As the 188th session of the Massachusetts State Senate gets underway, State Sen. Jamie Eldridge is laying out his goals for the next two years after being re-appointed by Senate President Therese Murray as Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Housing and Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change.
The Acton Democrat was also named to the Joint Committees on Mental Health and Substance Abuse and Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy.
“I’m honored to have the opportunity to continue to serve as Senate Chair of the Housing Committee and I look forward to examining ways to continue to provide greater access to housing for the people of the Middlesex and Worcester District and advance policies that will help move Massachusetts out of its housing crisis,” said Eldridge, who defeated challenger Dean Cavaretta in last year's election.
As chairman, Eldridge’s priorities this session include reviewing Gov. Deval Patrick’s public housing authority legislation, preserving the social safety net for homeless families, Chapter 40B reform, comprehensive zoning reform and developing more workforce housing in Massachusetts.
As the chairman of the Joint Committee on Housing last session, the committee successfully passed into law “An Act Relative to Community Housing and Services,” legislation that promotes supportive housing for the Commonwealth’s homeless, individuals with disabilities and elders, as well as “An Act Relative to Housing Rights for Victims of Domestic Violence, Rape, Sexual Assault and Stalking,” legislation that allows domestic violence and sexual assault victims to vacate their lease or rental agreements without financial penalties.
As vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change, Eldridge will be a leading voice on reducing climate change, investing in energy efficiency and natural disaster relief management among other priorities, including promoting legislation passed last session that doubled the amount of alternative energy that investor-owned utilities must purchase, increasing the financial incentive for homeowners to install energy-efficient solar panels on their homes.