BOSTON, MA – On May 15, Representative Jay Kaufman (D-Lexington), Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington), and Senator Mike Barrett (D-Lexington) raised their voices in support of transgender equal rights in the wake of the recent decision to allow a question onto the November 2018 ballot that would repeal equal protections and civil liberties for transgender individuals in Massachusetts.
“All people, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or religious identity, should be given equal protection under the law in Massachusetts,” said Senator Friedman. “At a time when our country is more divisive than ever, we must remain firm in our commitment to defending the rights and well-being of all people in our communities, especially those who have been marginalized. As a strong ally of the LGBTQ community, I will continue to stand strong against hate and discrimination in our Commonwealth by casting my vote this November to protect transgender individuals and preserve our anti-discrimination laws.”
BOSTON – On May 10, Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington) joined her Senate colleagues in voting to pass a key education reform bill to update the state’s 25-year-old funding formula.
“The Foundation Budget was meant to fully fund our public schools and to give every Massachusetts student the chance to get an adequate education, yet so many students still do not have the resources they need to achieve academic success,” said Senator Friedman. “This bill outlines the process and timeline for updating our state’s school funding formula to address educational needs and help ensure that all of our students have access to a quality education.”
BOSTON – On May 3, Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington) joined her colleagues in unanimously passing “The BRAVE Act” – new legislation that will expand benefits and increase access to a range of services for veterans, active-duty military and their families.
“We owe an enormous debt to the individuals who have sacrificed their personal ambitions and dreams to protect our country,” said Senator Friedman, Senate Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Public Service. “This bill reaffirms our commitment to providing the utmost support to our veterans, service members, and military families and strengthens existing law to ensure that they have access to the services and benefits that they need to thrive in their communities.”
BOSTON — On April 26, Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington) joined her Senate colleagues in voting in favor of legislation to protect individuals who default on their educational loans from professional licensure penalties.The bill, S.2266, An Act to prevent bureaucratic overreach in the collection of student debt, will repeal a state law passed in 1990, which created professional licensure consequences for educational loan defaulters.
“Paying back student loans has become an enormous financial burden for many residents across Massachusetts,” said Friedman. “Limiting a person’s ability to work makes it exponentially more difficult to make a living and pay back their loans. This bill dismantles potential obstacles to repaying student loan debt and implements protections for borrowers so that they can continue to work and pay off their debt.”
BOSTON — On April 26, Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington) voted with her Senate colleagues to pass a bill designed to protect the personal information of consumers in the case of data breaches, like the one seen at Equifax, and provide free credit freezes for all consumers.
“The Equifax data breach compromised the sensitive personal information of nearly 3 million Massachusetts residents last fall,” said Senator Friedman. “This legislation would fight consumer fraud, ensure transparency, and prevent identity theft by making it more difficult for companies to access and share credit information and making it easier for consumers to freeze or unfreeze their credit accounts.”
BOSTON – On April 23, Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington) and Representative Ken Gordon (D-Bedford) welcomed a group of Burlington Girl Up Leaders to the Massachusetts State House. The young leaders had the opportunity to speak directly with their legislators about some of the obstacles they face as young women in high school and asked important questions about how they can make an impact on state government.
“It was wonderful to welcome the Girl Up Leaders to the State House today,” Sen. Friedman said. “I am thrilled by their eagerness to become more engaged in politics, public policy and their community, especially when it involves making a difference in the lives of other young women. I look forward to working with these bright young leaders in the future!”
BOSTON – On April 18, Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington) joined Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Kathryn Polito and Representative Theodore Speliotis (D-Danvers) for a special ceremony to honor two members of the U.S. Women’s Ice Hockey team at the Massachusetts State House. Among the athletes were Kali Flanagan of Burlington and Meghan Duggan of Danvers.
Flanagan helped Team USA win their first gold medal since 1998 in a 3-2 shootout victory over Team Canada in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. She is one of five current or former Boston College players on the U.S. Women’s Ice Hockey Team.
“It was a pleasure to honor Kali for all of her hard work as a first-time Olympic Gold Medalist,” said Senator Friedman. “Her athletic ability and rare raw talent has made the Town of Burlington, the state of Massachusetts and our country so very proud of her and the team for their incredible accomplishment.”
BOSTON – On April 11, Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington) joined her Senate colleagues in passing a three year, $600 million investment of “Chapter 90” funding for local road and bridge repairs, continuing the legislature’s strong commitment to supporting our cities and towns.
“This program is an essential tool that allows municipalities to fund local projects to make much needed repairs to damaged roads and bridges right at the start of construction season. I’m proud to have secured funding to support these essential projects in the 4th Middlesex that will make substantial improvements to our infrastructure and enhance the quality of life for our residents,” said Senator Friedman.
BOSTON — On April 11, Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington) joined her Senate colleagues in voting to pass the “Student Loan Bill of Rights,” giving greater protections to student loan borrowers in disputes with companies servicing their loans.
“Students pursuing a higher education degree are experiencing a debt crisis as a result of steadily rising tuition costs at our colleges and universities,” said Senator Friedman. “The crisis has impacted many young people in our state and as a result, they are being taken advantage of and falsely led into costly repayment plans by student loan companies. This bill entitles our students to appropriate consumer protections, provides them with the tools and resources they need, and ensures that predatory student loan servicers are kept in check through proper oversight.”
BOSTON – On April 4, Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington) joined her legislative colleagues in passing landmark criminal justice reform legislation that will lead to a more equitable system that supports our youngest and most vulnerable residents, reduces recidivism, increases judicial discretion, and enhances public safety. The bill, An Act relative to criminal justice reform, includes many provisions championed by Friedman to implement jail diversion strategies to address the mental health and opioid crisis and to reform the current pre-trial bail system.
“I am incredibly proud of the work we have done to pass this meaningful legislation,” said Senator Friedman. “This bill focuses on diverting people from the criminal justice system rather than locking them up, and provides a real avenue for individuals to reintegrate back into society. Although this comprehensive legislation represents a giant leap forward, we must still continue to look for more ways to create a more just system for all.”