Supporting our Community
- During his tenure, Marc has helped secure approximately $240,000,000 in local and school aid for Billerica, strongly outpacing neighboring communities’ receipts of aid.
- In addition, Representative Lombardo has advocated for Billerica in the state budget process and successfully obtained:
- $100,000 for the designed of the Yankee Doodle Bike Path
- $50,000 for the VFW Solomon Post for an urgent on site environmental clean up (through no fault of their own)
- Representative Lombardo has helped secured over $150,000 for the Billerica Boys and Girls Club during his tenure
- $45,000 for the Billerica Historic Society for Renovation being made to the Clara Sexton House in Billerica Center.
- $50,000 for the Security Command Center at the Shawsheen Valley Technical High School
- $30,000 for Town Hall Renovations
- $25,000 for the Billerica Recreation Department capital improvements
- $25,000 for the Athletic fields at the Shawsheen Valley Technical High School
- $20,000 for the Billerica Athletic Association
- $15,000 for the Billerica Friends of Music to support our musical students and programs
- $15,000 for On the Move Inc for reading programs for Billerica students
- The legislature took aggressive actions to respond to the impacts of Covid-19 on the Commonwealth. These actions included:
- Extension of State Income Tax deadline
- Waiver of unemployment benefit waiting period
- Extension of unemployment benefits from 26 weeks to 30 weeks
- Expanding Take-out/Delivery options for restaurants
- Expanded early voting and allowed residents to request ballot for mail-in voting
- Allowed for Electronic Notarization to allow for this important practice to be done safely during the pandemic
- Allowed Municipalities to meet virtually and reduced quorum requirements to hold such meetings
- Allowed for communities to delay property tax collection dates
- Waived MCAS requirements for the 2019-2020 school year
Addressing Opioid Abuse
- Billerica, much like our sister communities in the Merrimack Valley, has felt the devastation of opioid abuse in our community. With the support of Representative Marc Lombardo, the Legislature passed a comprehensive legislation that has made an impact tackling the issue of substance abuse. Recent reforms in Massachusetts include: limits on the amount of opioids that can be prescribed for acute care patients; expanded use of the state’s Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP); and a requirement that hospitals conduct a substance abuse evaluation within the first 24 hours of an individual being brought to the emergency room after suffering an overdose
- The Legislature enacted a fentanyl trafficking bill that imposes a prison sentence of up to 20 years for manufacturing, distributing or dispensing more than 10 grams of fentanyl or any of its derivatives. Representative Lombardo knows it’s critical to the drug dealers, who are killing our loved ones, off the streets.
- The Legislature has made historical investments in Substance Abuse Prevention programs and Representative Lombardo continues to support these life-saving efforts.
- The Legislature established a Municipal Naloxone Bulk Purchase Trust Fund, to provide emergency medical personnel and other municipal first responders with Naloxone to be administered to victims of drug overdose
$73 Million in Funding for a New Billerica Memorial High School
- In January, 2016, Billerica’s state delegation of Representative Marc Lombardo and Senator Ken Donnelly helped secure the largest state funding grant in Massachusetts history in the revised Massachusetts School Building Authority program. Billerica will receive over $73 Million in funding for the new Billerica Memorial High School
- The Student Opportunity Act implements a comprehensive education reform bill to increase Chapter 70 education aid to cities and towns by $1.5 billion over the next seven years - a historic level of investment
- College Closure Protections Act was passed following a series of high-profile college closures and mergers. The Legislature took steps to protect students attending financially struggling colleges to insure communication and protection of investment
Healthcare and Public Health
- The legislature approved a bill that requires the Department of Public Health (DPH) to provide members of the local and regional public health workforce with access to educational training courses
- Legislature passed a bill (House Bill 4210) to improve children’s health and wellness. This bill requires MassHealth to provide continuous health care coverage to individuals under the age of 26 who were in the custody of the Department of Children and Families on the date of their 18th birthday
- The House approved House Bill 4818, engrossed on June 30, 2020, to establish a special legislative commission to study and make recommendations on racial disparities in maternal morbidity
- Passed Breakfast After the Bell to help ensure students are coming to school prepared to learn. This legislation expands access to school breakfast in low-income communities
Additional Statewide Priorities
Female Genital Mutilation Ban – On July 30, 2020, the House enacted House Bill 4606, An Act relative to the penalties for the crime of female genital mutilation. The law criminalizes the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM), and empowers the Commissioner of Public Health to develop and administer a program of education for the prevention of FGM. With the passage of this law, Massachusetts is now the 39th state to ban FGM, two years after a U.S. District Court judge overturned a 1996 federal FGM ban as unconstitutional based on the Commerce Clause, leaving enforcement up to the states.
Women’s Rights History Trail (House Bill 4076) – The House supported the of establishing a Women’s Rights History Trail to promote education and awareness of the struggle for women’s rights in Massachusetts. House Bill 4076 envisions a history trail that includes “properties and sites that are historically and thematically associated with the struggle for women’s rights and women’s suffrage.” The bill calls for a 13-member task force to solicit public input and provide recommendations for specific sites to include on the history trail and other ways to “commemorate individuals who reflect racial, ethnic, cultural and economic diversity.” To promote the trail program, the bill calls for the distribution of educational materials, including handbooks, maps and interpretive guides. The Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism will also develop vacation itineraries for the trail program that will include surrounding attractions, restaurants and exhibits tied in to the historical theme of the trail.
- Solar Energy for the Commonwealth - Marc has supported several bills which raised the state’s net metering cap, allowing a number of Solar projects that had been stalled under the previous cap to move forward. The private net metering cap has been increased, while the public net metering cap also experience significant increases. At the same time, subsidiary rates were reduced which saved rate payers Billions of dollars.
- Reforming the MBTA - Representative Lombardo was proud to support legislation that significantly reformed the MBTA, including a realignment of the MassDOT Board of Directors, the creation of a Fiscal Management Control Board and a three-year suspension of the Pacheco Law to provide the MBTA with more flexibility in its procurement practices. These changes are critical to ensuring that the MBTA can achieve long-term fiscal stability while also providing more reliable service to the public.
- Sex offender classification –The House Republican Caucus successfully passed legislation limiting the amount of time Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders can secure a stay of final classification pending a court appeal, and mandating an expedited hearing process whenever a stay is granted. These changes will help preserve the public’s ability to access information about convicted sex offenders living and working in their community who are considered to be at a high risk of re-offending.
Honoring our Veterans
Veterans’ Health Issues (House Bill 4177) – The House has passed a continuing education program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School to help train higher education counselors to address deployment-related health conditions among Massachusetts veterans, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Stolen Valor Act – The Legislature honored our state’s veterans for their service to our county by enacting a statewide “Stolen Valor Act” to prosecute individuals who falsely claim to be a veteran or recipient of a military honor in order to obtain money, property or other tangible benefits. Individuals who falsely claim military service credentials for personal financial gain can now be charged with a gross misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of up to one year in a house of correction, a fine of $1,000, or both a fine and imprisonment.
- Veterans graves protection – The Legislature passed legislation that imposes a fine of up to $5,000 for the unauthorized sale, retention or disposal of a veteran’s grave marker, with repeat offenders subject to an additional punishment of up to 5 years in state prison or up to 2 ½ years in a house of correction. In addition, the Legislature passed a law requires vandals who desecrate a gravestone or veteran’s grave marker to pay restitution to the property owner, in addition to facing a fine of up to $5,000 and up to 5 years’ imprisonment in the state prison or up to 2 ½ years’ imprisonment in a jail or house of correction.
- Purple Heart fee waivers – Purple Heart recipients can now visit any state park, forest recreation area and reservation without having to pay any charges or fees. This waiver previously applied only to disabled veterans and handicapped persons.
Protecting Our Children
Expanding DCF’s Reporting Requirements and Establishing a Foster Parents’ Bill of Rights – House Bill 4852, An Act relative to accountability for vulnerable children and families, requires DCF to develop and update specific case management policies to improve its operations and to ensure the safety of the children under its care. The bill also moves the board that investigates the deaths of children in state care from the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office to the Office of the Child Advocate.
Foster Parents Bill of Rights include:
- no discrimination against a foster parent on the basis of religion, race, ethnicity, age, physical ability or other arbitrary factors;
- develop and provide standardized pre-service training for foster parents;
- provide foster parents with information about the child prior to their placement, including the child’s physical and behavioral health history, as well as their education needs and daily routine;
- give foster parents an opportunity to review DCF’s action plan regarding the child placed in their home and to discuss the plan with the social worker;
- notify foster parents about any court hearings, complaints, and financial supports and services available to them;
- maintain a 24-hour emergency hotline that can be accessed when DCF offices are closed
- DCF reform – The Legislature took steps to support the Baker-Polito Administration’s efforts to implement reforms at the Department of Children and Families to ensure the protection of children entrusted to the state’s care. The Fiscal Year 2016 budget included a $35.5 million funding increase for DCF for the hiring of new social workers to help reduce the agency’s caseload. The fall supplemental budget included an additional $2.2 million to address immediate staffing and training needs at DCF, along with a $1 million reserve to provide training and supports for foster families and adoptive families.
- Lift the Cap on Kids – House Bill 104, An Act to lift the cap on kids, amends the Commonwealth's 1995 welfare reform law by ensuring that parents enrolled in the Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) program will receive assistance for each child, regardless of whether the child was conceived or born after the parent began receiving aid.