I hope this update finds you all well! With summer coming to an end, I hope you and your loved ones have been able to get outside and enjoy the weather and festivities. I want to provide you all with another update of some of the actions taken by my colleagues and myself at the state level as I continue to work on your behalf.
Fall Community Office Hours
I am happy to announce that Fall community office hours will be held, Friday, September 15 and Friday, October 27. There will be two sessions on each of the dates. The first will take place at 10 AM at the Woburn Public Library in the program room, the second will be at the Reading Public Library at 11:30 AM. The October 27 office hours will take place from 10 AM to 11:00 AM at Woburn Senior Center, and Empower at 190 Haven Street, Reading from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM.
During these times, myself, or a member of my staff, will be available to speak with constituents on a first-come, first-serve basis and voice any questions or concerns they may have. I welcome Reading and Woburn residents to visit during our designated hours if they have any concerns or queries related to legislative matters and government services. It’s always our pleasure to offer help and to serve the community in any way I can. If constituents are unable to attend any of these sessions, they can contact my office by reaching out to Legislative Aide/District Coordinator, Zack Dhaliwal, directly at Zack.Dhaliwal@mahouse.gov or by calling (617) 722-2080.
Unrestricted Aid and Education (Chapter 70) Funding
Earlier this month, the Governor signed the FY24 budget. After strong advocacy in the House my colleagues and I passed the budget back in May. Funded at $55.9 billion, the budget continues my strong commitment to cities and towns, and included significant investments in health care, education, housing, and workforce development, among other priorities. This budget responds to the needs of residents and makes targeted investments to support families in the Commonwealth.
WOBURN Chapter 70: $13.590 million
Unrestricted Aid: $7.157 million
READING Chapter 70: $11.394 million
Unrestricted Aid: $3.875 million
I was also happy to announce further funding for Woburn and Reading in Fiscal Year 2024.
WOBURN – $100,000 for downtown improvements to the City of Woburn
– $175,000 to the Woburn Youth Hockey Association for improvements to the Ned O’Brien Ice Rink
– $100,000 to Social Capital Inc. for civic engagement initiatives for youth and for developing the next generation of leaders
– $120,000 to English at Large, Inc. for the purposes of English language tutoring and small group instruction
READING – $35,000 to hire a preservationist to repair and stabilize monuments within Laurel Hill Cemetery
– $50,000 for masonry repairs at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Reading
– $25,000 for a keyboard set for the Reading Memorial High School performing arts program
The FY24 budget provides historic levels of investment in education, housing, regional transportation, health care, workforce development, early education initiatives, food security and more local support, as part of a broad strategy to grow our state’s economy, better support working families, and make Massachusetts more affordable, inclusive, and competitive.
Remaining vigilant about the current economic environment, as well as our long-term fiscal health, the FY24 budget adheres to sound fiscal discipline and builds up available reserves for the state’s stabilization fund. The fund has grown to a record high of $7.16 billion and is projected to close FY24 at $9.5 billion, ensuring the Commonwealth will continue to have healthy reserves to maintain fiscal responsibility during a time of ongoing economic volatility.
For a full summary of the FY24 budget, please follow this link: Legislature Passes Fiscal Year 2024 Budget | Rich Haggerty
Reading Home Rule Petitions
I was happy to sponsor two important pieces of legislation aimed towards Reading. H. 2072, ‘An Act relative to Board of Health in the Town of Reading’ was engrossed by the House and sent over to the Senate for further review, with the anticipation of Governor Healey signing it into law this fall. In addition, H.1341, ‘An Act authorizing the town of Reading to dissolve its Affordable Housing Trust Fund’ is still being reviewed by the Joint Committee on Housing.
After advocating for roadway improvements to the Department of Transportation, Washington Street was paved from the Reading line (where state control begins) to Cedar Street just past Cummings Park. Thank you to Mass DOT District 4 for listening to our concerns and completing the work!
Local Roadway Improvements (Chapter 90 Funding)
I was very proud to have supported and secured funding that will assist both Woburn and Reading in completing vital infrastructure projects, including paving and sidewalk work.
WOBURN Chapter 90: $1,256,310
READING Chapter 90: $594,466
In April, I was proud to support ‘An Act to improve the Commonwealth’s Competitiveness, Affordability, and Equity’. This tax relief legislation will put money in the hands of families, seniors, and renters. It will make our Commonwealth more competitive with other states, encourage economic growth, and supports job creation. Importantly, this legislation helps make our state more affordable, will help prevent families from being caught up in an estate tax structure that was unfair, and positions our state for long-term economic success. This legislation is still being worked on between the House and the Senate, but we set aside over $500 million in tax relief in the FY24 budget. I continue to advocate for this important legislation.
Other Local Aid Highlights
James L. McKewon Boys and Girls Club of Woburn will share in a $3 million dollar investment in the Massachusetts Alliance of Boys and Girls Clubs and receive over $68,000 in direct payments.
The Reading Burbank YMCA and the Woburn North Suburban YMCA will share in a $2.5 million dollar investment in the Alliance of Massachusetts YMCAs.
The Woburn and Reading Council on Aging and our senior centers will benefit from an increase in support from $12 per elder up to $14 per elder.
Very special thank you to Ruby Harris of Woburn and Will Adams of Reading, who both joined my office this Summer to take part in the State House Internship Program. Ruby and Will, your hard work and dedication is very much appreciated! Good luck this year in school!
Updated Contact Information
My State House Office and phone moved back in March! For constituents looking to stop by, we are now located in Room 26. My new Office number is (617)-722-7709.
There is still plenty of work to be done, and my office stands ready to continue working hard on behalf of the residents of the 30th Middlesex District. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to my office by phone at (617) 722-7709 or email my Legislative Aide, Nicole Redigan, at Nicole.Redigan@mahouse.gov.