Legislative Update: Week of June 15, 2020

Jun 15, 2020


Joining the House of Representatives, the Massachusetts Senate on Tuesday adopted temporary emergency rules (Senate Bill 2756) to permit senators to vote and participate in debate at formal sessions without being at the State House. And on Thursday, the Senate approved Senate Bill 2746, an act financing improvements to municipal roads and bridges, which will create a permanent MBTA Board of Directors to succeed the T’s temporary management panel. The bill also authorizes $300 million in annual funding for local road and bridge construction projects, and includes a $100 million increase over last year’s Chapter 90 allocation.

On Friday, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar visited Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center with Governor Baker to learn more about the coronavirus response in Massachusetts and the hospital’s research, and to tour the COVID-19 test kit assembly area. Also on Friday, Senate President Karen Spilka, Senator Lesser, Senator Jehlen, and Senator Hinds hosted a listening session on Massachusetts’ economic recovery, reinvestment and workforce amid the COVID-19 pandemic. And, Boston Mayor Walsh declared racism a public health emergency in the city on Friday, and said he would be reallocating $12 million, or about 20% of the Boston Police Department’s overtime budget, to invest in trauma teams and counseling, youth programs, and minority-owned businesses.


In a landmark case, the U.S Supreme Court on Monday ruled that the 1964 Civil Rights Act forbidding sex discrimination in the workplace protects LGBTQ employees from being fired because of their sexual orientation. 

On Tuesday, the Massachusetts Senate is expected to take up Senate Bill 2755, an act relative to voting options in response to COVID-19, which will address mail-in and early voting legislation in Massachusetts.

And on Thursday, Senator Eric Lesser, Senate Chair, Joint Committee On Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, will join MassBio CEO Bob Coughlin for our next Policymakers Live event. You can register, here. To view all upcoming Policymaker Live events, visit the MassBio website.

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