BOSTON – Burlington area businesses have a reason to celebrate the new year, as the Middlesex 3 Coalition, Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington) and Representative Ken Gordon (D-Bedford) have secured funding necessary to establish a shuttle service that will allow local restaurants to fill hundreds of job openings with otherwise unemployed workers from Lowell.
“Burlington has such a vibrant local economy and a wide variety of successful businesses,” said Sen. Friedman. “This program will be another opportunity for those businesses to access the workforce they need to succeed, ultimately strengthening our local and regional economies. Moreover, it will alleviate the traffic that congests our roads by transporting hundreds of workers into town, without requiring each of them to drive their own cars.”
BOSTON — On December 31, the Massachusetts State Senate closed out the 2017–2018 legislative session with action on a number of bills, spanning issues such as public safety, education, and consumer data protection, among other things. The Senate also passed a supplemental budget designed to address time-sensitive funding needs.
“I’m proud of all that we were able to accomplish together in the Senate this session,” said Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington). “I want to thank all of my colleagues, especially Senate President Karen Spilka and Senate President Emerita Harriette Chandler, for working hard until the final minutes of 2018 to enhance public safety, improve education, and protect consumers. I look forward to building on the work we did this session.”
BOSTON – On December 20, the Massachusetts State Senate passed legislation to extend unemployment benefits for locked-out National Grid workers for up to 26 additional weeks, or until National Grid workers are no longer locked out, whichever comes first. The benefits would be part of the existing unemployment insurance (UI) system.
“National Grid workers have been locked out of their jobs without healthcare benefits for several months, placing an unnecessary burden on their families and threatening public safety,” said Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington), member of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development. “This bill takes vital steps to prevent locked-out workers and their families from experiencing economic troubles as they continue contract negotiations with National Grid. It is my hope that the two parties can come to a fair agreement with a sense of urgency so that workers can return to their jobs.”
WOBURN – On December 18, Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington) visited NeuroMetrix, a company in Woburn that develops wearable medical technology and point-of-care diagnostics to help patients and physicians better manage chronic pain, nerve disorders, and associated sleep disturbances. NeuroMetrix is the manufacturer of Quell, an FDA-approved, over-the-counter weareable therapeutic device for chronic pain.
“I was pleased to visit NeuroMetrix in Woburn and learn about the technology currently being manufactured to serve as a means to treat chronic pain without a prescription,” said Friedman, co-chair of the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery. “As we continue to address the over-prescription of opioids in our state, it is important that we look for additional ways for chronic pain patients to get the treatment that they need, and products like Quell are an interesting and innovative alternative.”
BOSTON – On December 13, the Massachusetts Senate passed legislation to ensure confidentiality for first responders when participating in peer support services following critical incidents. The bill, which had already passed the Senate unanimously earlier this year, returned to the Chamber after an amendment was offered by the House of Representatives.
“Our first responders can often experience high levels of stress, caused by the dangerous circumstances they can experience while doing their job,” said Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington). “This bill will help our firefighters, law enforcement officers, and paramedics get confidential access to mental health services that they need without fear of stigma. I’m grateful that my colleagues have made it a priority to put vital protections in place for the individuals who protect us every day.”
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.”