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Your Tewksbury Today

Rep. Miceli And Legislature Pass Landmark Legislation

Aug 03, 2016 06:29AM ● By Theresa Gilman

State Rep. Jim Miceli, D-Wilmington.

(Editor's Note: this content was provided by the Office of Representative James Miceli.) 

Boston, MA – Representative Miceli, along with the Massachusetts legislature, worked late into the night two weekends in a row. While overriding Governor Baker’s budget vetoes were a large part of the House and Senate’s docket over the past few weeks, both branches of the legislature worked efficiently to get as much done before the deadline for all legislation that requires a full formal session.

Initially proposed at $39.146 billion, the FY2017 budget was heavily hit with vetoes from the Governor several weeks ago. Of the line-items the governor chose to veto, two directly hit very close to home to the 19th Middlesex district. The first was additional funding for “Camp Pohelo” a special-needs program of Tewksbury, and the second was crucial funding for the Into Action Recovery drug clinic, which is currently searching for a location to establish their program in the Merrimack Valley area. Due to Representative Miceli’s advocacy, both of these line-items were overridden over the weekend and will receive the full amount advocated for in the original budget approved by the House and Senate. In addition to these line-items, the legislature also passed the Pay-Equity bill, aimed to reduce the gender wage gaps, as well as several other majorly anticipated bills.

“I am pleased that I was able to advocate for and secure funding for these two programs” said Representative Miceli upon their passing. “Camp Pohelo is something I look to support every year, it’s a great program for the campers, their parents, and for the community. Anything I can do to support it, I will do without hesitation. In addition, the Into Action Recovery program is ready to hit the ground running with their new form of treatment, and I am excited for them to receive this funding that will allow them to do their truly necessary work. The fact is, there aren’t many people in the Commonwealth who can say they don’t know someone effected by the opiate crisis, which is a reality our state cannot afford to ignore. With this in mind, I’m glad our legislature came together in agreement that we should be doing more, not less to combat this epidemic. I want to extend my thanks to my colleague on the Ways and Means committee, Chairman Dempsey and to Speaker DeLeo who supported my requests in bringing these valuable services back to Tewksbury and Wilmington. This is a great budget, fiscally sound, and modest in growth, and is balanced to be responsible yet supportive. I am proud of the work we’ve done this year.”

Camp Pohelo is set to receive $20,000 via the override to continue its operation, while Into Action Recovery has been allotted an additional $200,000 which is planned to be put towards the purchase of a property to begin the organizations operation. The Governor did not attempt to change education or unrestricted local aid, with Tewksbury receiving $13,012,055 total and Wilmington $10,978,730 based on formula funding. Unrestricted aid for Tewksbury is set at $2,676,112 and Wilmington for $2,390,882. Under the Economic Development Bill, an additional $200,000 was secured for Into Action Recovery, Inc, bringing the grand total from Representative Miceli’s earmarks to $450,000.

In addition to the passage of the budget the legislature passed several major landmark bills, including the Municipal Modernization Bill, Ride-Share Bill, and the Energy Omnibus bill, all major goals of the Speaker Robert DeLeo, Representative Miceli, and the House of Representatives. The municipal modernization bill overhauled components of local government operations, including expenditures of local revenue and certain funding decisions. The Ride-Share bill addressed several safety concerns for passengers, and sets in place protections including drivers undergoing background checks, clear display of fare charges, and clear display of logos clarifying the ride-share company the car is associated with. “It was a good session, a great budget, and I look forward to another session fighting for the area” said Representative Miceli upon adjournment.
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