Legislative Priorities

Photo: At a July 2017 hearing, Laura Rótolo, staff counsel and community advocate at the ACLU of Massachusetts, speaks out in favor of the Safe Communities Act (S.1305 • H.3269), a bill that would protect all Massachusetts residents by ensuring that state resources are not used to enforce federal immigration law. Take action to pass this bill. Photo by Nasser Eledroos.


Freedom Agenda

Massachusetts has always been a leader in moving freedom forward. In this historic moment, we must actively confront bold new threats to our democracy and blaze a different path. The following legislation forms the core of the ACLU Freedom Agenda for Massachusetts.


Fundamental Freedoms Act

Sen. Chandler S.787 • Rep. Kaufman H.873

Prevent two kinds of anti-democratic government monitoring of Massachusetts residents: (1) any kind of discriminatory “registration” system based on religion, national origin or other protected identity; and (2) government collection of information about residents’ protected First Amendment activity—speech, association, and religion—without reasonable suspicion that they are involved in a crime.

Resources: Fact sheet


Safe Communities Act

Sen. Eldridge S.1305 • Rep. Matias H.3269

Protect all Massachusetts residents by ensuring that state resources are not used to enforce federal immigration law.

Resources: Fact sheetTestimony

> Take action to pass the Safe Communities Act


Electronic Privacy Act

Sen. Spilka S.943 • Rep. Peake H.2332

Update legal protections from searches and seizures to make sure they keep pace with technology. Require a warrant for the government to access information about your private phone and internet use.

Resources: Fact sheetTestimony

> Take action to pass the Electronic Privacy Act


Repeal Mandatory Minimum Sentences for Drug Offenses

Sen. Creem S.819 • Rep. Carvalho H.741

Repeal mandatory minimum sentences for all drug offenses and allow prisoners who are now serving such sentences to become parole eligible. Mandatory sentencing laws are unfair, ineffective and costly.

Resources: Fact sheetTestimony • Letter to Conference Committee

> Take action to end mandatory minimum sentencing for drug offenses


Contraceptive Access Act

Sen. Chandler S.499 • Reps. Haddad & Scibak H.536

Protect and expand access to contraception by requiring insurers in Massachusetts to cover all FDA-approved contraceptive methods without cost-sharing.

Resources: Fact sheet


Election Day Registration Act

Sen. Creem S.371 • Rep. Carvalho H.354

Establish election day registration to replace the Commonwealth’s unconstitutional 20-day voter registration deadline.

Resources: Testimony


Other Selected Legislation

The following ACLU-backed bills aim to protect privacy and equality, ensure open government and advance smart justice.


Internet Consumer Privacy

Sen. Creem S.2062 • Rep. Haddad H.3698

Resources: Testimony on H.3698Testimony on S.2062

License Plate Privacy Act

Sen. Creem S.1909 • Rep. Hecht H.1842

Social Media Privacy Act

Sen. Creem S.991 • Rep. Gordon H.158

Resources: Testimony •  Fact Sheet

Student Privacy Act

Sen. Jehlen S.269 • Rep. Dykema H.2028

Resources: Testimony

Biometric Data Security Act

Sen. Barrett S.95 • Rep. Mariano H.1985

Drone Privacy Act

Sen. Moore S.1348 • Sen. O’Connor S.1349 • Rep. Garry H.3581

Resources: Testimony

Confidential Healthcare

Sen. Spilka S.591 • Rep. Hogan H.2960

Resources: Testimony


Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

Sen. Lovely S.1023 • Rep. Rogers H.1038

Resources: Testimony

Victory! Governor Baker signed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act into law in July 2017.

Healthy Youth Act

Sen. DiDomenico S.234 • Reps. Brodeur & O’Day H.2053

Resources: Testimony

Lift the Cap on Kids

Sen. DiDomenico S.34 • Rep. Decker H.85

Resources: Testimony by the ACLU of Massachusetts, NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts and Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts

Open Government

Arrest Data Transparency

Sen. Brownsberger S.1681 • Rep. Rushing H.953

Resources: Testimony

Use of Force Transparency

Sen. Boncore S.1280 • Rep. Rushing H.1305

Traffic & Pedestrian Stop Transparency

Sen. Chang-Diaz S.789 • Rep. Rushing H.2506

Criminal Forfeiture Act

Sen. Creem S.820 • Rep. Livingstone H.2316

Resources: Testimony

Oversight for Police Acquisition of Military Equipment

Sen. Barrett S.1277 • Rep. Keefe H.1276

Resources: Testimony

Juvenile Justice Transparency

Sen. Creem S.1290 • Rep. Dykema H.2489

Forensic Science Commission

Sen. Brownsberger S.1285

Limits and Transparency for Warrantless Access to Communications Records

Sen. Creem S.801

Smart Justice

Reduce the Criminalization of Poverty

Sen. Brownsberger S.777 • Rep. Tyler H.2359

Alternative Sentencing for Primary Caretakers of Children

Sen. Brownsberger S.770 • Rep. Holmes H.3072

End Mandatory Sentences for Probation Violations

Sen. Creem S.803

Comprehensive Juvenile Justice Reform

Sen. Spilka S.947 • Rep. Khan H.3079

Raise the Age of Juvenile Court Jurisdiction

Sen. Creem S.816 • Rep. Carvalho H.3037

Decriminalize Misbehavior in School

Sen. Jehlen S.876 • Reps. Malia & Vega H.328

Limit Solitary Confinement

Sen. Eldridge S.1306 • Rep. Holmes H.3071

Medical Release

Sen. Pat Jehlen S.874

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