Volume 3, Issue 3 | November 1, 2020
Hello everyone,

Now is the time to stay vigilant. Help stop the spread of COVID-19. Let's do our part as individuals to keep our community healthy and safe. Please follow the guidelines. Remember to social distance and to use a mask when leaving your homes.

We continue to work remotely and our office is fully operational. Questions? Concerns? Please reach out through the main office number, 617-722-2320, or my email, joan.meschino@mahouse.gov. Stay healthy and safe!

Very truly yours, Joan Meschino
Small Business Grants Available Thru Partnerships for Recovery Plan
Last Friday, the Baker Admin announced a $774 million plan to stabilize and grow the Massachusetts economy, including:
  • Puts $115 million to work right away for small businesses and workforce training, including more than $25 million to get people back to work;
  • Directs $323 million in existing capital programs as part of the response to continue doing more of what works;
  • Files for $122 million through the revised H.2 budget to supplement existing funding in support of struggling Main Street businesses and skill building for residents;
  • Steers $43 million in Federal, trust and other state funding toward our most critical needs; and
  • Commits $171 million to keep people safely housed during the pandemic.

The plan includes direct support for small businesses and Main Streets. The Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC) is administering the Small Business Grants program, with $50.8 million available beginning as of last week. Grant awards range between $25,000 – $75,000, and eligibility criteria and applications are available here. The program will be open for the next two weeks, with applications closing on 11/12/20 at 12:00pm.
RMV Senior Hours Extended Through the End of the Year
The RMV is extending designated Wednesday appointment hours for customers 75 years of age or older through November and December. This option is now offered at the following seventeen (17) locations: Brockton, Danvers, Fall River, Greenfield, Lawrence, Leominster, Martha’s Vineyard,
Nantucket, New Bedford, North Adams, Pittsfield, Plymouth, Revere, South Yarmouth, Springfield, Watertown and Worcester.

Senior hours are by appointment only. Below are the options for seniors to renew by appointment:
  • If you are a AAA member, you may make a reservation now to renew your driver’s license/ID at a AAA location. Visit aaa.com/appointments to schedule your visit.
  • If you are not a AAA member, visit Mass.Gov/RMV to make a reservation to renew at an RMV Service Center. Select the Seniors License Renewal option on the Make/Cancel a Reservation transaction.
  • Email the RMV for assistance to renew at MassDOTRMVSeniors@dot.state.ma.us email address.
  • Call the RMV at 857-368-8005.
Have a Safe Halloween!
Please remember to keep yourself and your loved ones safe this Halloween! On top of dressing up in fun costumes, make sure to wear a cloth mask or face covering (not replaceable by a Halloween mask) and maintain social distancing. If you're planning on going out trick-or-treating, make sure to stay outside and follow all public health guidelines.
Committee on Veterans' and Federal Affairs Hearing
On October 22, the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs convened to consider S2916 An Act relative to establishing the Massachusetts Medal of Fidelity.  As a Committee member, I was pleased to join Major General Keefe and Veteran’s Affairs Secretary Poppe to speak in support of the bill. 

The Medal would be presented to the next-of-kin of a Massachusetts service member who dies as the result of combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder or a service-connected disease, conditions, or injuries that is related to either exposure to harmful toxins, herbicides, agents, or materials. The Medal is intended to complement the Medal of Liberty, which is presented to the families of Massachusetts veterans who die of combat-related physical injuries. 

The bill would create a commission comprised of the Adjutant General of the Massachusetts National Guard and two field grade officers to award recommendations to the Governor. The creation of the Medal is meant to recognize the enormous toll that injuries and illness can take on service members, as well as their families and loved ones. 
Lost Wages Assistance Program Benefits Expanded to 17,000 Low-Income Residents
Legislature Passes Legislation to Extend Unemployment...

The legislation authorizes an increase to unemployment compensation for every recipient in Massachusetts not receiving at least $100 in weekly benefits. This enhancement would apply retroactively to approximately 17,000 recipients.

Read more
Save Our Transit! Submit Comments to the FMCB Before Their November 9th Meeting
We have a brief window of time to educate the MBTA about how valuable public transit is to our community. Please share why the Hingham/Hull ferry and the Greenbush commuter rail is important to you and the community.

Send an email to the MBTA's General Manager at publiccomment@dot.state.ma.us and the Secretary of Transportation and the Governor at constituent.services@state.ma.us. Please copy Representative Meschino at Joan.Meschino@MAHouse.gov and Senator O’Connor at Patrick.O'Connor@MASenate.gov on your email.

Record a voicemail in support of public transit services. Simply call 857-368-1655 and record a brief message, 3-minute max, by 10:00 AM on Monday, November 9th before the FMCB's meeting starts at 11:00 AM.

You can visit the FMCB website to learn more about the meeting, find other ways to comment, and watch the livestream when the link becomes available.

To learn more and to find more ways to get involved, check out our dedicated website page and sign up for regular alerts.
Veterans Day Virtual Career Fair
On Tuesday, November 10th from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, MassHIRE is hosting a Statewide Virtual Job Fair. Veterans are invited from 9:00 am to 10:00 am and both veterans and the general public can attend after 10:00 am. Register here.
2050 Roadmap Highlighted at NEWIEE Panel
On Wednesday, I participated on a women legislator panel hosted by the New England Women In Energy and the Environment (NEWIEE) on energy trends including net-zero carbon emissions and environmental justice. Thank you to this incredible group of women for an interesting and timely discussion.
Weekly Office Hours - Virtual

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

  • Monday, November 2, 4-5 PM
  • Monday, November 9, 4-5 PM
  • Monday, November 16, 4-5 PM
  • Monday, November 30, 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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