Addiction, Endorsements, and Tax Breaks ~ Rep. Estela Reyes

State Rep. Estela Reyes

First, I want to say how happy I am that my good friend, Valley Patriot publisher Tom Duggan is recovering from a near death experience that kept him in the hospital for over a month.

I truly appreciate his friendship and the fact that he gives members of the community – not just elected officials – a vehicle to have their voices heard in a media climate that shuts out and silences more and more people every day.

Welcome home Tom!!


I also want to let all of my constituents know that I have endorsed Attorney Jana Zanni-Pesce for Methuen City Council At-Large as well as Francisco Surillo in the November 7th municipal elections.

Normally, I do not like to get involved in local races, but Methuen is in desperate need of leadership.

Attorney Jana Zanni-Pesce and Francisco Surillo will bring a new perspective to the city council and will hopefully offset the environment of personal grudges that seem to dominate some of our current city council meetings.

jana Zanni pesceAttorney Jana Zanni Pesce is a bundle of energy and has served the people of Methuen quite well on the Methuen School Committee. She has years of experience in finance and law and also stood up against paying former Superintendent Judy Scannell a golden parachute retirement package after it was learned that she had never received certification from the state.

Francisco Surillo is currently chairman of the Greater Lawrence Technical School Committee and works for Lawrence Mayor Brian DePena in the Community Development department.

My hope for Methuen is that they both use their wealth of experience in education and finance to benefit the people of Methuen, so we can straighten out the city’s finances and hold officials accountable for some of the excessive spending currently taking place.


Last month we started off quite busy and then slowed down a bit after the budget was signed by Governor Maura Healey. One of the most important parts of this year’s state budget is the child and dependent tax credit. This is something that will directly benefit parents and their children in Methuen and Lawrence. With inflation rising every day, and the price of groceries and other goods straining household budgets, this will bring some needed relief to families in need.


I did attend a number of events last month for local organizational in Methuen and Lawrence while it was slowing down at the State House. I love to attend these events because it gives me a chance to talk to constituents and business owners and bring their concerns back to the state house with me.

Among the many events I attended were

• Attended a couple of locations of Lawrence’s National Night Out and got to meet with city officials and constituents
• Had lunch with the Suenos Basketball team
• Celebrated the grand opening of Methuen’s new public school, built with funding from ARPA and ESSER. It will be used for pre-kindergarten and elementary schools and Methuen Public School’s central offices.
• Recognized La Grekka’s, a cafe, Grand Opening in Lawrence.
• Is looking forward to celebrating Saint Alfio’s 100 Years of “faith, family, and fun” over Labor Day weekend. This organization helps raise funds for the community through scholarships, outreach, and charities. Every Labor Day weekend they host an annual feast to celebrate their Italian culture and tradition.
• In personal office news- Rep. Reyes hired a new Legislative Aide, Laura Byman, who is largely in charge of constituent communications and scheduling.
In August, I took time to meet with local leaders, knowing I would soon be very busy with legislation. I was able to hear the needs of those I serve and will take that information into this session’s work.


As for specific legislation, I have been considering the current resolution H.3486, which would make it easier for medical practitioners to prescribe buprenorphine.

Buprenorphine is FDA-approved for acute pain, chronic pain, and opioid dependence. It is an agent used for treating addiction as a substitute for a stronger full agonist opioid (such as heroin).

This bill is hoping to fight the national opioid epidemic, which also deeply affects the people of Lawrence and Methuen. There is no doubt that my district (Lawrence and Methuen) is being hit very hard by the homeless and opioid crisis. I believe we have an obligation to tackle these issues at the state house instead of paying lip service at election time and then closing our eyes until the next election.

This Buprenorphine Bill will be heard in the Joint Committee of Veterans and Federal Affairs (of which I am a member) next month.
We are very interested to hear your testimony on this legislation so please reach out and register for this hearing when it is scheduled.

Lastly, I would like to introduce my new Legislative Aide Laura Byman to all of my constituents and Valley Patriot readers to let you all know that you can call her at (617) 299-0191 or email her at with any ideas or concerns you have about upcoming legislation or problems you are having in Lawrence and Methuen. ◊