More May Opportunities for Action
Environment and Energy:

Clean Energy Roadmap WebinarParticipate in the next LWVMA Climate and Energy Solutions Series webinar, "The Clean Energy Roadmap: Pathways to a Clean Energy Future," on Thursday, May 24,  4-5 p.m. Speaker David Ismay is a clean energy and climate change staff attorney for the Conservation Law Foundation in Massachusetts. This webinar will address:
  • What is the 2050 Clean Energy Roadmap and why does Massachusetts need one?  
  • What does Massachusetts need to do to get a roadmap, and how will we use it? 
  • How can we take action to support and achieve the goals of the roadmap?  
Advance registration is required. Click here to register . It's free and open to the public.

Education:

Civics Education The civics education bill to develop a K-12 curriculum on civic engagement has passed the Senate and is in the House Rules Committee. Please contact your Representative and ask that S.2375 be brought to the floor for a vote. You can participate in a virtual advocacy campaign for this bill May 16-18, including a Twitter Town Hall May 16, 1-2 p.m., phone banking and letter writing. Click here for detailed information on participating in any or all of these activities to support civics education.
 
Reforming the Foundation Budget: The bill to modernize the Foundation Budget formula that determines how state aid to school districts will be allocated passed the Senate and needs a push in the House. Contact your state Representative and ask that the Foundation Budget bill, now S.2525, be brought to the floor for a vote.  This bill will implement reforms suggested by the 2015 Foundation Budget Review Committee. A fact sheet on the bill is here
 
Sex Education Bill: The Healthy Youth Act, H.3704, to bring age-appropriate and factually accurate sex education to schools, remains in the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing. The Senate version passed last summer. Let your Representative know it is past time to provide our young people with information about healthy relationships and that you support this bill and want it to pass this session. See the recent Boston Globe article on this stalled bill here  

Elections & Voting:

Automatic Voter Registration:  The Election Modernization Coalition, which includes LWVMA, has a new video explaining Automatic Voter Registration (AVR). Please send a link to your state Representative and ask that this bill, H.4320, be brought to the floor for a vote. This is a positive step in improving access to the ballot box that has received bipartisan support around the country.

Help Draft Voters' Guide Questions: LWVMA will introduce a new Online Voters' Guide to educate voters throughout Massachusetts for the 2018 state primary and general elections. The guide will allow Massachusetts voters to access personalized ballot information for all candidates on the ballot plus all the ballot questions. We need volunteers to develop questions for the candidates and about the ballot questions. If you are interested, please volunteer by May 31, so we can develop questions in June, submit to the candidates in late June, and prepare the Voters' Guide for its July 20 debut. Contact us at jzaunbrecher@lwvma.org or keastman@lwvma.org.
 
Immigration:

Safe CommunitiesThere's a chance to adopt some key provisions of the Safe Communities Act through the Senate budget process, but we have to act now.

Please call your Senator this week, and encourage others to do so. Ask your Senator to support budget amendment #1147 (Sen. James Eldridge) to end police inquiries about immigration status, ensure immigrants in police custody know their legal rights, and end collaboration between sheriffs and ICE. It will also ensure that Massachusetts doesn't participate in any federal registry based on race, religion, or other protected characteristics.

In addition, you can: Sign up here to get email alerts with call scripts and details. Join a phone bank working out of the ACLU office in Boston on May 17, 22 and 23. Sign up here. Set up your own phone bank: If you have five or more people, the ACLU will set you up. Contact Olivia Santoro, osantoro@aclum.org or 617-482-3170.  

Children's Issues:

Lift the Cap on Kids: The Cap on Kids - also called the family cap - denies welfare benefits to children conceived while the family received assistance. Currently, 8,700 Massachusetts children and their families are harmed by this outdated policy that many other states have eliminated.  An amendment to the House budget, passed at the end of April, would remove that cap. Please contact your State Senator and ask for support for a similar amendment to the Senate budget being debated the week of May 21.       

Transportation:
 
Comment on the state transportation investment plan:
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is holding a series of public meetings around the state to share the FY2019-FY2023 Capital Investment Plan update and take public comment. The comment period ends on June 4. Click here for the dates and locations of the meetings and instructions on submitting written comments. Click here for an overview of the proposed plan.

Vote for LWVMA:

Help LWVMA win Boston Globe ad spaceIf you are a  Boston Globe  or bostonglobe.com subscriber, you can help support LWVMA through the  Globe's GRANT program that allows subscribers to help deserving non-profits earn free advertising space in the  Globe .  
Globe subscribers have received or will soon receive a Globe GRANT voucher, either by mail or email. This voucher can be used to designate a non-profit of your choice to receive free advertising space.

Please select the League of Women Voters Lotte E. Scharfman Memorial Fund as your non-profit of choice. If you received a mailed voucher: Fill out your voucher and mail it to The Boston Globe, using the envelope provided, by July 31. If you received an emailed voucher: Go to BostonGlobe.com/GRANT by July 31 to submit your voucher. (You will need your Subscriber Number.)
 
Progress Update:  Action on LWVMA bills since the end of April 
 
Bills that have passed one chamber and are waiting on a vote in the other:
  • S.2506 To update the foundation budget formula for state aid to school districts. Passed Senate.
Bills reported favorably from committee and awaiting a vote in the first chamber:
  • S.1876 To increase the minimum percentage of renewable energy supplied by electricity suppliers
  • H.2116 To authorize municipalities to assess a "water-banking" fee on large-scale water users to mitigate the impacts of major new and expanded developments
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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