Leading Community Development and Small Businesses

By: State Senator Pavel Payano – 3/23

My first two months in office have been busy but incredibly rewarding as my team, and I begin to settle in on Beacon Hill. The 2023-2024 legislative session is officially underway as the Senate and House announced leadership and committee assignments.

I am proud to share that I have been appointed as the Chair of the Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Businesses. The Committee oversees and reviews matters related to economic growth, infrastructure improvements, and revitalization efforts at the local level. In the coming months, we will hear from small business leaders, local officials, stakeholders, and residents as we discuss policies and initiatives before the Committee.

On the campaign trail and now in the Senate, one of my top priorities is helping build a robust economy that benefits the residents of Haverhill, Lawrence, and Methuen. As Chair, I am grateful to have the opportunity to work on the ground level with local business leaders and residents alike to identify policy and spending priorities. I also look forward to drawing from my previous experience to facilitate effective public-private partnerships.

I have also been tapped to help lead the Joint Committee on Advanced Information Technology, the Internet, and Cybersecurity as the Senate Vice-Chair. Additionally, I will sit on the Joint Committees on Higher Education, Municipalities and Regional Government, Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets, Cannabis Policy, Public Health, and Public Service.

February was jam-packed with district events and meetings.
I attended the First Church Congregational’s 141st Annual George Washington Birthday Dinner. I also gathered alongside local business leaders to discuss my priorities for the session and ways we can collaborate at the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce’s Legislative Breakfast.

This month, our constituents celebrated some major milestones. I presented WWII Veteran and Methuen resident Ethel Marguerite LaSalle with a Senate citation to mark her 100th birthday. Over in Lawrence, I met with Juan Bautista, who turned 102. It was an honor to recognize these individuals and their distribution to our community.

My office is officially hosting office hours. You can meet with Team Payano Thursday, March 16th and 30th, from 10 am to 12 pm at the Lawrence Senior Center, Friday, March 31st, from 10 am to 12 pm at the Methuen Senior Center, and Thursday, March 30th, from 4 to 5 pm at MakeIt Haverhill. Starting in April, we will be at the Lawrence and Methuen Senior Centers every Thursday and Friday from 10 am to 12 pm, respectively. We are also working with local organizations and community health centers to expand meeting times for folks who can’t join during our current hours. My office can assist with unemployment benefits, MassHealth, housing challenges, RMV issues, and more.

As mentioned in my previous column, please feel free to contact my office with your thoughts on this column, questions about office hours, or any other legislative and district matters. You can reach me via email at Pavel.Payano@masenate.gov or call 617-722-1604. ◊