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Lesser introduces first legislation as state senator

BOSTON – Less than two weeks after being sworn in as state Senator, Eric P. Lesser (D-Longmeadow) has filed four bills aimed at improving quality of life and stimulating economic growth in western Massachusetts.
“The bills I introduced last Friday represent a first but significant step forward in connecting Springfield to Boston via high-speed rail, fostering high-tech business growth, and combating opiate abuse,” Sen. Lesser said.
The first bill, “An Act to study the feasibility of high-speed rail access between Springfield and Boston,” requires the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to conduct a study on the feasibility of high-speed rail access between the city of Springfield and the city of Boston. The bill enjoys bipartisan support from cosponsors of both legislative chambers, including Sen. Thomas McGee, Sen. James Welch, Sen. Donald Humason, Jr., Sen. Benjamin Downing, Sen. Anne Gobi, Sen. Ryan Fattman, Chairman Joseph Wagner, Rep. Aaron Vega, Rep. Carlos Gonzalez, Rep. Brian Ashe, Rep. Jose Tosado, Rep. Thomas Petrolati, Rep. Benjamin Swan, Rep. Angelo Puppolo, Jr., Rep. John Scibak, Rep. John Velis, and Rep. Ellen Story.
“This bill already has the support of a number of colleagues in both the House and the Senate, who all agree that better integrating the Western Massachusetts economy to the rest of the state is essential for the Commonwealth’s overall progress,” Sen. Lesser said.
The second bill, “An Act to promote high-tech job growth in Gateway Cities,” creates a tax credit for investments in high-tech businesses located in Gateway Cities, including Springfield and Chicopee.
The third bill, “An Act preventing prescription drug abuse by closing the pharmacy shopping loophole,”calls for pharmacies to report any schedule II through V substances distributed as a prescription within 24 hours, as part of the Massachusetts Prescription Monitoring Program.
The fourth bill, “An Act to improve the accessibility and affordability of naloxone and other pharmaceutical drugs of public health concern,” creates a special commission to examine the possibility of establishing a system for the bulk purchasing and distribution of naloxone (sold under the name Narcan), an anti-overdose medication widely used in heroin overdose situations, as well as other pharmaceutical products with a significant public health benefit and the potential for significant health care cost savings if purchased in bulk.
“I look forward to continuing to work with my cosponsors and others as we move forward on these important priorities,” Sen. Lesser said.