Massachusetts Law Updates

Official Blog of the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries

Category Archives: New Laws

Rescuing pets from hot cars Posted on Aug 26

Rescuing pets from hot cars

A new law for animal welfare gives pets more protections from extreme heat and weather. St. 2016, c. 248 An Act Preventing Animal Suffering And Death was signed in a ceremony by Governor Charlie Baker August 24 after Bill S.2369‘s enaction in mid-August. Massachusetts joins   …Continue Reading Rescuing pets from hot cars

Massachusetts Enacts Pay Equity Act Posted on Aug 15

Massachusetts Enacts Pay Equity Act

Massachusetts’ pay equity act was signed by Governor Charlie Baker earlier this month on August 1 after the legislation unanimously passed both the House and Senate. Statute 2016, c. 177 An Act to Establish Pay Equity includes several components to strengthen fairness in hiring and   …Continue Reading Massachusetts Enacts Pay Equity Act

Transgender Anti-discrimination Law Posted on Jul 15

The Massachusetts Legislature passed Bill S. 2407, “An Act relative to transgender anti-discrimination” on July 7, 2016. Governor Charlie Baker signed the legislation on July 8. The law goes into effect on October 1, 2016. The law will “extend protections against discrimination for gender identity   …Continue Reading Transgender Anti-discrimination Law

Some Drug Offenders May Get Licenses Back Posted on Apr 13

Massachusetts is one of several states that suspends a person’s driver’s license after a conviction for minor drug offenses even though the conviction is not motor vehicle related.   On Wednesday, March 30, 2016, Governor Baker signed a bill repealing the 26 year old law   …Continue Reading Some Drug Offenders May Get Licenses Back

Uniform Interstate Family Support Act Amended Posted on Apr 8

The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (Mass. General Laws chapter 209D) was replaced in its entirety by Chapter 53 of the Acts of 2016.  The most significant change was adding support orders issued by a reciprocating foreign country.  The new law took effect on March 31,   …Continue Reading Uniform Interstate Family Support Act Amended

Addiction Treatment Instead of Prison for Women With Substance Abuse Disorder Posted on Jan 28

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 123, Section 35 permits the courts to involuntarily commit someone whose alcohol or drug creates “a likelihood of serious harm” to themselves or others. The law has provided that if there are no treatment beds available for women committed under that section, they   …Continue Reading Addiction Treatment Instead of Prison for Women With Substance Abuse Disorder

Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015 Posted on Jan 5

President Obama signed H.R. 1321, the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015, into law on December 28, 2015.  The new law prohibits the manufacture, sale, or distribution of personal care products (rinse-off cosmetics) containing plastic microbeads, which also includes toothpastes. Microbeads are tiny pieces of plastic found   …Continue Reading Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015

What is the Real ID Act? Posted on Dec 22

The REAL ID Act was passed by Congress in 2005 after the 9/11 commission recommended more secure forms of personal identification and to set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses. According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) the   …Continue Reading What is the Real ID Act?

Lifting the Cloud on Foreclosed Properties Posted on Dec 18

Recently Governor Baker signed into law chapter 141 of the Acts of 2015 giving homeowners three years to challenge a residential foreclosure.   The legislation was drafted in response to a 2011 Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision. In U.S. Bank National Association v. Ibanez  the court decided that   …Continue Reading Lifting the Cloud on Foreclosed Properties

Transgender People and Amended Birth Certificates Posted on Aug 26

Massachusetts law was amended effective August 1, 2015, so that a person can request an amended birth certificate after “completion of medical intervention for the purpose of permanent sex reassignment.” Previously, the law had required the completion of “sex reassignment surgery.”  The new law is St.   …Continue Reading Transgender People and Amended Birth Certificates