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Current Legislation

House Bill 3892 – Legislation to establish a realistic advertising tax credit.

MA House Bill 3892
Sponsors: Rep. Kay Khan [D], et al.

This bill would provide tax incentives for businesses utilizing digitally unaltered advertising.

Digitally altered images of human models set unattainable standards of beauty and damage the well-being of many exposed to them, leading to the development of eating disorders and poor emotional and physical health outcomes. The goal of this tax credit is to incentivize businesses to reduce the use of advertising with digitally manipulated images of human models in advertising campaigns.

Tamara Sobel, Media Literacy Now’s Massachusetts chapter leader, has co-written (with S. Bryn Austin, Sc.D., Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School),  an op-ed in Psychology Today about the increasing use of digital alteration in advertising and the positive effect this kind of legislation could have:

The bill deliberately offers the reward of tax incentives rather than punishing fines or banning content, to steer clear of First Amendment territory. It’s an innovative approach—if it’s passed, Massachusetts would be the very first state to implement this type of measure.

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:

    Tamara Sobel, Massachusetts chapter leader
    Get in touch with her at medialook23@gmail.com.

MA House Bill 3892

Jun 13, 2019 – House: Referred to the Joint Committee on Revenue; Senate concurred.

House Bill 561 – Legislation to support media literacy education in public schools.

MA House Bill 561
Sponsors: Rep. David Rogers [D], Sen. Salvatore DiDomenico [D], Rep. Sean Garballey [D], Rep. Mike Connolly [D].

This bill would amend Chapter 71 of the General Laws by adding a new section (98):

The department of education shall convene a working group to assess and recommend revisions to policies and procedures on media literacy, including digital citizenship and internet safety, aligning K- 12 Standards, Curriculum Frameworks and other guidance materials as appropriate with national standards, best practices and definitions of media literacy in all subjects…

The department of education shall create a web-based location to recommended successful practices and resources and work with the K–12 community and other stakeholders to identify and develop additional Open Educational Resources to support media literacy education in schools…

The department of education shall: provide support for professional development for teachers and teacher-librarians focused on integrating media literacy in all core subjects…

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:

    Tamara Sobel, Massachusetts chapter leader
    Get in touch with her at medialook23@gmail.com.

MA House Bill 561

Jan 22, 2019 – House: Referred to the Joint Committee on Education; Senate concurred.

Senate Bill 259 – An Act relative to media literacy.

MA Senate Bill 259
Sponsor: Sen. Cynthia Stone Creem [D].

This bill would amend the General Laws by adding the following new language:

…and the development of skills to access, analyze and evaluate written and digital media as it relates to physical and emotional health, including but not limited to how media affects physical and emotional health, social relationships, and body-image.”

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:

    Tamara Sobel, Massachusetts chapter leader
    Get in touch with her at medialook23@gmail.com.

MA Senate Bill 259

Jan 22, 2019 – Senate: Referred to the committee on Education; House concurred.

House Bill 1550 – An Act relative to transmitting indecent visual depictions by teens.

MA House Bill 1550
Sponsor: Rep. Jeffrey Roy [D] et al.

This bill would amend the General Laws by adding legislation to define violations and punishment/s relating to the transmission of  indecent visual depictions by teens. It also defines:

…a comprehensive educational diversion program designed to provide teenagers with information about the legal consequences of and penalties for transmitting indecent visual depictions known as “sexting” or posting indecent visual depictions online, including …the effect on relationships, loss of educational and employment opportunities, and being barred or removed from school programs and extracurricular activities; how the unique characteristics of cyberspace and the Internet can produce long-term and unforeseen consequences for sexting and posting such photographs; and the connection between bullying and cyber-bulling and juveniles sexting or posting sexual images.

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:

    Tamara Sobel, Massachusetts chapter leader
    Get in touch with her at medialook23@gmail.com.

MA House Bill 1550

Jan 22, 2019 – House: Referred to the Committee on The Judiciary; Senate concurred.

House Bill 1947 – An Act to protect youth from the health risks of sugary drinks.

MA House Bill 1947
Sponsors: Rep. Kay Khan [D], Rep. Jon Santiago [D] et al.

This bill would amend the General Laws by adding regulations that influence… the marketing of sugary drinks, including advertising, labeling, and limitations on beverages in “children’s meals,” and would establish a “Special Commission on Access to Drinking Water in Public Places.”

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.

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:

    Tamara Sobel, Massachusetts chapter leader
    Get in touch with her at medialook23@gmail.com.

MA House Bill 1947

Jan 22, 2019 – Senate: Referred to the Committee on Public Health; Senate concurred.

Senate Bill 1291 – An Act to protect youth from the health risks of sugary drinks.

MA Senate Bill 1291
Sponsors: Sen. Jason Lewis [D], Sen. Joanne Comerford [D], Rep. Kay Khan [D], Rep. John Lawn [D] et al.

This bill would amend the General Laws by adding legislation to prohibit the marketing of sugary drinks in schools… and to regulate the marketing of sugary drinks, including advertising, labeling, and limitations on beverages in “children’s meals,” and would establish a “Special Commission on Access to Drinking Water in Public Places.”

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.

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:

    Tamara Sobel, Massachusetts chapter leader
    Get in touch with her at medialook23@gmail.com.

MA House Bill 1291

Jan 22, 2019 – Senate: Referred to the Joint Committee on Public Health; House concurred.

Senate Bill 295 – Technological privacy and safety in schools.

MA Senate Bill 295

This legislation would account for technological privacy and safety in schools with local and state committees.

Each public school …shall …provide for a scope and sequence for a Safer Technology & Digital Citizenship Curriculum, hereafter called STDC, which shall include age-appropriate practices in healthier, safer and more environmentally-friendly and responsible technology use, behavior, and communication.

The STDC shall include, as age-appropriate, education in individual and societal risks from technology, including but not limited to risks stemming from privacy loss, automation, digital addiction, loss of human contact, environmental costs, reduced health, programming mistakes, and aptness as weapons, shaping tools, and propaganda…

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:

    Tamara Sobel, Massachusetts chapter leader
    Get in touch with her at medialook23@gmail.com.

MA House Bill 295

Jan 22, 2019 – Senate: Referred to the Joint Committee on Education; House concurred.

Senate Bill 323 – Safe internet access in schools.

MA Senate Bill 323
Sponsor: Sen. Patrick O’Connor [R].

This legislation would amend the General Laws (Chapter 71) with policy regarding internet safety measures for schools providing computer access to students.

Each school district providing computer access to students shall adopt an Internet Safety Policy for the safe and efficient use of online resources…Employ a primary, secondary, and tertiary model of online risk protection including digital citizenship curriculum as part of the school’s approach to social emotional learning…Protect students from visual depictions that are obscene, pornography, or harmful to minors…

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:

    Tamara Sobel, Massachusetts chapter leader
    Get in touch with her at medialook23@gmail.com.

MA House Bill 323

Jan 22, 2019 – Senate: Referred to the Joint Committee on Education; House concurred.

Senate Bill 80 / House Bill 181 – Establishing a commission to study journalism in underserved communities.

MA Senate Bill 80 / MA House Bill 181
SB80 sponsors: Sen. Brendan Crighton [D], Rep. Lori Ehrlich [D], Rep. James Hawkins [D].
HB181 sponsors: Rep. Lori Ehrlich [D], Sen. Brendan Crighton [D], Rep. Patrick Kearney [D], Rep. David LeBoeuf [D], Rep. Jose Tosado [D], Rep. Andres Vargas [D].

These bills would establish a commission to study journalism in underserved communities.

A special legislative commission…is hereby established to: conduct a … study relative to communities underserved by local journalism in Massachusetts; review all aspects of local journalism including, …the adequacy of press coverage of cities and towns, ratio of residents to media outlets, the history of local news in Massachusetts, print and digital business models for media outlets, the impact of social media on local news, strategies to improve local news access, public policy solutions to improve the sustainability of local press business models and private and nonprofit solutions, and identifying career pathways and existing or potential professional development opportunities for aspiring journalists in Massachusetts.

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:

    Tamara Sobel, Massachusetts chapter leader
    Get in touch with her at medialook23@gmail.com.

MA Senate Bill 80 / MA House Bill 181

SB80
Jan 22, 2019 – Senate: Referred to the Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Businesses; House concurred.

HB181
Jan 22, 2019 – House: Referred to the Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Businesses; Senate concurred.

Existing Law

An Act relative to financial literacy in schools.

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

This bill, signed by the Governor in January of 2019, promotes teaching personal financial literacy (PFL) in schools. It also provides for analyzing media in PFL education.

MA Senate Bill 2347

Jan 19, 2018 – Wrapped up with bills H240, H261, H288, H333, H2023, H3550, S231, S247, S277, S249.
Jan 22, 2018 – Bill reported favorably by committee and referred to the committee on Senate Ways and Means.
Mar 22, 2018 – Passed by Senate with MLN Media Literacy language, 37-0.
Mar 26, 2018 – House: Read; and referred to the committee on House Ways and Means.
Dec 31, 2018 – Senate: Bills in the Third Reading report accepted; Senate concurred.
Jan 1, 2019 – House and Senate: Enacted and laid before the Governor.
Jan 10, 2019 – Senate: Signed by the Governor, Chapter 438 of the Acts of 2018.

An Act relating to promoting and enhancing civic engagement.

Media Literacy Now worked with Massachusetts legislators to advance this legislation which includes a media literacy provision.

This bill (Senate Bill 2631) was signed by the Governor on November 8th, 2018, Chapter 296 of the Acts of 2018.

It makes 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.

Media Literacy Now’s original model bill may be downloaded here.

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.
Oct 29, 2018 – Senate: Amendment #1 adopted; Governor’s amendment adopted, as amended; House: Re-enacted; Senate: Re-enacted and again laid before the Governor.
Nov 8, 2018 – Signed by the Governor, Chapter 296 of the Acts of 2018.

Recent Legislation

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

MA House Bill 4455

This bill would have updated criminal laws on transmitting indecent material to reflect the realities of teen-to-teen consensual sexting and would have allowed law enforcement to deal with sexting more appropriately.

The bill ensured that voluntary sexting between two teens is not treated as a sex offense. It provided 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 encouraged general media literacy and digital citizenship education. Additionally, the bill called for a diversionary program (mandated education program instead of criminal punishment) as best suited for youth engaging in these digital behaviors.

MA House Bill 4455

May 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.

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

MA House Bill 2858 / Senate Bill 1220

Both bills would have prohibited the marketing of sugary drinks on school grounds. The bills also included a provision for media literacy education covering health and nutrition.

MA House Bill 2858 / Senate Bill 1220

Media Literacy Now worked to support these bills.

House Bill 2858
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

Senate Bill 1220
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.

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

MA House Bill 3704 / Senate Bill 2128

These bills provided that each school district or public school that offers sexual health education in the Commonwealth also provide medically accurate, age-appropriate sex education. They provided 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.

They also provided for media literacy instruction as part of sex education.

MA House Bill 3704 / Senate Bill 2128

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

House Bill 3704
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.

Senate Bill 2128
July 20, 2017 – Senate passed 31-6.
July 24, 2017 – Referred to the committee on House Ways and Means.

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, included 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 bill was introduced by Rep. David M. Rogers (D-24th Middlesex). The bill was 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.

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, included 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