Legislation Regarding Campus Sexual Misconduct Surveys, Civics Education, and Consumer Protections against Data Breaches

Submitted by the Office of Rep. Ken Gordon (D-Bedford)

Representative Ken Gordon (D-Bedford) joined his colleagues in the Legislature to numerous pieces of legislation last week including a bill requiring civics education curriculum in all Massachusetts public schools, a bill that would protect Massachusetts consumers, and a bill that would require higher education institutions to conduct climate surveys relative to sexual misconduct every two years.

Massachusetts Legislature Gives Clean Energy a Boost

Submitted by the Office of State Senator Mike Barrett

Governor Charlie Baker has signed An Act to Advance Clean Energy, with a formal signing ceremony to be announced.

On the last day of July, in the closing hours of the Legislature’s two-year session, negotiators for the Senate and House hammered out agreement on a bill that will boost electricity from solar and wind, get a better handle on natural gas leaks, and create “clean peak” incentives for driving down energy use at the busiest times, when the costliest and dirtiest electric power turns on.

Archaic Laws Governing Women’s Reproductive Rights Repealed

Submitted by State Representative Ken Gordon (D-Bedford)

Representative Ken Gordon (D-Bedford) recently joined his colleagues in the Legislature to pass legislation repealing unconstitutional laws that impose criminal penalties for such health and family care treatment as abortion and contraception in Massachusetts. With an uncertain future for federal action on landmark reproductive rights, Massachusetts took decisive action to protect the rights for women across the Commonwealth. The bill was signed into law by Governor Charlie Baker on Friday, July 27, 2018

Legislature Sends Final FY19 Budget to Governor Baker

Submitted on behalf of Senator Michael Barrett and Representative Ken Gordon

Senator Michael Barrett (D-Lexington) and Representative Ken Gordon (D-Bedford) joined their colleagues in the Legislature to send a final version of the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) budget to the Governor on Wednesday following a conference committee report submitted on Wednesday morning. In addition to funding important programs and services throughout the Commonwealth, the House FY19 budget included important local aid and Chapter 70 Education funding increases for the Town of Bedford, as well as $517,000 for the education of the children of military families who live at Hanscom Air Force Base.

State Senate says Community Access TV should go HD

Submitted by State Senator Mike Barrett (D-Lexington)

Local State Senator Mike Barrett (D-Lexington) joined his Senate colleagues to pass a bill requiring cable companies to provide High Definition (HD) capability to Community Access channels and to include detailed programming information in viewers’ electronic guides.

The bill means that community TV will be on the same playing field as bigger channels. It allows local media stations access to Electronic Programming Guides and channel signal quality that is comparable to pay stations — now and in the future.

Paid Family & Medical Leave: When Everyone Wins, We all Win

By State Rep Ken Gordon

When Governor Charlie Baker signed Paid Family & Medical Leave into law last week – based upon a program that I helped write that was included in a bill that I filed in the House – he introduced a program that will improve the life of every working family in Massachusetts. But just as important, it will provide valuable assistance to small and medium sized business as well.

We all know why a worker would welcome the opportunity to spend 12 weeks with a newborn or newly adopted child, without worrying about how they will pay the rent. Our imaginations don’t have to stray too far to guess why a worker confined to a hospital recovering from a heart attack, stroke or effects of surgery would welcome 20 weeks of paid leave. Or why a worker would treasure the opportunity to have the time to console a hospitalized child, spouse or aging parent without the stress of bills going unpaid.

Legislature Passes Rep. Gordon’s Bill To Create Paid Family and Medical Leave As Part of “Grand Bargain”

Submitted by the Office of State Representative Ken Gordon (D-Bedford)

The Massachusetts House and Senate passed a statewide program that will provide a Paid Family and Medical Leave program to most all workers in the Commonwealth, as part of a consolidated bill that will also incrementally raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour over five years and raise the minimum wage for tipped workers to $6.75. The bill will also create a permanent sales tax holiday each August and eliminate the requirement that employers pay their workers time a half on Sundays and holidays.

Rep. Gordon authored much of the Paid Family Leave bill that was incorporated in the package. He spoke about the family leave policy at the State House as 126 House members voted in favor of the bill, to 25 against. In the Senate, the bill passed 30-8.

State Senate Makes History by Voting a Carbon Pricing Program for Massachusetts

Submitted by the office of State Senator Mike Barrett (D-Lexington)

In passing a major clean energy bill today, the Massachusetts State Senate voted to authorize the most comprehensive carbon pricing program in the country. Its author, State Sen. Mike Barrett (D-Lexington), told his colleagues, “In taking a fresh run at combating climate change, you’re putting Massachusetts state government at the forefront — right where our constituents want it to be.”

The action made history, in that the Senate became the first legislative body in the U.S., either federal or state, to approve revenue-neutral fees as a carbon pricing option. If the policy survives intact after debate in the Massachusetts House and is signed into law, the Commonwealth will also become only the second state, after California, to extend the concept of carbon pricing to transportation.

Sen. Barrett on Internet Privacy

Submitted by Sen. Mike Barrett (D-Lex)

The Massachusetts State Senate has taken a major new step to protect the social media accounts of students and employees in the Commonwealth.

For the past year and a half, Senator Mike Barrett (D-Lexington) has served as an original cosponsor of “An Act relative to social media privacy protection,” which passed the Senate last week. The legislation prevents employers and schools from requesting or requiring access to the personal social media accounts of employees, students, and job or school applicants as conditions of acceptance, employment, or participation in school activities.

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