JULY 2022

Celebrate the VOTES Act

Governor Baker signed the VOTES Act June 22! Unrestricted mail voting and expanded early voting are now law. It reduces the registration deadline before elections from 20 days to 10. This law also helps election officials by allowing them to process ballots received before Election Day (but not count them) and widens the pool of potential poll workers. It requires that eligible incarcerated citizens have access to voting. Massachusetts will have to join the Election Registration Information Center (ERIC) to clean up its voter rolls. 

It does not include same-day voter registration, but we will be back next legislative session with a bill to get that done.  Read more.


End of legislative session, July 31

Massachusetts primary, September 6

League Leader event, September 17

Massachusetts election, November 8

Click here for more.

LWVMA Statement on Supreme Court Decision Overturning Constitutional Right to Abortion; Moving Forward from Here...

The League of Women Voters of Massachusetts views the Supreme Court opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturning Roe v. Wade as an attack on a fundamental right to health care and to the right of pregnant people to make their own decisions about what is best for them. The League expresses its gratitude to Governor Baker for issuing an executive order protecting patients, providers, and anyone providing assistance from criminal prosecution, as well as the state legislature for passing legislation that codified the right to an abortion in Massachusetts. We salute our partners in the ROE Act Coalition for anticipating the need for this legislation and now the Beyond ROE Coalition for carrying the work forward. Review the coalition’s priorities here. Read more.

Vedna Lacombe-Heywood Elected to LWVUS Board

We are thrilled to announce that LWVMA's Vedna Lacombe-Heywood was elected to the LWVUS board at LWVUS Convention. Read more.

Summary: Actions of LWVUS 2022 Convention, June 23-26

Delegates approved bylaw changes related to LWVUS’s Structural Transformation plans. Perhaps most important for local Leagues, no sooner than 2024, new members will join at all League levels simultaneously. The non-recommended Bylaw Amendment to drop the age requirement for voting membership failed to pass. Read more.

Leagues Launch Civics Showcases

Local Leagues are partnering with schools to celebrate the student-led civics projects now required by a civics education law we supported. Read more.

Watch LWVMA Council 2022

In case you missed it, please find a recap of the business portion of LWVMA Council here or a recording of the full event here. Watch  the presentation “What Works? The Future of Local News” by Ellen Clegg and Dan Kennedy here.


Youth Voters for a Thriving Democracy

The impact of youth voters in past elections has been shown by the  League of Women Voters of Maine and Tufts’ CIRCLE (Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning & Engagement). See presentation here. If you are interested in doing a postcard campaign to youth voters, email Jen Goldman, LWVMA voter engagement committee for a copy of the campaign.


Family Caregiver Tax Credit Needs Help!

An Act Establishing the Family Caregiver Tax Credit (H.2979/S.788) would give a small tax credit to a family member making under $75,000 per year who cares for a sick adult family member at home, saving the Commonwealth money on nursing home care. Read more.

Still Time for Affordable Housing Bills

In these last days of the legislative session, there is still time to support affordable housing. Escalating housing costs have made it difficult for communities to fund much-needed affordable housing units when they want to build or buy them. Read more.

Back Early Education and Child Care (Common Start Bill)

Urge your legislators to pass An Act to Expand Access to High-Quality, Affordable Early Education and Care, which is now numbered H.4795/S.2883. This bill is heavily based on the original Common Start Bill. The Common Start Coalition is supporting two amendments to the bill. Read more.

Push is On for Strong Climate Legislation

With the July 31 end of the 2021-2022 legislative session closing in, advocates are pressing hard for the strongest possible climate provisions in new legislation to build on the groundbreaking climate law enacted in March 2021. Your advocacy is needed! Read more.

Let's Advocate for Pay Equity by Gender and Race

Please ask your state Senator to urge Senate Ways and Means Chair Michael Rodrigues to report (S.2721), An Act relative to wage equity, out of his committee. This legislation is expected to move forward successfully if it is released by the Senate Ways and Means Committee. See League testimony here. Read more.

Great News on the Safe Communities Act

The Safe Communities Act H.2418/S.1579 has been reported out of the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security favorably. Congratulations and thank you for your support, calls, testimonies, and especially the thousands of emails to the Committee. Read more.

Remote Meeting Access Still Pending

With the option to hold virtual public meetings set to expire statewide on July 15, the Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight is still considering a bill, H.3152/S.2082, that would make remote access and participation during public meetings permanent and routine. Read more.

How to Contact Your Legislator

You can find phone numbers, email addresses and office addresses on the legislature’s webpage for your Senator and Representative. Go to www.malegislature.gov and click on the Legislators tab. If you don’t know who your legislators are, click here.

Massachusetts Legislation Update

Twenty-one League-supported bills received extensions. Nine bills received a favorable report out of committee. Just because they are favorably out of committee does not mean they will necessarily progress further; these bills need our advocacy! Bills may be sent to a conference committee to align the Senate and House approved bills. Bills can be sent to study, meaning there will be no further action on them this session; these are now indicated on the League website. Note that bill numbers change over the course of the legislative session as new drafts are substituted. Read more.


Time to Update the League Leader Directory

It’s that time of year when we update the state-wide League Leader Directory. Please send the names and contact information for your League’s officers and directors/steering committee members to Brynne Gorman. It is especially helpful to identify the point person for voter service/engagement and the point person for membership in your League. Thank you for your help!

Primary or General Contested Races in Your District

Thinking about candidate forums? Check this page on the Secretary of State's website to see if you have any Sept. 6 primary races in your district and to see if your state legislators, Congressional candidates, or other officials have any challengers for the November election. Remember these two elections will be using the new district lines. Need help with questions for candidates? Contact LWVMA.

Save the Date for League Leader Event, September 17                     

We’ll be holding our annual League Leader event on Zoom again this year. Please save the morning of Saturday, September 17. Details coming soon!

LWVMA Website Resource Highlights

Advocacy 101: Guidance for Local League action on issues at the Federal, State and city/town level Part III. Includes safety precautions for rally/march participation from LWVUS.

Guidance for Local League Collaborations with Other Organizations: Includes types of collaborations, including co-sponsoring candidate and ballot question forums, considerations about joining a collaboration, role of local League and League representative to the collaborative group.

The Mass Action Newsletter is distributed to all LWVMA members. Anyone can request the Action Newsletter by clicking here. Please review this Newsletter for articles of interest to your League and include them in your local Bulletin.

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