Blog Posts By:

Deirdre Cummings,
Legislative Director

Every year, college becomes more expensive and out of reach for many. Compounding other factors, textbook and other course material costs have increased by 88% over the past decade, often reaching $500 per student every semester. High textbooks costs have led nearly two-thirds of students to skip buying a book, knowing that it will impact their grade. Others instead take on additional work hours, skip meals, and leave bills unpaid to afford their required books, all of which have their own negative impacts on academic success.

MASSPIRG urged lawmakeers to support Open Educational Resources to reduce the cost college text books and other educational material. See our letter below.

MASSPIRG joined 24 organizations supporting the TURA Administrative Council’s recent decision to add Per-and Poly-fluoroalkyl Substance Not Otherwise Listed to the TURA list of Toxic and Hazardous Substances. We appreciate the extensive scientific review that the Toxic Use Resources Institute and Science Advisory Board undertook prior to the listing.

PFAS have been detected in air, drinking water, groundwater and surface water. They are present in human blood, breast milk and umbilical cords. They have contaminated food supplies, and the wider environment.

 

Placing PFAS on the TURA list is a necessary first step that will help state officials better understand how and where PFAS is being manufactured, used and released in Massachusetts.

MASSPIRG fully supports S.1494/ H.2348, An Act relative to chemicals in food packaging & An Act to ban the use of PFAS in food packaging, filed by Senator Michael Moore and Representative Jack Lewis, to protect public health by eliminating toxic PFAS in food packaging. We hope you will pass the bill from your committee. 

Coalition calls on the National Fire Protection Association Standards Council to allow firefighters to choose Personal Protective Equipment without harmful PFAS.

Firefighters, who risk their lives to protect the lives of others, deserve uniforms that protect them from all of the dangers they face and do not expose them to unnecessary harm.   Firefighters have rates of cancer that exceed rates in the civilian population.  While PFAS are not the only chemicals of concern that may be linked higher rates of cancer among firefighters, PFAS are certainly contributing to elevated rates of illness.

MASSPIRG urges legislative committee to oppose SB 183/HB 407, An Act further regulating business practices between motor vehicle dealers, manufacturers, and distributors which would roll back important consumer protections under existing state laws, and open the flood gates to the sale of unsafe and dangerous unrepaired recalled cars on our roadways

MASSPIRG joined Health Care For All and Health Law Advocates to provide testimony regarding the establishment of an out-of-network commercial payment rate for both emergency health care services and nonemergency health care services in the Commonwealth, pursuant to Section 71 of Chapter 260 of the Acts of 2020.

MASSPIRG strongly supports the passage of An Act to Modernize Participation in Public Meetings, H.3152 & S.2082, filed by Representative Denise Garlick and Senator Jason Lewis along with a bi-partisan group of more than 60 lawmakers.

MASSPIRG’s mission is to deliver persistent, results-oriented public interest advocacy that protects consumers, preserves the environment, encourages a fair, sustainable economy, promotes public health and fosters responsive, democratic government. 

Each legislative session, we work on bills that advance public interest reforms and we collaborate with the chief sponsors and cosponsors to promote them. This session there are hundreds of policies being considered which could safeguard public health, protect consumers in the marketplace, transform our energy and transportation systems, reduce waste, remove toxic threats, curb wasteful spending, revitalize our democracy, and protect our environment.

Click here to see our selected state priorities from our legislative agenda for the 2021-2022 session.