FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Natalie Higgins, 978-602-3772
March 29, 2017
House Approves $200 million for Local Infrastructure Needs
BOSTON – Representative Natalie Higgins (D-Leominster) joined her colleagues in the House of Representatives to pass legislation that authorizes $200 million for Chapter 90 funding to help municipalities complete road, bridge and infrastructure improvement projects.
The bill also appropriates $70 million to replace the Registry of Motor Vehicle’s information technology infrastructure.
“Leominster will be receiving more than $1,000,000 in Chapter 90 funding for FY18,” said Higgins, “I hear from Leominster residents regularly about roads in their neighborhoods that need maintenance and I am glad that this will give the city the resources it needs to make those improvements.”
“Chapter 90 funds are essential to providing stability and spurring economic growth in Massachusetts,” House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop) said. “That growth starts on the local level. I am pleased we were able to take action on this bill before April to support safety and efficiency in our municipalities.”
“The House of Representatives voted to support $200 million of Chapter 90 funding for our cities and towns,” said Representative Brian S. Dempsey (D-Haverhill), Chair of the Joint Committee on Ways & Means. “Today’s vote will ensure that local transportation projects will continue to move forward as the busy construction season gets under way. These funds are a vital source of local aid and demonstrate the House’s ongoing commitment to deliver needed resources to our partners at the municipal level.”
“This funding is instrumental to cities and towns seeking to make repairs and updates to their infrastructure,” said Representative William Straus (D–Mattapoisett), Chair of the Joint Committee on Transportation. “The winter weather is especially tough on roads, and The Legislature’s $200M appropriation will allow municipalities added funds this construction season for repairs that are most needed.”
This legislation complements a 2016 transportation law focused on highways, small bridges and a municipal grant program. That bill authorized $750 million for both federal-aid interstate and non-interstate highway projects, and $50 million for a new program to repair small bridges.
Originally published in: http://www.leominsterchamp.com/articles/a-message-from-leominsters-new-state-representative/
I am thrilled to have a monthly column in the Leominster Champion and reach Leominster residents in a new way.
It is my privilege and honor to serve as your state representative. I plan to use this column to update you about legislation moving in the State House, share community resources, and discuss important issues affecting the people of Leominster.
Growing up in a working-class family, we never saw government as an accessible resource, and we did not know how to best advocate for ourselves. However, the Office of the State Representative can play a unique role in bridging the gap between the community and the State Legislature. It is my goal to fill that role and bridge the gap, but this is where I also need your help.
This month I would like to talk about the role you can play in our state and local government, through advocacy to your elected leaders.
For the last decade, I have worked as an advocate and community organizer throughout Central Massachusetts for many under-resourced communities, including sexual violence survivors, our elderly neighbors, and public higher education. Throughout all of those roles, I have seen how powerful organizing and advocacy tools like storytelling and relationship building can be.
As your state representative, I want to work with you to raise your concerns within Leominster and across the state. In order to do that, I have been setting up a number of accessible spaces for you to reach me.
I have already started my early morning and evening office hours, and I want to thank all of the people who have taken the time to meet with me. I hope you can drop in Monday evenings anytime from 5:30-7 in the Leominster Public Library’s Small Conference Room 204. The first and last Friday of the month I will be at local breakfast spots throughout Leominster from 7-8 a.m. The middle Fridays I will be available at the Leominster High School Media Center at the same time. In addition, I will have Senior Mondays set up as a casual coffee hour throughout Leominster: The first Monday at the Senior Center at 12:30 p.m., before the Golden Agers Meeting, the second Monday at the Sunset Tower at 10:30 a.m., and the third Monday at the LaPierre Building at 10:30 a.m.
I am also pleased to be appointed to four committees in the 2017-18 legislative session: Higher Education; Mental Health, Substance, and Recovery; Community Development and Small Businesses; and Technology and Intergovernmental Affairs. I look forward to keeping you up to date with committee progress.
You can check out my full public calendar at www.RepNatalieHiggins.com.
I can be reached at my Leominster office at (978) 227-5278 or my Boston office at (617) 722-2425, or via email at Natalie.Higgins@mahouse.gov.
I look forward to connecting with you soon.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Natalie Higgins, 978-602-3772
March 22, 2017
Legislature Passes Spending Bill with a Focus on Supporting Those Most in Need
Invests in behavioral health, DCF and the families of first responders
(BOSTON) – State Representative Natalie Higgins joined her colleagues in the Massachusetts Legislature to pass a supplemental budget that makes crucial investments to support the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable residents including the families of those killed in the line of duty.
The spending bill contains $300,000 to begin the process of regulating the recreational marijuana industry following the passage of an initiative petition this past fall.
“As public officials it is our job to look out for those facing adversity, especially our younger residents and those battling addiction,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo. “As we encounter uncertainty on a national level, this bill will provide vital resources for these individuals and families. I’m particularly proud that we’ve bolstered financial support for the families of Massachusetts heroes who are killed in the line of duty.”
“I am proud to join my colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives,” said Higgins, in appropriating the necessary funds to continue important work across the Commonwealth.”
The House continues to provide record-level funding to confront the behavioral health and substance addiction challenges plaguing Massachusetts. This legislation invests more than $2.8 million for the Department of Mental Health. It also provides support in numerous ways to help vulnerable populations including:
The spending bill also doubles the benefit for those killed in the line of duty, bringing the total to $300,000 to provide support for their families.
The legislation now goes to the Governor for his signature.
Rep. Higgins was just featured on WCVB Channel 5's City Line discussing Massachusetts public higher education system. Please note that this was filmed back in November, when Rep. Higgins was still the Executive Director of PHENOM.