Legislative Update – Week of November 28, 2022

Nov 29, 2022

Last week:

Last week, the Biden Administration announced a six-week campaign through the end of the year urging Americans to get their updated COVID-19 vaccine. With winter and holiday gatherings right around the corner, more Americans getting their updated vaccine will help avoid thousands of preventable COVID-19 deaths. The six-week campaign will focus on reaching seniors and the communities that were hardest hit by COVID-19 by making it even more convenient to get vaccinated and increasing awareness through paid media.

Voter turnout in Massachusetts for the 2022 midterm elections exceeded expectations with over 2.5 million ballots cast. The Secretary of State’s office announced that voter turnout was 51.4%. Municipalities with lowest voter turnout were gateway cities, including Holyoke, Lawrence, and Springfield.

The incoming members of the state legislature who will be sworn-in to office in January include five new state senators and 21 or 22 new state representatives. Two races are still undecided. Democrat Margaret Scarsdale leads Republican Andrew Shepherd by 17 votes in the race for 1st Middlesex district, formerly represented by Republican Sheila Harrington. Harrington, who represented the district along the New Hampshire border since 2011, stepped down earlier this year to become clerk magistrate of the Gardner District Court. The race for the 2nd Essex district is even closer where Republican incumbent Lenny Mirra leads Democratic challenger Kristin Kassner by just 10 votes. Elections that fall within a 0.5% margin are eligible for a recount by the Secretary of State’s office. Secretary of State Bill Galvin plans to order that recounts be completed no later than Dec. 10.

This week:

For the remainder of 2022, all of Massachusetts’ 15 regional transit authorities (RTAs) will be free for commuters as part of the “Try Transit Holiday.” The program is aimed to encourage public transportation and ease the impact of inflation on current RTA commuters.

The British are coming! The Prince and Princess of Wales will visit Boston this week, their first visit to the United States since 2014. Prince William and Princess Kate’s visit is centered around the Earthshot Prize Awards Ceremony on Friday. They will also visit Boston City Hall on Wednesday, stop by climate tech startup Greentown Labs in Somerville on Thursday.

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