A New Legislative Session and New Priorities
Although I am conscious of the continued sacrifices that all of us have had to endure and witness because of the CoVid-19 pandemic, I am looking forward to the new legislative session. I want to share the bills that I consider to be my highest priority for this year, and acknowledge that there is work beyond them that we must do.
Behavioral and Public Health On the issue of behavioral and public health, I am filing four bills that would help protect the health of some of the most vulnerable members of our community.
A bill to aid victims of sex trafficking which will provide access to various resources and health care.
A bill that mandates insurance coverage for services offered by certified recovery coaches which eases access to another proven tool for achieving and maintaining sobriety; and a bill that allows doctors to co-prescribe the drug naloxone along with opiates will help save lives by preventing overdoses.
A bill that removes prior authorization requirements for MassHealth participants seeking mental health care. This will ease the burden on our emergency rooms and provide immediate care for anyone who needs it.
Housing CoVid has made it clear that we must address our housing crisis, and the response has to come from all levels of government. I will be filing two bills this session to help address those needs:
A bill that will allow us to add affordable housing when we renovate municipal facilities (libraries, fire stations, etc.). This will allow us both to take advantage of the limited space that we have and to partially fund long overdue renovations in disparate locations.
The transfer fee allows cities and towns to tax luxury home sales up to 2% of the sale price and direct that revenue to the local Affordable Housing Trust. Municipalities should be able to use revenue from this boom for safe, affordable housing for everyone.
Civil Rights 2020 reminded us how fragile our civil rights are and how important it is to fight for a just democracy where everyone is safe and valued:
CORI sealing will automatically seal criminal records and allow non-violent drug offenders to expunge their records so that they can seek employment without fear of their past record while providing the opportunity for a second chance.
An Election Day voter registration bill that will help ensure that no resident of the Commonwealth is disenfranchised.
I hope that you will join me in supporting these priorities during this new legislative session. Together we can support those struggling with addiction and mental illness, provide more affordable housing opportunities, and promote the rights of all of our neighbors. Through listening, speaking and supporting one another, we can truly make our neighborhoods, and the rest of the Commonwealth, a place where our reality matches our aspirations.