(BOSTON) – This summer, Representative Meschino’s (D-Hull) priority bills have received endorsements from influential caucuses and advocates.
Representative Meschino’s top priority piece of legislation, An Act to create access to justice (H. 1792), was endorsed by the Massachusetts Bar Association’s House of Delegates on May 19th. This legislation would empower an individual to seek redress against discrimination by government policies; it would restore the right of an individual to bring a claim in state court when a government policy creates disparate impact, an unintended discriminatory effect on individuals of a protected class. The bill would provide access to justice for numerous constituencies, including people seeking to enforce environmental justice, language access, fair housing, equitable healthcare, and access to high-quality education.
“The Massachusetts Bar Association is pleased to proactively partner with members of the legislature to create a more level playing field for victims of discrimination,” said Martin W. Healy, Massachusetts Bar Association Chief Legal Counsel and Chief Operating Officer. “The bill by removing existing procedural and costly hurdles provides a clear and more equitable way forward for victims to resolve matters directly in our state courts. Victims of discrimination deserve unimpeded access to our state’s justice system.”
An Act establishing a community college campus hunger pilot program (H.1350/S.847) was recently endorsed by the Massachusetts Food System Caucus. The legislation would create a $2.7 million noncompetitive grant program administered by the Department of Higher Education (DHE) to fund state community colleges pilot initiatives to tackle hunger on campuses. This bill is critical to addressing student hunger on community college campuses and supporting students in college persistence and degree attainment. At a hearing held on June 8th, the bill received broad support from legislators and advocates.
An Act supporting parents running for office (H.769/S.475) was endorsed by the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators in May. The bill would allow campaign funds for individuals seeking public office to be used to pay for child care, a need which would not exist but for the campaign. By supporting a more diverse pool of candidates, this legislation has the potential to increase the diversity of our elected body.
“I’m honored that these bills have received endorsements from such an esteemed organization such as the Massachusetts Bar Association, and from my legislative colleagues who are part of the Massachusetts Food System Caucus, and the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators,” said Representative Meschino. “All three pieces of legislation will advance equity – in our communities, our schools, and our professional endeavors – and these endorsements demonstrate a widespread recognition of the need to prioritize the pursuit of equity across different sectors.”
An Act to create access to justice (H.1792/S.996) is pending before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary; An Act establishing a community college campus hunger pilot program (H.1350/S.847) is pending before the Joint Committee on Higher Education; and An Act supporting parents running for public office (H.769/S.475) is pending before the Joint Committee on Election Laws. All of these bills now await action by their respective committees.