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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.

SENATE PASSES BILL TO PRESERVE MUNICIPAL GOVERNANCE DURING ONGOING COVID-19 CRISIS

June 8, 2020

BOSTON, MA - The Massachusetts State Senate and Massachusetts House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday, June 4, 2020, to provide governance and fiscal flexibility for many municipalities grappling with public health challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation was signed by the Governor on June 5.

SEN. RAUSCH, REP. MADARO FILE UNIVERSAL VOTE BY MAIL LEGISLATION FOR 2020 STATEWIDE ELECTIONS

April 15, 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 that Massachusetts must act now to safeguard the right to vote during the unprecedented COVID-19 public health crisis.

SENATOR RAUSCH ANNOUNCES VIRTUAL OFFICE HOURS, REMOTE OFFICE OPERATIONS AS BEST PRACTICES AMID COVID-19 OUTBREAK

March 16, 2020

Boston, MA – Senator Becca Rausch (D-Needham) has temporarily closed her State House office and will continue to serve constituents of the Bristol, Norfolk, and Middlesex District remotely to promote the safety and public health of the communities she represents. This decision came in response to public health experts’ encouragement of social distancing to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

SEN. RAUSCH, REP. DONATO HIGHLIGHT NUMEROUS MA COMMUNITIES BELOW HERD IMMUNITY OR NOT REPORTING DATA, SHOWING NEED FOR COMMUNITY IMMUNITY ACT

October 23, 2019

Boston, MA – Senator Becca Rausch (D-Needham) and Second Assistant Majority Leader Paul Donato (D-Medford), lead sponsors of the Community Immunity Act, today released a map displaying the shockingly large holes in Massachusetts’ localized protection against the spread of infectious diseases. In the 2018-2019 school year, more than 125 programs reported student vaccination rates below herd immunity for at least one disease. An additional 400 schools did not submit their immunization data to the Department of Public Health (DPH). These holes put the health and safety of all Bay Staters at risk, particularly the elderly, those who are immunocompromised, and children too young to receive vaccines.

SENATOR RAUSCH, DISTRICT DELEGATION ACHIEVE BIG WINS IN $43.1 BILLION FINAL FY 2020 BUDGET

July 24, 2019

Boston, MA – 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.