Rep. Tackey Chan Named NAGE 2018 ‘Legislator of the Year’

Rep. Tackey Chan Named NAGE 2018 ‘Legislator of the Year’

Massachusetts State Representative Tackey Chan (D-Quincy) last week was awarded the National Association of Government Employees’ 2018 “Legislator of the Year” award, presented at the NAGE National Convention in Atlantic City, NJ. Since being elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 2010, Representative Chan has worked closely with NAGE to protect public sector employees and ensure strong labor laws in the Commonwealth.

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Legislature Raises Tobacco Purchasing Age to 21 Statewide

The Massachusetts Legislature last month passed legislation seeking to reduce tobacco use and nicotine addiction among youth across the Commonwealth, with new regulations that were signed into law by Governor Baker on July 27th. The bill, An Act to protect youth from the health risks of tobacco and nicotine addiction, raises the legal age to purchase all tobacco and nicotine products to 21, while additionally expanding Massachusetts’ Smoke-Free Workplace Laws to include e-cigarettes and vapes. This expansion creates simplified standards for smoking and vaping, ensuring that newer tobacco and vapor products will be regulated under the same guidelines used for traditional tobacco products.

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Quincy receives $47m in funding from FY19 State Budget; $6m for climate mitigation projects

With the end of the Massachusetts Legislature’s 2017-2018 formal sessions on July 31st, several major pieces of legislation were passed by the House and Senate and sent to Governor Charles D. Baker for his review.  In addition to balancing the $42 billion Fiscal Year 2019 state budget, the Legislature authorized over $1 billion in economic development funds; passed a $2.4 billion environmental bond authorization; created an automatic voter registration system; enacted comprehensive addiction prevention and treatment legislation to address the opioid epidemic; increased benefits to our veterans and their families; created a requirement to teach civic education in schools; increased the age to purchase tobacco products to 21; and expanded the amount of renewable energy we all use.

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Massachusetts Legislature Passes Comprehensive Consumer Data Security Legislation

BOSTON – The Massachusetts House of Representatives and Senate voted unanimously Wednesday to pass House Bill 4806, An Act relative to consumer protection from security breaches. The bill represents a compromise reached between House and Senate conference committee negotiators, led by Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Chairs Tackey Chan (D-Quincy) and Barbara L’Italien (D-Andover), along with members Representative Dan Hunt (D-Boston), Representative Randy Hunt (R-Sandwich), Senator John Keenan (D-Quincy), and Senator Ryan Fattman (R-Webster). The compromise builds on recently passed federal regulations mandating the removal of all fees for consumers who elect to place, lift, or remove a credit freeze from a consumer reporting agency.  The Massachusetts legislation also updates the state’s laws to reflect modern technological processes, updates notification requirements, and mandates free credit monitoring services.

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Paid Family & Medical Leave, Increased Minimum Wage Legislation Signed by Governor

This past month, Governor Baker signed into law the most comprehensive change for workers in Massachusetts in decades, which the media has dubbed “the grand bargain.”  The new law incrementally increases the minimum wage to $15 over five years, phases out time and half hourly wages over five years, establishes a paid medical and family leave program for all Massachusetts workers and creates a permanent sales tax holiday in August.  The new law represents a compromise based on discussions with a coalition formed by the Massachusetts Retailers Association and a separate coalition formed by Raise Up Massachusetts, who each were able to qualify their respective questions for the November 2018 ballot.  This compromise represents months of negotiations, with each party having made concessions in order to reach a final agreement.  As a result of this compromise, voted on by the Legislature on June 20th, the respective groups withdrew their ballot questions before the July 3rd deadline.

Under the “grand bargain”, the minimum wage will increase to $15/hour over five years while the tipped minimum wage will increase to $6.75/hour also over five years.  The increases will begin January 1, 2019 when the minimum wage increases by one dollar to $12/hour, then will increase incrementally by $0.75 over the following four years until it reaches $15. Tipped worker wages will be brought up to the state minimum wage based on earnings each day, rather than the current policy of calculating the difference between tips and minimum wage each pay cycle. This will ensure that restaurant and other tipped workers face more equitable schedules each week, removing the potential of giving preferential shifts to certain employees.

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Governor Baker Signs Bill Declaring May “Asian American Pacific Islander Month”

Governor Baker Signs Bill Declaring May “Asian American Pacific Islander Month”

BOSTON – Governor Charles D. Baker today signed House Bill 3360, An Act designating May as Asian American Pacific Islander Month, which was unanimously passed by the Massachusetts House and Senate earlier this year. The bill will allow for an annual proclamation from the governor, setting apart the month of May and recognizing the significant contributions Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have made to the Commonwealth and to the United States.

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MA House Approves $41.5 Billion Fiscal Year 2019 Budget

BOSTON – The Massachusetts House of Representatives last Thursday voted 150-4 to pass a $41.515 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2019. The vote came after four days of debate and deliberation on 1,400 amendments that had been filed to the original budget recommendation made by the House Ways and Means Committee. In total, the FY2019 budget sees a 3.1% increase over funding levels from the previous year, with MassHealth and local aid to cities and towns making up the two largest expenditures. Quincy’s House delegation, Majority Leader Ron Mariano, State Representative Tackey Chan, State Representative Bruce Ayers, and State Representative Dan Hunt, successfully advocated for more than $71.86 million for the City of Quincy in FY2019; this includes $27.3 million in Chapter 70 education funding for Quincy Public Schools and $19.7 million of unrestricted general assistance to the City of Quincy.

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City of Quincy Creates Storm Relief Fund for March 2nd Storm

The fund will be administered by Quincy Community Action Programs. Flooding victims should call 617-657-5320 or e-mail quincystormrelief@qcap.org to begin a brief and confidential application process. The fund will be able to provide some immediate assistance. Benefit caps will be established. One-hundred percent (100%) of the fund proceeds will be used directly to help households.
 

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Massachusetts House Passes Comprehensive Bill to Provide Consumer Protections against Data Breaches

BOSTON – The Massachusetts House of Representatives voted unanimously this week to advance House Bill 4232, An Act removing fees for security freezes and disclosures of consumer credit reports. The bill, originally H134 sponsored by Chairwoman Jennifer Benson (D-Lunenburg), removes all fees for consumers who elect to place, lift, or remove a credit freeze from a consumer reporting agency and updates current laws to address modern technological processes. The Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure spent the months since the Equifax data breach went public in September 2017 looking closely at the complex topic of data security and consumer protections before bringing it to the House floor on Wednesday.

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Governor Baker signs bill declaring May "Asian American Pacific Islander Month"

BOSTON – House Bill 3360, An Act designating May as Asian American Pacific Islander Month, was signed into law by Governor Charles Baker last week, following its passage in the Massachusetts House and Senate earlier in February. The bill will allow for an annual proclamation from the governor, setting apart the month of May and recognizing the significant contributions Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have made to the Commonwealth and to the United States.

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