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Beacon Hill Roll Call

Volume 39 - Report No. 38

September 19, 2014

Copyright © 2014 Beacon Hill Roll Call. All Rights Reserved.

Several bills signed into law by Gov. Patrick in June will take effect over the next several months including:

GAS LEAKS (H 4164) - Effective Oct. 1, 2014: Requires gas leaks to be repaired by gas company in a time frame based on a three-tier classification system of dangerousness. Grade One leaks are most likely to cause an explosion and would have to be repaired immediately. Grade Two leaks are expected to create a hazard in the future and would have to be fixed within 15 months, while Grade Three leaks are non-hazardous and would have to be reevaluated every six months. Other provisions align civil penalties for pipeline facility and gas transportation safety violations with federal law and require gas leaks identified within a school zone be prioritized.

MINIMUM WAGE HIKE (S2195) - Effective Jan. 1, 2015: Hikes current $8 hourly minimum wage to $9, for tipped employees $2.63 to $3.00. Effective Jan. 1, 2016, it hikes minimum wage to $10 and tipped wage to $3.35 and finally to $11 and $3.75 Jan. 1 2017.

BREAST CANCER DETECTION (H 3733) - Effective Jan. 1, 2015: Requires hospitals and doctors to inform patients when their mammograms reveal dense breast tissue. Other info that must be provided includes telling patient that dense breast tissue is common and not abnormal but may increase risk of breast cancer by making it more difficult to find cancer on a mammogram and that sometimes additional testing is needed; and that the patient has the right to discuss the results of the mammogram with the physician and radiologist.

PROTECT DOMESTIC WORKERS (S 2132) - Effective April 1, 2015: Establishes a bill of rights for domestic workers in households. These include employees who perform housekeeping, house cleaning, nanny services, caretaking of sick or elderly individuals, laundering and cooking. Other provisions include requiring that a worker who puts in more than 40 hours per week be given a period of rest of at least 24 consecutive hours each week; mandating that all meal periods, rest periods and sleeping periods count as working time; ensuring that workers have a right to privacy; and requiring that female full-time workers receive at least eight weeks' maternity leave.

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