The Cooperative MA Platform

of the Coalition for Worker Ownership and Power (COWOP)

2021-2022

Certification

H.295

Sponsors
Rep. Paul Mark
Rep. Erika Uyterhoeven

An Act Relative to Worker-Owned Cooperative Enterprises.  This bill would allow the nonprofit worker-ownership business association with the largest membership in Massachusetts–the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives–to formally certify member businesses and applicants as worker-owned enterprises. Enterprises incorporated under Chapter 157A as well as other worker-owned and democratically structured businesses could qualify for this certification, which would unlock access to a range of state benefits. (Filed by COWOP in 2021)

Training

H.2059

Sponsors
Rep. Paul Mark
Rep. Erika Uyterhoeven

An Act Expanding Worker Ownership Training Opportunities.  This bill would allow existing workforce training programs for employed and unemployed workers to include training in business ownership, development and management skills, meeting an unmet need expressed consistently by new worker-owners. (Filed by COWOP in 2021)

Technical Assistance

Sponsors
Sen. Julian Cyr

Via an amendment to the state budget this Spring, we are proposing a significant funding increase for small nonprofit providers of coop development technical assistance.  This funding and expansion of services would support local entrepreneurs, especially people of color, to establish new worker coops, as well as conversions of existing traditional businesses to democratically run worker-owned ones. (Filed by COWOP in 2021)

Grants & Loan Guarantees

Sponsors
TBD

We are working to develop a significant new capital pool to fund the growth of the worker coop ecosystem in MA.  Details of this capital pool, including its exact scale, criteria for funding and who will administer it, are being determined in ongoing discussions with stakeholders.

Employees on Corporate Boards

S.1223

Sponsors
Sen. Jason Lewis
Sen. James B. Eldridge

An Act ensuring fair worker representation on corporate boards of directors  This bill requires large companies with over $100 million in annual revenue to ensure that a minimum of 40% of its board of directors be elected by the employees of the corporation, with the same duties and responsibilities as directors elected by the stockholders.

Right of First Refusal

H.2021

Sponsors
Rep. Paul Mark

An Act Relative to Job Creation Through Employee Ownership.  This bill allows for workers of existing traditional businesses to have the Right of First Refusal to bid for the purchase in the event the business owners move to sell the business or transfer ownership.

Tax Credits for Conversions

H.2998

Sponsors
Rep. Paul Mark
Rep. Erika Uyterhoeven

An Act to Create and Sustain Jobs Through Development of Employee-Owned Businesses and Cooperatives. This bill creates a capital gains tax credit, to incentivize responsible transition of traditional businesses to worker ownership.

Advisory Board for MassCEO

H.511
S.261

Sponsors
Rep. Paul Mark
Rep. Carmine Gentile
Sen. Julian Cyr

An Act Enabling the Massachusetts Center for Employee Ownership. Among other things, this bill enhances the role of Massachusetts Center for Employee Ownership (MassCEO), and creates a statewide Advisory Board On Employee Ownership.  The Board, with seats for 19 stakeholders (including 13 for ESOPs, worker cooperatives and advocates) and relevant state agencies, would advise the Governor and MassCEO’s director on matters related to employee ownership policy, and the Massachusetts Office of Business Development on the hiring of MassCEO’s director.

Study Commission

SD. TBD

Sponsors
Sen. Adam Gomez

An Act to Establish a Study Commission on an Inclusive Ownership Fund and Seats on Corporate Boards.  This bill sets up a commission to study the feasibility of an Inclusive Ownership Fund in MA funded through stock transfers from large corporations, and mandating workers to have seats on the boards of large corporations based in MA or those winning large public contracts.


By building a robust worker-owned cooperative infrastructure, the Cooperative MA policy platform will support a just recovery from the COVID-19 economic crisis, while making strides towards an equitable economy for workers and communities across Massachusetts.


Join entrepreneurs, workers and communities across the Commonwealth.

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Express your support and help make this policy platform a reality by using our form letter above.


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