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Friedman reviews '22 legislative gains

Cindy Friedman

Sen. Cindy Friedman, in an email to constituents, reviews 2022 -- and looks ahead.

It’s hard to believe that we are nearing the end of another year together. As 2022 draws to a close, I wanted to share with you some of what we’ve accomplished this year and some of the work we need to do in the next session.

In 2022:

    • The Commonwealth stood strong to protect patients and providers by ensuring the right to reproductive and gender-affirming care. This was in the midst of unprecedented actions by other states across the nation enacting laws that punish those that provide and receive legally-protected care in Massachusetts.
    • We enacted legislation that marks the most comprehensive update to our mental health laws in recent years, specifically tackling the emergency department boarding crisis, improving the state’s ability to enforce parity between insurance coverage for physical and mental health care, and expanding opportunities for residents to access care.
    • Massachusetts joined over half the states in the nation in limiting step therapy practices – an insurance practice that requires patients to “fail first” on medications before they can access the one that their doctor prescribed – ensuring treatment decisions are made by the patient and their provider, not the insurance companies.
  • Voter rights were expanded in Massachusetts, increasing the number of early voting days for elections, and implementing permanent vote-by-mail and early voting options.
  • Massachusetts Emancipation Day, a.k.a. Quock Walker Day, was signed into law and will be celebrated on July 8 each year, commemorating the legacy of Quock Walker and his role in leading Massachusetts to become one of the first states in the nation to abolish slavery. 

We also addressed challenges and opportunities in economic development, health care, the environment and climate change, public transportation, our local communities, and so much more. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to check out my recent end of session newsletter, which includes more information and a detailed report from the Massachusetts Senate on our work this session. 


It was great to once again be able to partake in a number of great events across the 4th Middlesex in 2022, including Billerica’s Yankee Doodle Homecoming ParadeBurlington’s Comera Life Sciences ExpansionLexington’s Patriots Day celebrationWoburn’s Juneteenth Celebration and Arlington’s Town Day. It feels so good to be able to share in these events in person!
 
Moving forward into 2023 and the new legislative session, it is clear that there are major challenges lying ahead that we must address. The cost of health care is rapidly rising, exacerbated by problems prevalent in other areas like the workforce crisis and inflation. Not only are hospitals and health systems feeling these strains on resources, but the burden of these extra costs is being passed down to patients who simply cannot afford it.

The high cost of pharmaceutical medications must be addressed with strong actions that ensure lifesaving medications remain affordable for our most vulnerable residents. The affordability and availability of housing is a regional, statewide, and nationwide crisis. We must take meaningful steps that will allow residents to stay in their homes and communities without being priced out, as well as allow a new generation to work and take root in our Commonwealth. The health of our economy depends on this. These are a few of the major issues that I am committed to working on with my colleagues in the Legislature and with Governor-elect Maura Healey and her administration to make the lives of all Massachusetts residents better.
 
The 193rd session of the Massachusetts General Court begins on Wednesday, January 4, 2023. I am incredibly grateful for the ability to continue to serve the 4th Middlesex district in the Massachusetts Senate and I am looking forward to this next session and continuing to address the pressing needs of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. As always, if you need assistance from my office, you can contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (617) 722-1432.
 
From my family to yours, I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and wish you a very happy, safe, and healthy new year.

Sincerely,

Cindy

Cindy Friedman


This newsletter, which includes opinion, was published Friday, Dec. 23, 2022.

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