Month: May 2017

Senator Lesser Issues Statement After U.S. House Passes Health Care Plan Supported by President Trump

SPRINGFIELD — Following the U.S. House vote to pass the American Health Care Act, State Senator Eric P. Lesser issued the following statement:

“While President Trump and his allies in Congress are doing what they can to take health care coverage away from millions of Americans, here in Massachusetts, I have introduced legislation to lower the out-of-pocket costs of prescription drug coverage. While President Trump’s health care plan is estimated to cost Massachusetts more than $1 billion per year, I am fighting to make life-saving drugs such as Epi-Pens more affordable and accessible.

“Before my service in the State Senate, I spent four years working for President Obama. I was there when the Affordable Care Act passed, delivering health care coverage to some 20 million people who did not have it before.

“Rest assured that I will do everything in my power to preserve the consumer protections in the ACA here in Massachusetts, including coverage for preexisting conditions and preventing health insurance companies from charging women more for coverage simply because they are women. I am glad that Governor Charlie Baker joins me and many others in opposition to the health care bill just passed by the U.S. House.

“I have been hearing from many constituents who are concerned about Trump’s presidency and what it means for our healthcare, our children’s education, our environment and much else. The closeness of this vote shows how little support this proposal actually has. I sincerely hope the U.S. Senate blocks this bill, which is nothing more than a handout to the rich at the expense of millions who will lose health care coverage.”

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Senator Lesser Appointed to Special Committees on Cyber Security and Addiction Treatment

“As technology rapidly evolves, we need to be ready to adapt to changes and protect our private information,” said Lesser

BOSTON — Senator Eric P. Lesser was appointed to two special committees on Wednesday, based on his previous work in the State Senate and his leadership on the issue of adapting to emerging technologies.

Lesser was named a member of the Special Senate Committee on Cyber Security Readiness, chaired by Senator Michael O. Moore.

“As technology rapidly evolves, we need to be ready to adapt to changes and protect our private information such as health records and Social Security numbers. After the many high-profile hacks we have seen in the last few years, there is no excuse for Massachusetts to fall behind in cyber security,” said Lesser.

Senators expect the new committee’s work to overlap significantly with that of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, which Lesser chairs.

Lesser was also named to the Special Senate Committee on Addiction, Prevention, Treatment and Recovery Options for the second time. He previously served on the committee, chaired by Senator Jennifer L. Flanagan, last term.

In January 2015, Lesser filed a bill that served as a blueprint for the Senate’s proposal for Massachusetts to order the opiate overdose-reversal drug commonly known as Narcan, at a discounted price through a statewide bulk purchasing program. Cities and towns can purchase the drug at a discounted rate and put the doses in the hands of first responders.

The program went into effect in December 2015. A report by the Massachusetts Public Health Commissioner in January 2017 praised the success of the program, which saved more than 1,500 lives in the first half of 2016.

“The Narcan bulk purchasing program was a perfect example of how legislation can effectively solve a problem and ultimately save lives. I am grateful that we were able to have such an impact, and have begun to turn the tide on the opiate epidemic in Massachusetts. I hope this program can serve as a model for other states in New England and across the country,” Lesser said at the time.

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Senator Lesser Votes to Secure $8.4M in State Aid for Roads and Bridges in Springfield, Chicopee and Surrounding Communities

“This funding is critical to rebuilding our roads, especially after a harsh winter,” Lesser said

Boston — Senator Eric P. Lesser voted Wednesday for a state road repair package that would bring $8.4 million in state aid for local roads and bridges to the nine communities he represents, including parts of Springfield, Chicopee and the surrounding towns.

The package allocates Chapter 90 funding to these communities in the following amounts:

  • Belchertown: $624,776
  • Chicopee: $1,322,033
  • East Longmeadow: $581,185
  • Granby: $279,748
  • Hampden: $256,063
  • Longmeadow: $471,736
  • Ludlow: $701,338
  • Springfield: $3,657,832
  • Wilbraham: $543,258

“This funding is critical to rebuilding our roads, especially after a harsh winter. At a time when our state and national infrastructure is crumbling, this funding is a much needed boost to local communities working to keep their infrastructure up-to-date,” said Lesser, Chairman of the Economic Development and Emerging Technologies Committee.

On Wednesday the Senate approved a bill to appropriate $200 million in Chapter 90 reimbursements for cities and towns over the next year. The bill allocated another $60 million for upgrades to improve the efficiency of the Registry of Motor Vehicle’s information technology system.

The bill also authorizes $30 million in bonds for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation mobility assistance program, which improves transportation for the elderly and persons with disabilities. The bonds will be used to purchase vehicles and equipment for Regional Transit Authorities, Councils on Aging and other non-profit transit providers.

The bill will now go to the Governor’s desk for signature.

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/ In Press Release / By Ryan Migeed / Comments Off on Senator Lesser Votes to Secure $8.4M in State Aid for Roads and Bridges in Springfield, Chicopee and Surrounding Communities