Hingham’s Leavitt Sutton and Maguire-Eisen Recognized as Commonwealth Heroines by Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators

(BOSTON) - On Wednesday, Hingham residents Katie Leavitt Sutton and Maryellen Maguire-Eisen received recognition from the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators during the Caucus’s annual Commonwealth Heroine Awards celebration.  Sutton was nominated to receive this recognition by State Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) for the work she does to foster community and champion anti-racism in Hingham and beyond, and Maguire-Eisen was nominated by State Senator Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth) for her extensive work to encourage sun safety and skin cancer prevention. Commonwealth Heroines are women who have been chosen by their legislators for their extraordinary acts of service. The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women says that the women who are recognized “perform unheralded acts daily that make our homes, neighborhoods, cities and towns better places to live.”  As Chair of the Hingham Unity Council, a non-partisan group that seeks to bridge differences and build a culture of dignity and . . . Read More

2022-06-27T11:56:06-04:00June 24th, 2022|Other Topics|

Representative Meschino Joins MA Hunger-Free Campus Coalition Press Conference

(BOSTON) – This week, Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) joined the Massachusetts Hunger Free Campus Coalition, Senator Harriette Chandler (D-Worcester), Senator Joan Lovely (D-Salem), Representative Andy Vargas (D-Haverhill), and Representative Mindy Domb (D-Amherst) for a press conference in support of legislation (H.1368/S.2811) that will establish a hunger-free campus program.  The bill would create an Office of Capacity Building Services within the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education to offer funding, technical assistance, and grant opportunities to campuses that hope to address food insecurity. The legislation will also incentivize campuses to leverage existing resources and maximize enrollment in federal nutrition programs. Additionally, the bill will push campuses to create student-led food insecurity task forces designed to explore anti-hunger initiatives that can be considered for grant funding. Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) supports this bill as a logical next step following her successful advocacy for legislation she filed with Senator Lovely, An Act establishing . . . Read More

2022-06-03T15:06:49-04:00June 3rd, 2022|Other Topics, Public Health|

Spurred by Representative Meschino’s Advocacy, Expanded Relief to Unemployment Claimants Announced

(BOSTON) - On Thursday, April 14, expanded relief to unemployment claimants with overpayment obligations was announced.  These changes are in large part due to the efforts of Representative Meschino, who filed An Act relative to waivers for non-fault overpayments (H4202) in the fall of 2021. The legislation, which recently received an extension order from the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development, aims to streamline and enhance the standards that determine whether the collection of overpaid state and federal unemployment benefits accrued in 2020 and 2021 will be waived.  After the legislation was filed in September, the bill received substantial support during an October hearing. In December, the legislature passed the ARPA spending bill (H4269), which called for an overpayment waiver public awareness campaign. A few months later, in February of 2022, a supplementary budget (H4430) was passed that contained language funding the public awareness campaign and further requiring . . . Read More

2022-04-25T16:25:13-04:00April 25th, 2022|Other Topics|

Representative Joan Meschino Joins Colleagues to Welcome Ireland Education Minister Norma Foley, Celebrates Launch of South Shore Irish Heritage Trail Website

(BOSTON) - On St. Patrick’s Day, Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) joined her colleagues to welcome Ireland’s Minister for Education Norma Foley to the House of Representatives, and she celebrated the launch of the South Shore Irish Heritage Trail website. During a speech given to the House of Representatives on Thursday, Minister Foley commented on the characterization of this year’s celebration of St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland, sharing that the holiday is marked by feelings of unity and solidarity in response to losses from the pandemic and the war in Ukraine.  Minister Foley also emphasized the unique and robust connection between Massachusetts and Ireland, citing Ireland’s economic ties to the Commonwealth. Minister Foley’s remarks lend weight to the website launch of The South Shore Irish Heritage Trail, which will celebrate the cultural connections between the Commonwealth and Ireland when it opens in May.   For years, the Scituate/West Cork Sister City . . . Read More

2022-03-17T17:04:21-04:00March 17th, 2022|Other Topics|

Hingham’s Emmanuel Oppong Recognized for Black Excellence by Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus

(BOSTON) - On the last day of Black History Month, Hingham resident Emmanuel (Manny) Oppong received recognition from the Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus during the Caucus’ 2022 Black Excellence on the Hill event.  Mr. Oppong was nominated to receive this recognition by State Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) for his commitment and dedication to bettering the Commonwealth, both within Hingham and on a larger scale. As a Board Member and Steering Committee Member on the Hingham Unity Council (HUC), Mr. Oppong is an active and impactful voice on the council's leadership team. He has moderated several "community talk" events hosted by the Council on race and issues impacting the LGBTQ+ community, navigating complex topics with grace and an eye toward inclusion.  Through his involvement in these events and the council, he continues to elevate marginalized voices in the local community and foster critical dialogue among those with different perspectives. In . . . Read More

2022-02-28T19:58:42-05:00February 28th, 2022|Other Topics|

Representative Joan Meschino Awarded Legislator of the Year by MassAccess

(BOSTON) - On January 26, 2022 at its Annual Meeting, MassAccess presented Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) with the organization's Legislator of the Year award for her work to support community media centers.  During the virtual meeting, Executive Director of Winchester Community Access and Media, David Gauthier introduced Representative Meschino and presented her with the award. The award recognizes Representative Meschino’s advocacy for community media centers, and in particular her efforts to pass H.130, An Act relative to a streaming entertainment operator’s use of the public rights-of-way.  The legislation seeks to align the successful franchise fee system with the current era of digital streaming, modernizing the obligations to entertainment providers who are using public rights of way (telephone poles, conduits, sidewalks, etc.) to deliver their product.  Following the model of cable franchises, the bill would impose a 5% fee on digital streaming providers which are using public rights of way . . . Read More

2022-02-02T15:19:25-05:00February 2nd, 2022|Other Topics|

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|

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|

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|
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