The Massachusetts legislature now has a tool called "MyLegislature." Once you register, you can follow Bills, Hearings, and Committees that are of interest to you, as well as the Senate and House Legislators for your district. Register at the Legislature's website, https://malegislature.gov/
Announcements on MLS
See this interactive visualization of the declining value of public assistance benefits over time, both nationally and on a state by state basis. For example, according to this chart, in 1970 the maximum annual TAFDC benefit for a family of 3 in Massachusetts was 103.7 percent of the federal poverty guidelines; in 2011 it had dropped to 40 percent. This visualization can be found on the Remapping Debate website, www.remappingdebate.org
[Editor's Note: Links are no longer active]
Effective May 1, 2013, all federal district courts will begin charging a $50 administrative fee for filing a civil action in a district court, in addition to the $350 filing fee, thereby increasing the total filing fee to $400.00. The administrative fee does not apply to applications for a writ of habeas corpus or to persons granted in forma pauperis status under 28 U.S.C. § 1915.
Please join us at the State House for this event- next Tuesday April 9th- on the impact of the current EA shelter regulations on homeless children and families. Flyer attached. MLRI will be releasing a new report on the familyhomelessness crisis on this day. A good turnout will be helpful in highlighting the importance of the issue, so please bring others with you and forward this announcement widely.
Below is an urgent alert from FRAC. If you can make a call THIS AFTERNOON, please do so !!
Even though the MA delegation is solid against cuts, it always helps for them to hear from you! Please THANK your Congress member for his or her support, and urge him/her to hold strong against "Plan B" or any cuts to SNAP, and ask them to let President Obama know they will tolerate absolutely NO CUTS to SNAP or other safety-net programs as part of any fiscal "cliff" deals.
Call - 202-225-3121 (Capitol Switchboard).
Email from FRAC:
From November 15 through March 15 (sometimes extended into April), Massachusetts state law prevents utility companies from terminating service that is used to heat homes if the household is suffering financial hardship. See this article in the Consumer library section to learn more about this protection and steps to take to show financial hardship.
This will require a party seeking a default judgment to provide advance notice to the defendant of the nature and type of damages sought that are not a sum certain.
See the Massachusetts Law Library blog for more details, http://masslawlib.blogspot.com/2012/10/civil-rules-5-54-and-55-amended.html
A Pro Bono Task Force convened by the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) Board of Directors released its findings in early October.
The ACLU, the National Consumer Law Center, and the Lieff Cabraser law firm filed a class action lawsuit on October 15, 2012, on behalf of five African American homeowners in the Detroit, Michigan, area and Michigan Legal Services.
See this article by Yvonne Abraham in the October 7, 2012 Boston Globe discussing the serious hardship homeless families are experiencing as a result of being denied emergency shelter under DHCD's revised Emergency Assistance rules.