2019 - Year in Review
Greetings from Beacon Hill!
I can hardly believe it’s been a year since my inauguration, and what a year it’s been. A year of tremendous growth and learning, and also great successes and accomplishments. I am incredibly proud of all we’ve done in such a short time. A few highlights, in no particular order:
I visited public high schools covering more than half the district to meet with administrators, teachers, counselors, and students, to learn from them how to best support our public education system. I also hosted an education funding forum and listening session for constituents and education stakeholders in the district, featuring Senator Jason Lewis, Senate Chair of the Education Committee. Senator Lewis took our district’s comments into consideration when crafting the Student Opportunity Act, now passed into law.
I’m doing my duty to support parenting parity with my bill to require fully and equitably accessible diaper changing stations! We’ve got a lot of messes to clean up; let’s start with the diapers. On the earlier side of the parenting spectrum, I also got my bill (filed with Chairwoman Kay Khan) to license and regulate certified professional midwives passed successfully out of the Public Health Committee!
Staying true to my commitment to transparency, I stand to support every request for a roll call vote. Every single one.
After months of researching the extent of the flaws in our Commonwealth’s immunizations public health infrastructure, I filed the Community Immunity Act with Leader Paul Donato in the House. My team and I assembled a robust slate of organizational endorsers from the medical, public health, social work, and education fields, generating meaningful and credible testimony at the December Public Health Committee hearing. We also crafted and implemented a robust media strategy to gain support and momentum for this comprehensive public health reform bill. My op-ed was published in the Boston Globe and many statewide newspapers, radio stations, and TV outlets have covered the bill. Stay tuned for more. A conversation about immunization law and policy is now unfolding across the Commonwealth, the likes of which has not happened here in decades.
I gave several notable floor speeches this year, two of which were picked up by local news outlets and spread widely on social media. The first, my #375Mwishlist speech during budget season, addressed the need for restoring the Commonwealth’s previous corporate tax rate. The second, my primary elections speech during the Supplemental Budget debate, underscored why we should move the Commonwealth’s primary date from September (latest in the nation) to June and included a large visual aid!
I attended every Senate formal session, and voted with colleagues in favor of many bills that are now law, including banning flavored vaping products, increasing transparency in campaign finance, prohibiting the abusive practice of “conversion therapy” on minors to attempt to change their sexual orientation, providing $8,000,000 in supplemental funds to ensure tens of thousands of people in Massachusetts could continue accessing reproductive health and family planning services once Trump’s gag rule went into effect, and lifing the cap on welfare benefits for children. (We overrode Governor Baker’s veto on that last one.) In addition, my fellow Senators and I voted to ban plastic bags and toxic flame retardants.
I’m looking forward to plenty more progress in 2020, and I remain deeply grateful and profoundly honored to represent our district and serve in the Senate. Thank you.
As we embark upon a new year and a new decade, all of us in the #BeccaBunch wish you and yours happiness, health, success, and sweetness in the years to come.
Yours in service,