Senator Joan B. Lovely
State Senator
2nd Essex District


January 24, 2017

Senator Lovely Files Legislation for 2017-2018 Session

(Boston) – Members of the House and Senate collectively submitted over 5,700 bills on January 20, 2017, the filing deadline for the new legislative session. Senator Lovely, who is the lead sponsor of over thirty bills, focused her aim on issues related to children’s health and safety, housing and homelessness, health and human services, and economic development.

Senator Lovely has made childhood sexual assault and abuse prevention a top priority for the 2017-2018 session. Senator Lovely filed a comprehensive omnibus bill which includes provisions to strengthen mandated reporting requirements, increase mandated reporter education, and enforce stricter criminal punishments. Another bill she filed seeks to remove the criminal statute of limitations for child sexual abuse. The omnibus bill enlisted recommendations from child welfare organizations and law enforcement officials during the drafting process.

“I am proud to have worked on this piece of legislation alongside child advocates and youth serving organizations that are committed to the prevention and punishment of child sexual abuse crimes. The hard truth is that ninety per cent of these crimes go unreported in Massachusetts. We need to address this issue and provide the resources necessary to protecting the safety and wellbeing of our children.”

Senator Lovely also re-filed the Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which will require employers to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees. Accommodations include: more frequent or longer breaks, temporary modified work schedules, and private non-bathroom space for expressing breast milk. Proponents of the bill include MotherWoman, and the League of Women Voters.

Senator Lovely also re-filed legislation in support of the Home Works program which provides opportunities for children in the emergency housing assistance program to attend out-of-school time and summer programming at youth serving organizations. The bill defines a youth serving organization as an organization that provides recreational, cultural, charitable, social, or other activities or services for persons under 18 years of age and is exempt from federal income tax.

“We have seen tremendous strides in the efforts to support children and families living in emergency housing across the Commonwealth. The Baker Administration, in conjunction with the Department of Housing and Economic Development has made it a priority to transition families out of motels and shelters and into more permanent housing that offer centralized services and supports. I am pleased to sponsor the Home Works bill as it provides children with access to fun and educational afterschool programming regardless of the economic challenges their families may face who otherwise would go home after school while their peers enjoy after school activities.”

Other bills that Senator Lovely filed include:

Legislation to protect children’s health by getting lead out of water at all schools and child care facilities.

  • Legislation to permit the word “veteran” on general election ballots for candidates who meet the definition of veteran.
  • Legislation to further enable people to synchronize their medications so that they can order and receive them on the same day each month, instead of having to make multiple visits to the pharmacy.
  • Legislation to control health insurance price increases by requiring premium impact statements before any law or regulation relative to health insurance is passed.
  • Legislation to provide protections for hate-crimes for victims targeted due to their gender.
  • Legislation to change the definition of alcoholic cider to bring Massachusetts in line with updated federal tax regulations that more accurately reflect the cider market in relation to other alcoholic beverages.
  • Legislation requiring insurance coverage for Tomosynthesis (3D mammogram), other proven supplemental screening tools and abnormal screening mammograms.

Legislators now have until February 3, 2017 to co-sponsor bills filed in the House of Representatives. Senators may file as co-sponsors on bills introduced in the Senate up until a bill is publically heard and reported from the committee to which it is assigned.