(BOSTON) – On Wednesday, May 31st, State Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) joined advocates from across the Commonwealth, including representatives of Plymouth County’s regional commission, at the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women’s Lobby Day held at the State House. Among the bills supported by the Commission is H.669, An Act supporting parents running for public office, co-filed by Representative Meschino and Representative Mike Connolly (D-Cambridge).
The advocacy day’s events were highlighted by a speech from Governor Maura Healey. The Governor spoke about the significance of her position as the first woman elected as governor of the Commonwealth and as a member of the first all-female governor and lieutenant governor team in the nation. She also shared her anticipation of a strong continued partnership with the Commission.
“The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women does excellent, critical work to advance the status of women and girls in the Commonwealth,” said State Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull). “I am grateful that An Act supporting parents running for public office remains a priority of the Commission, and I look forward to continuing to work with Commissioners, our coalition, and the legislation’s supporters to get this bill over the finish line.”
In line with legislation passed by 28 other states and the federal government, H.669 updates campaign finance law to cover child care expenses that would not exist but for the candidate’s campaign. This legislation would remove one of many economic barriers parents and guardians face as they seek opportunities in public service. By making the pathway to elected office more accessible, this legislation will result in a more diverse and inclusive candidate pool.
At a hearing on May 17th, the legislation received strong support from several panels; these panels included former State Representative Jamie Belsito of Topsfield, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women, the Executive Director of Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators, the Director of the Massachusetts Women Political Caucus, and more.
One of eleven regional commissions that cover the entire Commonwealth, the Plymouth County Commission on the Status of Women (PCCSW) was well represented during the MCSW lobby day. As noted by Representative Meschino on WATD this week, the PCCSW is seeking volunteer commissioners for the current term. Interested parties can find the regional commissioner application form here.