2023 Bills Filed

An Act relative to Department of Transitional Assistance benefits for diapers

This bill would allow the Department of Transitional Assistance to pay benefits equal to $30 per month per dependent child for the purchase of diapers. Currently, EBT funds are only allowed to be used for food. This legislation would not increase the benefit rate, but would allow the beneficiaries to use their funds to purchase diapers if they choose to do so. Just as food is vital for health and security, diapers are a necessity.

An Act relative to school safety

This bill addresses several important safety needs in public schools. Subject to local approval, the bill would require every city and town to have a school resource officer present in every public school building during school hours. The bill also would require regular safety audits of school buildings and training for active shooter situations, and it would establish a special dedicated telephone exchange for people to submit tips about school safety issues to local police.

An Act relative to emergency backup power in newly-constructed senior housing facilities

This bill (filed by request) would require that any newly-constructed senior housing facility include backup electrical generators for the safety of residents who live there.

An Act relative to fentanyl arrests (Tatiana’s Law)

This bill would eliminate bail for persons arrested for the manufacture, sale, or distribution of fentanyl. It is called “Tatiana’s Law”. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is driving the increase in overdose deaths according to the Centers for Disease Control and are made to look like other prescription drugs. Much of the fentanyl in Massachusetts is illicitly produced, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

An Act relative to assault and battery against healthcare personnel, school officials, and first responders

This bill would increase the penalties for those who commit assault and battery against first responders, teachers and school staff, nurses, school athletic referees, and police dogs, allowing a penalty of up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

An Act relative to stenographer compensation

This bill would increase the statutory rates court reporters and stenographers could charge for their services.

An Act relative to enhanced penalties for those who commit assault and battery against school sports officials

This bill fixes a loophole in existing law, clarifying that school sports officials should be considered as “public employees” even if they are an independent contractor, for purposes of imposing enhanced penalties against those who commit an assault and battery upon such a sports official.

An Act relative to studying the establishment of a statewide registry of persons convicted for the sale or trafficking of certain class A drugs

This bill establishes a special commission to study the implementation of a statewide registry, similar to the sex offender registry, for persons who are convicted of the sale or trafficking of Class A substances. The purpose of the bill is to increase public awareness of drug dealers in the community, who pose a serious risk to public safety and also have a high risk of reoffending.

An Act relative to bail fees

This bill would increase statutory bail fees.

An Act relative to the limited sharing of medical information with the family of mentally ill patients in emergency situations

This bill (filed by request) would allow family members of patients suffering from mental illness to have access to information about their medical condition to the extent necessary to prevent serious injuries, sickness, or death.

An Act relative to emergency response in an active shooter or hostile event situation

This bill would enhance school safety by establishing an Active Shooter or Hostile Event Situation Response (ASHER) Council within the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security. The ASHER Council would be responsible for coordinating plans for the response to active shooter and hostile event situations at school facilities statewide. The bill also would implement best practices and minimum standards for training.

An Act relative to the security of exercise equipment and free weights in correctional institutions (Matt’s Law)

This bill would require superintendents of medium- and maximum-security correctional facilities to make sure that inmates in those facilities do not have access to free weights or any other exercise equipment that is not secured. The bill is named “Matt’s Law” in honor of Corrections Officer Matthew Tidman, who was brutally assaulted by a prison inmate who attacked him using free weights from a prison gym facility.

An Act relative to providing advanced life support to police dogs injured in the line of duty

This bill would make certain changes to Nero’s Law, which allows for the medical treatment and transportation of police dogs injured in the line of duty. Under this bill, it would be clarified that injured police dogs would be eligible to receive advanced life support care.

An Act establishing a fund for the care of retired police dogs

This bill would establish a new fund which, subject to annual state appropriation, would be used to pay for documented expenses for the care, support, and medical needs of retired police dogs.

An Act relative to MassPort police officers

This bill would include MassPort port officers and supervisory staff within Group 4 for purposes of the state contributory retirement system.

An Act relative to fair worker representation on joint purchasing group committees

This bill requires that steering committees to govern joint purchasing agreements entered into by governmental agencies shall have union representation consisting of not less than one-quarter of their entire voting membership.

An Act regarding right of way violations (CeCelia’s Law)

Cecelia’s Law is named in memory of Cecelia Finnegan, age 26, of Bourne, who was killed in a crash caused by a driver of a vehicle who failed to grant her the right of way and collided with her as she was driving her motorcycle to work in September 2020. Failure to grant the right of way is a major factor in the death or serious injury of many motorcycle operators. This bill would increase the penalties for a right-of-way violation while driving a motor vehicle: for a violation resulting in injury, a fine of $200 and a license suspension of 30 days; for a violation resulting in serious bodily injury, a fine of $500 and a license suspension of 90 days, and for a violation resulting in death, a fine of $1000 and a license suspension of one year.

An Act relative to the air medal license plate

This legislation would expand the existing law directing the MA RMV to issue Veterans plates free of charge for recipients of combat awards within the “Pyramid of Honor”. Of the awards within the Pyramid of Honor, only the Air Medal was excluded. The Air Medal is awarded to members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard for valorous or meritorious action in aerial flight. The Bronze Star was actually modeled after the Air Medal, and like the Bronze Star, it can only be awarded for combat operations.

An Act relative to the “Move Over Law”

This bill increases fines and penalties under the state’s “Move Over Law,” increasing penalties for second and subsequent violations of the law.

Resolutions calling on Article V of the United States Constitution for the convening of a convention of the states

Article V of the US Constitution permits two-thirds of the states to join together to call for a Convention of States to consider proposed amendments to the Constitution. This resolve would add Massachusetts to the list of states calling for such a Convention of States, which would specifically consider proposals to limit federal power, limit federal spending, and impose term limits on federal officials.

An Act relative to wastewater treatment and disposal in the town of Sandwich

This bill would assist the Town of Sandwich with its wastewater disposal plans. Pending local approval, the bill would allow Sandwich to enter into a contract with the private vendor that provides wastewater treatment at Joint Base Cape Cod, and it would assist Sandwich with the infrastructure that would be needed to pipe wastewater to that facility for treatment.

For additional information and for additional bills Representative Xiarhos co-sponsored, please visit www.MALegislature.gov.