News in Brief: July 7, 2014
Domestic Workers – State House
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed into law the bill dubbed the "domestic workers’ bill of rights" on Wednesday. His assent to the bill follows a state senate endorsement of the bill last month, and will guarantee basic labor rights and government benefits for a wide range of home services workers. Massachusetts is the fourth state with similar legislation, along with New York, California, and Hawaii, and the act will impact around 60,000 domestic workers.
Gas Leaks – State House
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed into law a bill concerning natural gas leaks on Monday, standardizing the classification of dangerous natural gas leaks and sets a timeline for their repair. It also requires gas companies to provide information about leaks to municipal officials. A recent report released by environmental advocate groups Better Future Project and 350 Massachusetts found that methane leaks could account for as much as 31% of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions, making it difficult for Massachusetts to meet its 2020 emissions reductions goals without a comprehensive effort to repair leaks. According to Craig Altemose, executive director of Better Future Project, “By requiring dangerous gas leaks to be repaired quickly, this bill will protect Massachusetts families from terrifying explosions and fires like the one that injured 11 people in Dorcester earlier this year. But although this bill is a huge step forward for public safety, there is still work to be done.”