March 20th 2020 BOSTON – State Representative David Muradian (R-Grafton) says he is working with his colleagues to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by taking steps to protect the public and provide support for workers who lose their jobs as a result of the outbreak.
Representative Muradian noted the House of Representatives and the Senate have already approved a bill waiving the one-week waiting period for laid off workers applying for unemployment benefits. The changes are retroactive to March 10 – the day Governor Charlie Baker declared a State of Emergency in response to the outbreak – and will remain in place for 90 days after the Governor’s order is lifted.
The Legislature previously enacted a supplemental budget providing $15 million in assistance to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, as well as local and regional boards of health. This money is being used to support ongoing monitoring, treatment, containment, public awareness and prevention efforts against the virus.
Representative Muradian said the House and Senate are now working on a proposal filed by Governor Baker to assist municipalities with essential government functions during the State of Emergency. House Bill 4572 would allow for a 30-day postponement of Town Meeting due to the public health emergency created by the virus, while giving local Select Boards the power to extend Town Meeting beyond the June 30 cut-off date mandated by state law if necessary.
House Bill 4572 would also allow for the temporary reduction of quorum requirements for Town Meeting to comply with “social distancing” measures designed to prevent the spread of the virus. The bill would also authorize towns that are unable to finalize a budget by June 30 to continue spending at current fiscal year levels on a month-to-month basis for essential operations, using revolving funds and existing cash balances, until a new budget is finalized.
Representative Muradian said he will continue to provide regular updates for constituents on his social media pages, including his State Representative David Muradian Facebook page. Constituents can also contact Representative Muradian directly by calling (617) 722-2240 or e-mailing David.Muradian@mahouse.gov.
Representative Muradian expects the House and Senate will be taking additional actions in the weeks ahead to help mitigate the impacts of the pandemic. In the meantime, he encourages constituents to utilize the state’s website at https://www.mass.gov/resource/information-on-the-outbreak-of-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19 to stay informed about the latest developments during the State of Emergency.