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It’s been my distinct honor to serve the residents of the Sixth Plymouth District in the Massachusetts Legislature over the past eleven years.


Dear resident,

 

It’s been my distinct honor to serve the residents of the Sixth Plymouth District in the Massachusetts Legislature over the past eleven years.

 

As you may have heard, I am stepping down to accept a position working for Governor Healey as Undersecretary in the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. While this is an exciting new chapter for me, it is bittersweet leaving a role I’ve loved and the wonderful people I’ve been so fortunate to serve here on the South Shore.

 

The purpose of this letter is two-fold: First, I would like to share some important transition information to ensure that the needs of our district continue to be well-served. Second, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on our work together.

 

In terms of constituent service, please know that you may still contact our office for aid, just as before. Whether it’s assistance with unemployment, housing, health care, or any other state agency, help is just a phone call away. I’ve also arranged with my legislative colleagues to ensure that our district continues to be well represented even after I step down. We have a dedicated and bipartisan team here on the South Shore and I am grateful for their partnership:

 

  •  In Duxbury, that’s Senator Patrick O’Connor. You can reach Sen. O’Connor’s office at 617-722-1646 or Patrick.OConnor@masenate.gov


 

 

 


As I reflect on my years in public office, I had three broad goals: put the focus on problem-solving, instead of partisanship; strive for civility and consensus whenever possible; and always remember that this is a job about helping people. I am proud of our track record and remain grateful to our amazing staff, volunteers, interns, supporters, and colleagues on both sides of the aisle. A number of these important successes stand out:

 

  • We expanded career technical training in our vocational schools, boosted funding for Career Centers to help small businesses, and strengthened our paid family and medical leave law.


  • We battled the big insurance companies to pass a landmark bill ensuring health care coverage for a rare adolescent disease that used to cost South Shore families thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket medical expenses. 


  • We increased funding for registered apprenticeships and expanded into new industries like manufacturing, health care and information technology. We also led the Future of Work Commission to prioritize workforce development, childcare access, and skills-based training.


  • We passed the Energy SAVE Act, the first update to our state’s energy efficiency standard in a generation, ensuring that consumer products consume less energy and water and save money.


  • We passed a strong salary range transparency bill to help close historical wage gaps, level the playing field for all workers and employers, and improve data collection.


  • We led efforts to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities by passing a new disability hiring tax credit, creating a permanent disability commission, and helping write a new law to protect the disabled from abusive caretakers.

 

  • We passed a new law to allow early voting, made it easier to register to vote, and passed one of the nation’s strongest dark money disclosure laws.


  • We successfully restored weekend commuter rail service for the South Shore and boosted funding for local road and bridge repairs.


  • We helped write a major new mental health care access law, passed new tools to address the opioid crisis, and improve parental notification under our civil commitment law.


  • During COVID, we made sure that hundreds of local businesses received assistance and led the effort to ensure that all workers could qualify for emergency sick leave benefits.

 

  •  We worked with our state and federal partners to oppose any discharge of radioactive water by Pilgrim owner Holtec.

 

Of course, not every piece of legislation is of state-wide significance. Some bills are quite local in nature, though often just as significant to those they impact. Working with our municipal officials we successfully filed and passed more than a dozen home rule bills during my tenure, including new laws to:

 

  • Facilitate bonding of new sidewalks along Hobomock Street in Pembroke

  • Establish an affordable housing trust in Duxbury

  • Create a town manager form of government in Pembroke

  • Expand the Duxbury Select Board from three to five members

  • Establish an appointed highway surveyor position in Hanson

  • Create an enterprise fund for the Regional Old Colony Communications Center

  • Reduce Duxbury homeowner betterment costs through FEMA funds

  • Facilitate the creation of a new town well water site in Hanson


Other local bills include a series of bridge dedications to recognize local residents from our past who have made important contributions to the community, including Gret Lozeau of Hanson, Charles Mann of Hanson, and James ‘Tiny’ Brown of Pembroke. We also worked with our historical societies to recognize prominent residents throughout history who made significant contributions to the community but may not be well known today. These include filing legislation to dedicate state bridges and intersections as follows:

 

  • Duxbury bridge after Cora Wilburn, prolific Jewish American poet

  • Duxbury bridge to George W. W. Scott, Civil War veteran and business leader

  • Pembroke intersection to Lavina Hatch, founding member of suffragist association

  • Pembroke bridge to Judith Winsor Smith, abolitionist and suffragist leader

  • Duxbury intersection to Charlotte Bradford, prominent Civil War nurse

  • Duxbury-Kingston bridge to The Lewis Sisters, pioneering Black community leaders

 

And of course, we always stuck to the mantra "think globally, but act locally.” Working with local officials and our legislative colleagues we helped secure millions of dollars in state funds to support important projects in our district and reduce the burden on local taxpayers:

 

  • $3.79M in local infrastructure and supplemental road repair funds

  • $810K for treatment, testing, and improvements to our ponds, rivers, and fisheries

  • $740K for school technology and school security upgrades in our district

  • $3.79M in COVID Relief grants for small businesses in our district

  • $6.68M in coastal resiliency and dam and seawall repairs grants

  • $650K to benefit our local senior centers, public libraries and food pantries

  • $773K to upgrade our local playgrounds, courts, fields, and recreation areas

  • $465K for our police and fire departments and public safety needs in our district

  • $725K for the new Pembroke Community Center and Public Safety buildings

  • $3.86M in Green Communities grants for energy, conservation, and weatherization programs

  • Secured funds for an aquatic weed harvester, de-watering pump, fire department rescue boat, police UTV rescue vehicle, and senior center van

  • $160K for local economic development and our chambers of commerce

  • $1.73M in maritime grants from the Seaport Economic Council

  • Secured funds for local non-profits including, Duxbury FACTS, Duxbury Student Union, Marshfield Dog Park, Pembroke Titans Against Drugs, Prom Angels, and Crossroads for Kids

  • Worked with our friends at Plymouth County to make sure our towns were directly eligible for federal CARES Act funding, which resulted in an additional $13.3M to our towns, as well as more than 200,000 test kits for our district

  • Successfully added Powder Point Bridge to state Transportation Improvement Program to unlock future repair funds

 

Another goal during my time in office was to make Beacon Hill more accessible to our residents and strengthen the voice of our district. For the first time ever, we hosted the legislature’s influential Ways & Means Committee here for a budget hearing. We brought the Speaker of the House, State Auditor, Attorney General, and State Treasurer to our district to ensure that residents had an opportunity to connect directly with key state leaders.


We also hosted regular events to help educate voters on pending policy changes and foster important conversations about the issues of the day. That includes one of my favorite activities which was teaching a Lifelong Learning class called “Hot Topics on Beacon Hill” for the past ten years. A sampling of other local events we’ve hosted includes the following:

 

  • ·      Community forum on Lyme disease and tick-borne illness

  • ·      Virtual Legal Aid Services Forum

  • ·      A Panel on Solar Panels at the Duxbury Free Library

  • ·      Small Business Summit in Hanson

  • ·      Keeping Kids Safe panel discussion at the Pembroke Public Library

  • ·      We’re All in this Together human services forum in Hanson

  • ·      “Health Care Policy 101” panel at the Duxbury Senior Center

  • ·      Heroin & Opiates in Our Backyard: an educational forum for caring adults

  • ·      Green Energy 2.0 panel at Duxbury Senior Center

  • ·      Senior Tax Credit briefing at Pembroke Senior Center

  • ·      Sixth Plymouth District Student Art Show

 

Above all, this is a job about helping people. When you called our office, it never mattered what your zip code or political affiliation was, it was just about working hard to solve problems and find the help you needed. That’s a legacy we all share and can be proud of. Here’s a few examples:

 

  • We helped thousands of constituents resolve problems, get answers, and cut through red tape. Common issues included unemployment benefits, RMV scheduling, navigating MassHealth, passport renewals, professional licensure, fuel assistance, pothole repairs, and paid leave

  • During storms, emergencies, and power outages, we worked hard to ensure that our district got resources and information in a timely manner.

  • We issued more than 1,250 House Citations to recognize the achievements and milestones of local residents.

  • We hosted more than 125 high school, college, and graduate school interns at our State House office and always looked for ways to encourage young people to get involved public service.

  • We filed and passed 49 House Resolutions to commemorate major community accomplishments.

 

I’m grateful to my staff over the years who have worked hard to provide top notch constituent services to our district, including Maureen, Michael, Rick, Matt, Colin, Diane, Gigi, Cole, Lilla, Cooper, Dee, Christina, Susan, Rob, Emily, Becky, and Matt.

 

Again, please accept my thanks for giving me this opportunity to serve. I will always treasure this time. Of course, I am not going too far, just over to the Executive Branch, so I hope you will stay in touch. Moving forward you can reach me at my josh@joshcutler.com email. All the best for future good health and happiness!

 

Warmest regards,


Josh Cutler




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