Wednesday, February 12, 2020
The Special Commission on Family Care and Child Care Services will look at similar state and federal laws governing the use of campaign funds for family and child care services to see if it is feasible to offer the same benefit to Massachusetts candidates for state, county and municipal offices. The commission will also set parameters for what constitutes an allowable use of campaign funds for these purposes, and will work to determine if safeguards can be implemented to ensure the state’s Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF) can adequately vet expenditures to prevent the unauthorized use of campaign funds.
At least three other states – Texas, Alabama and Wisconsin – allow campaign funds to be used for child care expenses. Congressional candidates can also use funds to pay for child care expenses directly related to their campaign.
“The cost of child care is often cited as a deterrent to running for elected office, particularly for mothers of young children,” said Representative Jones. “I believe Representative Ferguson will do an outstanding job helping the commission determine the proper framework for implementing potential changes to our campaign finance laws that would allow for the use of campaign funds to cover these expenses.”
"I am honored to have been appointed to this Commission by Minority Leader Jones and look forward to getting to work and producing a meaningful report and recommendations with my fellow Commissioners. I appreciate his confidence in my work and input regarding this important matter," stated Representative Ferguson.
Ferguson is one of six legislators serving on the 11-member commission, which is being chaired by Representative John Lawn (D-Watertown) and Senator Barry Finegold (D-Andover). The others include Senator Ryan Fattman (R-Sutton) and the House and Senate co-chairs of the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators, Representative Elizabeth Malia (D-Boston) and Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington).
Jill Ashton, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women; OCPF Director Michael Sullivan; and Pam Wilmot, Executive Director of Common Cause Massachusetts, are also serving on the commission. The final two members will be selected by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women and by Governor Charlie Baker, whose appointee must have “experience or expertise related to reducing gender, racial and economic disparities in civic engagement.”
The commission is scheduled to release a report of its findings and recommendations by June 1, 2020.
Ferguson currently serves as the Ranking House Republican on the Joint Committee on Education and the House and Joint Committees on Rules, and is also a member of the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities. She represents the First Worcester District, which is comprised of Holden, Paxton, Princeton, Rutland, Precinct 1 in Sterling and Precinct 2 in Westminster.
Tuesday, February 11, 2020
House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) is pleased to announce that he has appointed Representative Hannah Kane (R-Shrewsbury) to the Massachusetts Commission on Unaccompanied Homeless Youth.
As a member of the commission, Kane will work with other legislators, state officials, formerly homeless youth, and advocacy groups to identify ways to improve access to housing and services for Massachusetts residents under the age of 25 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. As part of its mission, the commission focuses on identifying and removing barriers encountered by unaccompanied homeless youth who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, as well as unaccompanied youth under the age of 18.
In making the appointment, Representative Jones cited Kane’s prior work as a board member at Shrewsbury Youth and Family Services and her ongoing charity fundraising efforts on behalf of the organization, which honored her in 2018 with its Harry S. Cutting, Jr. Award for outstanding commitment, contributions and support of the Shrewsbury community.
“Hannah’s advocacy and dedication to the youth of her district makes her a perfect fit for the commission,” said Representative Jones. “I am confident she will be an active and vocal member of the commission as it works to develop policy recommendations to address and prevent youth homelessness.”
“The Commission is instrumental in protecting youth in our state. As a mother and an elected official, I am passionate about protecting the young people of Massachusetts, especially those who are so vulnerable. I believe my background will make me effective serving in this role and I thank Minority Leader Jones for appointing me to the Commission,” remarked Representative Kane.
Originally established in 2012 as part of the Fiscal Year 2013 state budget, the Massachusetts Commission on Unaccompanied Homeless Youth was reconstituted in 2014 and is chaired by Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders. The commission is responsible for filing an annual report, along with recommendations for regulatory or legislative action, by December 31.
Since her election to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 2015, Kane has served on several special legislative commissions, including the Regional Transit Authority Task Force and the Special Commission on Local and Regional Public Health, which developed recommendations to help municipal and regional public health systems improve the delivery of services and preventive measures. She currently serves on the Massachusetts Food Policy Council and is a Co-Chair and founding member of the Food System Caucus.
Kane represents the 11th Worcester District, which is comprised of the town of Shrewsbury and Precincts 4 and 5 in Westborough. A member of the House Committee on Ways and Means, Kane also serves as the Ranking Minority Member of the Joint Committee on Cannabis Policy and the Joint Committee on Public Health.