MARLBOROUGH — On the eve of today’s bill-filing deadline, residents at a neighborhood meeting last night gave two local legislators a lot to chew on – from concerns about budget cuts to ideas for bills.
State Sen. Jamie Eldridge, D-Acton, and freshman state Rep. Steven Levy, R-Marlborough, also got a chance to update residents at the French Hill Neighborhood Association meeting about bills they are already filing.
“From the viewpoint of serving older adults in the community, we are particularly worried about budget cuts,” said Christine Alessandro, executive director at BayPath Elder Services, which serves several MetroWest communities. “It’s tough times – really tough.”
Residents also pushed for more senior housing in Marlborough.
Eldridge said that while there will be cuts, it’s important that they don’t “disproportionately affect human services.”
Eldridge, recently elected chairman of the Joint Committee on Housing, said he has been working on bills that tackle a variety of issues, including foreclosure protection, zoning reform, the environment and poverty.
Levy’s proposed bills include legislation that would move the state to a part-time Legislature and a requirement for sex offenders to register with police within two days of moving to community.
Health care cost control will also be a focus this legislative session, Eldridge said.
“It’s going to be difficult, though,” he said.
Rebecca Porter, vice president of the French Hill Neighborhood Association, advocated for a law that requires a minimum age for purchasing lighters.
“You can be 4 years old and buy a lighter,” said Porter, who works with boys who have problems setting fires. “It’s easy legislation.”
Porter said the legislation could piggyback on the law passed last year that bans the sale of novelty lighters.
“That would be a great bill,” Eldridge told the group of about 15 people at the Boys & Girls Clubs on Pleasant Street. “That’s what’s so great about these meetings.”
Legislators can file bills after today’s deadline, but the rules committees from the House and Senate must approve their passage to the committee process, Levy said, the ranking minority member for the Joint Committee on Revenue.