In the 193rd Legislative Session we are advocating for:

Issue Bill # Sponsors Summary Status Committee
School Resource Officers in School H. 565 Rep. Sabadosa Gets SRO’s out of schools

Hearing

11/13

NA

Education
Raise the Age

H. 1710

S. 942

Rep. O’Day

Rep. Cruz

Sen. Crighton

Increases the age of criminal majority from 18 to 21 over the next 5 years

Hearing

9/26

Reporting extended to 4/30

Judiciary
Safe Communities Act

H. 2288

S. 1510

Rep. Balser

Rep. Cruz

Sen. Eldridge

Ensure court and police officials do not inquire about immigration status unless required by law

Hearing 

1/22

Reporting extended to 4/18

Public Safety and Homeland Security
Juvenile Justice Data Collection

H. 1802

S. 931

Rep. Vargas

Sen. Stone Creem

Collect accurate and comprehensive data on juvenile interaction with law enforcement

Hearing 

9/26

NA

Judiciary
Keeping Families Connected Bills

H. 1796

S. 1494

Rep. Tyler

Sen. Creem

These bills would make phone calls free of charge to the person placing or the person receiving the call; they would apply to state prisons, county jails, and state juvenile detention centers.

Hearing

7/25

NA

Judiciary
Equitable Approaches to Public Health

H. 2264

S. 1407

Rep. Sabadosa

Rep. Mark

Crate unarmed community based crisis response mechanisms to assist individuals experiencing mental and behavioral health emergencies

Hearing

9/20/23

NA

Public Health
Securing Housing for Returning Citizens

H. 1362

S. 878

Rep. Montaño

Sen. Gomez

Provide for programs, policies, guidelines, priorities and preferences for the housing of formerly incarcerated persons reentering communities. 

Hearing

9/27

Reporting extended to 4/18

Housing
Missing Black Women and Girls in Massachusetts H.3913 Rep. Williams Establish an executive office for missing and murdered Black women and girls and create policies and alert systems

Hearing

01/30/2024

Reporting extended to 4/8

Public Safety and Homeland Security 
Jail and Prison Construction Moratorium

H. 1795

S. 1979

Rep. Tyler

Sen. Comerford

Temporarily halt the construction of a new women’s prison

Hearing

7/25/23

Reporting extended to 7/1

Judiciary 
Voting Rights Restoration

H. 724

S. 428

Rep. Uyterhoeven

Sen. Miranda

Restores voting rights to incarcerated felons

Hearing

9/13/24

Reporting extended to 5/28

Election Laws
An Act Establishing an Indigenous Peoples Day S. 1976 Sen. Miranda Establishes an Indigenous Peoples Day

Hearing 10/03/23

Reporting extended to 7/1

Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight
An Act Creating an Independent Correctional Oversight Office to Facilitate the Recommendations of the Special Legislative Commission on Structural Racism in Correctional Facilities of the Commonwealth S. 1545 Sen. Miranda

Establish an anti-racism division of the office of inspector general called the Inclusion, Diversity, Anti-racism, and Equity Unit

Create a Community Council with nomination authority

Hearing 

1/23/24 

NA

Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security
An Act to Remedy Disparities in Students’ Educational Achievement 

H. 597

S. 294

Rep. Ultrino

Rep. Meschino

Sen. Jehlen

Requires that alternatives to suspension/expulsion must be implemented BEFORE any suspension/expulsion related to school code of conduct violations

Hearing

6/06/23

NA

Education
Act An Act Providing for the Creation of a Permanent Commission Relative to the Education of American Indian and Alaska Native Residents of the Commonwealth

H. 536

S. 318

Rep. Montaño

Sen. Miranda

Proposing a permanent commission towards improving educational outcomes and opportunities for American Indian and Alaska Native students. Broader impacts of the commission are the promotion of tribal self-determination by providing students with the opportunity to learn their heritage, languages and histories while preparing them for higher education

Hearing

10/11

Reporting extended to 3/15

Education
An Act prohibiting the use of Native American mascots by public schools in the Commonwealth

H. 477

S. 245

Rep. Oakley

Sen. Comerford

Prohibit the use of Native American mascots by any public schools in the Commonwealth

Hearing

11/13

NA

Education
An Act relative to celebrating and teaching Native American culture and history

H. 529

S. 344

Rep. Lewis

Sen. Rausch

This bill addresses the lack of Indigenous curriculum in Massachusetts public schools.The goal is to develop a curriculum by working with tribal nations in-state and ensure that all children in the schools attain cultural competency in understanding Native history, cultures and current issues.

Hearing

10/11

Reporting extended to 3/15

Education
An Act to protect Native American heritage

H. 3248

S. 2186

Rep. Rogers

Rep. Biele

Sen. Collins

This would ensure that Native American funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony (those of cultural, traditional or historical importance to their heritage) held in governmental, municipal or non-profit collections are not sold for profit.

Hearing 

9/18

Reported favorably 

House Steering, Policy and Scheduling
An Act relative to language access and inclusion

H. 3084

S. 1990

Rep. Madaro

Rep. González

Sen. DiDomenico

Ensures that state agencies meet the needs of our Commonwealth’s increasingly diverse population by providing public information and services in languages other than English, as required by Federal law.

Hearing 

10/3

Reported Favorably

House Ways and Means
Issue Bill # Sponsors Summary Where Committee
I AM Bill

H. 534

S. 2491

Rep. Livingstone

Rep. Barber

Sen. Jehlen 

Increase Access to Menstrual products in k-12 schools, prisons/jails, and shelters Senate Passed to Be Engrossed House Ways and Means
Healthy Youth Act

H. 544

S. 268

Rep. O’Day

Rep. Howard

Sen.DiDomenico

Provide comprehensive and inclusive sex ed in all public schools 

Testimony

Hearing 

10/11

Orders of the Day Feb 29

Senate Ways and Means

Out of Hospital Birth Access and Safety Act

Licensed Midwives

H. 2209

S. 1457

Rep. Khan

Rep. Oakley

Sen. Rausch 

Expanding licensing for midwives

Testimony

Hearing

6/06/23

Reporting extended to 12/31

Public Health
Pharmacists able to prescribe, dispense, and administer PrEP S. 2480 Sen. Cyr Legislation to enable pharmacists to prescribe, dispense and administer PrEP Senate Passed to Be Engrossed House Ways and Means
Concerning Disposable Menstrual Products in Schools H. 563 Rep. Roy Requires free disposable menstrual products in public schools from sixth grade through twelfth grade

Hearing

7/17/23

NA

Education 
Requiring Menstrual Products in Buildings on Public Higher Education Campuses H. 4267 Rep. Domb Requiring menstrual products in all bathrooms of buildings on public higher education campuses at no cost

Testimony

Hearing 5/30

Reported Favorably

House Ways and Means
Requiring Menstrual Products in all State Bathrooms H. 3018 Rep. Domb Legislation to require menstrual products in all state buildings

Testimony

Hearing

10/3

Reported Favorably

House Ways and Means
An Act Relative to Menstrual Product Ingredient Disclosure

H. 2138

S. 145

Rep. Blais

Sen. Comerford

On each package containing menstrual products, there will be a printed label with all ingredients clearly written

Hearing

6/6

Reported Favorably

Senate Ways and Means
Prohibiting Non consensual Intimate Examinations of Anesthetized or Unconscious Patients

H. 4293

S. 1333

Rep. Domb

Rep. Ferguson

Sen. Comerford

Requires informed and explicit consent for pelvic, prostate, and rectal exams on anesthetized or otherwise unconscious patients

Hearing

9/20/23

Reported Favorably 

Health Care Financing 
Birthing Justice S. 1415 Sen. Miranda Birthing justice in the commonwealth, especially for Black women and other women of color

Hearing

6/06/23

NA

Public Health
Postpartum Depression Screening

H. 2163

S. 1375

Rep. Fiola

Sen. Friedman

Requires MassHealth to cover postpartum depression screening for 12 months after birth

Hearing

6/06/23

Reporting Extended to 12/31

Public Health
Hormonal Contraceptives 

H. 2133

S. 1430

Rep. Barber

Rep. Sabadosa

Rep. Moore

Allows pharmacists to prescribe contraceptives Passed as part of the FY24 Budget Public Health
Menstrual Product Ingredient Disclosure 

H.2138

S.145

Sen. Comerford Rep. Blais Requires manufacturers of menstrual products to disclose the ingredients of products sold and distributed

Hearing

6/6/2023

Reported Favorably 

Public Health
Issue Bill # Sponsors Summary Where Committee
Campaign Funds for Childcare

H. 669

S. 422

Rep. Connolly Rep. Meschino

Sen. Jehlen

Candidates running for public office can use their campaign funds for their childcare needs

Hearing 5/17/23

Reporting extended to 5/28

Election Laws
Affordable and Accessible Childcare for All

H. 489

S. 301

Rep. Gordon Rep. Madaro

Sen. Lewis

The state would provide affordable and accessible early education and childcare

Hearing 

5/2

Reported favorably 

Senate Ways and Means
Homelessness Bill of Rights

H. 211

S. 1112

Rep. Pignatelli Rep. Moran  Sen. Rausch Provide a bill of rights for people experiencing homelessness

Hearing 

6/13/23

NA

Children, Families, and Persons with Disabilities
One Fair Wage Bill

H. 1872

S. 1188

Rep. Farley-Bouvier

Rep. Montaño

Sen. Jehlen

Guarantees one standard, full minimum wage for all tipped workers, ending the practice of paying subminimum wages.

Hearing

9/26

Reporting extended to 7/31

Labor and Workforce Development
Wage Transparency

H. 4109

S. 1191

Rep. Cutler

Rep. Oakley

Sen. Jehlen

Employer shall provide pay scale for employee/applicant  Conference Committee House Committee on Ways and Means
Establishing an Office of Economic Empowerment H. 3118 Rep. Ultrino The office of economic empowerment will create programs, policies, and partnerships to promote economic mobility and financial independence to residents across the commonwealth

Hearing

6/27/23

NA

State Administration and Regulatory Oversight
The Commonwealth Housing, Economic, Education and Equity in Recovery and Reconstruction H. 3130 Rep. Williams The formation of a new bureau who will be responsible for the recovery and reconstruction of low and moderate income communities and economically disadvantaged communities. 

Hearing

6/27/23

NA

State Administration and Regulatory Oversight
Establishing a Women’s Veterans Network S. 2360 Sen. Velis Creates the first women’s veteran network that reaches out to female veterans to provide support Received funding in FY24 Veterans and Federal Affairs
Equitable Health Coverage for Children

H. 1247

S. 740

Rep. Rogers

Sen. DiDomenico

Cover All Kids would provide Mass Health to anyone 21 or under regardless of their immigration status. 

Hearing

7/25

Reported favorably

Senate Ways and Means
Advance Health Equity

H. 1250

S. 799

Rep. Williams

Rep. Garcia

Sen. Payano

This bill would provide Mass Health to all residents regardless of immigration status or age. 

Hearing

9/20

NA

Health Care Financing
Fair Investment Practices

H. 1708

S. 978

Rep. Nguyen This bill makes sexual harassment unlawful and creates a compliance-based approach to discrimination regulation similar to the Federal Fair Lending Laws. Will make innovation funding more accessible for women and minorities.

Hearing

2/16/23

Reporting extended to 4/30

Judiciary
An Act relative to residential assistance for families in transition (RAFT)  H. 1317 Rep. Donahue Would protect all low-income state residents from eviction by codifying and streamlining access to DHCD’s homelessness prevention programs.

Hearing

9/27

Reporting extended to 4/18

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

H. 1281

S. 817

Rep. Moran

Rep. Madaro

Sen. Crighton

Ensures that all MA high school graduates have access to in-state tuition at our Commonwealth’s public colleges and universities, regardless of immigration status, as 23 other states and D.C. provide. The Senate bill would also extend eligibility for state financial aid.

Hearing

10/10

NA

Committee on Higher Education
An Act improving healthcare delivery for underserved residents of the Commonwealth

H. 2224

S. 1402

Rep. Lewis

Rep. Domb

Sen. Lewis

Marshall the skills of seasoned, internationally-trained physicians to address acute physician shortages in Massachusetts by creating a streamlined pathway to full licensure

Hearing

9/21

NA

Public Health
Issue Bill # Sponsors Summary Status Committee
LGBTQ Inclusive History Education S. 259
H. 498

Rep. Higgins  Rep. Lewis

Sen. Cyr

Inclusion of LGBTQ history in public schools

Hearing

10/11

Reporting extended to 3/15

Education
An Act to Stop Profiling Transgender People and Low-Income Women 
H. 1683
S. 945
Rep. Montaño
Sen. Cyr
To repeal “common nightwalking” and grant limited amnesty to sex workers that seek help.

Hearing 

5/16/23

Reporting extended to 4/30

Judiciary
An Act Relative to Gender Identity on Massachusetts Identification 

H. 3368

S. 2207

Rep. Linksy

Sen. Comerford

An individual may request a change in the sex designation on their birth record to a sex designation including, but not limited to, “female,” “male,” or “X,” with “X” designating that the person is another gender or an undesignated gender.

Hearing 

6/13

Reported favorably

House Ways and Means
An Act Supporting Consenting Young Adults

H. 1617

S. 1110

Rep. Fernandes

Rep. Lewis

Sen. Rausch

creates a peer exception to protect teens from criminal prosecution for consensual sexual activity with peers

Hearing

9/12

NA

Judiciary 
Consent in Certain Criminal Prosecutions and Civil Actions for Sexual Assault and Rape of a Child H. 1537 Rep. Gordon Details the sentencing and punishment for any school or government official engages in sexual assault with minors

Hearing

9/12

Reporting extended to 4/30

Judiciary
Amending the Statute of Limitations relating to the sexual assault and rape of a child H. 1536 Rep. Gordon Takes away any statute of limitations for the sexual assault of a minor

Hearing

9/12

Reporting extended to 4/30

Judiciary
Trans-inclusive Health Care Access

H. 1037

S. 596

Rep. Higgins

Rep. Barber

Sen. Comerford

Those seeking gender reaffirming care will not be asked for more than one letter from a mental health care professional by corporations, insurance provider, the commission, or health official

Hearing

5/02/23

NA

Financial Services
Issue Bill # Sponsors Summary Status Committee
An Act to Promote the health and Safety of People in the Sex Trade H. 1757 Rep. Sabadosa Promote the health and safety of people working in the sex trade

Hearing

5/16/23

Reporting extended to 4/30

Judiciary
Body Size Discrimination 

H. 1705

S. 1108

Rep.Nguyen

Sen. Rausch

Makes height and weight protected identities alongside race, gender identity, sexual orientation, and others.

Hearing

12/5/23

Reporting extended to 4/30

Judiciary
Prohibiting Motor Vehicle Tracking Devices without Consent H. 1572 Rep. Jones, Jr. Prohibiting motor vehicle tracking devices without consent

Hearing

11/21

NA

Judiciary
An Act to Prevent Human Trafficking and Improve the Health and Safety of Sex Workers

H. 1758

S. 1046

Rep. Sabadosa

Sen. Miranda

Prevent human trafficking and improve the health and safety of sex workers

Hearing

5/16/23

Reporting extended to 4/30

Judiciary
An Act Relative to Media Literacy in Schools

H. 560

S.1956

Rep. Rogers Teaching media literacy in schools to promote child safety on the internet. 

Hearing

10/11

Reporting extended to 3/15

Education 
An Act Relative to Employment Protections for Victims of Abusive Behavior

H. 1918

S. 1152

Rep. Livingstone

Sen. Creem

Extending protection to work for victims of abusive behavior 

Hearing 10/24

Third Reading

Labor and Workforce Development
An Act protecting reproductive health access, LGBTQ lives, religious liberty, and freedom of movement by banning the sale of cell phone location information

H.357

S.148

Rep. Lipper Garabedian

Sen. Creem

This bill would Prohibit companies from selling, leasing, trading, or renting location data. Require companies to obtain consent before collecting or processing location data.

Hearing

11/13

Reporting extended to 7/31/24

Consumer Protection and Protection and Professional Licensure
An Act to Prevent Abuse and Exploitation H.4241 ?? This bill will add coercive control and technological abuse to the civil protection law to recognize less visible forms of abuse. 

Hearing 

9/12

Passed House and Senate 

Senate Ways and Means

House Ways and Means 

An Act Relative to Controlling and Abusive Litigation

H.1399

S.107

Rep. Natalie M. Blais

Sen. Michael Moore

The misuse of the court system by people who cause harm to further tactics of abusive power and control is referred to as abusive litigation.These tactics can force survivors to appear repeatedly in court at their emotional and financial expense. This bill provides courts with a tool to curb abusive litigation and mitigate its harms.

Hearing 

9/12

Reporting extended to 4/30

Judiciary
An Act to Mandate Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Awareness Education for Aestheticians, Barbers, Cosmetologists, Electrologists, Hairdressers, Manicurists, and Massage Therapists

H. 249

S. 2477

Rep. Barber

Rep. Donato

Legislation to mandate domestic violence and sexual assault awareness education for aestheticians, barbers, cosmetologists, electrologists, hairdressers, manicurists, and massage therapists

Hearing

6/12

Reported favorably 

Senate Ways and Means
Issue Bill # Sponsors Summary Where Committee
An Act Making voting Administrative Changes to Create Equitable Systematic Solutions S. 410 Sen. Creem Same day voter registration, decoupling municipal census, ensuring access for voters with disabilities, uniform mail voting forms 

Hearing

9/13/23

NA

Election Laws
Parity on Boards

S. 2016 

H.3095

Sen. Lewis Ensure gender parity and racial and ethnic diversity on public boards and commissions

Hearing

5/10/23

Reported Favorably 

House Ways and Means

An Act to Promote Diversity on Public Boards and Commissions

(see above bill)

H. 3095

S. 2029

Rep. Nguyen

Rep. Shand

Sen. Miranda

This is a new bill that works to ensure parity on public boards and commissions. This bill would do so by asking for transparency, data collection, and reporting of public board and commission membership in order to disclose the gaps of representation.

House Ways and Means

Senate Ways and Means

House Ways and Means
An Act Establishing Same Day Registration of Voters H. 688 Rep. Gentile Same Day Voter Registration allows all eligible voters to register or update their registration in-person on Election Day or early voting days.

Hearing

9/13

NA

Election Laws
An Act Providing Uniform Mail Voting Forms H. 656 Rep. Arriaga Allowing uniform vote by mail and absentee voting forms, ballots and other paperwork will reduce costs and workload for local election officials, and reduce confusion by voters.

Hearing

9/13

Reporting extended to 5/28

Election Laws
An Act Enforcing Accessibility for Voters with Disabilities H. 701 Rep. Khan Requires the Secretary to arrange inspection of all polling places and early voting sites at least once every four years, to ensure compliance with federal and state disability accessibility laws. Cities and towns not in compliance must take immediate action to comply and file a compliance plan, and the Attorney General can enforce compliance in court.

Hearing

9/13

NA

Election Laws

Previous Legislative Priorities

With a backdrop of federal gridlock and the rollback of civil and reproductive rights by an extreme right-wing minority, Massachusetts has continued to be a leader in inclusive, progressive policies, thanks in part to Mass NOW and our many coalition partners. Out of nearly 40 endorsed bills, we helped pass the Work and Family Mobility Act, a budget amendment to end child marriage in the Commonwealth, and the VOTES Act!

After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, we helped marshall the second major abortion rights bill through the Massachusetts legislature for the second consecutive year. This sweeping legislation would protect patients and providers from prosecution under other states’ draconian restrictions, expand access to emergency contraception, decrease restrictions on abortions occurring after 24 weeks of pregnancy, and mandate broader health insurance coverage for abortions. The bill was signed by Governor Baker on July 29th, meaning that we ended the formal session with a major win!

Additionally, our members helped moved several bills further through the legislative process this year than in previous sessions: in March the I AM bill passed the Senate unanimously, and Common Start, the Healthy Youth Act, and Nonbinary Gender Markers on MA Identification all passed the upper chamber as well. As we shift to the informal session, our work is not done. Bills can still move forward during informal session if they are passed without objection, and the Governor has several pieces of legislation on his desk awaiting his signature.

Read more about the 192nd legislative wins here.

The 191st Legislative Session was unlike any before – ending just the night before the following legislative session started. 

We started off the legislative session in April of 2019 finally passing SD1502: An Act Relative to Abuse Practices to Change Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Minors, making Massachusetts the 16th state to ban gender conversion therapy. This bill bans deceptive conversion practices that aim to change a minor’s same-sex attraction or gender identity. It also prohibited licensed medical health and human service professionals from attempting to change a minor’s sexual orientation or gender identity. 

On Aug. 6, Governor Baker signed House Bill 4606, An Act relative to the penalties for the crime of female genital mutilation (FGM), making Massachusetts the 39th state to criminalize FGM. 

The Massachusetts legislature thankfully overrode Governor Baker’s veto and passed legislation to enshrines abortion rights in state law and expands access to 16-year-olds. The ROE Act improves much needed access to abortion by lowering the age at which individuals can seek an abortion without the consent of a parent or a judge from 18 to 16.

On January 12, 2021 Governor Baker signed an H.1209 An Act relative to sexual violence on higher education campuses into law, impact over 150,000 college and university students and survivors in Massachusetts. . Specifically, the legislation ensures access to free medical and legal support services, anti-retaliation protections for reporting parties from being punished for breaking school code of conduct at the time of an assault, confidential advising services that clarify survivors’ rights & options, transparent data on sexual violence, gathered anonymously and published publicly, universal, evidence-based annual prevention and response training for employees and students

On January 14th, Governor Baker signed the Economic Development Bond Bill, including an amendment allocating $500,000 to provide menstrual products to people in homeless shelters and temporary housing! We believe this is the first time the Massachusetts legislature has made a fiscal commitment to menstrual equity – ever. 

An Act to Increase Access to Disposable Menstrual Products in Prisons, Homeless Shelters and Public Schools: HD2272/SD1381 (I AM. bill)

This bill would provide access to free menstrual products to all menstruating individuals in prisons, homeless shelters and public schools from 6th-12th grade. The bill also contains language to ensure the products are truly accessible without stigmatizing the individual seeking them. Mass NOW co-wrote this bill with Sen. Jehlen and Rep. Livingstone’s offices, and is taking the lead on building an intersectional coalition to advocate for this measure.

An Act to Protect the Civil Rights and Safety of All Massachusetts Residents: HD1500/SD926 (Safe Communities Act)

Bars law enforcement and court personnel from asking people about their status unless required by law. Protects due process by informing people of their right to decline and requiring police to obtain consent before allowing ICE to question someone in local custody. Limits notifications to ICE and bars 287(g) consent agreements which allow state and country personnel from acting as federal immigration agents. The bill also requires training and accountability. Mass NOW is collaborating with the Massachusetts Safe Communities Coalition to promote action days, call in campaigns, and other advocacy to promote this measure.

An Act Relative to the Scheduling of Employees: SD1881 (Fair Scheduling bill)

The bill would require certain employers to provide employees with a good faith estimate of their work schedule, including the expected number of work hours among other things. The bill would also give employees the right to make work schedule requests  and provide employees predictability pay when schedule changes are not done in the prescribed manner. Mass NOW is collaborating with the Fair Scheduling Committee to promote action days, call in campaigns, and other advocacy to promote this measure.

An Act Relative to Healthy Youth: HD827/SD579 (Healthy Youth Act)

This bill would ensure that a comprehensive curriculum is taught in public schools which offer sex education. This would include helping students learn the benefits of delaying sex, how to prevent STIs and pregnancy, creating a culture of consent, recognizing LGBTQ  youth health needs and giving students tools to create healthy relationships. Mass NOW is collaborating with Planned Parenthood of MA and other organizations to promote action days, call in campaigns, and other advocacy to promote this measure.

An Act Supporting Parents Running for Public Office: SD304

This bill would allow state and local candidates to use campaign funds for childcare services. Mass NOW is collaborating with childcare advocates as well as bill sponsor Sen. Jehlen to promote action days, call in campaigns, and other advocacy to promote this measure.

An Act Relative to Affordable and Accessible High Quality Early Education and Care: HD1879/SD1744

The bill aims to make high quality early education and childcare affordable and accessible to all MA families using a sliding-scale fee structure.

An Act to End Child Marriage: HD583/SD343

This bill would make 18 years old the minimum age to marry in MA.

An Act Relative to Female Genital Mutilation: SD617

This bill would create a program of education, prevention and outreach for communities that commonly practice female genital mutilation, as well as education for health officials and other who may come into contact with victims or potential victims of female genital mutilation. The bill also creates a legal claim for genital mutilation no matter where it occurred, and criminalizes efforts to assist in genital mutilation, including taking a girl outside of the state to undergo the procedure.

MA Healthy Workplace: SD1355

The bill creates a legal claim for bullying targets who can prove they were subjected to malicious health-harming behavior. The bill also creates defenses for employers who act responsibly to prevent such behavior and discourages frivolous claims.

Out of Hospital Birth Access and Safety Act: HD2959/SD1570

This bill would integrate midwifery into the MA maternity care system, giving pregnant individuals equitable access to midwives and out of hospital birth options. It would also require midwives to be licensed, helping to ensure positive health outcomes and cost savings.

An Act relative to advancing contraception coverage and economic security in our state (S.499, H.536)

The Problem: The Affordable Care Act, which ensures access to no-copay birth control, is under threat and barriers to affordable birth control persist, which could make birth control inaccessible for many in Massachusetts. The Solution: Strengthen state law to ensure access to birth control without cost-sharing while improving access to the full range of contraceptive options and removing existing barriers to care.


The ACCESS bill was signed into law by Governor Baker on November 20, 2018!

An Act Establishing a Family and Medical Leave and Temporary Disability Insurance Program (S1048, H2172)

No one should have to choose between their job and caring for a sick family member or a new child.  And yet, nearly 40% of workers in the state (1.2 million) are not guaranteed leave under the federal unpaid leave law because they work for companies with fewer than 50 employees.  Further, unpaid leave is not a financially viable option for most working families, particularly low-income and single parent households. Many face financial hardship if they have to leave a job that puts food on the table to care for a family member that they love.

In a major win for working families, the Massachusetts Legislature passed and the Governor signed groundbreaking paid family and medical leave legislation into law in 2018!

Massachusetts Safe Communities Act (S1305, H3269)

An Act Relative to Healthy Youth (S/234, H.2053) 

An Act Relative to Improve the Commonwealth’s Economy with a Strong Minimum Wage and Strong Tipped Minimum Wage (S.1004, H2365)

An Act relative to abusive practices to change sexual orientation and gender identity (S.62, H.1190)

An Act to Increase Neighborhood Safety and Opportunity (S.64, H.1429)

On Monday, August 1, 2016, Governor Charlie Baker signed S.2119, An Act to Establish Pay Equity, into Massachusetts law. This historic signing celebrated the most comprehensive pay equity law in the United States.

Massachusetts was the first state in the nation to pass an equal pay law in 1945. The first federal equal pay law was passed in 1963 but the efforts of both of these pieces of legislation failed to effectively curb gender wage discrimination. Currently, women in Massachusetts earn 81% of their male counterparts with black women earning 66 cents and Latino women earning only 54 cents to the male dollar.

The new pay equity law is the first in the nation to banish the requirement of salary history during the hiring process. This will help both women and men – of all races – advocate for the salary they deserve during the interview and hiring process. Massachusetts will also be the first state to provide protection for businesses in the general law should they do a good faith audit of pay practices and undertake steps to correct pay discrepancies. Maine is the only state that has this in their regulations, Massachusetts will now have this codified in the general laws.

The pay equity law will also allow employees to discuss their salary and compensation without fear of being retaliated against by their employer. Workers in historic pink ghettos may now receive the same rate of pay as their fellow male employees for doing work which requires similar skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions regardless of whether the work is identical or has common characteristics.

The Massachusetts Equal Pay Coalition, a group of non-profits, unions and other organizations hoping to eliminate the wage gap for women and people of color, have been working on passing this legislation since the beginning of the 2015-2016 legislative session.

PASSED! An Act Relative to Equal Access in Hospitals, Public Transportation, Nursing Homes, Supermarkets, Retail Establishments, and all other places open to the public (transgender public accommodation)

Rep. Carl Sciortino, HD1172. Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz SD568

The Equal Access Bill would ad “gender identity” to existing Massachusetts civil rights law for public accommodations, which currently prohibit discrimination on the basis of age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, sex, and marital status. 


PASSED! An Act Relative to Prevent Shackling and Promote Safe Pregnancies for Female Inmates

Rep. Kay Kahn, HD00826, Sen. Karen Spilka, SD447

This bill would establish minimum standards for the treatment and medical care of female inmates, would promote safe and healthy pregnancy outcomes, prohibit shackling of women during childbirth, and ensure that release planning includes child custody and basic family planning information and services.

PASSED! An Act Relative to Establishing Paid Sick Time

Rep. Kay Khan, HD00504, Sen. Patricia Jehlen, SD861

Currently, almost half of private sector workers in Massachusetts do not have a single paid sick day. Women are disproportionately affected by a lack of paid sick days, as they remain the primary caregivers for children and elderly relatives, and must take time off from our jobs to care for them. This legislation would provide guaranteed earned sick time to ALL employees in Massachusetts.    

An Act Relative to Consent and Counseling of Pregnant Women under Sixteen Years of Age

Rep. Ellen Story, HD00126

Currently, minors in Massachusetts seeking an abortion must obtain permission from at least one of their parents/guardians or seek a judicial bypass. This legislation would allow young women, who may be unable to discuss their situation with their parents, to seek counseling from a trained medical professional in lieu of seeking a court order. It would also lower the age of consent for abortion from 18 to 16. 

An Act Relative to Responsible Counseling

Rep. David Linsky, HD00218  Sen. Katherine Clark, SD0035

For young women who still face an unintended pregnancy, we should ensure that they have a range of responsible adults to turn to. This bill allows other responsible family members, such as a grandparent or substantially older sibling, to provide legal consent for abortion. In addition, this bill provides a young woman to seek counseling from a trained medical professional in lieu of a court order as a way to increase her opportunities to get the kind of guidance she needs when facing an unintended pregnancy.

An Act Relative to Further Defining Comparable Work

Rep. Ellen Story, HD00968

Current Massachusetts law does not define comparable work in terms of gender pay disparity. This legislation would define the term as “solely based on whether the two positions entail comparable skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions between employees of the opposite sex,” thereby clarifying current law and working to eradicate the wage gap and pay discrimination.

An Act Relative to Healthy Youth

Rep. James O’Day HD00360 , Sen Katherine Clark SD0034

This legislation would ensure that schools offering sex education provide young people with age-appropriate, medically accurate information about the benefits of abstinence and delaying sexual activity, as well as effective use of contraceptives and the skills needed to form healthy, respectful relationships.

An Act Relative to Employee Protection (The Abusive Waivers Prevention Act)

Rep. Stephen Brewer. HD1403, SD457

This bill would make it illegal for employers to require their employees to sign pre-dispute waivers of rights at the onset of their employment. Pre-dispute waivers limit employees’ ability to file suit for discriminatory employer policies and practices. These waivers disproportionately affect women, who may be victims of gender discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace.

An Act Relative to Updating the Laws to Protect Women’s Health

Rep. Ellen Story, HD00125, Sen. Harriette Chandler, SD0069

This bill would repeal outdated, unconstitutional, and archaic laws that remain on the books in Massachusetts. It would ensure that abortion rights are upheld in the Commonwealth should Roe v. Wade ever be overturned.

An Act Relative to Prohibiting Discrimination in Insurance Policies

Rep. Ruth Balser, HD1265, Sen. Katherine Clark, SD338

This bill would take the final step and require that state-regulated disability and life insurance policies sold to Massachusetts residents are gender neutral in all the terms and conditions of the contracts, including premiums and benefits. 

An Act Relative to Providing for Equitable Coverage in Disability Policies

Rep. Ruth Balser, HD1269, Sen. Katherine Clark, SD00338,

This legislation does the same as An Act Relative to Prohibiting Discrimination in Insurance; however, it focuses only on disability insurance.

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