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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SENATE WRAPS UP 2017–2018 SESSION Press Release

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.”

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Senate Passes Legislation Extending Unemployment Insurance for Locked-out National Grid Workers Press Release

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.”

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Friedman visits Woburn NeuroMetrix facility Press Release

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.”

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Massachusetts Senate Passes Bill to Support First Responders Press Release

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.”

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