Representative Haggerty End of Year Legislative Update

I hope this legislative update finds you all well and that you are all enjoying the holidays so far! I wanted to provide you all with a recap of my actions these last few months of 2021.

ARPA Funding

I was very proud to support a bill allocating funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and FY21 surplus. Funded at $4 billion, the bill addresses disparities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, aiming to facilitate recovery through one-time investments in housing, environment and climate mitigation, economic development, the workforce, health and human services, and education.

Town of Reading Direct Funding:

The Reading Delegation was able to direct some of these resources to support the town’s effort to conserve Open Space and provide additional access to the Town Forest:

  • $150,000 appropriation will assist the town with the acquisition and development of a parcel of land in the Meadow Brook Country Club area. Town Meeting and the Reading Select Board recently approved the purchase of this land to preserve it as open space and to secure an easement that will provide public access to the Town Forest.

The major state-wide investments in the bill are for health care $964 million, housing $624 million, $500 million for premium pay awards and $500 million for the unemployment insurance system to help small business UI rates. The bill also allocates $414 million for infrastructure, $389 million for education, $267 million for economic development, and $124 million for human services.

The construction of this bill was an inclusive and open process that included six public hearings after receiving more than a thousand pieces of testimony. The bill also allocates $5 million for the Inspector General’s office to create a public database and website to track total spending.

A full recap of ARPA funding can be found under the “News” tab at

Legislation Passed

Genocide Education Bill

This landmark education bill defines genocide and requires middle and high schools in the Commonwealth to learn about genocide in their curricula. The legislation also creates a trust fund for use in developing a genocide-related curricula and for teachers’ professional development. This law is critical in order to teach the next generation about these dark moments in our history, in the hope they will be remembered and never repeated.

Updating Cage-free Standards

In October I was proud to join the House in passing H.4194, An Act upgrading hen welfare and establishing uniform cage-free standards, which updates a 2016 passed ballot initiative regarding the prevention of cruelty to farm animals.

The bill updates floor space requirements for certain cage-free housing systems expands covered products to include egg products, authorizes the Department of Agricultural Resources to promulgate rules and regulations and participate in enforcement, and extends the implementation date of the ban on the sale of covered pork products by one year. Making sure we do not have an egg shortage, which could drive up costs for consumers, is a paramount concern. House and Senate Conference Committee members are working out the differences between the two bills now.

Committee Work

As Vice-Chair of the Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Business I have hosted a series of listening sessions for members of the legislature to hear directly from the small business community; including the Mass. Auto Dealers Association and Franchising 101. We are now in the planning stages to meet with local chambers of commerce and local community development corporations.

As a member of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utility, and Energy I had the opportunity to get an up-close view of Orsted’s Block Island Wind Farm recently. The Commonwealth continues to be a national leader in clean energy and this educational exercise to tour the turbines harnessing wind power in Rhode Island was exceptional. Together Vineyard Wind and Mayflower Wind in Massachusetts will be able to power 1.2 million homes – and we’re just getting started! Together we can utilize clean-energy and create a clean-energy job sector right here in the Commonwealth.

Legislative Letters

Delegation Support Letter for Killiam School in Reading

I was happy to join with the Reading State House Delegation to support the Killiam Elementary School’s application to the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) program to make critical updates to the school to provide a more safe, accessible learning environment for both students and staff.

Green Infrastructure Efforts Letter

Citing President Biden’s ambitious and necessary goal of having a 100% carbon-free energy grid by 2035, I wrote a letter to Senators Markey and Warren encouraging them to help get Massachusetts up to speed on renewable energy development and green infrastructure construction

Legislative Caucuses

I have recently joined the newly established Massachusetts Legislative Caucus on Cancer Awareness, which provides a forum to discuss and promote research and development of innovative therapies, and the delivery of efficient, high value cancer care to mitigate some of the economic and public health burdens on State agencies and those impacted by cancer.

Seeing our economy increasingly digitalize, I accepted an invitation to join the Massachusetts House of Representatives Blockchain Technology Caucus, which provides a forum for members to study the emerging role of blockchain technology, and other forms of distributed ledger technologies, in shaping public policy in the Commonwealth.

Community Events

Thanksgiving Basket Giveaway

Another event I was happy to help sponsor for a second year in a row at the Hillview Country Club was the Thanksgiving Basket Giveaway to seniors in the Reading Community. Together with Rep. Brad Jones’ office and other members of our community we put together and gave away hundreds of baskets, ensuring many senior and vulnerable members of our community had food on their tables this Thanksgiving.

9/11 20th Anniversary

On the somber 20th anniversary of 9/11, I was pleased to join the Reading community on the Common to honor this special day by listening to student speakers read their essays on “Light in the Darkness”, hearing from the Reading Community Singers, and local bands.

Final Thoughts

We are living through challenging times, both economically and health wise. My office stands ready to help in any way we can, and as many of you have learned over these last few years my Legislative Aide Anthony Langone is always there to assist and walk you through anything that may be troubling you.

We also continue to host office hours sessions with the community, and we hope you can join us for one of our upcoming sessions:

  • Thursday, January 21st at 11:30
    • Virtual Via Zoom; sign-up required
  • Friday, February 18th
    • Dunkin’; 880 Main Street, Woburn, MA 01801
  • Thursday, March 24th
    • Virtual; Via Zoom; sign-up required

These sessions are a great opportunity for us to speak directly on the issues concerning you most, and I stand ready to listen and help in any way I can.

Our office is also currently searching for motivated, civic-minded individuals interested in a Winter legislative internship opportunity. Interns will have the rewarding opportunity to experience policymaking, politics and government through participating in the day-to-day functioning of a State Representative’s office from working constituent cases, scheduling, legislative research, database management, to communications and social media assignments, along with attending various meetings and hearings.

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