BOSTON – Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington) was recently named Legislator of the Year by the Massachusetts Psychological Association (MPA) for her work on behalf of those with mental illness, substance use disorder and behavioral health issues. In addition, Friedman was presented with the 2018 Mitch Snyder Award from the First Church Shelter of Cambridge for her efforts on the comprehensive opioid treatment bill that was signed into law this summer.
“As we continue to address the opioid crisis in Massachusetts, it is imperative that we strive each day to ensure that every individual who is in need of mental health and substance use care has access to effective treatment and a real path to recovery,” said Senator Friedman, co-chair of the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use, and Recovery. “Moving forward, I am wholeheartedly committed to doing everything I can to help save more lives and improve our system of care for all. Thank you to the Mass. Psychological Association and First Church for recognizing my work and for striving each and every day to better the lives of those most vulnerable in our Commonwealth.”
BOSTON – On November 8, a civics education bill was signed into law by the Governor which would promote and enhance civics education in public schools across the Commonwealth. The bill, S2631, An Act to promote and enhance civic engagement, is a result of a conference committee made up of several legislators, including Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington).
“As a member of the Civics Education conference committee, I’m very pleased that it was signed into law today,” said Senator Friedman. “It is vitally important for the future leaders of the world to understand the value of our nation’s history and learn how they can participate in the democratic process to ensure that their voices are heard.”
BOSTON – On October 29, Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington) was appointed Senate chair of the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators by Senate President Karen Spilka (D-Ashland). The caucus was previously chaired by Senator Linda Dorcena Forry (D-Boston), who recently left the Senate to serve as Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Relations at Suffolk Construction.
“I’m so grateful that Senate President Spilka has given me the opportunity to serve as chair of this very important caucus,” said Senator Friedman. “I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance the Caucus of Women Legislators’ agenda by fighting for initiatives that will ensure equal pay for equal work, stop sexual harassment in the workplace, and ensure equitable access to healthcare.”
(BOSTON) – Representative Ken Gordon (D-Bedford) joined his colleagues in the House to pass a bill that would rename a bridge on Cambridge Street in Burlington the Lance Corporal Gregory E. MacDonald Memorial Bridge. Marine LCpl Gregory MacDonald of Burlington gave his life serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The bill is now pending before the Senate where Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington) is working to get it passed.
“As we approach Veterans Day, it is only appropriate that we remember those who have put their lives on the line to secure our freedom,” said Senator Friedman. “Greg is one of those individuals, and we should be forever grateful for the ultimate sacrifice he made for our nation and all that he contributed to our community.”
BOSTON — Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington) recently joined her legislative colleagues in passing a sweeping $1 billion Economic Development Bill, calling for targeted investments in workforce training programs and job creation through ambitious public infrastructure projects.
“With additional grants to support workforce training and education, more workers will have access to opportunities that will lead to good jobs in high-demand industries, further energizing our economy and strengthening our communities,” said Friedman, a member of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development. “This bill demonstrates the Commonwealth’s commitment to supporting our workforce and creating an economy that works for everyone.”
BOSTON – On July 31, the Massachusetts Legislature passed H.4742, providing an additional set of tools to address the opioid crisis and establishing the Commonwealth as a national leader in the fight against this epidemic. Among the provisions included in the bill are increasing access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT), exploring tools to reduce harm and save lives, expanding prevention efforts, and addressing the high rates of co-occurring conditions of substance use disorder (SUD) and mental illness.
The bill, An Act for prevention and access to appropriate care and treatment of addiction, is the result of extensive work researching evidence-based best practices and collaborating with healthcare researchers and clinicians, hospitals, behavioral health providers, law enforcement officials, patient advocates and individuals with lived experience, to develop policies to address the opioid epidemic.
BOSTON – Today, the Massachusetts Senate passed S.2609, providing an additional set of tools to address the opioid crisis and establishing the Commonwealth as a national leader in the fight against this epidemic. Among the provisions included in the bill are increasing access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT), exploring tools to reduce harm and save lives, expanding education and prevention efforts, and addressing the high rates of co-occurring conditions of substance use disorder (SUD) and mental illness.
“Despite efforts to suppress the opioid crisis, families across the Commonwealth continue to lose their loved ones to substance use disorder,” said Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington), Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery. “This legislation builds upon the work the state has done around opioid misuse and prevention and provides another set of tools to reduce harm, save lives, and increase access to evidence-based treatment. We have a major epidemic on our hands and we have to use everything at our disposal to cure this disease.”
BOSTON – Today, Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington) joined her Senate colleagues in voting to pass H.4671, An Act automatically registering eligible voters and enhancing safeguards against fraud. The legislation creates a framework in which eligible voters will be automatically registered to vote when receiving services from the Registry of Motor vehicles, MassHealth, and other participating state agencies. The framework will be overseen and implemented by the Secretary of State.
“Nearly 700,000 residents are eligible to vote in Massachusetts, yet persistent barriers and confusion about the registration process make it more difficult for people to register to vote,” said Senator Friedman. “We should be making it easier for people to exercise their right to vote, not harder. This bill will ensure that eligible voters have fair and equal access to our state election process, encourage greater participation in the political process, increase voter turnout and ultimately strengthen our democracy.”
BOSTON – Today, the Massachusetts Senate unanimously passed S.2592, An Act relative to the Massachusetts teachers retirement system, sponsored by Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington). The bill would improve the enrollment process for new members of the Massachusetts Teachers Retirement System (MTRS) or new teacher members of the Boston Retirement System (BRS) who have previous creditable service in another Massachusetts contributory retirement system.
“Nearly 2,000 members of the MTRS and BRS may have been impacted by confusion on an election notice to opt-in to the Retirement Plus program,” said Senator Friedman, Senate vice chair of the Joint Committee on Public Service. “The purpose of this legislation is to create a more streamlined and transparent process for those who wish to participate in the program and avoid any misunderstanding about enrollment in the future.”
BOSTON – On June 28, Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington) joined her Senate colleagues in passing a number of bills, including legislation that would require cable companies to provide High Definition (HD) capability to local Community Access channels to enhance the viewer’s experience and likelihood of accessing Public, Education and Government (PEG) programming.
“Keeping our residents engaged and informed is vitally important for the strength of our democracy,” said Friedman. “Making local news more accessible and appealing to our residents by switching to HD will boost civic engagement, allow our residents to have a more direct role in their communities, and benefit our Commonwealth as a whole.”