Check out summaries of our legislation filed this session! You can see full text of all of the bills I filed on my MA Legislature page here.
Protecting our Environment
An Act for Community Empowerment
A legislative priority of Mass Power Forward and Environment Massachusetts, this bill allows cities and towns to use their electricity buying power to support clean energy projects. The bill democratizes important energy decisions by giving a local option for communities to choose energy projects. The bill creates a powerful mechanism for our cities and towns to drive the clean energy market.
An Act protecting our coasts from offshore drilling
Offshore drilling, exploration, and development pose a serious and immediate threat to our ocean ecosystems and coastal economies. This bill bans offshore drilling, expansion, exploration, development, or production in state waters and prohibits any onshore infrastructure to support offshore drilling.
An Act authorizing independent retirement systems to divest from fossil fuel
An important step to transitioning to a 100% renewable energy system is to stem investment in the fossil fuel companies that are driving climate change. This bill gives authority to the 104 independent public retirement systems in Massachusetts to divest fully or in part from fossil fuel companies, mitigating substantial losses from high risk fossil fuel industries and driving the economy towards cleaner, renewable energy sources.
Priority legislation of the Sierra Club, this bill enables municipalities to further regulate the use of pesticides beyond existing state regulations. As it stands right now, only the state has the authority to determine which pesticides are acceptable to use- this legislation gives communities to control what chemicals are being used on their land.
An Act empowering towns and cities to protect residents and the environment from harmful pesticides
This bill puts a price on carbon and advances the most important action we can take to combat climate change and global warming.
An Act relative to carbon pricing
An Act of leadership by the state of Massachusetts to reduce single use plastics
An Act relative to electric bicycles
Single use plastics are overflowing our landfills and devastating our ocean ecosystems. Our obsession with unsustainable and disposable plastic has created a floating island three times the size of France in the Pacific Ocean. Our state should take the lead on reducing dependence on single use plastics. This bill requires that all vendors that operate in state owned buildings ban single use plastic water bottles, soda bottles, and bags. The bill also mandates that food service utensils and packaging, including straws, utensils, lids, plates, and take-out packaging, are biodegradable.
Electric bicycles are a clean, efficient, and green transportation alternative that are often underutilized due to a lack of consistent regulation and oversight. This bill creates a 3-tiered system for electric bicycles (similar to that in California and others states) based on speed and motor capability. The bill regulates e-bikes separately from motorized transportation while preserving a local option for cities, towns, and local authorities to meet the distinct needs of their communities.
Advancing Affordable Housing
An Act empowering cities and towns to impose a fee on home sales over one million dollars to support affordable housing
Massachusetts faces a housing crisis. Lack of affordable housing is eroding our communities and displacing local residents. This bill allows municipalities to impose a fee of up to 2% on home sales of at least $1 million, paid by the buyer of the home. The revenue raised goes directly back to the city or town to fund affordable and workforce housing projects.
The exorbitant housing prices in Massachusetts make it nearly impossible for first-time homebuyers to save for a deposit on a home. Attaining a 20% down payment to avoid mortgage insurance is an even more difficult task. This legislation would make saving easier for first-time homebuyers, by allowing them to open a tax exempt savings account. Individuals would be able to deposit up to $5,000 each year with a total cap on tax exempt savings of $50,000.
An Act encouraging home ownership by establishing a first time homebuyer’s savings account
Promoting Healthcare Access
Six Massachusetts residents die every day from an opioid related overdose. This bill authorizes the Department of Public Health to promulgate regulations for a safe use facility pilot program, where an individual could use pre-obtained drugs and receive referrals to treatment in a safe environment under the supervision of heath care professionals. The Massachusetts Medical Society supports this legislation because data from the Vancouver clinic show that safe use sites caused a reduction in overdose deaths by 35% and an increase in those seeking treatment by 30%.
An Act relative to preventing overdose deaths and increasing access to treatment
An Act relative to ensuring treatment for genetic craniofacial conditions
This bill closes the loophole that allows insurance to avoid covering craniofacial disorders. Craniofacial disorder is a rare medical condition that causes highly abnormal tooth structure and decay and can be both physically and emotionally devastating for individuals. The bill includes a requirement for insurance plans to cover medically-necessary functional repair or restoration procedures that are often out of reach to patients because of exorbitant costs.
Advancing workers’ rights
Police officers and firefighters risk their lives to serve and protect the citizens of Massachusetts; yet state law does not offer 100% pensions and benefits to those severely and permanently injured in the line of duty. A priority of the Police Chiefs, this commonsense legislation will allow injured officers and firefighters to receive 100% of their pension. If a first responder is violently injured while protecting our communities, we should protect them and their family by ensuring they receive their full benefits.
An Act relative to disability pensions for violent crimes
An Act protecting workers’ wages from arbitrary recoupment of overpayments
Workers shouldn’t be punished for someone else’s administrative mistakes. In the event that an employer mistakenly overpays its employees, this bill provides protections for workers and sets a framework for how employers can fairly recoup their payments. No one deserves to have the rug pulled out from under them over an administrative oversight.
It’s only fair that workers get a voice in deciding their own benefits. A priority of the Massachusetts Fire Fighters, this bill increases labor representation by mandating that one-quarter of joint purchasing group committees is comprised of labor representatives.
An Act relative to fair worker representation on joint purchasing group
Protecting consumers and advancing financial security
Ratepayers should not be subject to surprise fees and maintenance costs from their electricity providers because of private utility poles, posts, wires, fixtures, or other appliances. This bill will mandate realtors to disclose this information during transactions and utility companies to notify ratepayers of the status of their poles on all electric bills. This legislation will also offer ratepayers a vehicle to compel utility companies to take over maintenance of private poles through the Department of Public Utilities.
An Act relative to consumer protection and private utility poles
This bill will raise the estate tax exemption amount from $1 million to $2 million in 2021, and directs the Department of Revenue to adjust the rate table to make this change revenue neutral at the time of its implementation.
An Act to mitigate snowbird relocation
Strengthening our Democracy
In a democracy, voting is a public duty. This bill will drive turnout by making voting in Massachusetts mandatory and imposing a modest $15 fee for those who do not turn in a ballot. It is mandatory that you serve have jury duty, it should be mandatory that you cast a vote. The bill also authorizes same day registration for any election in the Commonwealth, ensuring that anyone who wishes to vote has the resources and time to do so.
An Act making Voting Obligatory and increasing Turnout in Elections (VOTE ACT)
This bill creates an opt-in system for cities and towns that want to allow 16- and 17-year-olds to vote in municipal elections. Implementation would require local approval. Early voter engagement in municipal elections can create buy in for later voting habits, and local adoption of the measure will require youth to advocate for their own enfranchisement--another opportunity for civic engagement.
An Act ensuring municipal participation of the widest eligible range (EMPOWER Act)