Legislative Priorities

Each legislative session, Massachusetts Families Organizing for Change establishes legislative priorities to guide our advocacy work.

These priorities are in response to current legislation that affect individuals with developmental disabilities in Massachusetts and their families.

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2019-2020 Legislative Priorities

Last updated: 3/11/2020

SUPPORTED DECISION MAKING

H172 An act relative to supported decision-making agreements for certain adults with disabilities – Filed by Representatives Aaron Vega and Paul Tucker

S2490 S64 An act relative to supported decision-making agreements for certain adults with disabilities – Filed by Senator Lovely

This bill, allows certain adults, including those with disabilities and elders, to maintain their rights, dignity, and independence by choosing one or more trusted supporters to provide assistance making decisions about their lives.

🚦 STATUS:

Bill reported favorably by committee and referred to the committee on Senate Ways and Means 3/9/2020

NICKY'S LAW

H101 An act to protect persons with intellectual with intellectual or developmental disability from abuse – Filed by Representative Linda Campbell

S71 An act to protect persons with intellectual or developmental disability from abuse – Filed by Senator Mike Moore

This bill establishes a registry of care providers substantiated of abuse of an individual with autism or intellectual and developmental disabilities within the DDS system. The bill will prevent serial abuse and addresses due process for care providers.

🚦 STATUS:

Signed into law by Governor Baker on 3/3/2020 🎉 🎉 🎉 

CUEING & PROMPTING

H154 An act relative to cueing and supervision in the PCA program – Filed by Representative James O’Day

S60 An act relative to cueing and supervision in the PCA program – Filed by Senator Joan Lovely

This bill amends chapter 7 of the general law to allow the Personal Care Attendant Program (PCA) program to include cueing and prompting as a cover service for those eligible members who need prompting or cueing in order to perform 2 or more activities of daily living (ADLs).

🚦 STATUS:

Reported favorably by committee and referred to the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing on 1/27/2020

AN ACT RELATIVE TO PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

H155 An act relative to persons with developmental disabilities – Filed by Representative James O’Day

S61 An act relative to persons with developmental disabilities – Filed by Senator Joan Lovely

This bill adopts the federal definition of developmental disability in place of the current state definition of developmental disability and will amend the definition to include all adult individuals with a developmental disability; e.g. cerebral palsy and fetal alcohol syndrome.

🚦 STATUS:

Bill reported favorably by committee in Senate and referred to the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing on 3/9/2020

GHOST NETWORKS

H913 An act to increase consumer transparency about insurance provider networks – Filed by Representative Christine P. Barber

S610 An Act to increase consumer transparency about insurance provider networks – Senators Cindy F. Friedman and Jason M. Lewis

This bill allows for accurate lists of providers to increase access to available mental health practitioners.

🚦 STATUS:
Passed on 11/26/2019! Chapter 124 of the Acts of 2019: An Act Relative to Children's Health and Wellness includes provisions to improve the accuracy of health insurance provider directories.

DMH OMBUDSMAN

H1736 An act to protect Children’s Mental Health Services – Filed by Representative Elizabeth Malia

S1154 An act to protect Children’s Mental Health Services – Filed by Senator John F. Keenan

This bill establishes the position of Children’s Mental Health Ombudsman in the Office of the Child Advocate and allows for an ombudsman to receive file complaints, get direction or receive guidance in response to questions from consumers and families.

🚦 STATUS:
Extension order filed until 4/15/20

PROTECTING MEDICALLY FRAGILE CHILDREN & ADULTS

H1896 An Act Relative to Critical Data Collection on the Medically Fragile Population – Filed by Representatives Denise C. Garlick and Louis L. Kafka

S686 An Act to Protect Medically Fragile Kids – Filed by Senator Cindy F. Friedman

This bill allows for a meaningful review of nursing hours, rates, utilization, and nurses registered with Masshealth/Medicaid every two years to increase access to home care nurses and maintain an adequate workforce to care for medically fragile children in their family home.

🚦 STATUS:

Reported favorably by committee in the House and referred to the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing on 2/24/2020

Your voice is needed for positive change in Massachusetts! Contact your legislators and make your voice heard!

Find your legislators at https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator

Thank you to the representatives and senators who filed these important pieces of legislation for recognizing the value and importance of supporting
for supporting individuals with developmental disabilities and their families!

Be sure and reach out to the filers of the bills and show your gratitude as well!

CALL, EMAIL, VISIT and make your voice heard!

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