Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Update on our Priority Legsislation

Here is an updated list of our priority legislation.  Stay tuned for more information on the bills that still sit in committees and have not been acted on. 

 

 Priority Legislation for the 2017-2018 General Legislative Session 



1.      An Act Advancing Contraceptive Coverage and Economic Security in Our State (ACCESS) (SD939/HD450) Lead Sponsors: Sen. Harriette Chandler, Reps. Patricia Haddad and John W. Scibak This bill would expand health insurance coverage of contraceptives in the Commonwealth.  Under this bill health insurance policies must cover:  all FDA-approved prescription contraceptive drugs and devices or their therapeutically equivalent alternatives, all FDA-approved over-the-counter contraceptive drugs and devices, a 12-month supply of contraceptive drugs and devices in a single dispensation, voluntary sterilization procedures, and education and follow-up for any provided contraceptive drugs and devices.  This will improve women’s access to contraceptives throughout the Commonwealth.  This bill was passed!  Thank you to all who advocated for its passage

2.      End Child Marriage in Massachusetts (S785/H2310) Lead Sponsors: Rep. Kay Khan & Sen. Harriette L. Chandler, Current laws allow marriage of children the age of 18 with no age limitations with parental and judicial consent.  This bill would ban marriage under the age of 18.  Proponents say updating marriage laws, which in many states are more than a century old, will help protect children from being pushed into marriages by parents and predators. This bill is now in committee. We need your help to get it out of committee and up for a vote by the legislature.  Watch this website for details.

3.      Housing Court Expansion (S946/H.978) Lead Sponsors: Sen. Karen Spilka The Housing Court has judges and staff with expertise in housing law who are trained to provide tenants and landlords with a fair court process. Both landlords and tenants can access the resources that only Housing Courts have, including the Tenancy Preservation Program, Lawyer for the Day Programs and Housing Specialists. Homeless can be prevented and municipalities can address serious housing and health code violations efficiently and effectively.  Over 30 % of the population in MA has no access to housing court that includes all of Cape Cod & the Islands.  This bill passed

4.      An Act Establishing Just Schedules for Employees (SD/846HD3693) Lead Sponsors: Sen. Kenneth Donnelley, Rep. Sean Garballey This bill would establish employee rights to additional payment if they are not given sufficient advance notice of any changes to their work schedule. The bill specifies that if employers make changes to an employee’s schedule within 10 days of a scheduled shift, they are required to pay between one and four additional hours of predictability pay, in addition to wages earned for hours worked. This bill will protect employees of the retail, fast food and hotel industries of the Commonwealth. 

5.      An Act Establishing a Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program (SD1768/HD2573) Lead Sponsors: Sen. Karen Spilka and Rep. Kenneth Gordon (2016-2017: Engrossed by the Senate – 7/30/16) This bill establishes employee rights to family medical leave or temporary disability leave in the event of the following: the birth of a child of the employee, the placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care, the necessity of an employee to care for a family member that has been diagnosed with a serious health condition for a period of time. Further, the bill safeguards the position, compensation, status, and benefits of the employee upon return from leave so long as ample notice to the employer is given. This bill will now be presented as a ballot referendum in 2018.



Supported Legislation for the 2017-2018 General Legislative Session



Equitable Coverage in Disability Policies (S545.H482) Lead Sponsors: Rep. Kenneth Gordon and Sen. Spilka  (2016-2017: Engrossed by the Senate – 7/30/16)
This bill establishes employee rights to family medical leave or temporary disability leave in the event of the following: the birth of a child of the employee, the placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care, the necessity of an employee to care for a family member that has been diagnosed with a serious health condition for a period of time. Further, the bill safeguards the position, compensation, status, and benefits of the employee upon return from leave so long as ample notice to the employer is given.

Protect Girls from Female Genital Mutilation (S788/HD2873)Lead Sponsors: Rep. Sarah Peake/Sen. Harriette Chandler  Female genital mutilation (FGM) involves removing part or all of a girl’s healthy sex organs and surrounding tissue for non-medical reasons resulting in health consequences, death in childbirth and lifelong trauma. This bill would create a program for education, prevention and outreach for communities that practice FGM, requires mandated reporters to make a 51A report to DCF if a child has suffered from physical or emotional injury resulting from FGM and criminalizes the acts of committing FGM on a child or taking a child in or out of the Commonwealth to commit FGM or to permit another to commute FGM.

this bill passed! Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act  (S1023/H1048) Lead Sponsors: Sen. Joan Lovely and Rep. David Rogers (2016-2017: Reported favorably by the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development and referred to the Committee on House Ways and Means - 8/3/15)  This bill provides safeguards for employees with conditions of pregnancy, childbirth, and other related aspects. The bill allots for ‘reasonable accommodations’ to be taken and provided by the employer. These accommodations include but are not limited to: more or frequent breaks, time off to recover from childbirth, acquisition or modification of equipment, seating, temporary transfer to a less strenuous or hazardous position, job restructuring, light duty, break time and private non-bathroom space for expressing breast milk, assistance with manual labor, or modified work schedule.

Friday, October 27, 2017

CCICSW REGIONAL OPEN HEARING ON WOMEN’S ISSUES

We want to hear from you! 

REGIONAL HEARING ON WOMEN’S HEALTH 
AND PUBLIC TESTIMONY ON WOMEN’S ISSUES

 The Cape Cod & Islands Commission on The Status of Women The Commission is responsible for studying, reviewing and reporting on the status of women across Cape Cod & the Islands to the State Commission. It is charged with advising our elected officials on the effect of proposed legislation on women.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 5:30-7:30PM 
Cape Cod Community College 
2240 Iyannough Rd.
West Barnstable Science Lecture Hall, Room C
 * Free Parking in Lots 8 or 9 * 
* Light snacks will be provided *

Oral and written testimony* will be accepted. Open to the public.

 *Testimony is simply telling us your story, challenge or concern with regards to issues that affect yourself, family and community. No experience is required to testify. This is a no judgment, safe community that wants to hear your concerns to inform our elected officials of the issues that affect their constituency.

For more information, or to RSVP, email CCICSWInfo@gmail.com 

All are invited to testify If you need a reasonable accommodation to fully participate, please use the above email at least 7 days prior to the hearing. To that end, the Commission conducts regional public hearings to collect testimony and opinions on women’s issues and concerns.

 Please help us get the word out to the women in our communities. Attached is a flyer both as a jpg and a pdf file for you to share. If you have a website, Facebook page, electronic newsletter or other communication tools we would appreciate your assistance to ensure the voices of local women are heard.

People are invited to speak with the Commission in person at the hearing and or submit their thoughts in writing to by email to CCICSWinfo@gmail.com


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

SAVE THE DATE! CCICSW Hearing in November

Cape Cod & Island Commission on the Status of Women will hold a hearing Cape Cod Community College November 15, 5:30pm More details to come, watch this space.

Friday, October 6, 2017

MEETING POSTING


(our meeting dates and locations can also be found on our calendar page)

Next meeting:

Wed. October 11th, 5-7pm

 Sandwich Public Library, 142 Main St., Sandwich, Room 1







upcoming meetings (subject to change)

  • November 8th - Yarmouth PD, 340 Higgins Crowell Rd., West Yarmouth 
  • December 13th - Barnstable County Complex, Harbor View Room, 3195 Main St., Barnstable
  • January 10th - Yarmouth PD, 340 Higgins Crowell Rd., West Yarmouth 
  • February 14th - Barnstable County Complex, Harborview Room, 3195 Main St., Barnstable 
  • March 14th - TBD
  • April 11th - Barnstable County Complex, Harborview Room, 3195 Main St., Barnstable

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Needs Survey of Cape Cod and Islands Women

The Cape Cod and Islands Commission on the Status of Women (CCICSW) is conducting a survey of challenges and needs of women on Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. 

The survey has been designed to assess the challenges women are facing in our region. The results will help us determine how we can serve as advocates for you and the women in your network.

This is an anonymous and completely confidential survey:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CCICSW-NeedsAssessment-Survey-2017
The survey will be available until September 10.

Please take a minute to visit the survey link and answer the questions, then share the link with your friends, families and networks, we want to reach a wide range of women in our service area.


Thank you for your participation and help with this effort. 

Cape Cod and Islands Commission on the Status of Women. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Now Accepting Applications for CCICSW Vacant Seat

Applications are now being accepted to fill vacancies on the Cape Cod and Islands Commission on the Status of Women (CCICSW). 

(Application packet can be downloaded here.)

The Commission, which is comprised of 13 members from throughout the Cape and Islands, exists to provide a positive and effective voice for women and girls within the region.

Commissioners are drawn from diverse racial, ethnic, religious, age, sexual orientation, and socio-economic backgrounds from throughout all towns of Barnstable and Nantucket counties including Bourne, Sandwich, Falmouth, Mashpee, Buzzards Bay, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, Barnstable, Yarmouth, Dennis, Brewster, Harwich, Chatham, Orleans, Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro, and Provincetown.

The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women is now accepting applications for

Friday, June 9, 2017

We need YOUR voice! Help move the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act forward for a vote

 

For too many women, a family member’s medical crisis means choosing between a paycheck or being a caregiver.  Sometimes there are no options, no other caregivers are available and the choice is made for them.  And, when a woman gives birth or experiences a medical crisis of her own, the risk of losing a job increases.

CCICSW supports An Act establishing a paid family and medical leave insurance program (S.1048 and H. 2172) as part of our our priority legislation. Last year this legislation was voted in by the senate, then never got a vote in the house and essentially died in the house of represenatives. We can’t let that happen this session.
Tuesday, June 13, the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development will hear testimony and vote on whether to move the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act forward for a vote.

We need you to send letters of support to the committee by Monday at noon. 

What to say:
“I am submitting this letter as written testimony for your hearing on An Act establishing a paid family and medical leave insurance program (S.1048 and H. 2172.) June 13, 2017.  Please add this letter to that testimony.”
Look at these fact sheets for more about the bill:
Tell your own story – talk about a hardship you experienced that this bill may have prevented.  Talk about what this bill would mean to your security or a family member or people you know.  Or, simply state your support.  Keep it to one page. If you belong to a group, committee, consider asking if you can submit a letter on their behalf, or if you have family or friends who support this act, add their names.

Send it by email – and there is more contact information below if you want to make your letter formal.
The Joint Committee leadership is shared by both house and senate, send to all or to just one of the chairs.

Senate:
Senator Jason M. Lewis, Chair:  Jason.Lewis@masenate.gov
Senator Patricia D. Jehlen, Vice Chair:  Patricia.Jehlen@masenate.gov

Joint Committee on Labor
and Workforce Development
24 Beacon St. Room 511-B
Boston, MA 02133

House:
Paul Brodeur, Chair:  Paul.Brodeur@mahouse.gov
Tricia Farley-Bouvier, Vice Chair:  Tricia.Farley-Bouvier@mahouse.gov

Joint Committee on Labor
and Workforce Development
24 Beacon St. Room 472
Boston, MA 02133

And if you want to help move this bill forward – cc your email to the Speaker of the House Robert.DeLeo@mahouse.gov, and Senate President Stan.Rosenberg@masenate.gov.

Share this post with anyone who might be interested in getting this bill passed this session, let’s not allow it to die on the house floor this time!