Volume 4, Issue 11 | November 25, 2022
Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I hope this newsletter finds you and your loved ones healthy and well after Veterans Day celebrations and the Thanksgiving holiday. This newsletter includes resources for the MA Health Connector's open enrollment period, information about the recent economic development bill, highlights from a selection of recent events and announcements relevant to the district, and a brief public health section.

As always, serving our constituents is our top priority. In December, I will host four in-person office hours. If you cannot attend scheduled office hours, you are welcome to contact my staff to schedule a meeting.

Lastly, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, thank you for your support in this most recent election, and I look forward to continuing to represent the 3rd Plymouth District.

Very truly yours, Joan
MA HealthConnector Open Enrollment Now Live
The open enrollment period for Massachusetts Health Connector, the Bay State’s affordable health insurance marketplace, began this month. Remember to update your income information on your applications, as this may be why you see an increase in your monthly premium amount.

In-person assistance is available at over 35 Navigator locations across the state, and tools are available to help individuals understand how much financial help they may be eligible for. Learn more about eligibility and deadlines at MAhealthconnector.org, and please do not hesitate to reach out to my office with any questions.
MassDEP Announces 2022 Sustainable Materials Grants
On November 15th, in honor of America Recycles Day, MassDEP announced $4.2 million in grant funding to 270 municipalities and regional solid waste districts across the Commonwealth.

The grants, made available through the Sustainable Materials Recovery Program (SMRP), will help communities maximize their recycling, composting, and waste reduction programs. Grants were separately awarded to Cohasset, Hingham, Hull, and Scituate for a combined total of $46,080. I look forward to the continued green investment and ongoing sustainable action of our towns.
Economic Development Bill Signed by Governor
As the 192nd legislative session comes to a close, the legislature passed a highly-anticipated economic development bill, which was signed into law on November 10th by Governor Baker.

H.5374, An Act relating to economic growth and relief for the Commonwealth, taps into last year’s budget surplus and includes new investments across all sectors of our economy. This bill provides support to residents and businesses in the Commonwealth. Funds were also directly earmarked for senior centers and food pantries in our towns.

For more information on the legislation, view my office's press release here.
Veterans Day Celebrations Honor Local Residents
This Veterans Day, I attended ceremonies for our Hingham, Hull, and Cohasset citizens who have served in our nation’s armed forces. Thank you for your service and your sacrifice for the United States of America.
Left: Representative Meschino joins Hingham's Veteran Honoree.

Right: Hull citizens attend this year's Veterans Day ceremony.
Representative Meschino Interviewed by NBC Boston about DCF Removals
This month, I was interviewed by NBC Boston about my bill requiring a judge's review during hours when courthouses are closed in order to allow a child's removal from a home by the Massachusetts Department of Children & Families (DCF). This key oversight would ensure that sound decisions are made at critical moments and that the well-being of each child remains central in these decision-making processes. Read more in the NBC Boston article here.
Representative Meschino on NBC Boston discussing her bill regarding DCF removals.
Students from Saint Paul School Graduate from D.A.R.E. Program
6th graders at Saint Paul School in Hingham graduated from the D.A.R.E. program last week on November 17th. Congratulations to the students of St. Paul’s for completing the program and your demonstrated commitment to drug prevention and awareness!

Thank you to D.A.R.E. Officer Ramsey of the Hingham Police Department.
Representative Meschino (left) gives a congratulatory message to 6th graders at Saint Paul School.
Rep. Meschino Participates in the South Shore Chamber's Health and Human Services Leadership Panel
Health and human services (HHS) available on the South Shore are crucial to supporting our citizens. Last week, I took part in a leadership panel hosted by South Shore Bank, discussing challenges and opportunities facing HHS providers. I look forward to continue to work with leaders in our community to strengthen services and resources.
Representative Meschino engages with colleagues to discuss ways to strengthen health and human services.
Announcing Office Hours

Constituent services are our top priority. We continue to work remotely on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays. On Wednesdays and Thursdays, a staff member will be present in the State House. On Mondays, I host in-person office hours in the district.

If you would like to reserve a time slot for virtual office hours or outside of the times listed, please call the office at 617-722-2320 or email my Legislative Aide.

  • Monday, December 5, 10:00 am - 11:00 am, Linden Ponds, for Linden Ponds Residents
  • Monday, December 5, 4:00 am - 5:00 pm, Hingham Public Library, 66 Leavitt St, Hingham
  • Monday, December 12, 9:00 am - 10:30 am, Willcutt Commons, 91 Sohier St, Cohasset
  • Monday, December 19, 10:00 am - 11:00 am, Hull Council on Aging, 197A Samoset Ave, Hull

To learn more about our constituent services, please visit our website.
CDC Authorizes Updated Bivalent COVID-19 Booster Shot
The CDC has now endorsed the use of booster shots that are specifically reformulated to combat the two most prevalent Omicron subvariants. The CDC recommends that everyone 12 and older who has not received a vaccine within the past 2 months should get the updated booster. However, people who have recently had a COVID infection may consider delaying the booster by 3 months from symptom onset or positive test (if the infection was asymptomatic) according to the CDC’s vaccine advisers.

Updated boosters for kids younger than 12 will likely be made available later this fall. The push for the updated boosters comes at a good time, as health officials are warning that another spike in COVID-19 transmission is likely this fall as people head back indoors once again. The updated boosters are currently available in Massachusetts.
Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine & Booster
Here are the steps to find a convenient location to get a COVID-19 vaccine and booster:

  1. Visit the VaxFinder tool at vaxfinder.mass.gov for a full list of locations. Residents are able to narrow results to search for locations that are offering vaccines and boosters, with appointments available now for booking.
  2. For individuals who are unable to use VaxFinder, or have difficulty accessing the internet, the COVID-19 Vaccine Resource Line (Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 6:00 PM, Saturday and Sunday 9 AM-2 PM) is available by calling 2-1-1 and following the prompts for assistance. The COVID-19 Vaccine Resource Line is available in English and Spanish. Translators are available in nearly 100 other languages.
  3. Parents who prefer to have their adolescent vaccinated by a primary care provider should call their provider’s office directly.

Vaccines are widely available in Massachusetts. Getting vaccinated is the most important thing people can do to protect themselves, their families, and the community.

The COVID-19 booster is safe, effective, and free. People do not need an ID or health insurance to get a booster shot and do not need to show a vaccine card when getting a booster. Additional information on the COVID-19 booster, including FAQs, can be found at mass.gov/COVID19booster.
General Resources

COVID-19 Vaccines

COVID-19 Tests, Cases & Treatment

Town-Specific Information on COVID-19
Basic Needs
  • Tool to find healthy foods
  • Free outdoor Wi-Fi map through the public libraries
  • Eviction Diversion Initiative website with resources for tenants, landlords, and others needing housing assistance
  • SafeLink 24/7 Crisis Hotline for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault: 877-785-2020
  • Mental Health Resources:
  • MassSupport for free mental health support resources
  • HandholdMA.org for parents of school-aged children in Massachusetts concerned about their child's mental health
  • 24-hour Parental Stress Line at 1.800.632.8188, offered through Parents Helping Parents
  • Utilities:
  • The AGO website has a utility FAQ page and consumer flyers with details about available programs to manage bills and prevent shutoff
  • Boating Safety/Vessel Examination:
  • Contact United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Division 12 Commander Matthias Mulvey
Constituent Questions | 617-722-2320 | Office Contact Information
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