HAGGERTY DELIVERS MAIDEN SPEECH ON EDUCATION

Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn) and his colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives unanimously passed historic legislation to invest $1.5 billion in the Commonwealth’s public education system. Known as The Student Opportunity Act, the legislation invests funding to support the needs of English learners and school districts that serve high concentrations of low-income students in order to help address persistent disparities in student achievement.

In addition, school districts across the Commonwealth will benefit from updates to the existing funding formula, along with increased state investment in other vital education aid programs such as transportation, guidance and psychological services, school buildings and special education. 

This update that will ensure the children of Woburn and Reading, along with the rest of the Commonwealth, are given the much-needed resources for them to receive a top-tier education. Being a member of the Joint Standing Committee on Education along with campaigning strongly on updating the Education Funding Formula, Rep. Haggerty strongly believes this bill will deliver the necessary support that school districts and our municipalities rightly deserve. The Representative gave his passionate maiden speech in front of the House Chamber yesterday on the importance of passing this landmark piece of legislation, which can be read below:

 “Thank you Mr. Speaker, and to the Honorable Members of the House for allowing me to speak on the pressing issue of education funding reform in our Commonwealth. I rise today to strongly support H.4137 – The Student Opportunity Act.

Today I would like to thank The Speaker, Chairwoman Peisch, the Education Committee, and all those who have championed the cause of updating our education funding formula. I am proud to join you on this historic day and send the message to every corner of our state, that we recommit ourselves to making sure Massachusetts remains a national leader in educating our youth!

As I begin, I ask everyone to reflect on how your education brought you to where you are today.

The hard work of teachers, the coach who was a little tough on you, the mentor who spent a little extra time with you, and the school counselors who have all made significant impacts on our lives. You see, we are privileged to have received the opportunities that arose from our productive educational backgrounds. As a state our commitment to academic achievement is unmatched, and we are proud that our students are ranked among the highest in the nation for math and reading test scores year after year after year.

The Student Opportunity Act does just that. It tells parents, it tells teachers, and most importantly it tells a young generation of leaders that we see them – we hear them – and education-funding reform will not wait another year.

I’m a Woburn public school kid and proud of it. I have three Aunts who were public school teachers, and I’m proud of them. I’m also proud to live in a state that evaluates how well we are educating our kids and looks to find areas where we can do better. We recognize that achievement gaps exist, across a variety of demographics.

But today we have the opportunity to say once and for all, “We are going to better educate you. Whether you are an English language learner or on an IEP – we are going to support you. Whether you are black or white – we are going to empower you. Whether you are rich or poor we are going to help you reach your full potential.

Because that is what we do in Massachusetts. We invest in every young person regardless of gender, race, ability, creed, sexual orientation or anything else.

You see – today there is a second grade kid in my district of Woburn and Reading learning about odd and even numbers or is learning about using capital letters correctly. This young person has no idea what lies ahead for them, no idea what the world holds for them. They have no idea a bunch of legislators are sitting on Beacon Hill debating a piece of legislation that will impact them for the next 10 years of their lives, maybe the next 50 years of their lives. A piece of legislation that could help decide so many other important parts of this young person’s life – where or even if they go to college, what kind of job they have, how well they’re paid,  whether they can support their family, whether they feel intellectually and personally fulfilled. In some ways it sounds so grandiose and then I pause think about and realize – it is.

Now to be fair there are some who ask the question, why now? Why should we make this kind of investment at this moment. Well the answer is simple – the world has changed and the responsibility we have to educate our youth must change with it. We are no longer preparing our students for the jobs of 30 years ago. We are no longer preparing our kids for the jobs of yesterday or even tomorrow. Now our teachers are preparing our kids for jobs that don’t event exist yet. That’s how fast our world is moving today – the world has changed and we must change with it.

All of our kids need to be ready to compete in a global world against kids from all corners of the globe and we need to give them the tools to do it. Not only do they need to compete against competitors half a world away but they need to compete against machines, automation, and a rapidly changing economy.

Investing in education also sends a clear message to educators. To our current teachers it says we value your work, we support you, and we are ready to put our money where our mouth is. To future teachers is says Massachusetts isn’t going anywhere – we are playing the short and the long game when it comes to properly funding education, and we are ready to show you how serious we are.

As a member on the Joint Committee of Education I can tell you this bill will deliver the kind of support municipalities need, and our school districts deserve. Each year there are School Committees across the state making the hard decisions of where to invest money and how to ring another dollar out of a tight budget. School officials are talking to a parent of a young student whose first language isn’t English, or an older student who’s acting out and needs more behavioral support.

The resources in this bill will provide these local officials and these districts more tools to close budget gaps, invest in a community’s priority areas, and better support the social and emotional needs of students.

The proposed legislation would address the main recommendations of the foundation budget review commission including stronger support for English-language learners and low-income students, additional funding for special education and associated transportation costs, along with more support for school employee health care costs.

So today is a big win for Massachusetts, a big win for communities, a big win for parents, a big win for teachers, and most importantly a big win for students.

I would like to thank the people of the 30th Middlesex District Woburn and Reading for the honor to represent them in this chamber. I would also like to thank my supporters, my family, and my wife Haley for their love and support.

Our Commonwealth has a long, storied history of educational activism, and today we reaffirm the words of Horace Mann:

‘Let us not be content to wait and see what will happen, but give us the determination to make the right things happen.’ 

Today we take a big step forward to making great things happen for our students. Thank you.”

House Passes Fiscal Year 2019 Supplemental Budget with Targeted Investments in Infrastructure, the Environment, Wellness and Education

BOSTON –  State Representative Richard Haggerty has joined his colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives to pass a supplemental budget allowing the Commonwealth to increase the balance of its “Rainy Day Fund” to $3.2 billion, invest in local infrastructure projects, fight the opioid crisis while providing emergency funding for towns affected by the tornados on Cape Cod this past summer.

“This budget improves the Commonwealth’s long-range financial position by placing $400 million in our reserve account and recommits us to investing in education and transportation,” said Haggerty, “I am also pleased to support additional critical resources for mental and behavioral health as well as our Clean Water Trust Fund.”

In order to further fortify Massachusetts’ financial resiliency, the Legislature dedicated $400 million to the Commonwealth’s stabilization fund, bringing the Rainy Day Fund’s total balance to an unprecedented $3.2 billion, the first time the fund has reached that amount in its history.

“This budget makes critical investments that the Commonwealth needs in order to continue to provide the services that our constituents so dearly rely upon,” said Representative Aaron Michlewitz (D – Boston), Chair House Ways & Means Committee. “The funds that we are putting into Education, Transportation, Housing, and into the stabilization fund will go a long way to improve the lives of all the residents of the Commonwealth.”

As part of the House’s priority to protect the environment, the supplemental budget makes a $24 million investment for the testing of potential per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination of water supplies and for grants to support treatment and remediation of affected public drinking water systems, and $35 million for the Clean Water Trust Fund.

In addition, the supplemental budget reaffirms the House’s strong partnership with cities and towns by providing $60 million to invest in local roads and bridges projects. Furthering the House’s commitment to clean energy, the budget also features a $32 million investment in the state’s electric vehicle rebate program.

In addition, the supplemental budget:

·      Recognizes the need for increased investment in the MBTA by providing $50 million for additional staffing and contract costs to support capital project delivery, inspection and maintenance activities, and service diversions necessary to accelerate capital projects;

·      Works to support the Commonwealth’s public higher education institutions by investing $20 million in a program that encourages private fundraising with matching state dollars; 

·      Keeps with the House’s priority to promote gun safety by including $10 million for gun violence prevention programs;

·      Supports low-income households at the risk of eviction or facing foreclosure by investing $7 million for a rental and mortgage arrearage assistance pilot program;

·      Continues the House’s leadership on the Commonwealth’s early education efforts by including $3 million for grants for early educator scholarships for school paraprofessionals;

·      Provides $3 million in disaster relief funding to Cape Cod communities affected by the tornados on July 23, 2019;   

·      Designates the presidential primary date for Sept. 1, 2020 and invests funding to establish early voting for the 2020 presidential election;

·      Support the House’s priority of supporting Massachusetts’ most vulnerable youth by investing $5 million in a program to expand access for students to community-based mental and behavioral health services in schools; and

·      Includes $10 million reserve for salary increases for home health aides and personnel providing homemaker and personal care homemaker services.

The supplemental budget will now go to the Senate.

Representative Haggerty to Host Senior Charlie Card Event

Part of his ongoing effort to deliver increased public transportation options and assist seniors with living independently in their community, State Representative Richard M. Haggerty is partnering with the MBTA and the Woburn Council on Aging in sponsoring a “Senior Charlie Card” registration event at the Woburn Senior Center. The event will provide local seniors the opportunity to receive a discounted Senior Charlie Card pass for use on MBTA bus, rail, and subway systems. All Woburn residents who are 65 years or older are highly encouraged to attend.

The event will take place at the Woburn Senior Center, 144 School Street in Woburn starting at 9 a.m. on Friday, September 13th, with members of Representative Haggerty’s staff and volunteers from the Center on hand to assist with applications. Held in conjunction with the annual Fall Fest event, eligible seniors must be new to the Senior Charlie Card program and present a government-issued photo ID at the Center’s Transportation Office, where they will fill out a registration form along with having their photos taken.

“I would like to thank the MBTA and the staff at the Woburn Council on Aging for making such an event possible, bringing the program and transportation benefits it provides directly to our seniors”, said Representative Haggerty. “I encourage eligible residents of Woburn and the surrounding communities to join me at the Senior Center to take advantage of this important opportunity.”

A Senior Charlie Card provides the holder with discounted rates to ride buses for 85 cents, subways for $1.10, inner express buses for $2.10, and outer express buses for $2.60. Seniors can also travel on commuter rail or ferry services for 50 percent off the regular full fare. In addition, seniors can purchase a monthly pass, which is good for unlimited travel on local buses and subways for $30. No discounts apply to express bus passes, commuter rail passes, or boat passes.

Representative Haggerty will be also be in attendance to assist with this event and answer any questions residents may have. Those with questions are also encouraged to contact Rep. Haggerty’s Legislative Aide at Anthony.Langone@mahouse.gov and (617) 722-2090, or the Woburn Council on Aging’s Transportation desk at (781) 897-5964.

April – July Legislative Update

I hope this legislative update finds you well.

I would like to take a few minutes to apprise you all on the efforts I have made as your State Representative these last several months. It continues to be an honor to serve the 30th Middlesex District and I look forward to updating you as the year continues on the efforts I am making on your behalf on Beacon Hill.

Since my last legislative update, I have focused my energy on constituent services, participating in numerous committee hearings, co-sponsoring legislation, and have taken several House Chamber votes.

FY2020 Budget
The governor recently signed the Fiscal Year 2020 budget that reached his desk after passing through the House and Senate, where I was able to vote in favor of increased education funding and other measures.

My work on the FY20 budget was important for securing local aid for Reading and Woburn. We were able to increase Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) by almost $30 million. Of this aid, we have allocated $6,357,286 for Woburn and $3,442,525 for Reading to help offset the rising costs of running a municipality.

Both communities will also see a much-needed increase in Chapter 70 education funding with the passing of this year’s budget. Funded at the highest level ever with $5.17 billion dedicated to education, this is over a $268 million increase over FY19. This influx of necessary education funding means Reading is set to receive $10,834,809 with Woburn receiving $9,422,229.

Working with my colleagues, below are some of the budget earmarks I was proud to advocate for and secure for the two communities:

• $25,000 to begin the design work for a pedestrian footbridge over the tracks at Anderson Regional Transportation Center in Woburn
• $25,000 for the Woburn Council on Aging transportation van
• $25,000 for shuttle bus transit feasibility study to connect Anderson Regional Transportation Center in Woburn and Hanscom Air Force Base to key regional hubs
• $75,000 for safety improvements at Reading Memorial High School
• $60,000 for a new Elder & Human Services van for Reading
• $50,000 towards pedestrian crosswalk lights on Lowell Street in Reading

I would like to thank Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington), Senator Jason Lewis (D-Winchester), Minority Leader Bradley Jones, and Representative Michelle Ciccolo (D-Lexington) for their help in passing necessary earmarks for our communities.

One major aspect of this year’s budget was MassHealth Drug Pricing Reform. This key measure will allow MassHealth the ability to negotiate directly with drug manufacturers, helping to drive down the costs of prescription drugs and saving taxpayers $28 million in FY20.

The House also called for over $282 million in spending for environmental programs. I recently cosponsored an adopted budget amendment issued by House Minority Leader Bradley Jones (R-North Reading) regarding the Conservation Land Tax Credit. Raising the Credit’s annual cap from $2 million to $5 million, this amendment provides necessary funding to preserve more open space in the Commonwealth by helping to clear the almost $4.7 million in requested projects which would protect thousands of additional acres of land.

Committee Hearings
With the legislative session now in full swing, these last few months have seen many different pieces of legislation pass through the various committee hearings. As a member of the Joint Standing Committees for Education, Financial Services, and Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture (ENRA), I have participated in dozens of hearings so far this year. During this time, I have been able to witness the spirited testimonies of those advocating for legislation relating to updating the education funding formula, banning retail locations from issuing plastic bags, to establishing a student loan Bill of Rights. I was also able to testify in support of several common sense pieces of legislation I believed in.

In April, I testified in front of the Joint Committee on Children, Families, and Persons with Disabilities to advocate for my bill H.127, An Act to establish a registry of caretakers found to have substantiated abuse against persons with intellectual disability or developmental disability. The purpose of creating this registry is simple – to protect one of our most vulnerable populations while effectively punishing those who wrongfully commit abuse against them.

In June I joined Senator Cindy Friedman alongside Woburn constituent and advocate Angela Freitas Ortiz in front of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing to support bills related to children with complex medical needs and other special populations.

In July, with District Attorney Marian Ryan and a Reading constituent who is a domestic violence survivor, I testified in support of bill H.1437, An Act relative to visitation and family court matters in domestic violence cases. This piece of legislation would effectively close the loophole regarding visitation rights after a domestic violence crime was committed, protecting both the children of the affected family and victim of the abuse.

Legislation
With the legislative session well underway, I have signed on to cosponsor several seasonably filed pieces of legislation. To name a few:

In April, I cosponsored H. 3655, an act that will require universities to provide students with written notice of the processes available for addressing sexual assault, both legally and at the university level.

In May, I cosponsored several bills:
• H. 3785, which amends legislation regarding how the state retirement system treats individuals afflicted with PTSD-related injuries;
• H. 3771, an act which updates and streamlines the process for obtaining criminal offender record information checks in the Commonwealth; and
• H. 3835, an act which seeks to meet the growing human services workforce demand by updating the base wages of entry-level and support staff

In June, I signed onto H. 3999, which removes the religious exemption for vaccinations and immunizations in our schools. Removing this exemption will protect our community members most vulnerable to vaccine-combatable illnesses- infants and those who cannot receive vaccinations due to medical conditions- through the well-researched concept of herd immunity.

In July, I cosponsored three important pieces of legislation:
• HD. 4366, which increases the operational safety of keyless ignition vehicles by requiring models for sale or lease in Massachusetts to be equipped with automatic shut-off technology;
• HD.4389, a bill that would impose a 5% fee on digital streaming providers marketing their services on public rights of way, treating them the same as cable providers. This money would then be distributed to municipalities as local aid and community media centers such as Woburn Public Media Center and RCTV; and
• HD.4398, an act establishing a hate crimes grant program, which will provide grants to primary and secondary schools with an identified need for the purpose of education, professional development, prevention, and community outreach programs aimed at combatting hate crimes.

Votes Taken
Since the last update, the House has been busy holding numerous formal sessions to vote on many different important pieces of legislation. Below are some of the bills I have been proud to vote in favor of:

• H.69, which finances improvements to municipal roads and bridges
• H.3819, an act making appropriations for the fiscal year 2019 to provide for supplementing certain existing appropriations and for certain other activities and project
• H.3904, an act creating a state-level board of real estate appraisers
• H.3535, an act which expands agriculture preservation restrictions for hemp cultivation
• H.3987, an act establishing a Green Works infrastructure program in an effort to promote climate change resiliency and provide grants for local communities in dealing with this issue
• H.3854, an act relative to collective bargaining dues, which would protect workers’ right to form and join unions
• H.4000, an Act making appropriations for the fiscal year 2020 for the maintenance of the departments, boards, commissions, institutions and other activities of the commonwealth, while encouraging nondiscrimination and equality of opportunity in hiring
• H.3793, an act requiring the use of mobile telephones while driving to be completely hands-free

Please feel free to reach out to my office or legislative aide via email at Anthony.Langone@mahouse.gov or call the office at (617) 722-2090. To stay up to date on everything I’m doing up at the State House and out in the district follow me on Facebook @Rich.M.Haggerty and on Twitter @richhaggerty.

House Unanimously Passes $1.3 Billion for Community Climate Resiliency Projects

Significant investments in local microgrid, electric vehicle, energy storage projects

BOSTON – House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) and Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn) worked with their colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives to vote 158 to 0 to pass legislation investing $1.3 billion to help cities and towns across Massachusetts fund infrastructure projects aimed at fighting climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The legislation establishes a $1 billion, 10-year grant program – known as GreenWorks – to fund clean energy, energy efficiency, and climate change resiliency measures that cut greenhouse gas emissions, fortify infrastructure and reduce municipal costs. The legislation also invests $325 million in other municipal green projects.

“This plan, which closely resembles the proposal Governor Baker filed in January, commits significant state resources to help cities and towns adapt to the challenges posed by climate change,” said Representative Jones. “By making investments now to reduce carbon emissions, promote energy efficiency, and reinforce local infrastructure, communities like Reading can become more resilient in mitigating the negative impacts of climate change.”
“As a former local official I know how important it is to provide cities and towns with the tools they need to move towards a more sustainable future. I also know first hand how much communities have benefited, and saved taxpayer dollars, from similar state-grant programs,” said Representative Haggerty. “ Whether its more electric vehicles, Green Works projects, or support for the creation of Sustainability Coordinators – leading on this important issue will help our planet and save money.”

Modeled after the state’s MassWorks program, GreenWorks funds projects that improve climate preparedness and resiliency, promote or produce clean energy or energy efficiency, build energy storage facilities, implement measures included in Massachusetts’ statewide climate adaptation strategy or otherwise help mitigate the impacts of climate change or reduce carbon emissions.

“GreenWorks builds on a long-standing House approach to provide concrete tools directly to cities and towns that result in both immediate and long-lasting positive effects,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, (D – Winthrop). “This forward-looking investment helps Massachusetts cities and towns build resilient communities, lower long-term operating costs and cut greenhouse gases while creating jobs for workers across the Commonwealth.”

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs will accept applications annually and administer the program, which is funded through the issuance of bonds. In addition, the legislation makes targeted investments of $325 million in energy infrastructure, including:

• $100 million for investments in municipal microgrid energy systems
• $125 million for electric vehicles in municipal or regional transit authority fleets
• $20 million for the hiring of sustainability coordinators to develop and manage municipal projects resulting for the GreenWorks program
• $50 million to establish the Green Resiliency Fund to offer low-interest loans for municipalities when pursuing GreenWorks projects
• $30 million for the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources’ MOR-EV electric vehicle rebate program

The bill will now go to the Senate.

Woburn delegation secures funding to support education, community services and programs in FY20 budget

Budget includes funds to support English language tutoring, provide Council on Aging transportation, and fight food insecurity

BOSTON – Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington), Representative Rich Haggerty (D-Woburn), and Representative Michelle Ciccolo (D-Lexington) recently joined their colleagues in passing a Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) conference committee budget, making substantial investments in education, health care, mental health and substance use disorder services, housing, and local aid. This $43.1 billion budget includes several key investments to support programs and services in the city of Woburn.

A six-member conference committee, which Senator Friedman served on, was established to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate versions of the FY20 budget. The committee reached consensus this week on a compromise spending plan for the new fiscal year that began on July 1, and it was approved by both legislative chambers on July 22.

Consistent with the General Court’s long-standing commitment to supporting increased investments in education, this budget makes a significant down payment on the work of the Foundation Budget Review Commission (FBRC), and funds Chapter 70 at its highest level ever, providing $5.17 billion in education funding, a $268 million increase for investments in schools over FY19. Woburn school districts will receive $9,422,229 under this budget, an increase over FY19. The budget also includes a $10.5 million reserve for low-income students while the Joint Committee on Education continues its work on this issue.

In addition, the budget increases Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) by nearly $30 million, allocating $6,357,286 to support community investments in education, health care, public safety, and roads and bridges for the city of Woburn.

Senator Friedman, Representative Haggerty, and Representative Ciccolo worked hard to ensure that the FY20 budget also includes the following critical funding for Woburn:

• $100,000 to support English language instruction for immigrants and refugees at English At Large in Woburn, which provides voluntary English language tutoring and instruction to adult learners;
• $95,000 to provide on-site English language tutoring and technical skills training to parents at Woburn Creative Start, an organization that provides high quality, licensed educational programs and child care in Woburn;
• $85,000 for Food Link MA, an organization that helps to fight food insecurity in Woburn and surrounding communities by delivering nutritious food, including fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, and eggs, to over 30 social services that serve low-income individuals in need;
• $25,000 for a transit access feasibility study for first mile/last mile shuttle buses. This study will analyze potential shuttle bus routes with an eye toward connecting Anderson Regional Transportation Center and Hanscom Air Force Base to key hubs throughout the region;
• $25,000 for design for a pedestrian footbridge over the tracks at Anderson; and
• $25,000 for the Woburn Council on Aging to procure a transportation van.

“The budget reflects the legislature’s strong commitment to increasing access to quality, affordable health care, ensuring that every student has the opportunity to receive a quality education, and expanding access to behavioral health services,” said Senator Cindy F. Friedman, Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “Moreover, as our state continues to grapple with the opioid crisis, I’m especially proud that this budget makes strong investments in mental health treatment and harm reduction initiatives to ensure more resources for families and their loved ones.”
“I know how important it is to make sure Woburn has the tools it needs to educate children, support seniors, and improve public transit,” said Representative Rich Haggerty. “This budget reflects my priorities well by making the largest investment ever in Chapter 70 education funds. We have also empowered MassHealth to directly negotiate with drug manufacturers so that we can help drive down the costs of prescription drugs, and we have made a substantial contribution to the state’s rainy day fund.”

“While our region is home to a growing number of 21st century biotech companies, many of our job centers and transit hubs, including Anderson Regional Transportation Center, are surrounded by inadequate transportation infrastructure,” said Representative Michelle Ciccolo. “The transportation sector is one of the primary drivers of carbon emissions, posing a daunting threat to our health and the environment. Immediate action is required to avoid the impending environmental crisis while preparing our economy for the jobs of the future, and this budget is a solid step in the right direction.”

Having passed the House and Senate, the legislation now moves to the Governor’s desk. He has 10 days to review the budget and issue any vetoes.

To view the FY20 conference committee budget report, please visit https://malegislature.gov/Budget/ConferenceCommittee.

Reading delegation announces funding for public safety, Council on Aging van in Fiscal Year 2020 state budget

BOSTON – The town of Reading will receive $210,000 in state funding to carry out two public safety initiatives and purchase a new Council on Aging van as part of the $43.1 billion Fiscal Year 2020 state budget.

A six-member conference committee working to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate versions of the budget reached consensus this week on a compromise spending plan for the new fiscal year that began on July 1. The budget was approved by both legislative branches and sent to Governor Charlie Baker on July 22.

House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading), Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn) and Senator Jason M. Lewis (D-Winchester) noted that the budget includes a $75,000 earmark for installing pedestrian crosswalk lights on Lowell Street, and an additional $75,000 for implementing safety improvements at Reading Memorial High School. The budget also includes $60,000 for Reading to purchase a new senior van to service the town’s elderly residents.

“The town’s legislative delegation was made aware of Reading’s local priorities at the start of the budget process, and I’m pleased to see our efforts resulted in those initiatives being included in the conference committee report,” said Representative Jones. “With this funding, Reading will be able to take steps to enhance public safety at the high school and on Lowell Street, while also expanding the transportation options available to local seniors.”

“I know how important it is to make sure Reading has the tools it needs to educate children, support seniors, and improve public safety,” said Representative Haggerty. “This budget reflects my priorities well by making the largest investment ever in Chapter 70 education funds. We have also empowered MassHealth to directly negotiate with drug manufacturers so that we can help drive down the costs of prescription drugs, and we have made a substantial contribution to the state’s rainy day fund.”

“The Fiscal Year 2020 budget appropriations for Reading’s public safety and transportation infrastructure show the results of the strong state-local partnership between the State House and Town Hall,” said Senator Lewis. “I am very pleased that the House and the Senate have come together to support these important local investments.”

Governor Baker has 10 days to review the budget and issue any vetoes.

Representative Haggerty Accepting Applications for 2019 Fall State House Internships

BOSTON – State Representative Richard M. Haggerty is searching for motivated, civic-minded individuals interested in a Fall internship in his office at the Massachusetts State House. Representative 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 from the inside the State House. Although unpaid, interns will obtain invaluable experience by witnessing and 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.

Interns will also have the opportunity to attend various events held at the State House such as hearings, meetings, and listening to guest speakers. Interns in Representative Haggerty’s office will gain the satisfaction of serving the Commonwealth along with being able to add beneficial experience to their resume.

Applicants should have excellent written and verbal communication skills, a high level of attention to detail, be able to conduct themselves professionally, and respect for confidentiality. Candidates must also be proficient with Microsoft Office applications along with major social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

Candidates with a particular interest in communications, public relations, graphic design, video production or social media should indicate so in their application. Candidates should send a resume with a brief cover letter of interest, and a 2-3 page writing sample to Anthony.Langone@mahouse.gov by Friday, August 9th, 2019. References should be available upon request, and if potential applicants have any questions please call (617) 722-2090.

Legislature Passes Local Infrastructure Funding Bill Bill includes funds to support municipal road repairs in Woburn

Bill includes funds to support municipal road repairs in Woburn

BOSTON – Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington), Representative Rich Haggerty (D-Woburn), and Representative Michelle Ciccolo (D-Lexington) recently joined their colleagues in passing the so-called “Chapter 90” bond bill to fund local road and bridge repairs, and to continue the legislature’s ongoing commitment to invest in local communities.

The bill will provide $200 million in bond authorizations in Fiscal Year 2020 for municipal infrastructure improvements across the Commonwealth. This multiyear investment provides cities and towns with the ability to plan their construction needs in advance, giving communities access to predictable and consistent funding.
“When the winter season comes to a close, our roads and bridges across the Commonwealth are in desperate need of repair,” said Senator Friedman. “This program allows our cities and towns to fund local projects to improve our damaged infrastructure right at the start of construction season. I’m proud to have worked with my colleagues to secure funding to support these essential projects in our community.”
“This appropriation will provide Woburn with the resources it needs to repave local roadways and upgrade infrastructure,” said Representative Haggerty. “I was pleased to vote in favor of this aid to assist our communities in keeping our roads safe and complete local paving projects.”

“Money from the Chapter 90 bond bill allows cities and towns to plan a year out for the critical road maintenance that keeps Massachusetts residents moving smoothly throughout our Commonwealth,” said Representative Ciccolo. “While we as state legislators have much urgent work to do on transportation infrastructure, maintaining our commitment to providing predictable assistance to communities for the upkeep of their streets is simply the right thing to do.”

Chapter 90 funds are allocated using a longstanding formula based on community road miles, population, and employment. The expected apportionment for the City of Woburn is $1,268,029.

Following final approval by the Senate, the Governor signed the bill into law on June 6, 2019.

Reading Legislators Lewis, Jones & Haggerty Support Passage of Local Road Repair Funding Bill

BOSTON – In May, both the Massachusetts House of Representatives and the State Senate passed a bond bill to fund local road and bridge repairs (funding often referred to as “Chapter 90” funds), and to continue the legislature’s ongoing commitment to invest in our local communities. Senator Jason Lewis, Representative Brad Jones and Representative Rich Haggerty all supported the passage of the legislation. The bill will provide $200 million in Fiscal Year 2020 for municipal infrastructure improvements across the Commonwealth.

“Our communities need meaningful state investment into road and bridge repair, and after yet another long New England winter, we’ve all seen the rough shape of many local roads,” said Senator Jason Lewis. “This funding will improve our infrastructure and make our transportation network safer and more reliable.”

“The House and Senate are fully committed to supporting the Chapter 90 program and providing communities with the resources needed to properly maintain their local roads and bridges,” said House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. “The funding allocated through this program will allow the Town of Reading to move forward in addressing some of its most pressing transportation infrastructure needs.”

Under this bill, the Town of Reading is allocated $593,159 for the 2020 Fiscal Year.

Chapter 90 funds are allocated using a formula based on community road miles, population and employment. After passage in the Senate last week, the bill moves to the House of Representatives for enactment before returning to the Senate for final approval and then sent to the Governor for his signature.