What a week! Below you'll find further developments on the COVID-19 situation. Going forward, I plan to issue these updates on Tuesdays and Fridays. Please continue to contact my office if you need assistance or guidance in finding state resources. In addition, please remember my staff and I are publishing the latest information on the Commonwealth's response to COVID-19 on my website.
Many of the towns I represent have upcoming elections. Yesterday, the Senate President announced that we will take up a local option bill to allow towns to delay their elections. I believe we'll be doing that on Monday, and I will be at the Senate session personally. Voting access is one of my top issues. I filed a bill at the beginning of this legislative session to provide no-fault absentee voting, which would be a solution to the current problem, as would vote-by-mail. I've been having many conversations about how to hold safe and accessible elections during the pandemic period and will continue to work with my Senate colleagues to get it done, even if it happens in multiple legislative efforts.
On a positive note, we got some excellent news regarding our testing capacity. Starting on Saturday, Marlborough's Quest Diagnostics will be able to test 20,000 people per day across the country. Looking forward, the facility hopes to be able to test 2,000 to 3,000 samples per day from Massachusetts patients, which will significantly increase our capacity.
Another positive -- people have been deeply engaged in the legislative process for the municipalities bill! Thank you to everyone who provided testimony on H.4572, An Act to address challenges in town governance resulting from COVID-19. My co-chair, Representative Jim O'Day, and I received roughly 150 comments from across the Commonwealth. With the help of our tremendous staffs, we reviewed the testimony and are hard at work to get the best possible bill out of committee and to the floors of the House and Senate. Keeping our town governments functioning is vital to our democracy, so we've "fast-tracked" this bill; stay tuned for movement on that early next week.
Please remember that while my office is working remotely, we are here to help you! Please call (617) 722-1555 or email me at Becca.Rausch@masenate.gov if you have questions, comments or concerns.
Yours in service,"
This newsletter was shortened for publication here
|Senator Rausch: COVID-19 Update #5|