We have reached the month of August and I am hoping we get a few more weeks of sunshine before the fall begins. I am looking forward to more outdoor events and meeting with constituents: it’s my favorite part of the job!
Especially with the COVID-19 delta variant, I want to remind everyone to please get their vaccine. The vaccine is safe, effective, and is the best way to protect yourself, your family, and your community. Vaccine locations and information can be found at mass.gov/covid-19-vaccine. Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office if you need help setting up an appointment.
It has been busy as ever in the Legislature. Many of you are undoubtedly aware that Massachusetts, like other states, has received a significant amount of federal COVID relief funding through the American Rescue Plan Act. This one-time aid of $5.3 billion will be absolutely critical as we return from the pandemic and continue our economic recovery. The Legislature has started holding public hearings to determine how to best utilize these funds. As economy recovery from the pandemic gets underway, hearing from my communities of what is sorely needed will be imperative in determining where the funding is distributed.
This past week consisted of a lot of planning for the last month of the summer. I spent part of my week planning a veteran court listening session in Holyoke. I proud to be the Senate chair of Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs, and have made supporting veterans and their families a major priority of my legislative agenda this session. Over the past couple of months, the committee conducted listening sessions at veteran centers across the commonwealth to hear about the various issues veterans are facing across our great state. In a couple of weeks, I will be holding a listening session to discuss veteran courts, and how the Legislature can ensure the best possible outcome for our veterans. I’m excited for my colleagues to come to Holyoke and meet with major Western Massachusetts stakeholders to see the unique issues our veterans face.
As always, if there is anything I can do to assist you, please never hesitate to reach out to my office. I can be reached at my email: [email protected], or by phone: 413-572-3920, and you can find me online at senatorjohnvelis.com, where you can also sign up for my newsletter.