Public Safety & Public Health Issues and Initiatives in the 4th Essex District
Having served on the legislature’s Public Safety Committee, I have been intimately involved in the Commonwealth’s public safety issues throughout my tenure. Locally, I have made it a point to regularly meet with our police chiefs, fire chiefs and public safety officials to get feedback on their challenges and needs.
Annually, since the opioid epidemic has taken such a hold on our communities, I have worked closely with the Department of Public Health and our local police departments to hold community opioid forums at each of the schools in my district. Department of Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel has been an invaluable resource and asset to my office as we have worked together to not just educate and inform, but help in any way possible, the families in my district who are affected by opioid addiction.
With my support, the current legislative session has passed the following funding and initiatives to ensure the health and safety of our citizens:
- Criminal Justice Reform Bill which expedites DNA sampling and strengthens penalties for trafficking fentanyl and carfentanil, among other criminal justice reforms.
- Banned bump stocks to prevent firearm modifications to increase the firing rate.
- SAFE grants to promote fire safety.
- Raise the Age legislation, which raised the age of juvenile offenders.
Additionally, I am proud to have written and passed landmark public safety legislation that is still saving lives today:
- Melissa’s Law to keep violent, repeat offenders behind bars.
- Junior Operators Law to protect our young drivers.
- Nelly’s Law to protect motorcycle riders.
In addition, I continue to meet with constituents and local public health officials to make sure they have a voice on Beacon Hill and through supporter and advocate outreach, I have supported the following:
- Increased funding for opioids reform to address this deadly epidemic.
- Patch Bill to protect patient privacy.
- Pregnancy Act to provide reasonable employer accommodations to pregnant employees.
- ACCESS bill to close the gap between the Affordable Care Act and state law to ensure that women have access to birth control, free of cost.