An Act to create access to justice (H.1792)
This legislation empowers an individual to seek redress against discrimination by government policies. This bill restores the right of an individual to bring a claim in state court when a government policy creates disparate impact, meaning that there is an unintended discriminatory effect on individuals of a protected class when implemented.
This bill provides access to justice for numerous constituencies, including for people seeking to enforce environmental justice, language access, fair housing, and equitable healthcare and education, and it promotes overall social justice within Massachusetts. Key mechanisms of the bill include injunctive and equitable relief through awards for damages and attorney’s fees.
This legislation is before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary.
Co-Sponsors: Representative Adrian Madaro, Senator Sal DiDomenico
An Act establishing a community college campus hunger pilot program (H.1350)
This bill establishes a non-competitive grant program through the Department of Higher Education to address food insecurity on community college campuses, which are by their nature most supportive of low-income communities and communities of color. The program would invest in projects such as meal cards, meal plans, meal vouchers, and other campus-designed initiatives to support community college students in attaining their degrees.
This legislation is before the Joint Committee on Higher Education.
Co-Sponsor: Senator Joan Lovely
An Act relative to a streaming entertainment operator’s use of the public rights-of-way (H.130)
This legislation will create an equal playing field between media providers. The bill ensures that local cable and community media centers continue to be financially sustainable by including streaming services among those entities assessed a fee for their use of the municipal public rights-of-way, the revenue of which is returned as local aid. By assessing streaming services in the same way as cable providers for the use of public infrastructure, this bill maintains consistent and secure revenue to support the local public access programming that our local communities value.
This legislation is before the Joint Committee on Advanced Information Technology, the Internet, and Cybersecurity.
Co-Sponsors: Representative Paul Tucker, Senator Jason Lewis