Senator Becca Rausch
Homelessness, Climate Change and the 2020 MA Budget
Greetings from Beacon Hill!
What a month. We kicked it off with July 4th festivities, including fireworks and a parade! My kids were particularly excited to ride in a bright red convertible.
Homelessness and An Act of Living
After the holiday weekend, my staff and I got right back to our legislative work. This month, I testified on two important social justice bills I filed: S.1013, to promote efficiency in co-parent adoptions and validate (rather than question) the existing parentage of same-sex couples, and S.76, to provide comprehensive civil rights and anti-discrimination protections for people experiencing homelessness, which we’re calling the Act of Living.
The Act of Living hearing was particularly powerful. We heard testimony from a woman who worked for decades as a higher education librarian, moved to the Boston area to take care of her family, and simply couldn’t afford to keep her housing given the high cost of living here and her fixed income in retirement. She talked about the very real discrimination she experienced because of her housing status.
This bill, which my team and I have been working on since the very beginning of the session, which we wrote from scratch, can change lives for the better. I am so proud of my staff for their tremendous work on the Act of Living, and pleased to partner with Representative Liz Miranda to turn this bill into law.
Climate change legislation
Legislative work this month also focused on climate change. I’m thrilled to share that on July 1, just inside our six-month mark in office, the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy issued a favorable report on S.2011, the bill I filed with Representative Maria Robinson to implement large building energy standards and related reporting requirements! I also chaired a pretty significant hearing of the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government; we heard hours of testimony on the complicated relationship between zoning law and the environment.
Massachusetts Budget FY2020
Also, as many of you probably know, we passed the budget! And we voted yesterday to end child marriage in our Commonwealth, increase transparency in health insurance, and ensure equal access to eye care. Important, strong public policies, and we did all the votes transparently, on the record. It was a good week indeed.
Please follow along on Twitter and Facebook, and don’t hesitate to call our office at 617-722-1555 or stop by Room 218 in the State House.
Yours in service,