Protecting Massachusetts Children

The Welfare Conference Committee is deciding what to include in the final welfare bill.  

Both the House and Senate bills would – 

  • Allow the state to impose work requirements on thousands of disabled parents and take away the benefits for their children if they can’t comply.
  • Deny public housing to many immigrants, including some Haitian earthquake survivors, domestic violence survivors, and crime victims with special visas, among many others.

In addition, the Senate bill would –

  • Require applicants for cash assistance to prove they have looked for work before they can get welfare benefits, even if they don’t have child care, money for transportation, or cell phone minutes.
  • Deny benefits to former recipients who reapply and can’t prove they complied with a welfare plan done months or years earlier when they received assistance.

 

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Senate Passes Significant Election Reform Bill

It was an amazing moment; sitting in the Senate Gallery, awaiting the debate on election reform.  A disappointing bill had come over from the House but Chairman Barry Finegold, his Chief of Staff, Caitriona Fitzgerald, and the entire Election Modernization Coalition had worked hard to improve it with pre-registration and better early voting provisions.  In addition, we had lined up an unusual but powerfully diverse array of amendment sponsors led by Senator Anthony Petruccelli of East Boston to file post-election audits, election day registration and, at the last minute, permanent registration which allows one's registration to move automatically with one's mailing address.

 

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