State Sen. Stephen A. Tolman, D, 2nd Suffolk and Middlesex District, which includes parts of North Cambridge, at the end of January released his plans for the spring legislative session with this press release:
(Boston) – This morning Senator Steven A. Tolman unveiled his 2011-2012 legislative agenda. Senator Tolman’s portfolio of 101 bills includes legislation which addresses a wide range of issues including efforts to increase consumer protections, improve education, provide appropriate substance abuse treatment, increase the availability of public transportation to residents of Massachusetts, and improve Massachusetts’ criminal justice system. Senator Tolman is also supporting legislation which aims to reduce healthcare costs in Massachusetts. The upcoming legislative session will be a challenging time for the Commonwealth, and the Legislature is prepared for a busy and productive session.
State Sen. Stephen A. Tolman
One of Tolman’s main priorities during the 2011-2012 session is a measure that would limit citizen's exposure to toxic chemicals by mandating the replacement of toxic chemicals with a safer green alternative, if it is available. Tolman has filed a similar bill in previous sessions, in the 2007-2008 session the legislation passed in the Senate but not the House, and he is hopeful that in the upcoming session the measure will be passed into law. “Citizens continue to be exposed to chemicals daily which have been shown to cause birth defects, delayed development and ill health even after safer alternatives to the chemicals have been developed. This is unconscionable” Tolman said.
Another of Tolman’s priorities during the new session is passage of legislation that would take away the ability of insurance companies to deny medical treatment for individuals seeking substance abuse treatment when a clinician has deemed the treatment “medically necessary.” Senator Tolman said of the bill “today, the insurance industry in Massachusetts has the power to control what medical care is available to people by deciding what the company will and will not cover. I want to return control of this care to the medical professionals who treat our friends and family. All too often insurance coverage is denied and a patient’s recovery fails, costing the system and our family’s much more.”
Rounding out Senator Tolman’s top priorities for the 2011-2012 Legislative session is a bill that would require healthcare facilities to provide cancer patients with increased information upon completion of their treatment. Providing additional information will reduce patient confusion and help to reduce future health complications.
Senator Tolman has also filed the following bills:
• An Act to allow active duty military veterans to purchase veteran license plates
• An Act relative to a commuter rail stop in Allston-Brighton
• An Act to reinstitute the night owl program.
• An Act to enhance training and career opportunities for young workers
• An Act relative to large print labels for the visually impaired
• An Act relative to identity theft jurisdiction
• An Act relative to substance abuse services for veterans
• An Act establishing a river access commission
When asked about his legislative portfolio and the new session Tolman said, “I am excited about the new session and to continue working on the people’s business. During this session the Legislature will have to make tough choices as we balance the needs of Massachusetts’ citizens and the Commonwealth’s financial position. I am excited about the package of bills I recently filled, and I believe that they can improve the lives of my constituents and the people of Massachusetts.”
For more information about Senator Tolman’s legislative portfolio, or about any of the bills discussed above, please feel free to contact Senator Tolman, or his staff. Senator Tolman may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (617) 722-1280.
Senator Tolman represents the 2nd Middlesex and Suffolk District, comprising Allston, Brighton, Belmont, Cambridge, Watertown, the Back Bay and the Fenway. He was elected to a seventh term in the Senate on November 2nd, and currently serves as the Senate’s Assistant Majority Leader.