Election law reform

Senator Friedman has sponsored the following bills relative to election law reform in the 2019-2020 legislative session:

S404 An Act promoting political participation

  • Summary: This bill would remove barriers to political contributions by low-wage workers through a system of universal voluntary payroll deduction. It would further enable employees, even if they do not have a bank account, to make regular small voluntary contributions via payroll deductions to 501(c)(4) not-for-profit organizations and Political Action Committees (PACs).

S1849 An Act requiring public disclosure of certain gifts

  • Summary: This bill would create a new disclosure requirement for all state public employees who hold a major policy-making position, all state public office holders and all candidates for state public office. They would be required to report any gift of substantial value that they (or an immediate family member(s)) have given in connection with a matter within their official responsibilities. It would also prohibit any officer or employee of a state, county, or municipal agency from giving the appearance of undue influence or favoritism by contributing an undisclosed gift of substantial value in connection with a matter within the officer or employee’s official responsibilities.

Senator Friedman has co-sponsored the following bills relative to election law reform in the 2019-2020 legislative session:

H85 Proposal for a Legislative Amendment to the Constitution to Declare that Corporations are Not People, Money is Not Speech

  • Summary: This bill would propose a legislative amendment to the United States Constitution that affirms corporations are not people and money is not speech – thereby allowing the General Court regulatory authority over corporate campaign contributions.  

S383 An Act restoring financial transparency in presidential elections

  • Summary: Going back at least 38 years, every major party candidate for President of the United States has released his or her tax returns. This honorable tradition ended with the 2016 election.  Under this legislation, a presidential candidate who does not submit tax returns or a Statement of Financial Interests would be ineligible to appear on the relevant Massachusetts primary or general election ballot. 

S387 An Act relative to early voting in the 2020 presidential primary

  • Summary: This bill would allow for early voting in the Massachusetts 2020 presidential primary election.

S396 An Act relative to election day registration

  • Summary: This bill would allow otherwise eligible individuals to register to vote on the day of a general or primary election, or during an early voting period, provided that the individual complies with the identification and residency requirements.

S408 An Act supporting parents running for public office

  • Summary: Many working parents are discouraged from running for public office because of financial reasons.  This bill would clarify that child care expenses for times while campaigning are not considered personal expenses.

S414 An Act to use of ranked choice voting in elections

  • Summary: This legislation would implement ranked choice voting for all state and federal elections (except for President).

S420 An Act providing a local option for ranked choice voting in municipal elections

  • Summary: This bill would permit municipalities to conduct local elections using ranked choice voting.