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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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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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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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.”

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Lawmakers stand with advocates, call for increased access to continuous care for kids with medically complex needs

BOSTON – On May 14, Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington), Woburn resident Angela Ortiz, Representative Rich Haggerty (D-Woburn), Representative Sean Garballey (D-Arlington), and Kris Newman of the Mass Developmental Disabilities Council testified at the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing public hearing in support of S.686, An Act to protect medically fragile kids.

“When over half of nurses leave homecare because the reimbursement is so low, children who need this help to survive suffer needlessly. At the same time, the state ends up spending far more dollars in expensive critical hospital or long-term care,” said Senator Friedman, Senate chair of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing. “The passage of this bill would be a step in the right direction toward helping parents get their child access to high quality, consistent nursing care that they need.”

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Friedman demands action on wage theft legislation

BOSTON – On May 14, Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington) testified before the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development in support of S.1066, An Act to prevent wage theft, promote employer accountability, and enhance public enforcement, sponsored by Senator Sal N. DiDomenico (D-Cambridge).

“Thousands of workers are stripped of their hard-earned wages every year in Massachusetts,” said Senator Friedman, a member of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development. “This illegal practice has continually impacted our workers, their families, and our communities, and it’s time for it to end. This important bill takes necessary steps to impose worker protections to prevent wage theft and hold employers accountable, ensuring that every worker receives the pay they are entitled to.”

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Arlington High Student and State Senator Testify on Mushroom Bill

BOSTON – On May 7, Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington) and Arlington High School sophomore Liam Nokes appeared together at a State House public hearing to testify in support of legislation before the Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight. Sponsored by Senator Friedman, the bill, S.1848, would designate the “Giant Puffball” fungus as the official mushroom of the Commonwealth.

“Liam is extremely smart and articulate – you only have to talk with him for a few minutes to be convinced that the Giant Puffball mushroom is an ideal state mushroom for the Commonwealth,” said Friedman. “He’s also provided a wealth of information and sources to support this claim.”

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Senate Ways and Means Releases FY20 Budget Recommendations

BOSTON– On May 7, the Senate Committee on Ways and Means announced a $42.7 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20).  The budget recommends targeted investments to provide access to opportunity and economic vitality across the Commonwealth, and includes several local earmarks and budget priorities secured by Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington).

“This budget reflects the values of the Commonwealth by continuing to make strong investments in education, healthcare cost and accessibility, and workforce development,” said Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington), Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “I applaud Chairman Rodrigues and Senate President Spilka for both the content and the process utilized in producing this budget. I look forward to participating in healthy debate alongside my colleagues in the coming weeks.”

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Friedman takes action on road safety, Gender X, and “Lift the Cap on Kids” legislation

BOSTON — On April 25, Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington) joined her colleagues in passing legislation to enhance road safety for cyclists and pedestrians, establish a non-binary option for gender on drivers’ licenses and birth certificates, and lift the so-called “Cap on Kids,” overriding Governor Baker’s recent veto of the “cap on kids” bill. All three bills passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.

“Earlier this year, I was devastated to hear that an Arlington resident was struck and killed after an unfortunate collision on the Minuteman Bike path in Lexington,” said Senator Friedman. “Today, I voted in favor of bicyclists and pedestrian safety legislation to ensure that an accident like this never happens again.”

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