Legislature Advances Fair Share Amendment

June 12, 2019 – (BOSTON) – During a constitutional convention this week, Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington) joined her colleagues in voting to begin the process of amending the Massachusetts Constitution to place an additional 4 percent tax on annual taxable income in excess of $1 million to generate revenues for transportation and educational investments.

“The revenue raised by the Fair Share Amendment will allow our Commonwealth to make much-needed investments in public transportation and public education,” said Senator Friedman. “There is widespread public agreement that this initiative is the most effective and fair way to increase funding for our public schools, make higher education more affordable, and improve our crumbling transportation infrastructure. I was proud to work with my colleagues to move this important amendment to the next stage of the process.”

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Legislature passes bill to help cities and towns repair roads and bridges

BOSTON – Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington) recently joined her colleagues in passing the so-called “Chapter 90” bond bill to fund local road and bridge repairs, and to continue the legislature’s ongoing commitment to invest in local communities. 

“When the winter season comes to a close, our roads and bridges across the Commonwealth are in desperate need of repair,” said Senator Friedman. “This program allows our cities and towns to fund local projects to improve our damaged infrastructure right at the start of construction season. I’m proud to have worked with my colleagues to secure funding to support these essential projects in our community.”

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Single-payer health insurance: discussion heats up in Massachusetts

Lawmakers on Beacon Hill Tuesday will hold a hearing on a proposal to overhaul the state’s health care system with a single-payer “Medicare-for-All” concept, an idea that is gaining traction with some of the Democratic candidates for president. The measure would remove private insurance companies in favor of direct payment by state government to health care providers.

“This hearing will give the public an opportunity to provide their input on an important initiative that must be a part of the discussion as we continue to find ways to mend our broken health care system in Massachusetts,” committee co-chairman Sen. Cindy Friedman, D-Arlington, said in a statement to the Daily News. “I look forward to hearing testimony from the public and continuing the conversation on how we can work together to address inequities in health care so that our system works better for everyone.”

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I support the ROE Act – here’s why.

I have received numerous phone calls and emails from many of you regarding the ROE Act (S.1209), a bill filed by my colleague, Senate President Emerita Harriette Chandler. I would like to take this time to outline my support for the bill, clarify what the bill seeks to accomplish, and address some of the concerns and misconceptions regarding the bill.

Please take a moment to read my statement on why I support the ROE Act and if you have not done so already, read the full text of the bill on the Massachusetts Legislature website. In addition, feel free to share my statement with your friends and neighbors in our community. 

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Friedman votes on legislation to prevent distracted driving, enhance public safety

BOSTON – On June 6, 2019, Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington) joined her colleagues in unanimously passing legislation to prohibit the use of handheld mobile devices while driving.

“The passage of this bill is a commonsense measure that reaffirms our commitment to enhancing public safety in the Commonwealth,” said Senator Friedman. “This legislation would require drivers to use only hands-free devices while behind the wheel as well as help to reduce the many tragic accidents and injuries that result from distracted driving.  The use of hand-held cellphones while driving is not only a danger to motorists, but to passengers and pedestrians as well, and I’m proud that we took action today to protect our communities and keep our roads safe.”

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Low pay, debt creates crisis in human services workforce

BOSTON – With stagnant wages, frequent turnover and the growing pressure of student loan debt, human services providers face a staffing crunch that leaves them without sufficient resources to meet the needs of the state’s most vulnerable populations, advocates told lawmakers Tuesday.

More than a dozen bills were before the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities for a hearing, but a common theme ran through many of them: addressing the plight of service employees who, despite helping those with significant physical and mental needs, cannot make ends meet.

“This is an incredibly important issue,” said state Sen. Cindy Friedman, D-Arlington, the bill’s Senate sponsor. “We are facing a very serious workforce crisis.”

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Arlington student honored at State House in Letters About Literature award ceremony

An Arlington student was among those honored at the annual Letters About Literature awards ceremony on May 23 in the Reading Room of the State Library at the Massachusetts State House.

Willa McMaken-Marsh, a sixth grader at Gibbs School, received Honors in Level 1 for grades 4-6 for her letter to Patricia Polacco about “In Our Mothers’ House.” Willa also received State House citations and personal congratulations from Sen. Cindy Friedman and Rep. Sean Garballey. After the ceremony, she and her family were able to observe deliberations in the Senate chamber at Friedman’s invitation.

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$5 million proposal by Massachusetts Senate would expand needle exchange programs, increase access to Narcan

House and Senate budget negotiators on Wednesday will begin settling a wide range of spending differences in the annual state spending plan, but in doing so they will also face major decisions about a series of potentially life-saving measures.

Senate negotiators on a six-member conference committee will try to convince their House colleagues to agree to a $5 million program aimed at reducing the death toll from the opioid epidemic.

“Those things that you see are very much all evidence-based because this is what the commission found,” said Sen. Cindy Friedman, who sat on the Harm Reduction Commission. “Without that commission, we certainly wouldn’t have the understanding and the evidence that these things work. I think that was a major part.”

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Giving back to the district – big wins in the Senate budget!

I recently joined my Senate colleagues in voting on a $42.8 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20). This budget reflects the values of the Commonwealth by continuing to make strong investments in healthcare cost and accessibility, mental health services, workforce development, education, and regional empowerment.

I’m especially pleased that this budget includes several investments I requested on behalf of my constituents in Arlington, Billerica, Burlington, Lexington and Woburn as well as numerous policy-related priorities.

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Friedman secures critical investments in FY20 Senate budget to support 4th Middlesex communities

BOSTON – On May 24, Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington) joined her Senate colleagues in voting on a $42.8 billion budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 (FY20), making substantial investments in key areas related to healthcare cost and accessibility, mental health services, public education, and regional empowerment. This budget also includes several local budget priorities secured by Friedman.

“Most notably, this Senate budget reflects our strong commitment to increasing access to quality, affordable health care, ensuring that every student has the opportunity to receive a quality education, and expanding access to behavioral health services,” said Senator Cindy F. Friedman, Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “As our state continues to grapple with the opioid crisis, I’m especially proud that this budget makes strong investments in mental health treatment and harm reduction initiatives to ensure more resources for families and their loved ones. I want to thank Chair Rodrigues and Senate President Spilka for their leadership, hard work, and collaboration during this process and for facilitating a thoughtful and efficient debate.”

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