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Special End of Legislative Session Action List

June 28, 2022 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

With the legislative session ending in a little over a month, we are being bombarded with last minute requests to push for passage of progressive legislation that will die if it isn’t passed by the end of July. So many requests, in fact, that we’ve collected them here, to avoid burying the dated items in our regular newsletter.

Some of it, like the Indigenous Peoples’ Day legislation we’ve written about, has been through the process several times. If these bills are not passed by the end of July, sponsors must start the process all over from scratch in January.

350MA Legislative Update & Help Needed

In March, the House passed a bill to promote the development of offshore wind energy. In April, the Senate passed a broader climate bill (S.2819) that has some good elements—although not all we hoped for. The final bill is expected no later than the week of July 11, and 350MA needs your help. Contact your state representative and ask them for a strong bill that addresses buildings, transportation, the electric grid, and social justice. See here for specific top priorities identified by 350 Mass and many coalition partners: https://tinyurl.com/3hwn29ch

See the end of this message for information on contacting your legislators.

Here’s what folks can do:

Help get a bill passed that begins to address affordable child care crisis

There is a child care crisis in this country, as outlined by Huffpost https://tinyurl.com/4mp2bkha .

But at least Massachusetts has the chance to do something about it.

In early 2021, the Common Start Coalition drafted legislation, originally filed by Reps. Gordon & Madaro and Senators Lewis & Moran, that would make early education and child care more affordable for families, raise pay for early educators, and provide stable funding to providers. On May 18, the Legislature’s Education Committee approved a landmark bill, H.4795/S.2883, titled An Act to Expand Access to High-Quality, Affordable Early Education and Care.

Major sections of the Education Committee’s legislation are heavily based on the Common Start bill, and it strongly reflects many of the coalition’s core principles and proposed solutions to the childcare crisis. But H.4795/S.2883 must pass before the end of the current legislative session on July 31 in  order to achieve those goals. (Read more about the bill here https://tinyurl.com/3wzy48f4).

Please take two seconds to send a message to your state legislators urging them to pass H.4795/S.2883, as well as two modest additions regarding parent affordability and provider grant formulas that are supported by the Common Start Coalition and outlined here https://tinyurl.com/4xuhpvsz .

Editable message form found here: https://tinyurl.com/2p9eufzf

Mass. Reproductive Rights Legislative Call for Action

from Mystic Valley Action for Choice

Support these Reproductive Rights and Access Bills!

When the legislative session began in January 2021, when most bills to be considered were brought forward, the end of Roe v. Wade was not imminent. Our legislators have recognized that our state’s guarantee of reproductive rights here place providers sought out by patients from more restrictive states in a legal gray area. A number of bills have been proposed recently to protect our providers. They need our help to move more quickly than usual through the process.

The Mass. legislative session is fast coming to a close on July 31st. Let’s urge our legislators to support and pass these priority bills!

It’s as easy as 1,2,3!

Senate Amendment #388 – “Provider Protection Bill”

This critical bill would block other states’ laws from interfering with legally protected health care activity in Massachusetts. It protects those who provide and assist in providing reproductive and gender-affirming health care services in the Commonwealth. It also ensures that Massachusetts agencies and institutions will not assist in the enforcement of draconian laws passed by other states that attempt to regulate healthcare services that are legal in Massachusetts.

The Senate passed this as part of its budget bill. Now it goes to the reconciliation committee deliberations. We need to make sure it gets included in the final budget bill!

Email or call:
House Speaker Ron Mariano (Ron.Mariano@mahouse.gov or (617) 722-2500)
Senate President Spilka (Karen.Spilka@masenate.gov or (617) 722-1500)
and urge them to make passage of Amendment 388 a priority

Your State Rep. See the end of this message for contact information.
SAMPLE TEXT: https://tinyurl.com/2p8cwmfx

Medication Abortion on Public College Campuses

This bill would mandate that state colleges and universities provide medication abortion on campus to ensure that those seeking this service do not need to travel long distances to receive it. This bill was polled favorably out of the Public Health Committee and moved into the Health Care Financing Joint Committee. We need to push our Representatives to flag it as a priority.

Email or call:
House Committee Chair on Health Care Financing – John.Lawn@mahouse.gov or 617- 722-2430
House Speaker Mariano (Ron.Mariano@mahouse.gov or (617) 722-2500)
Senate President Spilka (Karen.Spilka@masenate.gov or (617) 722-1500)

Your State Rep.: See the end of this message for contact information.
SAMPLE TEXT: https://tinyurl.com/yjbxv752

Full Spectrum Pregnancy Care

An Act Ensuring Access to Full Spectrum Pregnancy Care (H1196, S673) filed by Representatives Lindsey Sabadosa and Ruth Balser, and Senator Cindy Friedman, would mandate insurance coverage for all pregnancy-related care, including abortion care, prenatal care, childbirth, and postpartum care, without any kind of cost-sharing. Please click here to find out more about the bill: https://secure.everyaction.com/4jYzIzrXu0iXn3Y4oj_OJw2
and call/email your representatives to urge them to prioritize this bill for passage this session.

Your State Rep.: See the end of this message for contact information.
SAMPLE TEXT: https://tinyurl.com/yjbxv752

S192,H690 – Free Period Products Bill
The MA Menstrual Equity Coalition has been fighting since 2019 to pass the I AM bill, a bill that would ensure that menstrual products – a basic human right – are provided for free in prisons and jails, shelters and schools across Massachusetts. On March 3, 2022 the Senate unanimously voted to pass the I AM bill and it now has moved to the House Ways and Means Committee. The House bill, H.690 An Act Concerning Disposable Hygiene Products in Schools, introduced by Representative Roy, was ordered to a third reading.

Join us in urging our representatives to get this bill passed!

H/T Lisa Baci, IndivisibleLAB, News-MAGIC Team

Reform Civil Asset Forfeiture in Massachusetts

Restore The Fourth’s Boston chapter—Digital Fourth—has been working hard to reform civil asset forfeiture in the state of Massachusetts. We’re very close to getting bills passed that will make important changes to civil asset forfeitures in this state, that will require increased transparency in civil asset forfeitures. We just need senators to pass two particular amendments—Amendment #7 Forfeiture Tracking Database and Amendment #8 Transparency in All Forfeitures. These amendments will require the district attorney and each police department to file an annual report detailing how seized assets were utilized and establish and maintain a case tracking system and public website that details what forfeitures took place. These bills will make important changes and cut back on the corrupt practice that is civil asset forfeiture. It’s time to make law enforcement answer for these thefts, instead of writing them a blank check to steal citizens’ property. Please take a moment to call your senators asking them to please support the amendments to S2944.

The VOTES Act is now law!

Right to Counsel Bills Sent to Study

In spite of strong support (90 co-sponsors) the Right to Counsel bills (H. 1436 and S. 874) have been sent to study, This means they are dead in the current legislative session. Supporters will need to resubmit and start the process again in 2023.

If you were one of the many who wrote to legislators about the bills, thank you! Organizers have not given up. Stay tuned.

Our State Legislators’ Info

House Speaker Ronald Mariano: Ronald.Mariano@mahouse.gov 617-722-2500
Senate President: Karen E. Spilka: Karen.Spilka@masenate.gov 617-722-1500
Rep. Thomas Golden Thomas.Golden@mahouse.gov  617-722-2263
Rep. Vanna Howard Vanna.Howard@mahouse.gov  617-722-2800 x7302 / Google Voice: 978-272-9078
Rep. Rady Mom Rady.Mom@mahouse.gov 617-722-2460
Rep. Colleen Garry Colleen.Garry@mahouse.gov 617-722-2380
Rep. Tram Nguyen tram.nguyen@mahouse.gov 617-722-2425
Sen. Edward Kennedy edward.kennedy@masenate.gov 617-722-1630
Sen. Michael Barrett Mike.Barrett@masenate.gov 617-722-1572
Sen. Jamie Eldridge James.Eldridge@masenate.gov 617-722-1120
Sen. Barry Finegold Barry.Finegold@masenate.gov 617-722-1612
(… or find yours here: https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator)

Massachusetts State House, 24 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02133

The RRT (Rapid Response Team) Action List compiles action items from the week and upcoming events into one place. If you would like to add anything to the weekly update, please send it to Dee Halzack at dee@solidaritylowell.com.

Solidarity Lowell is a volunteer group of community members of Greater Lowell working toward social justice by defending the human rights, dignity, and equality of all persons against all forms of hate and discrimination.

Visit the Solidarity Lowell website at solidaritylowell.com

For more events not listed here, visit the full Events calendar: https://solidaritylowell.com/events/

June meeting notes:

June meeting recording:

See recordings of past Solidarity Lowell meetings in our YouTube channel at:

For positive news visit Solidarity Lowell Upbeat on Facebook:

Solidarity Lowell is a chapter of Progressive Massachusetts. Join at: https://www.progressivemass.com/donate/


June 28, 2022
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Event Category: