Senator DiDomenico Recounts Last Year’s Accomplishments
As we begin the second half of the legislative session this January, I want to update you on some of the major initiatives that my colleagues and I in the State Senate have been working on during the past year.
Last year, the Senate worked hard and enacted a number of important bills which I was proud to support, including restructuring of the trial court, anti-human trafficking legislation, state finance reform and alimony reform. We also passed legislation focused on job creation, education, veterans’ issues, strong fiscal management, public safety, transportation initiatives, elder services, housing and economic development.
In the fall, the legislature quickly passed a supplemental budget to provide fiscal relief to some of the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable residents and protection to key programs. One of my top priorities throughout the budget debate was to restore funding to the children’s clothing allowance, which had been cut from $150 per child to $40 per child because of the difficult budget year. I was especially proud that this budget directed additional funds to provide the full clothing allowance and insured that children were able to access this essential necessity.
I also filed a number of pieces of legislation that will improve our communities and will foster the growth of small businesses. One such bill is the Community Development Partnership Act which will create jobs, encourage “community-centric” development and help to strengthen our neighborhoods. I also co-sponsored a bill to extend the Community Preservation Act, which will continue to help local municipalities shape their communities to improve the quality of life for their residents. Because of my advocacy and contributions to community planning, I was named “Legislator of the Year” by the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Planning Association. In addition, during the gaming debate I protected small business interests by filing two amendments, which were included in the final version of the bill, and ensured that they would play a sustained role in casino planning and development.
One of my top legislative priorities this session has been a bill I filed to establish a workplace violence prevention and crisis response plan for all social workers and human service workers. These individuals work selflessly to help our most vulnerable populations and, as highlighted by the recent tragic death of Stephanie Moulton, we have seen too many cases where their safety on-the-job has been brought into question. This legislation takes the steps necessary to shield them from workplace violence.
Another priority of mine has been modernizing our election laws so that our youth have a greater voice in the electoral process. I filed legislation that would allow qualified 16 year-olds to pre-register to vote, so that they will be already signed up to vote once they reach their 18th birthday.
I have also co-sponsored a bill that would establish an online voter registration and another that would ensure that the Registry of Voters has the most updated information available by automatically registering voters who have moved within the Commonwealth. During the upcoming year, I will continue to work actively and passionately for the passage of these bills and others which would increase civic participation and further engage our youth in this process.
Lastly, I want to tell you how honored I am to serve as your State Senator. I have attended hundreds of events throughout the district and have had the opportunity to speak to thousands of residents about their concerns and hopes for the future. You can be sure that your voices have been heard, and I will work each day to improve the lives of the people of my district and throughout the Commonwealth.
This has been a productive year in the Legislature and I look forward to continuing to represent you in the Senate. As always, I can be reached at (617) 722-1650 or via e-mail at email@example.com and greatly appreciate your feedback, questions and support.
Best wishes to you and your family for a happy and healthy New Year!