An Act relative to life cycle costs for long term pavement solutions

Summary

This legislation would require the Department of Transportation to study the long term cost-effectiveness of pavement alternatives, specifically concrete for use in transportation projects. The language also requires that MassDOT conduct 4 demonstration projects annually that test different pavement designs, and analyze the results.  These results will be reported by MassDOT, and include comparisons of long-term costs, reduction of noise, friction, and ride quality.


An Act to clarify the net-worth measure of the corporate excise

Summary

To clarify the current law regarding the calculation used to determine the net-worth measure of the corporate excise.  AIM’s proposal seeks to clarify how the Department of Revenue calculates debt vs. equity calculation during the audit process, which has been inconsistent and seeks to affirm existing state and federal law regarding foreign owned companies.


An Act relative to reasonable notice and cure standards to protect small businesses

Summary

This legislation will establish basic protections for small businesses that are targeted by exploitative lawsuits under the ADA. The ADA is an essential protection for our disability community, but its provisions are being abused through so called “drive-by lawsuits.” This occurs when a lawyer, who is neither disabled or even a customer, drives by a building and notices a violation as small as a misworded handicap parking sign. They then file suit against the business, hoping for an easy settlement at the expense of the business owner.  The practice is becoming so common, that some are using google maps to find violations, allowing them to file even more lawsuits. This bill would simply require that before a lawsuit is filed, the business must be notified of the violation and given 60 days to rectify the violation.  This will protect business owners and the courts from frivolous lawsuits without removing the important protections of the ADA.


An Act establishing a board of hoisting machinery regulations

Summary

This bill would establish a board of regulations specific to hoisting machinery.  Hoisting licenses are the most common form of license provided by the department of public safety, and they cover an enormous range of machinery and skill levels.  Despite this, hoisting licenses are still overseen by the Construction Supervisor licensing process. This result is that both the testing for licenses, and the oversight of existing licenses or incidents is entirely unsuited for the realities of hoisting machinery.  


An Act alleviating health care burdens for Massachusetts employers

Summary

Federal law mandates certain requirements for the administration of health plans in the non-group market. Because Massachusetts is the only state in the country with a merged small group and non-group market, these requirements also apply to small group plans. De-merging these markets would benefit small businesses by ensuring that they will not be unnecessarily burdened by certain policies that were intended to apply only to individual health plans. Separating these markets would have a positive impact on health care costs for Massachusetts small businesses at a time when these pressures continue to rise.  Demerging the small group from the individual market will provide rate relief to employers of 50 or fewer.  Further, when the ACA requires community rating for employers of 100 or fewer, they would also benefit.


An Act relative to utilities, smart meters, and ratepayers’ rights

Summary

This legislation establishes ratepayer rights which includes requiring utility companies to provide ratepayers with a choice of the type of utility meters to be installed and operated on their places of residence or business; the ability to retain and operate an “electromechanical analog meter” on an ongoing basis at no cost; and the right to replacement of a wireless meter with a non-transmitting electromechanical meter at no cost.


An Act relative to patient centered access to behavioral health services in accountable care organizations

Summary

This legislation mandates that all Accountable Care Organizations certified by the Health Policy Commission offer "patient navigation and care coordination services" by Patient Engagement Advocates.  The language will help to establish the practice of having licensed social workers assist patients with navigating barriers and coordinating services throughout the continuum of care.


An Act establishing the month of May as Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month

Summary

Cystic Fibrosis is a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breath over time. It affects over 30,000 people in the United States, with approximately one thousand new cases diagnosed every year. In order to raise awareness about the disease, and the benefits of early diagnosis, this bill would establish May as Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month. 


An Act relative to radon testing

Summary

Radon is a colorless, tasteless and odorless gas that is the second leading cause of lung cancer, with an nearly 630 new cases every year in Massachusetts alone. An estimated 650,000 homes have radon levels that exceed the EPA action deadline, with 34,000 of those having rates 5x more than the guideline.  A nationwide survey suggests that 1 in 5 schools have dangerous levels of radon, including City View School in Worcester.  This bill would direct the Department of Public Health to promulgate regulations theo ensure all licensed child care programs and public schools undergo routine radon testing.


An Act to address inequality, promote opportunity and end poverty

Summary

This legislation makes changes to the statute governing Community Action Agencies. The 23 CAAs have administered key anti-poverty programs for the last 50 years, including the distribution of state and federal community development services and grants. The bill would change chapter 23B to better reflect the agency’s role, and form a council to review existing programs and policies.  The bill also establishes a more consistent funding through a budget line item and a new trust fund to finance innovative, community-based programs and services.