Sen. Sal DiDomenico was presented with the 2020 Public Official of the Year Award from the Women’s Bar Association (WBA) of Massachusetts in honor of his longstanding support of civil legal aid funding and legislation in support of children and families.
DiDomenico accepted the award at the WBA Legislative Breakfast at the Massachusetts State House alongside his House colleague Representative Marjorie Decker. The pair were honored for their partnership in sponsoring legislation to repeal the state’s family cap and end deep poverty in the Commonwealth.
“Thank you to the Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts for presenting me with this honor,” said Assistant Majority Leader DiDomenico. “I have spent my Senate career advocating for children and families, and I am proud to share the same values with not only the WBA as a force itself, but all of their members as well. Together, we are working towards the same goal of a better tomorrow for women, children, and all working families in our Commonwealth.”
Sen. DiDomenico has been a longtime supporter of civil legal aid funding and has always made this line item in the state budget a top priority. Civil legal aid organizations provide advice and representation at no cost to low-income individuals who need help with issues related to housing, domestic violence, and healthcare, among other serious legal issues. During his time in the Massachusetts Senate, the legal aid line item has steadily increased to support more working families who are in need of these services.
Additionally, DiDomenico has been the lead Senate sponsor of the legislative priorities for the Lift Our Kids Coalition, of which the Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts is a member. Because of Sen. DiDomenico, Rep. Decker, and the Lift Our Kids Coalition’s efforts, in 2019, the Massachusetts Legislature repealed the state’s family cap— which barred benefits for children conceived while or soon after the family began receiving assistance—by a nearly unanimous vote. Today, approximately 11,000 previously excluded children are now receiving benefits.
However, because they are so low, families continue to struggle to pay for necessities. DiDomenico, Decker, and the Coalition are now focusing their efforts on their bill, An Act to lift kids out of deep poverty, to ensure that no child in the Commonwealth lives below half the federal poverty line.