This month, with the support of Harriette Chandler, the state and city released $3 million to support the implementation of the Worcester Wayfinding Initiative. The state provided $2 million of the allocation, funds secured in an earlier Transportation Bond Bill
The Worcester Wayfinding Initiative is an innovative project to provide vibrant and artistic signage along the streets of Worcester to better assist residents and visitors in finding and enjoying the many historical, cultural, and artistic attractions that are in Worcester by using a grid-like system.
In order to direct visitors without overwhelming them with too much information, an effective wayfinding program presents a simplified layering of selected information allowing the visitor to navigate unfamiliar territory with confidence while simultaneously gaining a sense of place
Navigating a large city such as Worcester can be daunting for visitors who are unfamiliar with the area and the Wayfinder Initiative will ensure that these visitors can take full advantage of resources the City has to offer
A Better Life
Harriette Chandler secured a provision in the Massachusetts Legislature’s welfare reform bill to allow the Worcester Housing Authority to extend funding for their “A Better Life” program to their state subsidized units. "A Better Life” is a self-sufficiency program created and administered by the Worcester Housing Authority in conjunction with the Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts
The Worcester Housing Authority aims to change the way public housing is provided to families. I hope this pilot program will break the cycle of intergenerational poverty that the current system may create and serve as a model for future initiatives.
The Worcester Housing Authority has already received approval from the federal government to begin “A Better Life” with their federally subsidized units. Prior to now, residents of state subsidized units were unable to participate in the program.
The bill has been signed into law.
Worcester Jobs Funding
The Senate passed legislation 37-1 this month to promote economic development and provide incentives to create jobs and stimulate the Commonwealth’s economy.
Included was Harriette Chandler's amendment providing $75,000 for the Worcester Jobs Fund.
The Worcester Jobs Fund will help enable local organizations to create a conduit for local residents into good, living wage jobs. There are very few resources available to help residents find jobs, particularly if those residents face special barriers to employment. The Worcester Jobs Fund will hold large employers who receive tax benefits from the city and state accountable for hiring local residents, and matching local residents with training so that they can fill those positions.
The House secured $50,000 and the bill is now in conference
Dense Breast Tissue
Governor Deval Patrick signed legislation co-sponsored by Harriette Chandler, An Act relative to breast cancer early detection, into law on June 26.
This law requires providers of mammography services to provide written notification to patients if their mammogram revealed any potential health risks due to dense breast tissue.
While dense breast tissue is common and not necessarily abnormal, it may increase the risk of breast cancer without the individual being aware.
Harriette has stated that her "interest in this important law is based on personal experience, so I am pleased to support it. It is important for women to know and understand what their mammograms mean. This law will help flag early signs of breast cancer and prevent or slow down devastating circumstances had the patient not been notified."
Harriette Chandler recently secured $40,000 for the Beaman Memorial Public Library in the Town of West Boylston for technological upgrades in an amendment to the Massachusetts Legislature’s general capital bond bill. The funding will specifically provide for the purchase of new computers and printers. Beaman Memorial Public Library plays a major role in the West Boylston community, particularly as a resource for residents who use the library in their search for employment in a continuously recovering economy.
The bill is now pending in the House Ways and Means Committee.
Environmental Bond Bill
Secured $200,000 for improvements to the Worcester Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial, including electrical repairs, masonry repairs and new signage
Secured $2.5 million for the restoration of the beach area between the Nashua River and Boylston Street in Clinton
Secured $5 million for needed improvements in Goodale Park in West Boylston
Secured $50,000 to study the feasibility to repair and reuse of the “Superintendent’s House” in Princeton
Secured $3 million for a study to assess feasibility and benefits of reopening and establishing of a park in a section of the historic Blackstone Canal in Worcester
FY 2015 Budget
Successfully secured a provision to increase base-year Medicaid reimbursement rates from 2005 to 2007, which will stabilize the Commonwealth’s nursing homes. Currently, there is a $37 gap between the daily cost of providing quality nursing home care and Medicaid reimbursement.
Won passage of a Skilled Nursing Facilities provision requiring the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to amend the state’s existing licensure procedure and suitability requirements for long-term care facilities by establishing a hearing process that would precede approval of and allow for public input on any application for a license, notice of intent for transfer of ownership or notice of intent to sell or close any skilled nursing facility whether for-profit or non-profit.
Other general budget provisions:
Full funding the Special Education Circuit breaker for the 3rd year in a row
90% funding reimbursements for Regional School transportation costs
$70M for the state’s low income housing voucher program
$17.5M to expand access to early education for low income families
$18M to support new substance abuse prevention and treatment programs; and
$39M in new supports for child welfare.
Senate Passes Autism Bill
The Senate unanimously passed a bill yesterday to expand treatment and support for individuals with autism or a developmental disability across the Commonwealth.
The bill creates a 35-member commission on autism within the Executive Office of Health and Human Services to make recommendations on how to improve the services for individuals with autism spectrum disorders and to monitor the implementation of policies impacting individuals with autism spectrum disorders.
MassHealth would be required to cover medically necessary treatments for individuals who are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, including services for applied behavior analysis.
Phone # 508-926-8940 Fax # 508-926-8941 552 West Boylston St. Worcester, MA 01606
Paid for by the Committee to Elect Harriette Chandler