Representative Lori A. Ehrlich is the Chair of The Joint Committee on Export Development. She is serving her sixth term as State Representative for the Eighth Essex District, of Marblehead, Swampscott, and Lynn. She holds a B.S. degree in Accounting from Lehigh University and an M.P.A. from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. The Kennedy School Magazine recently published this profile piece about her unusual path to elected office.
Grounded in pragmatism, Rep. Ehrlich has three decades of experience as a Certified Public Accountant, working for a large regional New England firm as well as managing her own practice. As one of only two CPAs in the legislature, her knowledge and experience are in demand.
Rep. Ehrlich was the author of major public safety legislation regarding natural gas leaks signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick in 2014. In 2016, she amended a comprehensive energy bill with language requiring utilities to make repairs to gas pipes some of which have been leaking for decades. These tough new restrictions, supported with resolutions by over 30 municipalities representing over 30% of the state's population, were signed into law by Governor Baker in August of 2016. Worcester Magazine featured her work in a cover story. She was also one of the authors of the state’s landmark anti-bullying law and received the Anti-Defamation League’s Good Citizenship Award for her work.
A strong voice for those who are not able to lobby for themselves, Rep. Ehrlich filed a bill allowing law enforcement to step in when they see an animal in danger in a hot car and also disallows tethering of animals overnight. Working closely with the MSPCA, that bill was signed into law in August, 2016.
She is the lead sponsor of several high profile bills regarding reform of the use of noncompetes in employment (which passed both chambers but in the final hours of the 2016 formal session was unable to clear conference committee), and a state ban on the sale of ivory & rhino horns. Each of these bills have received considerable statewide and national attention, including three invitations to the White House and a meeting with former Vice President Joe Biden. In October of 2016, the Obama Administration issued a State Call to Action on noncompete reform, encouraging other states to follow suit.
Prior to her election to the legislature in 2008, Rep. Ehrlich founded two award-winning public health nonprofits and led the charge to clean up coal ash from the drinking water for 80,000 residents in Salem, Beverly and parts of Wenham. She earned the nickname “Mother Grizzly from Marblehead” in honor of her tireless advocacy for her community and the environment. Her experience has earned her widespread recognition at the state level, as well as invitations to testify before Congress in Washington, DC.
Please stop by her bill page (currently under construction for the session ahead) for updates and resources to the bills she sponsoring in the Massachusetts legislature.