The 191st session of the Massachusetts Great and General Court is underway. On January 2, I was sworn in to my fourth term in the Massachusetts State Senate, representing the 11 cities and towns that comprise the 2nd Hampden & Hampshire District: Agawam, Southwick, Granville, Tolland, Russell, Montgomery, Southampton, Easthampton, Chicopee, Holyoke, and Westfield.
I pledge to work hard for all the constituents I have the honor of representing on Beacon Hill. We may not agree on every issue but I am committed to listen and engage with every person in good faith.
Both the Senate and the House passed the Conference Committee Report and we are awaiting Governor Baker’s signature on the official Fiscal Year 2020 budget. The budget totals $43.11 billion and does not contain any new broad-based taxes. It represents a less than 2% increase over last year’s budget.
The Legislature has allocated an additional $269 billion boost to the state’s Chapter 70 account, the largest annual increase the state has ever allocated. The state’s rainy day fund was also raised to $3.3 billion dollars.
Widely supported by members in the House and the Senate, as well as Governor Baker, the MassHealth drug pricing control reform was adopted. This reform would permit the Secretary of Health and Human Services to directly negotiate supplemental rebate agreements with manufacturers of pharmaceutical drugs and, for certain drugs, hold a public hearing on a proposed value.
Additionally, I helped secure over $700,000 that will directly benefit a wide array of facilities, services, and events across the 2nd Hampden & Hampshire District, including:
$85,000 for an asphalt recycler for the town of Southwick
$87,500 for improvements to technology in the Easthampton public schools
$100,000 to the Massachusetts Marine Trades Association high school training program
$60,000 for an arts integration program for Enchanted Circle of Holyoke in public schools
$25,000 for handicap accessibility, building, and equipment upgrades at Agawam Junior and Senior High schools
$25,000 for classroom safety and security upgrades at the Woodland, Powder Mill and High School in the town of Southwick
$15,000 for improvements to the playground at Highland Elementary School in Westfield
$50,000 for improvements to the biology laboratory in Wilson Hall at Westfield State University
$30,000 to Homework House of Holyoke
$50,000 for Harmoney House in Chicopee
$100,000 to Baystate Noble Hospital in Westfield for a grant program to prevent and treat opioid addiction and related substance abuse
$40,000 for the maintenance of the war memorials in the towns of Russell, Montgomery, Southampton, and Westfield
$15,000 for the Westfield Historic Industries Preservation Project
$25,000 to the City of Westfield for the maintenance of Billy Bullens baseball field
$90,000 for an emergency generator for the town of Agawam
I want to wish all of my constituents a happy and safe summer! If I may be of service to you, please contact either my Westfield or Boston Offices so my staff and I can assist you as quickly as possible. For scheduling requests, issues with state agencies, or other local matters, contact my Westfield Office by calling (413) 568-1366. For budgetary or legislative inquiries, please contact my Boston Office by calling (617) 722-1415.
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2nd Hampden and Hampshire
Includes the towns of Agawam, Chicopee (7A, 7B, 8A, and 9A), Easthampton, Granville, Holyoke, Montgomery, Russell, Southampton, Southwick, Tolland, and Westfield.