Merrimack Valley Gas Crisis
After listening to those affected by the Columbia Gas explosions in my district this past fall, Senator Finegold filed a bill to make sure a disaster like that never happens again. The legislation, if passed, would make public utility companies more accountable to ratepayers, prioritizing safety and cost recovery to better prevent and respond to any such emergencies.
Highlights of the bill include:
gas companies could be fined up to $5M per day that service is not restored past the "reasonable date" set by DPU
a more aggressive timeline for repairing level 1 and 2 leaks and creating a timeline to repair level 3 leaks in school zones
required mutual aid between public utility companies in the event of an emergency
customers who lose service for more than 24 hours would be credited for that month of service by the public utility company
insurance policies that cover "business interruptions" would need to include declared public utility emergencies in their definition of business interruption
The bill has bipartisan support from legislators across the Merrimack Valley, including Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr and Representatives Marcos Devers, Christina Minicucci, Frank Moran & Tram Nguyen.
Mental Health, Suicide & School Violence
Senator Finegold has filed the SAVE Students Act (S.285), which would help train teachers and students to detect signs of isolation and interpersonal violence among students in order to stop the current epidemic of suicide and school violence. If passed, the bill would require that all Massachusetts middle and high school students have access to evidence-based programming to combat social isolation, build inclusive community, identify signs of interpersonal violence and suicide & learn how to reach out for help. It would also establish a statewide anonymous reporting system to collect tips and information about potential threats to the safety of Massachusetts students.
As a small business owner himself, Senator Finegold understands the challenges faced by those who run their own businesses. He knows that every major successful company started as a small business and has vowed to eliminate red tape preventing people from pursuing their dreams.