As the weather warms up and we get ever nearer to the end of this pandemic, I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the longer days. It has been a busy few weeks for our office, from voting on important legislation to checking out new local businesses.
Recently, the Soldiers’ Home bond bill along with a bill to fix the unemployment solvency fund passed the House and Senate. Based on CDC guidance, the governor updated the timeline for COVID restrictions being lifted. As this pandemic is coming to an end (hopefully), the majority of mask mandates go away on May 29, and the state of emergency ends June 15.
June 15 also begins when the state will require those who are collecting unemployment to be actively searching for work. Hopefully this will help the many businesses throughout the Commonwealth who are having a hard time finding employees. There is a job fair being put on by the Chamber of Commerce at Mestek on Saturday (5/22) from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. I recently met with the new Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce Eric Oulette and will continue regularly meeting with him to discuss the business priorities of Westfield.
This past week I took part in two committee hearings. One with the Joint Committee on Higher Education and the other with the Joint Committee on Education. The four-to-five-hour long hearings took testimony from the public on bills that were favorably passed out of the committees during the last session, but never received a vote in the House or Senate. This is the first step for the committee before we vote to recommend if they should go to the Senate and House of Representatives again for a vote to enact them into law.
I also attended the first meeting for the Aviation Caucus which is chaired by Senator Velis and Representative Blais. With Barnes Airport in our city, I’m glad to be working with my colleague Senator Velis to advocate and have a voice on all topics related to aviation. With the airport being such an integral part of our community, our voices being heard on those matters is of the utmost importance. I also took part in the Gateway Cities Caucus where we discussed ways to help increase access to vocational schools and education.
As part of these busy couple of weeks, I attended a meeting with Senator Velis, Representative Sabadosa, and leaders from the City of Westfield and Town of Montgomery to discuss a potential land transfer so the Town of Montgomery can expand their cemetery. If both communities agree to the transfer, it would then go to the State House for approval.
I also took part in the Sportsman’s Caucus along with the head of Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game to discuss the proposed fee increases on hunting and fishing licenses. I finished this week by attending the 104th Fighter Wing Rededication Ceremony at Barnes Air National Guard Base.
It was a pleasure to attend the dedication of a bench at the Stanley Park Veterans Memorial which was donated by the Kiwanis Club, and to also attend a ribbon cutting ceremony for the reopening of Munchy’s Malt Shop under new ownership – congratulations and the best of luck. It is always nice to be a part of events within our community.
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 Rep. Kelly Pease