The Massachusetts legislative session features more than 5,000 bills filed each cycle. Here is a rundown of some of the priority legislation we will be actively involved with this year and beyond:
Legislation that we support:
- House Bill 1107, An Act Relative to Sanctuary Cities and Towns seeks to end the practice of sanctuary cities in Massachusetts by denying unrestricted government aid to any city that provides safe haven to criminal illegal aliens. The bill ensure that tax dollars are not being spent to aid any of the six sanctuary cities and towns in Massachusetts that are harboring criminals. In 2015 these six communities received over $90,000,000 in general government aid from the taxpayers of Massachusetts. At the same time these communities were choosing to ignore federal immigration laws and protect illegal aliens, allowing them to continue to live among us, jeopardizing public safety. Read our Issue Brief on this topic HERE.
- House Bill 2321: An Act to Secure the Safety of the Citizens of the Commonwealth: This bill would repeal the dangerous Bathroom and Locker room law passed in 2016. While the repeal of this bill will be on the ballot in 2018, legislators and candidates can advocate for BH 2321 in the meantime. This bill would restore access of sex-segregated facilities that is based on an individual’s anatomical sex of male or female, rather than that individual’s claimed “gender identity.” This would protect our public schools and business owners, as well as women at fitness centers and in retail store changing rooms. Additional details and fact sheets about the Bathroom and Locker room law can be found at our ballot question website: www.KeepMASafe.org.
- House Bill 2671: An Act Relative to State Funding of Certain Non-Profits: This legislation directs our tax dollars for women’s health care and abortion services specifically to the hundreds of community health centers in MA and away from abortion mill Planned Parenthood, effectively defunding the abortion giant without restricting women’s access to any services. Planned Parenthood as a provider has been shown to disregard the health and well-being of women, and to alter their abortion procedures in risky fashions to obtain intact fetal tissue to sell illegally (see fact sheet HERE). They’re under investigation by both Congress and the FBI, and over a dozen other states have defunded them. This legislation would redirect our health care dollars to providers that do not engage in these activities. Read our Executive Director’s op ed about this issue HERE.
- House Bill 2364: An Act Protecting the Rights of Workers: This legislation would make Massachusetts a “right to work” state, by prohibiting compulsory union membership as a condition for employment. Right to work states usually see faster economic growth, more job creation, and higher worker earnings. Read our Issue Brief on this topic HERE.
- House Bill 900: An Act Titled Justina’s Law: The tragic case of Justina Pelletier demanded a response to prevent such a violation of parental rights from occurring again. This bill stipulates that a parent cannot be charged with medical abuse or neglect if their child is receiving treatment from a licensed health provider. Read the coverage of Justina’s lawsuit against Children’s Hospital HERE, and the Massachusetts Family Institute Issue Brief about this topic HERE.
- House Bill 250, An Act to Ensure and Maintain high education standards for Massachusetts Children, this is the same language as the former Initiative Petition to End Common Core, which would restore our more academically rigorous pre-2010 standards and put us back on track to being the best education system in the country. The bill would nullify the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education’s 2010 vote to adopt the national education standards, Common Core. The state would continue using its own standards and MCAS assessment. The current standards will be reviewed and updated through a committee chaired by the Lieutenant Governor and consisting of educators, teachers, administrators, school committee members, parents and concerned citizens. Read our Issue Brief on this topic HERE.
- House Bill 936 An Act Relative to a Woman’s Right to Know (aka Laura’s Law) This bill would require that abortion clinics provide women, seeking their services, a 24 hour waiting period, information about pre-natal care and alternatives for assistance and adoption.
- House Bill 102 An Act Relative to Proof of Residency –This bill would require that proof of residence be provided to access taxpayer-funded benefits such as public housing, transitional assistance (AKA welfare benefits). Current law allows for “self-declaration” of citizenship and residency to obtain benefits.
- House Docket 2423 An Act Relative to Medicaid Fees – Filed by Rep. Jim Lyons. This bill would enact three reforms to rein in Medicaid costs. It would prohibit individuals offered private insurance through their employers from declining that insurance to go on Mass Health. It would require MassHealth beneficiaries above the poverty level to contribute to the cost of their health care by paying premiums, and it would require that MassHealth beneficiaries be employed or actively seeking employment.
- House Bill 1211 An Act to Advance the Safety of Women seeking to terminate a pregnancy – Filed by Rep. Elizabeth Poirier. Also known as the “Woman’s Safety Act,” this bill seeks to have any unlicensed, non-hospital facilities in Massachusetts that perform 10 or more abortions annually be classified as a “clinic” and, thus, required to obtain a license and periodic safety inspection. Currently, these facilities are not subject to basic health and safety inspections.
Submitted bills that we oppose:
- House Bill 3269, Senate Bill 1305, the Safe Communities Act, this bill that would impose sanctuary policies on all Massachusetts law enforcement agencies. The bill would obstruct ICE from doing even the little enforcement that they now do targeting illegal aliens by: 1) prohibiting state and local law enforcement agencies from holding criminal aliens who have been arrested that ICE is seeking to deport; 2) prohibiting state and local LEAs from allowing ICE into jails and prisons; 3) prohibiting state and local LEAs from notifying ICE when a criminal alien is scheduled for release; and 4) prohibiting state and local LEAs from transporting criminal aliens to ICE custody. Read our Issue Brief on this topic HERE.
- House Bill 2960, An Act Relative to Confidential Health Care (aka Secret abortions bill). This legislation would prohibit insurance companies explanation of benefits notices from being sent to policy holders if the insured accessed sensitive, “confidential” health care services. For example, a woman on her husband’s insurance, or a girl on her father’s insurance could use that insurance to pay for her abortion or birth control, and he could not be notified. Read our Issue Brief on this topic HERE.
- HB 1194, An Act Relative to End of Life options (aka Assisted Suicide): If approved, Massachusetts would follow Oregon, Washington and Montana in allowing doctors to prescribe an intentional overdose so patients can commit suicide. In 2012 assisted suicide was defeated at the polls in MA, despite tremendous effort from the pro-suicide forces, and we will continue to hold the line against this push towards euthanasia in the legislature.
- HB 2053 An Act Relative to Healthy Youth, the Health Curriculum Frameworks (mandating sex-education in all public schools grades K-12): There is no consensus on content or age-appropriateness when it comes to sex education. This bill would force a state-mandated health curriculum on every public school in the Commonwealth, thereby eliminating choice for parents and autonomy for local school boards on what their children would be taught with respect to sexuality, contraception and abortion.