State Rep. Joan Meschino (D-Hull) this week highlighted three bills that are among her priorities for the current legislative session.
One bill would create access to justice (H.1792); another would establish a community college campus hunger pilot program (H.1350); and a third deals with a streaming-entertainment operator’s use of the public rights-of-way (H.130).
Their goals, Meschino explained, are to advance civil rights justice, support academic attainment by addressing food insecurity among community college students, and support local public access channels.
Her top priority, a bill to create access to justice, would empower an individual to seek redress against discrimination by government policies. The bill would restore the right of an individual to bring a claim in state court when a government policy creates disparate impact, meaning there is an unintended discriminatory effect on individuals of a protected class when implemented.
“In the wake of the disastrous siting of the Weymouth Compressor Station, [this bill] is timely and necessary, particularly for environmental justice communities,” Meschino said. “This bill, along with my other two priority bills, foremost aim to advance equity in the commonwealth. Until individuals have their civil rights restored and access to the courts, fundamental inequities will persist within the state.”
H.1792 has been assigned to the Joint Committee on the Judiciary; H.1350 has been assigned to the Joint Committee on Higher Education; and H.130 has been assigned to the Joint Committee on Advanced Information Technology, the Internet, and Cybersecurity.
Each bill now awaits a hearing. Residents can follow the progress of these bills by creating an account on malegislature.gov.