PUBLIC POLICY AGENDA

MWA’s full
2020 Public Policy Agenda
coming soon

MWA is the voice for the Commonwealth’s regionally-led workforce system on the issues that matter at the federal, state, and local level. From testimony, legislative visits, state agency engagement, and more, MWA staff works on its members’ behalf at the State House and in D.C.

An important part of this work is a robust public policy workforce agenda that informs federal, state, and local workforce policies. Through its councils, public policy committee, and Board of Directors, MWA advocates for public policies and resources to support our members in meeting the talent needs of local businesses and connecting job seekers to employment and career pathways. 

MWA is the voice for the Commonwealth’s regionally-led workforce system on the issues that matter at the federal, state, and local level. From testimony, legislative visits, state agency engagement, and more, MWA staff works on its members’ behalf at the State House and in D.C.

Testimony/ Letters

Click on the links below to read testimony and letters submitted by MWA and its partners on important federal and state issues.

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Public Policy Resources

MWA supports members in their efforts to advocate for the policies and resources necessary for a strong and effective workforce system. Below are resources, tools and contact information to support these efforts.

COVID-19 Legislation

State Legislation Related to COVID-19 Response

  • Expands the maximum allowable claims period from 26 weeks to 30 weeks for any week that exceeds 100,000 claims;
  • For any individual separated from employment as a result of COVID-19, or the effects of the governor’s March 10, 2020 state of emergency declaration, benefits paid to that individual shall not be charged to the account of any employer nor included in the calculation of an employer’s unemployment experience rate (including any benefits paid for by federal funds);
  • Ensures that UI dependency benefits shall not be subject to the current  50% limit on an individual’s weekly benefit amount. 

Click here for the bill text.

This legislation will allow the Administration through the Treasurer to borrow funds as needed this fiscal year to meet the Commonwealth’s financial obligations. Given the state tax filing deadline extension from April until July, this is necessary to ensure all fiscal obligations are met.
Click here for the bill text.

This legislation directs the Department of Public Health to develop a set of minimum standards for foundational public health services for the state, and would establish a state action for public health excellence program that would encourage local boards of health to adopt certain practices. 

Click here for the bill text.

This legislation authorizes Massachusetts notaries to use real-time electronic video conferencing to perform “an acknowledgement, affirmation or other notarial act” during the COVID-19 crisis. Those signing the document, witnesses, and the notary public do not need to be in each other’s physical presence; however, in addition to the audio and video recording, which will be retained for 10 years, the notary public must:

    • Observe each principal’s execution of a document;
    • Be physically located in MA along with each principal; and
    • The principal must deliver the executed document to the notary public.

Click here for the bill text.

This legislation temporarily bans most eviction and foreclosure proceedings in Massachusetts. It applies to residents and small business owners who rent property. 
Click here for the bill text.
Click here for a bill summary by Greater Boston Legal Services.

This legislation provides liability protections for health care workers and facilities during the pandemic. It gives health care professionals, including those working in the new field hospitals across the state, immunity from lawsuits and civil liability for alleged damages related to COVID-19 if the services were provided in good faith and did not stem from gross negligence, recklessness or an intent to harm or discriminate.
Click here for the bill text.

This legislation:

  • Amends the budget deadlines for the MBTA;
  • Increases spending flexibility for important housing related line items (RAFT and MRVP programs);
  • Allows DESE to modify or waive high school graduation competency requirements, requires DESE to waive MCAS requirements for this year, and permits DESE to certify a one-twelfth budget for school districts; and
  • Requires the Commissioner of DESE to delay the deadline for school districts to submit their first 3-year plan as required by the new Student Opportunity Act.

    Click here for the bill text.

This legislation allows for the following flexibilities:

  • Modifying the local permitting processes in municipalities;
  • Modifying local town meeting deadlines;
  • Extending municipal tax deadlines;
  • Allowing for additional flexibility for retired state and local workers;
  • Allowing certain food establishments to sell wine and beer for takeout or delivery; and
  • Allowing non-profit and public corporations to let board members and shareholders participate in board meetings remotely during this emergency.

Click here for the bill text.

This legislation allows cities and towns to postpone municipal elections and allow eligible voters to vote early by mail for any annual or special municipal or state election held before June 30, 2020.
Click here for the bill text.

This legislation waives the one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits to be paid to workers impacted by COVID-19. 
Click here for the bill text.

This legislation provided $15 million in funding to support the Commonwealth’s monitoring, treatment, containment, public awareness, and production efforts against COVID-19.
Click here for the bill text.

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