Page 18 THE MALDEN ADVOCATE–Friday, June 10, 2022 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Rolls Out 100 Proud Bluebikes to Celebrate Pride Month For every ride on a Pride-themed bike in June, Bluebikes title sponsor Blue Cross will donate $1 to Fenway Health, in support of LGBTQ+ health care B OSTON (June 1, 2022) – In celebration of Pride Month, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (“Blue Cross”) is rolling out 100 Bluebikes wrapped in a rainbow pride-themed design through the month of June. Blue Cross Proud bikes will be integrated across the Bluebikes system’s 11 municipalities (Arlington, Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Newton, Revere, Salem, Somerville and Watertown). Blue Cross is the title sponsor of Bluebikes, which is owned by the municipalities and operated by Lyft. To reflect its continued support of the LGBTQ+ community, Blue Cross will donate $1 for every ride taken on Blue Cross Proud bikes through the month of June to Fenway Health in Boston. Lyft will assume the $1 donation after the 10,000th Proud bike ride of the month. Fenway Health, a longtime partner of BCBSMA, works to enhance the well-being of the LGBTQ+ community and beyond through access to the highest quality of health care, education, research, and advocacy. “We’re thrilled to once again celebrate Pride month by continuing our support of Fenway Health’s mission,” said Jeff Bellows, Blue Cross’ vice president of corporate citizenship and public affairs. “Blue Cross is committed to creating more equitable communities and to making health care more accessible and affordable. We look forward to seeing the Proud bikes in the Bluebikes fleet and raising awareness of LGBTQ+ equality along the way.” The Blue Cross Proud bikes will be available within the more than 400 Bluebikes stations across the system’s eleven municipalities through the end of June. Blue Cross is also a founding sponsor of the Massachusetts LGBT Chamber of Commerce and, for the fourth year in a row, received a perfect score on the 2022 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), a national benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ workplace equality, as administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. “We appreciate the commitment Blue Cross continues House Override Vote Shows Priority of Far-Left Wing Legislature Ignores Concern of Voter Fraud & Ignores Calls for Gas Tax Relief B OSTON – Despite the clear and public warnings outlined by Governor Baker in his veto message regarding the legislature’s bill giving driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, House Speaker Ron Mariano and a majority of Democratic lawmakers voted to override the Governor’s veto anyway, pushing the bill over the finish line into becoming law. In the Governor’s veto letter, Baker warned that the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) does not have the expertise or ability to verify identification documents from other countries. He also notes that the bill undermines reforms previously enacted, that were designed to make Massachusetts driver's licenses more secure, and points out that the bill specifically prevents the RMV from sharing citizenship and immigration status with the state entities tasked with ensuring only citizens register to vote. The Governor’s letter went so far as to state, “this bill significantly increases the risk that noncitizens will be registered to vote.” Late last week, the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance launched a digital campaign on social media, directing constituents to contact their lawmakers with their concerns on the bill and asked them to uphold the veto. Since Friday, thousands of emails have poured into the State House from every legislative district in the state clearly showing a groundswell of grassroots support for the Governor’s veto. The override veto vote was 119 to 36 basically on party lines except a handful of opposing democrats. “With gasoline hitting $5 a gallon this week, Speaker Ron Mariano continued to ignore the growing number of voices calling on him to provide relief to the working- and middle-class residents of the state by suspending the state gas tax. Instead, the Speaker and his Democratic House colleagues spent their political capital pandering to the special interest groups that currently control the state Democratic party. Despite the record high overcollection of Massachusetts tax dollars being available to provide some kind of relief to families struggling with inflation and high prices, the Speaker is prioritizing giving illegal immigrants driver’s licenses over Governor Baker’s warnings that it will most likely lead to voter fraud. For the thousands of constituents who contacted their House members the last few days, they will have the next few months to hold their lawmakers accountable before the November election,” stated Paul Diego Craney, spokesperson for Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance. “Just because the Speaker was able to twist arms and override the Governor’s veto doesn’t mean these House members will be off the hook. With the vote taken, they will now have to face their constituents and explain why they follow their Speaker’s orders instead of their constituents' opinions,” concluded Craney. to demonstrate to the health and wellness of the LGBTQ+ community,” said Fenway Health Chief Executive Officer Ellen LaPointe. “This initiative will once again support our critical care, education and advocacy efforts. We’re thankful for our ongoing partnership with Blue Cross and hope that everyone takes a ride on a Pride-themed Bluebike during Pride month.” This is the third time Blue Cross has supported Fenway Health via Blue Cross Proud bikes. In 2019 and 2021, the company donated $1 for every ride on a pride-themed Bluebike, in collaboration with Lyft, to the health center. “We’re proud to collaborate with Blue Cross on a Bluebikes Pride initiative that helps shine a spotlight on the need to improve access to health care for the LGBTQ+ community, especially queer and trans youth who are at a heightened risk for critical health issues,” said Dom Tribone, Lyft General Manager for Bluebikes. “Through this effort, we celebrate the diversity and resilience of the LGBTQ+ community and support the compassionate care provided by Fenway Health.” Blue Cross has been the title sponsor of Bluebikes since its launch in May 2018. Through its partnership with the municipal owners of Bluebikes, Blue Cross continues to support system growth and accessibility, including station expansions, upgrades and additional bikes. Raytheon’s Move Out of Mass. Could Be the Start of a Trend if Grad Tax is Passed B OSTON – News of Raytheon Technologies relocating their corporate headquarters from Massachusetts to Virginia, prompted the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance to issue a warning to lawmakers who are seeking to pass their graduated income surtax amendment ballot question this November. The legislature’s ballot question would raise the state income tax level from 5% to 9% for high income earners and many businesses. This represents an 80% increase for revenue over $1M. This would push the tax climate in Massachusetts further into unfriendly territory for businesses and their employees. “Raytheon may have considered this move for many reasons, but it’s not lost on us that when the legislature’s income tax ballot question is months away from appearing on the ballot, a large Massachusetts based company like Raytheon decides to move its corporate headquarters out of Massachusetts. This could be the first significant canary in the coal mine for Massachusetts and a warning to what will become more common if the legislature’s 80% grad tax hike amendment passes this November,” stated Paul Diego Craney, spokesperson for Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance. Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance advocates for fiscal responsibility, transparency, and accountability in state government and increased economic opportunity for the people of our Commonwealth. Like us on Facebook advocate newspaper Facebook.com/Advocate.news.ma

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