Ms. Lewis’s legislative accomplishment are many ,including but not limited to, requiring insurance companies to allow woman to stay in the hospital at least 48 hours after giving birth (96 hours for c-sections) and signing the largest tax break in the history of the commonwealth that reduced the unearned income tax by half!!
Ms. Lewis efforts were consistently recognized by various organizations, resulting in Maryanne being the recipient of numerous “Legislator of the Year” awards.
~Massachusetts Bar Association
~Massachusetts Police Association
~National Association of Government Employees
~ Jobs for Youth
~Massachusetts Childcare Association
EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION
Provided more than $3 million to increase the voluntary expansion of full-day kindergarten throughout the Commonwealth.
Provided $20.6 million for Early Literacy Grants
Provided $3.2 million for the Parent-Child Home Program that encourages family literacy and
supports reading intervention efforts at the earliest levels.
SCHOOL BUILDING ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
Provided $313 million to support existing school building projects.
Allocated $54 million to fund the construction of 45 new schools.
“Caring for people from the beginning”
ACADEMIC SUPPORT SERVICES
Appropriated $50 million to enhance academic support services for students scoring in the failing and needs improvement categories on the MCAS, and who have performed poorly on previous standardized assessment measures.
Provided an additional $3 million to expand the Universal School Breakfast Program.
EARLY CHILDHOOD INTERVENTION
HEALTH CARE/NURSING INITIATIVES
AN ACT RELATIVE TO MANAGED CARE PRACTICES IN THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY/ PATIENT BILL OF RIGHTS (Chapter 141 of the Act of 2000)
Patient bill of rights helps consumers understand more about their health care plans and more efficiently exercise their rights. Ensures that plans do not unduly interfere with the health care decisions of providers. Gives the A.G. and D.P.H. more oversight of HMO’s and hospitals converting from non-profit to for-profit status.
ENHANCED SCHOOL HEALTH SERVICES
Allocated $16 million to fund the school based health services/school nurse program that places nurses in elementary schools. These funds were originally vetoed by the Governor, but were restored by the Legislature.
THE CHILDREN’S MEDICAL SECURITY PLAN
Allocated over $15 million to provide primary and preventative health services for uninsured children from birth through age 18.
CANCER SCREENING/TREATMENT AND PREVENTION INITIATIVES
Allocated over $9 million for early detection, treatment, and prevention of breast cancer in uninsured women.
PUBLIC SAFETY/COMMUNITY POLICING
Secured Community Policing Grants throughout tenure in the legislature.
Grant money has been instrumental in allowing the department to hire a Community Service officer, develop a Bicycle Program that gives police officer visibility at community events, deploy additional officers for the purpose of traffic control, and provide officer sensitivity training.
AN ACT RELATIVE TO THE ACT OF CRIMINAL HARASSMENT
(Chapter 164 of the Acts of 2000)
Defines the crime of stalking and imposes strict penalties for offenders; bill was authored with the help of the Massachusetts Police Chiefs’ Association. Because of work on this issue, was named Legislator of the Year ’00 by the Massachusetts Bar Association.
SENIOR PHARMACY PROGRAM
Income-eligible seniors over 65 year of age receive $750/year in assistance with the cost of prescription drugs.
SENIOR “CIRCUIT BREAKER” TAX CREDIT
Beginning in the 2001 tax year, income-eligible seniors can claim a tax credit on their state income taxes for the real estate taxes paid on the MA property they own or rent and occupy as their primary residence. The maximum credit allowed in the tax year beginning January 1, 2001 is $375 and $750 in tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2001.
PROTECTION OF OPEN SPACE / HISTORIC PRESERVATION
LOWELL WOODS PROJECT / OPEN SPACE
Secured $1 million dollars for the purchase of the Lowell Woods.
Secured funding for the newly renovated playground at Memorial Park.
“The Maryanne Lewis Playground” was dedicated in recognition of Maryanne’s efforts on behalf of recreational space.
WOMEN / CHILDREN
AN ACT FURTHER DEFINING CHILDBIRTH AND POSTPARTUM CARE BENEFITS (Chapter 218 of the Acts of 1995)
So-called “Drive-thru Delivery” bill, which mandates a minimum hospital stay of 48 hours for mothers and newborns following a vaginal delivery and a minimum hospital stay of 96 hours following a caesarean section.
ADOPTION / CHILDREN’S SERVICES/ADOPTION PROMOTION LAW
Member of the special committee charged with studying adoption procedures.
Co-signor of the adoption bill.
Now a national model for adoption.
Encourages prompt permanency placements – “dual track” for DSS children
EXPANSION OF THE NEWBORN HOME VISITATION PROGRAM
Assists newborn children with getting off to a healthy and well-adjusted start in life, especially those born to low-income teen mothers.
CREATION OF A CHILD FATALITY REVIEW TEAM
Each DA’s office will have a special team to investigate any questionable incident of childhood
AN ACT PROVIDING FOR HEARING SCREENING OF NEWBORNS (Chapter 243 of the Acts 1998)
Created an insurance-supported hospital program of testing at-risk newborns for hearing problems.
TAX POLICY / ECONOMIC COMPETITIVENESS
MULTI-STEP REDUCTION IN THE STATE’S PERSONAL INCOME TAX RATE
Reduced Income Tax Rate from 6.25 à 5.3% with triggers included to eventually reach 5%.
Cut unearned income tax from 12% to 5.3%!!!
EXPANSION OF THE EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT, RENTAL REDUCTION, AND INVESTMENT TAX CREDIT
Transforms Massachusetts from a high tax State to an economically competitive State.
AN ACT RELATIVE TO UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE RATES AND WORKFORCE TRAINING
(Chapter 172 of the Acts of 1999)
Created a task force to consider the feasibility of exempting an employer from making unemployment insurance contributions for any employee who received cash benefits under a Massachusetts welfare program.
Worked to right an inequity in the allotment of ice time at MDC rinks, providing equal access to ice time for both boys and girls ice hockey teams.