“Laura’s Law” to get Charlie Baker’s signature Friday

( GLOBE IS POOL) Lowell,MA – 9/23/2020: Governor Charlie Baker takes questions from the media at Mill City BBQ and Brew in Lowell, MA, September 23, 2020. The officials spoke about Commonwealth Places Grants. (MassDevelopment has awarded $86,415 for 10 projects through the Commonwealth Places COVID-19 Response Round: Resurgent Places, a program made available specifically to assist local economic recovery efforts as community partners prepare public spaces and commercial districts to serve residents and visitors. Projects receiving awards include the creation of outdoor dining spaces, sidewalk retail venues, and partitions to support social distancing. Governor Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, and MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss joined Lowell City Manager Eileen Donoghue, Do-it-Yourself Lowell Co-Founder Christopher Aurora Erickson, and African Community Center of Lowell Founder & Executive Director Gordon Halm to announce the grants today at Mill City BBQ & Brew in Lowell. ) (Pool photo) coronavirus Covid-19 Commonwealth Places Announcement
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BOSTON – Hospital signage and safety legislation pitched as a response to the tragic 2016 death of Laura Levis is set to become law on Friday, according to one of the bill’s lead sponsors.

Rep. Christine Barber announced Wednesday that she expects Gov. Charlie Baker on Friday to sign the bill (S 2931), which landed on his desk in the waning hours of the 2019-2020 lawmaking session last week.

Under the soon-to-be law, the Department of Public Health will implement statewide standards requiring hospitals to improve lighting, signage, wayfinding and monitoring, aiming to ensure that all patients in crisis are able to access emergency rooms without issue.

Hospitals will need to start following the new standards six months to one year after the COVID-19 state of emergency ends.

In 2016, Levis went to CHA Somerville Hospital while suffering from an asthma attack, but could not find the emergency room entrance in her state of distress. She collapsed and died just feet away from care.

Her husband, Peter DeMarco, has been pushing for lawmakers to take responsive action since then.

“A brighter sign, a guard at the security desk, a clearly marked door – any one of these things could make a huge difference to someone who’s having a heart attack or a stroke, or an asthma attack, or someone who’s overdosed on drugs and rushes to a hospital,” DeMarco said in a statement provided by Barber’s office. “No one in a medical crisis should also have to worry, ‘I hope I can find the emergency room.’ With standards for all hospitals that worry will be gone, and I don’t think we will ever again hear of someone dying steps from an emergency-room door. And that will all be because of Laura.”

DeMarco will attend the private bill-signing ceremony at 1:30 p.m. Friday, as will Barber, Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, and fellow bill author Sen. Patricia Jehlen, according to Barber’s office.