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Legislature OKs $261.6M '21 supplemental budget

Dave RogersRogers

Cindy FriedmanFriedman

Sean Garballey, 2019Garballey

Arlington's Beacon Hill delegation  joined their colleagues in the Legislature in passing a $261.6 million supplemental budget for fiscal 2021.

On Wednesday, July 21, Sen. Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington), Rep. Sean Garballey (D-Arlington) and Rep. Dave Rogers (D-Cambridge) supported the measure addressing time-sensitive deficiencies, extends expanded voting options, provides supports for the implementation of the 2020 landmark police-reform law and makes investments to support the Commonwealth’s continued recovery from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

 Aiming to pave the way to an equitable recovery, the supplemental budget includes $191 million to provide support and stability for an early educator workforce, $27.9 million for one-time economic relief payments to families on transitional assistance and $12.5 million for costs associated with implementing last session’s landmark police-reform bill. 

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$784,626 for transportation coming to Arlington

Dave RogersRogers

Cindy FriedmanFriedman

Sean Garballey, 2019Garballey

Arlington's Beacon Hill delegation reports passage of a $350 million transportation bill, which includes $784,626 of the $200 million in Chapter 90 funding for town projects for road, bridges, sidewalks and bikeways. 

On Thursday, July 15, 2021, Sen. Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington), Rep. Sean Garballey (D-Arlington) and Rep. Dave Rogers (D-Cambridge) joined those in the state Legislature in passing the measure. 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. 

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How state's fiscal '22 budget affects Arlington

Cindy FriedmanFriedman

Dave RogersRogersSean Garballey, 2019Garballey

UPDATED, July 17: Arlington's Beacon Hill delegation reports approval of the fiscal 2022 state budget, noting these local priorities that they helped secure:

  • $175,000 for the Arlington Youth Counseling Center;
  • $100,000 for Food Link Inc. to address food insecurity in Arlington and surrounding communities;
  • $100,000 to the Arlington playground initiative;
  • $75,000 for the Arlington Historical Society for maintenance, refurbishing and replacing critical assets at the Jason Russell House and the Smith Museum;
  • $50,000 for the Cyrus Dallin Art Museum;

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Delegation's votes help overturn Baker veto of Holyoke Soldiers’ labor accord

Dave RogersRogersSean Garballey, 2019Garballey Cindy FriedmanFriedman The Arlington legislative delegation joined its colleagues in the state Legislature  to override Gov. Baker’s veto of language requiring a project-labor agreement from the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home bill financing the construction of the new home.  

Sen. Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington), Rep. Sean Garballey (D-Arlington) and Rep. Dave Rogers (D-Cambridge) added their votes to the override.

In May, Baker signed the bulk of a bill authorizing $400 million in bonds for the design and construction of a new soldiers’ home facility in Holyoke and $200 million in bonds to increase geographic equity and accessibility related to the continuum of long-term care services for veterans across the state, but struck a provision requiring the home to be built with a project labor agreement, under which nonunion workers would have to affiliate with construction unions to have a chance to work on the new facility 

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Bill to boost higher-ed funding gathers support in Legislature

sgarballey 19 4519Garballey among many sponsors.

Rep. Sean Garballey (D-Arlington and West Medford) is among the sponsors of the “Cherish Act,” which aims to implement the core findings of the state Higher Education Finance Commission – that state investment in public colleges and universities has dramatically declined from a peak in fiscal 2001.

So far, 83 state representatives and 29 state senators have endorsed the legislation.

With declining public investment in state colleges and universities, costs have shifted to students, as campuses are more easily subject to privatization, staff cuts and elimination of programs that support students, a June 29 news release from Garballey's office says.

State Sen. Jo Comerford (D-Northampton) is the lead sponsor of the bill in the Senate, while Garballey and Rep. Paul Mark (D-Peru) are the lead sponsors in the House.

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Delegation supports Fair Share Act on '22 statewide ballot

Proposed constitutional amendment would fund transportation, education  

Dave RogersRogersSean Garballey, 2019Garballey Cindy FriedmanFriedman The Arlington legislative delegation joined its colleagues at a joint session of the state Legislature  to provide greater investments in education and transportation funding. 

Sen. Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington), Rep. Sean Garballey (D-Arlington) and Rep. Dave Rogers (D-Cambridge) voted in a Constitutional Convention to advance the "fair share" amendment to the state Constitution.

The amendment goes to voters for a statewide vote in 2022,. It establishes a 4-percent tax on annual taxable income in excess of $1 million. The revenue generated, estimated by the Department of Revenue to be as much as $2.2 billion annually, would pay for repair and maintenance projects for roads, bridges or public transportation as well as funding for public education, including support for early education and child care and public higher education. 

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Friedman joins Senate in passing fiscal '22 budget

Includes increased investments to support an equitable recovery, safeguard health

Cindy FriedmanFriedman

State Sen. Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington) joined her colleagues in unanimously passing the $47.7 billion fiscal 2022 Senate budget on May 27. Local investments include: 

  • $14,741,108 in Chapter 70 funds and $8,338,017 in Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) for Arlington school districts;
  • $175,000 for the Arlington Youth Counseling Center (AYCC) to provide much-needed services to support the social and emotional wellbeing of all Arlington’s youth and families; and 
  • $100,000 for Food Link Inc. to address food insecurity in Arlington and surrounding communities.

 The Senate added $63.7 million in targeted investments over the course of three days of deliberations. Approved with unanimous bipartisan support, the budget maintains fiscal responsibility and recommends targeted investments to address emerging needs, safeguard the health and wellness of the most vulnerable populations and ensure residents will benefit equitably as the state recovers from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

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Baker signs bill for Covid-19 emergency paid sick leave

NEW SUB. 

Dave RogersRogers

sgarballey 19 4519Garballey

Cindy FriedmanFriedman

Gov. Charlie Baker has signed legislation allowing businesses to avoid steep spikes in unemployment insurance taxes this spring and summer by spreading the cost over the next 20 years, but the administration and lawmakers still face pressure to use federal relief funds to remove some of that burden from employers, the State House News Service reported.

The Arlington State House delegation joined their colleagues and gave final approval to a bill to guarantee Covid emergency paid leave to workers, as well as avoid drastic increases in unemployment-insurance rates paid by employers.

On May 20, Sen. Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington), Reps. Sean Garballey (D-Arlington) and (D-Cambridge), voted with the majority on the measure. Gov. Baker had returned the bill with an amendment. He signed the bill May 25.

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Town programs aided by fiscal '22 House budget

sgarballey 19 4519Garballey

Dave RogersRogers

Reps. Sean Garballey and Dave Rogers joined their State House colleagues to pass its fiscal 2022 budget, funded at $47.716 billion. Here are some Arlington programs that benefit:

The town received Chapter 70 funds totaling $14,741,108, and $8,338,017 in unrestricted general-government aid.

The Arlington House delegation secured several investments for local programs and services, which include $75,000 for the Arlington Historical Society, for maintenance, refurbishing and replacement of critical assets at the Jason Russell House and the Smith Museum; $100,000 for the Arlington playground initiative; $15,000 for the Arlington community orchard; $25,000 for the Children’s Room, and $50,000 for the Cyrus Dallin Art Museum.

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Delegation backs $627M for Covid-19 recovery, including possible town aid

Priority for small-business relief, support for workers, housing development 

sgarballey 19 4519Garballey

Cindy FriedmanFriedman

Dave RogersRogers

The Arlington legislative delegation joined its colleagues in passing legislation that aims to provide economic recovery and development to provide much-needed support to businesses and create jobs in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Voting to back the measure for $627 million in funding bill were Sen. Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington), Reps. Dave Rogers (D-Cambridge) and Sean Garballey (D-Arlington).

The bill was signed into law Jan. 14. An Act Enabling Partnerships for Growth aims to ensure state residents a Covid-19 relief and recovery package to provide support to the restaurant and tourism sectors, small businesses and those affected by the pandemic, while also creating a Future of Work Commission, establishing protections for student loan borrowers and ushering in zoning reforms that will encourage housing development in our communities.  

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Town delegation plays part in making climate-change bill law

Measure seeks jobs, reduced emissions, environmental justice

Cindy FriedmanFriedman

Dave RogersRogers

sgarballey 19 4519Garballey

The Arlington legislative delegation joined its colleagues in passing legislation that overhauls the state’s climate laws, aims to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, hopes to create clean-energy jobs and strives to promote environmental justice in communities.

Voting to back the measure were Sen. Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington), Reps. Dave Rogers (D-Cambridge) and Sean Garballey (D-Arlington).

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What's in health-care law OK'd amid pandemic 

Mandates telehealth coverage, provides financial assistance to hospitals and increases protections against surprise medical billing

Dave RogersRogers

sgarballey 19 4519Garballey

Cindy FriedmanFriedman

Just before Christmas, the town delegation joined their colleagues in the Legislature to pass a number of notable health-care reforms. 

The measures expand patient access to care by lifting barriers to receiving telehealth services, broadens the scope of practice for certain health-care professionals, requires advance notice of a provider’s network status in order to avoid surprise medical bills and improves coverage for Covid-19 testing and treatment amid the most serious public health crisis in modern history.  

Approving An Act promoting a resilient health care system that puts patients first on Dec. 23, were Sen. Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington), Reps. Dave Rogers (D-Cambridge) and Sean Garballey (D-Arlington).

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Town delegation joins colleagues to pass balanced fiscal '21 budget 

Includes local earmark for Arlington Youth Counseling Center 

sgarballey 19 4519Garballey

Cindy FriedmanFriedman

Dave RogersRogers

UPDATED, Dec. 14: The town's delegation, all Democrats – Sen. Cindy F. Friedman, Rep. Sean Garballey and Rep. Dave Rogers – joined House and Senate colleagues to pass the fiscal 2021 budget.

Funded at $46.2 billion, the budget aims to address the sweeping effects of the global pandemic by making targeted investments in housing, food security and substance-use addiction services, as well as 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, early education and child care, and public health. 

The final measure passed after a conference committee agreed to details between Senate and House budgets. It goes to the governor for his changes and approval.

“The current surge in positive Covid-19 cases in Massachusetts emphasizes that we must continue to do all we can to support our most vulnerable residents during these challenging times—and this budget helps to accomplish that by investing in much-needed behavioral health services, housing protections, reproductive health access, education and food assistance,” Friedman, vice chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means and member of the FY21 Budget Conference Committee, said in a Dec. 11 news release.

“I am extremely proud that we were able to keep crucial investments in place — the $46 billion will go a long way towards ensuring an equitable economic recovery for the Commonwealth. I am incredibly thankful to Senate President Spilka, Ways and Means Chair Rodrigues and the rest of my colleagues in the legislature for their tireless work on behalf of the Commonwealth.” 

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What's in police-reform bill that delegation helped pass

Includes civilian-led panel on certification, developmentally-appropriate de-escalation, community policing, behavioral health council  

Cindy FriedmanFriedman

sgarballey 19 4519Garballey

Dave RogersRogers

Arlington's legislative delegation joined colleagues in the Senate and House to pass S.2963, An Act relative to justice, equity and accountability in law enforcement in the Commonwealth.

The legislation represents the most comprehensive and intentional legislative response to incidents involving police practices in Massachusetts communities, says a Dec. 4 news releasefrom Sen. Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington), Rep. Dave Rogers (D-Cambridge) and Rep. Sean Garballey (D-Arlington).

The measure creates an independent, civilian-led commission to standardize the certification, training and decertification of police officers, bans the use of choke holds, limits the use of deadly force, creates a duty to intervene for police officers when witnessing another officer using force beyond what is necessary or reasonable under the circumstances and takes steps to break the school-to-prison pipeline.

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Friedman honored for personal cause: mental-health service

Cindy FriedmanFriedman

The Massachusetts Association for Mental Health (MAMH) honored Sen. Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington) with its Spirit of Compassion Award at its 107th annual and first virtual awards event.

This event salutes individuals whose work contributes to progress in awareness, health promotion, prevention and effective treatment for children and adults affected by mental-health challenges throughout Massachusetts.

“As a parent of someone with a severe mental illness, I know firsthand how difficult it can be to navigate the mental-health-care system in Massachusetts,” Friedman said in a news release. “I’m honored to be recognized for my commitment to this issue, and I am grateful to MAMH’s continued collaboration and tireless advocacy on behalf of some of the most vulnerable people in our state.”

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