Renews focus on transportation, job creation, housing, public safety, and the environment
Recently sworn in for his fourth term representing the Fourth Suffolk District, State Representative Nick Collins (D- South Boston) announced his legislative agenda for the 190th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. To begin the new legislative session, Collins filed and co-sponsored several bills that continue his focus on several core issues, including transportation, job creation, workforce development, housing policy, public safety, and the environment.
Continuing his leadership on transportation reform, Rep. Collins plans to leverage the growth on the South Boston Waterfront to strategically invest funds from the 2014 bond bill in accordance with the South Boston Waterfront Sustainable Transportation Plan. Primary goals include increased and improved bus service, road and signal improvements on Day Boulevard, and activating rail connections into the Waterfront via the unused Track 61.
Rep. Collins has also co-sponsored a bill for a light rail pilot program on the Fairmount commuter rail line. The pilot program would mean more frequent and reliable rail service connecting Dorchester, Mattapan, Roxbury and Hyde Park to the city’s thriving economic centers. Legislators hope the increased connectivity will lead to more economic opportunity for those living and working in this crucial public transit corridor.
Prioritizing public safety, Collins filed legislation which would streamline benefits for first responders by presuming that contagious diseases were acquired in the line of duty unless proven otherwise. And showing his ongoing commitment to the safety and quality of life for the elderly, the Representative moved to cut caseloads for social workers working with seniors to ensure they get the quality care they deserve, and that caseworkers can more effectively do their jobs.
Additionally, Rep. Collins has filed housing legislation that would establish a commission to study best practices for elderly and disabled housing and ensure that seniors in the Commonwealth are safe and comfortable in their housing communities.
Bills filed by Rep. Collins pertaining to job creation and workforce development include a live theater bill which incentivizes productions in the Commonwealth, including helping fund small, local theaters. This bill supports the creative economy by bringing in more theater jobs while boosting the hotel and hospitality industries. Another bill requires the Commonwealth and its contractors to employ individuals with disabilities at a level of 10%, reflecting federal guidelines. This would ensure that the Commonwealth provides equal opportunity and access to good jobs and benefits for all.
Finally, in an ongoing commitment to the environment, Rep. Collins has co-sponsored a number of bills which would protect the environment, incentivize renewable energy usage, and establish Massachusetts as the national leader in energy efficiency information for home buyers. The last of these bills promotes local energy service jobs, increases transparency in energy efficiency, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
“I have heard loud and clear that our public transportation is not sufficient for our neighborhoods” said Rep. Collins. “My agenda this session sets out to find innovative solutions to our transportation troubles, while also looking out for our first responders, caring for our elderly, protecting the environment and continuing to build our economy for everyone. I look forward to my fourth term as your State Representative and I hope to make real progress on these important issues.”
Legislative hearings begin this spring and will continue throughout the session.