Friedman advocates for legislation to increase political participation

BOSTON – On May 15, Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington) testified before the Joint Committee on Election Laws in support of legislation she filed that would remove barriers to political contributions by workers through a system of universal voluntary payroll deduction.

“While many residents across Massachusetts actively volunteer their time and energy for political and non-profit organizations, some of these residents face substantial obstacles to participating fully in the political life of their communities simply because they lack a credit card or a checking account,” said Senator Friedman. “Through this voluntary payroll deduction mechanism, low-income residents will have the opportunity to more fully engage in the political process and help shape the policies that affect their lives and communities.”

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Lawmakers stand with advocates, call for increased access to continuous care for kids with medically complex needs

BOSTON – On May 14, Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington), Woburn resident Angela Ortiz, Representative Rich Haggerty (D-Woburn), Representative Sean Garballey (D-Arlington), and Kris Newman of the Mass Developmental Disabilities Council testified at the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing public hearing in support of S.686, An Act to protect medically fragile kids.

“When over half of nurses leave homecare because the reimbursement is so low, children who need this help to survive suffer needlessly. At the same time, the state ends up spending far more dollars in expensive critical hospital or long-term care,” said Senator Friedman, Senate chair of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing. “The passage of this bill would be a step in the right direction toward helping parents get their child access to high quality, consistent nursing care that they need.”

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Friedman demands action on wage theft legislation

BOSTON – On May 14, Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington) testified before the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development in support of S.1066, An Act to prevent wage theft, promote employer accountability, and enhance public enforcement, sponsored by Senator Sal N. DiDomenico (D-Cambridge).

“Thousands of workers are stripped of their hard-earned wages every year in Massachusetts,” said Senator Friedman, a member of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development. “This illegal practice has continually impacted our workers, their families, and our communities, and it’s time for it to end. This important bill takes necessary steps to impose worker protections to prevent wage theft and hold employers accountable, ensuring that every worker receives the pay they are entitled to.”

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Arlington High Student and State Senator Testify on Mushroom Bill

BOSTON – On May 7, Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington) and Arlington High School sophomore Liam Nokes appeared together at a State House public hearing to testify in support of legislation before the Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight. Sponsored by Senator Friedman, the bill, S.1848, would designate the “Giant Puffball” fungus as the official mushroom of the Commonwealth.

“Liam is extremely smart and articulate – you only have to talk with him for a few minutes to be convinced that the Giant Puffball mushroom is an ideal state mushroom for the Commonwealth,” said Friedman. “He’s also provided a wealth of information and sources to support this claim.”

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Senate Ways and Means Releases FY20 Budget Recommendations

BOSTON– On May 7, the Senate Committee on Ways and Means announced a $42.7 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20).  The budget recommends targeted investments to provide access to opportunity and economic vitality across the Commonwealth, and includes several local earmarks and budget priorities secured by Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington).

“This budget reflects the values of the Commonwealth by continuing to make strong investments in education, healthcare cost and accessibility, and workforce development,” said Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington), Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “I applaud Chairman Rodrigues and Senate President Spilka for both the content and the process utilized in producing this budget. I look forward to participating in healthy debate alongside my colleagues in the coming weeks.”

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Friedman takes action on road safety, Gender X, and “Lift the Cap on Kids” legislation

BOSTON — On April 25, Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington) joined her colleagues in passing legislation to enhance road safety for cyclists and pedestrians, establish a non-binary option for gender on drivers’ licenses and birth certificates, and lift the so-called “Cap on Kids,” overriding Governor Baker’s recent veto of the “cap on kids” bill. All three bills passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.

“Earlier this year, I was devastated to hear that an Arlington resident was struck and killed after an unfortunate collision on the Minuteman Bike path in Lexington,” said Senator Friedman. “Today, I voted in favor of bicyclists and pedestrian safety legislation to ensure that an accident like this never happens again.”

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Burlington to dedicate bridge to Lance Cpl. MacDonald

Burlington will celebrate Memorial Day weekend in a special way this year as the town will come together to recognize the service and sacrifice of Lance Cpl. Gregory E. MacDonald, a former resident of the town who died during the war in Iraq.

“Coming together as a community for this bridge dedication is the perfect way for us to commemorate Memorial Day,” Friedman said. “The Cambridge Street bridge will serve as a constant reminder of Greg’s unwavering service and dedication to our country that the Town of Burlington will always honor and cherish.”

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Senate passes legislation to ban conversion therapy, “Lift the Cap” on kids, and protect women’s health

BOSTON – On March 28, the Massachusetts Senate passed legislation that reaffirms the Commonwealth’s commitment to providing support for women, members of the LGBTQ community, and children and families in need. The Senate also gave final approval to a $135.9 million supplemental budget for the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19).

“The Senate showed its strong commitment today to our children and families, LGBTQIA+ community, and women by repealing an outdated policy that hurts families, banning an ineffective, inhumane and morally wrong therapy practice, and protecting vital access to family planning and reproductive healthcare services for over 75,000 residents.” said Senator Friedman (D-Arlington). “I’m grateful for Senate President Spilka and my Senate colleagues for keeping these initiatives at the forefront of our legislative agenda this session.”

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Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators Ushers in a New Session

BOSTON – The 191st legislative session of the Massachusetts General Court is underway on Beacon Hill with a record number of women represented in the first year class. The House of Representatives welcomes 12 women among its 23 new legislators. In the Senate, 3 of the 5 newly elected Senators are women. The Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators, a bicameral and bipartisan group of legislators, is chaired this session by Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington) and Representative Liz Malia (D-Boston).

“As Senate chair of the caucus, I look forward to working with caucus members to push our agenda forward and elevate important issues that impact the well-being of women across the Commonwealth,” said Senator Friedman. “I am encouraged and hopeful that we can build on the success of last session to accomplish many of our shared goals this session.”  

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Senate Passes Fiscal Year 2019 Supplemental Budget

BOSTON – On March 7, Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington) joined her colleagues in passing a supplemental budget for Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19), which includes $143.9 million in spending to address deficiencies, as well as implement policy and spending items that are time-sensitive. The proposal is $21.4 million less than what Governor Baker originally proposed in January.

“This supplemental budget takes vital steps to provide important protections for our children and families, low-income residents, and sexual assault survivors,” said Senator Friedman, Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “I want to thank Chairman Rodrigues for pushing this supplemental budget forward in a fiscally responsible manner while upholding our values in the Senate to ensure that every family has equitable access to critical benefits and resources.”

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