Legislation will support economic growth and quality of life in MetroWest
The Massachusetts Legislature’s schedule of formal sessions came to a close in the early hours of Friday morning as legislators finalized and enacted a wide range of bills and sent them to the Governor’s desk to be signed, Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland) announced. Legislation includes a comprehensive bill to encourage job creation and continued economic growth, spending authorization for environmental projects and facilities improvements and other initiatives to improve quality of life and promote economic prosperity in MetroWest and across the Commonwealth.
Bill protects victims and works to prevent future acts of domestic violence
The Senate and House on Thursday passed final domestic violence legislation, which creates new criminal offenses and elevated penalties, boosts prevention efforts, seeks to empower victims and establishes new employment rights, Senator Karen Spilka announced. Senator Spilka was the lead Senate negotiator on the conference committee working out differences between House and Senate versions of the legislation.
“Too many people in our communities are victims of terrible acts of domestic violence. This bill takes very important steps to improve protections for these victims and increase penalties for perpetrators,” Senator Spilka said. “With these reforms, we are ensuring that victims receive the services, support and compassion they deserve, and we are helping to prevent future cases of violence and abuse.”
The Senate on Wednesday unanimously passed a bill to strengthen reporting requirements for independent expenditure committees and bring a higher level of transparency to elections in the Commonwealth, Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland) announced.
“These important reforms allow us to enhance transparency and accountability in the electoral process,” Senator Spilka said. “We are helping voters in Massachusetts to make better informed decisions, and we are encouraging more thoughtful civic engagement and participation.”
The Massachusetts Senate today unanimously passed legislation updating privacy protections for personal electronic information, lead sponsor of the bill Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland) announced. The Electronic Privacy Act would require law enforcement to obtain a warrant to access personal information derived from telecom customers’ cell phone and internet use.
“The fundamental right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure is firmly entrenched in our state’s history,” Senator Spilka said. “Our phones and laptops store some of our most private thoughts and details of our everyday movements and activities, and this personal information should not be open to government inspection without a warrant. This bill strengthens public safety and protects the privacy of law-abiding people, updating our search warrant laws to fit the realities of the digital age.”
The Senate on Wednesday passed legislation to enhance public safety and remove barriers to access reproductive health care facilities in Massachusetts, Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland) announced. This action follows the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down buffer zones across the nation, including the existing 35-foot buffer zone that was passed by the Legislature in 2007.
“This bill takes important steps to ensure women’s health, safety and dignity, while addressing the Supreme Court’s concerns,” Senator Spilka said. “All women are entitled to safe access to health care services, and I am pleased that we will continue to protect these rights for women in our communities.”
To enhance the ability of law enforcement officials to maintain public safety, the bill prohibits certain conduct outside reproductive health care facilities that threatens access and safety.
Event at PayPal’s ‘Start Tank’ Incubator Highlights Partnerships Between Small and Large Companies that Drive Economic Growth
On Tuesday, the Massachusetts Tech Hub Legislative Caucus hosted a group of over 80 technology entrepreneurs, business executives and state legislators at an event at PayPal’s headquarters in Boston’s Financial District, Caucus co-chair Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland) announced. The meeting focused on the significant private sector investment that is boosting the technology ecosystem in Massachusetts, with a particular focus on larger companies that that support the growth of tech startups through entrepreneur incubator programs and small business accelerators.
During the event, legislators and business leaders toured the Start Tank facility and participated in an interactive panel discussion on the challenges that small tech companies face as they attempt to grow in Massachusetts. The group also focused on the role that public policy plays in the growth of these companies.
“Partnerships between larger companies and start-ups and partnerships with government are key for ensuring Massachusetts stays on a path of economic growth and prosperity,” said Senator Spilka. “Today’s tour and discussion highlighted the ways that incubators and accelerators like the Start Tank are encouraging innovation, new ideas and continued growth in our state’s thriving tech sector.”
How can we support all sectors of our economy, and how can we support our youth, our workforce and our communities?
Read Senator Spilka’s column in the MetroWest Daily News about efforts by legislators to create a climate in Massachusetts that allows businesses to continue to grow and thrive and to help workers in our communities develop skills and find jobs.