I was proud to file legislation that would allow family and household members to file an extreme risk protection order (ERPO) resulting in the removal of firearms, ammunition, and licenses for up to one year. I am proud that this bill was passed and just as proud of the opportunity it provided to help many of our young people, moms, and activists young and old to engage in the democratic process.
I have also filed a bill to ban 11 toxic chemicals that are used as flame retardants in children's toys and furniture. I am working closely with the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts, along with Clean Water Action, to ensure that flame retardant chemicals that have a scientific link to the most leading cancers killing fire fighters are banned in our state. The Joint Committee on Public health has recommended that my bill move favorably towards the next step in the legislative process. It is my deep hope that we can bring this bill to the floor before the end of session.
In light of constant and rising threats to our immigrant communities, I have remained fiercely committed to using my office to oppose nationalist and xenophobic agendas, keeping an open door to re-establish trust in government and protecting our most vulnerable. I believe it is my duty and responsibility to fight for the protection of those fleeing dangerous – often deadly – homelands, for the possibility of justice and safety here in the U.S. I am a leader in the House, working closely with advocates like MIRA and the ACLU, to help secure important immigration protections through the Legislature.
We never have to wait long for the next painful reminder of the pressing importance of acting to mitigate the impacts of climate change. We have a responsibility to care for our environment using every possible tool. I was proud to sponsor a bill that calls for Massachusetts to rely 100% on renewable energy. If passed, Massachusetts would be the first state in the nation to transition its entire grid to renewables. I have also filed a bill that will divest state pension funds from coal and fossil fuels.
Criminal Justice Reform
This session, the Legislature passed comprehensive criminal justice reform to address the criminalization of poverty, cruel and antiquated sentencing, youth empowerment, and many other issues. We repealed many mandatory minimum sentences, ensured that a defendant’s financial resources will be considered when setting bail, and strengthened data collection across the criminal justice system. My amendment language to ensure juvenile offenders could have their records expunged was adopted giving them a fairer chance entering adulthood.This session, we repealed many mandatory minimum sentences, ensured that a defendant’s financial resources will be considered when setting bail, and strengthened data collection across the criminal justice system.
Housing and Homelessness
My record standing up for affordable housing and homelessness is evident throughout my legislation and budget priorities. I continue to fight against the state’s inhumane regulations requiring families seeking emergency shelter first spend one night in a place not meant for human habitation. I have filed legislation to create a rental payment assistance program to help families avoid eviction, and to secure child care vouchers for homeless families.
Anti-Poverty and Economic Justice
My work on economic justice and anti-poverty efforts has defined my public service. I am proud to share that my bill to repeal the family welfare cap was adopted, ensuring that children born into poverty will no longer be denied state support because of the timing of their birth. I filed a bill that was adopted in the FY18 budget that makes Massachusetts the only state to allow survivors of domestic violence, who are married and have fled their batterers, to file and benefit from the earned income tax credit (ETIC). I am also proud to have worked to raise the EITC from 15% to 23% in the FY18 budget and to 30% in the FY19 budget.
I have been at the forefront of the conversation around the ACCESS Act, a bill filed in response to President Trump’s continued attacks on access to reproductive healthcare.