Two grants that will fund the creation of a new path around Jamaica Pond and a pedestrian walk from the Cabot Estates into Jamaica Pond Park will be discussed at a meeting on Thursday night. The grants will also provide funding for landscaping. The Jane Addams-Ellen Swallow Richards-Harriet Tubman Institute is presenting a Celebration of Jamaica Pond Park on Thursday, Jan. 18th at the First Church in Jamaica Plain (6 Eliot St.) at 7 pm. The meeting is free and open to the public.
On Wednesday the Massachusetts House passed a $124.7M supplemental budget to close the books on FY17. This budget, my first as Chair of House Ways & Means, secured $4.75M to ensure full funding for the Safe and Successful Youth Initiative. This fully funds the program, and funding goes directly to organizations in our community that deal with youth violence, like Mission Safe, Boston Center for Youth and Families, and Youth Options Unlimited. The House approved an amendment to the budget that would ban bump stocks in Massachusetts. What we saw last week in Las Vegas was horrific.
In early July, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed a $40.2 billion FY18 Conference Committee budget. After the House and Senate pass their versions of the budget, three House and three Senate members meet to reconcile the differences between the budgets. The product of their work is the Conference Committee budget which goes to both branches for a final vote of acceptance. In the midst of a tough fiscal climate, we achieved a budget that makes targeted investments to protect our most vulnerable citizens. I am particularly proud of the work we’ve done on early education and care, as well as services for the disabled.
Massachusetts Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo has nominated state Rep. Jeffrey Sánchez to chair the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. "I'm incredibly humbled to be nominated for Chairman of Ways and Means by Speaker DeLeo. Having chaired committees on public health and HCF (Committee on Health Care Financing), I hope to use this post to protect those most in need of it -- like many of my constituents -- while being thoughtful about our state finances and the MA economy. I know that we're going to be able to work hard and make a difference in people's lives," said Sanchez in a comment to Jamaica Plain News. The House Ways and Means Committee is crucially important to the state government in regards to fiscal affairs and policy-making.
A diverse coalition of community advocates, health care professionals and public officials testified at a State House hearing on June 14 to support legislation seeking to address racial and ethnic health disparities. State Rep. Jeffrey Sánchez, D-15th Suffolk/Norfolk, the House Chair of the Committee on Health Care Financing, sponsored the bill. The bill establish a state Office of Health Equity. This proposed new office would coordinate the various state policies to address health disparities by evaluating the effectiveness of policies and setting state goals and reporting annually on progress made towards reducing health disparities in the Commonwealth. “Even with all of our successes in health care reform, focused on access, affordability and quality, there remain pervasive and persistent racial and ethnic disparities in health care status and outcomes,” said Sánchez.