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Legislative update


Dear Colleague,

There’s a lot going on legislatively that will help UMB.  See below. 

► The conference committee has yet to pass a budget for the State.  And the Joint Committee for Higher Education has yet to approve the bills important to us.  If you have not yet done so, contact your legislators (find your legislators here).  Urge them to contact the chairs of the Joint Committee for Higher Education (Senator Anne Gobi and Representative Jeffrey Roy) for a favorable report-out for the Cherish Act and Senator Patricia Jehlen’s bill, S 749.  More on these is below:

  • The Cherish Act will fund an additional $43 million per year for UMass Boston and an additional $500 million for higher education.   For more information on the Cherish Act, see here
  • Senator Patricia Jehlen's Bill, S 749, “Resolve to establish a special commission to evaluate the original infrastructure debt at the University of Massachusetts Boston,” asks for a commission to study the original construction of UMB and to make recommendations, possibly for debt relief for our campus.  Below is an excerpt of her bill:

Resolved, there shall be a special joint legislative commission to evaluate the original infrastructure debt associated with all repair and maintenance and capital construction-improvement projects completed at UMass Boston.

Upon completion of its review and evaluation, the commission will issue a report of its findings and recommendations, including but not limited to amounts of the debt that should either be reimbursed, paid off, and/or assumed by the Commonwealth instead of UMass Boston per a recommended schedule.

The full text is here:   

Other legislative news:

  • An Act for Fair Public Higher Ed  Workplaces Senate 1547 House 2322   is the omnibus public higher education bill covering  adjunct pay, benefits and rights; streamlines collective bargaining agreement  approval; and waives the Group Insurance Commission’s 60-day waiting period for initial health coverage.  Tell your legislators to support this as well. 
  • The MTA opposes S 770, which creates a special commission to study reducing the costs of higher education by increasing the use of digital learning technology.
  • Fair Share Vote:  Recall that the Fair Share Amendment (an extra tax on multimillionaires to find education and transportation) was ruled unconstitutional by the Mass. Supreme Court.  So MTA along with a coalition of other unions and organizations are advancing this through the legislature.  On June 12, 2019, the Fair Share amendment received overwhelming support from legislators during the first of two constitutional conventions on the proposal. Members of the House and Senate voted 147 to 48 in support of the amendment, advancing it to a second constitutional convention during the 2021-2022 legislative session. The amendment will need to once again garner the support of a majority of the Legislature in the next session in order for it to move to the 2022 state election ballot.


Marlene Kim

Professor, Economics

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