Representative Aaron Michlewitz has filed nearly two dozen bills covering a wide range of issues to be considered this year by the Massachusetts State Legislature. Michlewitz represents the 3rd Suffolk District representing the North End, South End and parts of Downtown Boston.
In an effort to increase transparency for Boston’s Summer Olympics 2024 bid, Michlewitz joined with Rep. Michael Moran to have a commission that would review the public safety, economic and social impacts of the games. A website would also be established detailing all public and private funds that would be expended. The 2024 Olympics bill is opposed by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh as redundant, according to an article in The Boston Globe.
“My biggest fear in this entire ordeal is that we could be creating a large debt through these Olympics that future generations will have the burden of cleaning up, similar to the one that the MBTA is dealing with right now in part because of the Big Dig financing,” Michlewitz said. “And so the Commonwealth needs to hold the line as best it can to ensure transparency.”
Beyond the Olympics, Rep. Michlewitz has filed to regulate and tax short-term residential rentals, such as AirBnb. Joining with Revere’s Rep. RoseLee Vincent, the legislators would legalize the gray-area of short-term residential rentals, while imposing safety and registration requirements along with a 5% tax similar to those of hotels.
“Short-term rentals are a growing concern in communities across the Commonwealth,” said Representative Michlewitz. “While short-term rental platforms are a testament to the innovative economy that has thrived in Massachusetts, we want to ensure that they are safe and secure places that work within the rules and regulations that the hospitality industry already operate under.”
Other issues tackled by Rep. Michlewitz include incentives for restaurants to reinvest in their businesses, tunnel safety, and reforming the penalties the Boston Licensing Board can issue.
“These pieces of legislation were crafted to address the diverse quality of life needs for all my constituents,” said Representative Michlewitz. “Over the past year these are some of the most pressing concerns that residents have brought to my attention, and I believe that we have taken those concerns and found positive solutions to them.”
Among the assorted bills are proposals to exempt Boston and Cambridge residents from paying car rental surcharges, creating a public gun offender registry list for those who violate gun laws, legislation that would protect workers from wage theft, making it easier for schools and non-profits to conduct physical activity programs, and a proposal that would make it easier for small businesses to offer more affordable health care plans to their employees.
The Massachusetts Legislature session is currently underway. If anyone has further questions on the specifics of these or other pieces of legislation or the legislative process, Representative Michlewitz can be reached at 617-722-2240 or Aaron.M.Michlewitz@mahouse.gov.