PRIORITY LEGISLATION - Support
Women’s Health: The WBA supports An Act Establishing Civil and Criminal Penalties for Female Genital Mutilation (SD307/HD1765), developed by the WBA, which would protect girls in Massachusetts from harm from female genital mutilation (FGM). 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 and is recognized by the UN as a violation of human rights.
Employment: The WBA supports An Act to Establish Pay Equity (SD1423/HD2802) which would protect employees’ freedom of speech regarding pay, eliminate the use of salary history in the hiring process, require compensation to be based on comparable skill, effort, responsibility, and working conditions and require employers to include minimum pay in job postings. The bill's approach is business-friendly because it has little to no cost to implement, allows employers to gradually achieve pay equity, and it builds on other diversity and pay equity efforts already in place at many companies and organizations.
Legal Services Funding: The WBA supports the call of the BBA Task Force report for a funding increase to $25M for FY2016 budget item 0321-1600: 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 to correct the shameful unmet need.
ISSUES WE ARE WATCHING CLOSELY
Probate: An Act Improving Spousal Elective Share - The WBA/MBA/BBA-drafted bill (SD102) modernizes property rights of surviving spouses; under current law a spouse has stronger rights to marital property if s/he divorces rather than stays married. The bill provides safeguards against evasion, notice, right to know the decedent’s assets and procedural rules absent from current law.
Health Education: An Act Relative to Healthy Youth (HD2436) which, for schools providing sexuality education, requires a age-appropriate, medically accurate sexual health curriculum, including making healthy decisions about relationships and sexuality.
Equal Rights Amendment: The WBA supports An Act Providing Equitable Coverage in Disability Insurance (HD764) which would prohibit gender discrimination in disability policies.
(The WBA's legislative policies do not necessarily reflect the views of our sponsors.)