Madaro Speaks at GSCA Meeting

By Michael Coughlin Jr.

During the Gove Street Citizens Association’s (GSCA) monthly meeting last week, State Representative Adrian Madaro appeared and provided some information regarding what he has been up to recently. To begin his presentation, Madaro spoke briefly about constituent services and indicated that his office has fielded requests at the city, state, and federal levels. He said, “No matter the issue, we field them all.” “Never hesitate to reach out. It doesn’t matter what level of government it’s at. We work very closely with our partners at the city and at the state, and we all work together to make sure these things get addressed.” After speaking about constituent services, Madaro outlined some East Boston budget wins. “There’s 160 state reps; the budget is about $58 billion. Of course, our roles are to advocate for important statewide things, but our roles as state reps are also to deliver a slice of that pie to our district, in my case East Boston,” said Madaro. These budget wins for the neighborhood include $1 million for the East Boston Ferry, $300,000 for Friends of the Children Boston, and $75,000 for Maverick Landing Community Services. Moreover, the East Boston Community Soup Kitchen, East Boston Mutual Aid, YouthConnect, the Veronica Robles Cultural Center, and Tree Eastie each are receiving $50,000. As his presentation progressed, Madaro spoke about some budget wins for the entire state. Regarding housing, $197.4 million was secured for the RAFT (Rental Assistance For Families in Transition) program. “This is for tenants; this is for small landlords; it provides short-term emergency funding to help folks whether it’s foreclosure, eviction, loss of utilities, things of that nature,” said Madaro. Further, $2.5 million was allocated for a right-to-counsel program pilot. “This provides an attorney to a small landlord or to a tenant,” said Madaro. “The goal is to not have this be a pilot as it is funded in this budget but for it to be a permanent fixture in terms of the resources our constituents can access.” There were also budget wins for the MBTA, totaling $555 million in investment, which Madaro said was a record for the House of Representatives. Of the total, $75 million is for physical infrastructure, and $20 million is for reduced fares for low-income riders — legislation Madaro himself filed. As State Representative, Madaro chairs the House’s Mental Health, Substance Use, and Recovery committee and spoke about some related budget wins. These wins include $1.18 billion for the Department of Mental Health — $619.2 million for adult mental health, and $131 million for child and adolescent services. Moreover, another $10 million has been set aside for intensive adolescent services. “We have seen skyrocketing reports of youth behavioral health issues coming out of the pandemic. Despite the fact that we’re a little beyond the pandemic now, those issues continue, and so the House is answering that call and investing the money where we need to to support our young people,” said Madaro. It should also be noted that $194 million will be going to the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services, and $14.2 million will go toward community-based and statewide suicide prevention efforts. Following the conversation about budget wins, Madaro outlined legislation updates. In this session, Madaro filed 22 bills, 14 of which were reported favorably and two enacted (MBTA fare discounts for low-income riders and in-state tuition regardless of immigration status). Hearings have been held on 103 bills in the House’s Mental Health, Substance Use, and Recovery Committee. 77 of these bills have been evaluated and reported, and 26 are still under consideration. Madaro also spoke about a bill that is passed annually to improve municipal roads and bridges. $200 million will go toward Chapter 90, which provides municipalities funding to improve roadways and bridges, while $150 million will go toward things like electric vehicles and bus infrastructure. Madaro also indicated that an IT infrastructure bill and a Hospital reform bill were recently passed, and plans are in place to evaluate a Veterans Omnibus Bill and the Housing Bond Bill. To follow along with these processes, visit Following the legislation updates, Madaro provided some reminders and updates regarding transportation. He reminded attendees that the ferry is open through November 30th, costs the same as a subway ticket, and will be free during the Sumner Tunnel closure. Regarding the Sumner Tunnel closure, Madaro indicated that the shutdown will only last one month — July — and will have the same mitigation package as last year, which includes free ferry and blue line service and reduced parking in MBTA garages for that month. He also addressed the recent issues with trucks getting stuck in the Sumner Tunnel. Madaro emphasized that the tunnel’s height has remained the same even with the work being done and that the Department of Transportation is taking a three-prong approach to quell the issue, which includes new signage, GPS updates, and finding ways to hold companies accountable. “Not only does it cripple us in East Boston and trap us on our little island, it cripples the entire transportation network, so we’ll keep working on this until we see some real results.” A Blue Line update was also given: the line no longer has slow zones. “We are now the only line in the T system without slow zones,” said Madaro. Some of the work done on the Blue Line includes replacing 22,500 feet of rail, over 9,000 feet of catenary wire, and more. “Really happy with the work that was done, really grateful to all of you in the community for your patience, and equally grateful to the hard work of our friends at the T,” said Madaro. To close the meeting, Madaro shared photos of some of the community engagements over the past year, such as Eastie’s Elves and a Thanksgiving Day dinner. In the end, attendees thanked Madaro for coming, and he provided contact information for anyone who needed to get in touch. The next GSCA meeting is scheduled for June 24th. For those looking to contact Madaro, email [email protected] or call 617-722-2060. You can also sign up for his newsletter at

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