June Opportunities for Action
Environment and Energy:

Rally for Climate Change Action: Participate in the Climate Action Network's "Walk the Talk on Climate!" rally Friday, June 8, 9:30-11:00 a.m. at Copley Square in Boston as the U.S. Conference of Mayors annual meeting kicks off. Click here for more information and to register. See the Facebook event page here. Calls for action are mounting, with the latest from over 500 scientists and faith leaders in Massachusetts who have issued an  appeal for the State to act. 

Energy bills need push in House: While the Senate works on a comprehensive omnibus energy bill, S.2302, the House continues to follow an incremental, bill-by-bill approach to address climate change, resisting the bold action needed given the growing threat of climate change.

Call, write and/or meet with your State Representative and ask for support of the bills below. If your Representative is supportive, ask him/her to actively advocate for support from colleagues and House leadership. Passage of these bills, which originated in the House, would be a huge step in the right direction.
  • A price on carbon as in H.1726 An Act to promote green infrastructure, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create jobs, or a market-based mechanism for pricing carbon as outlined in S.2302, the energy omnibus bill in the Senate.
  • A plan for achieving mandated emissions requirements for 2050 as in H.2149 An Act relating to the effective and efficient implementation of the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008, also contained in S.2302.
Watch Clean Energy Roadmap Webinar: "The Clean Energy Roadmap: Pathways to a Clean Energy Future," the LWVMA Climate and Energy Solutions Series webinar held May 24, is now available here. David Ismay from the Conservation Law Foundation presents a long-range plan that explains what needs to be done in Massachusetts to successfully address climate change. You can view his slide presentation here.

Education:

Civics EducationThe civics education bill, now numbered S.2375, to develop a K-12 curriculum on civic engagement, passed the House unanimously May 30.  A version passed the Senate in March, so the next step is to see if the two chambers will reconcile any differences, then the bill will go to the Governor. On the fiscal side, the House voted for $1,000,000 and the Senate voted for $1,500,000 for civics education in their respective budget packages. The fact that both budgets include significant support is important. A budget conference committee will work out the final version.  Our thanks to education specialist Karen Mazza for all her work on this bill.  Thank your legislators for making strong civics education a reality in Massachusetts!  
 
Elections & Voting:

Automatic Voter Registration: It's time for the House to vote on this League priority! Please contact your state Representative again and ask that this bill, H.4320, be brought to the floor for a vote so it can go to the Senate. Time is running short to enact this important election reform for the 2020 election.  
 
Immigration:

Safe Communities: M ost provisions of the Safe Communities Act passed the Senate 25-13 through budget amendment #1147, which adds four key protections for immigrants to the Senate version of the state budget. A budget conference committee will reconcile the House and Senate budgets. We need the support of House Leadership and the Governor to keep these provisions in the budget. The Governor has already spoken against these protections.

Call Speaker DeLeo (617) 722-2500 and ask him to include immigrant protections in the final budget. Call the Governor (617) 725-4005 or email through his website and ask him to reconsider and to protect immigrant families.

The Senate budget amendment does not restrict communications with federal agencies, nor does it prevent the Department of Corrections (DOC) from working with ICE. The Senate budget amendment simply prevents police from asking about immigration status; ends federal 287(g) contracts between sheriffs (not DOC) and ICE; requires that immigrants in custody be informed of their due-process rights; and ensures that Massachusetts does not contribute to any registry based on religion, ethnicity, citizenship, or other protected categories.

Gun Control:

Extreme Risk Protection Order Bill:  H.3610, now numbered H.4517, which  establishes a civil procedure for removing guns from people who pose a significant danger of causing harm to themselves or others, passed the House, and heads to the Senate. Ask your Senator to vote in favor of this "red flag" legislation.

Wear Orange Weekend: June 1-3 has been designated national Wear Orange Weekend to draw attention to the need for stronger gun control legislation. In conjunction, the Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence is launching its Central Massachusetts chapter on Saturday, June 2, at 8 a.m. at the First Unitarian Church, 90 Main St., Worcester, before the Democratic state convention; register  here . Moms Demand Action is hosting a Wear Orange event on June 3, 3-7 p.m., at Lena Park Community Development Center in Dorchester, and LWVMA will be registering voters! Find information here .     

Progress Update:   Action on LWVMA bills since mid-May
 
Signed into law by the Governor:
  • H.4536 To issue bonds financing production and preservation of low- and middle-income housing
Bills that passed both chambers:
  • S.2375 To require a program of K-12 civics education and engagement
Bills that have passed one chamber and are awaiting a vote in the other:
  • H.4517 Extreme Risk Protection order bill to remove guns from people who pose a significant danger to themselves or others. Passed House.
Bills reported favorably from committee and awaiting a vote in the first chamber:
  • H.101/S.612 To create a common application for safety-net social services
How to Contact Your Legislator:  
   
You can find phone numbers, email addresses and office addresses on the legislature's web page 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.
 
The LWVMA 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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