There are several bills coming up that need support from our representatives, including: equal pay, earned paid sick time, equitable coverage in disability policies and health education for our children.
May 15, 2013 is the Women's Advocacy Day at the State House (flyer attached). For those who cannot attend, I urge you to reach out to your representatives and have your voice heard.
Please vote for women's access to equality and opportunities in the Commonwealth. The following bills are important to me and I am writing to request your support in their passage.
An Act to Further Define Comparable Work (H1767)
Lead Sponsors: Senator Jehlen, Representative Story
This bill would clearly define comparable work as "comparable skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions between employees of the opposite sex," eliminating the ambiguity of current equal pay laws. Along with clarifying current laws, H1767 would make it more difficult for employers to pay traditionally female held positions less, thus helping close the wage gap in Massachusetts.
An Act Establishing Earned Paid Sick Time (S900/H1739)
Lead Sponsors: Senator Wolf, Representative Khan
This bill would guarantee Massachusetts workers earned paid sick time by allowing them to gain one hour of sick time per every 30 hours worked. By guaranteeing workers time off, they can no longer lose payor their jobs for taking time off to care for their children, spouses, or elderly parents when sick and would prevent the spread of disease when the employee themselves is ill.
An Act Providing for Equitable Coverage in Disability Policies (S427/H838)
Lead Sponsors: Senator Clark, Representative Balser
This bill would end sex discrimination in disability insurance policies. Currently, state-regulated disability insurance is classified by sex, and filings at the Division of Insurance show different premiums for men and women with the same job classification. Women pay upwards of 75% more than their male co-workers do for the same insurance. Passing this legislation would end this discrimination and would put disability insurance amongst the many other types of insurance that are legally barred from discriminating based on sex.
An Act Establishing a Worcester County Commission on the Status of Women (S927)
Lead Sponsor: Senator Chandler
This bill would establish an un-funded commission on the status of women for Worcester County to join many other county and regional commissions across Massachusetts. Geographically the largest county in the state, home to 59 cities and towns, Worcester County is unique and diverse. This bill would let the women of Worcester County
have a stronger and active role in ensuring more equal and full lives for them and their neighbors.
An Act Relative to Healthy Youth (S209/H450)
Lead Sponsors: Senator Clark, Representative O'Day
This bill recognizes that many students are without health education, but when health education is offered the legislation aims to ensure that students receiving sexuality education have the right information so they can make the best decisions to protect their health. If schools are teaching sexuality education, then it must be ageappropriate,
comprehensive, and medically accurate.
An Act Updating the Public Health Laws (S641/H1630)
Lead Sponsors: Senator Chandler; Representative Story, Representative Rushing
This bill would repeal outdated, unconstitutional, and archaic laws that remain on the books in Massachusetts, including a pre-Roe v. Wade abortion ban, a medically unjustified and burdensome hospital mandate, and a birth control ban for unmarried couples. Additionally, the bill would remove language from a current abortion law that mandates an abortion after 13 weeks be performed in a hospital. It would ensure that abortion rights are upheld in the Commonwealth should Roe v. Wade ever be overturned.
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