Volume 3, Issue 14 | May 28, 2021
Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I hope this finds you all healthy and safe. Below are COVID-19 updates and resources, legislative updates from Beacon Hill, and selected news from the district.

Please join me this weekend in taking a moment to recognize the sacrifice of our fallen men and women of the Armed Services. The Memorial Day Holiday allows each of us as Americans, and citizens of the Commonwealth, to reflect and honor those who have given their lives for the freedoms we enjoy.

Very truly yours, Joan Meschino
May COVID-19 Updates from Baker Administration
The Baker Administration announced several shifts in reopening timelines and vaccination efforts. These include:

  • On May 24, the Administration expanded the state’s Homebound Vaccination Program to support in-home vaccinations for all eligible residents who have difficulty leaving home to travel to a vaccine site. Learn more here.
  • As of May 25, the preregistration form at vaccinesignup.mass.gov is closed to new submissions. All individuals remaining in the system will be contacted and provided an opportunity to book appointments before the system closes completely on May 31. The Commonwealth’s COVID-19 Vaccine Finder at VaxFinder.mass.gov is open and available to the public. 
  • Effective May 29, all remaining industry COVID-19 restrictions and capacity limits will be removed. The gathering limit will also no longer apply. The Commonwealth's face covering order will be rescinded on May 29, and it will be replaced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance for fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people.
  • The current State of Emergency for Massachusetts will end on June 15.

The Governor's Press Release related to the updated reopening timeline and guidance can be found here. Additional information regarding the preregistration system and expansion of the Homebound Vaccination Program can be found here.
Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine
  • The Administration has expanded the homebound vaccination program. It provides in-home vaccinations to Massachusetts residents who are unable to leave their homes to receive COVID-19 vaccinations. For more information, including who is eligible and how to schedule appointments, visit this link.

  • Follow this this link to the COVID-19 vaccine finder to locate vaccination centers and schedule an appointment
Health Connector Cost-Savings Calculator
The American Rescue Plan delivers new savings for hundreds of thousands of Massachusetts residents through the Health Connector to lower the cost of health insurance.

The Health Connector recently launched a new cost-savings calculator that will allow individuals to quickly get an estimate of the amount of financial help they may be eligible for through the Health Connector based on basic information. This means a person does not have to complete an entire application only to find out they may not be eligible for financial help. The calculator can be found at this link. To find out more about the Health Connector, visit this link.
MBTA Schedule Update

The new schedules for MBTA ferry services, including the resumption of direct Boston service from Charlestown and Hingham, the resumption of weekend Hingham/Hull ferry service, and initial service to Logan Airport via the Hingham/Hull line are now in effect. More information can be found here.

Upcoming Summer 2021 Schedule

On May 24, officials announced that the MBTA will boost frequency on its subway system and more than two dozen bus routes effective June 20. The summer schedule will run Red, Orange and Blue Line trains at close to the same frequency they did in the winter prior to mid-December service cuts, and more Green Line trolleys on the C, D and E branches will be deployed.
REAL ID Compliance Update
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has extended the REAL ID full enforcement date from October 1, 2021, to May 3, 2023, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Beginning May 3, 2023, every air traveler 18 years of age and older will need a REAL ID compliant driver’s license or identification card, or another TSA-acceptable form of identification, for domestic air travel and to enter certain federal facilities. TSA publishes a list of its acceptable identification documents on its website.

For more information on the new Massachusetts ID Requirements click here.
Updated Work Search Requirements for UI Claimants
Work search requirements will be reinstated for all regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) claimants effective the week of June 15, 2021. This requirement applies to UI claimants receiving Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and those on Extended Benefits (EB). Massachusetts temporarily suspended these work-search requirements in March 2020, following updated federal guidance at the outset of the pandemic. Read more about the work search reinstatement here.
Support Local Businesses
National Tourism week was May 2nd- May 8th. As public health metrics continue to improve, it is important to remember to support local businesses and local tourism. Next time you go shopping, think about how you can support small and local businesses in Massachusetts!

Visit My Local MA for more information.
Representative Meschino, Bill Co-Sponsors, and Advocates Hold Legislative Briefing
On May 7, Representative Meschino held a briefing alongside Representative Madaro, Senator DiDomenico, and advocates for their bill, An Act to create justice. This legislation empowers folks who are discriminated against to take legal action in defense of their civil rights, and it is an extension of fights for equity and environmental justice. You can find the press release for more information on the briefing and bill here.
Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy Holds Oversight Hearing
As a Committee Member, Representative Meschino participated in the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy's (TUE) Oversight Hearing on May 12 to hearing testimony on proposed amendments by the Department of Energy Resources to the Class I and Class II RPS regulations. For more information on this legislation, visit this link.
Upcoming Redistricting Hearing
On Tuesday, June 8 at 12 PM the Special Joint Committee on Redistricting will hold a virtual hearing for residents of the 8th Congressional District (CD8). This hearing provides an opportunity for area residents to offer their opinions on local and community interests that the Committee should consider on the division of the Commonwealth into 9 Congressional Districts, 40 Senatorial Districts, 160 Representative Districts, and 8 Councillor Districts.

To provide live testimony during the hearing please complete the Sign Up Form. To submit written testimony, please use the Contact the Committee form on the Special Joint Committee on Redistricting website. The livestream of this hearing can be accessed under the Hearings & Events section of the legislature's website.
Representative Meschino Hosts Senator Markey in Hull
On May 4th, Senator Ed Markey joined State Representative Meschino and State Senator O'Connor for a visit to Hull to discuss investment in clean energy infrastructure and talk about Senator Markey's Complete Streets bill and supports for local small businesses.  We were joined by Hull elected officials and community members who offered their insights, experience, and expertise.
Metro Beaches Commission holds Hearing on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The Metropolitan Beaches Commission held a hearing on May 6th on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Many ideas to increase the accessibility of our beaches and make them more welcoming to all were shared. I particularly want to thank to Dr. Michael Myers of Hull and Niki Sanders, Chair, Scituate's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee along with other local community members for their insightful testimony.
Supporting Our Seniors
Representative Meschino attended two ribbon cutting ceremonies this month celebrating our communities dedication to our seniors. The new Scituate Senior Center is a welcoming space that will provide the basis for even more programing and services and will attract residents of all generations. A true community center! I encourage all residents to stop by for a visit.

In Cohasset, the new addition to the Housing Authority, Kate's House, which is dedicated in memory of Kate Luna for her commitment to public housing, provides sorely needed public housing for developmentally disabled adults in our community. Both projects exemplify a deep commitment to welcoming and serving seniors in our community.
Mental Health Awareness Month
May was Mental Health Awareness Month. If you are struggling with your mental health after 14 months of a global pandemic, you are not alone! Many free resources exist to assist folks in getting the help that they need.

This graphic offers a few resources for mental health support. Visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness for more resources and information.
Announcing Virtual Office Hours

Constituent services are our top priority. My Legislative Aides and I continue to work remotely for the time-being. We will assess the feasibility of resuming in-person meetings and office hours month to month.

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

  • Monday, June 7, 4-5 PM
  • Monday, June 14, 4-5 PM
  • Monday, June 21, 4-5 PM
  • Monday, June 28, 4-5 PM

To learn more about our constituent services, please visit our website.
Important Links and Resources
  • Schedule a COVID-19 Vaccination appointment using the Vaccine Finder

  • Finding healthy foods tool

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

  • 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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