Eldridge Files Legislation for 2011-12 Session

January 26, 2011

BOSTON – State Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton) announced today that he has filed his legislation for the 2011-12 legislative session. Eldridge filed a total of 92 bills, on topics ranging from health care and economic development to the environment, government transparency, elections reform, housing, anti-poverty reforms, consumer protection, regionalization, and land use and planning.

“It’s time for Massachusetts to take bold steps forward to create good-paying, permanent jobs responsibly, rein in out-of-control health care costs, reduce the influence of corporations on our government and our elections, protect our public lands and drinking water supplies and increase transparency in our government,” said Senator Eldridge. “I’m proposing a range of bills that would create substantive, progressive change to move our Commonwealth forward.”

Some of the more significant bills Eldridge is filing this session include:

  • A “Medicare for All” bill that would create a single-payer health care system for Massachusetts, guaranteeing first rate health care coverage for every resident of the state, while saving money for state and local government, businesses, and residents.
  • An Act to Promote Transparency & Efficiency in Economic Development, which aims to make our economic development spending more transparent, ensure that subsidies are awarded and evaluated based on measurable job creation standards, and strengthen our “clawback” authority, so that when companies – such as Evergreen Solar — fail to meet their job creation commitments, we can get our taxpayer dollars back.
  • A trio of bills to reduce corporate influence on our elections and our government by banning state contractors from giving or soliciting campaign contributions, increasing disclosure and disclaimer standards for corporations spending money on state campaigns, and requiring corporations spending their general treasury funds on political advertisements to notify shareholders and receive board of director approval. This bills are a response to the  Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC.
  • An Act to create an Office of Clean Technology, which will help increase the competitiveness of Massachusetts’ clean technologies industry to create jobs and promote new and emerging clean technologies in our state.
  • The “E-Waste” Bill, to increase recycling of e-waste — i.e. computers, televisions and printers – and reduce the amount of hazardous chemicals leaching into landfills from e-waste disposal.
  • An Act to promote financial stability and asset development, an anti-poverty bill reforming our welfare system to help low-income families develop the assets — such as an education or a car to drive to work – necessary to gain employment and weather financial emergencies.
  • An Act preventing unnecessary vacancies in foreclosed homes, which would allow homeowners and their families to remain in their homes and pay rent after foreclosure under certain circumstances, reducing vacancies that can have adverse effects on our neighborhoods.
  • An Act to promote municipal collaboration and regionalization throughout the Commonwealth, which will help promote opportunities for municipalities to regionalize, allowing them to leverage existing resources to contain costs and improve the quality of services.

Eldridge held a series of “Listening Tour” meetings   across the district in December and January, and has also filed a number of bills that came out of those and other conversations with constituents, including:

  • An Act creating a grant program for municipal energy efficiency officers, which would help local communities hire green community officers to develop energy use reduction plans for a town or region.
  • An Act relative to eligibility for veteran survivor benefits, which would remove application time restrictions that have prevented some veterans and their family members from accessing benefits for which they are otherwise eligible.
  • An Act prohibiting the sale of lighters to minors, an idea  that came out of a recent Listening Tour meeting in Marlborough from a constituent who works with troubled youth, many of whom have gotten into trouble for arson after purchasing lighters at local stores.

“Over the years, I’ve filed many bills that came out of conversations with constituents – whether it’s because a constituent brings me a good idea, or because I realize after talking with someone going through a difficult time that the law could be changed to prevent similar problems from happening in the future, or to provide more support for those in need,” said Eldridge. “I’m always looking for good ideas to make our government more responsive to the needs of the people, and I encourage constituents to contact me any time with your ideas and concerns.

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