Page 4 THE REVERE ADVOCATE – FRIDAY, MARCH 20, 2020 ANGELO’S FULL SERVICE "42 Years of Excellence!" 1978-2020 Regular Unleaded $2.049 Mid Unleaded $2.629 Super $2.699 Diesel Fuel $2.649 KERO $4.759 Diesel $2.399 HEATING OI 24-Hour Burner Service Call for Current Price! (125—gallon minimum) DEF Available by Pump! Open an account and order online at: www.angelosoil.com (781) 231-3500 (781) 231-3003 367 LINCOLN AVE • SAUGUS • OPEN 7 DAYS Baker files legislation to address municipal government challenges due to COVID-19 G ov. Charlie Baker recently announced that his administration will file a package of legislation to help address challenges to municipal governance resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, including potential delays in holding town meetings and adopting municipal budgets for fiscal 2021. The legislation would: • Amend the existing statute that authorizes town moderators to postpone town meetings by 30 days during a “public safety emergency” by adding “public health emergency” as a reason that permits postponement. • Permit town boards of selectmen to postpone town meetings beyond the statutory June 30 deadline (end of fiscal year) when the governor has declared a state of emergency and conditions prevent the completion of a town meeting. • Permit boards of selectmen, at local option, to temporarily adopt lower quorum rules. • Permit continued month-tomonth spending into fiscal 2021 by towns based on the prior fiscal year budget with approval of the Massachusetts Department of Revenue’s Division of Local Services (DLS) during a state of emergency. The monthto-month authorization would continue so long as a state of emergency prevents the adoption of a budget. Cities have similar authority under existing state law. • Permit towns to access their free cash balance for fiscal 2021 spending with approval of DLS. This would be based on the July 2019 certified balance and could continue until a fiscal 2021 budget is adopted. • Permit municipal spending from revolving funds at the level set by their fiscal 2020 appropriation until a fiscal 2021 budget is adopted. • Authorize a three-year amortization period for deficit spending incurred as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. The default rule would require a fiscal 2021 tax rate to provide for one-year amortization, and this change would follow the 2015 precedent for snow removal costs. School and other closures Baker also announced a threeweek suspension of school operations for educational purposes at all public and private elementary and secondary (K-12) schools in the Commonwealth beginning Tuesday, March 17, as well as a number of other emergency actions. “We know that a lot of the measures we are putting into place, including mandatory school closures and prohibiting gatherings of 25 people or more, will cause disruption in people’s day-to-day lives,” Baker said. “With the steps we are taking today, we can ensure residents can still access key state services while taking necessary precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19.” The suspension of educational programming would not necessarily affect the availability of school buildings for the provision of food or other essential noneducational services. The administration will provide additional guidance as the end of the closure approaches. The administration said it is “critical” that students and their families, as well as school staff, stay home as much as possible and strictly follow social distancing guidelines. School staff are urged to plan for “how best to equitably provide alternative access to student learning opportunities during this period and potentially beyond.” School personnel are also urged to find ways to ensure, to the greatest extent possible, that families have access to essential nonacademic services for their children – particularly special education and food services. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) will work with school districts to develop strategies and resources to sustain learning and vital services throughout this closure period. DESE has received a partial waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture providing greater flexibility regarding food service in certain districts with higher concentrations of low-income students, and DESE is pursuing additional waivers for the remaining schools and districts. All nonemergency state employees working in Executive Branch agencies were told not to report to their workplaces on March 16 and 17. The administration is working to expand alternative work arrangements for the Executive Branch workforce and develop plans to continue to provide essential state government services. All commercial insurers, selfinsured plans and the Group Insurance Commission are required to cover medically necessary telehealth services related to COVID-19 testing and treatment. Insurers must do so without requiring cost-sharing of any kind, such as copays and coinsurance, for testing and treatment. Additionally, insurers cannot require prior authorization for these services. Stop & Shop announces reduced hours, special shopping times for elderly Special to The Advocate I For Advertising with Results, call The Advocate Newspapers at 781-286-8500 or Info@advocatenews.net n order to allow more time for associates to unload deliveries, stock shelves and better serve customers throughout the day, Stop & Shop has adjusted its hours of operation to 7:30 a.m.-8:00 p.m. at most stores beginning March 16. Effective on March 19, Stop & Shop has hours specifically geared to accommodate customers 60 and older. Stop & Shop stores will open from 6 a.m.-7:30 a.m. only for customers over the age of 60, who the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local health officials say are the most vulnerable. Stop & Shop is making the decision to allow community members in this age category to shop in a less crowded environment, which better enables social distancing. Although Stop & Shop will not be requesting ID for entry, they request that we all respect the purpose of the early opening – and do the right thing for older neighbors. Stop & Shop will reserve the right to ask customers to leave if they are not a member of this age group. Stop & Shop is continuing to maintain high levels of hygiene and sanitation in its stores and online operations. The store is taking additional measures during this time, which include wiping down checkout areas, including the belts and pin pads, with disinfectant even more frequently. Stop & Shop will continue to follow guidance from the CDC to help keep its customers and associates safe. Like us on Facebook advocate newspaper Facebook.com/Advocate.news.ma Prices subject to change Winter Diesel Available FLEET

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