November Opportunities for Action
Abortion Bill Lobby Day Nov. 14
The ROE Act coalition will hold a lobby day at the State House Thursday, Nov. 14, in support of H3320 / S1209  An Act to remove obstacles and expand abortion access, known as the ROE Act. This is a change from the earlier Oct. 30 date. As many states adopt harmful policies that impede abortion access, it’s more important than ever for Massachusetts to lead in dismantling barriers to that care. 

We will gather at 11 a.m. at 32BJ SEIU Meeting Hall, 26 West Street, across the Common from the State House, to hear from advocates and for a short advocacy training. We will then move to the State House to meet with lawmakers. If you prefer not to move locations, there will be a room at the State House where you can watch a live stream of the speaking program and training. There will be limited transportation available from the western part of the state.

Register for the lobby day here . You can also volunteer to help or request transportation. Wear your League pin if you have one. 

If you cannot attend the lobby day, please call or email your legislators that day, Thursday, Nov. 14, to repeat your support and the League’s support for this bill. The opposition continues to flood the State House with misleading and hateful information about this bill; legislators need to know there is support for it.

As we noted in our testimony on the ROE Act, this bill expands the circumstances under which pregnant persons may choose to have an abortion after 24 weeks to include situations of fatal fetal anomalies. It removes the requirement that pregnant teens have the approval of a parent or judge to obtain an abortion. It eliminates unwarranted criminal penalties for doctors providing abortions and modernizes statutory language regarding abortions. It also establishes safety net coverage for abortion for people excluded from MassHealth. Such coverage already exists for all other pregnancy-related care.

Nov. 6 Hearing on Ranked Choice Voting
The Joint Committee on Election Laws will hold a hearing on ranked choice voting bills Wednesday, Nov. 6, at 1 p.m. in hearing room A-1 at the State House. The hearing will also cover early voting bills. Come and lend your support to this important election reform.

The ranked choice voting bills, H719 and S414, would allow RCV to be used in most state and federal elections. We will also be supporting H635 / S420 to give municipalities the option to use RCV in local elections. The two early voting bills we are supporting, S397 and H681, would expand early voting to all elections, including primaries. Nancy Brumback, chair of the Legislative Action Committee, will be testifying.  

Webinar on Geothermal Energy Legislation
The LWVMA Committee for Environmental Action and Advocacy is presenting a webinar on the FUTURE bill ( H2849 / S1940), featuring Sen. Cynthia Creem, the bill’s sponsor, and Audrey Schulman and Zeyneb Magavi of Home Energy Efficiency Team (HEET), on Wednesday, Nov. 6, from 2 - 3 p.m. The webinar is open to all, but you need to register here.

The FUTURE bill is a comprehensive approach to move away from natural gas and toward a sustainable, safe, established source of energy for heating and cooling homes and buildings: geothermal micro districts. A fact sheet on the bill is available here. Join the webinar to learn how this technology works, how it compares to natural gas use, and how it can reduce carbon emissions.

We expect a joint committee hearing on this bill in mid-November. We will post that information on our Facebook page as soon as it is available so you can support Launa Zimmaro, energy and climate change specialist, when she testifies; you can also check the committee webpage for a date.  

Interested in Legislative Envoy Program?
We now have legislative envoys in most of our local Leagues. These volunteers get to know the state Senator(s) and Representative(s) who represent their local League, and contact them on behalf of our legislative specialists when a bill needs a push. If you are interested in joining that program, you can read more here. Our current envoys are planning regional in-person meetings around the state this month. If you’d like to attend the one in your area, please contact Colleen Kirby, envoy program administrator, for details.

Safe Communities Coalition Seeking Support
The Safe Communities Act Coalition, of which LWVMA is a member, is looking for Chambers of Commerce and businesses of any size to endorse the bill. There is a new business leader assigned to garner business-related endorsements. Please contact Jen Muroff, legislative specialist for immigration, if you have any contacts in these areas.

Want to be Involved in 2020 Census Effort?
A complete and accurate count in the 2020 U.S. Census is critically important to the integrity of our democracy. LWVMA is working on a census toolkit to help local Leagues and League members take action in the state. We hope to have it available by the end of the year. If you want to help with the toolkit, or other census activity, please send your contact information to lwvma@lwvma.org and we will set up a working group where we can communicate with each other. In the meantime, LWVUS is offering some tools and resources to ensure people are counted. For a one-page guide on how to think through getting out the count, check out this resource: Get Out the Count: Mapping Out a Plan.

Legislature Update
The joint committees of the legislature are holding hearings on bills at a fast pace. Most of the bills we are following have been heard, and you can read our testimony on our website here. Almost all of the bills we are following are still in the joint committees. The deadline for reporting bills out of committee (or giving them a brief extension) is Feb. 5. Bills not reported out or extended by that date are dead for this session of the legislature.

The legislature will break for its holiday recess Nov. 20 until after New Year’s. Call or email your Senator and Representative to see if they will hold in-district office hours during that period. If so, please stop by and urge them to support the bills we are following and get them out of committee. Pick your favorites from the list on the website, and particularly include the priority bills from Day on the Hill: Election Day registration, three climate crisis bills, and the ROE Act for reproductive rights. 

The education funding reform bill we are supporting, the Student Opportunity Act, has passed both the Senate and the House, but with differences that will send it to a conference committee. There is a lot of interest in getting this bill done, so it is still likely to be sent to the Governor this year. The Boston Globe had a good summary of the status after the House vote.

Action on the Federal Level
The national League sends out a newsletter, The League Update, every other week that includes updates of the legislation it is working on in Congress and other key issues at the federal level. If you would like to be on the email list for this newsletter, fill out this form

LWVUS DEI Webinars
LWVUS is hosting a series of webinars on diversity, equity and inclusion in 2019. All League members are invited to participate.  Upcoming Webinars: Nov. 21 ( register here) and Dec. 19 ( register here). Recordings and resources from previous webinars are on the League Management Site.
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 .
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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