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Protecting Children and Families
As a husband and a father, I understand that strong families are the foundation of a healthy society. Ensuring the health and safety of children, our society's most innocent and vulnerable members, is one of our deepest moral responsibilities. That's why I was horrified when I heard the story of young Masha, who was adopted at age five from a Russian orphanage by an American man who proceeded to sexually abuse her and post disgusting pictures of her on the internet for other sick predators to download. Masha's tormentor is now in prison, but her images remain on the internet where they continue to be downloaded by child pornographers.

When I found out that the penalty for downloading music was three times as severe as the penalty for downloading disgusting images of children, I was outraged. In January, I stood with Masha at a press conference sponsored by the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and announced my new bill, Masha's Law, which triples the penalty for downloading perverted images of children and allows young people 18 and over to sue those who download pornographic images taken of them when they were children.

I am proud to announce that President Bush signed the Adam Walsh Child Protection Act, which includes Masha's Law, into law on July 27th. Thanks to Masha's Law, abused children now have far more recourse to hold their tormentors responsible, and child pornographers will think twice before they download sickening images of innocent kids. Masha's Law is a crucial victory in the battle to protect our children from those who would do them harm.

Standing with me in my fight to strengthen the laws against child predators was the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. The MSPCC has been fighting for the children of Massachusetts for over 120 years, leading efforts to prevent child abuse, strengthen families, and promote children's health and welfare. In gratitude for their tireless advocacy for the children of Massachusetts, I nominated the MSPCC for the Congressional Coalition on Adoption's "Angels in Adoption" award. The MSPCC has made a huge difference in the lives of thousands of children across Massachusetts, and I am proud to recognize and honor them on Capitol Hill.

Ensuring that our children are taken care of also means ensuring that their parents have the resources they need to provide for their families. 86 million working Americans have no paid sick days, and are therefore forced to choose between caring for their health or the health of their loved ones and earning a paycheck. In the richest country in the world, this is unacceptable. That's why I signed on as a co-sponsor of the Healthy Families Act, which will require employers to provide paid sick days for their employees so that no family has to choose between staying healthy and making ends meet.

Children and families are the promise and the legacy of our Commonwealth and I will continue to fight for their protection and welfare as I serve you in the Senate.
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(617) 565-8519
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