Legislation

For a full list of bills I am filing in the current session, please visit my page the Massachusetts Legislature website at https://malegislature.gov/Legislators/Profile/PDJ0.

An Act relative to school choice

There shall be established a working group to review school choice as a process that is occurring currently specifically focusing on the process that is being used on issues of decision making, and financial details impacting school districts with a report to be made to the senate president and house speaker within one year of the passage of this legislation.
 

An Act relative to assisting elders and people with disabilities in the Commonwealth

Increases EAEDC (Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled, and Children) average monthly benefit to $429 from $303.70 and asset limit to $2500 from $250. Current benefit while in shelter is $92.80/month.
 

An Act protecting ratepayers from gas pipeline expansion costs

This bill will prevent electric and gas companies from passing the costs of building or expanding gas pipelines onto consumers.

An Act relative to revenue, information, and accountability

This legislation will enact an annual report on the Congressional discretionary budget of the prior year. Citizens will be sent an easy-to-read report that covers how the money was spent, so they are aware of how their taxes are being used. 

An Act requiring the disclosure of public funding

S. 1721

This legislation would require all entities that receive funding from the commonwealth to disclose this fact to the public on written and electronic communications.  Taxpayers have the right to know where their tax money is being spent and many are unaware that the local services and programs they enjoy are funded in part by state money.  This legislation is modeled after the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s policy of requiring all programs that receive grants to disclose that fact.

An Act relative to sleep deprivation avoidance and promotion of good sleeping practices

By reserving one week in March as Massachusetts Sleep Awareness Day and one week in November as Massachusetts Drowsy Driving Prevention Week, this legislation can save lives by raising awareness on the health risks and dangers caused by sleep deprivation. By reserving one week in March as Massachusetts Sleep Awareness Day and one week in November as Massachusetts Drowsy Driving Prevention Week, this legislation can save lives by raising awareness on the health risks and dangers caused by sleep deprivation.   

 

An Act closing an unfair tax loophole

Currently, hedge fund managers have a lower tax rate than many of those who earn much less due to a tax loophole they are able to exploit.  This bill would close this loophole by reclassifying this type of income and taxing it accordingly.

An Act increasing the property tax deferral for seniors

S.1543

Certain homeowners 65 years of age and older currently have the option to defer paying their property taxes. Under existing law, this is a local option that is capped at the maximum allowance under the senior circuit breaker for a single person who is not head of household, which is $53,000 for the 2012 tax year.   Given the high cost-of-living in Massachusetts, this is unrealistically low and penalizes ‘house rich and cash poor’ seniors living on a fixed income who exceed the income threshold.   This legislation proposes increasing the local option cap to $65,000

An Act establishing fair treatment of adjunct faculty

This bill requires that all part-time faculty who carry at least a 50 percent teaching load can obtain health insurance, that part-time
faculty receive pay that is equal, on a pro rata basis, to that of full-time faculty, and be eligible for participation in the state
retirement plan. It is meant to remedy the current over-reliance on adjunct faculty by requiring, by the school year beginning in 2021, all public higher education institutions increase the share of courses taught by full-time, tenure and tenure-track faculty so that at least 75
percent of three or more credit undergraduate courses offered on each campus be taught by tenured or tenure-track faculty. It also increases the number of full-time faculty by requiring that current part-time faculty be given priority consideration for any future fulltime, tenure-track positions that become available.

An Act relative to part-time higher education faculty eligibility in the state retirement system

S. 1383

This bill would allow part-time faculty of one or more state higher education institutions, including a division of continuing education, to be eligible for membership in the state-retirement system.  This legislation is limited to faculty members who teach at least two three-credit courses per semester or four three or more credit courses per calendar year, at one or more higher education institutions.