Explore EMPath’s Advocacy pages to learn more about how we advocate for legislative initiatives to support low-income families in Massachusetts trying to navigate the multi-faceted, multi-year challenge of moving out of poverty.

Priority Legislation 2017

An Act Establishing a Family and Medical Leave and Temporary Disability Leave Insurance Program (S1048/ H2172)

Sponsors: Senator Karen Spilka, Representative Kenneth Gordon

Creates an insurance program to provide partial wage replacement for workers who need to recover from a serious illness, care for a family member, or to care for a newborn, newly adopted, or new foster child.

An Act Establishing a Student Tuition Recovery Fund (S112/ H627)

Sponsors: Senator Eileen Donoghue, Representative Jennifer Benson, Attorney General Maura Healey

Creates a Student Tuition Recovery Fund (STRF) which can reimburse students who are entitled to a refund of tuition and related costs if the for-profit school they attended closed, failed to provide the services promised to their students, or violated state law. Twenty-one other states have STRFs or similar funds in order to provide relief to student loan borrowers.

An Act Improving the Earned Income Credit for Healthier Families (S152/ H1504)

Sponsors: Senator Jamie Eldridge, Representative Majorie Decker

Increases the state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) from 23 percent to 50 percent of the federal EITC to reward work and increase economic mobility. This bill would also improve outreach efforts to increase awareness and usage of the EITC as well as ensure victims of domestic violence could access the credit.

An Act Relative to Fairness in Debt Collection (S120/ H2811)

Sponsors: Senator Jamie Eldridge, Representative Paul Brodeur

Protects individuals with consumer debt by ensuring they retain a basic level of earnings to pay for essential needs. Provides protections from unscrupulous practices of certain debt collectors by requiring that collectors provide evidence of the debt. Limits the additional fees and interest that collectors can charge after the judgment, and prohibits the arrest of a borrower who does not pay a judgment.

Click here to view the full 2017 priority legislation list.