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Taylor C. Shepherd

Senior Manager of Government Relations

TCShepherd@mlstrategies.com

+1.617.348.1639

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Taylor is Senior Manager of Government Relations at ML Strategies. She regularly assists ML Strategies clients with project management and team communications. She is experienced in developing and organizing service teams and strategic plans to help clients achieve their legislative and regulatory goals. Taylor works on a wide range of issues, including those from the clean energy, health care, and technology industries.

Prior to joining ML Strategies, Taylor worked as a Budget Analyst at the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health to develop reporting mechanisms to project payroll, monitor operational spending and facilitate Western, Central and Northeastern Massachusetts regional areas in their spending and personnel ventures. Previously, Taylor worked as a Legislative Aide and then Fiscal Policy Analyst for the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee at the Massachusetts State House. Under the former House Chair, Taylor worked to draft policy and budgetary recommendations relating to the mental health, developmental disabilities and judiciary accounts within the FY2017 and FY2018 annual state budgets.

Education

  • Salve Regina University (BA, cum laude)

Viewpoints

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On February 2, 2022, the Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on Advanced Information Technology, the Internet and Cybersecurity released a new draft of a bill designed to provide mechanisms for how personal information is used and to control how companies use such information.  This 65-page bill, known as the “Massachusetts Information Privacy and Security Act” or “MIPSA”, would be the first major piece of legislation related to data privacy passed since the Legislature updated the data breach legislation in 2019.
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Today, Governor Charlie Baker released his Fiscal Year 2023 (FY2023) budget recommendations.  This is the unofficial start of “budget season” in Massachusetts that will culminate with a legislative conference committee agreeing on a budget bill sometime around late June or early July.
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On Wednesday, September 1st, Attorney General Maura Healey certified 17 out of 30 ballot proposals filed in August to continue on the path to securing a spot on the 2022 ballot.  Of the 17 proposals certified, 16 were initiative petitions including, but not limited to, proposals relative to alcohol reforms, requirements for presentation of identification to vote, and the employment of app-based drivers.  The seventeenth proposal is a constitutional amendment providing for no-excuse absentee voting.
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Those seeking to amend Massachusetts law or the Massachusetts Constitution through the state’s unique ballot initiative process had until Wednesday, August 4, 2021 to file their proposals with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. By the time the deadline was reached, 30 proposals were filed.
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Congress has passed another coronavirus relief package, the American Rescue Plan (ARP), which allocates significant funding to states to address shortfalls experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of these dollars are specifically allocated – in other words, they are already earmarked for funding particular, specific public sectors like transportation or for private uses like the hard hit restaurant and hospitality industry.
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Only a handful of states have sought to tax digital advertising, and the path forward is murky at best due to practical considerations, federal preemption and constitutional questions. However, there are at least 4 bills filed for the 2021-2022 legislative session in Massachusetts that would implement a tax on a company that advertises on a digital platform.
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During his annual State of the Commonwealth address, Governor Charlie Baker highlighted the heroic work of frontline workers and first responders throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, while reminding the Commonwealth that though we are close, we are not out of the dark quite yet. Gov. Baker’s FY2022 (“H1”) budget recommendations support that perspective and indicates the state is still feeling the economic impacts of the pandemic.
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The fiscal year 2021 (“FY2021”) budget process has been anything but typical.  Shortly after Governor Baker’s budget proposal was released in January, the COVID-19 pandemic struck, reorienting the legislative calendar for the remainder of the 2019-2020 legislative session. 
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Governor Charlie Baker just announced he is extending COVID-19 Order No. 13 that mandates the closure of non-essential businesses.  This order, initially set to expire on April 7th, was extended to Monday, May 4th.  This order will officially take effect tomorrow, April 1st at noon. 
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House Speaker Robert DeLeo addressed the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce today, highlighting the progress the Massachusetts House of Representatives has made amidst unprecedented times and a global pandemic.