I want to take this opportunity to share with you the important work we were able to accomplish for South Boston this year in the Legislature. I am proud to have been elected to serve you in my new role as State Senator, and will continue to fight for what is important for our community.
In the FY19 Budget, I was able to secure operating funds for important programs in South Boston including substance abuse programming at the South Boston Collaborative; narcotic use reduction programs at the South Boston Community Health Center; youth development programs like the South Boston Youth Ambassador Program and South Boston Leadership Initiative; a total immersion recovery program at the Gavin Foundation; youth transportation for summer camp; and senior programing at the South Boston Neighborhood House.
This year in the legislature, I successfully led an effort requiring Massport to implement Ship-to-Shore power capability at Flynn Cruiseport in the Economic Development Bill. The measure would have ships coming into port to plug into the electric grid rather than using diesel engines that emit fossil fuels into the air. This legislation also includes mandatory environmental impact reporting on Massport activity at Flynn Cruiseport and the Conley Cargo Terminal. This will bring accountability to Massport’s environmental obligations and help to create a healthier neighborhood for our families to live and grow.
We also passed the Environmental Bond Bill which included $1mllion in capital funds for new tree planting and geo-tracking across Boston and the creation of a trust for the long term preservation and maintenance of Castle Island and Marine Park in South Boston.
In addition to all this we have passed automatic voter registration, strengthened election integrity, created additional tools to address the substance abuse epidemic, reformed our criminal justice system, raised the minimum wage to $15 an hour, established responsible regulations on short-term-rentals, and laid a framework for a sustainable energy future in the Commonwealth, and passed first in the nation Alzheimer’s legislation to provide new training for doctors and more resources for those living with the disease, as well as support for their family members.
I was proud to join my colleagues in passing the BRAVE Act. This veteran’s legislation addresses employment protections, tax exemptions, burial expenses, court programs, medical care, and also continues to recognize those who serve and who have served our country. We will continue to prioritize legislation that strengthens, protects, and supports our families, children, veterans, seniors, and workforce.
Over the past three years, $15 million has been invested by the State in transportation infrastructure and safety measures across South Boston. This work includes new signals, speed mitigation measures and safety improvements currently underway on Day Blvd., pedestrian bridge repairs along Old Colony Avenue connecting residents safely from the Maryellen McCormack Housing Development to Moakley Park, conversion of the City Point Bus Layover Facility on East First Street to allow for passenger pick up and drop off. A passenger platform was added to sidewalks for access as well as additional benches and much needed lighting, just to name a few.
I will continue to work together with my colleagues in the Legislature to ensure that funding is available for more transportation investments that serve all of South Boston.
As we enter the final weeks of summer, I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to represent you in the State Senate. I will continue to advocate for the issues that are important to our community and bring as many resources as possible to it.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact my office.
NICK COLLINS State Senator