Haggerty Secures $200k for Remote Learning

(BOSTON) – The City of Woburn is set to receive additional resources for distance learning and telework expenses as part of the $1.1 billion supplemental budget bill passed by the state legislature in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

As part of H4808 – An Act making appropriations for the fiscal year 2020 to authorize certain COVID-19 spending in anticipation of federal reimbursement, Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn) placed the following amendment in the bill “that not less than $200,000 shall be expended for distance learning and telework expenses in the City of Woburn necessitated by the 2019 novel coronavirus pandemic

“These funds will help compliment the City’s commitment to educating our students and supporting our teachers,” said Representative Haggerty. “Municipal resources like this go a long way in helping our community and our schools better address the known and ongoing expenses related to COVID-19. I applaud Mayor Galvin, the school administration, School Committee, and our teachers for their commitment to our students’ well-being and education during these challenging times.”

The $200,000 earmarked for Woburn is being made available through the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund Municipal Program that is being administered by the Commonwealth. The City included the $200,000 as part of their round two program application.

Rep. Haggerty Announces Last Virtual Office Hours of 2020

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

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 next Thursday, December 10th 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.

Haggerty Helps Pass Balanced House Budget with Targeted Investments in Housing, Economic Development and Food Security

BOSTON – Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn) along with his colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed its Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) budget, which invests in programs and services across the Commonwealth. Funded at $46 billion, the House budget aims to address the sweeping effects of the global pandemic by making targeted investments in housing, food security, substance use addiction services, and domestic violence, sexual assault treatment and prevention programs. The budget also invests in programs that provide COVID-related supports for students and increases funding for developmental services.

“Keeping our commitment to local communities and protecting the most vulnerable among were driving forces in this budget debate,” said Representative Haggerty. “COVID has placed incredible pressure on families, businesses, and government. I am proud this budget reflects our commitment to combating COVID while strongly supporting education, addiction services, housing, and economic growth.”

The House was able to maintain FY2020 funding levels despite the pandemic, with the budget including inflationary Chapter 70 funding along with funding the special education circuit breaker at 75% reimbursement. The Town of Reading is set to receive the following amounts in the proposed budget:
Chapter 70: $10,834,809
Unrestricted Government Aid: $3,442,525
Representative Haggerty voted against a proposed capital gains tax increase. The defeated budget amendment would have raised the state’s tax rate on unearned income, such as capital gains, dividends, and interest, from 5% to 9%.
Due to the pandemic, access to safe and affordable housing for many families across the Commonwealth is threatened. The House budget represents its ongoing commitment to housing and homelessness funding. This year, the House makes targeted investments into rental and housing assistance to combat the eviction crisis by providing:

$50 million for the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition Program (RAFT);
$135 million for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP);
$80 million for public housing subsidies;
$56 million for homeless individual shelters;
$13 million for homeless student transportation;
$11 million for Department of Mental Health Rental Subsidy Program; and
$8 million for unaccompanied homeless youth.

Keeping in mind the widespread economic effects of the COVID pandemic, the House makes specific investments in labor and economic development programs that provide opportunities for the Commonwealth’s workers and its businesses. The House maintains its support for the Massachusetts Manufacturing Partnership with an investment of $2 million – funding which has helped many Massachusetts manufactures retrofit their businesses into the PPE market. Other investments include:

$50 million for economic development including;
$15 million for local Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
$15 million for community development financial institutions
$10 million for matching grants for capital investments by small businesses
$6 million for small business technical assistance grants
$ 46 million for Adult Basic Education Services;
$19 million for summer jobs for at-risk youth;
$7 million Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund;
$2.5 million in Urban Agenda Grants; and
$1.4 million for small business development.

The House budget continues its ongoing commitment to high-quality early education and care (EEC) and supporting the EEC workforce. The budget invests in those who work with children by increasing rates for early education providers by $20 million and supporting continuing education opportunities with community colleges. The House budget also includes the following EEC investments and initiatives:

$15 million for Head Start grants;
$10 million for sliding fee scale reserve for childcare subsidies;
$10 million for EEC Workforce Higher Education Opportunities;
$2.5 million in early childhood mental health grants;
$11 million for child care resource and referral agencies; and
Establishes the Early Education and care Economic review commission to review childcare funding and make recommendations on policy changes to expand access.

The House budget continues to dedication substantial resources toward supporting public higher education and increases scholarship funding for students. These investments include:

$284 million for state universities;
$305 million for community colleges;
$560 million for the University of Massachusetts system;
$120 million in scholarship funding; and
$4.8 million for the STEM Starter Academy, to support underrepresented students in STEM fields at community colleges.

This fiscal year funded at $19 billion, MassHealth is the largest investment the Commonwealth makes in its most vulnerable residents including the working poor and the homeless. The budget also invests in critical health and human services agencies and providers including:

$307 million for the Department of Children and Families for social workers, family support and stabilization, and foster care and adopted fee waivers;
$30 million in emergency food assistance; and
$13 million for the Healthy Incentives Program.

Keeping in mind those affected by domestic violence, the House budget establishes a grant program to provide domestic violence advocate services across the state to connect survivors with essential services.

In order to support programs for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, the House budget increases funding for developmental services to $2.1 billion and includes $264 million for community day and work programs across the Commonwealth. The House budget also includes the following investments:

$236 million for state-operated residential services
$78 million for family respite services; and
$39 million for autism omnibus services.

The budget furthers the House’s ongoing commitment to fight the opioid epidemic. To provide assistance to those who are battling substance addiction, the budget increased funding for the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services to $162 million while offering continued support for step-down recovery services, jail diversion programs, and expansion of access to life-saving medication.

The budget will now go to conference committee for further deliberation before being sent to Governor Baker.

Haggerty and House Colleagues Pass Balanced Budget with Targeted Investments in Housing, Economic Development and Food Security

Prioritizes relief to vulnerable populations, provisions to boost economic recovery
and support for students

BOSTON – Representative Richard M. Haggerty along with his colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed its Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) budget, which invests in programs and services across the Commonwealth. Funded at $46 billion, the House budget aims to address the sweeping effects of the global pandemic by making targeted investments in housing, food security, substance use addiction services, and domestic violence, sexual assault treatment and prevention programs. The budget also invests in programs that provide COVID-related supports for students and increases funding for developmental services.

“Keeping our commitment to local communities and protecting the most vulnerable among were driving forces in this budget debate,” said Representative Haggerty. “COVID has placed incredible pressure on families, businesses, and government. I am proud this budget reflects our commitment to combating COVID while strongly supporting education, addiction services, housing, and economic growth.”

The House was able to maintain FY2020 funding levels despite the pandemic, with the budget including inflationary Chapter 70 funding along with funding the special education circuit breaker at 75% reimbursement. The City of Woburn is to receive the following amounts in the proposed budget:
Chapter 70: $9,555,857
Unrestricted Government Aid: $6,357,386
Representative Haggerty voted against a proposed capital gains tax increase. The defeated budget amendment would have raised the state’s tax rate on unearned income, such as capital gains, dividends, and interest, from 5% to 9%.
Due to the pandemic, access to safe and affordable housing for many families across the Commonwealth is threatened. The House budget represents its ongoing commitment to housing and homelessness funding. This year, the House makes targeted investments into rental and housing assistance to combat the eviction crisis by providing:

$50 million for the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition Program (RAFT);
$135 million for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP);
$80 million for public housing subsidies;
$56 million for homeless individual shelters;
$13 million for homeless student transportation;
$11 million for Department of Mental Health Rental Subsidy Program; and
$8 million for unaccompanied homeless youth.

Keeping in mind the widespread economic effects of the COVID pandemic, the House makes specific investments in labor and economic development programs that provide opportunities for the Commonwealth’s workers and its businesses. The House maintains its support for the Massachusetts Manufacturing Partnership with an investment of $2 million – funding which has helped many Massachusetts manufactures retrofit their businesses into the PPE market. Other investments include:

$50 million for economic development including;
$15 million for local Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
$15 million for community development financial institutions
$10 million for matching grants for capital investments by small businesses
$6 million for small business technical assistance grants
$ 46 million for Adult Basic Education Services;
$19 million for summer jobs for at-risk youth;
$7 million Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund;
$2.5 million in Urban Agenda Grants; and
$1.4 million for small business development.

The House budget continues its ongoing commitment to high-quality early education and care (EEC) and supporting the EEC workforce. The budget invests in those who work with children by increasing rates for early education providers by $20 million and supporting continuing education opportunities with community colleges. The House budget also includes the following EEC investments and initiatives:

$15 million for Head Start grants;
$10 million for sliding fee scale reserve for childcare subsidies;
$10 million for EEC Workforce Higher Education Opportunities;
$2.5 million in early childhood mental health grants;
$11 million for child care resource and referral agencies; and
Establishes the Early Education and care Economic review commission to review childcare funding and make recommendations on policy changes to expand access.

The House budget continues to dedication substantial resources toward supporting public higher education and increases scholarship funding for students. These investments include:

$284 million for state universities;
$305 million for community colleges;
$560 million for the University of Massachusetts system;
$120 million in scholarship funding; and
$4.8 million for the STEM Starter Academy, to support underrepresented students in STEM fields at community colleges.

This fiscal year funded at $19 billion, MassHealth is the largest investment the Commonwealth makes in its most vulnerable residents including the working poor and the homeless. In response to the threats to reproductive rights for women on the national level, House also voted to remove barriers to women’s reproductive health options and protect the concepts enshrined in Roe v. Wade. The budget also invests in critical health and human services agencies and providers including:

$307 million for the Department of Children and Families for social workers, family support and stabilization, and foster care and adopted fee waivers;
$30 million in emergency food assistance; and
$13 million for the Healthy Incentives Program.

Keeping in mind those affected by domestic violence, the House budget establishes a grant program to provide domestic violence advocate services across the state to connect survivors with essential services.

In order to support programs for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, the House budget increases funding for developmental services to $2.1 billion and includes $264 million for community day and work programs across the Commonwealth. The House budget also includes the following investments:

$236 million for state-operated residential services
$78 million for family respite services; and
$39 million for autism omnibus services.

The budget furthers the House’s ongoing commitment to fight the opioid epidemic. To provide assistance to those who are battling substance addiction, the budget increased funding for the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services to $162 million while offering continued support for step-down recovery services, jail diversion programs, and expansion of access to life-saving medication.

The budget is now with the Senate.

Woburn State House Delegation Unveils “Angelo Piazza Bridge”

For Immediate Release
November 18th, 2020

Contacts:
Anthony Langone: Anthony.Langone@mahouse.gov, (617) 722-2090 (Rep. Haggerty)
Mason Heilman: Mason.Heilman@mahouse.gov, (617) 722-2210 (Rep. Ciccolo)

Woburn State House Delegation Unveils “Angelo Piazza Bridge”

Woburn – Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn), Representative Michelle L. Ciccolo (D-Lexington), and Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington) are proud to announce that on November 12th, the Salem Street Bridge in Woburn was officially designated the Angelo Piazza Bridge.
Angelo “Angie” Piazza is a Woburn native and a combat veteran who served honorably in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War from 1953 to 1954, earning a Purple Heart and Bronze Star. He spent 34 years as a Woburn police officer and still lives in town with his family. His son Michael recently retired from the Woburn Police Department with his other son, Angelo Jr., still being an active member of the force.
“It has been said ‘A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces but also by the men it honors.’ So is true today as we honor Mr. Piazza for his heroism at war and his distinguished service at home,” said Representative Haggerty, “We are grateful to Angelo for his love of country and his love of Woburn. I also want to thank Veterans Agent Larry Guiseppe for his strong advocacy to get this this legislation passed.”

“Woburn is the special community it is because of its people,” said Representative Ciccolo. “Angelo Piazza is a shining example of the type of selfless, patriotic citizens the city counts as among its many proud sons, and it is fitting that he receive this honor.”

Among those attending the closed event were members from the Piazza Family, the Woburn State House Delegation, Mayor Scott Galvin, members from the Woburn City Council, Woburn Police Chief Bob Rufo, retired State Representative Jim Dwyer, as well as other community leaders and friends of Angelo. “Angie” was surrounded by several family members including two granddaughters, Kristen and Heather, who delivered speeches, and his grandson SGT Cameron Piazza, who is currently serving active duty in the United States Marine Corps.
George Poole (U.S. Army) lead the audience in a rendition of the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by Representative Haggerty who was the acting MC of the event and spoke to Piazza’s character and years of service to our nation and our community. Representative Ciccolo also presented Angelo with a joint state citation, with Mayor Galvin and Woburn Veterans’ Services Officer Larry Guiseppe (USMC) delivering remarks on Angie’s life and years of service as a Marine and Woburn Police Officer. The Woburn Police Department color guard also conducted a formal posting of the colors.
The event was made possible through the coordination and cooperation of various state and local offices, including VSO Larry Guiseppe, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, Deputy Superintendent Lenny Burnham from the Woburn Department of Public Works, and Anthony Langone from Representative Haggerty’s office.
The Angelo Piazza Bridge is located on Salem Street in East Woburn over the Lowell Line MBTA tracks, connecting the Washington Street corridor and Woburn Center.
###

Haggerty Supports Legislature’s Passage of Legislation Extending Unemployment Benefits to Low-Income Recipients

(BOSTON) – Representative Richard Haggerty along with his colleagues in the Massachusetts Legislature on Monday, October 26 passed An Act relative to additional unemployment benefits for the neediest recipients currently excluded from the Lost Wages Assistance program, which would enhance unemployment benefits for 17,000 people in Massachusetts by as much as $1,800 each.

“It’s never been more important to support workers in the Commonwealth, so they can receive the help they need and the benefits they paid for,” said Representative Haggerty. This common-sense measure will play a critical role in assisting people and families pay their bills and provide for their loved ones.”

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.

The Governor signed the legislation into law on Monday.

Jones & Haggerty Support Extension of Unemployment Benefits to Low-Income Recipients

(BOSTON) – House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) and Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn) along with their colleagues in the Massachusetts Legislature on Monday, October 26 passed An Act relative to additional unemployment benefits for the neediest recipients currently excluded from the Lost Wages Assistance program, which would enhance unemployment benefits for 17,000 people in Massachusetts by as much as $1,800 each.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created extreme financial hardships for many individuals who have lost their jobs and are now struggling to pay their bills and put food on the table for their families,” said Representative Jones. “These eligibility changes will provide much-needed relief for thousands of Massachusetts residents who did not previously qualify for enhanced benefits under the federal Lost Wages Assistance Program.”

“It’s never been more important to support workers in the Commonwealth, so they can receive the help they need and the benefits they paid for,” said Representative Haggerty. This common-sense measure will play a critical role in assisting people and families pay their bills and provide for their loved ones.”

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.

Reading awarded $1,250 state recycling grant

BOSTON – House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading), State Representative Richard Haggerty (D-Woburn) and State Senator Jason Lewis (D-Winchester) joined with the Baker-Polito Administration today to announce the Town of Reading has been awarded a $1,250 recycling grant under the state’s Sustainable Materials Recovery Program (SMRP).

The grants, which are awarded by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP),
support local recycling and composting initiatives and municipal enforcement activities that increase household hazardous waste diversion and reduce disposal. A total of $3.2 million in funding is being distributed to 269 municipalities and regional solid waste districts, with some communities receiving grants under SMRP’s Recycling Dividends Program (RDP), and others, like Reading, being awarded Small-Scale Initiatives Grants.

“Promoting recycling and reducing the amount of waste that ends up in landfills is critical to protecting the environment, not only today but also for future generations,” said Representative Jones. “The Sustainable Materials Recovery Program provides an important funding source to help communities expand their recycling and composting efforts, and I am thrilled to see that Reading will share in the latest round of funding awards.”

“Making sure our local communities have the tools they need to advance recycling initiatives is so important,” said Representative Haggerty. “This grant will help our town invest in sustainable practices that will improve both the environment and our community. One small effort at a time can make a big difference as we advocate for local recycling programs.”

“For decades, so many members of our community have committed to the principle of ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ and made important efforts towards expanding recycling and composting programs,” said Senator Lewis. “As a co-founder and co-chair of the Massachusetts Legislature’s Zero Waste Caucus, I applaud and welcome this grant for Reading and look forward to future partnerships between state and local leaders to increase our recycling efforts.”

Small-Scale Initiatives Grants are population-based grants ranging from $500 to $2,000 each. According to MassDEP, these grants are designed to “help communities purchase modest, but critical recycling materials and outreach tools needed to sustain their existing recycling program or to facilitate new, low-cost initiatives.”

Since 2010, MassDEP has awarded more than $41.6 million in SMRP and Recycling Dividends Program funding.

Haggerty and Day secure $15,000 in funding for Local Food Pantry

BOSTON – State Representatives Richard Haggerty (D-Woburn) and Michael S. Day (D-Stoneham) have successfully secured $15,000 in state funding for the Council for Social Concern’s Food Pantry to help address food insecurity issues due to the 2019 novel coronavirus pandemic.

“Food insecurity continues to be a very difficult issue affecting our community, it is my hope that these resources will assist the food pantry in providing the support that individuals and families need,” said Representative Haggerty. “As we deal with the economic fallout of COVID-19 we must be mindful of the everyday challenges faced by our friends and neighbors.”

“The Council of Social Concern provides essential help to those facing the most dire challenges, and it does so while allowing its clients to maintain dignity and hope, two things needed now more than ever,” said Representative Day. “This funding will fill a gap as we approach the colder weather and the holiday season, and we are pleased our colleagues and the Administration agreed with us on the merits of allocating these resources to the Council at this time.”

The food pantry funding was included in the $1.1 billion COVID-19 supplemental budget, enacted by the House and Senate and then signed into law by Governor Baker. The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources contacted the Council of Social Concern this week with the news that, as a core program, its food pantry qualified for the direct budgetary earmark.

“This will be a great help to us in buying food for the holidays, as the postal food drive will not be taking place this fall, said Executive Director Dean Solomon of the Woburn Council of Social Concern, Inc. “This funding will mean that we can continue to provide families in need with food for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Council of Social Concern’s Food Pantry serves the communities of Woburn and Winchester, is in critical need of donations to help our neighbors in need during the COVID-19 crisis. For more information on how you can help keep the shelves stocked during this difficult time by donating, call (781) 935-6495 or email Paula Matthews directly at paula@socialconcern.org. The Food Pantry’s hours are (by appointment):

Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:45am – 12pm and 1:30-3pm.
Wednesday Evenings from 6-7pm

If you cannot make an appointment, Emergency boxes are available Monday through Friday from 9am – 4:30 pm. Monetary donations are also welcome, and can be made at www.socialconcern.org.

Thank You to Those That Make our Elections Possible

I wanted to take a moment to thank the hardworking people who make sure our elections run smoothly.

Our local clerks, clerk’s office employees, poll workers, police details, postal workers, and municipal leaders play a critical role in protecting every person’s right to vote. I am personally grateful for each of their roles in safeguarding the democratic process during this global pandemic.

Never before have we relied upon these guardians of democracy the way we have the past few and next few months.

Our local clerk’s offices worked tirelessly for the past many weeks making sure every person who had the right to participate in our election process had the chance to do so. They stood up early voting for a primary election for the first time, processed thousands of no-excuse absentee ballots, and made various accommodations to in-person voting to protect the public’s health.

Never before have we relied upon our postal workers to deliver ballots to people’s homes and then back to city and town halls in the numbers we did this past month. These postal workers performed their duties day in and day out making sure voters who were concerned about their health could still vote.

Thank you to all our local poll workers who showed up despite this public health crisis to help run our elections and help make sure every vote got counted. And our police details again provided a secure place for people to vote and participate.

We are so fortunate to live in the greatest nation on earth and while we have more work to do – it is comforting to know that each of these groups remain committed to democracy – and a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

Thank you all.

-Rich Haggerty