I hope everyone is having a great start to their summer, with school being out and Independence Day right around the corner, it is a perfect time for gathering with friends and family. After this last year, it is so good to see the concert series in downtown Westfield and many other events are starting back up and life is truly getting back to normal.
I attended two committee hearings: The Joint Committee on Higher Education and The Joint Committee on Education. Several people provided testimony during an over five-hour hearing before the education committee. On June 9 there was a Constitutional Convention where the ‘Fair Share Amendment’, a tax hike on millionaires, was approved to be placed on the 2022 ballot. Also, the legislature passed a law just before 9:00pm on June 16 to extend some of the COVID-19 emergency procedures that expired. The bill allows for continued remote public meetings, to-go cocktail sales and town meeting flexibilities, to name a couple.
In addition to the committee hearings and legislative business, I also attended a meeting with the Gateway Cities Caucus, the Regional Transit Authority Caucus, and the PFAS Task Force. Caucuses like these are important for legislators to stand together on similar issues from across the commonwealth to increase our voice at the Statehouse.
I was invited for a meet and greet with the Westfield Democratic Committee. It was a great meeting where they learned more about me and I listened to their concerns. We had a great dialog, and I really appreciated the opportunity, since I represent all the people of Westfield whether you are a Democrat, Unenrolled (independent), Republican, or unregistered. Ethan attended a Covid task force/housing first meeting that addresses problems and concerns with meeting our housing needs in Western Massachusetts, especially over this past year. I sat down for a discussion with Westfield School Superintendent Czaporowski; we discussed some of the upcoming bills related to schools in the commonwealth and he provided an update and future outlook for our schools.
It was great getting out in our community. I helped sponsor the Westfield Wheel Walk at Stanley Park to help raise funds for handicap accessible benches. My son Riley manned the water station in his first official function as a Cub Scout. On June 14 we celebrated Flag Day and the U.S. Army’s Birthday (246 yrs). I donned my military uniform that I retired in over ten years ago (still fits!) and went to the twin bridges for an event that Mayor Humason began as a State Representative. I felt proud to see all the people that came out and the response from all the people who drove by was outstanding!
We finished the week celebrating our newest state holiday on Friday. Juneteenth commemorates June 19th, 1865, the day the last Black slaves in the Confederacy were liberated by Union forces in Galveston, Texas. By that time, the Emancipation Proclamation freeing all slaves in the Confederacy had already been signed into law for more than two years.
We continue to help constituents with various issues. If you are having problems contacting or getting an answer from Departments or Agencies within the Commonwealth, please reach out to us and we will help to the best of our abilities to get a resolution.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Ethan or I at: [email protected] or [email protected] or by calling our office at 413-875-8787. We are located at 94 N Elm St Suite 301N in the Westwood Building.
State Representative Kelly Pease