JUNE 15, 2021
Today marks the end of the official COVID-19 State of Emergency in Massachusetts.
The House is in formal session and just voted to extend important Covid-related emergency provisions, including: virtual public meetings, insurance coverage, mail-in voting, virtual notarizations, to-go alcohol sales, outdoor dining, caps on third-party delivery fees, and a very basic layer of eviction protections.
The House and Senate will now work to reconcile differences between their respective bills as we look to get a final bill to Gov. Baker's desk by the end of the day. One key difference between the branches is the House has adopted limits on delivery fees through apps like GrubHub and DoorDash, but the Senate has yet to agree to continuing with these limits.
Meanwhile, I think it's very important that we put today's milestone in perspective. For most white, wealthy, and/or privileged folks, things are getting back to normal…
But for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) — and for undocumented immigrants and poor people — the “emergency” long predates the pandemic and is still ongoing.
Likewise for immunocompromised folks or other high-risk individuals, things are not necessarily getting back to normal.
For all of these reasons and more, we must resolve to fight for policies that achieve equity and a future that leaves no one behind — even as the overall COVID numbers thankfully continue to improve.
Systemic racism, white supremacy, profound wealth and income inequality, man-made climate change, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, political corruption and the influence of money in politics, militarism, imperialism, and the escalating threat of nuclear weapons...these are just some of the ongoing "emergencies" we must work to bring to an end.
The past 462 days have easily been the most challenging and busy times of my term in office. But I want everyone to know that today I am more committed than ever to doing my part to make sure we undo and repair all of the systemic injustices that have made this pandemic so bad in the first place. Nearly 600,000 United States residents have lost their lives, and Massachusetts has has one of the worst fatality rates in the world. I sincerely hope we as a society can collectively learn from this tragic experience.
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns. And thank you for being an informed and engaged constituent.
Yours in service,
Rep. Mike Connolly