House Passes Legislation to Support Vulnerable Children and Families

(BOSTON) - Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) and her colleagues in the House passed legislation this week to support vulnerable children and families in the Commonwealth. The bill, H.4841, An Act relative to accountability for vulnerable children and families, reforms the Department of Children and Families’ (DCF) data reporting mechanisms, updates some of their practices, establishes a foster parents bill of rights, and evaluates the impacts of COVID-19 on services.  Specifically included in the final bill were two provisions filed by Representative Meschino. The first, born out of H.148, An Act to provide notice to counsel of changes in a child’s or a young adult’s placement and other events, mandates that DCF notify a child’s attorney in the event of a change in placement, hospitalization, or if a 51A abuse and neglect report is filed that involves the child. These provisions seek to create consistent and meaningful legal advocacy to support . . . Read More

2020-08-29T10:23:32-04:00July 10th, 2020|Other Topics|

Legislature Approves Fall Elections Bill

This week, Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) and her colleagues in the House and Senate voted to approve the final conference committee report on a bill to help support safe elections in Massachusetts this Fall. H4820, An Act relative to voting options in response to COVID-19, expands the options for both mail-in voting and early voting in person for the 2020 state primary and general election. It additionally provides for public health safeguards for in-person voting, accessibility to voting options for persons with disabilities, equity in access to polling places, early tabulation of ballots by the clerks, and no-excuse early voting by mail for elections through the end of 2020. This legislation protects voters and the integrity of our democracy by ensuring that all voices in the Commonwealth are heard despite the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19. “The right to vote is one of our core democratic foundations,” said Representative Meschino. “The . . . Read More

2020-08-29T10:25:16-04:00July 2nd, 2020|Other Topics, Public Health|

House Passes Bill to Support Commonwealth’s Restaurants

BOSTON – Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) joined her colleagues in the House this week to pass legislation to provide more tools to the restaurants of Massachusetts in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation entitled An act addressing challenges faced by food and beverage establishments resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic (H.4767) aims to assist a sector that has been hit hard by COVID-19. The measures passed are intended to help restaurants weather the economic crisis in the wake of the pandemic. The package eases outdoor dining restrictions, expands alcohol delivery options to include mixed drinks, extends takeout options to February 2021, waives interest on late meals tax payments and caps the amount that can be charged by a food delivery service. In 2019, the House created the Restaurant Promotion Commission, which is being repurposed as the Restaurant Recovery Commission. The bill builds on the House’s general focus on . . . Read More

2020-08-29T10:28:07-04:00June 5th, 2020|Other Topics|

House Passes COVID-19 Elections Bill

BOSTON- On June 4, 2020, Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) joined her colleagues in the legislature to pass legislation to expand voting options in the Commonwealth this Fall, in response to COVID-19. The bill, H.4768 An act relative to voting options in response to COVID-19, takes the necessary precautions to ensure that every Massachusetts resident can exercise their right to vote in the state primary and November general election, while prioritizing public health and safety. “The right to vote is one of our core democratic foundations,” said Representative Meschino. “The House established critical steps to ensure that no resident is disenfranchised by the pandemic. ”The legislation will require the secretary of state to mail all registered voters an application to request a ballot to vote early by mail in the state primary and November general elections this Fall.  Applications with instructions will be mailed by July 15, 2020 for the September primary.  . . . Read More

2020-08-29T10:28:21-04:00June 5th, 2020|Other Topics, Public Health|

Massachusetts Legislature Passes Moratorium on Non-Essential Evictions and Foreclosures Amid COVID-19

BOSTON – On April 17, Representative Joan Meschino and her colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives and State Senate passed legislation to provide a critical safety net for renters, homeowners, and small businesses grappling with the economic fallout of the coronavirus public health emergency.  The bill, H.4647, prohibits all non-essential evictions and foreclosures and provides mortgage borrowers with forbearance options and protects tenants from late fees as well as other protections.   To address the COVID-19 public health crisis and its adverse impacts on renters, homeowners and small businesses, the bill includes the following components: A moratorium on all stages of the eviction and foreclosure processes for 120 days from the enactment of the legislation or 45 days after the State of Emergency has been lifted, whichever period of time is shorter.  Prohibits all non-essential evictions for residential properties and small businesses. Prohibits residential landlords from terminating tenancy and sending . . . Read More

2020-08-29T10:32:46-04:00April 20th, 2020|Other Topics|

House Unanimously Passes Legislation to Help Protect Persons with Developmental Disabilities from Harm

BOSTON – This week, Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) and her colleagues in the House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation to create a registry of care providers who have harmed a person or persons with an intellectual or developmental disability. The bill’s purpose is to prevent those providers from being hired for programs funded or operated by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS). The legislation, An Act to Protect Persons with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities from Abuse, creates a registry of care providers against whom the Disabled Persons Protection Commission (DCCP) has made a final decision regarding “substantiated findings” of acts resulting in serious physical or emotional injury of a person with an intellectual or developmental disability. “I was proud to vote in support of this bill to promote the safety and wellbeing of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” said Representative Meschino. “This legislation was thoughtfully developed to combat abuse, . . . Read More

2020-08-29T10:32:57-04:00January 17th, 2020|Other Topics|

Massachusetts Legislature Passes Distracted Driving Legislation

(BOSTON) – This week, Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) joined her colleagues in the Legislature to enact legislation to ban drivers from using hand-held electronic devices while operating a vehicle unless the device is in hands-free mode. “This measure will increase roadway safety in Massachusetts,” said Representative Meschino. “Distracted driving endangers other drivers, cyclists and pedestrians; I am proud that the House took action on this issue.” The bill defines “hands-free” as a device mode that engages in voice communication with and receiving audio without touching, holding or otherwise manually manipulating a mobile electronic device. Law enforcement officials will issue warnings to drivers for first offenses of the new law until March 31, 2020.   Additionally, this legislation improves transparency in public safety by granting expanded access to traffic stop data.  It has been fifteen years since the last public report on traffic stop data; under this bill the state will be required . . . Read More

2020-08-29T10:33:31-04:00November 22nd, 2019|Other Topics, Public Health|

Legislature Advances Fair Share Act

During a constitutional convention this week, Representative Joan Meschino and her colleagues in the Massachusetts Legislature voted to move forward an amendment to the Massachusetts Constitution to generate revenues for transportation and educational investments, by placing an additional 4 percent tax on annual taxable income in excess of $1 million.  The revenue generated – estimated by the Department of Revenue at as much as $2.2 billion annually – would fund repair and maintenance projects for roads, bridges or public transportation as well as funding for public education.  “Investments of this scale in transportation infrastructure and education would deeply benefit the communities of the 3rd Plymouth District,”said Representative Meschino. “This initiative began as a ballot measure, making it worthwhile to take this step to give voters an opportunity to make a decision on this issue.” The income level would be adjusted annually to reflect any increases in the cost of living . . . Read More

2020-08-29T10:35:27-04:00June 14th, 2019|Other Topics|

House Passes Employee Rights Legislation

Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) along with her colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives this week passed legislation to protect public sector employees’ rights following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Janus v. American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) ruling. An Act relative to collective bargaining dues (H.3854) enables Massachusetts employee organizations to charge a non-member for the reasonable costs associated with legal representation in a grievance procedure. “This legislation – which builds on the House’s long-standing support of labor – sends a clear message that Massachusetts will work to secure protections for the working men and women of the Commonwealth,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop). “This bill represents a consensus position not realized from last session, and I thank Chair Brodeur for his hard work to move this issue forward.” “I’m proud of the House for coming together this week to support laborers across the Commonwealth,” . . . Read More

2020-08-29T10:35:37-04:00June 7th, 2019|Other Topics|

Bill Allowing Candidates to Use Campaign Funds for Childcare Gets Broad Support at Hearing

BOSTON - May 17, 2019 - Legislators, advocates, and candidates for elected office testified yesterday at the State House on behalf of S.408/H.639, An Act supporting parents running for public office, filed by Representatives Joan Meschino (D-Hull) and Mike Connolly (D-Cambridge), and Senator Pat Jehlen (D-Somerville).  The bill would update state campaign finance laws to allow candidates running for public office to use campaign funds for childcare expenses incurred on the campaign trail. Segments of our population continue to experience barriers to candidacy for public office which leads to a less diverse representation in the Commonwealth.  Current state campaign finance laws allow candidates to use campaign funds for a wide variety of expenses, including meals with constituents and lodging accommodations.  Yet campaign finance laws do not include an expense as basic as childcare services. Campaigning is time-consuming. At the hearing, supporters argued that the absence of childcare on the list of . . . Read More

2020-08-29T10:36:20-04:00May 24th, 2019|Other Topics|
Go to Top