Friedman votes on bills to promote health care access, support unions, and end child marriage

BOSTON – Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington) recently joined her colleagues in voting on legislation that would increase access to mental health care for patients in Massachusetts and bring the state one step closer toward mental health parity. She also voted in favor of legislation that would end child marriage in the Commonwealth and voted against an amendment offered by the Governor on a bill that protects a public unions’ ability to effectively represent all workers in labor agreements.

“Taking action to eliminate ghost networks in Massachusetts is long overdue. It’s extremely frustrating and shameful that individuals seeking mental health care in Massachusetts are often unable to find accurate, reliable information about available doctors through their insurance carrier,” said Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington), co-chair of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing. “I applaud the collaborative effort among elected officials, healthcare providers, patient advocates and insurers in getting this done so that we can ensure patients get the care they need in an efficient and timely manner.”

Read more

Friedman advocates for bill to protect children from toxic chemicals

BOSTON – On July 8, Senator Cindy F. Friedman, D-Arlington, testified before the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure on a bill she filed that would require the disclosure of toxic chemicals in children’s products. The bill was first filed in a previous session and spearheaded by Senator Ken Donnelly (D-Arlington) and former Representative Jay Kaufman (D-Lexington), and has since been championed by Friedman.

“This is a commonsense proposal that simply asks that information be made publicly available about what is in products that are intended to be used by and for children,” said Friedman. “The passage of this bill would be a step toward transitioning to safer alternatives and protecting the health, safety, and welfare of our children and other vulnerable populations in Massachusetts.”  

Read more

Burlington delegation advocates for affordable access to early education and childcare

BOSTON ­­–Representative Ken Gordon (D-Bedford) and Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington) are advocating for legislation they filed which would call for more affordable, accessible and high-quality early education and child care for families in the Commonwealth. Their bills, H.470 and S.288, which are identical, are part of an ongoing effort to make childcare more affordable and available to all parents in the state.

“There is an urgent need for more affordable access to early childcare and education in the Commonwealth,” said Friedman. “Working families across my district struggle to access quality childcare that meets their needs, creating unnecessary stress for parents. This bill is the first step in a long process to ensure that every Massachusetts parent can go to work and get their child the care they need at a rate they can afford.”

Read more

Friedman stands up for workers, votes on collective bargaining bill to support unions

BOSTON – Senator Cindy F. Friedman, D-Arlington, recently joined her colleagues in voting on legislation that would help protect a public unions’ ability to effectively represent all workers in labor agreements following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case Janus v. AFSCME.

“The Supreme Court’s ruling last year drastically restricted the ability of unions to organize and collectively bargain,” said Friedman. “I’m proud that the Senate has made it clear that our state supports the rights of unions and understands the benefits that they provide our workers. Working women and men across the Commonwealth should be able to fight for fair compensation and better work conditions, and this bill will help ensure that unions have the resources necessary to effectively advocate for them.”

Read more

Friedman advocates for greater protections against sexual harassment and discrimination

BOSTON – On June 17, Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington) testified before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary in support of a bill she filed that would address a loophole in Massachusetts law to ensure that sexual harassment and anti-discrimination laws extend to the investment community.

“There is a shortage of women in this industry, and we know very clearly that it is not due to the lack of smart, capable or creative women who are every bit equal to their male counterparts,” said Friedman. “We need more women in this pipeline and more women investing. We must empower them by providing necessary protections against sexual harassment and discrimination.”

Read more

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.”

Read more

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.”

Read more

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.”

Read more

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.”

Read more

Friedman advocates for legislation to increase political participation

BOSTON – On May 15, Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington) testified before the Joint Committee on Election Laws in support of legislation she filed that would remove barriers to political contributions by workers through a system of universal voluntary payroll deduction.

“While many residents across Massachusetts actively volunteer their time and energy for political and non-profit organizations, some of these residents face substantial obstacles to participating fully in the political life of their communities simply because they lack a credit card or a checking account,” said Senator Friedman. “Through this voluntary payroll deduction mechanism, low-income residents will have the opportunity to more fully engage in the political process and help shape the policies that affect their lives and communities.”

Read more