BOSTON (WWLP) – From being a freshman Representative to a freshman Senator, Senator Jake Oliveira is making moves in the State House. Senator Oliveira has called Ludlow home his entire life, and now he is fighting for equity in western Massachusetts.
Oliveira is no novice when it comes to government. Prior to becoming State Senator, Oliveira was a State Representative. He was also active in Ludlow as a town meeting member, a democratic town committee member and a school committee member.
But, just because Oliveira is a freshman Senator, doesn’t mean his legislative priorities aren’t ambitious. He said he has hit the ground running, bringing equity to the western most part of the state is priority.
When it comes to healthcare access, Oliveira points to how western Massachusetts doesn’t have a single mental health adolescent youth bed. Oliveira filed a bill this session for the Department of Public Health to come up with a regional equity plan. He also points to transportation, and how the state is set to receive about $12 billion from the federal government in infrastructure funding.
Oliveira told 22News, “We in the Western Mass delegation, want to make sure we get our fair share of those resources, and that’s why we’ve been fighting very hard, for West-East rail, but also regional transportation.”
Hidden infrastructure, like water and sewer and increased broadband access, is also on Oliveira’s agenda. A creative solution to the housing crisis western Massachusetts is seeing is Oliveira’s tiny homes initiative, which would update the state’s housing codes.
“They tend to be a lot smaller, they tend to be a lot greener, and with an aging baby boom population that’s looking to downsize right now that might want to locate on their children’s property if they have it, it’s another tool in our toolbox to help with that housing crisis and shortage that we have right now,” said Oliveira.
Oliveira has also filed bills dealing with special education, public safety and economic development. Now, Oliveira will be very busy this upcoming session, he said his goal was to file around 20 bills, he ended up filing 57.