Massachusetts Legislature enacts broad police reform bill; next hurdle is Gov. Charlie Baker’s veto pen
By Steph Solis | Dec 10, 2020
Lawmakers enacted legislation that creates a certification process for police officers, bans officers from racial profiling and using tear gas and limits qualified immunity for those stripped of their credentials for misconduct.
Activists push legislation as budget debate winds down
By Morgan C. Mullings | Nov 26, 2020
Debates on the Fiscal Year 2021 budget in each branch of the state Legislature have come to a close, and legislators are getting ready for conference committees to start deliberating on a final product.
Activists with Friends of Melnea Cass Boulevard gathered Monday with state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz and city councilors Kim Janey and Michelle Wu to call on city officials to revise their plans for the roadway.
6 lawmakers named to conference committee on police reform
By Sarah Betancourt | Jul 27, 2020
Springfield Democrat Rep. Carlos Gonzalez, who chairs the Black and Latino Legislative Caucus, will be joined by Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz of Jamaica Plain, who is the sole member of the caucus in the Senate.
Massachusetts police chiefs issue blistering opposition to sweeping police reform bill
By Chris Lisinski | Jul 22, 2020
Under the wide-ranging bill, Massachusetts would implement a new certification system for police under the watch of a commission -- constructed differently in the House and Senate proposals -- that could revoke officers' certifications.
Massachusetts Senate’s police reform bill held up due to concerns that it didn’t undergo public hearing
By Steph Solis | Jul 09, 2020
The move to table the bill drew criticism from Senate Ways and Means Chairman Michael Rodrigues, who said several components of the omnibus bill had public hearings when they were filed as stand-alone bills.
Senate lawmakers on Beacon Hill deliberated police reform legislation Thursday that, as one Massachusetts senator says, aims to fight racism and reduce police misconduct. State Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz says the bill would shift from force and punishment to de-escalation and helping.
Justice advocates, prisoners and families of those incarcerated are speaking out about bills to expand visitation rights, offer free phone calls, improve the Parole Board and decarcerate prisons and houses of correction in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force starts to take shape ahead of June 30 deadline
By Steph Solis | Jun 23, 2020
The task force is required to make recommendations on improving safety for at-risk populations, removing barriers to health care services and treatment, increasing access to medical supplies and COVID-19 testing, and more.
Op-Ed: School funding bill will change the game for disadvantaged students
By Sonia Chang-Díaz | Sep 30, 2019
Fulfilling the promise of public education as the great equalizer is our next big goal. Bay Staters believe in it. It’s a goal our constitution anchors us to. Now, that collective effort in advocating, crafting policy, and working together has given us a chance to deliver on it.
‘Red flag’ gun access bill easily clears Mass. Senate
By Katie Lannan | Jun 07, 2018
Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, D-Boston, told her colleagues that if they think the inconvenience of limiting individuals to purchasing no more than 15 firearms a year is too much, then she would invite them to join her at the next funeral of a teen in her district.
Mass. Legislature sends Baker sweeping criminal justice bill
By Joshua Miller | Apr 04, 2018
“It’s a huge historical turning point for our state when you set it in the context of the last several decades,” said Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz, a Jamaica Plain Democrat and longtime proponent of many of the changes in the package.
The state also could do more to track the effectiveness of the many tax credit programs it has, said state Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz. Business tax credits have their place, she said, but too often they’re little more than a giveaway to companies that would have grown here anyway.
Education Chair: Baker school aid "just plain inadequate"
By Katie Lannan | Jan 24, 2018
Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, a Jamaica Plain Democrat, said Baker's proposed increase in aid to local school districts -- known as Chapter 70 aid -- in next year's budget is "just plain inadequate for the job."
Black and Latino legislators reflect and prepare for new year
By Karen Morales | Jan 05, 2018
In 2017, the Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus prioritized and pushed forward significant pieces of legislation....This year’s legislative session will see Caucus members continue the enactment of these bills and submit new policies that will improve the lives of residents of color.
“I take the frustration and sadness from these meetings to push legislation through. There is very little that policy workers can do in the immediate term,” Chang-Diaz said. “The things I can do is push legislation through to prevent this five years from now. But I have to bring that pain and that fire to the hearts of legislators from other districts that don’t have this happen to their children.”
Chang-Díaz ‘Thrilled’ by Governor’s Signing of Bilingual English Instruction Bill
By David Ertischek | Dec 11, 2017
State Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz fought hard for the bill to pass, particularly because she knows bilingualism is an essential skill for career growth, college readiness and to enable students to be competitive in the global economy.
“This bill is a huge step forward for English language instruction in our Commonwealth,” said local state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, co-chair of the LOOK bill conference committee and Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Education, according to the press release.