• Domestic Violence: The WBA supports a bill (S669/H1177) to amend MGL ch. 276, § 55 to prohibit the use of accord and satisfaction in domestic violence cases. Massachusetts is the only state that allows civil compromise over the prosecution’s objection in domestic violence cases.
The WBA supports bills to correct flaws in MGL ch. 265 § 13M (S794/HD1154, H1297),an Act Relative to Domestic Violence by Repeat Offenders. (All bills assigned to Judiciary Committee)
• Employment: The WBA supports An Act Further Defining Comparable Work (H1767/H1702)which would add four objective characteristics (skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions) with which to compare jobs under the existing Comparable Work statute, MGL c.149§105A. (Labor & Workforce Development)
• Welfare - The WBA supports an Act to Bring Child Support Home (S48) to allow families on Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) to keep more child support and allow child support arrears to go to families instead of to the state for repayment of welfare costs. While it is not completely cost neutral, much of the cost is absorbed by the federal government.
The WBA supports an Act Promoting Financial Stability and Asset Development (S37/H93) to raise the asset limits for TAFDC (now$2,500) and Emergency Aid to Elders, Disabled and Children (EAEDC) (now $250) to $10,000; to allow each licensed driver in a family to have a car; and to allow recipients to keep and responsibly spend down lump sum payments up to $10,000. It also will have some training and education components. (Both bills assigned to Committee on Children and Families)
•Earned Paid Sick Time: The WBA supports an Act Establishing Earned Paid Sick Time (S900/H1739) to give employees a one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked. The total per year increases from 40 hours of unpaid but job-protected for companies with fewer than 6 employees to 40 hours paid per year for 6 to 10 employee sand 56 hours paid per year for 11 or more employees. This bill protects public health by minimizing the spread of illness; saves employers money by reducing spread among workers, reducing diminished productivity and turnover; and levels the playing field for employers who already offer paid sick days and balances the needs of business and workers. (Labor & Workforce Development)
• Legal Services Funding: The WBA supports funding General Support for legal services, funding for Battered Women’s Legal Assistance Project, a program for advocacy for Medicare advocacy and a Disability Benefits Project. (FY2014 budget item 0321-1600)
• Equal Rights Amendment: The WBA supports An Act Providing Equitable Coverage in Disability Insurance, S427/H838, which would prohibit gender discrimination in disability policies. (Financial Services)
(The WBA's legislative policies do not necessarily reflect the views of our sponsors.)