State Rep. Paul Mark will again chair the House Committee on Redistricting.
Mark was chair for the last two years and will continue to work as the Census begins. The population numbers gathered by the Census is followed by the state redrawing the lines for both the federal and state districts. Mark added that it also affects a significant number of federal and state grant programs which are based on per capita.
This is the legislative term Rep. Paul became a dean.
Mark's district spans both Berkshire and Franklin Counties and in the Pioneer Valley, five state lawmakers are new. Mark is now embracing the role of helping the new legislators adjust to the job and is aligning with them to promote an agenda for all of Western Massachusetts.
Three years ago activists from all over Berkshire County joined together on the mission to fight for Franklin Delano Roosevelt's four freedoms.
The political groups formed the 4 Freedoms Coalition and on Sunday reaffirmed its commitment to preserving freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.
State Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli heard a story in which a police officer witness someone die from an overdose while waiting for an ambulance to arrive.
Not all first responders carry Narcan and Pignatelli believes that if that police department had it, the person could have lived. As this new legislative session starts, Pignatelli has filed a bill to require every first responder in the state to carry the overdose reversal drug.
According to Berkshire Community Action Council, around 8,000 households in Berkshire County apply for LIHEAP (the low-income heating assistance program) every year; across the state, a total of 160,000 residents seek help.
Entering his first full session in the House of Representative, John Barrett is doubling down on the priorities he held when he was first elected.
"One of the areas I'm obviously concerned about is transportation in the county. We need it, especially in the Northern Berkshire area," Barrett said.