House Passes Bills That Allow Child Care Workers to Unionize and 16-Year-Olds to Pre-Register to Vote
Legislation to improve child care services and to reform the state’s current election laws passed this week.
The following is a press release from State Representative William C. Galvin's office:
An Act improving quality in early education and care by family care providers, H3986, encourages those who run home-based child care services to obtain further training and it allows child care providers to unionize.
Currently, as independent contractors, Massachusetts child care providers are unable to unionize, however this legislation creates a legal mechanism to do so. Allowing providers the opportunity to unionize will make it easier to recruit and retain a stable workforce of family child care providers that children and families can depend on.
The aim of this legislation is to allow parents who want to work the opportunity to have more childcare options, promote further education for small child care providers, and give a voice to child care workers. This bill also enhances the quality of family child care by allowing for negotiations over the development and expansion of training and education.
This bill only applies to individuals who provide home-based child care services and receive a voucher or contract payment from the state. The bill does not affect center-based providers or exclusively privately paid providers.
The election reform legislation that passed the House works to improve accessibility and transparency in the state’s election system by promoting civic awareness, streamlining the process by which citizens may register to vote, and calling for election audits in certain circumstances.
When teens turn 16 years old, they will then have the opportunity to pre-register to vote, thus simplifying the registration process for new, young voters by already having their name in the central voter registry file. Furthermore, voter registration forms will be made available for download from the web so that a registrant may fill out the form, print it, sign it, and mail it or deliver it to their town clerk with ease.
Under this legislation, municipal election officials will be required to attend annual training given by the Secretary of State regarding applicable state and federal election laws. Additionally, this legislation calls for an election audit after certain biennial elections including all general elections where a Governor, a Senator or a Representative in Congress is elected.
The number of precincts selected to be audited in the drawing must be equal to 3 percent of all precincts in the state. The precincts to be audited will be chosen by random drawing by the Secretary of State within 48 hours after polls close and the board of registrars in each city or town will conduct the audit.
Any costs incurred to implement election audits shall be paid by the state using funds available to Massachusetts under the federal Help America Vote Act.