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Senate showed its strong commitment today to our children and families, LGBTQIA+ community, and women by repealing an outdated policy that hurts families, banning an ineffective, inhumane and morally wrong therapy practice, and protecting vital access to family planning and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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Friedman calls on MBTA to rescind fare hike proposal

BOSTON – Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington) recently submitted a letter opposing the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Fiscal and Management Control Board’s recent proposal to implement a 6.3 percent fare hike for T and commuter rail passengers.

“This is unacceptable for the roughly half a million people who need to travel to and from the greater Boston area each day to get to their jobs,” Friedman explained. “We should focus our efforts on fixing the T and commuter rail system so that it is more appealing to riders, rather than implementing unnecessary fare hikes that will discourage ridership further.”

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Friedman named chair of Health Care Financing and vice chair of Senate Ways and Means Committees

BOSTON – Today, Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington) was named Senate co-chair of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing by Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland) for the 2019-2020 legislative session which began this January.

“I’m humbled and honored to have the opportunity to serve on these important committees,” said Friedman. “I am incredibly grateful to Senate President Karen Spilka for placing her trust in me with these duties and am excited to get to work. I look forward to a productive, impactful and successful legislative session with my colleagues as we continue to fight for key policy initiatives on behalf of our constituents.”

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Senate votes on legislative rules aimed at increasing transparency and addressing sexual harassment

BOSTON — Senator Cindy F. Friedman recently joined her colleagues in passing two rules reports updating the Senate and Joint Rules related to harassment, diversity, and transparency.

“Transparency and accountability are critical components of a well-functioning and effective government,” said Friedman. “We have set the tone for this legislative session with the passage of several key amendments aimed at addressing sexual harassment in the workplace and making sure that we conduct our business in a well-meaning, effective and honest manner.”

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Friedman and colleagues call for heating assistance to support low-income families as federal funds fall short

BOSTON– Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington) recently joined several of her legislative colleagues in calling on Governor Charlie Baker to assist state residents at risk of getting the cold shoulder from a federal funding shortfall in the low-income heating assistance program known as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which serves 160,000 households in the state.

“We are in the midst of some of the coldest months that residents experience in New England,” said Senator Friedman. “Without proper heating assistance, the health and safety of some of our most vulnerable neighbors will be at risk. We must act quickly to ensure that our residents are able to stay warm in their homes, especially while heating assistance is significantly reduced due to the federal government shutdown.”

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Friedman shows strong support for bold climate legislation in 2019 Press Release

BOSTON – Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington) recently joined over 80 of her legislative colleagues in uniting to support bold climate solutions in 2019. Friedman signed onto a statement circulated by Senator Marc R. Pacheco (D-Taunton) and Representative Ruth B. Balser (D-Newton) – A New Year’s Resolution: Committing to the Enactment and Implementation of Bold Climate Solutions in 2019 – which signals considerable commitment to climate action in the 2019-2020 legislative session.

“We must take real action to address the threat of climate change with a sense of urgency so that we can build a sustainable future for generations to come,” said Senator Friedman. “The federal government may fail to address, or even acknowledge, this threat to society, but Massachusetts will not.”

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Senator Friedman officially sworn into 191st Massachusetts General Court Press Release

BOSTON – On Wednesday, January 2, Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington) was officially sworn into the 191st General Court as state Senator representing the 4th Middlesex district. Friedman succeeded former state Senator Ken Donnelly on July 27, 2017, after he suddenly passed away from brain cancer. Friedman began her career as a legislator vowing to continue the great work Donnelly started.

“I’m thankful to my constituents in the 4th Middlesex for placing their trust in me to continue representing their interests in the Senate,” said Senator Friedman. “It has been a pleasure to collaborate with so many of you over the last year and a half to address many of the issues facing our district and the Commonwealth. I look forward to all that we accomplish together this session.”

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Final Funding Approved for Lowell to Burlington Restaurant Worker Shuttle Press Release

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.”

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