AUGUST 15, 2018: GOVERNOR BAKER SIGNS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BILL INCLUDING EHRLICH NONCOMPETE REFORM LANGUAGE
BOSTON — Representative Lori Ehrlich (D-Marblehead) announced Wednesday the signing of noncompetition agreement reform into law by Governor Charlie Baker as part of the Economic Development Bond bill. Noncompetes, or noncompetition agreements, are restrictive covenants that limit the ability of workers to change jobs within certain geographic or competitive parameters. Due to these restrictions many workers find themselves without income and unable to work, often for years and through no fault of their own, or face costly litigation. The passage of noncompete reform follows ten years of partnership and collaboration with State Senator Will Brownsberger (D-Belmont).
“This new law will provide relief especially to hourly workers, who often find themselves stuck in a job they don’t want and unable to work elsewhere in the field of their training,” said Rep. Ehrlich. “Testimony over the past ten years ran the gamut from a day camp counselor who was unable to babysit during the year to an engineer with a PhD unable to work in her narrow field of expertise. Loosening up the grip on these workers will give them relief and spur innovation in Massachusetts.”
JULY 30, 2018: HOUSE VOTES UNANIMOUSLY TO PASS EHRLICH BILL TO PROTECT COLLEGE STUDENTS
BOSTON – Representative Lori Ehrlich (D-Marblehead) announced Monday the unanimous passage of her bill, H.4810, An Act requiring sexual misconduct climate surveys at institutions of higher education, in the House of Representatives. The bill, which received 150 YEAs and 0 NAYs, would require every college and university in Massachusetts to perform a biennial sexual misconduct climate survey.
Supported by student groups like the Every Voice coalition and nonprofit advocacy organizations including Jane Doe, Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC), and Know Your IX, the bill creates a no cost model survey distributed by the Commissioner of Higher Education to every institution of higher education in the state. A summary of data gathered from each biennial survey will be posted online by each school, both to help policymakers craft effective solutions to the sexual violence epidemic and inform current and prospective parents and students.
June 22, 2018: MELISSA HUMPHREY OF MARBLEHEAD NAMED AS A 2018 UNSUNG HEROINE BY THE MASSACHUSETTS COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN
BOSTON — The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women held a ceremony honoring its 2018 class of Unsung Heroines Wednesday at the Massachusetts State House, a class which this year includes Marblehead’s Melissa Humphrey. Humphrey, nominated this year by Representative Lori Ehrlich (D-Marblehead), was recognized for her excellent career as a teacher of AP Government at Marblehead High School. Throughout her tenure, Humphrey has displayed a longstanding commitment to engaging students with the world in which they live through the teaching of civics.
“Unsung Heroines recognizes the women across our Commonwealth who contribute their energy and passion every day to better their communities,” Ehrlich said. “It was my pleasure to nominate Melissa Humphrey who has all the qualities of a great teacher. She brings her curriculum to life for her students by weaving in current events and encouraging engagement if students are passionate about a particular topic. As a result of this approach she is able to make a meaningful impression on the community and on the lives of her students throughout their adulthood.”
April 17, 2018: REPRESENTATIVES EHRLICH, FARLEY-BOUVIER HOST HUNDREDS OF STUDENTS AT STUDENT RALLY AGAINST SEXUAL VIOLENCE
BOSTON — Representatives Lori Ehrlich (D-Marblehead) and Tricia Farley-Bouvier (D-Pittsfield) stood alongside nearly 200 college students from 20 campuses at a rally in front of the State House on Tuesday. Rally attendees gathered to urge state leaders to increase student safety from sexual misconduct and violence. The legislators were joined by a coalition of progressive groups against sexual violence including The Every Voice Coalition, Know Your IX, the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, and Jane Doe Inc., No More, and End Rape on Campus.
State Representatives Lori Ehrlich and Tricia Farley-Bouvier have introduced two bills, H.4159 & H.632/S.2203 respectively, to tackle the epidemic of campus sexual misconduct. H.4159 would create a task force of experts and stakeholders from government, higher education, and advocacy groups who would be tasked with employing best practices to craft a model climate survey to be used at higher education institutions.
March 15, 2018: TREASURER GOLDBERG PARTNERS WITH LEGISLATURE ON GUN DIVESTMENT BILL
BOSTON – Treasurer Goldberg announced today a bill was filed with the Massachusetts Legislature that would require the state’s public pension fund to divest from companies that manufacture guns and ammunition. The legislation is sponsored by State Representative Lori Ehrlich and State Senator Cynthia Creem.
“In the aftermath of the horrific shooting in Parkland, Florida, I watched as those brave students from Stoneman Douglas High School stood in the balcony watching while the Florida Legislature did nothing,” said Treasurer Deb Goldberg. “It is clear that traditional approaches have not worked. Divesting our public pension funds from gun and ammunition manufacturers sends a clear message that we stand with the victims and survivors of gun violence everywhere.”
“As gun violence tears at the fabric of our nation and Congress is unable to act even in the face of overwhelming support, it is time for state stewards to ensure our retirement savings and pension funds are not profiting from that violence," said Representative Lori Ehrlich (D- Marblehead). "As a state, we decided to divest from Big Tobacco because of the harm it causes in our communities. It is time we do the same with guns and ammunition. I applaud Treasurer Deb Goldberg for her courageous leadership and I am pleased to join her in her call for change.”
February 23, 2018: Environment Committee gives favorable report to Ehrlich and Lovely bill to study lead in school water
BOSTON—Representative Lori A. Ehrlich (D-Marblehead) and Senator Joan B. Lovely (D-Salem) announced the favorable release of their bill to study the prevalence of lead in school drinking water (H.2915/S.456) from the Joint Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture (ENRA). The bill would mandate the creation of a commission tasked with solving the emerging public health crisis of children exposed to lead in their schools.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and the Department of Environmental Protection, there is no safe level of lead exposure. In Massachusetts, nearly half of the school water tests conducted (49.7%) found some level of lead in the water. Lead in pipes, plumbing, water fountains and more have been found to leach lead into school water. In addition, many schools’ water service lines are still made of lead. While lead removal in paint and gasoline has been successful, lead in our water supply still remains a burgeoning threat to public health.
January 18, 2018: Fiscal Year 2018 budget amendments for Lynn released by Governor Baker
BOSTON—Representatives Lori Ehrlich, Brendan Crighton, Daniel Cahill, and Donald Wong announced that funds for several of their Lynn budget items were released by Governor Baker. The items, initially vetoed by the Governor but overridden by the legislature, had been held up while the Executive branch reviewed last year’s tax revenues.
The budget amendments filed by the Lynn delegation will be used for critical economic development. The funding includes $40,000 for carcinogen sanitizing machines for the Lynn Fire Department, $50,000 for the cleanup of Pilayella algae in Lynn, $55,000 for Red Rock Park, $20,000 for free community programming in Lynn, and $150,000 for the Behavioral Health Unit at the Lynn Police Department.
In addition, $300,000 will be allocated to the Forsyth Institute’s Center for Oral Health and its programming exploring the relationship between oral health and academic performance. The budget also includes $75,000 for a target hardening program to protect vulnerable nonprofits from violence, and $150,000 for Self Esteem Boston, a nonprofit group working in Lynn that helps women move through difficult parts of their lives. Tax collections in December of 2017 exceeded expected revenue by $527 million, and left the State $728 million above expectations year-to-date.
November 14, 2017: House Criminal Justice Omnibus includes Ehrlich “Good Samaritan” measure
BOSTON — State Representative Lori A. Ehrlich (D-Marblehead) announced that the House Criminal Justice Omnibus bill that passed today in the House includes a version of her Good Samaritan bill, H.3050, An Act promoting access to emergency medical services for minors. Filed alongside Senator Joan Lovely (D-Salem), the language in the omnibus bill protects people under the age of 21 from prosecution for seeking medical assistance for themselves or another incapacitated by alcohol.
“When a 15-year old girl in Baldwinville is incapacitated by alcohol, and then abandoned in a field by her friends because they are too afraid of getting in trouble to call 911, it is clear that urgent action is needed. I was moved to craft policy to address that,” Ehrlich said.
October 27, 2017: Sexual Assault Working Group Statement on Boston Globe Story
BOSTON – As Chairs of the Women’s Caucus Sexual Assault Working Group, we are saddened and angered to hear about the stories of harassment in the halls of the State House reported on by Yvonne Abraham in The Boston Globe. Women who work in and around the State House should never be subjected to sexual harassment or sexual misconduct.
We are pleased to see Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Stan Rosenberg taking a strong stand against this behavior. In the male-dominated field of politics it is especially important that everyone feels safe from harassment and inappropriate use of power. We have further steps that should be taken to make the Massachusetts State House a model workplace for all.
October 17, 2017: State Representatives Lori Ehrlich and Tricia Farley-Bouvier, Chairs of the Sexual Assault Working Group, release statement on recent incidents related to sexual assault and harassment
BOSTON, MA —As Chairs of the Women’s Caucus Sexual Assault Working Group, we call on all men and women in the Commonwealth to rally together to start the cultural shift of treating women with dignity and respect.
The recent examples of men abusing their positions of power to sexually harass and assault women are sickening, are far too common and been happening for far too long. When you have men in power exhibiting, accepting, and promoting predatory behavior, it not only encourages others to act the same, but teaches children that such behavior is acceptable. We must engage in conversation that challenges these norms and weakens the power of those who prey on women.
It is time that we shy away from our unconscious biases. It is time we believe the victims and elevate the voices that are too commonly ignored. It should not take a lawsuit or a famous actress for the general public to believe the prevalence of sexual harassment.
This week, millions of women shared their personal stories of sexual assault and harassment in the #metoo movement on social media. The fact that by Monday afternoon the hashtag had been used half a million times on twitter alone affirms the magnitude of the problem. However, these women should not have to out themselves as survivors in order for systemic change to occur.
We formed the Sexual Assault Working Group at the end of 2016 to facilitate discussions around these very issues. We are proud to support two bills that would have a direct effect on the sexual assault epidemic on higher education campuses. The first bill, H.2998, An Act creating a sexual assault climate survey for Massachusetts colleges and universities establishes a campus climate survey that all institutions of higher learning would administer anonymously to gain feedback from students on the sexual violence epidemic. These responses would help institutions understand the barriers to resources, and also help institutions determine best practices to eliminate sexual violence.
The second bill, H.632, An Act relative to sexual violence on higher education campuses is aimed at standardizing disciplinary processes to help decrease the barriers that discourage students from reporting sexual violence incidents. The bill ensures that all students and employees at colleges and universities are aware of their school’s policies around sexual assault, and that survivors know what resources are available to them. There is also mandatory sexual violence and stalking prevention training component to H.632 to stop incidents before the harm is done.
These bills are especially important given the recent rollback of the Title IX protections put in place by the Obama administration, which directed schools to take immediate action to investigate each reported incident, provide procedures and the same appeal rights for both the accuser and accused, and use the preponderance of the evidence standard to resolve complaints.
It is our hope that Massachusetts will lead the way in passing these two pieces of legislation to protect the thousands of students who attend our excellent higher education institutions in the Commonwealth.
These two bills are specific in addressing sexual violence on higher education campuses, but sexual violence goes well beyond college campuses. As the women of the #metoo movement, Harvey Weinstein’s victims, and all the women who have ever shared their stories have demonstrated, sexual violence is a problem that is prevalent in all areas of society. While these bills cannot alone change behavior, their passage will be positive steps in fighting gendered systemic injustice.
October 12, 2017: House passes ban on bump stocks after Las Vegas massacre
BOSTON — This week the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed a ban on “bump stocks”, the gun modification device central to the Las Vegas massacre. The amendment, sponsored by State Representative David Linsky (D-Natick), bans the sale, purchase, or ownership of a bump stock for a gun. According to police and media reports, the Las Vegas gunman who killed 58 people and wounded more than 500 in the worst shooting in modern American history had twelve firearms equipped with bump stocks.
The bump stocks ban amendment, which passed in the House of Representatives by a margin of 151-3, earned praise from 8th Essex State Representative Lori Ehrlich (D-Marblehead).
“Bump stocks, implicated in the Las Vegas massacre last week, circumvent our laws against automatic weapons by increasing a semi-automatic weapon’s rate of fire from 45-60 rounds per minute to between 400-800,” Ehrlich said. “There is no justification for that amount of firepower, and I am proud that I and my colleagues voted to ban these instruments that are better suited for the battlefield, not our neighborhoods.”
June 19, 2017: Lynn Nadeau of Marblehead named as a 2017 Unsung Heroine by The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women
BOSTON, MA — The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women has released its list of Unsung Heroines for 2017, which this year includes Marblehead’s Lynn Nadeau. Nadeau, recommended to the Commission by Representative Lori Ehrlich (D-Marblehead), was recognized for her longstanding commitment to protecting the environment via political and civic activism.
Ms. Nadeau will be honored on Wednesday, June 21 at the Great Hall of the State House from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. with other Unsung Heroines from across Massachusetts for her passion and courage in making positive change through organizing as a local in her own community and around the world.
“I’m always proud to nominate these great women who contribute so much to Massachusetts, and Lynn Nadeau is that and so much more,” Ehrlich said. “I have known Lynn for many years now, and have been honored to work alongside her and learn from her as one of our community’s great pillars. She has been a mentor of mine, whom I admire greatly, so I am very glad to have the opportunity to honor her in this way.”
June 6, 2017: Export Development Committee welcomes eighth UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to State House
BOSTON, MA — The 8th Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon visited the State House today to discuss international trade and engagement with the new Joint Committee on Export Development, which aims to develop partnerships between the Commonwealth and other nations and promote Massachusetts as a global economic leader.
A career diplomat and public servant, Ban served as Secretary General of the United Nations from 2007-2016. Highlights of his tenure include the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, advancing the Millennium Development Goals, and building diverse coalitions to address global challenges. He has local roots as well, having graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School with a Master’s in Public Administration in 1984 and currently serving as Angelopoulos Global Public Leaders Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Topics at the joint committee’s luncheon with Mr. Ban included climate change, the global economy and international development. Mr. Ban was also recognized on the floor of the House of Representatives by Speaker Robert DeLeo (D-Winthrop). Export Development House Chair Lori Ehrlich (D-Marblehead) and Senate Chair Eileen Donoghue (D-Lowell) were proud to welcome the former secretary general to the legislature and the State House.