2016/2017

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 promoting awareness of safe recreation in public waterways

Waste and contaminated water flow directly from our sewer systems into our rivers and streams.  In 2011 alone, the 181 active outfall points in the Commonwealth discharged 2.8 billion gallons of sewage into our public waterways, including the Charles, Connecticut, Merrimac, Mystic, and Taunton Rivers.  There is currently no statewide system of monitoring these Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs).  This legislation would institute a statewide notification system requiring the operators of CSO outfalls to monitor discharges or water quality and improving public notification about over

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 larceny

Massachusetts is a major outlier when looking at the threshold separating a misdemeanor from a felony in many larceny related crimes.  Our threshold is currently $250.  That is the 3rd lowest in the country and has not been updated in 2 decades.  What would be a misdemeanor in all other New England states would be a felony here, with all the collateral consequences that attach to felony convictions.  This bill raises the threshold to $1500.
 

An Act relative to the use of community corrections

Currently, those awaiting trial are not eligible for mental health or substance abuse treatment.  This bill, which is supported by the sheriffs, the courts, and probation, would allow a judge to send a person awaiting trial to receive services and programing at a community corrections center.
 

An Act relative to expungement for repealed crimes

This bill would require the governor to review all individuals that were convicted of crimes that are no longer crimes due to the marijuana legalization ballot question and decide whether or not each person should be pardoned. 
 

An Act updating the wrongful convictions compensation law

This bill would update the wrongful convictions compensation statute for the first time since it was passed 12 years ago to ensure that those wrongfully imprisoned for crimes they did not commit are compensated in a fair and timely manner.  A person often leaves prison with nothing and it can take up to 3 years for a person to receive compensation.  This forces some to settle for less than they are due in order to receive money quicker.  This bill is designed to speed up the process and to increase the compensation.  We will never be able to fully compensate those who were

An Act decriminalizing non-violent and verbal student misconduct

Statements and non-violent actions by students that used to result in detentions are now too frequently resulting in arrests and criminal prosecutions.  These unnecessary arrests for non-violent and verbal conduct curtail future educational and employment options for the students and increase the burden on our court system.  This legislation would revise current criminal law and prohibit its use for non-violent misconduct in schools, allowing arrest and prosecution only for more serious acts of misconduct.  It would also further define the role police officers have in schools to

An Act relative to medical placement of terminal and incapacitated inmates

This legislation would reduce the amount of money that the Department of Corrections and the Houses of Corrections spend on health care for inmates with irreversible conditions that are terminal or incapacitating.  Under this legislation, a person is deemed to be incapacitated to the point that they no longer pose any danger to society would be eligible for medical parole.  The individual will remain under supervision after the placement and would be reincarcerated if they recover.  Massachusetts is one of only a handful of states without a provision like this.
 

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.
 

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