Massachusetts Legislation

Massachusetts Legislation2018-08-30T10:53:18+00:00

Current Legislation

Senate Bill 2631 – An Act relating to promoting and enhancing civic engagement.

MA Senate Bill 2631

Media Literacy Now has worked with Massachusetts legislators to advance legislation which includes a media literacy provision, now in S2631.

This bill would make civics education a high school graduation requirement relative to requiring the teaching of civics in all public elementary and high schools in the Commonwealth. It also requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to develop instructional guidelines in media literacy education as it relates to history and civics.

Replaces S2375, H4545, H222, H237, H280, H306, H315, H2016, H2022, H2039, H2043, H20855, S215, S244, S248, S278, S307; S2631 also includes H3556, Media Literacy Now’s original model bill, which may be downloaded here.

Your input to your State Legislators can help make a difference.  Don’t delay; give your input today!
  • Find your State Legislators’ contact info here

    Search for your State Representative in the House of Representatives and your State Senator in the State Senate

  • Write an Email

    to both your State Representative and your State Senator or call them and ask them to support the bills that promote Media Literacy–be sure to use specific bill numbers as listed on our Current Legislation page.

    Include your name and address to identify that you are their constituent, and preferably your email and phone number.

    Use your own language, or see language we can suggest below:

    Dear _____: I believe that understanding media is a critical skill for students as the citizens of the future, as media is the predominant information provider of our times and young people need skills to navigate the world of media safely and responsibly.  I ask you to support bills that provide for Media Literacy education, including _______ (bill numbers).

    Sincerely,

    Your Name, Address
    (email and phone)

  • Let Us Know

    about your outreach and THANK YOU–you are helping create a more media literate world!

    Contact your local MLN Chapter Leader:

    Massachusetts:
    Tamara Sobel
    medialook23@gmail.com

MA Senate Bill 2631

Feb 18, 2018 – Senate: Bill reported favorably by committee; referred to Committee on Senate Ways and Means.
Feb 18, 2018 – Senate: Reported from Committee on Education.
Mar 26, 2018 – House: Read; and referred to Joint Rules Committee.
May 29, 2018 – House Committee recommended passage; referred to House Committee on Ways and Means.
May 30, 2018 – House Committee recommended passage with an amendment (H4545); referred to Committee on House Steering, Policy and Scheduling; passed to be engrossed.
Jul 25, 2018 – Senate: Replaced by Senate Bill 2631; House: Referred to the committee on House Steering, Policy and Scheduling; Committee of conference report accepted, in concurrence; Senate: Enacted and laid before the Governor.
Aug 6, 2018 – Senate: Governor returned to Senate with amendment, see S2650. Referred to the Senate Committee on Bills in the Third Reading.

Senate Bill 2374 – An Act relative to financial literacy in schools.

MA Senate Bill 2374

This bill promotes teaching personal financial literacy (PFL) in schools. It also provides for analyzing media in PFL education.

Your input to your State Legislators can help make a difference.  Don’t delay; give your input today!
  • Find your State Legislators’ contact info here

    Search for your State Representative in the House of Representatives and your State Senator in the State Senate

  • Write an Email

    to both your State Representative and your State Senator or call them and ask them to support the bills that promote Media Literacy–be sure to use specific bill numbers as listed on our Current Legislation page.

    Include your name and address to identify that you are their constituent, and preferably your email and phone number.

    Use your own language, or see language we can suggest below:

    Dear _____: I believe that understanding media is a critical skill for students as the citizens of the future, as media is the predominant information provider of our times and young people need skills to navigate the world of media safely and responsibly.  I ask you to support bills that provide for Media Literacy education, including _______ (bill numbers).

    Sincerely,

    Your Name, Address
    (email and phone)

  • Let Us Know

    about your outreach and THANK YOU–you are helping create a more media literate world!

    Contact your local MLN Chapter Leader:

    Massachusetts:
    Tamara Sobel
    medialook23@gmail.com

S.2374 – An Act relative to financial literacy in schools

January 19, 2018 – Wrapped up with bills H240, H261, H288, H333, H2023, H3550, S231, S247, S277, S249.
January 22, 2018 – Bill reported favorably by committee and referred to the committee on Senate Ways and Means.
March 22, 2018 – Passed by Senate with MLN Media Literacy language, 37-0.
March 26, 2018 – House: Read; and referred to the committee on House Ways and Means.

Media Literacy Now has successfully worked to include a media literacy provision in this bill.

Bill H.4455 – Relative to the transmitting of indecent visual depictions by teens.

This bill would update criminal laws on transmitting indecent material to reflect the realities of teen-to-teen consensual sexting and allow law enforcement to deal with sexting more appropriately.  It ensures that voluntary sexting between two teens is not treated as a sex offense. It provides for education of all students, so they are knowledgeable about the possible consequences of sexting before they choose to or are pressured into sexting. It also encourages general media literacy and digital citizenship education. Additionally, the bill calls for a diversionary program (mandated education program instead of criminal punishment) as best suited for youth engaging in these digital behaviors.

Your input to your State Legislators can help make a difference.  Don’t delay; give your input today!
  • Find your State Legislators’ contact info here

    Search for your State Representative in the House of Representatives and your State Senator in the State Senate

  • Write an Email

    to both your State Representative and your State Senator or call them and ask them to support the bills that promote Media Literacy–be sure to use specific bill numbers as listed on our Current Legislation page.

    Include your name and address to identify that you are their constituent, and preferably your email and phone number.

    Use your own language, or see language we can suggest below:

    Dear _____: I believe that understanding media is a critical skill for students as the citizens of the future, as media is the predominant information provider of our times and young people need skills to navigate the world of media safely and responsibly.  I ask you to support bills that provide for Media Literacy education, including _______ (bill numbers).

    Sincerely,

    Your Name, Address
    (email and phone)

  • Let Us Know

    about your outreach and THANK YOU–you are helping create a more media literate world!

    Contact your local MLN Chapter Leader:

    Massachusetts:
    Tamara Sobel
    medialook23@gmail.com

Massachusetts H4455  | 2017-2018 | 190th General Court

5/3/2018 – House: Reported from the committee on the Judiciary; New draft of H948, H2330 and H3655: Bill reported favorably by committee and referred to the committee on House Ways and Means

Media Literacy Now is working to enhance preventative measures and media literacy education.

House Bill 2858/Senate Bill 1220 – Relative to prohibiting the marketing of sugary drinks on school grounds.

MA H2858/S1220 – Both bills would act to prohibit the marketing of sugary drinks on school grounds. The bill also includes a provision for media literacy education including in the area of health and nutrition.

Your input to your State Legislators can help make a difference.  Don’t delay; give your input today!
  • Find your State Legislators’ contact info here

    Search for your State Representative in the House of Representatives and your State Senator in the State Senate

  • Write an Email

    to both your State Representative and your State Senator or call them and ask them to support the bills that promote Media Literacy–be sure to use specific bill numbers as listed on our Current Legislation page.

    Include your name and address to identify that you are their constituent, and preferably your email and phone number.

    Use your own language, or see language we can suggest below:

    Dear _____: I believe that understanding media is a critical skill for students as the citizens of the future, as media is the predominant information provider of our times and young people need skills to navigate the world of media safely and responsibly.  I ask you to support bills that provide for Media Literacy education, including _______ (bill numbers).

    Sincerely,

    Your Name, Address
    (email and phone)

  • Let Us Know

    about your outreach and THANK YOU–you are helping create a more media literate world!

    Contact your local MLN Chapter Leader:

    Massachusetts:
    Tamara Sobel
    medialook23@gmail.com

MA H2858
Feb 7, 2018 – Reporting date extended to Saturday June 30, 2018, pending concurrence.
Feb 7, 2018 – Amendment (changing reporting date to Wednesday May 9, 2018) adopted, pending concurrence.
Feb 7, 2018 – Senate: Concurred.
Mar 5, 2018 – Decision extended to May 9, 2018.
Jul 2, 2018 – House: Accompanied a study order, see H4682

MA S1220
Jan 23, 2017 – Senate: Referred to the Joint Committee on Public Health; House, House concurred.
Aug 24, 2017 – Joint Hearing scheduled for 9/12/17.
Apr 2, 2018 – Senate: Bill reported favorably by committee and referred to the Committee on Senate Ways and Means.

Media Literacy Now is working to support these bills.

Senate Bill 2128/House Bill 3704 – An act relative to healthy youth.

MA Senate Bill 2128 / House Bill 3704

This bill provides that each school district or public school that offers sexual health education in the Commonwealth provides medically accurate, age-appropriate sex education. It provides for parental notification, the right of the parent to withdraw his or her child from all or part of the instruction, and a means by which parents may inspect the program instruction materials prior to the start of the course. It also provides for media literacy instruction as part of sex education.

Your input to your State Legislators can help make a difference.  Don’t delay; give your input today!
  • Find your State Legislators’ contact info here

    Search for your State Representative in the House of Representatives and your State Senator in the State Senate

  • Write an Email

    to both your State Representative and your State Senator or call them and ask them to support the bills that promote Media Literacy–be sure to use specific bill numbers as listed on our Current Legislation page.

    Include your name and address to identify that you are their constituent, and preferably your email and phone number.

    Use your own language, or see language we can suggest below:

    Dear _____: I believe that understanding media is a critical skill for students as the citizens of the future, as media is the predominant information provider of our times and young people need skills to navigate the world of media safely and responsibly.  I ask you to support bills that provide for Media Literacy education, including _______ (bill numbers).

    Sincerely,

    Your Name, Address
    (email and phone)

  • Let Us Know

    about your outreach and THANK YOU–you are helping create a more media literate world!

    Contact your local MLN Chapter Leader:

    Massachusetts:
    Tamara Sobel
    medialook23@gmail.com

MA Senate Bill 2128 / House Bill 3704

Media Literacy Now worked with legislators to include a media literacy provision that was passed unanimously  on the Senate floor and is now incorporated into this bill.

MA S2128
July 20, 2017 – Senate passed 31-6
July 24, 2017 – Referred to the committee on House Ways and Means.

MA H3704
May 18, 2017 – House: Reported from the committee on Education; New draft of H275, H295 and H2053; Reported favorably by committee and referred to the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing.
June 7, 2018 – House: Committee recommended bill ought to pass and referred to the committee on House Ways and Means.

Recent Legislation

Senate Bill 307 / House Bill 315 – An Act to involve youth in civic engagement.

Massachusetts S307  |  Massachusetts H315
An Act to involve youth in civic engagement.

  • The department of elementary and secondary education shall develop …model curriculum units addressing the following topics: the function and composition of the branches of local, state, and federal government, the history of social movements, current events, and community-based action and service-learning projects.
  • The department shall also consider the incorporation of media literacy education into the model curriculum units…
  • The department shall consult with a youth advisory committee in the development, review, enhancement, and evaluation of the model curriculum units.

Massachusetts S307  | 2017-2018 | 190th General Court
Jan 23, 2017 – Referred to the Joint Committee on Education; House concurred.
June 7, 2017 – Joint Hearing scheduled for 6/13/2017.
March 5, 2018 – Wrapped up in S.2375 bill.

Massachusetts H315 | 2017-2018 | 190th General Court
Jan 23, 2017 – Referred to the Joint Committee on Education; Senate concurred.
May 31, 2017 – Joint Hearing scheduled for 6/6/2017.
June 7, 2017 – Joint; Hearing scheduled for 06/13/2017.
March 5, 2018 – Wrapped up in S.2375 bill.

Media Literacy Now is working to support S.2375.

Senate Bill 278 – For legislation relative to civics and new media literacy education in schools.

MA Senate Bill 278

Legislation relative to civics and new media literacy education in schools. Education.

MA Senate Bill 278

Jan 23, 2017 – Senate: Referred to the committee on Education; House: House concurred.
June 7, 2017 – Joint Hearing scheduled for 06/13/2017.
Feb 7, 2018 – House: Reporting date extended to Feb 14, 2018, pending concurrence; Senate: Senate concurred
Feb 15, 2018 – Senate: Accompanied a new draft, see S2306.

House Bill 3329 – To establish a tiered system of tax incentives to promote healthy alternatives to sugary drinks.

Massachusetts H 3329 – to establish a tiered system of tax incentives to promote healthy alternatives to sugary drinks.

This proposed Act, designed to establish a tiered system of tax incentives to promote healthy alternatives to sugary drinks, includes the following media literacy language:

The department of elementary and secondary education shall encourage school districts to implement instruction in media literacy skills from the third grade to the twelfth grade, and in any of the core subjects or other subjects, to equip students with skills for accessing, analyzing, evaluating, and creating all types of media. Instruction shall include, but not be limited to, teaching of skills for analyzing and evaluating advertising content for food, beverages, drugs and alcohol.

H 3329 – To establish a tiered system of tax incentives to promote healthy alternatives to sugary drinks. 

January 23, 2017 – House; Referred to the Committee on Revenue.
January 23, 2017 – Senate; Senate concurred.
May 31, 2017 – Joint; Hearing scheduled for 06/20/2017.
July 12, 2017 –  Joint; Hearing rescheduled to 07/18/2017.
February 22, 2018 – Accompanied a study order (will not advance this session)

House Bill 3556 – An Act relating to digital citizenship and media literacy in public schools.

Massachusetts H 3556 – An Act relating to Digital Citizenship and Media Literacy in public schools

Authorizing the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to develop best practices and recommendations for instruction in digital citizenship, internet safety, and media literacy.

This new bill was introduced by Rep. David M. Rogers (D-24th Middlesex). The bill is based on Media Literacy Now’s national model, successful in Washington state.

H 3556 – An Act relating to digital citizenship and media literacy in public schools

January 23, 2017 – House; Referred to the Committee on Education.
January 23, 2017 –  Senate; Senate concurred.
June 22, 2017 – Joint; Hearing scheduled for 06/27/2017.
March 5, 2018 – Wrapped up in S.2375 bill.

Media Literacy Now is working to support S.2375.

Massachusetts House Bill 329 – An Act to establish more rigorous thinking in MA public education; relative to improving education in the public schools.

MA House Bill 329

This bill would have amended the state’s General Laws to conduct a pilot study which would establish a curriculum based on the following principles:

• Logic, critical thinking, and evidence-based research are increasingly more important with the rapid pace of scientific and technological advancements.
• America is increasingly importing scientists and engineers from other countries.
• These skills help to offset the impact of students being in an “echo chamber” in their daily life.
• Many professional fields benefit from the use of logic, critical thinking, and evidence based research.
• Using logic, critical thinking, and evidence based research greatly increases the ability for a person to make informed decisions that can prevent harm to themselves or others.
• Future generations will influence legislative policies that will require logic, critical thinking, and evidence-based research in order to develop well informed viewpoints.
• Teaching and cultivating these skills aids in preparing students for success in college and future jobs.
• The Massachusetts Curriculum Framework requires students to use logical thought process in various subjects but doesn’t actually teach the concept of logic or logical fallacies.
• Students, who are exposed to the Internet and a variety of mass media, can learn to better scrutinize the information they come in contact with much earlier in their development.
• Early and ongoing application of Scientific Method increases students understanding of how scientists come to the conclusions that they come to.
• Reinforcing Scientific Method will aid students in making more informed decisions in regards to legislation based on scientific findings as adults.

MA House Bill 329

Jan 23, 2017 – House: Referred to the committee on Education; Senate concurred.
Jun 22, 2017 – Joint : Hearing scheduled for 06/27/2017.
Jul 2, 2018 – House: Accompanied a study order, see H4678.

Senate Bill 1562 – Legislation to promote healthy alternatives to sugary drinks.

Massachusetts S 1562 – To promote healthy alternatives to sugary drinks

This proposed Act, designed to promote healthy alternatives to sugary drinks, includes the following media literacy language:

“The department of elementary and secondary education shall encourage school districts to implement instruction in media literacy skills from the third grade to the twelfth grade, and in any of the core subjects or other subjects, to equip students with skills for accessing, analyzing, evaluating, and creating all types of media. Instruction shall include, but not be limited to, teaching of skills for analyzing and evaluating advertising content for food, beverages, drugs and alcohol.”

S 1562 – An Act to promote healthy alternatives to sugary drinks

January 23, 2017 – Senate: Referred to the Committee on Revenue.
January 23, 2017 – House: House concurred.
May 26, 2017 – Joint: Hearing scheduled for 06/20/2017.
April 30, 2018 – Senate: Accompanied a study order; see S2497.

Go to Massachusetts Chapter page