LEGISLATIVE SUCCESSES FOR THE
2021 - 2022 SESSION
We spent the majority of 2021 grappling with the COVID pandemic, but we also addressed pressing non-pandemic related concerns facing Massachusetts residents. Below is a list of bills approved by the Legislature and signed into law during the 2021 - 2022 session.
VOTES Act- This comprehensive voting reform legislation permanently codifies mail-in and expands early voting, increases ballot access for voters with disabilities and service members overseas, and takes steps to modernize the Commonwealth’s election administration process. I was pleased to co-sponsor this bill.
COVID-19 Legislation guaranteeing paid sick leave for all employees for COVID related reasons, elimination of taxes on unemployment insurance (UI) for low income residents, freezing the UI rate for employers, extending to-go beverage regulation and outdoor dining though Spring 2022, and allowing local officials to continue to hold public meetings online.
Nero's Law- Allows a police dog (a dog owned by a police department or police agency of the Commonwealth, or any political subdivision thereof, that is used by the department or agency for official duties) injured in the line of duty to be transported in an ambulance if there is not competing need for human transport. I was pleased to co-sponsor this bill.
Hen and Pig Humane Standards- Prohibits farm owners in MA from confining any animal cruelly, and bans the sale of shell eggs. pork, and veal from animals held in violation of those standards, including products manufactured in other states.
Genocide Education- There has been a disturbing trend in the number of students who are unaware of various genocides throughout history. This law aims to correct this concerning pattern. I was pleased to co-sponsor and vote for this bill.
Women's History Trail- Requires the secretary of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, in conjunction with executive director or the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism to develop and implement a Women’s Rights History Trail program that designates properties and sites as historically and thematically associated with the struggle for women’s rights and suffrage.
Student Nutrition Legislation- Expanded access to free school meals. I was pleased to co-sponsor and vote for this bill. I was pleased to co-sponsor this bill.
A new law requires a public notice be issued when sewage is released into local waterways.
Prohibiting Discrimination Based on Natural Hairstyles- Defines natural hairstyle in statute, prohibits discrimination in schools, employment, housing and business, and ban school policies that restrict natural and protective hairstyles. I was pleased to co-sponsor this bill.
The Film Tax Credit was extended to encourage studios to film in Massachusetts. I will pleased to co-sponsor this bill.
Redistricting was completed, creating 33 minority-majority districts in the House (up from 20). The 6th Norfolk District did not change.
An Act relative to work family mobility- Under this legislation, the RMV will not inquire about immigration status when processing an application for a Massachusetts driver’s license or registration, solely basing the issuance of driver’s licenses to residents who provide required documents to prove their identity, pass the corresponding driver tests, and meet all other eligibility criteria.
Funding for a modern Soldiers Home in Holyoke was approved by the Legislature and governor.
Climate legislation requiring the state to reduce emissions by at least 50% by 2030, 75% by 2040, and 85% by 2050 was signed into law.
Chapter 90 legislation provided funding for local roads ($369,310 for Avon, $1,524,610 for Canton, $1,534,022 for Stoughton).
The FY22 Budget, FY23 Budget, and a supplemental budget were approved, bringing funding back to our communities. To learn more visit Funding for our Communities.
Our local communities received the following state funds through various grant programs:
Avon received $177,000 for an emergency water connection, $118,500 to run summer school, $59,480 for the implementation of an e-permitting system, and $200,000 to narrow streets, add pedestrian safety beacons, install new wayfinding, and construct 1,000 feet of a protected shared-use pathway as part of the Safe Streets program.
Canton received $250,000 for improvements to Neponset Street, $100,000 for summer school programming, and $16,805 to expand traffic calming measures that include two additional speed tables, signage, and pavement markings, all proximate to a park and playground as part of the Safe Streets program.
Stoughton received $18,450 for the STARS program for Stoughton schools through the Massachusetts Cultural Council
The ARPA I bill utilized federal funding. It includes:
$75,000 for the Tilden House in Canton
$200,000 for a museum at the Paul Revere Heritage site
$125,000 for a PFAS water treatment system in Canton
$173,000 for a community paramedic in Canton
$250,000 for the Trout Brook well in Avon
$100,000 for upgrades to the water treatment plant in Avon
$150,000 for the Park Street/Campanelli Industrial Park sewer project in Stoughton
$80,000 split between local food pantries, including;
Canton Helpline Food Pantry, Rehoboth Baptist Church of Boston in Canton, Jewish Family and Children Services Inc. in Canton, Avon Baptist Church Food Pantry, Ilse Marks Food Pantry in Stoughton, Immaculate Conception Food pantry in Stoughton, and the Old Colony YMCA in Stoughton.
$388.8 million for statewide and local environmental priorities
$964 million for healthcare
$414 million for infrastructure
$389 million for education
$267 million for economic development
$500 million to replenish the Unemployment Trust Fund to offset businesses’ contributions for unemployment programs
$250 million for behavioral health and substance use disorder treatment services
$150+ million for local and regional public health systems
Over $78+ million to address food insecurity
$500 million for premium pay bonuses for low- and middle-income workers who worked in-person during the COVID-19 State of Emergency
$624 million for housing
$150 million directed for public housing maintenance
$150 million to create permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless individuals, survivors of domestic violence, seniors, and veterans
$100 million for homeownership assistance
$100 million for production and preservation of affordable rental housing for residents of municipalities disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic
Formal Session concludes on July 31, 2022. The Legislature will still meet ever 72 hours in informal session until January 1, 2023, when a new formal session begins. Informal session is used to pass local bills and non-controversial bills. It only takes one legislator to end the consideration of a bill during an informal session.
You can watch legislative sessions and hearings live by visiting the Legislature's website HERE
You can look up information regarding pending bills HERE
Learn more about the legislative process by using the legislative simulator HERE
Read about the state budget HERE
Look up and compare various state policies by using the National Conference of State Legislatures Website HERE