Legislation

COVID legislation. Several bills have been filed in the Massachusetts legislature relative to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. The folks at InstaTrac, Inc., publisher of the MassTrac Massachusetts legislative tracking and information service, are offering this page as a free public service to allow you to track the progress of these bills. They will update the list by 10:30AM each business day. To access the site, click here.

Eviction and Foreclosure Protection. Governor Baker has signed legislation that protects homeowners and tenants from eviction and foreclosure. The legislation can be read here.

Elections. Due to the COVID19 pandemic and in an effort to protect public health, the legislature voted on Monday, March 23 to allow cities and towns to postpone municipal elections. It will give cities and towns increased flexibility to delay local elections planned for the spring and allow voting by mail. Also, the House voted to reschedule special elections scheduled for March 31 to fill two vacant seats in the House and two seats in the Senate. The step comes as the calls from candidates and voting access advocates to delay certain deadlines, including signature gathering requirements, have mounted in light of government orders for people to keep their distance from one another to slow the spread of coronavirus.

State Funding. Last week, the Legislature appropriated an additional $15M to cover costs associated with the state’s COVID-19 response, including “monitoring, treatment, containment, public awareness and prevention efforts by the department of public health, regional and local boards of health and other public instrumentalities.” The legislature and the governor had previously appropriated $95K to cover overtime costs at the state lab to speed up testing.