Representative Dooley July 28th COVID-19 Update

Another action packed 12 hour long virtual legislative session today. Seriously, staying focused for that long on a conference call takes copious amounts of caffeine. Got a lot accomplished - so that is good - health care on the docket tomorrow. Every two years they do this- delay, delay, delay, and then cram all of these incredibly important bills into the final week of full formals. Such a bad way to govern and unfortunately it is by design to limit debate and force things through. Ugh!

Unfortunately our death toll ticked back up today to 14 and our new positive cases were 178. So it continues to remain relatively stable but still not where we wish it was.

Over the past two weeks I (along with a ton of other people) have been working with the Governor to come up with a plan to give cities and towns a baseline for budgetary planning. It was incredibly unfair that we were asking schools to go back worried that they would end up having to blow the whole thing up half way through the year if the final budget came out and their plan was 20% off. Well, after way more arm twisting and number crunching than I can possibly imagine - the Baker Administration was able to put out to our towns and our schools that they can plan on a level funded budget as far as the state portion of their budget is concerned.

I knew this was a 90% certainty as of last week but that last 10% is often harder than the first 90- so didn’t want to give any hope. I hinted to Superintendent Zinni and Union President Adam Gentili that we might have good news this week but didn’t want to over promise and under deliver. I am very happy for this and I cant tell you how much this means to the stability of our towns and schools. Part of this formula takes into account the COVID-19 money from the feds - so we have to make sure people don’t think they are getting two separate pots. All the details will be coming out this week but it is very positive news and I am beyond thrilled to have played a small part in it.

Caution - this is just the state portion of the money (chapter 70, cherry sheet, etc) so I don’t want anyone to think that we just won the lottery. A majority of funding still comes from the towns - so things will still be tight as the effects of this quarantine on business, housing, and overall revenues wont be fully realized for quite some time. So - good news, not great news. Don’t worry - I know it is 2020 so Ive knocked on wood, said a prayer to St. Jude, threw salt over my shoulder, rubbed my lucky penny, checked on my horseshoe, found a four leaf clover, etc - the Irish may be a tad superstitious- but I’m not taking any chances.

Well, I’m exhausted to I’m going to hit the hay. Tomorrow is Wednesday aka hump day and there is no rain in the forecast so I guess it’s going to be a dry hump day. Can you tell CiCi has already gone to bed so I am being left to my own devices with my 13 year old overtired sense of humor?

Be good, stay safe, and love one another!


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