As vice chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, I recently had the pleasure of serving on the six-member conference committee to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate versions of the Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) state budget. The committee reached consensus last week on a compromise spending plan for the new fiscal year that began on July 1, and it was approved by both legislative chambers on July 22. Having passed the House and Senate, the legislation now moves to the Governor’s desk for his review. He has 10 days to review the budget and issue any vetoes.
This $43.1 billion budget makes substantial investments in education, physical and behavioral health care, housing, and local aid, and it includes several key investments to support programs and services for our district and the Commonwealth.
Senator Friedman recently appeared on ACMi to discuss the FY20 budget process, her new role as vice chair of the Senate Ways and Means committee, Chapter 70 education funding, the Fair Share amendment, our public transportation crisis, and much more.
Whether you take the Red Line from Alewife, ride the commuter rail from North Billerica or Woburn, board an MBTA bus throughout the many bus stops in our district, or avoid public transportation altogether because you are fed up with such inconsistent service, there are vital improvements we need to make in order to transition to a 21st century transportation system that works for everyone.
If we don’t take real action to solve these problems, we will continue to experience unreliable service, more derailments, over-crowded trains, and much more.
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.
I hope you are doing well and are looking forward to spring! I want to update you on all that I’ve been working on since the start of the year as well as outline my legislative priorities for the 2019-2020 legislative session.
At the start of the year, I was proud to file several bills that seek to address many of the issues the Commonwealth is facing today. These bills include proposals that expand access to mental healthcare, combat the opioid crisis, reform our criminal justice system, improve transportation infrastructure, address sexual harassment in the workplace, protect the public and gas workers from potentially dangerous gas leaks, and much more. I’m very proud of the work my office has devoted to these initiatives and I look forward to advocating for them throughout this legislative session.
BNEWS Director Rich Hosford sat down with Massachusetts State Sen. Cindy Friedman to discuss her first year and a half in office, her legislative goals and a number of issues important to Burlington residents including economic development, traffic, education and the opioid epidemic.
Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington) joined Steve Iverson of LexMedia to discuss her efforts to expand access to mental health treatment in Massachusetts, the important of having a robust local transportation system, and much more!
State Senator Cindy Friedman appeared on the Woburn Spotlight to provide a legislative update and discuss some of the work she has been doing in the Massachusetts Senate to benefit Woburn, the 4th Middlesex district and the Commonwealth. The interview included a discussion about what is being done on the state-level to address the opioid crisis, improve public education, advance workforce development, improve public transportation, and create more housing options for Massachusetts residents.
Since I was sworn into the Senate last July, it has been an honor to serve the people of the 4th Middlesex district and fight for policies that benefit everyone in Massachusetts. This session, I worked hard to move important legislative initiatives forward, secure vital resources for our district, and vote for bills that ensure Massachusetts continues to progress. I‘m especially proud that we passed a comprehensive Opioid Bill, raised the minimum wage to $15 per hour, and made substantial reforms to our criminal justice system. We accomplished a lot this session, but there is still much more work to do.