Scituate Woman Kim Stewart Honored as Unsung Heroine

June 26, 2018

BOSTON – State Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) was honored to attend the fifteenth
annual Unsung Heroines celebration at the Massachusetts State House. Through the Unsung
Heroine award, the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women honors women in the
Commonwealth who work hard every day to serve their communities, dedicating their time and
effort to the betterment of all of our lives across the state. This award is intended to celebrate
women whose work often goes unrecognized, for their leadership and volunteerism.
Kim Stewart of Scituate was nominated and honored with the Unsung Heroine award by State
Representative James M. Cantwell (D-Marshfield). Ms. Stewart has served for 22 years as the
Scituate Animal Control Officer, and was named the 2017 Animal Control Officer of the Year by
the Animal Rescue League in Boston and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of
Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA.) In addition to her work with animals, Ms. Stewart has dedicated
time to the people in her community, serving as co-chair of the Scituate Community Christmas,
which provides gifts and assistance to families facing economic hardships. Ms. Stewart also
serves on the Board of the Scituate Alliance of Natural Disaster Services (SANDS), providing
assistance to residents during natural disasters. Representative Meschino and Representative
Cantwell presented Ms. Stewart with a joint citation to commend her for her dedication to the
community of Scituate.
“I am delighted to see the Kim Steward recognized as an Unsung Heroine for the years of service
towards her community,” said Representative Meschino. “She has served both the people and the
animals of Scituate, and the Commonwealth at large, with compassion and empathy.”
A complete list of this year’s honorees is available by contacting the Commission; to request this
list or for additional information please contact the MCSW at 617-626-6520 or


Cohasset Woman Christine Murphy Honored as Unsung Heroine


June 26, 2018 

BOSTON – State Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) was honored to attend the fifteenth
annual Unsung Heroines celebration at the Massachusetts State House. Through the Unsung
Heroine award, the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women honors women in the
Commonwealth who work hard every day to serve their communities, dedicating their time and
effort to the betterment of all of our lives across the state. This award is intended to celebrate
women whose work often goes unrecognized, for their leadership and volunteerism.
Christine Murphy of Cohasset was nominated and honored with the Unsung Heroine award by
Representative Meschino. Ms. Murphy has significantly contributed to the community, serving
as a board member of the Cohasset Social Service League, where she worked to establish a brand
new senior center in the town. Following this, Ms. Murphy turned her attention towards the
addiction crisis, establishing the Safe Harbor Cohasset Coalition and designing programming
dedicated to promoting drug prevention among local youth. Ms. Murphy was also responsible for
securing a grant from Drug-Free Communities, allowing her to hire a full time professional staff
to manage Safe Harbor Cohasset.
“I am proud to see Christine Murphy celebrated as an Unsung Heroine,” said Representative
Meschino. “She has done so much to promote the betterment of Cohasset through her
community initiatives and could not be more deserving of this title.”
A complete list of this year’s honorees is available by contacting the Commission; to request this
list or for additional information please contact the MCSW at 617-626-6520 or


House Passes Legislation for Environmental Protection

June 19, 2018 

BOSTON – Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) joined her colleagues in the House of
Representatives on Wednesday, June 13th to pass legislation authorizing spending on
environmental programs. The bill, H.4599, also known as the Environmental Bond Bill,
authorizes over a billion dollars in funding to protect against the impacts of climate change and
conserve natural resources. The funding and policy proposed in this legislation will reach every
corner of the Commonwealth, from coastal infrastructure to agricultural preservation. The Bond
Bill also invests in water and air quality protection, municipal vulnerability preparedness grants,
and an electric vehicle incentive program. These are critical steps to making Massachusetts a
leader in global climate change solutions, and to preserving our community’s natural assets for
generations to come.
“Climate change and sea level rise are urgent issues that my community faces,” said
Representative Meschino. “I was proud to collaborate with my colleagues to ensure that the state
will be able to allocate the necessary funds to climate change mitigation and adaptation.”
Representative Meschino was able to obtain an authorization of $500,000 for a Regional Hazard
Mitigation Initiative for the towns of Cohasset, Hingham, Hull, and Scituate. This initiative
would coordinate a prioritized regional hazard mitigation plan to improve collective hazard
planning, increase public safety, and streamline emergency response across the 3rd Plymouth
district. This legislation will ensure that we can protect our coastal communities from the
impacts of climate change.


House Passes Legislation to Support and Honor Military Veterans


May 30, 2018

BOSTON – Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) joined her colleagues in the House of
Representatives to pass legislation to support Massachusetts’ veterans and military families
including an important provision to make more veterans eligible for property tax exemptions by
relaxing the residency requirements. This bill builds upon the Commonwealth’s legacy as a
national leader for the number of programs and services it offers to military personnel, veterans
and their families.
“I am honored to have had this opportunity to stand for the veterans of the 3 rd Plymouth District
and their families,” said Representative Meschino. “This bill will expand their access to the
support that they deserve.”
“I am immensely proud that Massachusetts ranks first in the nation when it comes to military-
benefit programs and services,” House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo said. “This legislation sends a
message to our heroes and their families that we appreciate their bravery, sacrifice and service.”
The bill provides new financial supports to families including:
Creates a $1,000 active-duty death benefit, in addition to any annuity the person would
have received;
 Increases the amount a deceased veteran’s estate may receive to assist with funeral and
burial expenses from $2,000 to $4,000.

Recognizing that many people who serve in the military have specialized medical training, the
legislation makes it easier for military personnel to become EMTs once they return home.
Lastly, under this legislation every municipality in the Commonwealth will now designate one
parking space at its town or city hall as “veterans-only parking.”


Rep Meschino Hosts State House Electric Vehicle Ride and Drive Event


April 10, 2018

BOSTON – Today at the Massachusetts State House, Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) joined her colleagues, Representatives Smitty Pignatelli (D-Lenox), Jonathan Hecht (D-Watertown), Solomon Goldstein-Rose (I-Amherst) and Jack Lewis (D-Framingham), to host an Electric Vehicle Ride and Drive. The day began with a morning briefing, which highlighted the benefits of electric vehicles, showcased the enormous advancements made in electric vehicle technology over recent years, and addressed the future of electric vehicles in the Commonwealth.

The briefing brought in a diverse set of speakers, including Matthew Beaton, Secretary of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs; Alli Gold Roberts, State Policy Director at Ceres; Basim Motiwala, Government Relations at Honda; and Karsten Barde, New Customer Offerings at National Grid.

After the briefing, legislators, State House staff and media were invited to test drive a host of electric vehicles, including a BMWi3, a Nissan Leaf, a Chevy Bolt, a Mini-Cooper Plug-In, a Hyundai Ioniq, a Tesla Model X, and a hydrogen fuel cell Honda Clarity.

“Transportation represents the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Massachusetts,” said Representative Joan Meschino. “Promoting the continued transition to electric vehicles is one of the most critical steps we can take locally to lower our dirty emissions and to address climate change and sea level rise.”  

Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton said, “Through Governor Baker’s Commission on the Future of Transportation in the Commonwealth, our statewide listening session tour, and regional discussions on this issue, we are working to develop further strategies to reduce emissions from the transportation sector and protect future generations from the impacts of climate change.”

“We support our customers in going electric, and we’ve proposed a range of new products and programs across our service territories to help increase awareness, affordability, and accessibility of EVs and EV charging for all our customers,” said Karsten Barde, Manager of New Customer Offerings at National Grid.

Legislators spoke not only to electric vehicle technology, but also to state policy and programs that support the transition to EVs, such as the Mass Electric Vehicle Incentive Program, which helps businesses, cities, towns and agencies install charging stations, and MOR-EV (Massachusetts Offers Rebates for Electric Vehicles), which offers consumers a rebate for purchasing or leasing an EV.


Rep Meschino Leads Push for Electric Vehicles, Charging Infrastructure


February 26, 2018

BOSTON - State Representative Joan Meschino joined 37 other legislators who weighed in last week on the allocation of $75 million that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is scheduled to receive from the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund. Members urged the Department of Environmental Protection, which is charged with dispensing the money, to invest in electric vehicle charging infrastructure and invest the balance of the funds in fully-electric transit and school buses.

The money will be received as part of a multi-state settlement with Volkswagen after it used a cheating computer system that ran emissions controls during testing but not during normal vehicle operation. Emissions from these vehicles were 15-40 times the federal Environmental Protection Agency compliance level. Volkswagen has agreed to spend nearly $15 billion on remedial action, including $2.9 billion that is being divided up among participating states and territories.

“The Commonwealth must continue to limit its transportation sector emissions if we are to meet our statutory obligation to combat global warming,” said Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull). “These funds present a unique opportunity to achieve our emissions reductions goals while also addressing the health and equity issues facing our communities.”

In supporting electric vehicle charging infrastructure, legislators argued that charging stations need to become much more common across the state to give drivers convenient access to charging, overcome ‘range anxiety,’ and raise public awareness about the practicability and feasibility of purchasing an electric vehicle (EV). With a focus on equity, legislators pushed for EV charging at workplaces and multi-unit dwellings, locations more likely to be used by people of modest means without access to charging at home because they lack off-street parking.

Legislators urged the department to dedicate substantial amounts of funding to upgrade transit and school bus fleets to fully electric vehicles. While newer diesel and compressed natural gas vehicles emit lower levels of NOx gases than older models, electric buses emit no NOx at all and would improve air quality in areas that are heavily reliant on public transportation. Though electric buses have higher sticker prices, they have much lower lifetime maintenance costs.

Byron Rushing (D-Boston), House Assistant Majority Leader, voiced his support for the effort, stating: “The Volkswagen settlement money has presented the Commonwealth with a unique opportunity to make progress towards electrifying our transportation sector, essential to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality. If used conscientiously, we can expand electric vehicle access to middle- and low-income drivers and protect our most vulnerable populations, including our children, from the negative health effects of smog.”

The Department of Environmental Protection is in the midst of a stakeholder process to seek further input from the public on projects to fund. To submit comments, please visit  


House Passes Massachusetts Alzheimer’s and Dementia Legislation



February 18, 2018 

BOSTON – Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) joined her colleagues in the House to pass legislation which establishes an Alzheimer’s Disease Advisory Council. The bill also requires the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) to conduct an assessment on existing state efforts and implement a state plan to address the disease.

There are currently 120,000 individuals in Massachusetts with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia, and experts predict the prevalence of Alzheimer’s will increase 25 percent in the next decade. Currently, more than 300,000 people in Massachusetts act as caregivers to one these patients. In 2017, Medicaid costs for caring for people with the disease totaled $1.55 billion.

“This legislation ensures the Commonwealth’s ongoing commitment to public health,” Said Representative Meschino. “I am proud that the House has chosen to address Alzheimer’s and Dementia and to strengthen our capacity to provide care and ongoing support to the growing number of people diagnosed with these diseases throughout the Commonwealth.”

The legislation creates minimum-training standards for elder protective services social workers and establishes a continuing education requirement for medical professionals to improve the diagnosis, care, and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

In an effort to strengthen a patient’s support network and improve communication, physicians will be granted increased flexibility when sharing medical information with a patient’s family throughout diagnosis and treatment. These changes operate within the existing legal framework of federal and state medical information privacy laws. The legislation also requires a new, one-time continuing education requirement for physicians, physician’s assistants, registered nurses, and practical nurses, which will include training in the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s.

The Alzheimer’s Disease Advisory Council, established in the legislation, will be required to meet quarterly and will provide EOHHS and the Legislature with recommendations on Alzheimer’s policy, an evaluation of state-funded research, care and programming, and any outcomes of such efforts. EOHHS will create an integrated state plan to facilitate the coordination of government efforts while ensuring that appropriate resources are maximized and leveraged.

The legislation requires hospitals to implement an operational plan for recognizing and managing individuals with dementia. Hospitals must complete and implement their operational plan by October 1, 2021, and provide the Department of Public Health with the plan as requested.


House Passes Comprehensive Criminal Justice Reform Legislation


November 17, 2017

BOSTON – Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) joined with her colleagues in the House to pass comprehensive criminal justice reform legislation that will lead to a more equitable system by supporting our youngest and most vulnerable residents, reducing recidivism, increasing judicial discretion, and enhancing public safety.

“This landmark legislation will make our criminal justice system significantly more equitable while enhancing public safety through a series of workable, real-world solutions,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo.  “I am proud of the unprecedented reforms we’ve made to support our youngest and most vulnerable residents, particularly children facing adversity and individuals of all ages battling addiction. I am grateful for the dedication and insight of Chairwoman Cronin, and I thank Chairman Sanchez, Leader Mariano and Chief Justice Ireland for their guidance.”

"Through a number of practical and progressive reforms, this bill takes steps to improve the criminal justice system,” said Representative Meschino. “We have updated and improved our laws, made the system more equitable, and are giving people opportunities to rebuild their lives after incarceration, while also ensuring public safety. This comprehensive and workable bill will have a meaningful impact on the criminal justice system.”

For the first time in the history of Massachusetts, this legislation would establish a process for expunging criminal records. Courts will now be able to expunge certain juvenile and young adult (18-21) records, and records in cases of fraud or where an offense is no longer a crime. The legislation also bars third-party data companies from disseminating expunged records.

This legislation reflects a balanced, modern, smart-on-crime approach to sentencing. It eliminates mandatory and statutory minimum sentences for many low-level, non-violent drug offenses. At the same time, it bolsters the House’s multi-tiered approach to the opioid epidemic by creating the nation’s strongest law for trafficking Carfentanil and by strengthening the Fentanyl trafficking law. The legislation also toughens penalties for repeat offenders convicted of operating under the influence (OUI).

As part of the House’s focus on combatting the opioid epidemic and providing healthcare parity, this legislation requires district attorneys to create pre-arraignment diversion programs for military personnel, veterans, and individuals with addiction or mental health issues. It removes the age restriction to participate in a diversion program, as they are currently only available to defendants 22 and under. The bill also establishes restorative justice as a voluntary pre-arraignment program.

The House has a longstanding legacy of supporting the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable children, particularly those facing trauma and adversity. Accordingly, this bill raises the minimum age of criminal responsibility from seven to ten and decriminalizes a first offense misdemeanor if the punishment is a fine or imprisonment for not more than six months. The legislation establishes a Juvenile Justice Policy and Data Commission, which will make the state eligible for additional federal funding, and a Childhood Trauma Task Force to study and recommend gender responsive and trauma-informed approaches to treatment of youths in the juvenile justice system. The bill also extends Good Samaritan protections to alcohol incapacitation for individuals under 21.

Following reforms in 2010 and 2012, this legislation again updates the Commonwealth’s criminal offender record information (CORI) system to help individuals secure gainful employment and housing:

  • Reduces the wait time to seal a conviction from ten years to seven years for a felony, and from five years to three years for a misdemeanor.
  • Allows a conviction for resisting arrest to be sealed.
  • Expands the ability of an applicant with a sealed record to be able to answer “no record” on housing applications.
  • Creates an appeal process for applicants who have been denied a professional license due to a sealed record of a conviction.
  • Establishes protections for businesses and landlords who shall be presumed to have no notice or ability to know about criminal records that have been sealed or expunged.

This legislation updates the Commonwealth’s bail system and enhances judicial discretion by requiring a judge to take a person’s financial resources into account when determining bail. Fines and fees could be waived if they would make it impossible for an individual, their immediate family or their dependents to meet basic food, shelter and clothing needs.

The legislation sets a limit on how long an inmate can be held in segregation (solitary confinement) without review and bans segregation for pregnant women and juveniles. It also creates a Segregation Review Board to ensure appropriate oversight of the use of segregation. Additionally, the bill creates a process and establishes an independent board for terminally ill inmates to petition for medical parole.

The legislation raises the threshold for larceny to qualify as a felony from $250 to $1,000. It also creates the crime of solicitation that is tied to the severity of the underlying crime.

The bill passed the House 144-9. The vote follows unanimous passage of a separate criminal justice bill on Monday (commonly referred to as the Council of State Government bill) designed to complement the House’s comprehensive bill. The CSG bill allows individuals to earn early release by participating in recidivism-reduction programs.


State Legislators Host Veterans' Town Hall


October 27, 2017

HINGHAM – Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull), alongside her colleagues, Senator Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth), Representative James Murphy (D-Weymouth) and Hingham Veterans’ Service Officer, Keith Jermyn hosted a Veterans’ Town Hall event this Thursday at Hingham Town Hall.

The event offered an opportunity for veterans, active duty military personnel, veterans’ organizations, and their dependents from across the South Shore to gather and hear from legislators, local officials and the Secretary of the Executive Office of Veterans’ Services, Francisco A. Ureña on the state of Veteran Affairs in the commonwealth. Veterans' were able to ask questions about veterans' benefits and services.

"I would like to thank all of the veterans who joined us at this town hall event," said Representative Joan Meschino. "Hearing from local veterans about the challenges that they currently face will enable my office to better serve our vets moving forward. I look forward to a continued conversation."

“Our Community should do all that they can for those who serve our great country,” stated Representative Murphy. “It was an informative and open discussion about the issues facing our nation’s veterans today.”

Senator Patrick O'Connor represents the Plymouth and Norfolk District, which includes the towns of Cohasset, Duxbury, Hingham, Hull, Marshfield, Norwell, Scituate, and Weymouth

Representative Meschino represents the 3rd Plymouth District, which includes the towns of Cohasset, Hingham, Hull and north Scituate.

Representative James Murphy represents the Fourth Norfolk District, which includes the towns of Hingham and Weymouth.


Representative Meschino Announces Formation of Fair Skies Caucus


August 30, 2017

BOSTON – Senator Walter F. Timilty (D-Milton) and Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) today announced the formation of the Fair Skies Caucus. The caucus will bring together legislators from both the Massachusetts State Senate and the Massachusetts House of Representatives that represent districts affected by overflights from local airports, including Logan Airport, Worcester Airport, and Hanscom Field. 

As the Senate chair and House chair, respectively, Timilty and Meschino aim to encourage bipartisan and bicameral collaboration on legislation and budget matters relevant to the caucus and its members. The caucus will unite the advocacy efforts of its individual members in order to more effectively collaborate with Massport and other agencies.

“It is my strong belief that an equitable solution to the problem of airplane noise must be implemented,” said Timilty. “Communities across the Commonwealth experience the constant barrage of noise and the public health risks associated with airplanes flying overhead at all hours of the day and night. The Fair Skies Caucus will bring together my colleagues on Beacon Hill as we work toward an equitable solution that disperses the burden among neighboring communities. I commend Representative Meschino for her leadership, and I look forward to our continued partnership.”

“The formation of the Fair Skies Caucus is a welcome step toward achieving equitable and safe strategies to mitigate noise and air pollution,” said Representative Meschino. “By leveraging our shared interests, the Caucus can more effectively support the Community Advisory Council’s work with Massport to research and implement equitable noise mitigation strategies. I applaud Senator Timilty for his leadership in this area, and I look forward to our ongoing collaboration.”

In addition to creating a forum for legislators to work jointly on issues pertaining to airplane noise, the caucus will allow for increased collaboration with members of the Massport Community Advisory Committee (Massport CAC). The Massport CAC, comprised of representatives from 35 communities, serves as the voice of communities affected by Massport operations.

By optimizing advocacy efforts, the caucus will work to find meaningful solutions to an issue affecting communities across the Commonwealth.