Since you elected me to a fifth term in the Massachusetts House of Representatives last November, I have had the pleasure of representing Concord for the first time. Over the last year, my office has worked in partnership with state Rep. Simon Cataldo and state Sen. Mike Barrett on local and statewide issues of importance.
In July, the legislature passed the state’s annual budget for Fiscal Year 2024. I am proud to note that the budget makes significant investments for the future of the Commonwealth, including a historic increase of $604 million in Chapter 70 education funding for our schools, made possible by passage of the Fair Share Amendment. The budget also included major education priorities for which I advocated, including a permanent policy of universal free school meals, in-state tuition at state colleges and universities for undocumented residents, and investments to support free community college starting in the fall semester of 2024.
As vice-chair of the Joint Committee on Higher Education, I will continue to support legislation that moves our state towards free higher education, something many Europeans have enjoyed for decades.
I have also worked to advocate for Concord’s home rule petitions, passed at Town Meeting, which include ranked choice voting for local elections, a checkout bag fee, building permit fee surcharge, transfer fees for affordable housing, and a prohibition on expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure for new construction.
Many constituents have reached out regarding the proposed expansion of private jet hangars at Hanscom, a project I strongly oppose. It would increase the use of private jets, contributing to the global warming already wreaking havoc throughout the world. I will continue to coordinate with Concord’s legislative delegation, Save Our Heritage and others to fight the project.
I love to hear from my constituents. You can reach out to me by emailing Carmine.Gentile@mahouse.gov, or by calling 617-722-2810 (ext. 8). I will also be holding office hours for constituents in the Trustees Room of the Concord Free Public Library from 12-1 p.m. on Friday, September 22nd.