End of Session Survey

Survey results

466 people responded to the survey further below which sought to understand which of our progress areas in the recent legislative session were ‘favorite’ to constituents. The table below ranks the number of times each issue was marked as a favorite. Resspondents could select as many as they liked but were encouraged not to select all.

CLIMATE CHANGE (GHG reduction)322
REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH (Out of state access)295
REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH (special cases late in pregnancy)250
CLIMATE CHANGE (Flooding)240
CRIMINAL JUSTICE (Eliminating probation and parole fees)229
EDUCATION FUNDING: increase funding for K-12 education222
CRIMINAL JUSTICE (Free prison calls)210
LGBTQ (repeal archaic laws)210
IMMIGRATION (Driver’s license bill)200
LGBTQ (gender-affirming care)178
PUBLIC HEALTH (infrastructure)163
PARKS (Funding)159
CRIMINAL JUSTICE (Dangerousness)159
VOTING RIGHTS (Redistricting)155
CRIMINAL JUSTICE (Prison Capacity Data)136
MILITARY (Soldier’s Homes)120
LGBTQ (HIV prevention)96
MILITARY (facilitate employment)89
CANNABIS BUSINESS (streamline licensing)66
CRIMINAL JUSTICE (moratorium on prison construction)42

A few notes about the survey and survey responses. Essentially, the survey represents people who are engaged with my office on a frequent voluntary basis. It is not a scientific sample of the general public.

  • The survey was only sent to people subscribed to my office news mailing list — this list consists of a little over 4,000 people who have affirmatively chosen to subscribe.
  • The survey was sent on August 5 at 10:40AM.
  • The survey was sent only once — so only more diligent readers were included. On that date, 4,027 were subscribed, of which 66.2% opened the email and 17.6% clicked through. There were 704 unique clicks on the survey link, leading to 466 people in total who actually responded — in other words, an apparent response rate of 11.6%.
  • Some may have forwarded the mail to others — a click through on a forwarded email is not distinguishable from a click by the original recipient, but there was only one instance of over 10 clicks on a single email (21). The lack of delay in the responses indicates that the secondary response rate is low. Although the survey remained open for over a month (until September 9), 70% of the responses came in within the first 13 hours and 93% of the responses came in within the first 85 hours. Spot checking doesn’t indicate an obvious pattern of variation between the immediate responses and the later responses.
  • There was no evidence of ballot stuffing — repeated response by individuals: Only 12 IP addresses appeared twice in the response set and none more than twice. Two different people in the same household could legitimately respond with the same IP address.
  • Other than zip code, the survey did not request identification. There was no obvious pattern of response variation by zip code.

Comparison to Other Results

Classification of Correspondence

We recently consolidated our classification of calls and correspondence on policy issues. The results appear below — these include contacts over the past 15 years with constituents still resident in my senate district. However, it is incomplete — many contacts were never classified or were classified into categories too small to bother analyzing. Also, there are duplicates across categories — often, active constituents write about many different issues.

The categories that rise to the top here are those within which advocacy organizations have worked to generate calls or emails. The list is similar but not the same as the list of issues that people on my list responded most positively to in the survey.

Issue Category (Top 20 only)Constituents
Criminal Justice Reform (Pro)906
Clean Energy and Climate (Pro)713
EDUCATION Funding (Pro)642
Reproductive Rights (Pro)567
Voting Rights (Pro)549
Immigrants — Driving, Safe Communities (Pro)472
Recycling/Plastics (Pro)363
Animal protection legislation (Pro)361
MBTA Improvement (Pro)349
GMO Labelling (Pro)346
Gun Safety (Pro)330
Housing Affordability, Homelessness/Poverty Response (Pro)326
Uber/Lyft Regulation (Con)325
Mass Cultural Council Funding (Pro)254
Civil Rights — Personal Privacy,  Government Transparency (Pro)233
Health Care Access  (Pro)232
Indigenous People’s Agenda (Pro)209
Public Employee Concerns (Pro)205
Wages/Worker Protection (Pro)187

It’s interesting to rank the issues by contacts per constituent. To some extent this ranking reflects our decisions as to how to group issues.

Issue Category (Top 20 only)ConstituentsContactsContacts/Constituent
Animal protection legislation (Pro)3618622.4
Civil Rights — Personal Privacy,  Government Transparency (Pro)2335362.3
Reproductive Rights (Pro)56711722.1
Voting Rights (Pro)54911082.0
Clean Energy and Climate (Pro)71313761.9
Recycling/Plastics (Pro)3636371.8
Immigrants — Driving, Safe Communities (Pro)4728251.7
Wages/Worker Protection (Pro)1873121.7
Mass Cultural Council Funding (Pro)2543841.5
Housing Affordability, Homelessness/Poverty Response (Pro)3264871.5
Public Employee Concerns (Pro)2053021.5
Criminal Justice Reform (Pro)90612981.4
GMO Labeling (Pro)3464871.4
MBTA Improvement (Pro)3494551.3
Indigenous People’s Agenda (Pro)2092711.3
Gun Safety (Pro)3304271.3
LGBTQ Rights (Pro)1872331.2
EDUCATION Funding (Pro)6427861.2
Health Care Access  (Pro)2322541.1
Uber/Lyft Regulation (Con)3253291.0

Polling Results

Our list survey is broadly consistent with broader public polling. Many local and national polls ask questions about what people are most concerned about. Following the Supreme Court decisions on guns, abortion, and climate, many voters were especially concerned about these issues.

Suffolk/Boston Globe poll

Even though Massachusetts legislative action on guns in July was a pretty small adjustment, it ranked among the most frequently favored in our own survey. The Massachusetts polling above is consistent with national polling.

Pew Research Poll

Of course, perceptions of what problems are most important vary widely across demographics and over time.

Gallup Most Important Problem Survey

Survey Questions

This survey form is closed. Results are tabulated above; additional form responses will not be tabulated. But you can add to the comment thread below.

The legislative sitting that began in January 2021 has come to its close of formal business. We’ve gotten a lot done and there is much more to do.

Informal sessions will continue into next January. During the informal sessions, we can make progress in areas where unanimous agreement can be reached.

The largest outstanding question is which parts of the economic development bill can go forward by agreement. That bill, which included tax relief and funding for some important initiatives, was placed on hold when legislators learned of the $3 billion rebate to taxpayers compelled by a 1986 law. That news forces a fiscal reassessment, but many components of the bill can likely go forward by agreement after that reassessment.

Your thoughts on our progress?

Please check your favorite bills below.

The lists below include most of the significant measures passed or actively considered. I supported every bill on the list and worked specifically on many of them. I’m looking for a sense of what people appreciate most.

Favorite Legislation Finally Enacted
Check one or more, but please do not check all.
Favorite Legislation NOT Finally Enacted
Check one or more, but please do not check all.
Your Zip Code

Please hit Submit: You’ll have the chance to comment further.

Published by Will Brownsberger

Will Brownsberger is State Senator from the Second Suffolk and Middlesex District.

97 replies on “End of Session Survey”

  1. Not enough is being done about the T. It is not just about funding but might be structural. The shutdown of Orange line, Bus fire, and Green line shutdown show something is wrong. We still need to electrify CR as well and plan put forward is not sufficient. We need a more aggressive transformation at the T to make it more comparable to other global cities such as Vienna, London, or heck even Toronto. We really need a push to get this done.

    Also along with the T lack of housing is still an issue. The state needs to continue to do more to allow for more housing construction. Do whatever it takes but get more housing built statewide. Try to even get creative for example encouraging more decking over the pike in Boston to build more condos/apartments but we need more housing stock in the pipeline.

    1. When Governor Baker came into office he was supposed to assure riders that the T would be safe, run efficiently, etc. Since he announced he was not running for another term he has done nothing. Boston does not even have a seat on the Board. The other problem is the people running the T don’t have any idea on running the T. They don’t even ride the buses or trains. Nor do they ask riders or eve drivers any questions m. They just redesign routes that make no sense.

    2. Agree somethings is wrong with the T. It’s not just money although good to give them more money. If the Federal agency comes in and says something’s wrong, there really is.

    3. When Governor Baker came into office he was going to fund the T and improve the service. That has not happened. Granted we had that huge snow storm in his first few months. Then we had the pandemic and T service was free for several months which meant no money. But the T got Federal funds to offset the loss. I have ridden the T for over 35 years. I have seen many hard working T employees driving the buses each day. They were among the many people who worked everyday during all of Covid and got no recognition. The problem is with management and the maintenance division of the T. Management has no idea how to run the T. They don’t ride the system. They don’t ask necessary questions of the drivers or passengers on any of the many bus routes. The maintenance workers have no supervision to ensure the safety and accuracy of the work they do. The Inspectors, with some exceptions, do not do what they are getting paid for and they earn quite a bit of many. Why Baker did not give Boston a seat on the MBTA is beyond me. Now the T is shutting down not one line but two with the partial shutdown of the Red line at night. How do you do that and expect people to be able to get to their jobs to earn money to support their families. Management needs a complete overhaul!

  2. I feel like a huge missing and important agenda item is the need to make it easier to build housing of all types everywhere in Mass. This is one of the most expensive states to try and buy a home in. I want to see legislation that makes it very easy to build any and all housing in our cities and near our public transportation infrastructure. We need to take the pressure off and make it easier for people to stay here.

    1. There isn’t a single accomplishment targeted toward working people in Massachusetts.

      I’m so glad we spent time preventing detransitioners from suing the people who abused them. This fits well with the state’s prior support for lobotomies.

      1. Thanks Steven….precise statement of my thoughts. Tireless efforts for criminals, grifters, parasites, quacks, murdeerers, etc, particularly the Mengele’s Will is now loudly championing grooming and surgically mutilating perfectly healthy young boys and girls. Alas, Will never spends a moment thinking about real private sector workers other than to condescend to our lowly status in his eyes.

    2. Massachusetts is the 3rd most densely populated state in the country (after RI and NJ). Looks like the housing activists won’t be happy until we’re at the top of that list, and even then, it will never be enough (it just happens so that it also works very well for the developer lobby). Never mind the predictable impacts on open space, natural environment, traffic and congestion, electrical grid, pollution, trash, etc. That is why I am strongly opposed to rolling out the red carpet for overdevelopment. There will always be people who cannot afford to buy a home in expensive areas of their choosing — but there are less expensive areas (both in this state and elsewhere) where it is possible to buy a home, especially when you do it as a couple. Then if it’s not entirely to your liking, roll up your sleeves and improve (both the house and the area). That’s what I have been doing in the last 30 years. Everyone who has ever been looking for a home had to compromise and find a place they could afford. So why not the current generation of homebuyers?

      1. Thank you. Too overcrowded now
        Too much traffic
        There will always be a shortage

      2. Thank you. Agreed
        Too overcrowded now
        Too much traffic
        There will always be a shortage

    3. Massachusetts is the 3rd most densely populated state in the country (after RI and NJ). Looks like the housing activists won’t be happy until we’re at the top of that list, and even then, it will never be enough (it just happens so that it also works very well for the developer lobby). Never mind the predictable impacts on open space, natural environment, traffic and congestion, electrical grid, pollution, trash, etc. That is why I am strongly opposed to rolling out the red carpet for overdevelopment. There will always be people who cannot afford to buy a home in expensive areas of their choosing — but there are less expensive areas (both in this state and elsewhere) where it is possible to buy a home, especially when you do it as a couple. Then if it’s not entirely to your liking, roll up your sleeves and improve (both the house and the area). That’s what I have been doing in the last 30 years. Everyone who has ever been looking for a home had to compromise and find a place they could afford. So why not the current generation of homebuyers?

  3. I was so disappointed that the legislature did not pass the bill for economic relief – why does everything have to wait until the last moment? Why is our legislature so afraid of Charlie Baker? I do not care about sports betting. Returning money to taxpayers while our roads, trains, and schools go wanting is poor management.

    1. I do to care about sports betting either, since I am a zero in sports. LegalSports Betting however provides more tax revenue for the state from those people hooked into betting, like the lottery. Legislators like the lottery, because the state income from it is not a tax but a (false) form of entertainment for the public.

      1. It’s not only a false form of entertainment, it’s downright harmful to many individuals and the families. I have a good friend who’s an alcoholic, who has been in recovery for over 25 years, and he told me he’s so glad he’s an alcoholic, instead of being addicted to gambling, because gambling addiction is so much more destructive to people’s personal lives. That was an extremely eye-opening and disturbing opinion to hear from somebody who I deeply respect, and who I know works a very diligent program in AA.

    2. Where is all the gas tax money going? It certainly isn’t fixing our roads. Everett Street in Allston is one pothole ridden roadway. Why were the legislation members aloud to go on vacation without voting on all matters especially tax relief for the low and middle class. Prices at the grocery store are getting higher week to week. There is no affordable housing. Not all of us are eligible for low income housing. Paying $1200 to $1600 for a one bedroom apartment is not affordable.

    3. Where is all the gas tax money going? It certainly isn’t fixing our roads. Everett Street in Allston is one pothole ridden roadway. Why were the legislation members aloud to go on vacation without voting on all matters especially tax relief for the low and middle class.

  4. The way the Prison Phone Call bill was passed, then yanked away, was AWFUL. The Senate had a chance to do something quick and simple that could have had a positive impact on thousands of people, and they blew it.

    Also, Senate Staff deserve a union.

    1. Thanks for raising this; the1:30 am vote to kill no-cost calls was really just painful to see. It would be nice to see the Senator use his position in leadership to start addressing some of the shadier ways in which business is conducted on Beacon Hill.

      1. I agree. This decision to back away from the Prison Phone Call bill and to support a modification of Baker’s amendment on pre-trial detention- which guaranteed the death of the bill – was reprehensible.
        As Progressive Mass put it in their summary of the last minute maneuvers,
        “Sen. Lydia Edwards (D-East Boston) …., Sen. Becca Rausch (D-Needham), Sen. Marc Pacheco (D-Taunton), and Sen. Paul Feeney (D-Foxborough) all invoked anecdotes to support the amendment and refused to engage with the arguments put forth by critics. Sen. Brownsberger (D-Belmont) misleadingly tried to frame the expansion of pretrial detention as a way to support bail reform.
        We have come to expect better from Senator Brownsberger.

    2. Just curious: why should taxpayers pay for phone calls of criminals who are serving time in prison? The next thing will be, they need computers to send emails from their cells. There must be a way to let them earn some petty pash to pay for their phone calls. Or call collect, as it has always been. Prison is prison – it means the loss of freedom and all kind of privileges and conveniences that people who do not commit crimes have. The effort to make prison into a “staycation” location are misguided. If prison is easy and accommodating, more people will risk crime. It’s common sense.

      1. The equipment is there; the cost of the calls to the rest of us is insignificant. But prisons treat the calls as profit centers; this makes it harder for prisoners to keep connections to the outside world. Prisoners who have people to connect with, places to go, and things to to do other than recidivism are more likely not to re-offend — meaning that free calls would be a benefit to society even if they cost something.

        1. There but the grace of God, go I. If I were to have major surgery and subsequently become hooked on painkillers etc., I might end up in jail. Some woman may have been abused in some way and have had it. Some people who end up in prison have had things happen to them. I don’t know about the phone call finances, but having to work for petty cash to make a phone call is a good idea going forward. Major crimes, no.

          1. Sadly, it’s not petty cash. The sheriffs use the phone call money as a slush fund, i.e., money that they can spend without having it appropriated first. Meanwhile, it becomes much harder for those imprisoned (many of whom, remember, haven’t been convicted) to stay in touch with their families. Is that really what we want?

  5. I am appalled at the process, or lack there of, the leadership tolerates. First, as I understand it, there are filing deadlines to propose legislation at the front end. And then at the back end there is the unseemly, non deliberative process of end of session. In a legislature with total one party control, this lack of attention to process is embarrassing. Sausage making is at its best unseemly enough. Rushing thru bills in the last fake 24 hours in unforgivable.

  6. the list above on bills not enacted is way too short. here are a few more examples : Safe Communities Act, Wage Theft, Unionization of the Cannabis Workforce, Restore Time and a Half for Retail Work on Sundays, Unemployment Benefits for Striking Workers, Hazard Pay for Essential Workers During a State of Emergency, Fair Scheduling Act…..

      1. All of us who pay through the nose for the endless wars of choice, and get nothing back.

  7. I’m shocked that a revenge porn law didn’t pass – as a lawyer who has helped victims after the unauthorized disclosure of private photos or videos (or taken surreptitiously without consent) I know how traumatic this experience can be for them.

    1. Thank you, Christian, for bringing this up ! It’s very dispiriting that MA and SC are the only states that have refused to take a stand and protect (usually female) victims of revenge porn. I wish I knew the logic behind the law’s rejection because I really expected better.
      Christian, thank you for the work you do on behalf of victims.

  8. I actually liked everything that was passed, and would like to see all of the others passed- other than sports betting, but tried to limit the checked boxes so that I could distinguish what would be those I am most passionate about.

    And- I agree with Alex that additional housing in areas accessible to public transportation is critical to the growth of a great city. What I am not in favor of is squeezing the projected 21 story Stanhope Hotel in a tiny footprint on Stanhope St- a traffic disaster awaits.

  9. We need a safety net law protecting senior citizens from the overburden of local property tax.
    There was feckless efforts for a circuit breaker in the income tax in the past which turned out to be chump change. What is needed is a limit max burden that the property tax cannot exceed of 10% of gross wages. The way this would work the state would refund a full tax credit of the amount the property tax exceeds 10% to the senior taxpayer Where would the funds come from? Debit it out of various (maybe chapter 70?) aid to cities and towns earmarked to the specific community that the taxpayer lives in.

    1. I agree that we need to protect seniors from over burdensome property tax bills. I also think anybody who is disabled should be exempt from property taxes if they are lucky enough to own a home, including but not limited to disabled veterans.

    2. Thank you! I’ve written to Senator Brownsberger about this before. The real property assessments have become so high in Boston, I can no long qualify for the Senior Circuit Breaker Credit. If you look at the state tax booklet, the Commonwealth acknowledges differences in the regions of the state with respect to health insurance. It costs more to live in greater Boston than other areas. This doesn’t mean homeowners who have been here for 30 or 40 years dutifully paying real estate taxes to the city should have to move. Further, when is the Legislature going to raise the estate tax threshold? In Maine it’s $6 million; here is MA, it’s $1 million while in CT it’s even higher. Maybe MA wants all the seniors to move to Florida where taxes are low (and you can be eaten by an alligator). Maybe there’s a lawyer’s lobby so everyone has to spend thousands to put their residence in a trust. If your house has appreciated to over $1 million because of inflation, etc., that’s small reward for paying real estate taxes for decades. Thank you, Edward, for bring this Circuit Breaker issue up. I thought I was the only one!

    3. Thank you for bringing up this issue. I thought I was the only one complaining about this. Please read today’s WSJ, ” The Local Tax Break Many Retirees Don’t Know About” Author: G. Ruffenach. Apparently in TX according to a reader the real estate value at age 65 is capped. Don’t we wish here! MA is lagging compared to other states apparently. The MA legislature hasn’t raised the real estate value to qualify for the Senior Circuit Breaker Tax Credit despite rampant inflation and plain old demand for housing not to mention the threshold for Homestead Exemption. If you look at the MA tax booklet, the Comm recognizes different costs for health insurance in different regions of the state and yet refuses to do the same for housing. It is cheaper for the government to keep people at home than in a nursing home I was once told by a woman in the state aging office. Maybe the Commonwealth hopes the seniors move to tax-free Florida to get eaten by alligators and sinkholes. Probably has something to do with the “rich” people mentality who have been paying real estate taxes for decades.

    4. We also need better oversite by the City in verifying homeowners who are claiming a residential exemption are actually entitled to it. That is not being done

  10. Need to move on restructuring property tax abatement for disabled vets.we need an amendment to the sports betting bill which allow all veterans post to be provided state poker machines so they can help veterans and the community. It would also provide revenue for the state.

  11. On a rating scale of Fist to 5 (No way to 100% agree) there is nothing in the list that I strongly object to. A more sophisticated (and complicated) survey might ask respondents to use this scale to rate all the items on the list. I agree with the comment that given the huge needs we face to cope with Climate Change, the disgraceful state of the MBTA (if the train doesn’t catch fire then the shuttle bus will etc.), and improve housing and education it is insanity to want to return money to taxpayers because we have a surplus now for items currently in the budget. The fact that the MBTA Board does not include a member appointed by Boston is ridiculous, since there is an obvious lack of understanding or focus among its leadership on what the metro Boston area needs if it is to be able to continue its role as the economic engine of New England. Another gap in our state’s institutional structure is evident in the lamentable performance of agencies such as the DPU and DOER and the continuing silos between electricity and gas, when we need coordinated planning across the entire energy sector. Our regulatory structure with regard to energy is as outdated as the “originalist” interpretations by the current majority in the Supreme Court of the US Constitution, although I realize that electricity and access to this form of energy is not specifically mentioned in that document as being critical for the General Welfare and the Pursuit of Happiness. Thank you for the opportunity to comment, Will.

  12. We are we going to address building affordable housing for normal people. How about those of us that only have one income and can not afford a million dollar home! You missed out on that entirely. Building in Boston has gone out of control and is not affordable!

    1. Nancy,
      Currently, in MA all new buildings with 10 (I think that’s the right #) or more units are required to set aside at least 10% of the units as affordable housing units.
      I know it’s not enough but make sure you get your name on the lottery lists. Each city and/or town has its own list.

      1. One problem as I see it is the definition of affordable housing. Rent for a 1 bedroom apartment at $1500.00 is not affordable!

  13. I’m sorry to see that the bill that did reach the Senate, the bill requiring alternative methods for dealing with rats other than an anticoagulant rodenticide, did not get acted upon. Very disappointing.

    1. I’m very interested in this issue. Could you elaborate? What are the alternative methods? The problem with rats in our cities and towns is growing exponentially. I would very much like to see an expansion of more humane but effective methods. This problem I getting out of hand. At some point, we won’t be able to control it at all (rat colonies will be able to sustain themselves by cannibalizing rats that die). This is a war. It’s rats or us.

      1. I would like to hear more about this issue too. I live in a really nice neighborhood on the Brighton Newton line, (Boston), and I just saw a huge rat on my property last night at dusk. It was very unnerving, as trash is well stored on my property, and my neighborhood. Last winter when I went to Florida I had a rat chew through my ignition wires in my car.

        1. The City needs to do a better job of trash collection. Trash needs to be placed in propr barrels with covers so the animals can’t get in. If a property owner provides the receptacles they need to assure they are providing a reliable number of barrels so that tenants aren’t overflowing the barrels

      2. I understand that there are traps that don’t use anti coagulant poisons but instead electrocute the animal that enters the trap. Requires more maintenance and might be more torturous for the animal but stays out of the food chain that currently kills hawks, owls, eagles: predatory birds vital in natural control of rodents. Old fashioned ‘rat snap traps’ are effective but require maintenance as well and can be inhumane if animal not immediately killed. Obviously managing garbage, litter, not feeding pets outside, etc to stop attracting rodents is vital..

        1. How do we stop little bunnies, which I have a lot of on my property, and chipmunks, from accessing any rat traps? Does anyone know?

          1. Anticoagulants kill the predators that control rabbits. And rats. That’s why you never see hawks anymore.

    2. Only in MA would someone worry about how rats are killed. We’re living in a Pandemic now. Have you heard of the Bubonic Plague? In California, there’s talk about Bubonic Plague resurfacing. It might help if the City of Boston had trash collection more than once a week. I read somewhere they can eat thru trash barrels. Think it was NY Times and the article did discuss rats eating car wires. There are raccoons here in Brighton and one of the students said they feast on the garbage at night. (They store their garbage in the back of the house so the City can’t cite them. Not allowed on private property. Don’t misunderstand, I don’t want the government walking on private property without a court order.) The overcrowded student private housing contributes to Brighton being turned into a slum. As long as the building department gets their permit fees. I could care less about a rat’s life. Nuts.

    3. Unfortunately, I can believe someone in MA is concerned about killing rats humanely. We’re living thru a Pandemic and then maybe we’ll be living thru another Bubonic Plague as they are in some parts of California. Please look up the diseases rats can carry. Part of the problem may be Boston has garbage collection only once per week. Sorry to the individuals who have had their car wires chewed. There was an article about rats in the New York Times not long ago. Damage to car wires in the thousands of dollars isn’t worth one rat. Private off campus student overcrowding housing has turned Brighton into overpriced slum housing. The City allows attic and basement apartments here or just looks the other way. Ha, ha, it’s Brighton not West Roxbury. Maybe this is a City problem.

  14. I think a big issue that needs to be rectified is how last minute all the bills tend to be. This may not be as much of a problem when we have a Democratic governor, but we lose improtant wins when get bills to Gov Baker late and thus lose the chance to override his veto. Perhaps things can be sped up earlier in the process of each 2-year session so that things aren’t so last minute. Also we need more transparency in general in the legislature.

  15. I would like to see more publicly funded charter schools, who can operate more independently, and cater their programs to what parents want, and instead of what the government wants.

    I would also like to see more investment to help citizens become homeowners, particularly in the city of Boston, where housing is prohibitively expensive. Homeownership helps to stabilize communities, and gives people a unique (and personal) stake in their community. Homeownership is also incredibly important tool in building personal wealth.

    1. I would like to reply to the contrary, as public funding should be directed to our public schools that need all the support we can provide. Curricula tailored to specific interests will lead to silos in thinking and knowledge that will only exacerbate the dissension and narrowness in thinking and in understanding that has come to pervaded our society and culture.

      1. The narrowest thinking anywhere is found among cultists determined to indoctrinate every member of society with their increasingly insane dogmas, especially the youngest and most vulnerable. Parents know best what’s good for their children.

      2. DB – like the public school curricula are not tailored to special interests? It has gotten completely out of control. If I had school age children or grandchildren, I would do everything in my power not to send them to public schools – given the amount of indoctrination that is now going on in public schools. It is absolutely unfair and unjust to force people to send their kids to public schools that are not accountable to the parents, and have been hijacked by “progressive” ideologues.

        1. Do any of you actually have kids in public schools at the present time? They are accountable to the parents. That what school boards are. If you want more of a voice, run for school board. Of course in Boston, we still have an appointed school committee, but there are other ways to be involved. The real issue that I see in these posts about ‘parent’ control and what ‘parents’ want, is that only certain parents seem to count, according to you. I am a public school parent and am very happy with my child’s education. Does my voice count? And Massachusetts does allow you to homeschool, if you so wish.

  16. I would like to see cuts in the DOC budget.

    I’m glad the transfer tax didn’t pass.

    Surplus should be sent to low income families and seniors on fixed incomes.

  17. I would also like to see legislation passed that protects bodily autonomy, and the right of everyone residing in the State of MA to accept, or decline, any medical intervention, based on fully informed consent. The “warp speed” covid-19 injections were rushed to market, all manufacturers were given and continue to enjoy blanket liability protection per emergency use authorization for any injuries incurred, and the injections didn’t end up protecting people as claimed. Many people senselessly lost long-term careers over the issue of refusing these still experimental shots with no long-term safety studies, injections that do not stop transmission or infection. We also need to take steps to protect the patient doctor relationship. I had an extremely safe, long approved (60 years) by the FDA drug prescribed to me this year, to treat COVID-19, by a physician licensed in Massachusetts. But the state of Massachusetts pressured all of the pharmacies, both corporate and individual, not to fill my prescription. Even my long-term compounding pharmacist, who I have a great longstanding relationship with, and who told me that the drug that was prescribed to me was perfectly safe, declined to fill my prescription, for fear of getting flagged by the state, and having his license revoked, for “other reasons.” In other words, he perceived getting harassed by state officials.

    1. Big Pharma’s and their shareholder profits will be in jeopardy if we have the ability to decide what is right for us.

  18. I so appreciate this survey. With how easy it is these days to create surveys and get feedback directly from constituents, it is incredible that our government of, by, and for the people so rarely solicits feedback (other than through voting or donations). People feel more invested in government when they feel heard. And it also helps to be informed, as you are also so good at doing. Much appreciated!

    1. Will is exceptional about making himself available to all of his constituents and he deserves praise for that.

  19. An Act to Reduce Traffic Fatalities
    What happened to this bill to protect pedestrians, cyclists, and other vulnerable passengers? It was said to be non controversial. Thank you for sponsoring a Senate Bill.

  20. Thanks for the survey. Hopefully it points you in a good direction and away from the noise.

  21. Seems like a lot of progress. The one anachronism is providing more support for poverty alleviation while approving on-line sports betting, which will increase poverty.

    1. A sad reality. There is a lot of abuse that goes on around the issue of addiction to gambling. I know a woman who was excessively abused by her father. Her father was addicted to gambling. He gave her money to buy a pair of shoes when she was 10 years old. After she bought the pair of shoes, on her way trying to make her way into her home shortly thereafter, her father met her at the top of the stairs leading to their apartment (they lived in a two family). He asked her where the money was that he gave her to buy the shoes, because he needed it for his gambling habit. When she told him she bought a pair of shoes, he threw her down the entire flight of stairs. She told me her body ached for weeks after that, because it was covered with bruises. Her physical pain was accentuated every time she had to climb the stairs both to her apartment and her school, until she finally recovered from the injuries. She did recover, but it took a long time. I don’t think she has ever recovered emotionally from having to grow up in a home with somebody addicted to gambling.

  22. I am impressed by the list of accomplishments in the legislature this past session, relieved to know that our safety with regard to gun violence, access to health care, and voting rights have been strengthened; incarcerated people are less likely to be treated like subhumans, and animals perhaps treated more inhumanely; our parks will get funding it desperately needs; our military personnel and families get assistance they need, and, it should go without saying, more funding and actions to address climate change. I had a hard time not checking all of the boxes, except (as others have indicated) the one about betting venues. What a foolish thing for us to facilitate. The proposal to allow independent shops to fix smart phones probably isn’t a priority, but it’s galling that we’re captives of the manufacturers that charge such exorbitant prices. I’ll end to thank you, Senator, for providing this information and always offering the opportunity to give input.

  23. Adding to the comments about affordable housing in MA, I would like to see more affordable/income based housing specifically for Seniors. The choices are insufficient for the need.

  24. Very disappointed that the Governor defeated and held the no-costs calls legislation hostage to his flawed pretrial detention bill. and was able to gut the moratorium on prison/jail expansion by adding loopholes. This hurts countless families who have been waiting years for the law to change and has the effect of maintaining the status quo which we know includes racial disparities, exploitive call rates, and harm to low-income families who can’t afford calls. Calls are a lifeline for those coping with the isolation and harshness of life behind bars. Many studies show that maintaining family connections leads to better outcomes both during and after incarceration, and less recidivism which means contact with one’s loved ones should be the cornerstone of re-entry planning at any jail or prison. Also disappointing was the pretrial detention legislation that passed by the Senate this weekend. While less broad than the Governor’s original detention bill, the Senate amendment was still flawed and overbroad. Regarding the GPS violation provision in the senate’s amendment, people already get punished and incarcerated due to probation violations, so it seems unfair to punish them twice for the very same act with an up to 5-year additional sentence. The amendment also is overinclusive and could, for example, harm Black and Brown survivors of violence who are involved in the criminal legal system. The majority of women who are incarcerated have suffered violence against them and Black and Brown women, in particular, would be more likely to be swept up by the new pretrial detention amendment because of the racial disparities that permeate every stage of the criminal legal system. See Harvard study. Unfortunately, a dynamic of domestic violence is retaliation and it is not unusual for abusive individuals to file bogus charges and sometimes obtain an ex-parte mutual 209A order after the person they victimized gets an abuse prevention order or reports the abuse. The proof required to trigger the enhanced double punishment for GPS removal violations only requires an “intent” to remove the device and “intent” is not defined which will lead to overinclusion. Vulnerable populations including people with drug and mental health issues who remove a GPS related to their general instability without intent to harm others also would be more likely to be swept up and languish in pretrial detention. The amendment has a victim notification provision, but the Victim’s Bill of Rights law already covers the topic of notification by custodial authorities so custodial authorities should already be providing notice of release from custody. G.L. c. 258B, § 3(t) of the Victims Bill of Rights statute already includes the right: “for victims, to be informed in advance by the appropriate custodial authority whenever the defendant receives a temporary, provisional or final release from custody” in addition to “whenever a defendant is moved from a secure facility to a less-secure facility, and whenever the defendant escapes from custody.”?It seems like more training and better implementation of the current law related to notification and safety planning are needed.?

  25. There was some great work done, thank you. I am glad for many of the legislation, especially on animal right and climate crisis. To me, it is a real crisis to which all else takes a back seat. I am most disappointed that the End of Life bill did not get passed. I firmly believe it should be the right of terminally ill patients to end their lives on their terms. I hope this gets passed in the next session.
    I am secure in my home, but can’t imagine what it is like to look for housing if you are not rich in the state. But housing should be done well with consideration to creating community, not just cheap housing. It is still a problem, as is public transportation.

    1. I hear the housing wait is 10 years. There are a number of homeless around the church in Brighton. Really awful.

  26. Except for sports betting, I support all of these initiatives that you worked for. I tried to check only the ones about which I care most passionately.

  27. The legislature failed individuals with I/DD and their staff when you didn’t intact Chapter #257. Staff making $16 an hour while taking care of really fragile and/or difficult individuals are not able to properly do their jobs. Many staff have to work 2 or 3 jobs to feed and house themselves. Tired, I mean exhausted staff are having trouble doing the bare minimum, forget being able to help people live meaningful lives and achieve independence.

    1. The reason for persisting low wages is excessive low-skill immigration, but nobody seems to be connecting the dots.

  28. It is disgraceful that legislators were surprised by by the 1986 law. Does no one do any research ? And I am surprised that the economic development bill is not on the list of favorites not enacted – it should be/

  29. I also wanted to register disappointment that the Senate didn’t take up the bipartisan legislation from the House to strengthen facial recognition regulations as recommended by the commission created by the 2020 police reform bill.

    1. I agree with Jonathan here. Time is running out for us to preserve some semblance of our anonymity as we go about our day.

  30. It is disgraceful that the only way legislators can get their work done is with this destructive deadline every two years. They’ve had 18-19 months to work on most of these bills; to have them dealt with in the last few days is ridiculous. We all remember being students who pulled overnighters to write papers or cram for an exam. But haven’t we learned something since then?

  31. Very disappointed to see that Act Relative to MA estate tax code didn’t pass. Disgraceful that seniors on fixed incomes barely able to sustain expenses in MA could inherit small estate from elderly parent, which will be shared with siblings, and then be forced needlessly to hand over a fortune in taxes to the Commonwealth. I believe MA is one of a very few states in the country with such an outdated tax code regarding inheritance. It’s time to end double taxation in the state. This bill should be separated from the larger Economic bill and be voted upon in special session.

  32. Some effort is needed to help people find jobs. The process can be very complicated with professional positions with a multitude of requirements, often irrelevant (positions with requirements that might take 15-20 hours to learn). Access to computer programs at public libraries where job applicants could learn new computer skills is needed. It would also be helpful if job applicants could download computer programs that are in great demand in the marketplace and if these programs came with self-training.

  33. There needs to be legislation to protect:
    [1.] election integrity, especially as now mail-in & early voting is expanded, & illegals can obtain drivers licenses, which directly links to voter registration.
    [2.] Need to protect vulnerable & autistic children disproportionately affected by transgender agenda, & children prematurely harmed by hormones & mutilating surgeries without proper mental health counseling alternative therapies; prevent the enabling of violence & rape endangering women & children, including increased rape rates by trans inmates; protect feminist legal equal protections eroded by trans agenda; expunge harmful sex education school curriculum sexualizing & endangering children, enabling pedophiles & child sex abuse; hindering therapists treating abused children; & block corrupt pharmaceutical companies & politicians profiting off exploiting mental health & children.
    [3.] Protect elderly & lives w/ disabilities, chronic or terminal conditions from discriminatory eugenics
    [4.] Need legislation to protect women & girls from abortion (i) enabling child sex abuse, statutory rape & trafficking, especially as they may now travel to MA from other states; (ii) need in-person Dr exams to obtain abortion pill (which has even higher death rate than dismemberment abortions), to protect women w/ ectopic & RH risk, confirm gestation & comply w/ FDA safety regulations requiring emergency care access; & to prevent obtaining by-mail dangerous abortion drugs from illegal sources w/ improper development, storage or transport; & prevent abusers obtaining drugs & drugging women, often suffering life-threatening hemorrhage or other harm to their physical & mental health; (iii) require abortionists to provide hospital transfers & emergency continuity of care in cases of botched abortions & life threat complications; (iv) provide follow-up care for physical care after injuries, infections, fertility complications caused by abortions, and provide care for harm to mental health caused by abortion, including counseling, & healing services as abortion increases rates of PTSD, depression, substance abuse, suicide (for men too); (v) fund alternatives such as housing, education, vocational & material aid, child care, parental leave, adoption etc that meet women’s & families’ actual needs; (vi) protect women’s right to informed consent (as over 80% aren’t fully informed at abortion clinics, over 70% are pressured & receive no counseling about alternatives, but 80% choose life if just given an ultrasound); protect women’s right to be fully informed of: abortion risks— including injury, infertility, even death; & to be informed of all alternatives & safe healthcare services (e.g., even in pregnancies w/ health risks, early delivery or C-section is safer; abortion is longer procedure w/ increased risks); provide ultrasounds, supportive prenatal care services, & safe abortion pill reversal (which has appx 70% success rate & administers safe, natural progesterone); & (vii) protect low income & minorities from being targeted by disproportionate rates of abortions; (viii) ban sex selective discriminatory abortions killing girls, minorities, disabled; & provide equal access to advanced healthcare for premature babies, perinatal hospice care for terminal babies, & protect human rights (babies at 8 weeks have appx 90% of all anatomy including brain, organs, & nerve function, fingerprints, gender & reproductive anatomy, & feel pain by 12 weeks); & protect abortion survivors- babies born alive after botched abortions

  34. Massachusetts needs to reform its Estate Tax–( see Gov. Baker proposals)–given the high valuations of single family residences. The Estate Tax should exempt a person’s residence and/or exempt estates under $1 million dollars. If the total valuation exceeds one million, only the portion over the first million should be taxable unlike the present system.

  35. Need to see much more reform around infrastructure spending. Our roads, bridges, and public transit are in terrible shape. When we do spend money to fix them, the quality is poor and the cost is high. We need to properly maintain our infrastructure for a reasonable cost. AND we also need to be bold with expanding and improving public transportation and intercity rail and bus service, particularly East-West Rail. Many people don’t want to be so dependent on cars, and it would be better for us all for us to have fewer cars on the road!

    In addition, although we have some seen some progress on incentivizing cities and towns to build more housing as a way to help solve our housing shortage, we need to do more. We should be encouraging and incentivizing cities to allow for the construction of more housing and more TYPES of housing that is not just single family homes on suburban-style lots. Particularly in our walkable town centers, and around commuter rail and rapid transit stations, we should be building townhomes, 4-plexes, 6-plexes, apartment and condo buildings, etc, including mixed use buildings with retail. Our cities and towns in many cases need to update their zoning to allow for this, and in many places it would reflect what already exists! We need more housing, especially this “missing middle” housing that fills in the gaps between single family homes and large apartment buildings.

  36. I can’t believe that passing sports betting was more important than ensuring affordable prescription drugs and taking a stand against revenge porn.
    I would like to see greater transportation efforts–in Watertown and elsewhere we are making bike lanes, which is great, but without a public transportation system to back it up, it comes across as ableist and naïve. Bus routes are being cut, the subway lines are inoperable, and the stations have no security in place to keep commuters safe–only cameras to try and catch a criminal after the fact. There’s no one working at the stations at all! I have spent $1500 this year on new tires because of the conditions of the roads in Watertown, Belmont, and Waltham. They keep getting worse and worse, and it’s not like it’s not obvious. I don’t mind paying taxes, but throw us a bone!

  37. What is the status of measures to strengthen face surveillance regulations? The matter is critical.

  38. pass a “revenge porn” law; reform “qualified immunity” for the police; allow outsiders to be in charge of the state police; modify the way the T is governed (as it is currently extremely dysfunctional)

  39. I am grateful to receive this thorough report. I regret that I did not find time to fill out the original survey. Many thanks to Senator Brownsberger for keeping the channels of communication and information so open.

Comments are closed.