Issues Blog

Entries, updates on issue organizing and information, legislative action, and other material related to our Progressive Platform and Legislative Agenda

These Bills Passed in July. Why Are They Still in Conference Committee?

In July, the MA House and MA Senate both passed police reform bills (of varying ambition). And the House passed a climate bill (the Senate had done so back in January).

In each case, there are six-member committees of state senators and state representatives ("conference committees") working to come up with a final bill.

So where are they?

The short answer: We don't know.

The long answer: Conference committees are incredibly secretive processes. But the more your legislators hear from you about the need for the strongest bills possible on both fronts, the better the odds are that we will see better final products -- or any final bills at all.

Can you contact your state legislators this weekend with four key asks for each bill?

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Fight for Housing Justice & Immigration Justice

On Monday, the House voted on key housing amendments to its economic development bill.

State reps overwhelmingly ignored housing justice activists, voting AGAINST allowing municipalities to impose real estate transfer fees to combat speculation and raise money for affordable housing, AGAINST allowing municipalities to pass rent-stabilizing regulations, and AGAINST making it easier for municipalities to pass inclusionary zoning ordinances.

Some of these state reps -- embarrassingly -- voted against the text of bills they co-sponsored earlier in the session.

Was your representative one of the few who stood up for housing justice? Find out here.

The Senate will be taking up its version of an economic development bill tomorrow, so that means there is another opportunity to fight for housing justice and immigration justice.

Can you call your senators in support of the following amendments? 


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Fight for the Strongest Police Reform Bill

House and Senate Leadership have appointed a conference committee to reconcile their respective bills. The conference committee -- Sen. Brownsberger, Sen. Sonia Chang Diaz, Sen. Tarr, Rep. Cronin, Rep. Gonzalez, and Rep. Whelan -- will work on a consensus bill, which will have to be voted on and then sent to the Governor.

Please urge your legislators and Governor Charlie Baker to support the strongest bill possible.

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