March 11, 2020

Boston, MA -- Senator Becca Rausch (D-Needham) and Representative Adrian Madaro (D-Boston) filed SD. 2912/HD. 5026, An Act establishing vote by mail in 2020, a bill to implement comprehensive voting by mail for all statewide elections in 2020. The recent Wisconsin election and experiences in other states make clear thatMassachusetts must act now to safeguard the right to vote during the unprecedented COVID-19 public health crisis.


The 2020 Vote by Mail Act would expand existing early voting procedures in Massachusetts by mailing ballots to registered voters for both the September 1 primary election and the November 3 general election. For the general, every registered voter would receive a ballot. For the primary, every voter registered with a political party would automatically receive their party’s primary ballot; unenrolled voters may request a primary ballot for any political party. The legislation also maintains in-person voting options and requires that the state provide adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) for poll workers if the Governor’s COVID-19 state of emergency is in effect, or as the circumstances of the pandemic may necessitate. The vote by mail provisions of the bill will sunset at the close of 2020 and will not apply to future elections outside of this year.


While the automatic vote by mail provisions only apply to the statewide elections in 2020, some additional provisions will be permanent, including election day as a statewide holiday, funding sources, technological enhancements to the voting process, and allowing clerks and municipal elections departments to process early ballots before election day.


Senator Rausch said, “Free, open, and accessible elections are a central pillar of our democracy. We’re facing a global pandemic that makes traditional in-person voting seriously concerning if not downright dangerous, so we must proactively pursue alternative voting methods. We do this by expanding a process we already know to be viable in our Commonwealth. Under the 2020 Vote by Mail Act, every registered Massachusetts voter will receive a ballot that they can cast safely and securely, without jeopardizing their health or anyone else’s, knowing that their ballot will be counted. COVID-19 must not strip us of our right and ability to vote; we must protect our elections, especially in times of crisis. We cannot afford to wait and see how the rest of this pandemic period unfolds.”


“As we look toward an uncertain future in the midst of the COVID-19 emergency, we must be prepared to safeguard the vital civic institution of our elections against all possibility of disruption," said Rep. Madaro. "At the beginning of the legislative session last year, I filed the only bill that would guarantee all Massachusetts voters the right to request their ballots by mail. Now, I am proud to co-file the 2020 Vote by Mail Act to protect our elections in the midst of this crisis. By providing each Massachusetts voter with an early voting mail ballot, we know that we are protecting their right to vote no matter what September or November brings. Mail voting already works in Massachusetts; we process thousands of mail-in absentee ballots every election with no issue. No matter what path this pandemic takes, the 2020 Vote by Mail Act will ensure Massachusetts residents are prepared and able to vote this fall.”


The bill provides that the costs of expanded early voting by mail will be handled by the state, in substantial part by using federal funds already on hand, appropriated to the state under the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). The legislature would appropriate additional funds as needed to cover implementation costs after HAVA funds have been exhausted. The sponsors look to the Congressional delegation to protect the full functionality of the United States Postal Service, critical to a vote by mail system.


March 11, 2020

Boston, MA -- Today a group of 16 bicameral, bipartisan lawmakers from across the Commonwealth issued the below letter to Governor Baker, calling on him to issue a directive to close all early education centers and K-12 schools. The letter is attached (press the read more button).


Eating disorder experts, public health researchers, other advocates ask legislators to pass bill prohibiting body size discrimination

March 11, 2020

BOSTON – Today Senator Becca Rausch (D-Needham) and Representative Tram Nguyen (D-Andover) convened a group of advocates, eating disorder experts, and public health researchers at the State House to educate and lobby lawmakers in favor of the legislators’ bill to prohibit body size discrimination (S.1012/H.3413).

Weight stigma and discrimination persist in many settings, including healthcare, housing, education, and the workplace. Research shows that children subjected to body shaming face an increased risk of developing an eating disorder. Affecting 30 million Americans at some point in their lives, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of all psychiatric illnesses. Unfortunately, unlike other forms of social bias, stigma surrounding body size such as weight stigma has not improved over time. According to a January 2019 study of Americans, implicit bias based on body size intensified from 2007 to 2016.

The Massachusetts body size discrimination bill has garnered in-state, national, and international support from a wide-ranging coalition of public health, human services, higher education, private sector, and advocacy groups. The advocates, led by the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), plan to use the bill as model legislation to be adapted in other states across the U.S. In addition, a team of researchers from Harvard Catalyst in Cambridge and the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom are conducting a study on this bill’s legislative process to inform future endeavors to pass similar legislation combating body size stigma. The Joint Committee on the Judiciary issued a favorable report on the bill in January and sent the bill back to the Senate for further action. The only other state with similar anti-discrimination legislation for height and weight is Michigan, which passed the law in 1976.

“Time and again, Bay Staters have proven our dedication to valuing each other based on the content of our characters and the merits of our abilities, not by our physical presentations. It’s time for the law of the Commonwealth to state, clearly, that body size discrimination is unacceptable. Whatever the complex set of reasons may be for increasing waistlines nationwide, body shaming is not the answer. When we pass this legislation, we will convey a message of acceptance, value, and respect to all people in all body types, whatever the size or shape. I have been working on the intersection of fatness and the law for years, and I am incredibly proud to push this legislation forward.”

Joslyn Smith, NEDA’s Director of Public Policy & Community Relations, said, “We were proud to have a robust group of over 40 people from across the Commonwealth, including those with lived experience of body size discrimination, lobby 24 lawmakers in productive meetings in both branches of the legislature. The issue of weight discrimination, a known risk factor for eating disorders, is of paramount importance to NEDA, and we applaud Massachusetts for its national leadership on addressing body size discrimination legislatively.”

Rep. Nguyen said, “This bill would address an injustice in our society against people based on body size discrimination. Women are particularly vulnerable to this type of discrimination in the hiring process and the workplace. As a society, we need to change how we treat people based on their appearance, which can negatively impact their mental and physical wellbeing. Removing this barrier to equal participation in the workforce will not only benefit these deserving individuals, but their contributions will also boost our economy. And the example we set in protecting civil rights will bring about a generational change in the way children treat one another.”

Senator Rausch, Representative Nguyen and the coalition of advocates will continue working to advance this critical equity legislation before the session ends in July.

The bills cover a range of issues, from racial disparities in maternal health to making diaper changing stations accessible to all, regardless of gender or ability

February 3, 2020

BOSTON – Senator Rausch’s (D-Needham) innovative family-focused agenda reached a new legislative milestone this month, as many of her bills supporting Massachusetts families were favorably reported out of committee. After the February 5 reporting deadline for most joint legislative committees, Senator Rausch’s bills regarding racial disparities in maternal health, diaper changing station accessibility for all genders, and streamlining the adoption process for same-sex families moved out of committee. Senator Rausch’s legislation to increase access to home birth by licensing certified professional midwives previously secured a favorable report in December.


“The residents of our district deeply care about lifting up all kinds of families,” Senator Rausch said. “These bills support and promote greater equity for all parents and caregivers, regardless of race, economic status, physical ability, sexual orientation, or gender identity. I am grateful to have earned my colleagues’ endorsement of these bills through the committee process and pledge to keep working until these bills become law.”


S.1334, An Act to reduce racial disparities in maternal health, would establish a commission to address the continuing inequities in the Commonwealth’s maternal health outcomes, specifically in cases of maternal mortality and morbidity. The maternal mortality rate for mothers in Massachusetts increased 33% between 2012 and 2014 alone. Black and Native American women experience mortality rates three times and two and one-half times greater, respectively, than white women in this country. By passing this necessary legislation, the Commonwealth will raise awareness of the dramatic disparities in maternal health for people of color, develop recommendations incorporating perspectives from affected communities, and take critical, substantive steps forward in saving the lives of pregnant people and children alike.


“It is unconscionable that in our Commonwealth, people giving birth today are more likely to suffer injury, illness, or death than our mothers and grandmothers who delivered in the previous century. This issue disproportionately affects pregnant people of color, even when controlled for factors such as income, age, and prenatal care. We need to do everything we can to ensure that preventable deaths are, in fact, prevented. Passing this bill would be a critical step toward that goal.”


S.75, An Act providing for diaper changing stations in public buildings, calls for gender-neutral, fully accessible diaper changing stations in new or substantially renovated buildings open to the public. Senator Rausch said, “We’re well into the time when parenting and caregiving happens in public; of course parents and caregivers need to change diapers when out and about. Unfortunately, if a diaper changing station can be found at all, often it’s only in a women’s restroom. What’s a dad to do? What about families with two dads? What about non-binary parents? It is 2020, and public facilities must reflect the needs of all caretakers of children in our Commonwealth. I’m thrilled to see such overwhelming support from my constituents for this common sense bill.”


Additionally, S.1013, An Act to promote efficiency in co-parent adoptions, received a favorable report from the Joint Committee on the Judiciary. The bill streamlines the adoption process for families where only one parent is biologically related to the child, a situation disproportionately affecting LGBTQ families. While equal parenthood is respected and recognized in the Commonwealth, the same is not true in other parts of the country and internationally. Thus, parents in this situation, the majority of whom are LGBTQ, must adopt their own children to gain the same legal protection automatically granted to all other parents. The current confirmatory adoption process is costly and complicated. This bill streamlines the process for parents who are adopting their own children, saving resources and reducing backlog in family courts across the Commonwealth.


Earlier in the session, S.1332, An Act relative to out-of-hospital birth access and safety, also received a favorable committee report. “Home birth midwifery care in the Commonwealth is only available to those with the means to pay out-of-pocket, usually thousands of dollars. True choice only exists when you have the means to actually effectuate that choice, and this bill ensures that choice through coverage for professional midwifery services. Improving access to home birth midwives also reduces health care costs and improves quality outcomes, which is why 35 other states in the nation already provided licensure for certified professional midwives, and why Massachusetts should follow suit,” Senator Rausch said.


The Senator will continue advocating to pass these bills before the legislative session adjourns in July.


February 3, 2020

BOSTON - The Massachusetts State Senate on Thursday passed a robust climate package to significantly advance the Commonwealth’s approach to combating the global warming, charting one of the most aggressive environmental protection action plans in the country.


An Act Setting Next Generation Climate Policy and two companion bills — one dealing with electrifying fleets and another updating energy efficiency standards for appliances  —  passed with broad bipartisan support, by a vote of 35-2. The innovative, forward-thinking components in this next generation climate package include the creation of the Climate Policy Commission, concrete actions to help get the Commonwealth to net-zero by 2050, conversion to a zero-emissions MBTA bus fleet by 2040, and the nation’s first ever statewide database of energy usage of existing large buildings. The database and related measures concerning emissions from large buildings arose from a bill Senator Becca Rausch (D-Needham) filed in January 2019, which was included in the next generation climate package and is the senator’s first bill to pass the Senate.


Senator Rausch said Thursday, “My constituents made it crystal clear that they wanted swift, meaningful action to combat climate change and push toward sustainability, and that’s exactly what my Senate colleagues and I have delivered. I am proud of my contributions to several of the components in the next generation climate package, including direct action to reduce emissions from existing large buildings and helping Senator Mike Barrett in creating the Climate Policy Commission. The robust debate on the Senate floor also offered another opportunity for me to continue advancing transparency; I secured a roll call on my amendment to bolster the provisions in the base bill about existing large buildings, which was adopted by unanimous, bipartisan vote.


January 24, 2020

Boston, MA – Amid increasing reports of environmental devastation worldwide, the Massachusetts Senate set out major new steps to combat climate change in the Commonwealth. The Senate’s next generation climate policy package, comprised of three cohesive bills, includes central elements from a bill Senator Becca Rausch (D-Needham) filed to address energy usage in existing large buildings.  
“Existing large buildings contribute significantly to our collective carbon footprint, and upon passage of this bill, Massachusetts will be the first state in the nation to directly address this contributor to global warming,” Senator Rausch said. “The legislation will create the first-ever statewide database of large building energy usage and make that data available to the public. Once we measure it, we can mitigate it. I am also very proud to have helped Senator Mike Barrett with the idea of creating the Climate Policy Commission, an independent watchdog agency dedicated to statewide climate change accountability, now a central component of the legislative package.” 

In addition to creating the Climate Policy Commission and addressing large building energy consumption, the Senate’s comprehensive next generation climate policy package sets a statewide greenhouse gas limit of “net zero” emissions by the year 2050 and mandates meaningful action in all energy sectors, including transportation, electricity, and heating & cooling. For example, the legislation directs the Administration to adopt a market-based carbon pricing program for transportation by 2022, for commercial, industrial, and institutional buildings by 2025, and for residential buildings by 2030. The legislation also requires a massive reduction in gas-powered vehicles owned by the Commonwealth, including a target of an all-zero-emissions MBTA bus fleet by 2040, thereby significantly improving environmental health in densely populated areas. 


January 17, 2020

BOSTON - Yesterday, the Massachusetts Senate passed S.2459, An Act relative to healthy youth, commonly known as the Healthy Youth Act, by a vote of 33-2. This bill will ensure that Massachusetts schools electing to provide their students with sex education use age-appropriate and medically accurate curriculum that covers a comprehensive range of topics. The legislation also calls for sex education to be inclusive and appropriate for students regardless of gender, race, disability status, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Senator Becca Rausch (D-Needham) , who voted in favor of the bill, said Thursday, “young people need and deserve safe spaces in which to learn and ask questions about all potential health outcomes of engaging in sexual activity and strategies for reducing risk. Setting a comprehensive, inclusive tone with age-appropriate and medically accurate information about consent, sexual activity, gender, and healthy relationships is central to reproductive health and justice, an issue of great importance to so many people I represent.”

Currently, when Massachusetts public schools provide their students with health education that covers sexual activity, there is no guarantee that the information provided is age-appropriate or medically accurate. The Healthy Youth Act changes this by requiring school districts that offer sex education to follow certain guidelines to ensure students are provided with age-appropriate, medically accurate, and comprehensive information, including:

●  human anatomy, reproduction, and sexual development;

●  effective contraceptive use;

●  prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs);

●  communication and other skills important to forming healthy relationships;

●  benefits of delaying sex;

●  affirmative, conscious, and voluntary consent; and

●  information about gender identity and sexual orientation, including resources that offer

support to LGBTQ students.


December 3, 2019

Boston, MA – Senator Becca Rausch (D-Needham) and Second Assistant Majority Leader Paul Donato (D-Medford), lead sponsors of the Community Immunity Act, as well as healthcare providers, public health experts, and educators testified at a packed Public Health Committee hearing today in favor of the Community Immunity Act (S. 2359/H. 4096).  
This legislation seeks to prevent the spread of highly infectious diseases by promoting and supporting localized herd immunity statewide. The Community Immunity Act strengthens the Commonwealth's immunization law and policy by standardizing the immunization requirements for all schools, daycare centers, and other covered programs and centralizing within the Department of Public Health (DPH) the processes for obtaining an exemption from those requirements. 


 “Many people assume we are still a leader in the field of immunizations, like we are in so many other aspects of healthcare. But when I looked into existing law, I found that assumption is just not true,” said Senator Rausch. “There are a number of troubling problems with our current patchwork of immunization policies: no mandatory data reporting; no notification provisions for families in programs that have dipped below herd immunity; and no support for teachers and program administrators who are left to figure out immunization exemptions on their own, even if they have no medical professionals on staff. The practical, comprehensive public health solutions offered in the Community Immunity Act will bring Massachusetts in line with more than a dozen other states that have already implemented strong state-level immunization law and policy.” 


October 23, 2019

Senator Becca Rausch (D-Needham) and Representative Paul Donato, Second Assistant Majority Leader (D-Medford) filed public health legislation today to reduce the threat of serious yet preventable diseases by creating standardized and centralized immunizations requirements and exemption processes for child care centers, all K-12 schools, summer camps, and colleges and universities throughout the Commonwealth. Currently, Massachusetts has no consistent process for obtaining or approving immunization exemptions. Multiple communities have fallen below medically established immunization rate thresholds necessary to protect the general population from certain infectious diseases. Further, since Massachusetts also has no mandatory vaccination data reporting, hundreds of schools did not provide immunization exemption figures for the 2018-19 school year, yielding incomplete statewide public health data.

“We must act now to prevent future outbreaks of dangerous diseases,” said Senator Rausch. “We identified some major systemic issues with our immunization requirements and exemption processes. The Community Immunity Act fixes the system, and in doing so substantially reduces and hopefully fixes existing localized herd immunity problems. Since diseases do not follow school or district lines, it is imperative that we shift responsibility for immunization exemptions from the
local to the state level. We cannot meaningfully address this crucial issue without statewide consistency. As a parent and a legislator, I am compelled to take action necessary to protect our children and other vulnerable populations. The way to get good results is through good process.”


October 16, 2019

Sponsors and supporters of the bill will gather for a brief speaking program and question/answer session. Speakers will include:

  • Senator Becca Rausch;

  • Leader Paul Donato;

  • Regina LaRocque, MD, MPH; Massachusetts Infectious Diseases Society;

  • Amy Delaney, MSN, RN, CPNP-AC/PC; Legislative Co-Chair, Massachusetts Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP);

  • Beth Kontos; President, American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Massachusetts; and

  • Representative Maria Robinson.

Additional speakers may be announced prior to Wednesday’s conference.


The Community Immunity Act, endorsed by a number of healthcare, public health, and education organizations and dozens of legislative cosponsors, focuses on standardizing immunization requirements and exemption practices in the Commonwealth in order to achieve localized herd immunity statewide and protect against highly infectious diseases.

Currently, Massachusetts has no consistent process for obtaining or approving immunization exemptions. Multiple communities have fallen below medically established immunization rate thresholds necessary to protect the general population from certain infectious diseases. Further, since Massachusetts also has no mandatory vaccination data reporting, hundreds of schools did not provide immunization rates for the 2018-19 school year, yielding incomplete statewide public health data on exemptions. A system-focused bill, the Community Immunity Act creates necessary consistency and standardized public health processes that will benefit the entire Commonwealth.


September 4, 2019

Senator Becca Rausch (D-Needham) and Representative Paul Donato, Second Assistant Majority Leader (D-Medford) filed public health legislation today to reduce the threat of serious yet preventable diseases by creating standardized and centralized immunizations requirements and exemption processes for child care centers, all K-12 schools, summer camps, and colleges and universities throughout the Commonwealth. Currently, Massachusetts has no consistent process for obtaining or approving immunization exemptions. Multiple communities have fallen below medically established immunization rate thresholds necessary to protect the general population from certain infectious diseases. Further, since Massachusetts also has no mandatory vaccination data reporting, hundreds of schools did not provide immunization exemption figures for the 2018-19 school year, yielding incomplete statewide public health data.

“We must act now to prevent future outbreaks of dangerous diseases,” said Senator Rausch. “We identified some major systemic issues with our immunization requirements and exemption processes. The Community Immunity Act fixes the system, and in doing so substantially reduces and hopefully fixes existing localized herd immunity problems. Since diseases do not follow school or district lines, it is imperative that we shift responsibility for immunization exemptions from the
local to the state level. We cannot meaningfully address this crucial issue without statewide consistency. As a parent and a legislator, I am compelled to take action necessary to protect our children and other vulnerable populations. The way to get good results is through good process.”


July 24, 2019

Senator Becca Rausch (D-Needham) voted in favor of the $43.1 billion final budget for Fiscal Year 2020 on Monday, July 22. The budget, passed to be engrossed by both the House (158-0) and the Senate (39-1), makes significant investments in public education, health care, state parks, regional transit authorities, and workforce development, while also directing $476 million to the Stabilization Fund. Through her amendments, Senator Rausch secured statewide funding for Councils on Aging and $1 million (representing an $850,000 increase over last year) in grants to promote healthy dating relationships among young people, as well as notable improvements in transparency and oversight on executive spending and data management. The Senator and her many colleagues representing the 12 municipalities of the Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex District also secured over $2 million in local funding and infrastructure development.


“A budget is a comprehensive statement of our shared values,” Senator Rausch said. “Especially in my first budget experience, it was a privilege to collaborate with my legislative colleagues to improve local infrastructure, prevent unhealthy behaviors, advance public safety, promote experiential learning for our students, and improve our open spaces and playgrounds. Our teamwork is a real achievement. I am also proud and grateful that this budget contains several of my statewide priorities, including the largest investment in decades to prevent teen sexual assault and domestic violence, full funding for innovative programs supporting our seniors aging in communities of choice, and improved administrative transparency, efficiency, and effectiveness.”


July 16, 2019

Senator Becca Rausch (D-Needham) and Representative Liz Miranda (D-Boston) testified today before the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities in support of the Act of Living (S.76/H.150), the first-year legislators’ new bill seeking to provide meaningful civil rights for people experiencing homelessness and combat discrimination based on housing status in Massachusetts.

“Massachusetts should lead on many things, but the largest increase in homelessness is not one of them,” said Senator Rausch. “This is a complicated problem stemming from an intertwined set of social system failures, including our current crises in housing and transportation, as well as ongoing mistreatment of members of the LGBTQ community. While our Commonwealth does not have meaningful and comprehensive solutions to the root causes of homelessness, we as a Legislature must do everything in our power to ensure the safety, dignity, and civil rights for our community members stuck on our streets. I am so proud to sponsor the Act of Living, a critical and timely bill to recognize and codify the humanity of our community members, regardless of whether or not they have a fixed and permanent address.”


July 12, 2019

Senator Becca Rausch (D-Needham) gathered at the Grand Staircase of the State House alongside Senate President Karen Spilka, Speaker Robert DeLeo, and other legislators to conclude the month-long State House Diaper Drive spearheaded by Senator Joan Lovely (D-Salem), Representative Mindy Domb (D-Amherst), and Representative Smitty Pignatelli (D-Lee). In total, legislators collected approximately 3,000 diapers to support low-income Massachusetts families and to raise awareness for S.65/H.107, An Act relative to establishing a diaper benefits program, filed by Rep. Domb, Rep. Pignatelli, and Senator Lovely. Senator Rausch filed additional legislation to support families by requiring diaper changing stations in public buildings and accommodations (S.75).

“As a parent of two young children, I can personally attest to the burdensome cost of diapers on families,” said Senator Rausch. “I am a proud co-sponsor my colleagues’ critical and timely piece of legislation, and I will always support our Commonwealth’s children and families.”


June 28, 2019

Senator Becca Rausch (D-Needham) and Representative Maria Robinson (D-Framingham), two first-year legislators, filed a new bill to address climate change and energy consumption, and advanced the bill out of the legislative committee process within their first six months in office. On June 27, the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy issued a favorable report on S. 2011, a bill to create energy efficiency standards and reporting requirements for large buildings. The bill was reported out to the Senate for further action.


“Time is running out to meaningfully address climate change, and building efficiency standards are a critical part of the comprehensive set of solutions we need,” said Senator Rausch. “I’ve heard from folks in my district and across the Commonwealth that they want real action to protect our environment and stimulate related job and economic growth. Like so many fellow parents, I want all of our children to have a livable, enjoyable planet in 50 years. It’s my responsibility as a Senator to make progress here.”


June 18, 2019

 Georgina Arrieta-Ruetenik of Needham was named a member of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women’s 2019 class of Unsung Heroines. Senator Becca Rausch (DNeedham) nominated Arrieta-Ruetenik for this recognition because of her behind-the-scenes activism and commitment to serving the community of Needham. Arrieta-Ruetenik was honored with 130 other Unsung Heroines for her outstanding service in a ceremony on Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in the Great Hall at the State House in Boston. 


“I am incredibly grateful for Georgina’s endless dedication to our town and her deep commitment to justice,” said Senator Rausch. “She has an enormous heart and an infectious smile, which she shares all over town. Through her community service, activism, and leadership, she has provided tremendous support to countless Needhamites. Women like Georgina make our community stronger, and Needham is a better place because of her.”


May 28, 2019

Boston, MA – During the three full days of Senate budget debate last week, Senator Becca Rausch (D-Needham) successfully secured statewide funding for seniors, young people, and census work, as well as funding for critical programs and infrastructure in her district. The Senator voted in favor of the Senate FY2020 budget proposal (S.3) on Thursday evening, which passed on a unanimous, bipartisan 39-0 vote.  
Reflecting on her first budget as a Senator, Rausch stated, “it is a such an honor to be a member of this chamber. My colleagues and I worked collaboratively to make serious investments in areas of critical need throughout our Commonwealth, including education and health care, while maintaining a balanced budget and fiscal responsibility. I am also particularly proud to have achieved a near-90% success rate on my budget amendments, securing advancements for each of the communities in my district and the Commonwealth at large. I am grateful to so many people, including Senate President Karen Spilka and Ways and Means Chairman Michael Rodrigues, who helped me realize this tremendous accomplishment.” 


May 20, 2019

Boston, MA – Senator Rausch (D-Needham) today announced she will host her next “Fourth Fridays” office hours on Friday, May 31 from 1:00-2:30 p.m. at the Plainville Public Library conference room (link here). During these office hours, held on the fourth Friday of every month, residents from any part of the Norfolk, Bristol, and Middlesex district are welcome to meet Senator Rausch and her staff and share their opinions on state issues. 
Senator Rausch also announced that her summer Fourth Fridays office hours will take place from 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM in the following locations:

 June 28th: Sherborn Town Hall in room 105

 July 26th:  Wellesley Town Hall in the Juliani Room

 August 16th: North Attleborough location to be announced. 


March 12, 2019

Senator Becca Rausch (D-Needham) and Representative Maria Robinson (D-Framingham) filed legislation to add two members to the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB) who will specifically represent the perspective and needs of riders. The bill, SD.2333, is a targeted response to the FMCB vote on March 11 to increase subway and commuter rail fares by six percent, despite significant opposition from state and local lawmakers and MBTA ridership.

“The needs of riders, and particularly the needs of commuter rail riders, have been ignored for too long,” Senator Rausch said Tuesday. “Representative Robinson and I agree; this legislation is an important first step to building a reliable and equitable public transit system. Increasing fares drives riders away when we should be encouraging usage. Supporting and improving ridership should decrease traffic congestion and reduce environmental impacts. When it is more expensive and less reliable to take the commuter rail into Boston than it is to drive, we all lose.”


March 7, 2019

Boston, MA – Senator Rausch (D-Needham) joined her Senate colleagues in passing a supplemental budget that eliminates the so-called ‘Cap on Kids’ and includes $30 million for the Low Income Heating Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), among other considerations.  
“I was proud to vote in favor of this year’s supplemental budget, and I am especially glad to go on record against the outdated and offensive ‘Cap on Kids’ policy. No child should be punished or excluded from government programs simply for being born into a family that needs financial help,” Senator Rausch said Thursday. “I’m glad that these benefits will be retroactive, so that the Governor’s veto of the policy last year will do as little damage as possible.”  



February 15, 2019

Senator Rausch (D-Needham) announced her in-district office hours schedule for this year, held on the fourth Friday of the month and rotating through the three regions of the district. Fourth Fridays will also rotate among the four municipalities in each region. The first three “Fourth Fridays” are as follows:

SOUTHERN REGION: Friday, February 22, 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., at Morin’s Hometown Bar and Grill, 16 South Main Street, Attleboro. State Representative Jim Hawkins will join the Senator, providing a great opportunity for constituents to meet with both of their legislators.


CENTRAL REGION: Friday, March 22, 12:00–1:30 p.m., at Budabings, 1060 Main Street, Millis.


NORTHERN REGION: Friday, May 3, 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Wayland, location TBA.


February 15, 2019

 Today, the Massachusetts Senate approved $1.5 million in funding for the newly created Civics Project Trust Fund. The Trust Fund will be utilized for implementation of the 2018 Civics Education Law: An Act to Enhance and Promote Civic Engagement. 

The Civics Project Trust Fund is administered by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to support the infrastructure, curricular resources, and professional development needed to effectively integrate high quality civic-learning in Massachusetts schools. 


“I proudly cosponsored and voted in favor of my colleague’s budget amendment to fund civics education in our Commonwealth. Our youth deserve a comprehensive, innovative, and experiential civics education. Without doubt, through our actions today, the Senate has again advanced our communities and meaningfully invested in the leaders of tomorrow,” said Senator Becca Rausch (D-Needham).  


February 1, 2019

Senator Becca Rausch (D-Needham) delivered a powerful inaugural speech on the Senate floor during the chamber’s first formal session Thursday, highlighting her early appointment and service to the Temporary Committee on Rules and her amendment to combat sexual and identity-based harassment on Beacon Hill. The Senator achieved unanimous support for her amendment, passing on a 39-0 roll call vote.


January 25, 2019

Priorities include reproductive health and justice, good democracy and governance, and intersectional equality

Senator Becca Rausch (D-Needham) filed a wide-ranging legislative portfolio in her first State Senate term, prioritizing advancements in reproductive health and justice, transparency and good governance, intersectional equality, supporting families, and the environment. “I made a commitment to my constituents,” Rausch said. “They want bold leadership from their State Senator. I am less than a month into the session and I am already delivering on that pledge to generate positive change.”


January 17, 2019

Senator Becca Rausch (D-Needham) and Representative Lindsay Sabadosa (D-Northampton) filed a bill protecting members of the State House community from workplace harassment in the wake of allegations of sexual assault against Representative Paul McMurtry (D-Dedham).


“Every place of work should be free from sexual harassment and assault; the State House is certainly no exception,” stated Senator Rausch. “When any member of the House of Representatives assaults, harasses, demeans, or disparages a member of the State House community, that member disrespects every colleague in the community, diminishes the voices of every voter who cast a ballot in a legislative election, and affronts every constituent in the Commonwealth.”


January 15, 2019

Senator Becca Rausch (D-Needham) has hired her State House team, consisting of a Chief of Staff, General Counsel & Legislative Director, Outreach Director, and two Legislative Aides. Any member of the staff can be reached at (617) 722-1555. The office is temporarily located in room 419 of the State House.

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