Tag archives for Massachusetts
Back in 1970 when the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration was established, local policymakers could choose whether or not to extend OSHA protections to state employees. Unfortunately, Massachusetts took a pass. But decades later — and after years of advocacy, organizing and research on the part of worker advocates — employees of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts can now look forward to safer and healthier workplaces.
After having delivered prime-time telecasts from the Olympic Games since 1988, NBC’s Bob Costas had to step aside due to a pink eye infection. For millions of US workers, missing work due to illness can mean losing pay or even being fired — which makes it hard for them to stay home and spare their co-workers from disease exposure. Several states are considering legislation to assure workers can earn paid sick leave.
Following passage of a Massachusetts law requiring companies to report on their use of toxic chemicals, environmental releases of potentially carcinogenic chemicals declined 93% between 1991 and 2010 while reported use declined 32% between 1990 and 2010.
Two bills we’ve written about recently are now law: President Obama signed the “Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012,” and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed the “Temporary Workers Right to Know Act.”
As we’re waiting to learn whether the Affordable Care Act will survive the upcoming Supreme Court decision, it’s a good time to remember what’s at stake with the individual mandate. It’s helpful to consider the stories of two states that took different mandate paths in their attempts to make insurance affordable, with very different outcomes.