By: State Senator Pavel Payano ~ 02-23
My first month as a state Senator has been eventful both in the district and on Beacon Hill. I have been joined by an amazing team who work diligently to help me serve the First Essex District. They assist me with everything from policy research to responding to constituents’ inquiries. I am proud to have a team dedicated to delivering for this district, and look forward to what we will accomplish together this session.
In the district, I had the pleasure of recognizing a number of constituents who are making a positive impact in the community. I had the opportunity to celebrate the 100th birthday of WWII Veteran and Lawrence business owner Sebastiano Messina.
It was an honor to present him with a Senate citation – my first as a Senator. I was able to meet with Adolfo Burgos of Lawrence, whose selfless actions saved the life of a woman who fell unconscious while driving on the highway.
In Haverhill, we recognized Fermin De La Cruz, a community activist for his work during the COVID Pandemic, and Tomas Michael Skarbek, who, at 13 years old, achieved the Eagle Scout recognition.
I also had the opportunity to join the Methuen delegation and Mayor Perry in recognizing the brave men and women of the Methuen Police and Fire Departments at Enterprise Bank’s First Responder Breakfast. All of these individuals represent the very best of our district, and I am excited to continue meeting more constituents making a difference in the community.
On Beacon Hill, we kicked off the legislative session by calling on the Department of Public Utilities to reassess the recently approved winter energy rates. In a letter signed by legislators from across the state, members expressed concerns about the sky-high electricity and gas prices.
Winter utility bills have doubled, if not tripled, and with the rising costs of goods and services, I am concerned about the financial well-being of the most vulnerable members of our community. We are also working with both Mayor Perry and Lawrence Mayor De Pena on local Municipal Aggregation Plans, which, if approved by DPU, will result in real savings for consumers. I will continue to push DPU to seek both short and long-term solutions to help customers afford their energy bills.
The legislature’s bill filing deadline was set for January 20th. In the two and a half weeks leading up to the deadline, my staff and I met with advocates, local organizations, city officials, and constituents to discuss their priorities. All told, I filed 21 bills, ranging from lowering auto insurance premiums to supporting our community health centers.
Each of these pieces of legislation is meant to ensure that the First Essex is a better place to live, work, and learn for all. With the filing deadline behind us, we are in the next stage of the legislative cycle: co-sponsorships. My staff and I are in the process of reviewing requests from advocates and constituents alike.
As we finalize our co-sponsorships, the interests and needs of the First Essex District remain at the forefront. I encourage you to contact my office with any questions or priorities you want to share with me.
It’s been a great first month representing the people of Haverhill, Lawrence, and Methuen. Please be on the lookout for information on office hours on my social media platforms, and please contact my office if you’d like to speak with my team.
You can contact my office via phone or email: Pavel.Payano@masenate.gov or (617) 722-1604. ◊