Haggerty End of Year Legislative Update

I hope this legislative update finds you all well and that you are all enjoying the holidays so far! I wanted to provide you all with a recap of my actions these last few months of 2021.

 

ARPA Funding

I was very proud to support a bill allocating funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and FY21 surplus. Funded at $4 billion, the bill addresses disparities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, aiming to facilitate recovery through one-time investments in housing, environment and climate mitigation, economic development, the workforce, health and human services, and education.

City of Woburn and Town of Reading Direct Funding:

  • $125,000 for the installation of accessible and inclusive equipment at public playgrounds in the City of Woburn.
  • $125,000 to implement the recommendations of the City of Woburn’s report from the Massachusetts Downtown Initiative Local Rapid Recovery Program to improve the economic and physical conditions of the downtown.

These investments are aimed at helping our communities and the Commonwealth recover from the economic and social challenges of the past two years. I was pleased to partner with the Woburn delegation to be able to direct some of these resources to support the small business community by helping the City of Woburn implement plans to improve the economic and physical atmosphere of downtown. I was also pleased to file an amendment to allocate monies that will help make some of our playgrounds fully accessible for all children.

The Reading Delegation was able to direct some of these resources to support the town’s effort to conserve Open Space and provide additional access to the Town Forest:

  • $150,000 appropriation will assist the town with the acquisition and development of a parcel of land in the Meadow Brook Country Club area. Town Meeting and the Reading Select Board recently approved the purchase of this land to preserve it as open space and to secure an easement that will provide public access to the Town Forest.

The major state-wide investments in the bill are for health care $964 million, housing $624 million, $500 million for premium pay awards and $500 million for the unemployment insurance system to help small business UI rates. The bill also allocates $414 million for infrastructure, $389 million for education, $267 million for economic development, and $124 million for human services.

The construction of this bill was an inclusive and open process that included six public hearings after receiving more than a thousand pieces of testimony. The bill also allocates $5 million for the Inspector General’s office to create a public database and website to track total spending.

A full recap of ARPA funding can be found under the “News” tab at www.RichHaggerty.com.

 

Legislation Passed

Woburn Public Library Board of Trustees Legislation (H3820)

This home rule petition does away with the practice of life-time trustees and allows the Mayor, with the confirmation of the City Council, to fill vacancies on the Board of Trustees of the Woburn Library Corporation.

Changing City Council members from Alderman to City Councilor (H3947)

The bill updates the official title of members of the Woburn City Council from “Alderman to “City Councilor”. Thank you to my colleagues Senator Friedman, Representative Ciccolo, Mayor Galvin, and the members of the City Council for helping to draft and codify these petitions into law.

Genocide Education Bill

This landmark education bill defines genocide and requires middle and high schools in the Commonwealth to learn about genocide in their curricula. The legislation also creates a trust fund for use in developing a genocide related curricula and for teachers’ professional development. This law is critical in order to teach the next generation about these dark moments in our history, in the hope they will be remembered and never repeated.

Updating Cage-free Standards

In October I was proud to join the House in passing H.4194, An Act upgrading hen welfare and establishing uniform cage-free standards, which updates a 2016 passed ballot initiative regarding the prevention of cruelty to farm animals.

The bill updates floor space requirements for certain cage-free housing systems, expands covered products to include egg products, authorizes the Department of Agricultural Resources to promulgate rules and regulations and participate in enforcement, and extends the implementation date of the ban on the sale of covered pork products by one year. Making sure we do not have an egg shortage, which could drive up costs for consumers, is a paramount concern. House and Senate Conference Committee members are working out the differences between the two bills now.

 

Committee Work

As Vice-Chair of the Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Business I have hosted a series of listening sessions for members of the legislature to hear directly from the small business community; including the Mass. Auto Dealers Association and Franchising 101. We are now in the planning stages to meet with local chambers of commerce and local community development corporations.

As a member of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utility, and Energy I had the opportunity to get an up-close view of Orsted’s Block Island Wind Farm recently. The Commonwealth continues to be a national leader in clean energy and this educational exercise to tour the turbines harnessing wind power in Rhode Island was exceptional. Together Vineyard Wind and Mayflower Wind in Massachusetts will be able to power 1.2 million homes – and we’re just getting started! Together we can utilize clean-energy and create a clean-energy job sector right here in the Commonwealth.

 

Legislative Letters

Delegation Support Letter for Killiam School in Reading

I was happy to join with the Reading State House Delegation to support the Killiam Elementary School’s application to the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) program to make critical updates to the school to provide a more safe, accessible learning environment for both students and staff.

Green Infrastructure Efforts Letter

Citing President Biden’s ambitious and necessary goal of having a 100% carbon-free energy grid by 2035, I wrote a letter to Senators Markey and Warren encouraging them to help get Massachusetts up to speed on renewable energy development and green infrastructure construction

 

Legislative Caucuses

I have recently joined the newly established Massachusetts Legislative Caucus on Cancer Awareness, which provides a forum to discuss and promote research and development of innovative therapies, and the delivery of efficient, high value cancer care to mitigate some of the economic and public health burdens on State agencies and those impacted by cancer.

Seeing our economy increasingly digitalize, I accepted an invitation to join the Massachusetts House of Representatives Blockchain Technology Caucus, which provides a forum for members to study the emerging role of blockchain technology, and other forms of distributed ledger technologies, in shaping public policy in the Commonwealth.

 

Community Events

1st annual Woburn Community Housing Workshop

In November, my office partnered with Mayor Galvin, Councilor Jeff Dillon, SCI Woburn, Metro Housing|Boston, and the Woburn Senior Center to host the first ever Woburn Community Housing Workshop at the Woburn Public Library.

The in-person event provided dozens of families critical resources to help them avoid eviction, address any rent payment concerns, along with assisting those in need of resources like food and heating assistance. The caseworkers on scene helped residents complete Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) applications and had translation services available for the Portuguese and Spanish speakers that attended.

A special thank you to Councilor Dillon and Anthony Langone in my office for helping organize and make this event a huge success for the residents of our city.

Thanksgiving Basket Giveaway

Another event I was happy to help sponsor for a second year in a row at the Hillview Country Club was the Thanksgiving Basket Giveaway to seniors in the Reading Community. Together with Rep. Brad Jones’ office and other members of our community we put together and gave away hundreds of baskets, ensuring many senior and vulnerable members of our community had food on their tables this Thanksgiving.

Woburn Common Menorah Lighting Ceremony

This month I was happy to take part in the 2nd annual Menorah Lighting Ceremony on Woburn Common. It was great to support our Jewish community in our City and thank you to all the residents and city officials who attended.

Vaxess Technologies Ribbon Cutting

I had the pleasure joining local and state officials at the ribbon cutting ceremony in October for Vaxess Technologies in Woburn. At its new location in Cummings Park, the company plans to manufacture tens of thousands of doses of breakthrough vaccine patches per year. Their manufacturing line will also support clinical trials for Vaxess’ seasonal flu vaccine, with a COVID-19 vaccine program also in pre-development stages.

Woburn increasing has been a hub for the life science industry in the Commonwealth and our country. I will continue my efforts to support the growth of the industry in our City, which provides high paying jobs and numerous other benefits to our residents.

9/11 20th Anniversary

On the somber 20th anniversary of 9/11, the Woburn Lions and their youth organizations did a wonderful job honoring this important day and unveiling a fitting Bob Shure designed memorial to all those lost on that fateful day. I was proud to share a few remarks at this moving event, and thank you to Mayor Galvin, our elected officials, first responders, students, and the public for participating in such a moving ceremony. I was also pleased to join the Reading community on the Common to honor this special day by listening to student speakers read their essays on “Light in the Darkness”, hearing from the Reading Community Singers, and local bands.

 

Final Thoughts

We are living through challenging times, both economically and health wise. My office stands ready to help in any way we can, and as many of you have learned over these last few years my Legislative Aide Anthony Langone is always there to assist and walk you through anything that may be troubling you.

We also continue to host office hours sessions with the community, and we hope you can join us for one of our upcoming sessions

  • Thursday, January 21st at 11:30am
    • Virtual Via Zoom; sign-up required
  • Friday, February 18th at 11:00am
    • Dunkin’; 880 Main Street, Woburn, MA 01801
  • Thursday, March 24th at 11:30am
    • Virtual; Via Zoom; sign-up required

These sessions are a great opportunity for us to speak directly on the issues concerning you most, and I stand ready to listen and help in any way I can.

Our office is also currently searching for motivated, civic-minded individuals interested in a Winter legislative internship opportunity. Interns will have the rewarding opportunity to experience policymaking, politics and government through participating in the day-to-day functioning of a State Representative’s office from working constituent cases, scheduling, legislative research, database management, to communications and social media assignments, along with attending various meetings and hearings.

If you ever have any questions or are looking to sign-up for one of our upcoming office hours or looking for info for an internship opportunity, please reach out to Anthony at Anthony.Langone@mahouse.gov or call (617) 722-2090.

Representative Haggerty Accepting Applications for Winter Legislative Internships

BOSTON – State Representative Richard Haggerty is searching for motivated, civic-minded individuals interested in a Winter legislative internship. Haggerty proudly represents the people of the 30th Middlesex District of Massachusetts, which includes the City of Woburn and Town of Reading.

Interns will have the rewarding opportunity to experience policymaking, politics and government through participating in the day-to-day functioning of a State Representative’s office. Interns will report mainly to Anthony Langone, Legislative Aide to Rep. Haggerty, and will be responsible for assisting with a variety of tasks ranging from constituent correspondence, scheduling, legislative research, database management, to communications and social media assignments. They will also have the opportunity to attend various virtual events such as hearings, meetings, and listening to guest speakers, while gaining the satisfaction of serving the Commonwealth along with adding beneficial experience to their resume.

Due to COVID-19, those interested should be prepared to report and work remotely. Interested applicants should have the following:

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • A high level of attention to detail
  • Able to conduct themselves and dress professionally
  • Respect for confidentiality
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office and Zoom applications.

Those with a particular interest in communications, public relations, graphic design, video production or social media should indicate so in their application. Applicants should send a resume with a brief cover letter of interest, and a 1-2 page writing sample to Anthony.Langone@mahouse.gov. References should be available upon request and if potential applicants have any questions, please call (617) 722-2090.

Haggerty Announces Office Hours at Caffè Nero in Reading

WOBURN – State Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn) has announced upcoming community office hours to be held for December.

The in-person event will be held Caffè Nero, 676 Main Street in Reading, on Wednesday, December 8th from 11:00am to 12:00pm. This forum will allow members of the community to speak with the Representative directly, where they can voice any questions or concerns they may have. Social distancing will be practiced during this in-person event.

If you are interested in attending and have any questions please reach out to Anthony Langone, legislative aide to the Representative Haggerty, through email at Anthony.Langone@mahouse.gov or by calling (617) 722-2090.

Housing and Resource Workshop to be held at the Woburn Public Library

WOBURN – State Representative Richard M. Haggerty’s office is partnering with Mayor Scott Galvin, Councilor Jeff Dillon, SCI Woburn, and Metro Housing|Boston to host a Woburn Community Housing Workshop at the Woburn Public Library.

The in-person event will be held at the Woburn Public Library’s downstairs program room on Saturday, November 13th from 9:00am to 11:00am. This purpose of this workshop is to provide resources to vulnerable members of the community who may be facing eviction or rent payment concerns, along with those in need of resources like food and heating assistance. The caseworkers on scene will be able to assist residents in completing Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) applications, with translation services available for any Portuguese and Spanish speakers attending.

Any questions on this upcoming event should be directed to Anthony Langone Jr., legislative aide to the Representative Haggerty, through email at Anthony.Langone@mahouse.gov or by calling (617) 722-2090.

Massachusetts House Passes $3.82 Billion Bill For Covid-19 Needs and Recover

$250,000 in local allocations included for the City of Woburn

BOSTON – This week, State Representatives Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn) and Michelle L. Ciccolo (D-Lexington) joined their colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives by unanimously passing a proposal allocating surplus funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21). Funded at $3.82 billion, the bill addresses disparities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, aiming to facilitate recovery through one-time investments in housing, environment and climate mitigation, economic development, the workforce, health and human services, and education.

Earlier this year, the Massachusetts Legislature voted to transfer the state’s $5.3 billion allocation from ARPA, which must be allocated by 2024, into a separate fund to ensure stakeholder and resident engagement in a public process. Following six public hearings after receiving more than a thousand pieces of testimony, the House Ways & Means Committee released its proposal, which the House approved 159-0 earlier this week.

“These investments are aimed at helping our community and the Commonwealth recover from the economic and social challenges of the past two years,” said Representative Haggerty. “I was pleased to be able to direct some of these resources to support the small business community by helping the city implement plans to improve the economic and physical atmosphere of downtown Woburn. I was also pleased to have successfully advocated for monies that will help make some of our playgrounds fully accessible for all children.”

 

Local Investments for Woburn

Through the combined efforts of Representatives Haggerty and Ciccolo, the City of Woburn would see $250,000 in combined funding through the bill for local projects, including:

  • $125,000 for the installation of accessible and inclusive equipment at public playgrounds in the City of Woburn.
  • $125,000 to implement the recommendations of the City of Woburn’s report from the Massachusetts Downtown Initiative Local Rapid Recovery Program to improve the economic and physical conditions of the downtown.

“We are fortunate to have a President and Massachusetts delegation in Congress that recognized the importance of investing in a strong recovery as we continue to dig out from the economic effects of the pandemic,” said Representative Ciccolo. “I am grateful to House leadership for their foresight in conducting such an open process around allocating these funds, and I am thrilled that Woburn is slated to receive a significant amount that will help ensure the recovery arrives here to our local community as quickly as possible.”

 

Economic Development

The House bill includes $500 million to replenish the Unemployment Trust Fund, which will offset businesses’ contributions for unemployment programs. The bill includes $200 million in tax assistance for small businesses that paid personal income taxes on state or federal relief awards during the pandemic. It also includes $60 million for grants to support small businesses negatively impacted by the pandemic, with $35 million of it reserved for minority-owned, women-owned, and veteran-owned businesses.

To assist recovering cultural organizations and artists, the bill appropriates $125 million to the Massachusetts Cultural Council for grants supporting cultural events, education, or performances highlighting underrepresented voices. Other economic development investments include $40 million for youth summer and school-year jobs; $50 million to close the digital divide; and $12 million to assist in the resettlement of Afghan refugees in Massachusetts.

 

Health and Human Services

Building on the House’s longstanding commitment to support and protect community hospitals, the bill allocates $250 million for financially strained hospitals and $20 million for community health centers. This bill includes more than $250 million for behavioral health and substance use disorder treatment services, including $100 million for workforce initiatives with $15 million specifically for community health centers. The bill also includes over $150 million for local and regional public health systems.

Other investments include more than $78 million to address food insecurity; $15 million for prison re-entry grants; $10 million for community-based gun violence prevention programs, $6.5 million for coordination teams for triage treatment and service supports and post-treatment supportive housing in Boston; and $5 million for the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation to bolster access to legal services for the most vulnerable.

 

Workforce Development

The bill includes $500 million towards providing premium pay bonuses for low- and middle-income workers who worked in-person during the COVID-19 State of Emergency. To promote employment, the bill also includes $150 million to enhance workforce opportunities through workforce skills training, as well as $100 million for vocational and career and technical schools.

 

Affordable Housing and Homeownership

The bill appropriates funds for affordable housing, with $150 million directed toward public housing maintenance and $150 million to create permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless individuals, survivors of domestic violence, seniors, and veterans. The bill also includes $100 million for homeownership assistance and $100 million for production and preservation of affordable rental housing for residents of municipalities disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Environment and Climate Change Mitigation

Building on the House’s commitment to the environment and clean energy, the bill includes investments for environmental infrastructure and development spending, with a focus on environmental justice communities, climate change resiliency and clean energy. This bill includes $100 million for port infrastructure development and revitalization to facilitate economic activity and support the offshore wind industry.

Other investments include $100 million toward infrastructure for communities to adapt and become climate resilient; and $100 million for water and sewer projects, including those to remediate combined sewer overflow into waterways.

 

Education

To improve indoor air-quality in schools and support healthy learning environments, this bill includes more than $100 million for grants to public school districts with high concentrations of low-income students, English language learners, and communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. This bill also includes $75 million for capital and maintenance projects for higher education; $25 million for the Endowment Incentive Program at the University of Massachusetts, state universities and community colleges, $20 million for special education, including $10 million for workforce development; and $10 million for programs focused on recruiting and retaining educators of color.

 

Accountability and Public Engagement

As a tool to inform future ARPA spending, the House’s bill allocates $5 million for the Inspector General’s office to create a public database and website to track total spending, including the percentage of funds spent in communities that were disproportionally impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and to track the number of projects awarded to minority-owned businesses and organizations.

Speaker Mariano and the House Ways & Means Committee introduced their spending proposal on October 25, 2021, following a review of the Governor’s proposal and six public hearings. The bill House of Representatives approved the bill 159-0 and now goes to the Senate.

Rep. Haggerty Announces October Office Hours at the Woburn Public Library

WOBURN – State Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn) has announced upcoming community office hours to be held for October.

The in-person event will be held at the Woburn Public Library’s downstairs program room on Wednesday, October 13th from 4:00pm to 5:00pm. This forum will allow members of the community to speak with the Representative directly, where they can voice any questions or concerns they may have. Social distancing will be practiced during this in-person event.

If you are interested in attending and have any questions please reach out to Anthony Langone, legislative aide to the Representative Haggerty, through email at Anthony.Langone@mahouse.gov or by calling (617) 722-2090.

 

Rep. Haggerty Announces Upcoming Community Office Hours

BOSTON – State Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn) has announced upcoming virtual office hours to be held for September.

The forum will be held via the Zoom video conference app, with the abilities to dial-in via the app and through phone. The virtual format of the community office hours will allow members of the community to speak with the Representative directly despite social distancing, where they can voice any questions or concerns they may have.

The upcoming Office Hours will be held on Thursday, September 9th at 11:30am via Zoom. If you are interested in participating, call-in details will be provided by reaching out to legislative aide Anthony Langone directly at Anthony.Langone@mahouse.gov or by calling (617) 722-2090.

Woburn Delegation Calls for Reopening of Mishawum Commuter Rail Station

WOBURNRepresentative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn), Representative Michelle L. Ciccolo (D-Lexington), and Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington) are making efforts to reinstate Commuter Rail Service at Mishawum Station. Service to the commuter frequented station provides access to the Lowell Line and has remained closed since December 14, 2020.

In a recent letter to MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak, the Delegation stressed the importance of Mishawum station as “the most accessible way for residents and visitors commuting from Woburn Center, surrounding neighborhoods, and those staying at the various hotels found along the Lowell line to access the commuter rail and region at large.” Another area of concern was the increased traffic resulting from a return rush hour travel patterns, with the three legislators requesting the MBTA to reinstate the 2019 pre-pandemic summer schedule for the station. This schedule consisted of the commuter rail stopping at Mishawum Station three times during the rush hour each weekday.

The letter came after hearing concerns from constituents on the station’s continued closure and lack of public transportation option to access Boston. Reliable, accessible, and affordable public transportation remains a top legislative priority for the delegation.

Representative Haggerty’s Summer Legislative Update

I hope this Summer legislative update finds you all well and that you are all enjoying the summer so far. I wanted to provide you all with a recap of my actions so far this legislative session.

 

Fiscal Year 2022 Budget

In July I was very proud to support a $48.07 Billion budget for Fiscal Year 2022. This budget preserves fiscal responsibility while maintaining services, makes targeted investments to address emerging needs, safeguards the health and wellness of the most vulnerable populations in the Commonwealth, and ensures residents will benefit equitably as the state recovers from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This budget reflects our values by investing in local aid, public health, our educational systems, and workforce training – each of which will play a critical role in getting us past this pandemic and back to full employment. It also includes a planned $1.1 Billion deposit into the Commonwealth’s reserve ‘Rainy Day’ fund bringing its total to a record $6.0 billion which strengthens our state’s fiscal position, prepares us well to deal future challenges, and puts our state in a strong place to protect our bond rating.

Working with State Rep. Michelle Ciccolo and State Senator Cindy Friedman, I was able to secure Woburn $9.6 million for our schools, $6.5 million in unrestricted local aid to help pay for our police, fire, parks and other local programs. We were also able to secure:

  • $75,000 for the Woburn Police Department to modernize emergency equipment
  • $15,000 to support Friends of Woburn Veterans continued work in the community
  • $100,000 for English at Large, Inc. in Woburn for the purposes of English language tutoring and small group instruction
  • $100,000 for Food Link, Inc. to address food insecurity in Woburn and surrounding communities

These community directed funds for our police department and our veterans’ group will support their mission of both protecting our community and honoring our veterans. This budgets also helps to address food insecurity and further supports English language learners which are critical resources for those in our community who need our help the most.

Working with Minority Leader Brad Jones and Senator Jason Lewis, we were able to secure Reading $10.9 million for our schools, $3.5 million in unrestricted local aid to help pay for our police, fire, parks and other local programs. We were also able to secure:

  • $10,000 to support substance abuse and addiction awareness and education efforts at the Reading Coalition for Prevention & Support, which operates out of the Reading Police Department and offers programs and services to the community related to substance abuse prevention and mental health promotion;
  • $50,000 for improvements and the re-design of the Upper Haven Street (CVS) Municipal Parking Lot to include more pedestrian-friendly features;
  • $50,000 for pedestrian access improvements at the Eastern Gateway, with a focus on the intersection at the entrance to Market Basket; and
  • $10,000 for the construction of a Reading Community Garden

This budget and these funds support several targeted municipal projects for pedestrian and traffic flow improvements that continue to be a major concern for residents and community leaders. Additionally, these funds will help support the Reading’s commitment to battling substance abuse and providing a healthy, safe lifestyle for all its residents.

Notably, the FY22 budget provides substantial funds to invest in the Commonwealth’s long-term obligations. As a cornerstone of the Commonwealth’s equitable recovery, the FY22 budget protects access to educational opportunity and charts a path forward for students, families, educators, and institutions.

The budget increases Chapter 70 (schools) funding by $220M and fulfills the first-year schedules outlined in the Student Opportunity Act for both out-of-district transportation eligibility in the Circuit Breaker program and charter school tuition reimbursement. It additionally includes a $40M Enrollment Reserve account to mitigate any adverse effects of COVID-related school enrollment surges and creates a $350M Student Opportunity Act Investment Fund to ensure that we can continue to fulfill our commitment to implementing the SOA over the next five years. Finally, this budget made permanent the Massachusetts Film Tax Credit which continues to support economic growth.

 

Conservation Land Tax Credit

I was proud to be a part of a successful bipartisan effort to secure language in the state budget that will help preserve open space in Massachusetts by raising the annual cap on the state’s Conservation Land Tax Credit.

This land tax credit goes a long way in protecting our natural resources by encouraging landowners to permanently conserve land in the Commonwealth. This effort will increase the amount of land we are able to conserve, protect more wildlife, and naturally combat global warming. We have a responsibility to future generations to preserve our planet and the resources we all enjoy.

 

Infrastructure Money for Woburn and Reading

I joined my colleagues in the legislature in passing a bill that will invest $350 million in municipal transportation and selected statewide transportation infrastructure projects. The bill, An Act Financing Improvements to Municipal Roads and Bridges, authorizes $200 million for municipal roads and bridges through the Chapter 90 program and $150 million to support statewide projects to address congestion, support electric vehicle infrastructure, prioritize bus infrastructure, and improve public transit.

Woburn will receive $1,251,922 with Reading receiving $605,006 of the $200 million in Chapter 90 funding for projects to maintain, improve, and repair roadways, bridges, sidewalks, and bikeways. The bill also includes the following components:

  • $25M for the Municipal Small Bridge Program;
  • $25M for the Local Bottleneck Program;
  • $25M for Electric Vehicle (EV) infrastructure;
  • $25M for Transit-Supportive Infrastructure;
  • $25M for Bus Prioritization and Enhancement Projects;
  • $25M for Enhancements at Transit and Commuter Rail Stations.

 

Sports Betting

I was pleased to join my House colleagues in overwhelmingly supporting H.3977 – An Act Regulating Sports Wagering.

Our residents have been traveling to bordering states for years to place their sport wagers. This bill offers residents the opportunity to place sports’ bets in our state rather than going to one of the other thirty states where it is legal, includes proper safeguards, help get sports betting out of the shadows, and any revenue collected would benefit Massachusetts residents. Some parts of the legislation include:

  • Betting must be taken in casinos, racetracks, online and mobile platforms;
  • Betting will be allowed on all major professional sports;
  • Betting to be allowed on outcome of college games, but not player results;
  • Must be in state and at least 21 years old to bet;
  • $60M in Annual revenue to Massachusetts
  • Wagers to be taxed at 12.5% for made-in-person bets, and 15% for online or mobile bets

 

The Public Lands Preservation Act (H.851)

I am a proud co-sponsor of the The Public Lands Preservation Act (H.851) which passed the House in late July. The legislation will codify the current state policy when any entity, public or private, wants to convert conservation land to some other use. Because the current process is only a policy, there are frequent attempts to circumvent the requirements to have a public process. This important bill would protect our public parks and strengthen Article 97 of the state constitution which gives to the people of Massachusetts the right to clean air and water and protected open space.

 

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge announced

Back in May I was pleased to announce that the planned New Boston Street Bridge in Woburn will be designated the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge. I am so proud to be able to help our community in honoring those who courageously gave their lives during Vietnam – recognizing that our liberties as Americans come at a price.

The naming of this bridge keeps with our city’s long, proud history of paying tribute to those who gave, what Lincoln called “the last full measure of devotion.” As a member of the City Council and now as State Representative I have been proud to support Mayor Galvin and the city to rebuild this critical economic connection that will offer direct benefits to the City of Woburn and the Commonwealth including increased regional economic growth, traffic congestion remediation, and expanded access to Anderson Transportation Center. The bridge is now 100% designed and construction will begin later this year.

 

Emergency Paid Sick Leave and UI Rate Relief

The Massachusetts Legislature and I gave final approval to a bill to avoid drastic unemployment insurance rate increases paid by employers and guarantees COVID emergency paid leave to workers.

Small businesses need our support as we focus on economic recovery. As Vice Chairman of Community Development and Small Business, I was very proud to support legislation that drastically reduces the spike in unemployment insurance rates for employers. This effort stabilizes UI rates, bolsters the long-term solvency of our UI fund, and provides critical emergency paid sick leave. Passage of the bill by the Legislature ensures that all Massachusetts employees, including frontline workers in hospitals and classrooms, will receive emergency leave for up to five paid days off for COVID-related concerns, including paid leave from work to attend a vaccine appointment.

 

Supplemental Budget for Fiscal Year 2021

In late July I worked with my colleagues in the legislature to pass a $261.6 million supplemental budget for Fiscal Year 2021. The supplemental budget addresses time-sensitive deficiencies, extends expanded voting options, provides supports for the implementation police reform law, and makes investments to support the Commonwealth’s continued recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The supplemental budget invests in childcare workforce development and provide critical support for the most vulnerable among us. It is also vitally important that we provide resources for training our public safety officials and increase rates for home health aides across the Commonwealth.

 

Final Thoughts

My office continues to host office hours sessions with the community, with our next session to be held on Thursday, September 9th at 11am. These sessions are a great opportunity for us to speak directly on the issues concerning you most, and I stand ready to listen and help in any way I can.

This has been a challenging year on so many fronts, and I want to recognize my Legislative Aide Anthony Langone for the extraordinary work he has done and continues to do. If you ever have any questions or are looking to sign-up for one of our upcoming office hours, please reach out to Anthony at anthony.langone@mahouse.gov or call (617) 722-2090.

Representative Haggerty Accepting Applications for Fall 2021 Legislative Internships

BOSTON – State Representative Richard Haggerty is searching for motivated, civic-minded individuals interested in a Fall legislative internship. Haggerty proudly represents the people of the 30th Middlesex District of Massachusetts, which includes the City of Woburn and Town of Reading.

Interns will have the rewarding opportunity to experience policymaking, politics and government through participating in the day-to-day functioning of a State Representative’s office. Interns will report mainly to Anthony Langone, Legislative Aide to Rep. Haggerty, and will be responsible for assisting with a variety of tasks ranging from constituent correspondence, scheduling, legislative research, database management, to communications and social media assignments. They will also have the opportunity to attend various virtual events such as hearings, meetings, and listening to guest speakers, while gaining the satisfaction of serving the Commonwealth along with adding beneficial experience to their resume.

Due to COVID-19, those interested should be prepared to report and work remotely. Interested applicants should have the following:

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • A high level of attention to detail
  • Able to conduct themselves and dress professionally
  • Respect for confidentiality
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office and Zoom applications.

Those with a particular interest in communications, public relations, graphic design, video production or social media should indicate so in their application. Applicants should send a resume with a brief cover letter of interest, and a 1-2 page writing sample to Anthony.Langone@mahouse.gov by end of day Tuesday, August 31st, 2021. References should be available upon request and if potential applicants have any questions, please call (617) 722-2090.