MA: Legislation that JPs Care About – 2021-2022

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The following bills have been submitted to the Massachusetts General Court

  • SD1181 establishes a commission study to evaluate the One-Day rule (Gobi)
  • SD1517 increases application fees for 1-Dayers by $100 (Gobi)
  • SD1518 broadens JP’s advertising to include in “any public media” (Gobi)
  • SD1412 increases the fees a JP may charge (DiDomenico)
  • HD718 and SD292 would increase the age to marry from 16 to 18 – no exceptions (Rep. Khan & Senator Chandler)


One-Day Rule

2021 – 2022 Session: Senator Anne Gobi took the baton from Senator Cyr, and she resubmitted the Resolve providing for an investigation and study by special commission relative to the one-day solemnizer rule. This in response to JPus’ white paper outlining the problems with the One-Day rule. The bill would develop a committee to evaluate the way the One-Day rule is being implemented. The Justice of the Peace Association and the MA Town Clerk Association would both be members of this committee. This is a very important piece of legislation if changes to this rule are to happen.

Senator Gobi’s bill, SD1517, is an effort to level the playing field between temporary officiants and professional JPs.

During the 2019 – 2020 Session, Senator Julian Cyr submitted the first iteration of the Resolve to establish a commission to evaluate the One-Day rule, (S1831). The bill got stalled in the Judicial Committee before the pandemic put a halt to all non-essential legislation.

Professional JPs

Both Senator Gobi’s SD1518 and Senator DiDomenico’s SD1412 support justices of the peace with how they conduct their professional business.

In the 2019 – 2020 session, JPus submitted testimony in support of Senator DiDominico’s bill (S1833) to increase the fees that JPs may charge for solemnizing a marriage. We will do this again during the 2021 – 2022 session.

Child Marriage

The Justice of the Peace Association and its members are fiercely opposed to child marriage. See our efforts to change the law allowing this human rights abuse in Massachusetts

Co-sponsors needed

This is YOUR opportunity to make change happen. Your state legislators will not fight for these pieces of legislation if you, their constituents, aren’t invested in them. Send a letter to your state Representatives and Senators and ask them to co-sponsor these important pieces of legislation.

Not sure who you Representative or Senator is? Find them here.

This member support article provides some how-to information and a template to write to your legislator. While all five of these bills are important, JPus is prioritizing the legislation to end child marriage and Senator Gobi’s Resolve to study the One-Day Solemnizer. We believe that the Resolve is the most effective way to have lasting change that will support our Massachusetts members.

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