HOUSE PASSES THREE CRITICAL BILLS IN AN EFFORT TO IMPROVE RACIAL INEQUALITY, ELECTORAL ACCESS, AND MEET STATEWIDE INFRASTRUCTURE NEEDS BOSTON- Representatives Ultrino (D-Malden), Donato (D-Medford), and Lipper-Garabedian (D-Melrose) joined their colleagues in the House of Representatives on Tuesday to pass three critical bills related to racial disparities in health care, voting access during COVID-19, and statewide infrastructure repair needs. H.4818, An Act to reduce racial inequities in maternal health, seeks to address racial disparities in maternal health by creating a special commission to study these trends and make recommendations that reduce or remove barriers to access for women of color which are causing them to die of pregnancy-related causes at more than double the rate of white women. The commission will research this systemic societal problem in an effort to raise awareness and improving practices that will remedy deeply ingrained inequities. The House passed H.4820, An Act relative to voting options in response to COVID-19, in an effort to promote electoral engagement during the COVID-19 Pandemic. This bill establishes early voting by mail, so that Massachusetts residents can vote without having to go to the polls on election day. This bill also enacts health and safety measures for polling locations to ensure they are in accordance with the Department of Public Health’s recommendations. Lastly, the House of Representatives passed H.4803, An Act financing improvements to municipal roads and bridges, which allocates $200 million to statewide infrastructure improvements to municipal roads and bridges. This bill contains the $200 million of Chapter 90 funds as well as recommendations for the future of the Fiscal and Management Control Board which governs and oversees the issues involving the MBTA. “I was proud to join my colleagues in the House to pass these three critical pieces of legislation which will aid municipalities in funding local infrastructure projects, increase civic engagement and voter turnout among Massachusetts residents, and address deep-seated racial inequities in maternal health,” said Representative Ultrino. “These measures are long overdue and I am glad that, in light of recent events, the legislature is making electoral engagement and racial inequality a priority for the Commonwealth.” "These bills that were recently passed in cooperation with my House colleagues address issues that are very important to the citizens of Malden: racial inequities in maternal health, vote accessibility and infrastructure," said Representative Paul J. Donato. "We will continue to address the needs of our constituents." “It was a productive week for the House of Representatives!” said Representative Lipper-Garabedian. “I am glad to join my colleagues in authorizing funding to Malden for ongoing municipal infrastructure work. Our elections bill will ensure that voters have expanded options for safely participating in the fall elections. And as a mother of two young boys, I know how critical perinatal and postpartum supports are for women and their families. I am proud to support the maternal health bill which takes a first, important step in tackling the unconscionable racial inequities in maternal health in the Commonwealth.” H.4818 and H.4820 will now move to the Senate for a vote, and H.4803 was enacted and sent to the Governor to be signed into law.
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