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Workforce-development bill honors Donnelly

The office of Sen. Cindy Friedman, Democrat of Arlington, provided the following release Aug. 7:friedman column

Bill includes provision honoring labor and workforce champion Ken Donnelly

Sen. Cindy Friedman recently joined her legislative colleagues in passing a sweeping $1 billion economic-development bill, calling for targeted investments in workforce training and job creation through ambitious public-infrastructure projects.

The bill authorizes millions of dollars in grants to workforce training programs and public infrastructure projects across Massachusetts, including:

-- $75 million in competitive grants for technical education and workforce training programs;

-- $250 million in bonds to the MassWorks Infrastructure Program that will support thousands of jobs rebuilding roads and bridges, restoring historic ports and completing community revitalization projects; and

-- $500 million in local economic development aid.

The technical-education grants will provide funding for new lab equipment, such as microscopes, robotics training kits and 3D printers in classrooms across the state, allowing for new programs in robotics and other high-tech vocational fields.

“With additional grants to support workforce training and education, more workers will have access to opportunities that will lead to good jobs in high-demand industries, further energizing our economy and strengthening our communities,” said Friedman, a member of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development, in a news release. “This bill demonstrates the Commonwealth’s commitment to supporting our workforce and creating an economy that works for everyone.”

The legislation also includes an amendment Friedman advocated for that would rename the grants issued by the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund after the late Senator Kenneth Donnelly, Democrat of Arlington, in honor of the work he did to advance workforce opportunities in the Commonwealth, specifically to those who are unemployed and often lack a pathway to economic stability.

The fund supports industry training partnerships with employers, community colleagues and community-based training providers to train and place unemployed and underemployed workers. A strong advocate for working families, Donnelly included funding this effort as one of his top budget priorities each year he was in the Legislature. In addition, he sought to create a steady, more consistent stream of funding for the fund and proposed several different vehicles to ensure that this successful workforce training model would continue to grow and serve more workers in need of jobs.

“Senator Donnelly never gave up on this effort, nor throughout his career did he relax his constant and vocal support for working families,” Friedman said in the release. “Because of the work he did to provide employment opportunities for our residents, it is a fitting gesture that we name the workforce training grants in Ken’s honor.”

In addition to workforce development, the bill also invests in the state’s cultural economy, promoting the arts and tourism industries. The compromise bill also establishes a two-day sales tax holiday this year, which will take place on August 11 and 12 ahead of the back-to-school shopping season.

Legislators also made two major reforms to practices that have disadvantaged smaller entrepreneurs and employees. First, the bill reforms the state’s noncompete laws, establishing conditions on the enforcement of noncompetition agreements to improve worker mobility and free employees to pursue their careers. Second, the bill includes new protections for entrepreneurs by enforcing a ban on making bad faith assertions of patent infringement, a practice known as “patent trolling.” Such claims entangle new small businesses in costly lawsuits that hamper the companies’ productivity and sap their early funds.

Looking ahead to future economic development opportunities and challenges, the House and Senate proposed new measures on cybersecurity and autonomous vehicles. In light of high-profile cyber incidents like last year’s Equifax breach, the bill authorizes $2.5 million in bonds to support the Massachusetts Cybersecurity Innovation Fund, investing in infrastructure needed to address threats and expand the employment pipeline.

In addition, the legislation tasks the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative with conducting a study and issuing recommendations on how to advance the state’s competitiveness in the autonomous vehicle industry.

The economic-development bill is before the governor for his consideration.

Friedman looks back over her first year as senator

The office of Sen. Cindy Friedman, Democrat of Arlington, provided the following newsletter Friday, July 27:

 A year ago today, I was officially sworn into the Massachusetts State Senate. It’s hard to believe that it has already been one year since I began my career as a legislator – and what a year it has been.

Since last July, I’ve had the pleasure of attending events in the 4th Middlesex, addressing your concerns at office hours, and discussing important issues impacting Massachusetts. At the same time, I took part in several key votes to protect women’s access to healthcare, address the opioid epidemic, fight for working families, stand up for our veterans, reform our criminal justice system, and much more. It has been my honor and privilege to represent you on Beacon Hill and fight for the issues we care about.

To commemorate my 1-year anniversary as your state Senator, my team compiled a list of highlights from the past year. Please continue scrolling to view our “Year in Numbers” and get a better sense of the work I’ve been doing this session to benefit our district and the Commonwealth.

I look forward to continuing our work in the days, weeks, and months ahead. As always, if you have any questions, please contact my office by phone at (617) 722-1432 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

Thank you for your support.

Cindy


LEGISLATIVE WORK
 
BILLS CARRIED ON FROM SEN. DONNELLY48         
                               
                                                
BILLS INTRODUCED7     
                                            
BILLS CO-SPONSORED59      
                                   
BUDGET AMENDMENTS FILED25                                     
 
COMMITTEE, WORKING GROUP, & 
CAUCUS MEMBERSHIPS13     
                                                          
$$ SECURED IN STATE BUDGET FOR 4TH MIDDLESEX$500,000
(Pending finalization of FY19 budget)
 
$$ SECURED IN BOND AUTHORIZATIONS FOR 4TH MIDDLESEX:$7,050,000



CLICK ON A CATEGORY BELOW TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BILLS I’M SUPPORTING THIS SESSION:
 
CIVIL RIGHTS & PRIVACY PROTECTIONS
CRIMINAL JUSTICE
ECONOMIC PROSPERITY & OPPORTUNITY
EDUCATION
ELECTION REFORM
ENERGY & THE ENVIRONMENT
HEALTHCARE
LABOR & WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
MENTAL HEALTH, SUBSTANCE USE & RECOVERY
MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT
PUBLIC SAFETY
PENSIONS & RETIREMENT
TRANSPORTATION
WOMEN'S HEALTH


IN THE COMMUNITY

To be a good legislator, you must be an active member of the community and serve as an available and responsive resource to your constituents – that means attending district events, having one-on-one conversations at office hours, helping people access statewide resources, and responding to correspondence in a timely manner. My team and I work hard to address your every concern and are always available to discuss the issues you care about. 
 
REPLIES TO CALLS, EMAILS & LETTERS FROM CONSTITUENTS:6,200

COMPLETED CONSTITUENT CASES: 94     
 
DISTRICT OFFICE HOURS HELD: 47
 
DISTRICT EVENTS ATTENDED: 115   
 
CITATIONS PRESENTED TO CONSTITUENTS: 104
      

                   
I had a great time marching with constituents in Arlington during the Patriots Day Parade!


I joined the Billerica community for the "Topping Off" ceremony of the new Billerica Memorial High School.


I met with a group of Burlington constituents at the State House to discuss work that can be done at the state-level to address sexual harassment in the workplace.


I had the pleasure of welcoming a group of impressive middle school and high school students from Lexington who recently won a number of statewide economics competitions. 


I visited Woburn Creative Start to learn about the educational programs and child care services offered to youth in our community.
 
 
SOCIAL MEDIA & PRESS
 
I take great pride in being a strong believer in transparency between state government and the public. That’s why I do my best to communicate the work I’m doing in the State House to my constituents by being active on social media and utilizing local news outlets.

FACEBOOK
 
FACEBOOK FANS3,084    
                               
PUBLISHED POSTS198

IMPRESSIONS296, 322

(The total # of people who have seen our posts)

TOP POSTS
CLICK ON AN IMAGE TO VIEW THE ORIGINAL POST


TWITTER
 
FOLLOWERS1,840        
                          
TWEETS SENT2,047

IMPRESSIONS855, 800
(The total # of people who have seen our posts)
   
TOP TWEETS 

CLICK ON AN IMAGE TO VIEW THE ORIGINAL POST
 



IN THE MEDIA
 
PRESS RELEASES SENT TO NEWS OUTLETS: 68
 
TOP STORIES
CLICK ON A LINK BELOW TO VIEW THE FULL NEWS STORY
ARLINGTON COMMUNITY RESPONDS TO HATE GRAFFITI
BIG DAY FOR BILLERICA HIGH PROJECT
BURLINGTON GOLD MEDALIST HONORED AT STATE HOUSE
LEXINGTON OFFICIALS DEMAND GUN REFORM
WOBURN RESIDENT NAMED UNSUNG HEROINE
Town of Arlington to LGBTQIA+ students: You belong
 

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