other Topics|

Representative Meschino Joins Fellow Legislators and Officials to Rally Against Scituate Coast Guard Station’s Closure

(BOSTON) - Last week, State Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) spoke alongside members of the federal delegation, Massachusetts State Senators and Representatives, and town officials at a rally held Tuesday, August 31st to advocate for the preservation of the U.S. Coast Guard’s seasonal station in Scituate. On June 9th, the U.S. Coast Guard announced its intention to shutter four seasonal stations across the United States, including the Scituate station, arguing that boating safety improvements and better response times have made the station “redundant.” The station, which usually remains open from Memorial Day to Labor Day through peak boating season, provides critical lifesaving and rescue services to the South Shore communities. During the rally, legislators and officials highlighted the benefits the station offers and the drawbacks its closure could precipitate, chief among them the potential for adverse effects on public safety. In boating accidents and incidents in which every minute matters, . . . Read More

2021-09-08T16:05:28-04:00September 8th, 2021|Other Topics|

Representative Meschino’s Priority Legislation Receives Key Endorsements

(BOSTON) – This summer, Representative Meschino’s (D-Hull) priority bills have received endorsements from influential caucuses and advocates. Representative Meschino’s top priority piece of legislation, An Act to create access to justice (H. 1792), was endorsed by the Massachusetts Bar Association’s House of Delegates on May 19th.  This legislation would empower an individual to seek redress against discrimination by government policies; it would restore the right of an individual to bring a claim in state court when a government policy creates disparate impact, an unintended discriminatory effect on individuals of a protected class.  The bill would provide access to justice for numerous constituencies, including people seeking to enforce environmental justice, language access, fair housing, equitable healthcare, and access to high-quality education. “The Massachusetts Bar Association is pleased to proactively partner with members of the legislature to create a more level playing field for victims of discrimination,” said Martin W. Healy, . . . Read More

2021-08-23T16:35:35-04:00August 20th, 2021|Energy + Environment, Other Topics, Public Health|

Bill Introduced by Hingham Youth Gets Broad Support at Hearing

(BOSTON) – At a hearing held last week by the Joint Committee on Election Laws, legislators and advocates testified on behalf of H.815/S.483, An Act relative to youth voter engagement filed by Representatives Joan Meschino (D-Hull) and Senator Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth). The legislation would allow seventeen year olds who will be eighteen by the general election to vote in the preceding primary, encouraging young people to develop strong voting habits early. These companion bills are refiles and were supported by dozens of letters by young people from a broad array of communities last session. This bill was initially introduced to Representative Meschino two summers ago by Samantha Bevins, a Hingham resident headed to Dartmouth this fall. Concerned that she would not have a voice in the primary election to select the party nominee for the presidential election, Samantha proposed filing legislation to make her and other voters in this . . . Read More

2021-07-07T14:33:34-04:00June 29th, 2021|Other Topics|

Legislators and Advocates hold Briefing for Legislation that Supports Community Media

(BOSTON) – Last week, legislators, advocates, and Massachusetts residents attended a legislative briefing for H.130/S.2200, An Act relative to a streaming entertainment operator’s use of the public rights-of-way/An Act relative to digital entertainment on public rights of way, jointly filed in the House by Representatives Joan Meschino (D-Hull) and Paul Tucker (D-Salem) and in the Senate by Senator Jason M. Lewis (D-Winchester). The bill would use funding from a new fee to support community media. In the 3rd Plymouth District, our community media centers are vibrant hubs of connectivity. In addition to covering news and providing trainings for residents interested in media, our media centers offer opportunities for public engagement and chances to learn about arts, culture, and history. During the pandemic, community media was critical to our efforts to stay connected and informed on the local level, and our centers continue to do great work as we emerge . . . Read More

2021-06-21T16:41:17-04:00June 21st, 2021|Other Topics|

Bill Providing Resources to State Community Colleges to Tackle Student Food Insecurity Gets Broad Support at Hearing

(BOSTON) – At a hearing held this week by the Joint Committee on Higher Education, legislators and advocates testified on behalf of H.1350/S.847, An Act establishing a community college campus hunger pilot program filed by Representatives Joan Meschino (D-Hull) and Senator Joan Lovely (D-Salem). The legislation would create a $2.7 million noncompetitive grant program administered by the Department of Higher Education (DHE) to fund state community colleges’ pilot initiatives to tackle hunger on campuses. These companion bills are refiles and were reported favorably by the committee last session. The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (DHE) began campus surveys of student hunger and homelessness in 2014. A 2018 HOPE Lab survey of Massachusetts public college students found that 45% of students at two-year colleges had experienced some degree of food insecurity within the thirty-day period preceding the survey. Multiple studies and surveys have also confirmed that food insecurity is linked . . . Read More

2021-06-11T11:17:39-04:00June 11th, 2021|Budget and Grants, Other Topics|

Representative Joan Meschino Supports Local Restaurants

(BOSTON) – Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) joined her colleagues in the legislature this week to support the “Let’s Go Out” restaurant campaign led by the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism in conjunction with the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development and industry partners. “Let’s Go Out,” an extension of the “My Local MA” campaign, is an effort to encourage Massachusetts residents to dine at their local restaurants this summer. With the ending of all remaining COVID-19 restrictions on May 29 and as public health metrics improve across the state, the “Let’s Go Out” campaign will play a significant part in the state’s economic recovery. The campaign celebrates the important role that restaurants play in local economies, attracting locals and visitors alike and sharing customers with nearby businesses. “Small businesses have been hit hard by the pandemic and economic downturn,” Representative Meschino said. “As we engage in more . . . Read More

2021-06-08T11:31:55-04:00June 7th, 2021|Other Topics|

Representative Joan Meschino Welcomes New Legislative Aide

(BOSTON) - State Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) recently announced the hiring of Geordie Enoch as a Legislative Aide. Prior to joining Representative Meschino’s team, Ms. Enoch served as a volunteer policy fellow for Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu. “Geordie adds a fresh perspective and new energy to our team,” said Representative Meschino. “I am thrilled that she will be bringing her talents to my office and expanding our capacity to serve residents.” Passionate about combating climate change and collaborating with young people, Geordie previously worked as an organizer and as a teacher of middle and high school students at the Community Charter School of Cambridge. A lifelong swimmer, she also co-founded and coached the school's first swim team. Ms. Enoch graduated from Harvard University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in Government. The following year, she earned a Master of Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education . . . Read More

2021-05-18T15:34:41-04:00May 17th, 2021|Other Topics|

Legislators and Advocates hold Briefing for Civil Rights Legislation

(BOSTON) – Last week, legislators, advocates, and Massachusetts residents attended a legislative briefing for H.1792/S.996, An Act to create access to justice, jointly filed in the House by Representatives Joan Meschino (D-Hull) and Adrian Madaro (D-East Boston) and in the Senate by Senator Sal DiDomenico (D-Everett). Civil rights legislation is meant to ensure fair treatment of all people under the law. However, laws and regulations often discriminate against vulnerable groups of people in negative ways, and these disparate impacts are difficult to remedy under the law. In large part, this is due to the ruling in the case Alexander v. Sandoval, which took away the standing of an individual to bring a claim in state court bestowed by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. An Act to create access to justice would restore the right of an individual in Massachusetts to seek civil rights protections in Massachusetts courts against . . . Read More

2021-05-12T14:46:10-04:00May 10th, 2021|Other Topics|
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