Senator Lewis to Host Community Conversation about Housing

BOSTON—State Senator Jason Lewis is pleased to announce that he will be convening a Community Conversation to discuss housing challenges and solutions in Massachusetts. This conversation will provide an opportunity for residents to learn more about the affordable housing crisis facing the Greater Boston region, to discuss solutions that can be pursued at the local and state levels, and to ask questions of the expert panelists.

Community Conversation: Housing Challenges and Solutions in Massachusetts will take place virtually on Monday, November 20, 2023 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. The event will be live-streamed on the Senator’s YouTube channel ( and a recording will also be available after the event.

The Community Conversation will begin with a keynote address from Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Livable Communities, Ed Augustus, who was recently named to this newly created position by Governor Maura Healey. He will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Senator Lewis. The panel of experts will include: Laura Rosi, Esq., Chief Executive Officer of Housing Families; Matt Noyes, Director of Public Policy for the Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA); and Alex Pratt, Deputy Director of Housing and Community Development for the City of Malden’s Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development.

There will be ample opportunity for attendees to provide feedback and ask questions of Senator Lewis and the panelists. 

If you have any questions about this event or need further details, please contact the Office of Senator Lewis at or (617) 722-1206. All are welcome to attend

Previous Community Conversations hosted by Senator Lewis have addressed a wide range of timely topics, including racial justice; public education; reproductive healthcare; climate change and environmental sustainability; early education and childcare; public transportation; small business and entrepreneurship; challenges facing senior citizens and caregivers; supporting our veterans; and mental health and addiction.

Senator Jason Lewis Invites Members of the Public to Attend a Town Hall on October 24

BOSTON—State Senator Jason Lewis will be holding a Town Hall meeting to provide an opportunity for members of the public to share their feedback and ask him questions about state and local issues. The Town Hall will be held on Tuesday, October 24, from 7-8pm.

Members of the public can participate in-person at Stoneham TV (53 Central Street, Stoneham) or may participate remotely on Zoom (by going to this link: Senator Lewis will start the Town Hall with a brief update from Beacon Hill, and then participants will be able to ask questions and provide feedback both in-person and remotely.

Senator Lewis Joins Colleagues in Passing Bipartisan Tax Relief Bill to Help Working Families and Seniors

BOSTON—State Senator Jason Lewis joined his colleagues in the Massachusetts Legislature to overwhelmingly enact a bipartisan tax relief package on Thursday, September 28, to help make living in Massachusetts more affordable for working families and seniors and to bolster our state’s economic competitiveness.

An Act to improve the Commonwealth’s competitiveness, affordability, and equity phases in a series of tax reforms expected to provide $561 million in taxpayer savings in the current fiscal year and grow to approximately $1 billion in tax relief by fiscal year 2027.

The bill substantially increases the child and dependent tax credit, senior circuit breaker tax credit, and earned income tax credit. The bill also reforms the Massachusetts estate tax by raising the threshold to $2 million and eliminating the current cliff effect. A number of housing production tax credits are also expanded to help spur the creation of more market-rate (in gateway cities) and affordable housing units.

“The goal of this bill is to help low-income residents, working families, and seniors afford the high cost of living in Massachusetts,” said State Senator Jason Lewis. “Substantially increasing the child and dependent, senior circuit breaker, and earned income tax credits, along with estate tax reform and increased housing production will make the Commonwealth more affordable and equitable. I’m particularly pleased that an important provision that I advocated for — to close a loophole in the new millionaire’s tax that voters approved last November — was also included in the final bill.”

Among other provisions, this tax relief bill:

  • Increases the Child and Dependent Tax Credit from $180 to $310 in taxable year 2023, and then to $440 in taxable year 2024 and beyond, while eliminating the current cap on children/dependents, benefitting more than 565,000 families and providing the most generous universal child and dependent tax credit in the country;
  • Increases the Earned Income Tax Credit from 30% to 40% of the federal credit;
  • Doubles the maximum annual Senior Circuit Breaker Credit from $1,200 to $2,400;
  • Increases the cap on the Rental Deduction from $3,000 to $4,000;
  • Raises the Estate Tax threshold from $1 million to $2 million, and establishes a uniform credit of $99,600 in order to eliminate the current cliff effect;
  • Increases the Housing Development Incentive Program (HDIP) statewide cap from $10 million to $57 million one-time, and then to $30 million annually, which will create an estimated 12,500 new homes in Gateway cities; and
  • Raises the annual Low Income Housing Tax Credit authorization cap from $40 million to $60 million, providing increased funding for new affordable housing units.

The bill also includes a requirement that married couples who file a joint tax return with the federal government also file a joint state tax return. This provision — which aligns Massachusetts with many other states — was championed by Senator Lewis and is intended to close a tax avoidance loophole in the new millionaire’s tax that was approved by voters last November.

Having received final passage by both the House and Senate, the bill was then signed by Governor Maura Healey on October 4, 2023.

Malden Resident Karen Buck Recognized as a 2023 Commonwealth Heroine After Being Nominated by Senator Jason Lewis

BOSTON—Malden resident Karen Buck, who serves as the volunteer president of the non-profit organization Friends of the Malden River, was recently recognized as a 2023 Commonwealth Heroine. She was nominated for this honor by State Senator Jason Lewis. Commonwealth Heroines are recognized each year in a special ceremony at the Massachusetts State House. The initiative is run by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women and recognizes extraordinary women who make unsung contributions to improve their communities.

Karen’s first involvement with urban waters began in 1987 with New York’s Hudson River where she volunteered with the Hudson River Sloop Clear Water Initiative. When she moved to Malden in 2004, she continued her environmental work by volunteering for the Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA) and teaching in Malden Public School’s afterschool clubs and programs where she mixed in environmental education, gardening, and team projects. In 2012, MyRWA and Tri-City Community Action Program formed the Friends of the Malden River (FoMR) of which Karen was an early and active member. Karen currently serves as the president of FoMR.

In her time volunteering with MyRWA, Karen participated in invasive species removal, monthly water quality sampling, seasonal herring and American eel counting, and community outreach. Under her leadership, FoMR has organized the “Trash Free Malden River Initiative,” countless community clean-ups, river events, and other environmental advocacy. Karen has also been instrumental in pursuing the Malden River Trash Trap, which prevents street litter from entering the Malden and Mystic Rivers, and the exciting Malden River Works project to increase equitable public access to the Malden River and improve climate resilience.

“Malden River Works Equitable Resilient Waterfront Park Project is a brilliant example of a collaborative project for the health of a community and its urban river, in addition to climate resiliency for a municipality,” said Karen Buck, President of the Friends of the Malden River. “Since the seeding of Malden River Works in 2019 by the MIT Leventhall Advanced Urbanism Prize, our mission has been to reach out to residents in an engaging way. To accomplish the equitable piece of this project, the Massachusetts Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program has been essential for this work and the state has recognized our efforts. Now, the MVP program will invest in the construction of our city’s dream of an Equitable and Resilient Waterfront Park behind a newly engineered Malden City Yard. Malden River Works will be an example of how green infrastructure projects can convert wasteland into productive and inviting climate resiliency spaces that will be enjoyed by all members of the community. I am honored to join a cadre of women who make a difference in Massachusetts through grassroots efforts. This heartfelt work stems from the love of community and the need for preservation and restoration of our localities. These women are incredible role models for our youth. I thank Senator Lewis for recognizing my piece of environmental work for our community. Recognition of efforts empowers people to continue their work and inspires others to follow their passions.”

“I was thrilled to nominate Karen for this special recognition and to lift up the incredible work of the Friends of the Malden River and the Malden River Works project,” said State Senator Jason Lewis. “Karen is the quintessential unsung heroine, from inspiring and leading others to engage in environmental activism to spending a Saturday morning quietly picking up trash from the banks of the Malden River.”

Group photo from a Mystic Highlands Greenway meetup in 2022

Senator Lewis Announces $37,765 MassTrails Grant for the Mystic Highlands Greenway

BOSTON—State Senator Jason Lewis is pleased to announce that the state has awarded a $37,765 MassTrails Grant for the Mystic Highlands Greenway. The grant application was a collaboration between Bike to the Sea, the Office of Senator Lewis, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), and the municipalities of Malden, Melrose, and Stoneham. The funds will be used for planning and public outreach to fine-tune route alignment, and for the installation of wayfinding signs and markings along sections of the Mystic Highlands Greenway.

The Mystic Highlands Greenway will connect the Northern Strand Trail, Malden River paths, Tri-Community Greenway, Wakefield/Lynnfield Rail Trail, and Lake Quannapowitt, along with commercial centers, transit hubs, schools, and other community resources throughout the region. 

“The Mystic Highlands Greenway is an exciting project that will provide more environmentally-friendly transportation options, improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists, and promote local businesses and economic development,” said State Senator Jason Lewis. “I’m grateful to everyone who has worked so hard to make this project a reality, especially Bike to the Sea, MAPC, and Sarah Zeiberg from my office.”

“Bike to the Sea is thrilled to receive our first MassTrails grant for a project beyond the Northern Strand Trail corridor,” said Jonah Chiarenza, executive director of Bike to the Sea. “We look forward to continuing our work with Senator Lewis’ office and the communities of Malden, Melrose, Stoneham, and Wakefield to build stronger Greenway connections across the North Shore.”

“MAPC is very pleased to collaborate with Senator Lewis and Bike to the Sea to provide the first signs and wayfinding for the Mystic Highlands Greenway,” said David Loutzenheiser, senior transportation planner for MAPC.This MassTrails grant provides funding to implement the first phase of signage in three municipalities along the Greenway.  The signage will go a long way to help establish the identity of this pedestrian and bicycle friendly corridor.”

For more information about the Mystic Highlands Greenway project, visit MAPC’s website here:

State Senator Jason Lewis and Stephanie Harris, Senior Legislative Affairs Manager for the Animal Legal Defense Fund

Senator Jason Lewis Receives Animal Welfare Award

BOSTON—State Senator Jason Lewis was recognized by numerous animal welfare organizations during “Lobby Day for Animals” at the Massachusetts State House on June 7, 2023. Senator Lewis received this award for his many years of championing animal welfare policies and legislation, especially his leadership in ensuring more humane confinement standards for farm animals.

Senator Lewis was the lead sponsor of the bill — resoundingly approved by Massachusetts voters in 2016 — requiring minimum humane standards for farm animals, including pigs, calves, and egg-laying hens. He also led the effort in the State Senate to update this law in 2021.

“I have long viewed animal welfare and human welfare as two sides of the same coin,” said State Senator Jason Lewis. “I’m honored to receive this recognition and will continue to work alongside my colleagues, animal welfare groups, and constituents to protect animal welfare in Massachusetts, including pets, farm animals, and wild animals.”

“At the 2023 Lobby Day for Animals, it is our honor to recognize Senator Lewis—a true champion for animals—for his years-long effort to phase out cruel confinement in the Commonwealth,” said Stephanie Harris, Senior Legislative Affairs Manager for the Animal Legal Defense Fund. “Senator Lewis laid a strong foundation for the successful Question 3 ballot campaign in 2016, and we are eager to celebrate its anticipated full implementation.”

“We are extremely grateful for Senator Lewis’s leadership and long-term support for making the state a more humane place for animals,” said Kara Holmquist, Director of Advocacy for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. “His unwavering commitment to the plight of farm animals confined in spaces so small they cannot even turn around is appreciated by all those who worked on the ballot question and its upgrade. The MSPCA is continually reminded of how fortunate we are to have him as an ally in the Senate.”

“Lobby Day for Animals” was organized by the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the Animal Rescue League of Boston, and the Humane Society of the United States.

Senator Lewis Votes for Tax Relief Bill to Help Working Families and Seniors

BOSTON—State Senator Jason Lewis joined his colleagues in the Massachusetts Senate on June 15 in unanimously passing a $590 million tax relief bill that will help make living in Massachusetts more affordable for working families and seniors and bolster our state’s economic competitiveness. Senator Lewis has been a leader in the effort to ensure that tax relief is focused on low- and middle-income residents, and does not include unnecessary giveaways to wealthy households and large, profitable corporations.


“I was very pleased to join my Senate colleagues in support of this bipartisan legislation that will provide some badly-needed assistance for Massachusetts households with high housing costs, high child care costs, and other living expenses,” said State Senator Jason Lewis. “I’m proud that the Senate bill is fiscally responsible and does not include wasteful and unnecessary tax cuts being championed by some business groups that would only further exacerbate income and wealth inequality in our state and do nothing to foster greater economic growth and opportunity.”


Some of the key provisions included in this bill are:

  • Increases the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), one of the most effective anti-poverty programs, from 30% to 40% of the federal credit.
  • Increases the Child and Dependent Tax Credit from $180 to $310 per child/dependent, and eliminates the current cap that limits the credit to a maximum of two children/dependents.
  • Increases the cap on the rental deduction from $3000 to $4000.
  • Doubles the maximum senior circuit breaker tax credit, which helps elderly residents who struggle with high housing costs, from $1200 to $2400.
  • Reforms the estate tax by lifting the exempt threshold from $1 million to $2 million and eliminating the current cliff effect.
  • Encourages housing development by increasing the statewide cap for the Housing Development Incentive Program (HDIP) from $10 million to $30 million annually, and by increasing the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) from $40 million to $60 million annually.


During the floor debate, the Senate also adopted an amendment offered by Senator Lewis that will help prevent tax avoidance by very wealthy households that are subject to the new Fair Share Amendment approved by Massachusetts voters last November. The amendment requires that a married couple who files their tax return jointly at the federal level must also file their state tax return jointly.


A six-member Conference Committee will now be appointed to reconcile the differences between the tax relief bills passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives, before the final bill is sent to Governor Healey for her signature.

Senator Jason Lewis Applauds Unanimous Senate Passage of FY24 State Budget

BOSTON—Following a robust debate over three days, the Massachusetts Senate approved a $55.9 billion state budget for Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) on Thursday, May 25. As the Commonwealth continues to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Senate’s budget supports the economic health of the state while upholding fiscal discipline and responsibility. The Senate budget delivers historic levels of investment in education, housing, healthcare, workforce development, climate preparedness, and more, as part of a comprehensive strategy to make Massachusetts more affordable, equitable, and inclusive.


“I’m proud that this budget, passed with bipartisan support, will deliver significant resources for our public schools and communities, and make our state more affordable for working families by helping to address the high costs of housing, childcare, college, and healthcare,” said State Senator Jason Lewis. “I want to thank all the advocates and constituents who shared their priorities and helpful feedback with me throughout the budget process.”


The Senate’s FY24 budget includes $1 billion in revenues expected to be generated from the Fair Share Amendment, approved by voters last November, to strengthen the state’s education and transportation sectors. To safeguard this new source of revenue, the Senate’s budget establishes a dedicated Education and Transportation Fund to account for all Fair Share revenues in an open and transparent manner.


Some highlights of the Senate’s FY24 budget include: 

  • $6.59 billion in Chapter 70 funding for K-12 public education, an increase of $604 million over FY23, ensuring that the state remains on schedule to fully implement the landmark Student Opportunity Act by FY27.
  • $1.5 billion for early education and child care programs, including $475 million for Commonwealth Cares for Children (C3) grants, to improve quality, access, and affordability for families.
  • Almost $20 billion to fund MassHealth, providing more than 2.3 million people with continued access to affordable, accessible, and comprehensive healthcare services.
  • $1.3 billion to support a spectrum of mental health services and prevention programs for adults and children, including investments in staffing, inpatient placements, and supportive housing.
  • Over $1 billion for housing development and programs that support housing stability, residential assistance, and homelessness prevention.
  • $100 million to enable the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) to make supplemental grants to school building projects that experienced unprecedented cost increases due to the pandemic. These projects include Stoneham High School and Northeast Metro Tech Regional Vocational High School.
  • Significant new funding for community college and public higher education, as part of a plan to make community college free for all students by the fall of 2024. Undocumented students who graduate from Massachusetts high schools and meet certain other criteria would also become eligible to pay in-state tuition rates at our public colleges and universities.


Senator Lewis was also successful in securing $500,000 to fund a variety of local projects and programs in our communities, including funding to help open an inclusive cafe to be operated by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Stoneham and Wakefield that will employ adults and teens with developmental disabilities. 


The FY24 Senate Budget will be available on the Massachusetts legislature’s website: A conference committee will now be appointed to reconcile differences between the versions of the budget passed by the Senate and House of Representatives, before being sent to Governor Healey for her signature.

Senator Lewis Announces Passage of $388 Million Supplemental State Budget to Address Critical Needs

BOSTON (3/29/2023)—State Senator Jason Lewis joined his colleagues in the Massachusetts State Legislature last week in passing a $388 million supplemental budget for Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23). This legislation funds vital programs and services that address food insecurity, housing instability, continued pandemic recovery and economic development, and more. 

The bill provides $130 million for SNAP food assistance benefits to help families who were receiving enhanced SNAP benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic that were recently ended by the federal government; $68 million for the early education and childcare C3 stabilization grant program; $65 million for the continuation of universal free school meals for all students; $45 million for additional emergency shelter assistance for homeless individuals and families; and $40 million for supports for refugees and migrants. 

The bill also authorizes $740 million in capital investments to support economic development across the Commonwealth. Notably, this includes $400 million for the popular MassWorks Infrastructure Program, which provides grants to cities, towns, and other public entities for infrastructure projects; and $125 million for state matching funds to compete for new federal grant opportunities, including those funded through the CHIPS and Science Act, which encourage innovation in Massachusetts.

Finally, this legislation also extends initiatives first implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic, including authorization for outdoor dining for restaurants and remote public meeting access.

“I’m pleased that the state legislature was able to work closely with our new Governor to quickly pass this critical supplemental budget bill,” said State Senator Jason Lewis. “These investments in food security, housing supports, economic development, and infrastructure are urgently needed by residents and communities in our region and across the Commonwealth.”

Having been passed by the Senate and the House, the supplemental budget now goes to Governor Healey for her signature.

Summer 2023 Internship with Senator Lewis

State Senator Jason Lewis is seeking candidates for a summer internship with his office. Senator Lewis proudly represents the people of the Fifth Middlesex District of Massachusetts, which includes the cities and towns of Malden, Melrose, Reading, Stoneham, Wakefield, and Winchester. Senator Lewis is a member of Senate President Karen Spilka’s leadership team, and serves as the Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Education and the Chair of the Senate Ethics Committee. He also co-founded and co-chairs the legislature’s Zero Waste Caucus and Middlesex Fells Caucus. He has been a leader in shaping public policy on a range of issues important to his district, region, and the state, including education, healthcare, and economic opportunity for all. 

Interns will support the Senator’s staff in a variety of ways, but we are specifically looking for interns with interest in one or more of the following:

  • implementing the Senator’s communications strategy,
  • supporting local projects and our work with organizations in the district, or
  • assisting with constituent services.

Tasks may include: 

  • attending project briefings, 
  • researching information and statistics, 
  • creating pamphlets and charts, 
  • drafting social media posts, and 
  • event planning. 

Interns will have the unique opportunity to engage with policymaking, politics, and government from the inside. Although unpaid, interns will obtain meaningful experience by witnessing and participating in the day-to-day functioning of a State Senate office with a special focus on our work with the Education Committee.

Interns must have strong written and verbal communication skills and attention to detail. Candidates must also be comfortable with Microsoft Office, Google applications, and major social media platforms. Preference will be given to applicants with a high school diploma or equivalent. Applications from the Fifth Middlesex District are strongly encouraged. Hours and duration of internship are flexible, though ideal applicants will be available 8-10 hours per week. This position will be in-person, hybrid, or fully remote. 

Our office does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, gender identity, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, or age. Applicants of color are strongly encouraged to apply.

Candidates should send a resume and a brief letter of interest to by Thursday, May 4, 2023. References should be available upon request. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, so interested parties are encouraged to apply promptly. With questions, please call (617) 722-1206.