Page 18 THE REVERE ADVOCATE – FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2024 Sen. Lydia Edwards Yes SUPPLEMENTAL BUDGET INBy Bob Katzen If you have any questions about this week’s report, e-mail us at bob@beaconhillrollcall.com or call us at (617) 720-1562 GET A FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO MASSTERLIST – Join more than 22,000 people, from movers and shakers to political junkies and interested citizens, who start their weekday morning with MASSterList—the popular newsletter that chronicles news and informed analysis about what’s going on up on Beacon Hill, in Massachusetts politics, policy, media and infl uence. The stories are drawn from major news organizations as well as specialized publications. MASSterlist will be e-mailed to you FREE every Monday through Friday morning and will give you a leg up on what’s happening in the blood sport of Bay State politics. For more information and to get your free subscription, go to: https://lp.constantcontactpages. com/su/aPTLucKs THE HOUSE AND SENATE: Beacon Hill Roll Call records local senators’ votes on roll calls from the week of March 18-22. There were no roll calls in the House last week. REVENGE PORN AND TEEN SEXTING (S 2703) Senate 40-0, approved a proposal that would prohibit the posting of sexually explicit images of another person online without their permission— commonly referred to as “revenge porn.” The practice is often used by exspouses or ex-partners. Massachusetts is one of only two states that does not have a law about this crime. The measure makes it illegal to break this new law and establishes a sentence of up to 2.5 years in prison and/or a fi ne of up to $10,000; increases the upper limit of the fi ne for criminal harassment from $1,000 to $5,000; and allows a victim to petition the court for a harassment prevention order against a person who has violated this statute. Another provision changes current law under which minors, under 18 years of age, who share explicit images of themselves or other minors, can be charged with violating Massachusetts child pornography laws and are required to register with the Sex Off ender Registry. The bill allows minors to be diverted to an educational program that would provide them with information about the consequences of posting or transmitting indecent visual depictions of minors. “With passage of this bill today we take another step towards closing a loophole in our laws that has caused pain, anguish, embarrassment and a sense of helplessness to those survivors who for so long suff ered in silence, without justice,” said chief sponsor Sen. John Keenan (DQuincy). “I am deeply grateful to those who shared their stories and advocated for change to ensure others would not have to suff er as they have. For every case we know of, countless others remain hidden, so I hope passage of this legislation by the Senate will soon lead to the bill being signed into law by the governor. Most importantly, I hope it will provide some closure for survivors and their loved ones and send a clear message that there will be consequences for such conduct.” “I am proud that the Senate has passed comprehensive legislation to prevent abuse and exploitation,” said Sen. Jamie Eldridge (D-Marlborough), Senate Chair of the Judiciary Committee. “The rise of new technology has created a reality in our society where it is easy to cause great harm and signifi cant trauma to people, and Massachusetts needs to take action to better protect victims and prevent such disturbing actions from happening. We also need to provide more tools to protect people in a relationship from being psychologically abused through coercive control, with a growing recognition of the many ways that a partner or family member can cause emotional harm.” The House has already approved a diff erent version of the bill and a House-Senate conference committee will likely work out a compromise version. (A “Yes” vote is for the bill.) AA. Masonry & Construction Felix Valenzuela - 781-500-5519 Free Estimates Licensed & Insured Reliable * Experienced Concrete Work * Decks * Patios * Blue Stone * Retaining Walls * Brick & Cement Blocks *         Email: AAfordablemason@gmail.com HIC 209358 CLUDING $250 MILLION FUNDING FOR SHELTERS (S 2708) Senate 32-8, approved a supplemental budget that includes an additional $250 million in funding for the Emergency Assistance Program that funds the emergency family shelter system which houses migrants. The bill requires each family in shelter to receive an individualized rehousing plan. It makes eligibility for shelter after nine months contingent upon compliance with the rehousing plan, with certain categorical exemptions. It would also allow offi cials to award one or more 90-day extensions to shelter residents who meet certain criteria, such as veterans, the disabled, a single parents of children with disabilities or those who need an extension to avoid losing a job. Other provisions keep in place some pandemic-era programs, set to expire, including allowing restaurants to sell beer, wine and cocktails for take-out and expanding outdoor dining. “The plan passed by the Senate today addresses the state’s fi scal reality while also treating individuals who have migrated to our state with dignity and respect,” said Senate President Karen Spilka (D-Ashland). “As we continue to navigate through a challenge that has landed on our doorstep because of Congressional inaction, today we are addressing the immediate need to house families, bolstering our existing eff orts to support those who have immigrated here in becoming part of our workforce, and providing a roadmap to manage this eff ort over time.” “The Senate recognized the necessity of continuing to proactively respond swiftly and decisively to meet this unprecedented humanitarian emergency shelter crisis head-on, by not only providing the requisite funds to address this crisis, but also provide a long-term framework to transition these families out of temporary shelters and into permanent housing,” said Sen. Mike Rodrigues (D-Westport), Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “With $250 million in emergency funding for fi scal year 2024, we can weather this challenge as we develop solutions for rehousing families, provide workforce opportunities and integrate these children into our public school system. “I voted No on the supplemental budget because the “Right to Shelter” law is costing the commonwealth $3 million a day to house, feed, protect and educate or provide childcare services to individuals and families who are not our residents,” said Sen. Ryan Fattman (R-Sutton). “Our emergency shelter program was never meant to handle the number of individuals it is housing today and the federal government, who has the sole authority to handle this immigration crisis and provide fi nancial relief to states, is nowhere to be found,” said Sen. John Velis (D-Westfi eld) who also voted against the measure. “As the demand for the program continues at this unsustainable rate, we simply cannot continue to fund this ourselves without jeopardizing countless critical programs that we hold dear.” Sen. Bruce Tarr, the chief opponent of the bill, did not respond to repeated requests by Beacon Hill Roll Call asking him to explain why he voted against it. (A “Yes” vote is for the budget. A “No” vote is against it.) Sen. Lydia Edwards Yes RESETTLEMENT AGENCIES MUST CONSULT WITH STATE (S 2708) Senate 8-31, rejected an amendment that would require resettlement agencies to consult on a monthly basis with the Governor’s Executive Offi ce of Housing and Livable Communities to ascertain the projected availability of space in the state’s shelter system. It also prohibits resettlement agencies from undertaking resettlement activity when it is foreseeable that the shelter system will exceed capacity. “By directing resettlement agencies to work more closely with the Healey Administration, [the amendment] would have helped the commonwealth better forecast its shelter capacity and ensure that we always have space for those who need it most,” said Sen. Mike Moore (D-Millbury) who voted in favor of the amendment. “I believe this would’ve been key to ensuring that our emergency shelter system is not overrun and that we can keep costs from spiraling out of control.” Amendment opponents said the amendment is unnecessary and argued the resettlement agencies do a great job and should not be handcuff ed and tied up with the bureaucracy. Sen. Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester), the sponsor of the amendment and Sen. Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington) who opposed the amendment did not respond to repeated requests by Beacon Hill Roll Call asking them to explain why they voted the way they did. (A “Yes” vote is for the amendment. A “No” vote is against it.) Sen. Lydia Edwards No TAKE INTO ACCOUNT LENGTH OF RESIDENCY IN BAY STATE (S 2708) Senate 12-27, rejected an amendment that would require the state take into account an individual’s length of residency in Massachusetts when determining priority in securing emergency shelter. “While this amendment is not a residency requirement, it would’ve made sure those who have demonstrated a longer commitment to the commonwealth are prioritized for extended stays in the commonwealth’s emergency shelter system,” said Sen. Mike Moore (D-Millbury) who voted for the amendment. “To be clear, there are important exceptions to this rule – those who are at imminent risk of harm due to domestic violence and those who are making progress toward work authorization will not be skipped over. This strikes me as a reasonable compromise to ensure our emergency shelter system is available to Bay Staters who need it fi rst, while preserving the spirit of the law that maintains Massachusetts as a place that is welcoming to all.” Amendment opponents said this would essentially create an unfair residency requirement that would have Bay State residents competing with each other for slots. They noted there are already reasonable provisions in the bill which prioritize pregnant women, victims of domestic abuse, work status and veterans’ status. Sen. Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester), the sponsor of the amendment and Sen. Mike Rodrigues (D-Westport) who proposed the amendment did not respond to repeated requests by Beacon Hill Roll Call asking them to explain why they voted the way they did. (A “Yes” vote is for the amendment giving preference to length of residency. A “No” vote is against the amendment.) Sen. Lydia Edwards No CONDUCT SAFETY REVIEW (S 2708) Senate 39-0, approved an amendment that would require the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities, in conjunction with the Executive Offi ce of Public Safety and Security, to conduct a safety review of current safety practices and implement recommendations to reduce the risk to human life and safety. “It is essential that state run emergency shelters and overflow sites maintain the highest standards of safety to protect the families in our care,” said amendment sponsor Sen. Michael Moore (D-Millbury). “I’m pleased the Senate unanimously adopted this amendment to require a clear and eff ective safety plan at these sites.” (A “Yes” vote is for the amendment.) Sen. Lydia Edwards Yes ALSO UP ON BEACON HILL ELECTRIC VEHICLE (EV) CHARGING STATIONS IN CONDO PARKING SPACES (H 1303) – The House gave initial approval to a bill that would prevent condominium asBEACON | SEE Page 20

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