Oct 6 2014
No program for inmates at life’s end
James Flowers has spent nearly 50 years in prison for murdering a Springfield liquor store clerk. But these days, he spends most of his time in a hospital bed, immobile, mute, and suffering from end-stage dementia. At least one doctor has said the 72-year-old has only...
Sep 21 2014
Senator Jehlen Appointed to Foundation Budget Review Commission
Senate President Therese Murray has appointed Senator Patricia Jehlen to the Foundation Budget Review Commission. The Commission will consider what our schools need in order to help all children get a quality education, and how the state can meet those needs.
Sep 4 2014
New Orange Line Stop Opens Amid Fanfare
Applause filled the air and cameras snapped as an train barreled into the MBTA’s first new rapid transit station in a quarter century – the Orange Line station at Assembly Square in Somerville.
"Right on time,"...
Sep 4 2014
Home Care Workers Around the Country Demand Higher Wages
Home care workers joined fast food workers in a cross-country protest for better wages on September 4.
In at least six major cities -- Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, and Seattle -- home care workers demonstrated alongside fast food employees to
Jul 8 2014
Sen. Jehlen Announces Alzheimer's Acute Care Advisory Committee
Senator Patricia Jehlen announces that the Massachusetts Senate has passed An Act Relative to the Massachusetts Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias Acute Care Advisory Committee. This legislation creates an Advisory Committee to craft a strategy to address dementia-...
Jul 7 2014
New state law to notify women of dense breast tissue, breast cancer risk
Boston Business Journal
Legislators said that a new law requiring doctors to notify women of dense breast tissue will save lives and likely won’t increase health care costs.
The bill, signed by Gov. Deval Patrick in late June, would require the Department of Public Health to issue new...
Jun 27 2014
Change proposed in inmates’ health coverage
The Boston Globe
Massachusetts is poised to join a dozen states that are reaping millions in federal dollars for prisoners’ health care and possibly also reducing the risk that released inmates will reoffend.
All that is required is a change in state law governing the Medicaid...
May 21 2014
For Home Care Aides, Low Wages Could Get Bump From Budget Amendment
BOSTON — The Massachusetts Senate begins debate Wednesday on amendments to a $36 billion state budget. One of the countless amendments filed would increase wages for home care aides. Those are the folks who care for the elderly or disabled, allowing them to...
May 13 2014
Bill to Protect Domestic Workers Passes
The Senate on May 8 unanimously passed a bill to establish a bill of rights for domestic workers, establishing clear labor standards and protections in the workplace.
"All workers deserve equal protections in the workplace," said Sen. Patricia Jehlen, D-...
May 6 2014
A Fairer Test Score Measure
How can you identify a truly ineffective school? To paraphrase retired Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, you know it when you see it.
But state policy requires greater specificity than that. And in Massachusetts, we identify the lowest performing schools primarily by...
Apr 18 2014
Demand equal pay for all workers
On April 8, Pay Equity Day, we again observed that women earn, on average, 79 percent of men’s pay. One reason is that "women’s work" — caring for the sick, elders and young children — is far underpaid given the skill, effort and...
Feb 5 2014
Welcome the Immigrant Driver
Most Massachusetts residents don’t seem to know what to think of the undocumented immigrant population. And yet, this demographic is categorically an economic fact of life in the Commonwealth. These workers often are part of the silent backdrops in our everyday...
Jan 17 2014
Senate Passes Election Reform Bill
The Senate on Thursday voted 37-1 to pass legislation reforming the election laws in the Commonwealth by authorizing early voting for state and federal elections and primaries, allowing residents to register to vote on Election Day and creating an online voter registration...
Jan 17 2014
Let’s clean up Mystic River
While the famous Red Sox anthem “Dirty Water’’ might still be a local favorite as we celebrate our beloved team, the underlying theme of a polluted Charles River is fortunately no longer relevant. Boston Harbor and the Charles River are national examples...
Dec 19 2013
RIDE users to see decrease in fares
This week the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Board of Directors approved an MBTA plan to reduce fares for RIDE users from $4 per trip to $3 per trip. This is welcome news for tens of thousands of Massachusetts paratransit users who, in July 2012,...
Nov 21 2013
Senate Passes Bill to Restore Minimum Wage
The Somerville News Weekly
BOSTON – The Senate on Tuesday passed a bill that will restore the value of the minimum wage in Massachusetts by increasing the minimum wage to $11 by 2016 and tying future increases to the Consumer Price Index for the Northeast region. The bill also increases...
Oct 25 2013
Staying safe when renovating lead paint
Contractors, homeowners and owners of child care centers built before 1978, take note. A recent update – Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP) – requires contractor supervisors to take a one-day class on lead paint safety and contractors to be licensed...
Oct 24 2013
Senator Jehlen Announces Passage of Parental Leave Legislation
The Somerville News Weekly
Senator Jehlen announced today that the Senate voted to pass S865 An Act relative to parental leave. Senator Jehlen is the lead sponsor of this legislation, which protects employees and modernizes the legal concepts of parental leave.
“I am proud of the hard work...
Oct 13 2013
Recognizing ‘Employ Older Workers Week’
Everybody knows we’re living longer. We’re also working longer. Seventy-five isn’t quite the new 65, but a quarter of people 65 to 74 are still working.
Without older workers, the labor force in Massachusetts would actually be shrinking. By 2020, more...