April in the State House is centered around the Commonwealth’s budget for the 2023 Fiscal Year.
Representatives have all spent the last several months in their communities figuring out what is most needed, and how they can help.
Rep. Devers is no different, and his April was spent meeting with dozens of local organizations and nonprofits, including several events which did not involve the budget.
One highlight of his month was the presentation of a citation on behalf of the Lawrence Delegation of the Massachusetts House of Representatives to Jhanny Jimenez Feliz, Lawrence resident and the first student from Methuen’s Notre Dame Cristo Rey High School to be accepted to MIT. Rep. Devers also enjoyed a tour of Youth Development Organization’s office and education space, where they educate and impower dozens of Lawrence children.
Even in this busy time of year normal office operations continued, and Rep. Devers’ office experienced an increase in constituent assistance cases which was successfully handled. For those who have questions or need assistance, Representative Devers can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The legislative side of Rep. Devers’ office was focused on the state budget process, as it moved through the House Ways and Means Committee to the full House of Representatives. Representative Devers sponsored nine amendments total, the majority of which would create local earmarks for Lawrence organizations. This included local earmarks for environmental affairs, youth development, elder affairs, local tourism, food security, and more.
Because the state budget is passed on an annual basis, Representative Devers focused on how to best help Lawrence and ensure its organizations and community members are supported for the upcoming year.
Additionally, Representative Devers co-sponsored 78 amendments on a variety of topics, including amendments that work to support school mental health services, improve water quality, end deep poverty in the Commonwealth, support a wide range of Lawrence nonprofits, and improve regional transportation.
After writing, co-sponsoring, and showing support for these many state budget amendments, Representative Devers spent time debating the budget with his colleagues, in an effort to create the best budget for the whole of Massachusetts. Over the course of the House debate, House members discussed all submitted amendments and at the end of a busy budget week, passed the Fiscal Year 2023 House Budget. Now, the process moves to the Senate, where a Senate version of the budget will be debated and voted on, before both budgets move to a conference committee for negotiations.
Outside of the budget process, Representative Devers attended the quarterly Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus meeting with Governor Baker, where they discussed topics of importance to the communities represented by Black and Latino legislators.
Additionally, Representative Devers participated in a hearing of the Joint Committee on Transportation, for which he is the Vice Chair. That hearing was called to hear testimony on Governor Baker’s proposed Transportation Bond Bill (H.4561).
The bill totals $9.7 billion and would make significant investments in the state’s transportation and environmental infrastructure. ◊