CREATING WOMEN’S RIGHTS HISTORY TRAIL PROGRAM

By Bob Katzen

The House 154-0, approved and sent to the Senate a bill that would require the state to develop and implement a Women’s Rights History Trail program.

The measure includes requiring the state to designate properties and sites that are historically and thematically associated with the struggle for women’s rights and women’s suffrage. Another provision provides that the state promote education and awareness of the struggle for women’s rights in the commonwealth. A 13-member Women’s Rights History Trail Task Force would be formed to research, solicit public input and make recommendations for sites, properties and attractions to be included in the trail.

“I am humbled and proud to sponsor this legislation,” said Rep. Hannah Kane (R-Shrewsbury). “This legislation ensures that the many women from our commonwealth who contributed to the fabric of our nation and democracy are recognized, and their accomplishments preserved in our state’s history, so that their legacies may serve as inspiration for future generations of young women.”

“The establishment of this trail continues Massachusetts’ commitment to honoring women while also creating additional tourism and economic opportunities across the commonwealth,” said Rep. Carole Fiola (D-Fall River), House Chair of the Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development. “It was an honor to pass this legislation during Women’s History Month.”

The House approved the bill in the 2019-2020 session on September 18, 2020 and sent it to the Senate Ways and Means Committee where it died without further action and without a vote by the Senate.

Beacon Hill Roll Call again asked Senate President Karen Spika (D-Ashland) and Senate Ways and Means chair Sen. Mike Rodrigues (D-Westport) to explain why the bill died in the Senate in 2020 and if they think the bill will die in committee again this year or be approved the Senate. Despite repeated requests, neither Spilka’s office nor Rodrigues’ office responded.

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