In addition to identifying Massachusetts politicians who share common values with those of us who believe that evil corporations should be punished (and who agree with other sensible leftist ideals of that sort), the advocates at Progressive Massachusetts also have an actionable list of promising bills broken down into four categories: Infrastructure and Environment; Shared Prosperity; Racial and Social Justice; Good Government. We encourage you to check out the group’s legislator scorecard, as well as all its research at progressivemass.com. In the meantime, here’s a snapshot of the priorities for Progressive Mass in 2017. -Dig Editors
For too long, Massachusetts has had austerity budget after austerity budget—a plague of under-investment in the vital social and physical infrastructure of our state. It is far past time to change that. And with President Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans pushing a reactionary agenda, it is time for Massachusetts legislators to step up their game and make our Commonwealth the beacon of progressive policy it can, and should, be.
When healthcare, workers’ rights, housing and educational equity, and climate action are being attacked on the national level, it’s time to push a bigger, bolder, and more progressive agenda. And when the rights of immigrants, people of color, women, the LGBTQ community, and the poor are being attacked, it’s time to fight back and expand those rights in Massachusetts.
And when voting rights are being attacked, it’s time to make voting more accessible here in Massachusetts.
The following is a sample of the bills that are currently endorsed by Progressive Mass:
Our Shared Prosperity
- H.2365 / S.1004: An Act to improve the Commonwealth’s economy with a strong minimum wage and a strong tipped minimum wage (Donahue-Donnelly)
- Raises minimum wage to $15 by 2021 and indexes it to inflation. Ensures that tipped employees’ wages plus tips equal the new strengthened minimum wage.
- Citizen’s Petition: An Initiative Petition for an Amendment to the Constitution of the Commonwealth
- Provides resources for education and transportation through an additional tax on incomes in excess of one million dollars.
- The Fair Share Amendment creates a 4 percent surtax on income above $1 million (inflation-adjusted) to fund education and transportation investment.
Agenda for Racial and Social Justice
- H.2308 / S.791: An Act for justice reinvestment (Keefe – Chang-Diaz)
- Enacts comprehensive justice reform, complementing reductions in sentencing with jobs training, youth jobs, and pre-apprenticeship programs.
- H.741 / S.819: An Act to eliminate mandatory minimum sentences related to drug offenses (Carvalho-Creem)
- Restores judicial discretion in sentencing for nonviolent drug charges, reducing the economic and social costs of extended prison terms.
Good Government/Strong Democracy
- H.2091 / S.373: An Act automatically registering eligible voters and enhancing safeguards against fraud (Kocot-Creem)
- Modernizes voter registration by automatically registering citizens who interact with government agencies (“opt-out” instead of “opt-in”) and ensures that such information is handled in a secure fashion.
- S.381: An Act relative to fair elections (Eldridge)
- Creates a public finance system for candidates for legislative and constitutional offices to fund their campaigns.
Sustainable Infrastructure and Environment
- S.1880: An Act creating 21st Century Massachusetts clean energy jobs (Pacheco)
- Establishes a climate adaptation and management program, sets greenhouse gas reduction targets for 2030 and 2040, accelerates the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), and increases commitment to offshore wind.
- H.2706 / S.1846: An Act relative to solar power and the green economy (Mark-Eldridge)
- Accelerates the state’s commitment to clean energy (RPS increase) and sets 25% by 2030 solar target.