The following is a press release from State Rep. Jack Patrick Lewis, who represents all of the Town of Ashland and six of the 18 Precincts in the City of Framingham.
FRAMINGHAM – The period of bill filing and co-sponsorships is one of the busiest and most enjoyable times of the legislative year.
During the first weeks of January, around 6,000 bills are filed. House members then have until the end of January to review the bills and decide which they would like to co-sponsor.
This year I am sponsoring 29 pieces of legislation, and as of last Friday’s bill filing deadline, I am also co- sponsoring 702 bills.
I filed legislation to provide greater support in the form of tax breaks to low-income seniors and veterans (HD1215, HD1216, HD1217), as it is crucial that these people receive the support they deserve.
In addition, I also filed legislation to close a major loophole in our state’s sales tax system (HD1052 – “An Act Relative to the Repeal of the Sales Tax Exemption for Aircraft”).
I am working with the Children’s League of Massachusetts in filing HD1227 – “An Act Expanding Access to Adoption.”
Massachusetts is one of only two states that does not allow individuals to adopt their own relatives. This bill would remove the arbitrary limits on such adoptions.
On education, I am supporting the full implementation of the Foundation Review Commission as it relates to more equitable funding of our local public schools.
I am working with local parents in filing HD3742 – “An Act Relative
to Student Identification Cards.” If passed, this bill would require that schools print the numbers of crisis and suicide hotlines on all student ID cards.
I also filed legislation to encourage greater civic participation (HD1911), mandate school curriculum include discussions on consent and healthy relationships (HD3550), and expand youth access to public health services (HD1945).
Concerning climate change and green energy jobs, I am working with Environment Massachusetts and co- sponsoring HD2890, “An Act Increasing Rooftop Solar.” This bill would follow the lead of California, France, and
Watertown, Massachusetts, by requiring the placement of solar panels on most new construction.
I am again partnering with the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) in filing a bill to study the process of how medically-trained professionals obtain licensing in Massachusetts – including those who can no longer live in their place of birth due to their past cooperation with the U.S. military. The bill is HD1231, “An Act to Increase Access to Healthcare in Underserved Areas of Massachusetts.”
Social service providers play a vital role in our state and employ thousands. This year, I am partnering with the Provider’s Council to file HD1235, “An Act Relative to Health Insurance for Human Services Workers.”
With the cost of health insurance rising, this legislation would provide superior cost-saving options to hardworking employees.
Additional Bills Sponsored
HD. 1930 – An Act Concerning the Use of Certain Insurance Underwriting Guidelines Pertaining to Dogs Harbored
Upon Insured Property
HD. 1936 – An Act to Prohibit Housing Discrimination Against Responsible Dog Owners
HD. 3550 – An Act Relative to Empowering Massachusetts Students to End Sexual Violence
HD. 3713 – An Act Concerning the Use of Animals in Product Testing