Wednesday, March 25, 2020

In the News: Politicians connecting remotely; Coronavirus response adjustments in new municipal bill

From the Milford Daily News, an article of interest for Franklin:

Politicians connecting remotely
On St. Patrick’s Day morning, U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III took to Twitter in a baseball cap and plain white T-shirt with his two young, pajama-clad children.

“Take care of each other, take care of yourselves, take care of your families,” he told his more than 82,000 followers, before his daughter Ellie broke into a confident rendition of “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” from Disney’s “Frozen.”

As social distancing becomes the norm, several local, state and federal elected officials are turning to remote services like telephone and video to connect with their constituents.

“We’re deploying the full menu of technology,” said U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan on Friday. “Our office is very much open for business.”

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Coronavirus response adjustments in new municipal bill
"Restaurants would be able to sell beer and wine with to-go orders, requirements around MCAS tests could be changed and municipal governments could give residents more time to make tax payments, under new bill Gov. Charlie Baker filed Tuesday to create flexibility in local responses to the coronavirus pandemic.

Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito introduced the bill during their daily coronavirus update, with the governor saying it “cuts red tape for cities and towns” and aims to make it easier for municipalities to meet their residents’ needs and keep their governments running.

“It’s clear that we have to stick together, but stick together in a time where social distancing is becoming and is very much a real part of our lives,” Polito said, voicing appreciation for local governments offering services via remote workforces, boards of health ramping up their efforts, and first responders who continue to deal with emergencies like house fires.

Filed the same day that an emergency order closed most of the state’s businesses -- except for essential operations like grocery stores and medical facilities -- and with the Department of Public Health advising residents to stay home, the bill (HD 4974) contains a number of provisions."

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The text of HD 494 can be found

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