On Tuesday, September 24, 2019 Rep. Andy Vargas of Haverhill testified in support H1762 which he filed. Known as An Act to reform the distribution of unrestricted local aid, this MBLLC priority bill would establish a commission to study how lottery revenue is distributed among Massachusetts cities and towns. As is the case with all of our priority legislation, equity is the main goal for this bill.
Learn more about the bill here and consider emailing the Committee Chairs in support of our endeavor.
On Thursday, September 20, 2019 the MBLLC met with Governor Charlie Baker regarding parole board and judge diversity, as well as diversity in contracting and construction.
Joined by Commissioner Carol Gladstone of the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance, MBLLC members discussed methods to increase diversity and communicate available opportunities to the communities served by MBLLC members.
The convening also included an in depth discussion regarding the shared desire for increased diversity in judges. The administration and Caucus agreed to work together to help more people of color apply for the bench.
While discussing diversifying the parole board members also advocated for MBLLC priority H3457: An Act relative to parole. Filed by MBLLC member Rep. Andy Vargas, the legislation increases Parole Board membership from 7 to 9 and would implement other important provisions.
On Tuesday, September 10, 2019, alongside Rep. Liz Miranda and colleagues, State Representative Nika Elugardo presented MBLLC testimony supporting legislation to expand coverage for doula services through MassHealth for all childbearing individuals in the Commonwealth.
As was noted in the testimony, black women are 3 to 4 times more likely to die due to pregnancy related complications. Moreover, the disparity remains consistent despite education and financial status. As a priority of both the MBLLC and the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators, this bill is an important step in addressing health inequities such as these.
We thank Rep. Liz Miranda for bringing this to us and we welcome the public's support on the bill which is linked here.
On Wednesday, September 4, 2019 MBLLC Chairman Rep. Carlos González submitted testimony on behalf of the Caucus in support of House Bill 585: An Act to promote student nutrition. Filed by Rep. Andy X. Vargas, the bill would help reduce unpaid meal debt, boost federal revenue, and ban policies such as those that directly punish students.
Those pictured above at the testimony include Carlos Gonzalez, Jose Tosado, Andy X. Vargas, Senator Pat Jehlen, Representative Stephan Hay, State Representative Tommy Vitolo, State Representative Jim Hawkins, and Rep. Marjorie Decker. Additional information can be found below.
Legislative Website: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/191/H585
Mass Law Reform Institute Information: nostudenthungrycoalition.weebly.com/
MBLLC log posts are curated by the Caucus Executive Director.