Volume 3, Issue 11 | February 26, 2021
Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I hope this finds you all healthy and safe. Thank you to all of you who have reached out with encouraging notes to support our advocacy to urge the state to resume vaccinations through our local boards of health. As the manufacturing process scales up to needed levels, more vaccine will become available and access will generally improve. We continue to work closely with our local officials to bring the vaccine to our communities residents.

As always, constituent services are our top priority. We continue to work remotely and our office is fully functioning. Please contact us if we can be of assistance.

Very truly yours, Joan Meschino
COVID-19 Vaccination Updates
The vaccine rollout is ongoing. As of February 21st, Massachusetts has administered over 1,400,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

If you are eligible for the vaccine, visit www.mass.gov/COVIDVaccine to schedule an appointment. You can also call 211 to register by phone.

Be sure to check with your local town, too. Cohasset will be offering second doses to those who received a first dose through the town.

Follow this this link to the COVID-19 vaccine map to find the closest vaccination centers and schedule an appointment.
Massachusetts Plans for Continued Reopening
Massachusetts will advance to Step 2 of Phase III of the state’s reopening plan on Monday, March 1st, and plans to transition to Step 1 of Phase IV on Monday, March 22nd. Public health metrics continue to trend in a positive direction, including drops in average daily COVID cases and hospitalizations, and vaccination rates continue to increase. Massachusetts is taking steps to continue to reopen the economy.
Beginning March 1st:
  • Indoor performance venues such as concert halls, theaters, and other indoor performance spaces will be allowed to reopen at 50% capacity with no more than 500 persons
  • Indoor recreational activities with greater potential for contact (laser tag, roller skating, trampolines, obstacle courses) will be allowed to reopen at 50% capacity
  • Capacity limits across all sectors with capacity limits will be raised to 50% and exclude employees
  • Restaurants will no longer have a percent capacity limit and will be permitted to host musical performances; six-foot social distancing, limits of six people per table, and 90-minute limits remain in place

Residents must continue to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and are encouraged to avoid contact outside of their immediate households. The Travel Advisory and other public health orders remain in effect. Read more about the announcement here.
Libraries Awarded Grants for Remote and Virtual Programming
The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) awarded $54,900 in 20 grants to libraries across the Commonwealth through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding. These grants are designed to help the recipients with remote and virtual programming during the Coronavirus Pandemic. This is the second round of grants supporting remote and virtual programming, following the 27 grants totaling $72,461 awarded in July, 2020.

For a comprehensive list of grant recipients, click here.
Renew Expired RMV Inspection Stickers!
Over 584,000 MA vehicles have an expired inspection sticker. The Massachusetts Vehicle Check Program is essential to both public roadway safety and environmental safety. Many of the 1,800 local inspection stations are local small businesses that are open for business and conducting inspections in accordance with state public health guidelines and safety protocols. Customers are encouraged to visit the ​Inspection Station Locator​ to find a location near them and plan a trip to update the sticker.
Final Green Recovery Task Force Meeting
On February 17th, the Green Recovery Task Force hosted its 22nd and final listening session featuring an informative conversation on green financing and the economic components of accelerating our deployment of clean energy.

Dave Robba of Ceres and Alex Liftman, the Global Environmental Executive for Bank of America, spoke with members of the 2019-2020 and 2021-2022 House Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy about the many considerations that go into developing and financing clean energy initiatives and projects. The 2050 Roadmap bill passed by the Legislature is not just an environmental bill: it’s also an economic bill that sets into motion local and regional infrastructure planning for the next 30 years.

I look forward to continuing the work to accelerate our green recovery with the new, Chair Jeff Roy, and a thoughtful and talented group of new committee members. I also look forward to continuing to work with all my colleagues in the House on efforts to grow, strengthen, and expand a clean energy economy that moves us toward our bold climate goals.
Tufts University Environmental Lecture
On February 18th, 2021, I was a featured speaker for Tufts University’s Hoch Cunningham Environmental Lecture Series. I presented on the 2050 Roadmap Bill and the process of advancing it from concept to enactment. I discussed where the idea for the bill came from and how the bill-writing process was conducted, as well as the legislative process for bills generally, specifying the events required for a bill to eventually become codified into law.
Bill Filing Period Concludes
The period for timely filed bills concluded last Friday at 5 PM. After the dust settled, over 6,000 bills were filed between the House and the Senate, 33 of which were mine. My top three priority bills for the 192nd session are:

HD.1968 - An Act to create access to justice
This civil rights legislation, jointly filed with Rep. Madaro, restores the right of an individual to bring a claim in state court when a governmental policy creates unintentional discrimination against individuals in a protected group of people – “disparate impact.” This bill provides injunctive and equitable relief including awards for damages and attorney’s fees. The bill creates access to justice for numerous constituencies, including environmental justice, language access, healthcare, and education, and promotes overall social justice within Massachusetts.

HD.1440 - An Act relative to a streaming entertainment operator’s use of the public rights-of-way
This bill, supported by MassAccess, ensures the sustainability of local cable channels and community media centers by assessing a fee on streaming services for the use of the municipal public rights-of way, the revenue of which is returned as local aid. By assessing streaming services in the same way as cable providers for the use of public infrastructure, this bill maintains consistent and secure revenue to support the local public access programming that our local communities value.

HD.1444 - An Act establishing a community college campus hunger pilot program
This refiled bill establishes a grant program within the Department of Higher Education to address food insecurity on community college campuses. The program would invest in projects such as meal cards, meal plans, meal vouchers, and other campus-designed initiatives to support community college students in attaining their degrees. Supported by the Mass Association of Community Colleges, the bill made it to HW&M last session.

In the upcoming weeks, I will highlight the other bills I am sponsoring this session. Residents can visit my profile page on the MA Legislature website to learn about my bills, committee assignments, and the district description. Visit Rep. Meschino Profile.
Hull Receives CARES Act Reimbursement Through Plymouth County
This morning, I joined Hull Select Board Member Greg Grey and Hull Town officials when the Plymouth County Commissioners and Treasurer presented $283,379.66 in CARES reimbursement money to the Town of Hull.

Plymouth County's support to keep our local municipal government operational is greatly appreciated.
Monthly Newsletter Beginning March
Thank you to all the subscribers who have sent us notes throughout the pandemic complementing the newsletter. We are glad to provide important public health updates. We are delighted by the response.

As the new legislative session gets underway, we are returning to a monthly newsletter schedule. We encourage subscribers to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for real-time updates.

We will absolutely continue to send out alerts and special notices as needed.

Be on the lookout for our next newsletter during the last week of March!
Announcing Virtual Office Hours

We continue to hold office hours via Zoom! Please call the office at 617-722-2320 or email to reserve a time slot in the new year:

  • Monday, March 1, 4-5 PM
  • Monday, March 8, 4-5 PM
  • Monday, March 15, 4-5 PM
  • Monday, March 22, 4-5 PM
  • Monday, March 29, 4-5 PM

To learn more about our constituent services, please visit our website.
Important Links and Resources

  • HandholdMA.org website for parents of school-aged children in Massachusetts concerned about their child's mental health.

  • Massachusetts residents can seek COVID-19 testing through the Stop the Spread Initiative which provides free testing in high-priority locations.

  • DESE's report on the number of positive COVID-19 cases in schools.

  • SafeLink 24/7 Crisis Hotline for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault: 877-785-2020.

Stay Informed
Visit your town websites to learn the most recent information, local services, and guidance from our municipal officials.

State Resources

Federal Resources
Constituent Questions | 617-722-2320 | Office Contact Information
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