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COMUNICADOS DE PRENSA

MASSACHUSETTS SENATE ACTS TO BAN PLASTIC BAGS, REDUCE STRAW AND PLASTICWARE USAGE, BOOST RECYCLING AND COMPOSTING

June 20, 2024

Today, the Massachusetts Senate passed legislation that builds on the
state’s climate and environmental leadership by banning single-use plastic bags, making straws
and plasticware available by request only, and making it easier to recycle.

MASSACHUSETTS SENATE TO TAKE ACTION ON SWEEPING CLIMATE AND PLASTICS BILLS

June 17, 2024

This week, the Massachusetts Senate will debate comprehensive climate and
plastics legislation aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, helping the Commonwealth achieve its
net zero emissions by 2050 goals, and drastically reducing plastic waste statewide.

PLASTICS REDUCTION ACT ADVANCES

January 18, 2024

Today, comprehensive plastics reduction legislation filed by State Senator Becca Rausch (D-Needham) advanced with a favorable report out of the Joint Committee on Environment and Natural Resources. The Plastics Reduction Act will address some of the most common single-use plastics, including plastic bags, plastic food service ware, and car seats.

NEARLY 300 BIPARTISAN STATE LEGISLATORS NATIONWIDE DENOUNCE ANTISEMITISM AND ISLAMOPHOBIA, COMMIT CONTINUED EDUCATIONAL EFFORTS TO EXPOSE AND REDUCE ANTI-JEWISH PREJUDICE AND EXTREMISM

November 16, 2023

Boston, MA – Today, Senator Becca Rausch (D-Needham) issued an open letter signed by 288 state legislators representing more than half the states in the nation, to President Biden, Vice President Harris, and members of the United States Congress denouncing antisemitism, Islamophobia, and all forms of hatred and bigotry.

SENATOR RAUSCH CELEBRATES EARTH MONTH WITH LEGISLATION TO DRIVE CLIMATE ACTION AND ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE

April 20, 2023

Boston, MA – This Earth Month, Senator Becca Rausch (D-Needham) joins community leaders, activists, and experts to raise awareness about environmental protection work targeted at achieving our Commonwealth’s climate action goals.

MA LEGISLATURE ANNOUNCES GAS TAX RELIEF REBATE PROGRAM

July 7, 2022

Boston, MA – Today, the Massachusetts House and Senate announced their intention to create the Taxpayer Energy and Economic Relief Fund, an initiative to bring immediate financial relief to Bay Staters amidst rising gas prices and inflation. The fund will provide one-time rebates of $250 for Massachusetts taxpayers who filed an individual return in 2021, and $500 for taxpayers who filed joint returns. Eligibility will be determined by annual income reported in 2021. Individual filers who reported earning between $38,000 and $100,000 will be eligible, and the maximum reported income level increases to $150,000 for joint filers. Massachusetts taxpayers will receive this rebate before September 30, 2022.

SENATE PASSES CIVIL ASSET FORFEITURE LEGISLATION

July 1, 2022

The Massachusetts State Senate passed S.2944, An Act relative to forfeiture reform, which would raise the burden of proof required for civil asset forfeiture, which allows law enforcement to seize items alleged to have been connected to a crime. Under current Massachusetts law, individuals who believe that their possessions were wrongly forfeited are required to demonstrate that these items were not involved in a crime or otherwise do not meet the standard required for forfeiture. This puts the burden of proof on the accused, rather than on law enforcement or prosecutors, making it difficult and time-consuming to repossess forfeited items.

SENATOR RAUSCH SECURES $1.1 MILLION IN LOCAL INVESTMENTS FOR THE NORFOLK, BRISTOL AND MIDDLESEX DISTRICT

May 27, 2022

On Thursday evening, following deliberation on 1178 amendments, the Massachusetts State Senate passed a $50 billion Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) budget. Over the course of this week’s budget deliberations, Senator Becca Rausch (D-Needham) secured over $1.5 million in statewide funding and $1.1 million for local investments in the Norfolk, Bristol, and Middlesex District, including youth mental health supports, environmental protection initiatives, and municipal infrastructural upgrades.

HEALTH EXPERTS, LEGISLATORS, AND COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS URGE GOVERNOR TO CURB COVID-19 TRANSMISSION AMIDST CONTAGIOUS VARIANTS, HOLIDAY SEASON

December 15, 2021

BOSTON, MA – This afternoon, Senator Becca Rausch (D-Needham) and a dozen state legislative colleagues delivered a letter to Governor Baker urging the administration to adopt a slate of data- driven public health policies set forth in a Massachusetts COVID-19 Action Plan, crafted and endorsed by a coalition of over 100 public health and medical professionals and 36 community organizations, to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth. This broad support comes amidst a winter surge of the Delta variant, detection of the Omicron variant in Massachusetts, and increasing virus transmission during the holiday season.

SENATOR RAUSCH FILES UNIVERSAL MASKING BILL FOR MA SCHOOLS

August 2, 2021

BOSTON, MA - This afternoon, Senator Becca Rausch filed SD. 2723, An Act mitigating COVID-19 transmission among children and families, a bill requiring universal masking among students and staff in all Massachusetts K-12 schools as well as childcare programs licensed under the Department of Early Education and Care. The legislation will also ensure no attendance penalty for students with vaccination appointments during school hours and provide paid time off for parents and caregivers taking students to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

FRANKLIN RESIDENT NDOUMBE NDOYE HONORED AS A COMMONWEALTH HEROINE BY THE MA COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN

June 23, 2021

Boston, MA – Today, Ndoumbe Ndoye of Franklin, Massachusetts was named a Commonwealth Heroine by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women. In a virtual ceremony, Ndoye was celebrated along with over 120 fellow heroines of Massachusetts for her exemplary service to her community. Senator Becca Rausch nominated Ndoye for her local activism and commitment to advancing racial equity and justice within the town of Franklin and beyond.

SENATE APPROVES FUNDS FOR YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT LINE

May 27, 2021

Boston, MA - The pilot program, administered by Samaritans, Inc., aims to address elevated rates of mental illness among youth through confidential and non-judgmental support. The text line will have dedicated staffing from Samaritans to train and oversee teen volunteers providing evidence-based suicide prevention and mental health support. This funding will also support marketing and communications to promote the service, suicide prevention and mental health support workshops for youth, as well as culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate services to reach diverse communities.

SENATOR RAUSCH FILES COMPREHENSIVE SLATE OF ELECTION REFORM BILLS

February 9, 2021

Boston, MA – Today Senator Rausch (D-Needham) filed four remaining bills in her slate of comprehensive election reform legislation to modernize Massachusetts' voting system and increase Massachusetts voters' access to the ballot box. Her list of elections reform bills now include proposals to make Election Day a holiday in Massachusetts, move the state primary date to June, modernize Massachusetts' central voter registry, and require all presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns to appear on a Massachusetts ballot, respectively.

WOMEN LEGISLATORS FILE COVID-19 VACCINE EQUITY LEGISLATION

February 4, 2021

Boston, MA - Senator Becca Rausch (D-Needham), Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz (D-Boston), Representative Liz Miranda (D-Boston), and Representative Mindy Domb (D-Amherst) today filed legislation to improve Massachusetts’ COVID-19 vaccination rollout response and increase vaccine delivery in communities disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The bill reflects collaboration among the filers, Senator Jo Comerford (D-Northampton), and multiple public health and infectious disease experts.

SENATOR RAUSCH FILES LOCAL OPTION RANKED CHOICE VOTING BILL

January 26, 2020

Boston, MA - Senator Becca Rausch (D-Needham) and Representative Smitty Pignatelli (D-Lenox) filed elections reform legislation today to create an easier path for Massachusetts' cities and towns to adopt ranked-choice voting for local elections.

LEGISLATURE PASSES RACIAL JUSTICE AND MATERNAL HEALTH EQUITY LEGISLATION

January 5, 2021

Boston, MA – The Massachusetts Legislature on Tuesday passed legislation aimed at eliminating racial inequities in maternal health. A Resolve reducing racial inequities in maternal health creates a special legislative commission to make
recommendations to address barriers that result in racial inequities, including women of color dying of pregnancy-related causes. The Commission is charged with gathering statewide data on maternal mortality and making recommendations to reduce and eliminate racial barriers to accessing equitable
maternal care.

SENATOR RAUSCH'S END OF SESSION BEACON HILL REVIEW

December 23, 2020

I am very proud to have accomplished so much on behalf of my constituents during my first term in the Senate, including a robust COVID-19 response, billions of dollars invested into our Commonwealth’s communities, and broad spectrum reforms in education, elections, and reproductive justice.

SENATE PASSES GENOCIDE EDUCATION BILL

August 3, 2020

Boston, MA - The Massachusetts State Senate on Thursday, July 30, 2020, passed An Act concerning genocide education to educate middle and high school students on the history of genocide and to promote the teaching of human rights issues.

NAJL STANDS STRONG AGAINST USE OF SECRET POLICE

July 24, 2020

The National Association of Jewish Legislators (NAJL) expresses our outrage and significant opposition to the use of secret police on U.S. soil, being deployed by the acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Chad Wolf and President Donald Trump.

SENATE ADVANCES MATERNAL HEALTH PACKAGE

July 30, 2020

BOSTON, MA - The Massachusetts State Senate on Thursday, July 30, 2020, unanimously passed three bipartisan bills to increase birth options and safety for all pregnant and perinatal people in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. One bill increases options for safe, professional birthing care in the Commonwealth by licensing midwifery, one establishes a commission to address racial inequities in maternal healthcare in Massachusetts, and a third bill establishes a commission to study barriers to substance use treatment for women in the perinatal period.

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