Current Legislation

Rep Campbell appointed to leadership posts in 2017-2018 Legislative Session.

Representative Campbell has been assigned to:

  • Vice Chair, Joint Committee on Revenue
  • Joint Committee on Public Health
  • Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight
  • House Committee on Post Audit and Oversight

Bills Sponsored and Co-Sponsored by Representative Linda Dean Campbell this Session

Sponsored Legislation
Cosponsored Legislation

 

Representative Campbell has proposed the following pieces of legislation this session:

Public Saftey

HD1494 - An act relative to the safe regulation of legal marijuana 

This legislation makes a few reasonable changes to the ballot question approved by the voters this past November that legalized Marijuana in the Commonwealth. The primary goal of the legislation is the expansion of the advisory board to include representation notably absent and requested. That would include those who will be executing any legislation pursued. This legislation also does recognize the will of the voters and makes no changes to the basic intent of the law to allow for the personal consumption, cultivation and regulated sale of marijuana.

This legislation has been coordinated with those groups affected.

Changes made by this legislation:

  • Changes the composition of the Marijuana advisory board to include additional members with expertise in substance abuse, mental health and municipal affairs, as well as adding designees from the legislature and law enforcement community.
  • Bans individuals on the cannabis control commission or the marijuana advisory board that will regulate the industry from receiving funds from the marijuana industry as well as prohibiting individuals in the marijuana industry from contributing to public office holders who could have influence over making decisions about the industry (this uses the same language as the legislation authorizing casino gambling in the Commonwealth)
  • Clarifies the language concerning outdoor smoking by using the existing language that is currently used for the workplace smoking ban, without changing the intent of the law
  • Allows municipalities the option of postponing the retail sale of Marijuana until the Cannabis Control Commission has produced regulations for retail sales

HD3570 - An Act relative to enhancing municipal police training 

This bill builds on an initiative put forth by NAMI (National Association of Mental Illness – MA) last session calling for more police training in order for police officers to be more prepared to interact with citizens with behavioral health crises.  This legislation further promotes the  Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) 40 hour model. It would partner with the Municipal Police Training Committee, the Department of Mental Health and NAMI to ensure that every community in Massachusetts has a trained police officer available to interact with individuals presenting significant mental and behavioral health needs.

This is critical at a time when it’s estimated that 15% of men and 30% of women in local jails have a serious mental illness.

Most importantly, the CIT model has been shown to be effective in reducing the number of re-arrests of individuals with mental illness, improving interactions between the police and individuals with mental illness and the number of officer injuries sustained during responses to individuals with mental illness.

 

HD3547 - An Act Relative to a Municipal Bulk Purchase Program for Washing Machines in Fire Departments

This bill would establish a grant program and municipal bulk purchasing program modeled after the successful Naloxone bulk purchasing program to assist municipal fire departments in purchasing industrial washing machines.

This is a significant need given the extraordinarily high cancer rates among firefighters which in Boston is estimated to be 2.5 times higher than civilians in large part because of the absorption of toxic chemicals into their clothing and turnout gear.

Few firefighters have industrial washing machines capable of washing the protective gear used by firefighters and many municipalities have trouble providing the resources to purchase industrial washing machines for their fire departments.

 

HD3561 - An Act Relative to lung cancer screening for Firefighters

Also due to the high incidents of cancer among firefighters, this bill would mandate screening and insurance coverage for lung cancer screening for firefighters.

 

HD2572 - An Act relative to drug overdose deaths

This bill, proposed by the MA District Attorney’s Association, requires that drug overdose fatalities be reported to local police departments and to the Department of Public Health to facilitate more effective targeting of narcotics trafficking.   It also ensures that all reports protect individual privacy.

 

HD2254 - An Act concerning the safety of school children embarking and disembarking school buses

This legislation authorizes local jurisdictions to operate digital video installed on the outside of school buses for the purpose of detecting and enforcing violations against the owner of a motor vehicle whose vehicle fails to stop for a school bus when required to do so. Similar legislation was reported out favorably from the transportation committee last session.

 

Disability

HD1493 - An Act to establish a registry of caretakers found to have substantiated abuse against persons with intellectual disability or developmental disability (HD1493)

This legislation would create a registry for caretakers that have committed a substantiated finding of abuse or financial exploitation against individuals with disabilities.

While this bill will go a long way to reducing the exploitation of individuals with disabilities, it also creates a comprehensive framework for a hearing and appeal process for individuals found to have committed abuse by the Disabled Persons Protection Commission.

The language in this bill includes input from the ARC of Massachusetts, the Department of Disabilities Services, as well as the providers that will be regulated under this legislation and accompanies similar legislation filed by Senator Moore.

 

Education

HD2189 - An Act Promoting Project-Based Civics Education in Public Schools

This legislation is offered in partnership and as the result of the leadership of Senate Majority Leader Harriet Chandler. It would create a flexible civics requirement for K-12 schools in MA requiring that children complete no less than two civics based projects which can be integrated into existing curricula.

While this legislation allows for flexibility for local schools districts in implementation it builds on the best evidence-based practices of effective civic education to ensure that all children in Massachusetts have a strong understanding of their critical role on our civic process.

Additionally the bill would:

Establish regional civics councils to monitor civics education implementation and make ongoing recommendations to ensure regular improvement of civic education;

Create the Edward M. Kennedy Civics Challenge, which would make available to all 8th graders the opportunity to voluntarily take the U.S citizenship test and honor the top 100 students at a statewide symposium;

Establish the High School Voter Challenge which would task every public high school with designating one or more students as “voter outreach coordinators” who would then be focused on registering and pre-registering their peers to vote during selected periods of the school year;

I believe that these changes will help build on the election reform legislation we passed in the 2013-2014 session and perhaps, most importantly,  provide an engaging way that students will like while learning about their important role in a sense of civic duties.

 

HD3554 - An Act relative to financial literacy in high schools

This bill provides a flexible requirement that students receive financial literacy as part of the curriculum of at least one class in high school. To address one of the recommendations of the 2015 Financial Literacy taskforce report spearheaded by the Treasurer, the bill provides an avenue to connect teachers with effective financial education training by requiring one teacher from every high school to have undergone training at the annual teacher training run by the Massachusetts Jump$tart Coalition.

 

Veterans

HD3565 - An Act Relative to Veterans Property Tax Abatement

This bill is an important act to support veterans, veterans’ families and the communities they live in.  This bill would provide tax relief to landlords who rent homes to veterans and their families at rates below the market value. In addition, this act would also make veterans who own property and have a service-connected disability eligible for an additional property tax exemption.  This legislation has been reviewed by the committee on Revenue and the accessors office.

Specifics

  • Pending approval by local authorities (city council or town council) landlords offering veterans or their family members below market rents would be eligible for an annual property tax rebate of $3000.
  • Pending local approval veterans with service-connected disabilities would also be eligible for an additional $400 property tax exemption.

 

HD2259 - An Act relative to the annual observance of Massachusetts Women’s Defense Corps Remembrance Day

This bill would provide recognition to The Massachusetts Women's Defense Corps (MWDC) by designating April 2nd as Massachusetts Women’s Defense Corps Remembrance Day.

The MWDC were a group of volunteer women dedicated to providing war-related and emergency services to the citizens of the Commonwealth during World War II. They provided service to their country in several areas: Medical, Transportation, Communications, and Air Raid Protection among other duties.

While there are not many surviving members of the MWDC, the proven dedication of these volunteers to their country provided a pathway for future generations of women to lead in all walks of life. The only recognition that Corps personnel received was the award of a ribbon for three years service.  The only recognition that Corps personnel received was the award of a ribbon for three-years-service.

This legislation commending these women and designating April 2nd as Massachusetts Women’s Defense Corps Remembrance Day would go a long way towards honoring their service and commitment to their country.

 

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Representative Campbell has Co-Sponsored the following pieces of legislation this session:

Substance Abuse

HD2702 - An Act relative to civil commitment length of treatment for alcohol and substance abuse

This bill mandates persons committed under Section 35 complete the entire term to which they've been sentenced - so, if someone is sentenced to 90 days of treatment, they must stay in for all 90 days. What sometimes happens under the program is folks are getting let out early because the law states they must be in for "up to..." amount of days.

 

HD2699 - An Act relative to voluntary civil commitment for alcohol and substance abuse treatment

This bill allows addicts to self-admit for treatment under Section 35 - currently, a person is not allowed to civilly commit themselves for alcohol and substance abuse treatment under this law, leaving local courts in the position of turning away addicts trying to help themselves.

 

HD2429 - An Act relative to requiring insurance providers cover a minimum of 30 days for in-patient substance abuse treatment

This legislation would require insurance providers cover a minimum of 30 days for in-patient substance abuse treatment.  Presently it is 14 days.

 

HD2421 - An Act relative to parity of treatment with substance abuse

The intent of this bill is to place the treatment of substance abuse issues on an equal footing with the treatment of any medical condition. Many individuals who wish to seek critical treatment for substance abuse run into significant insurance barriers. It is common that medical insurance will only cover a very short amount of time in a treatment facility, thus hindering the patient’s progress and potential for recovery. The bill seeks to mandate insurance coverage for substance abuse treatment for an extended period of time long enough to properly address an individual’s recovery and treatment. The intent of the bill is also to equalize the treatment of substance abuse and other medical conditions that require treatment.

 

SD475 - An Act relative to opioid prescribing practices and access to pain management

This bill calls for non-opioid and non-pharmaceutical pain management access to become renewed focal points of our health systems; a step to reduce our overreliance on addictive substances.  This bill would complement the work we have done on prescription drug safety, by promoting real alternatives that relieve pain without fueling addiction. The bill would require each insurance carrier to have a pain management access plan, based on evidence-based pain management guidelines developed by the Health Policy Commission. These pain management access plans would become accreditation criteria under the Division of Insurance, and would be publicly posted on each carrier’s website.

 

SD156 - An Act expanding protection under the Good Samaritan law for drug-related overdoses

This bill expands our “Good Samaritan” law, by extending its protection to persons who may be on parole, probation, or pre-trial release terms. Although the “Good Samaritan” law – which provides certain legal protections for a person who calls for help in a drug overdose situation – has existed since 2012, some remain hesitant to call first responders, not trusting that the law offers reliable protection. This bill aims to increase public confidence in the program by closing a gap that does, in fact, put a person at risk of detention or arrest.

 

HD2612 - An Act to prevent adolescent substance use

Establishes an Adolescent Substance Use Prevention and Early Intervention Trust Fund, funded through   a portion of the recreational marijuana sales tax, to help pay for new evidence-based substance use prevention programming for youth.

 

HD2609 - An Act to ensure access to recovery coaches

Mandates health insurance coverage for services rendered by certified Recovery Coaches.

 

HD2607 - An Act relative to substance use disorder diversion and treatment

Allows for the diversion of certain drug offenses to treatment before court proceedings, requires 30 days insurance coverage for acute detox, clinical stabilization services, and transitional support services, improves on the Good Samaritan laws, and ensures drug collection kiosks in pharmacies as part of the drug stewardship program.

 

HD3668 - An Act to protect youth from the health risks of tobacco and nicotine addiction

This life-saving Omnibus Tobacco Regulation bill is supported by more than 70 leading health care organizations and has been adopted by 141 communities across our Commonwealth.  The bill would raise the legal age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21, align E-cigarettes with the Commonwealth’s smoke free workplace law and prohibit the sale of tobacco products in health care facilities such as pharmacies.  Last session 106 of our colleagues supported at least one of the three major pieces of legislation that comprise the omnibus bill or lent their names in support. Endorsed by: American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, American Heart Association

 

SD1558 - An Act relative to substance abuse education in public schools

This legislation expands substance abuse and heroin diversion education programs in public schools in coordination with DPH and DESE.

 

HD1116 - An Act relative to opioid prescribing practices and access to pain management

This bill calls for non-opioid and non-pharmaceutical pain management access to become renewed focal points of our health systems; a step to reduce our overreliance on addictive substances.
This bill would complement the work we have done on prescription drug safety, by promoting real alternatives that relieve pain without fueling addiction. The bill would require each insurance carrier to have a pain management access plan, based on evidence-based pain management guidelines developed by the Health Policy Commission. These pain management access plans would become accreditation criteria under the Division of Insurance, and would be publicly posted on each carrier’s website

 

HD1739 - An Act relative to overdose fatalities

An Act relative to Overdose Fatalities would create a central database where police and fire personnel can access recent opiate overdose information to which first responders were called. As many communities are now conducting follow up visits with opiate overdose patients, it is imperative that they have accurate and timely information. Sometimes an overdose occurs in a neighboring community and the follow up team may not be aware of it. Perhaps worse, is the individual who has overdosed a second time in a neighboring community resulting in death, and their local follow up team is not aware. This adds to the heartbreak of the patient’s family, and adds to the stress of the outreach personnel. Consequently, there is a need for this database. This legislation would lift the barriers and allow police and fire departments to be informed and up to date on overdoses of their residents even if those overdoses take place in another community.

 

HD1299 - An Act to update the definition of fentanyl

This bill clarifies the definition of Fentanyl, as it relates to Fentanyl trafficking, to insure that the definition includes mixtures, solutions, and cutting agents.  This insures that prosecutable weights, for purposes of the Fentanyl trafficking law, is consistent with existing laws for heroin, cocaine, and other narcotics routinely diluted by the inclusion of cutting agents.  Fentanyl is routinely cut with inert ingredients at a rate of 50 parts inert to 1 part Fentanyl, or higher, for street level sales.

 

SD2058 - An Act to increase substance abuse prevention and education in public schools

The opioid epidemic has grown to the point of becoming a statewide emergency. We have made great strides with the Governor’s Opioid Bill and awareness campaigns, but there is more to be done to decrease addiction and death rates.  This bill strengthens outreach into our communities to educate and caution younger generations to the dangers of opioid abuse. The same way that every public school student must go through health screenings in elementary school, this bill would implement informative screenings for every high school upperclassman across the state. Each school system, in partnership with the Department of Public Health, will be required to develop an educational lecture that informs students of the severe dangers of opiates, as well as the laws surrounding overdoses, with emphasis on “Good Samaritan” laws.

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Veterans

HD1423 - An Act relative to veteran retirement benefits

This bill allows veterans who retired from public service before July 24, 1996 to buy back up to four years of active service.

 

SD1699 - An Act relative to veterans

Would exempt Veterans from having to pay charges and fees for entrance to public forest lands and public beaches under the control and care of the department of conservation and recreation. By inserting a new section, sec 3F after MGL ch 21 sec 3E and by amending ch 132A sec 2D.

 

HD168 - An Act returning the payment of bonuses to soldiers during the Persian Gulf War to the Treasurer's office

This legislation would return the funding of bonuses for veterans of the Persian Gulf war to the Treasurer's office.

 

HD164 - An Act giving a veteran bonus to regular soldiers having been on active duty in support of the Persian Gulf War

This legislation would amend the oversight of Regular army soldiers who served in support of the Persian Gulf war who did not receive a bonus as was given to Army National Guard, Air National Guard or Reserve soldiers.

 

HD1683 - An Act relative to exempting Gold Star annuity payments

This important legislation would change state law to exempt any payments made to Gold star spouses, parents and families from being included in determining eligibility for any state programs and benefits.   Recently, a Gold Star mother in my district was denied Mass Health coverage because this annuity, which she receives in honor of her son who was killed in Afghanistan, put her $58 over the threshold to qualify.   I hope you will agree that those individuals who receive this payment have already paid enough to our state and nation  and that this funding should not be considered income in the traditional sense.

 

HD3228 - An Act to update and apply a cost of living adjustment to certain veteran's benefits

For years our servicemen and women have not seen an increase in a number of state provided benefits. This updates these benefits to fall in line with their original intent, and attaches a cost of living adjustment so that inflation and the rising costs of living in Massachusetts do not erode what our men and women in uniform have earned through their service.

 

HD3022 - An Act to waive motor vehicle registration fees on a primary passenger vehicle for disabled veterans

Motor Vehicle registration fees should be waived for disabled veterans.

 

HD963 - An Act relative to low-income housing eligibility for disabled veterans

Would exempt veterans’ disability payments from being counted toward their eligibility for low income housing.

 

HD1846 - An Act honoring as veterans certain persons who served in the National Guard and Reserves

An Act honoring as veterans certain persons who served in the National Guard and Reserves. SECTION 1. Clause Forty-third of section 7 of chapter 4 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2012 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following paragraph:- ?Reserve veteran?, shall mean a person (a) whose last discharge from the National Guard or Reserve was under honorable conditions; and (b) who performed at least 20 years of service as computed under 10 U.S.C. section 12732; provided, however, that a reserve veteran shall not be considered a veteran for the purposes of this clause solely by reason of satisfying this definition. SECTION 2.  Chapter 115 of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following section:- Section 16.  Reserve veterans shall be honored and recognized as veterans in the commonwealth; provided, however that a reserve veteran shall not be eligible for benefits administered under this chapter or any other general or special law solely by reason of being a reserve veteran.  The commissioner shall develop a program for outreach to reserve veterans in order to effectively recognize their service and further their inclusion in all honorary and ceremonial events for veterans throughout the commonwealth.

 

HD2497 - An Act relative to the hiring of veterans

This bill would require DCR to create a framework for the preferential hiring of veterans in the DCR park ranger program. Rangers are not a civil service position and this bill would not make changes to existing civil service statute.

 

HD3031 - An Act relative to testing requirements for veterans who wish to become educators

This would allow any veteran who is administered a test established pursuant to this section
required for certification as a provisional educator or a provisional educator with advanced standing shall receive 5 additional points to be added to the total test scaled score.

 

SD759 - An Act establishing the Massachusetts GI bill to provide tuition and fee waivers for National Guard members and veterans

Provides tuition and fee waivers for Massachusetts National Guard members and veterans. Applicant must apply for all available federal educational financial aid. Commonwealth (not the higher ed institution) bears the cost of this.

 

SD495 - An Act relative to workers compensation for veterans

Any employee who has served, and as a result of that service sustainted emotional or physical injury, recieves personal injury from current employment which aggrivates or prolongs disability, should be entitled to compensation regardless of the extent to which the services related disability contributes.

 

HD649 - An Act relative to parking at certain airports for disabled veterans

This act allows disabled veterans with the proper license plate to park at major Massachusetts airports for free.

 

HD2529 - An Act relative to tax credits for homeless veteran housing

directs the Department of Housing and Community Development to require that as part of the development of the Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP) for 2011, the Department must set-aside no less than 10% of its allocated tax credits for projects sponsored by nonprofits that will provide permanent housing for formerly homeless veterans in a service-based multifamily property and projects of no fewer than 20 units.

 

HD2528 - An Act relative to the appointment of veterans agents and service officers

An Act relative to the appointment of veterans agents and service officers

 

HD2526 - An Act relative to public housing determination for veterans

For public housing benefits received by veterans and/or their spouses as a result of eligibilty for such benefits under Chapter 115 shall be excluded for purposes of rent determination

 

HD2523 - An Act relative to the Secretary of the Department of Veterans? Services

Makes the secretary of veterans affairs a cabinet level officer

 

HD1013 - An Act establishing a commission to study veterans transportation issues

Creates an 11 member commission, whose goal is to find creative ways to improve and expand transportation options for veterans. Appointees include six members of the legislature, and five appointed by the Governor with a reporting date of 270 days from the final appointment

 

HD1106 - An Act enhancing the volunteer service tax reduction for veterans

 

SD1753 - An Act relative to access to higher education for veterans

This bill would make veterans eligible to pay in-state tuition rates at the University of MA, or any other state or community college or university, immediately upon establishing residence in the Commonwealth.

 

SD1750 - An Act relative to veterans? work-related experience in applying for certain licenses

This bill allows veterans in the Commonwealth to be exempt from certain apprenticeship and education requirements to acquire a permit or license to perform work. The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development is charged with issuing regulations on how to award veterans credit in consideration for related military experience and schooling in the area they seek to be licensed.

 

SD1749 - An Act relative to the waiving of fees for the declaration of homestead for disabled veterans

This bill eliminates the $30 fee charged for recording a declaration of homestead for a disabled veteran.

 

SD1745 - An Act relative to distinctive plates for veterans

This bill eliminates all fees associated with obtaining Veterans plates, including the registration fee and the annual fee.

 

SD1803 - An Act protecting veterans? military medical and service records

Strengthens language that prohibits an appointing authority from requesting an individual’s military medical records as a condition of employment. This bill would prohibit the authority from requesting an individual’s military service records for the same purpose.

 

SD1804 - An Act relative to protecting veterans

This would give hiring preference to veterans and children of police officers and firefighters who have died in the line of duty.

 

HD3128 - An Act to reduce the fee for motor vehicle veteran registration plates

Eliminates the special plate fee ($20/year) for veterans to obtain veterans’ plates so that only standard registration fees would apply

 

HD1443 - An Act updating veterans? burial expenses

Currently, municipalities partner with the Commonwealth to provide financial assistance to military families who are not able to cover funeral and burial expenses for a veteran. This bill will increase the caps currently in place on both the level of benefit and the total allowable expenses to keep pace with the cost of burials and services.

 

SD492 - An Act to provide retirement benefits for veterans

Under current law, active employees who have veterans? status are eligible to receive up to four years of creditable service for time served in the military. This bill would provide such equity to those veterans who have retired prior to 1996.

 

HD2525 - An Act relative to shelter benefits for veterans

Mandates that cities and towns increase shelter benefits for veterans irrespective of appropriation annually

 

HD3123 - An Act providing a parks pass waiver for veterans

Allows veterans with distinctive veterans’ plates free access to state parks, forests, and reservations in the Commonwealth

 

HD1853 - An Act accelerating state repayments to municipalities for veterans? benefits

Requires a more timely reimbursement of veterans’ benefits from the state to municipalities

 

HD1105 - An Act relative to the creation of the battlefield to STEM field incentive program

The proposed legislation creates a fiscal incentive program for veterans to pursue  degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, allocating $5,000 per academic year for a maximum for 4 years. Eligible veterans include those who have I) completed a year of instruction in a STEM designated course of educational pursuit; II) demonstrated academic promise; III) been discharged or released under honorable conditions from service.

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Economic Development

HD3433 - An Act promoting capital investment in targeted employment areas

This bill would authorize EOHED and EOLWD to designate Gateway Cities as “targeted employment areas” for participation in the federal EB-5 Investor Program to develop job-creating, economic development projects.

HD2458 - An Act relative to small scale commercial development for gateway cities

This bill intends to promote, stimulate, and create growth for local businesses by making it easier to obtain finances to improve and/or create business space in the upper-level floors of a multistory building (i.e. allows a building manager to construct office space on the 2nd or 3rd floors). Specifically, the bill allows small businesses in gateway municipalities to take advantage of the same tax breaks as corporations benefiting from the Economic Development Incentive Program.  It also provides for bonding for municipalities for infrastructure improvements in areas that qualify.

HD3710 - An Act providing tax incentives for small businesses

Legislation relative to the excise imposed upon sales for capital investments to small businesses.

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Environment and Energy

HD2334 - An Act Protecting the Natural Resources of the Commonwealth

In 1972, the Massachusetts voters approved an amendment to the state Constitution, Article 97, granting the people of the state the right to clean air and water, and other environmental benefits.  However, there is sometimes pressure to convert public land protected by Article 97.  This bill clarifies and regularizes the process used to evaluate proposals for the Commonwealth and/or municipalities to take parcels out of conservation protected status (so-called Article 97 lands) in order for them to be used for other purposes, either public or private.  It ensures mitigation of or ?no net loss? of the release of protected land in the Commonwealth.

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Public Safety

HD1347 - An Act relative to firefighters cessation program

Allows the option of having firefighters go to a smoking cessation program if hired after 1980 if they get caught smoking a cigarette. Get one more chance to go through a smoking cessation program instead of being fired

 

SD1216 - An Act relative to disability pensions for violent crimes

Would increase accidental disability retirement benefits from 72% to 100% for certain severely injured public safety officers.

 

HD2438 - An Act relative to establishing a special commission to study the efficacy of funding the construction of public safety buildings through the sales tax

Legislature shall establish a special commission to study the feasibility of establishing an independent public authority known as the Massachusetts Public Safety Building Authority for the purposes of issuing loans at a zero percent interest rate to municipalities who plan to construct a public safety building.  The commission shall examine the viability of a dedicated sales tax revenue source similar to the funding structure of the Massachusetts School Building Authority, except that the percentage from the sales tax shall be a quarter of one percent.  the Commission shall examine the feasibility of establishing on the books of the Commonwealth a separate fund known as the Public Safety Modernization and Reconstruction Fund.  The dedicated sales tax revenue would be credited to this fund.

 

HD3014 - An Act relative to firefighter training

ISSUE: Many retired firefighters return to the Department of Fire Services as training instructors, using their knowledge and expertise to train new members. However, there is currently a limit to the number of hours that retirees can teach at the academy, which is 960 hours per year. This hour limit often creates an inconvenient scenario, in which retirees who have reached their limit must find another instructor to finish teaching their classes?interrupting class continuance and sometimes leading to the hiring of out-of-state retired firefighters in order to complete the courses.  AIM: This bill will lift the cap on the number of hours that retired firefighters may be employed by the Department of Fire Services as a training instructor, enabling our retired firefighters to pass along the institutional knowledge and skills they have gained through their lifetimes of experience

 

SD1575 - An Act relative to the use of community corrections

Currently, those awaiting trial are not eligible for mental health or substance abuse treatment.  This bill, which is supported by the sheriffs, the courts, and probation, would allow a judge to send a person awaiting trial to receive services and programing at a community corrections center.

 

HD2768 - An Act relative to offenses while driving on a suspended license

On Father’s Day 2014, Sharon resident Haley Cremer was killed when a man operating on a suspended license drove off the road and hit her as she was out for a jog in a residential neighborhood. Under current laws, the fact that his license was repeatedly suspended was inadmissible during trial, and I believe that his punishment was inadequate. In response, I have filed this bill to stiffen penalties on those who injure or kill while operating on a suspended license.

 

HD1522 - An Act relative to the health of public safety officers

Requires a blood test on anyone under arrest who could have exposed public safety personnel (such as police officers, firefighters, and EMTs) to blood-bourne pathogins through being stuck by a hypodermic syringe/needle or biting.  In addition requires all hypodermic syringes/needles to remain capped before and after use.

 

SD1295 - An Act denying paternity rights to perpetrators of rape

The current law in Massachusetts allows a biological father to pursue custody and visitation of a child conceived through forcible rape. This forces the survivor to have continued interaction with her attacker and gives the rapist power to threaten to pursue custody in order to coerce the survivor into not prosecuting rape. This bill prevents a court from granting custody or visitation rights to the father of a child if the child was conceived by an act of forcible rape perpetrated by the father.  It requires clear and convincing evidence of rape in order to deny parental rights to perpetrator of rape and allows for the child to benefit from child support payments without forcing a rape survivor to have interaction with her attacker.

 

SD1290 - An Act relative to school bus safety

Two students in my district were struck by a vehicle that ran through a bus stop and left the scene, this bill would allow a municipality to install and operate video camera monitoring systems, with audio recording capabilities, on school buses solely for the purpose of ensuring the safety of bus passengers and drivers. All recorded video images and other photographic information obtained through the use of such school bus monitoring system that does not identify any violations shall be destroyed by any city, town, school department or vendor within 30 days of the date the image was recorded and all photographic and other recorded information that identifies a violation shall be destroyed within 1 year of final disposition of proceedings related to the enforcement or defense of a violation.  Any school bus installed with a monitoring system shall post warning signage indicating the use of such system. The signage shall remain on each bus as long as a school bus monitoring system is in operation

 

HD1670 - An Act relative to Parkinson's Disease Disability and death in firefighters

Creates the presumption that a disability or death from Parkinson's Disease in a firefighter was incurred in the line of service.

 

SD649 - An Act relative to police pursuits in the Commonwealth

This bill enacts stricter penalties for drivers who fail to stop for police officers.

 

HD3108 - An Act relative to disability or death caused by contagious diseases, presumption

Creates rebuttable presumption of job relatedness for certain public safety personnel suffering from disabling conditions caused by exposure to infectious diseases.

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Health

HD1481 - An Act regarding spouses as caregivers

This bill would allow spouses to be included as paid caregivers in the MassHealth program. Currently, MassHealth offers programs to keep clients in their homes, under the care of an individual or relative in exchange for a stipend and coordination of care and respite services. Spouses and dependent children providing long term support for their significant other, however, are exempt from the program and cannot receive state support for the services they provide. The bill would expand the eligibility to include an enrollee’s spouse, helping more elders and disabled persons remain in their homes and out of assisted living facilities.

 

HD3730 - An Act promoting continuity of care for multiple sclerosis treatment

Currently, health insurance plans design formularies that may change at any time to exclude coverage of certain MS therapies. Regardless of a patient’s success with a disease modifying treatment (DMT) and their physician’s best judgment, a change to the insurance formulary could eliminate coverage for an MS treatment, forcing a patient to switch drugs. Likewise, patients and their physicians may be required to navigate arduous utilization management practices, such as step therapy, in order to obtain coverage for the drug they need. This legislation would ensure that patients whoare already prescribed and taking DMT can remain on their medications and maintain insurance coverage for these drugs. This is an important guarantee since MS is a difficult to manage condition in which finding and maintaining the right drug therapy for a patient is critical to good results. The bill will ensure these patients are not charged excessive cost sharing fees and can continue to receive their medically necessary medications.

 

SD42 - An Act relative to hospital profit and fairness

One issue contributing to the rise of healthcare costs is the exorbitant salaries paid to CEOs that do not in any way reflect quality of care, patient outcomes, or community benefits.  this legislation would require hospitals receiving public money to disclose financial assets, and assess fees on publicly funded hospitals that compensate executives more than 100 times more than other employees. These fees will fund a Medicaid Reimbursement Enhancement Fund, which will increase Medicaid reimbursements to eligible hospitals.

 

SD1298 - An Act Relative to Prescription Drug Voice Synthesizers

The legislation requires health insurance companies that offer prescription drug coverage to insure “talking prescription bottles” - recording devices attached to pill bottles that describe their contents at the push of a button.  People with visual impairments, senior citizens taking multiple medications, and non-native English speakers often have a difficult time managing prescriptions.  This device allows pharmacists to record the prescription name and provide verbal information on when and how to take the drugs, their side effects, and what the medications are meant to treat.  Covering talking prescription bottles will not only improve quality of life; it also addresses a major safety issue that can be solved at a minimal expense.

 

SD1307 - An Act to provide increased access to hearing aids

This bill will restore the ability of otolaryngologists to sell and/or dispense hearing aids to their patients.  Allowing otolaryngologists to sell and/or dispense hearing aids to their patients will improve patient care, allow patients to see fewer doctors and specialists, and save time, treatment costs and copayments.  Massachusetts is one of only two states that does not allow otolaryngologists to sell hearing aids.  Similar legislation is pending in New York, the other state with such a prohibition.

 

HD2156 - An Act authorizing dental therapists to expand access to oral health

The most vulnerable populations in Massachusetts often go without oral health care due to lack of easy access to a dentist. An Act Authorizing Dental Therapists to Expand Access to Oral Health authorizes a new type of midlevel dental professional, the dental hygiene practitioner (DHP).  DHPs present a critical opportunity for Massachusetts to close gaps in dental access for seniors, low-income families, children, and people with special needs.

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Public Service

HD893 - An Act relative to residency

For communities not governed by civil service laws this bill allows for the residency and how far away police and firefighter members are to be negotiable in collective bargaining.

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Education

SD954 - An Act to promote and enhance civic engagement

A comprehensive civics education reform bill which provides for: 1. A state civics fund; 2. Requires student led civics projects in at least 2 grades; 3. The Edward M. Kennedy Civics Challenge; 4. Regional Civics Councils; and 5. High School voter registration challenges.

 

HD2690 - An Act relative to school services for 22 year-old students' transition to adult services

This legislation amends the ?Turning 22? law (Chapter 688) for students with special needs by allowing students to continue receiving these important services through the end of the school district?s year. The purpose of this is so students are not pulled from classrooms abruptly the day they turn 22, which is currently the law. Students and parents have a difficult time right now coping with suddenly being displaced within the school year, with no transition, as other students receive. The goal is to allow them to stay through the school year in which they?ve turned 22, before they transition to adult services.

 

SD1449 - An Act relative to Massachusetts high school diplomas

This bill ensures that students are not denied a high school diploma simply because they cannot pass MCAS.

 

SD1273 - An Act relative to education

This is a comprehensive bill that addresses many issues that local school districts are facing in their budgets.
1. This bill would mandate that the state fully fund municipalities for the cost of transportation of a special education student to an out-of-district program.  Currently this is a reimbursement program and is all conditional on state funding.
2. It also sets parameters for private transportation companies to accept rates of payment for such transportation as determined by DESE and shall define those costs associated with transporting those students.  This funding shall be in addition to amounts distributed pursuant to chapter 70 and shall not be included in the calculation of base aid.
3. The board of elementary and secondary education shall promulgate rules and regulations establishing a process by which school districts may seek and accept reimbursement from insurers and similar third party payors for health care goods or services provided under an iep which constitute medically necessary treatment for disease, illness, injury, or bodily dysfunction.
4. The foundation funding formula shall increase the average tuition per student from $25,000 to $35,000.  The special education enrollment shall be adjusted for in district students to 4% and 5% for vocational students.
5. Forms a special commission to conduct an investigation and study of residency with regard to students that are transient as they pertain to education and fiscal and programmatic process. The commission shall study and recommend strategies that address fiscal and programmatic responsibility. The commission shall make recommendations on defining residency as it pertains to these students.
6. DESE is authorized and directed to standardize the qualifications of special education dispute arbitrators.

 

SD1325 - An Act relative to standardized tests

Requires DESE to conduct a minimum of one public hearing in each county of the state before implementing any new standardized test.

 

SD98 - An Act restoring financial transparency in presidential elections

Going back at least 36 years, every major party candidate for President of the United States has released his or her tax returns.  This honorable tradition ended with the 2016 election.  Under SD98 a presidential candidate who refuses to submit tax returns or file a Statement of Financial Interests will be ineligible to appear on the relevant Massachusetts primary or general election ballot.  Laurence Tribe, professor of constitutional law at Harvard Law School, has helped with the drafting.  He says the bill will “survive constitutional challenge all the way up to the Supreme Court if necessary.”  State legislators elsewhere in the country are filing similar bills.

 

HD1674 - An Act to allow equal access solar net metering projects

Under current DPU rules, only one solar net metering facility is allowed per parcel of land. For those that co-own, co-tenant or have multiple utility accounts associated with a single parcel of land, which includes many condominium owners, small businesses, farmers, and public housing authorities, this DPU rule can make it prohibitively burdensome to install solar projects. This legislation would allow an exemption to the “single parcel rule” for small net metering projects, creating more equal access to solar for more low-income residents, middle-class homeowners and small businesses.

 

HD2795 - An Act promoting zero-emission vehicles

This bill codifies the MOR-EV rebate program and creates a rebate program for electric vehicle charging stations. The bill includes additional provisions which will make ZEV adoption easier and catalyze the expansion of ZEV charging infrastructure.

 

SD1346 - An Act establishing tracking and reporting requirements for Massachusetts transportation fuels and associated greenhouse gas emissions

This bill requires MA DEP to promulgate regulations requiring producers, importers, and wholesale distributers that sell transportation fuels in MA to report those sales, and the source of each fuel, to DEP. DEP must compute and track the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions and carbon intensity of each reported fuel, as well as the annual total of lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions for all reported fuels, on an annual basis. All collected fuel, greenhouse gas emission, and carbon intensity data must be published in an annual report by DEP to be made available to the public.

 

HD3144 - An Act promoting agriculture in the Commonwealth

The bill uses various policies to encourage and promote agriculture in the Commonwealth. From rural to urban communities, this bill also looks to increase access to healthy, locally produced foods for every constituent. This legislation was passed in the Senate in 2016.

 

SD1021 - An Act combating climate change

This bill establishes a revenue-neutral carbon charge and rebate system for Massachusetts. Proceeds from the charge are diverted into a standalone fund and rebated in full to residents and employers of the Commonwealth.  Carbon pricing is the single most effective step a state can take to fight global warming.  Revenue neutrality lets us “put a price on carbon” and reduce greenhouse gases without having a net negative impact on lower-income people.  Conservative and progressive economists find common ground in favor of the idea. (Refile of S1747)

 

HD3117 - An Act relative to environmental justice and toxics reduction in the Commonwealth

This bill better defines “Environmental Justice” and “Environmental Justice Populations” to protect all people from pollution and environmental discrimination. The bill establishes an Environmental Justice Advisory Council to make recommendations to the Governor and Secretariats on critical issues and needs of environmental justice populations.

 

SD1266 - An Act preventing the disposal of hydraulic fracturing wastewater

One of the many hazards associated with hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is the voluminous toxic wastewater produced in need of disposal. Even if no fracking takes place in Massachusetts, we risk being on the receiving end of the fracking boom in nearby states. This bill would ban such dumping, thus protecting land and water resources.

 

SD930 - An Act providing access to higher education for high school graduates in the Commonwealth

This bill allows undocumented students who have attended high school in the Commonwealth for three or more years, have graduated or attained the equivalent thereof in the commonwealth, have a Taxpayer Identification Number, and have registered for the Selective Service where required, to be eligible for in-state tuition rates and fees and for state-funded financial assistance at Massachusetts state colleges, universities, or community colleges. If a student is not a legal permanent resident, s/he must sign an affidavit stating that s/he has filed an application to become a legal permanent resident, or will file an application as soon as s/he is eligible.

 

SD1064 - An Act relative to uniform financial aid information

Requires that all colleges and universities in the commonwealth provide the uniform financial aid shopping sheet developed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the U.S. Department of Education to accepted students.

 

SD931 - An Act creating higher education opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities, autism  and other developmental disabilities

Students with intellectual and developmental disabilities who participate in inclusive higher education alongside non-disabled peers have higher rates of employment, greater self-sufficiency, more independence, and require fewer supports/services throughout their lifetime, meaning fewer costs. This bill would eliminate barriers that exist for these students, providing the opportunity to take higher education classes at the state’s public universities. The Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment program (ICE) has already allowed a handful of students with I/DD to attend higher education, which has been shown to transform the lives of both the ICE students and the non-disabled students in their classrooms.

 

HD1922 - An Act investing in public higher education

This act seeks to improve the working conditions for adjunct faculty members by creating a mechanism and process for increasing the number of tenure-track faculty in public colleges and universities. The bill makes adjunct faculty with a .5 full-time equivalent eligible for healthcare, provides per-course pay parity, creates flexible retirement choices including eligibility in the state pension funds for those meeting certain course load thresholds, and establishes a Finish Line Grant Program to cover the cost of one year of tuition and fees (exempting the first year) at public institutions of higher education.

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Animal Rights

HD1502 - An Act to protect puppies and kittens

This bill will protect puppies, kittens, their parents and consumers in several ways.  It protects puppies and kittens by prohibiting their sale while under 8 weeks old, it protects consumers by improving upon the “Puppy Lemon Law” and providing meaningful remedies to purchasers of a sick puppy, and it protects puppies, kittens and consumers alike by cracking down on unscrupulous breeders and vendors.

 

HD758 - An Act relative to ivory and rhino horn trafficking

Prohibits virtually all trade in ivory and rhino horn in the Commonwealth in order to help stop illegal poaching that is decimating elephant and rhino populations.

 

HD295 - An Act relative to the use of elephants in traveling animal acts

This legislation would ban the use of circus elephants in all traveling animal acts in Massachusetts. Feld Entertainment, the parent company of Ringling Bros., plans to close its doors but there are still other smaller traveling shows featuring elephants that need the same protection.

 

HD2206 - An Act Protect Animal Welfare and Safety in Cities and Towns

PAWS II will implement legislative recommendations made by the state’s animal cruelty task force (that was created with the PAWS (Protect Animal Welfare and Safety) Act in 2014). Provisions include ensuring abuse is reported, including animal abuse as a basis for a request for a determination of detention under the state’s dangerousness statute (Ch. 276 sec. 58A), prohibiting certain inhumane methods of killing animals, and helping prevent animal homelessness by addressing dog-related insurance issues and animal abandonment.

 

SD457 - An Act relative to ivory and rhino horn trafficking

Prohibits virtually all trade in ivory and rhino horn in the Commonwealth in order to help stop illegal poaching that is decimating elephant and rhino populations.

 

SD1460 - An Act enhancing the issuance of citations for cruel conditions for animals

This bill builds on the resounding success of Question 3 and provides modest protections to farm animals concerning filthy and dirty living conditions.

 

SD1328 - An Act relative to the use of elephants in traveling animal acts

This legislation would ban the use of circus elephants in all traveling animal acts in Massachusetts. Feld Entertainment, the parent company of Ringling Bros., plans to close its doors but there are still other smaller traveling shows featuring elephants that need the same protection.

 

HD2481 - An Act protecting abandoned animals in vacant properties

This bill requires owners of rented or foreclosed properties to check them for abandoned animals within 3 days after being vacated and report to the local animal control officer or other authorities if animals are present. Left without means to fend for themselves, animals suffer and die if not found. Additionally, property owners, animal control officers and others are often unclear about what to do with animals who are left behind; this bill provides clarification without imposing any penalties.

 

SD1636 - An Act relative to protecting puppies and kittens

This bill will protect puppies, kittens, their parents and consumers in several ways.  It protects puppies and kittens by prohibiting their sale while under 8 weeks old, it protects consumers by improving upon the “Puppy Lemon Law” and providing meaningful remedies to purchasers of a sick puppy, and it protects puppies, kittens and consumers alike by cracking down on unscrupulous breeders and vendors.

 

SD949 - An Act to protect animal welfare and safety in cities and towns

PAWS II will implement legislative recommendations made by the state’s animal cruelty task force (that was created with the PAWS (Protect Animal Welfare and Safety) Act in 2014). Provisions include ensuring abuse is reported, including animal abuse as a basis for a request for a determination of detention under the state’s dangerousness statute (Ch. 276 sec. 58A), prohibiting certain inhumane methods of killing animals, and helping prevent animal homelessness by addressing dog-related insurance issues and animal abandonment

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Disability

HD2154 - An Act relative to disability benefits

Some communities if you don’t have a union contract you have to go on sick leave or disability to pay for cancer coverage. This bill would give leave with pay to those individuals “presumed to have cancer” who are firefighters or police officers

 

HD1064 - An Act to ensure adequate handicapped parking

Shortage of accessible parking restricts mobility and quality of life for persons with disabilities. Consistent with emerging federal guidance under the Americans with Disabilities Act, this legislation would require municipalities to designate no less than five percent of their on-street parking spaces as “handicapped parking.” It was reported favorably from the Joint Committee on Municipalities last session.

 

SD583 - An Act to establish a registry of caretakers found to have substantiated abuse against persons with intellectual disability or developmental disability

This legislation would create a registry for caretakers that have committed a substantiated finding of abuse or financial exploitation against individuals with disabilities. While this bill will go a long way to reducing the exploitation of individuals with disabilities, it also creates a comprehensive framework for a hearing and appeal process for individuals found to have committed abuse by the Disabled Persons Protection Commission. The language in this bill includes input from the ARC of Massachusetts, the Department of Disabilities Services, as well as the providers that will be regulated under this legislation and accompanies similar legislation filed by Senator Moore.

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Other

HD232 - An Act increasing the annuity for gold star families

The legislation increases the annuity for Gold Star families from $2,000 to $2,500.

 

HD803 - An Act to improve the licensure of skilled nursing facilities

Improves the regulations around licensure for skilled nursing facilities and create a new "provisional license" procedure for new entrants into the MA marketplace.

 

HD941 - An Act strengthening the Massachusetts home care program

Licensing all home care agencies in Massachusetts, including unregulated private pay agencies. Creating a home care worker and home health aide registry, similar to the certified nurse aide registry, so that clients know who is coming into their home; and Establishing a workforce development program to improve training and to create career pathways for workers in the home care and home health industry.

 

HD433 - An Act relative to hospital profit transparency and fairness

This bill requires any hospital receiving public, taxpayer dollars to disclose all financial assets, including those held in offshore accounts.  It also assesses any hospital receiving a certain amount of taxpayer dollars that has an annual operating margin above a specific, predetermined cap and assesses any hospital receiving a certain amount of taxpayer dollars that provides a compensation package for its CEO that is greater than 100 times that of hospital’s lowest paid employee.  The bill would establish a Medicaid Reimbursement Enhancement Fund (MREF).  The MREF will be funded by the assessments and used to increase Medicaid reimbursement rates to eligible hospitals.

 

HD2738 - An Act establishing special license plates in support of Massachusetts law enforcement

This legislation creates a Massachusetts Law Enforcement Support, Inc. license plate, modeled after the Boston Strong license plate bill. Proceeds should go to the organization, with one license plate issued free of charge to the parents, children, sibling or spouse of a member of Massachusetts law enforcement who died while in service. The organization is dedicated to supporting law enforcement officers and their families and creating a more positive view of police officers in the community.

 

HD3346 - An Act strengthening local control over recreational marijuana businesses

Provides cities and towns with greater flexibility in regulating marijuana establishments in their communities. Allows cities and towns to opt-out through majority vote of their legislative body.

 

HD3750 - An Act Relative to Private Construction Contracts

This proposal represents the consensus that was recently negotiated between the MRLDA and the Homebuilders and Remodelers Association of Massachusetts. It seeks to protect the payments due to building material suppliers and subcontractors on 1 to 4 family construction projects. This legislation will give these groups a better opportunity to secure payment for their services while providing property owners with more tools to adequately manage the payments on their construction projects.

 

HD2053 - An Act to prevent wage theft and promote employer accountability

This legislation will help to prevent wage theft by establishing a new standard of employer accountability and by providing the Attorney General with additional tools to hold violators fully accountable.

 

SD1083 - An Act to strengthen laws combatting human trafficking and protecting survivors of modern-day slavery

This legislation seeks to build upon the success of the 2011 law with several additional provisions to help survivors and generate public awareness.  First, the timeframe for a survivor to file a civil suit against a trafficker is extended from a mere 3 years to 10 years.  The Executive Office of Health and Human Services is directed to report the current adequacy and limitations on current victim services related to health, safety, housing and education.  Survivors will be afforded an opportunity to vacate misdemeanor criminal convictions that were a direct result of being victimized, breaking down barriers to housing, employment and other life-sustaining resources.  EOPSS will also help collect data from local law enforcement, district attorneys, and the attorney general to better track human trafficking crimes and to identify patterns or characteristics useful to law enforcement for investigations, arrests and prosecutions.  The Trial Court will have the ability to send first-time offenders to a certified demand reduction diversion program operated by a non-profit organization.  This legislation will also require training for law enforcement, health care professionals and educators to ensure these men and women on the front line can properly identify human trafficking and seek help for victims.  A public awareness campaign will require a centralized website and awareness signs posted in high risk locations such as transportation facilities, adult entertainment venues and foreign cash transfers.  A loophole in our massage therapy law exploited by traffickers to create a public façade for their atrocious crimes will also be eliminated.

 

 

HD213 - An Act relative to the collective bargaining rights for employees of the Committee for Public Counsel Services

Gives employees of the Committee on Public Counsel Services the ability to organize and bargain over wages and working conditions.

 

SD1372 - An Act relative to enhancing RPS standards

This legislation elevate would the annual RPS increase from 1% to 2%.  Additionally, this bill would develop a RPS for municipal light boards and municipal electric departments beginning in 2018.  The requirements would be as follows:
(1) one-half of one per cent of sales by December 31, 2018
(2) an additional one-half of 1 per cent of sales each year thereafter until December 31, 2025
(3) an additional 1 per cent of sales every year until December 31, 2029
(4) an additional 2 per cent of sales by December 31, 2030 and each year thereafter.

 

SD1365 - An Act relative to net metering

This legislation eliminates the public and private net metering caps.

 

HD1007 - An Act relative to voting overseas

Provides for overseas voters named in the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act to be mailed ballots and voting materials with postage paid. Additionally, they may receive ballots and voting materials by way of internet, fax or other electronic means.

 

HD1126 - An Act relative to the sales tax of motor vehicles

This bill would instruct the Commissioner of the Department of Revenue to establish new rules for assessing the value of cars over 25 years old when determining sales tax. The Department of Revenue currently uses the NADA Blue Book to assess the worth of a vehicle, which results in vintage cars in need of serious restoration being vastly overvalued, and therefore overtaxed.

 

HD2566 - An Act establishing reasonable limitations on the solitary confinement of inmates 21 years of age or younger

This bill puts reasonable limits on solitary confinement for those 21 and under, except in limited circumstances. Research has established that brain development continues into the mid-20s. Solitary confinement is an extreme form of punishment for any person, but particularly for young people for whom it interferes with important brain developments and can cause irreparable harm. To make implementation of this measure feasible, in the case that an individual poses an immediate and substantial threat to the safety of others, corrections personnel may use isolation briefly, after which time isolation will end unless there is adequate evidence that the individual continues to be an immediate and substantial risk to the safety of others.

 

SD1243 - An Act promoting transparency, best practices, and better outcomes for children and communities

This bill has many components to promote better outcomes for young adults and children. Filed upon the belief that both children and public safety are best served by a fair and effective evidence based system that emphasizes rehabilitation of children interacting with the state, the bill includes the reclassification of certain offenses to divert low level youth from formal justice system proceedings, it creates a mechanism for expungement of records for offenses committed before the offender turned 21 to ensure that a record of an offense committed as a teenager does not act as a lifelong barrier to success, it raises the upper limit of juvenile court jurisdiction incrementally from 18 to 21 years of age, and it creates a data collection task force to improve upon the current juvenile data collection systems and processes in the Commonwealth

 

HD1000 - An Act extending veterans status for the National Guard and reserves

This bill will extend Veterans privileges to members of the National Guard and Reserves, who have achieved retirement eligibility by serving twenty or more years of honorable service.

 

HD2648 - An Act relative to ignition interlock

This bill amends the language of Section 24s of Chapter 90 so that removal of an ignition interlock device is punishable by a fine of $1,000 to $15,000 and imprisonment of 180 days to 2 1/2 years.

 

SD1921 - An Act providing access to full spectrum addiction treatment services

This bill would require commercial insurance to cover up to 30 days of treatment, improving access to step-down treatment at an estimated cost of only 5 cents per insured member per month. In 2014 we established that commercial insurance companies must provide for at least 14 days of addiction treatment, and asserted that decisions about medical necessity must rest solely with the patient and their clinician for this 14-day period. While the 2014 law was groundbreaking, it is also insufficient, providing only for detoxification (ATS) and crisis stabilization (CSS) services. The 30-day commercial insurance requirement proposed in this bill would mirror the coverage already being provided by MassHealth, which was recently expanded through the Baker administration’s 1115 waiver.

 

HD2507 - An Act Regarding Architectural Access

This legislation adds an amendment to “An Act Relative to the Architectural Access Board” that would allow for the Architectural Access Board to take into account relative differences in the assessed property values of comparable structures in different municipalities, and it shall take these relative differences into account in developing its compliance thresholds, to ensure that property owners in municipalities with lower averaged assessed values do not bear a heavier burden of regulation that property owners in municipalities with higher average assessed values.

 

HD954 - An Act to reduce sexual exploitation of victims of human trafficking

Convictions for prostitution-related crimes make it nearly impossible for survivors of human trafficking to fully escape their past exploitation. This bill would bring Massachusetts in line with 29 other states by adding a “vacatur” provision to the state’s General Laws that will allow survivors of human trafficking cases to remove from their criminal record convictions for certain crimes, such as prostitution, that were the direct result of the individual being a victim of human trafficking.

 

HD1991 - An Act for a United States constitutional amendment and amendments convention

The We the People Act requests Congress to propose a two-part amendment to the U.S. Constitution to affirm that 1) constitutional rights apply only to living individuals, not artificial entities such as corporations and unions, and 2) money is not a form of First Amendment speech, so political contributions and spending are subject to government regulation. If Congress fails to propose such an amendment within six months of passage, the Act defaults to a limited call for a convention of delegates from the states for the exclusive purpose of proposing such an amendment for ratification by the states.

 

SD1509 - An Act relative to full disclosure of fees

Requiring owners and/or their agents disclose an itemized list of expenses that are the responsibility of the unit owner before the sale of property.  Many times buyers don't always know what the condo fees consist of and whether there are outside costs attached to the development, such as commercial property.

 

HD3140 - An Act relative to correctional education data collection

This bill would direct EOPSS to establish a central electronic database for information about correctional education programs within DOC and the county houses of correction.

 

SD1652 - An Act reducing recidivism, curbing unnecessary spending, and ensuring appropriate use of segregation

Solitary confinement can cause and exacerbate mental illness, leading prisoners in solitary to attempt suicide at significantly higher rates than those in the general prison population. Prisoners deprived of normal human contact cannot properly integrate into society, which results in higher recidivism rates. This bill would require the creation of appropriate standards prior to placing a prisoner in solitary, decrease extreme isolation, encourage individualized rehabilitation programming, and close mental health monitoring for people in solitary.

 

SD1476 - An Act to properly punish the solicitation of felony crimes

Currently in the Commonwealth, the crime of solicitation (encouraging someone else to commit a crime) is a misdemeanor, even when the crime being solicited is a felony. This proposal tracks the conspiracy statute to provide appropriate penalties for solicitation based on the crime which is being solicited. As returning members will recall, I delivered my maiden speech on this bill and it passed the House unanimously. So for all returning members of either party, this is something for which you have voted previously and it is a re-file with no changes. Unfortunately, the Senate did not take it up, but I believe there is a good chance that they will do so this session and we hope to get it over the finish line.

 

SD1609 - An Act promoting housing and sustainable development

Provides greater flexibility for communities and clearer regulatory structures for developers in order to allow for more housing production and sustainable development.

 

HD917 - An Act regarding state income tax credit for renting unsubsidized properties at below market rents

Provides an income tax credit of $1,500 for landlords who provide unsubsidized units at below-market rents to qualifying households.

 

SD1040 - An Act criminalizing the trafficking of carfentanil

This legislation adds the deadly synthetic opioid carfentanil to the list of controlled substances and criminalizes the trafficking of carfentanil.

 

SD1297 - An Act relative to the well being of children

Children in foster care are significantly more likely than other kids to be given psychotropic medications. This bill places checks and balances by mandating consent and understanding of the effects of the drugs and the dosage to children within the Department of Children and Families.

 

SD1276 - An Act relative to foster kids

The goal of this legislation is to create a right to education stability for youth in foster care placement and to ensure that school stability is a priority in the placement decision-making process.  A central part of the legislation will be to enable foster youth to stay in the school of origin unless it is determined not to be in the foster youth’s best interest.
Additionally such legislation will address rights and responsibilities to ensure a foster child’s ability to continue to participate fully in school activities and at such times when it is determined to be in the best interest of the foster child, to move to a new school. Such legislation will ensure smooth transition from one school to another.

 

HD3020 - An Act To Promote Better Public Safety and Better Outcomes for Young Adults

This bill incorporates the latest scientific research that shows us a more effective way to handle youth who are accused of a crime by increasing the jurisdiction of the Juvenile Court to 21 years of age with its stress on rehabilitation. Recent research shows that youth lack maturity, impulse control and the ability to appreciate the consequences of their actions. But, with effective methods in place, youth who have offended can become responsible adults.

 

HD3299 - An Act to promote transparency, best practices and better outcomes for children and communities

This bill ensures an effective juvenile justice system in order to reduce crime and promote best practices to get youth on the right track. Approximately half of the youth incarcerated or detained in Massachusetts have a misdemeanor as their most serious offense. These youth could be best served in a community setting at a far lower cost.

 

HD3152 - An Act relative to the best interests of children

 

HD100 - An Act relative to larceny

This bill would increase the value of property under the statute from $250 to $1,500.

 

HD2065 - An Act relative to ensuring quality mental health services in state correctional facilities

This bill ensures that the Department of Mental Health, which is the mental health authority for the state, has oversight of the large mental health system in the state prison system.

 

HD1962 - An Act relative to the continuity of care of mental health treatment

The bill requires that a health plan pay for the continuation of mental health treatment with a provider in the instance the health plan changes and the provider is no longer on the provider network.

 

HD81 - An Act relative to creating a pilot program to transfer high acuity behavioral health and dual diagnosis patients away from overcrowded emergency departments

A recent study found that more than 40,000 patients suffering from acute mental illness are boarding for days or even weeks in our hospitals emergency departments each year, leaving these patients languishing without care and impacting staff’s ability to provide care to other patients requiring emergency medical care.   This bill would create a pilot program at Taunton State Hospital to transfer medically stable, high acuity behavioral health and dual diagnosis patients away from overcrowded emergency departments until such time that an appropriat

 

HD2907 - An Act to improve access to behavioral health services

Removes pre-authorization requirements for MassHealth patients seeking inpatient psychiatric care (nonexistent for other inpatient medical care) and requires EOHHS to create a streamlined process allowing inpatient admission from the community, rather than solely from emergency rooms. Requires the Secretary of EOHHS and the Chief Justice of the trial courts to map existing behavioral health services across Massachusetts, identifying resources and gaps in care.

 

HD2079 - An Act improving the mental health examination process of inmates and places of detention

allows any provider that is prescribing psychiatric medications under the license and supervision of a psychiatrist to make mental health examinations of inmates and to issue reports to the appropriate court recommending the hospitalization of qualifying inmates

 

HD1966 - An Act requiring mental health parity for disability policies

This bill would require that disability policies provide the same benefits for behavioral health disorders as physical disorders.

 

SD1026 - An Act to establish a center of excellence in community policing and behavioral health

Would establish a center of excellence in community policing & behavioral health to: serve as a clearinghouse for best practices in police response to people with mental illness and substance use disorders; implement crisis intervention training for all veteran and new recruit municipal police officers; and provide technical assistance to cities and towns to form collaborative partnerships between law enforcement and human service providers to maximize referrals to treatment services.

 

SD1630 - An Act establishing a restoration center in Middlesex County

Would create a pilot jail diversion program in Middlesex County for persons who suffer from mental illness and substance abuse that interact with law enforcement or the court system during the pre-arrest or pre-adjudication phase, with specific emphasis on diverting individuals from lock-up facilities and emergency rooms and into appropriate treatment.

 

SD43 - An Act relative to the establishment of a Massachusetts municipal lobbying policy

This bill is modeled after the state lobbying law and establishes new categories governing municipal agents and municipal lobbying. It would require agents receiving more than $2,500.00 per year to disclose the nature of the matters they are lobbying on. Municipal lobbyist would be required to register annually and pay a fee of $100.00.

 

SD1306 - An Act providing training for boards and commissions

Requiring that the Department of Public Health, the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Housing and Community Development establish, conduct and maintain an annual program of education and training for members of local boards. All education and training courses shall be free of charge to board members and, to the extent practicable, be offered in various locations throughout the Commonwealth.

 

SD1256 - An Act creating a commission to study the effects of unfunded mandates on municipalities

Establishes a commission to review unfunded mandates on municipalities

 

HD2253 - An Act relative to protecting consumers of gas and electricity from paying for leaked and unaccounted for gas

Ratepayers foot the bill annually for the lost and unaccounted for gas that seeps through the aging, leaky natural gas pipelines under our feet. Utility companies are responsible for repairing these gas leaks or replacing the pipes, but with the ability to pass the cost on to the consumer, they don?t have the incentive to do so. This legislation will incentivize repair or replacement of gas pipes by prohibiting utilities from charging ratepayers for the cost of lost and unaccounted for gas. This legislation would encourage efficiency in every step of the process, benefitting consumers and the environment. Pennsylvania and Texas have already passed legislation prohibiting utilities from passing these costs on to consumers and businesses.

 

HD3466 - An Act regulating the enforcement of illegal hunting practices

This legislation updates penalties for poaching and enters Massachusetts into the interstate law enforcement compact, which protects tourism and business.

 

HD3661 - An Act relative to pre-trial services

This bill would grant Judges authority to grant "good time" off sentences imposed upon prisoners who participate in programs and educational opportunities while in a pre-trial status.  The aim is to provide therapeutic and betterment services to persons awaiting trial, and to encourage participants with the same incentive afforded post-sentencing prisoners.

 

HD2416 - An Act relative to electronic prescribing of opiates and other controlled substances

This bill would require the electronic prescribing of opiates and other controlled substances.

 

HD393 - An Act relative to the establishment of a means tested senior citizen property tax exemption

Local option to allow municipalities to exempt up to 50% of real estate tax for seniors whose annual property taxes exceed ten percent of their annual income.

 

SD344 - An Act relative to utilities, smart meters, and ratepayers? rights

This legislation establishes ratepayer rights which includes requiring utility companies to provide ratepayers with a choice of the type of utility meters to be installed and operated on their places of residence or business; the ability to retain and operate an “electromechanical analog meter” on an ongoing basis at no cost; and the right to replacement of a wireless meter with a non-transmitting electromechanical meter at no cost.

 

HD2123 - An Act relative to corporate excise taxes for homeowners associations organized as corporations

Eliminates the $456 corporate excise tax floor for homeowner's associations organized as corporations. The current corporate excise tax rate is set to 0.0026% of the value of the corporation's tangible property or net worth. Homeowners associations with tangible property or net worth of $175,000 or less get taxed at a higher and more unfair rate than larger associations.   The current tax structure is unfair. For example, a small homeowner's association with a net worth of $10,000 has to pay $456 in corporate excise tax. A larger homeowner's association with a net worth of $175,000 pays the same amount. An even larger association valued at $200,000 only has to pay $520 a year in corporate excise; only $64 more a year than the association valued at $10,000.

 

HD2763 - An Act relative to the Garden of Peace

This legislation transfers stewardship of the Garden of Peace, a homicide memorial located at 100 Cambridge Street, Boston (Saltonstall Building plaza), from the Garden of Peace, Inc. to the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance (MOVA).  To ensure the long-term sustainability of the Garden, the Garden of Peace, Inc., a non-profit all volunteer Board created in 2001, requested MOVA absorb their operational functions given their lack of staffing and fiscal capacity to maintain lease obligations, maintenance, fund raising, and event planning activities.  The legislation transfers the Garden under MOVA and creates a trust fund to deposit current funding and future funds solicited via donations to maintain the Garden and future expansion.

 

HD991 - An Act relative to smart growth housing production

Makes it easier for municipalities to adopt Chapter 40R Smart Growth Zoning Districts. 40R Districts provide for greater density in transit areas and are eligible for state payments for each unit zoned and additional payments for each unit built. Moreover, the Commonwealth reimburses qualifying municipalities for increased school costs caused by increased development in a 40R District. This bill would make it easier for municipalities to adopt a 40R Smart Growth Zoning District by lowering the adoption threshold from a 2/3 supermajority to a simple majority of the local legislative body.

 

HD925 - An Act relative to housing production

Provides tools that are necessary to meet the Commonwealth’s housing needs. This omnibus legislation creates financial incentives and removes administrative barriers to housing production; mandates “smart growth” zoning and planning by cities and towns that are well positioned along transit lines; and presents new tools and strategies for regionalization and interagency collaboration to plan for the housing Massachusetts residents want and need.

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