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 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|

Massachusetts Legislature Passes Distracted Driving Legislation

(BOSTON) – This week, Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) joined her colleagues in the Legislature to enact legislation to ban drivers from using hand-held electronic devices while operating a vehicle unless the device is in hands-free mode. “This measure will increase roadway safety in Massachusetts,” said Representative Meschino. “Distracted driving endangers other drivers, cyclists and pedestrians; I am proud that the House took action on this issue.” The bill defines “hands-free” as a device mode that engages in voice communication with and receiving audio without touching, holding or otherwise manually manipulating a mobile electronic device. Law enforcement officials will issue warnings to drivers for first offenses of the new law until March 31, 2020.   Additionally, this legislation improves transparency in public safety by granting expanded access to traffic stop data.  It has been fifteen years since the last public report on traffic stop data; under this bill the state will be required . . . Read More

2020-08-29T10:33:31-04:00November 22nd, 2019|Other Topics, Public Health|

Massachusetts House Introduces Child Wellness Initiative

(BOSTON) – Last week, Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) and her colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives voted unanimously to pass legislation supporting the health and wellness of children across the Commonwealth. This bill is one part of a multi-tiered initiative to address the specific needs of children and adolescents in an integrated fashion.  An Act Relative to Children’s Health and Wellness is part of the comprehensive, session-long House Children’s Wellness Initiative, which aims to break down silos of service to better address the complex health and wellness needs specific to the Commonwealth’s 1.4 million children. The effort seeks to make access to healthcare easier for vulnerable populations, eliminate barriers to care and formulate data-driven recommendations to improve service delivery and system coordination. The initiative supports a holistic approach that provides services early and often – ensuring that children grow up to be healthier, happier and more productive adults.  The . . . Read More

2020-08-29T10:34:49-04:00August 9th, 2019|Public Health|

House Passes Distracted Driving Legislation

BOSTON - May 17, 2019 - State Representative Joan Meschino joined her colleagues in the House of Representatives to pass legislation banning drivers from using hand-held electronic devices in vehicles unless the device is in hands-free mode. “Distracted driving is a factor in too many dangerous and fatal motor vehicle accidents, and the House is proud to take this step to move this policy forward for Massachusetts – making our roads safer and protecting our drivers, passengers and pedestrians,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop). “I want to thank Chair Straus for his diligence and hard work, and Leader Wagner, Chair Michlewitz, members of the Black and Latino Caucus, and my colleagues in the House who were instrumental to this process.” “This measure will increase roadway safety in Massachusetts,” said Representative Meschino. “Distracted driving endangers other drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians; I am proud that the House took action on . . . Read More

2020-08-29T10:36:08-04:00May 24th, 2019|Public Health|

Age to Purchase Tobacco to be Increased to 21 Across Massachusetts

(BOSTON) – Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) joined her colleagues in voting to enact An Act protecting youth from the health risks of tobacco and nicotine addiction. The new law raises the legal age to purchase tobacco statewide from 18 to 21 years of age, and further regulates vaping and the use of e-cigarettes. “This legislation has the potential to promote public health across the Commonwealth,” said Representative Meschino. “In our communities as well as statewide, we have seen increased rates of tobacco use among our youth and young adults due to the growing popularity of vaping devices. This new law takes steps necessary to help keep children healthy.” In addition to raising the age to purchase tobacco, the new law updates the Massachusetts’ Smoke-Free Workplace Law to include e-cigarettes and vapes, thereby ensuring that the use of all tobacco and vapor products is prohibited in establishments where the use of traditional . . . Read More

2020-08-29T10:38:29-04:00August 27th, 2018|Public Health|

CARE Act Signed Into Law

(BOSTON)- On August 9, 2018, An Act for prevention and access to appropriate care and treatment of addiction, was signed into law. The CARE Act includes initiatives to promote behavioral health and prevent substance use disorders, strengthen the behavioral health system, and enhance options for substance use treatment and recovery across the Commonwealth. The CARE Act promotes substance misuse prevention through the creation of a Community-Based Behavioral Health Promotion and Prevention Trust Fund to support evidence-based and evidence-informed programs for children and young adults. The CARE Act expands access to non-opioid treatment options for pain management, and looks to strengthen consumer protection laws. The CARE Act will bolster the behavioral health system by expanding access to medication-assisted treatment, and updating licensing authority for substance use treatment facilities, ensuring that patients are getting quality care. The CARE Act establishes a state-wide standing order for Naloxone, also known as Narcan, allowing anyone to . . . Read More

2020-08-29T10:38:53-04:00August 27th, 2018|Public Health|
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