He may have only been sworn in last week but Senator Ed Markey (D. MA) is getting right to work on some big issues.  The first thing Markey is going after is the "Stand Your Ground" law.  First his colleague, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D. MA), asked some pretty serious questions about the law:


Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and the recently sworn in Ed Markey (D-Mass.) suggested on Monday that state "Stand Your Ground" self-defense laws should be reviewed in the wake of the George Zimmerman trial.

Speaking at a joint appearance in South Boston, Warren said the jury's decision to acquit Zimmerman in the 2012 killing of unarmed Florida teen Trayvon Martin should be accepted. But she said that there was reasonable criticism of "Stand Your Ground" statutes, which eliminate the "duty to retreat" and allow perceived victims to use deadly force if they reasonably fear for their lives or great bodily harm.

According to the Associated Press, Warren said the goal should be to create a country "not just where some of us are safe, but where all of our children are safe." - Huffington Post, 7/22/13

Markey of course threw in his two cents on the issue:


Fellow Democratic Sen. Edward Markey questioned whether the laws might embolden someone who is armed to pursue an unarmed individual and then fire if that person turns to confront them.

He said it's time to start "paring back" the laws.

Massachusetts doesn't have a stand your ground law. Attorney General Eric Holder announced this week that his department would investigate whether Zimmerman could be charged under federal civil rights laws. Such a case would require evidence that Zimmerman harbored racial animosity against Martin. - AP, 7/22/13

Another issue Markey and Warren have been pretty vocal on in the Senate's student loan deal:


With the U.S. Senate poised to vote this week on a bipartisan bill regarding interest rates for student loans, both Massachusetts senators plan to vote against the bill.

The bill would tie student loan interest rates to the market, with a cap limiting how high they can go.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, in a phone interview with MassLive.com/The Republican, said she opposes the bill because it would raise rates too high on future students, while not cutting down on government profits from student loans.

“I can’t support a proposal that squeezes even more profits out of our kids,” Warren said.

Warren has focused heavily on the student loan issue, which she raised during her 2012 campaign and addressed as her first bill after she took office.

Newly elected U.S. Sen. Edward Markey, also a Democrat, said he will also oppose the bill because it could raise rates too high in future years. “We need to do more to make college affordable so that every student who dreams of higher education isn’t saddled with higher loan rates,” Markey said in a statement. “I will oppose plans that substantially increase the rates students pay now and in the future. Last year, the federal government made $51 billion from student loans. That’s just wrong. We should not make money off of the debt families incur in their efforts to help their children succeed.” - The Republican, 7/22/13

Though this issue may not be as big as "Stand Your Ground" and student loans, I am happy to see Markey still make it a real issue:


U.S. Sen. Edward Markey is calling for a set of national safety standards to cover rides at amusement parks following the death of a woman who fell from a roller coaster at a Six Flags amusement in Texas.

Markey said families on summer vacations are assuming what he called a huge risk because of the lack of federal regulations.

The industry has argued that accidents, particularly fatal accidents, are rare at amusements parks.

Markey, however, said there are enough serious accidents to warrant federal intervention. - Dallas News, 7/22/13

Like most people, I love roller coasters but because I grew up with a father who investigates accidents for a living, I've always been concerned about the safety issues of amusement park rides.  So I thank Markey for also making shining a light on this issue.  By the way, here's Markey's committee assignments:


Sen. Ed Markey will replace former Sen. John Kerry on the Small Business and Entrepreneurship; Commerce, Science and Transportation and Foreign Relations Committees.

Markey served on two energy committees and was the chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming as a congressman. - Swamp Scott Patch, 7/22/13

Markey of course will have to face the voters again next year.  If you would like to stay involved with his campaign, you can do so here:

Originally posted to pdc on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 09:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA), Shut Down the NRA, Youth Kos 2.0, Massachusetts Kosmopolitans, and The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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