On August 14, Minute Man Arc self-advocates Janice Smith, Valerie Lessa, and Nora McShane, along with staff member Yah-Bleelay Gaye, traveled to the Woburn Senior Center to meet with Congresswoman Katherine Clark’s Constituent Services Representative Jay Higgins. Mr. Higgins specializes in social security, medicaid, and medicare benefits (often referred to as “senior issues,” even though this group of benefits is important to the disability community, as well).
I worry sometimes about the shape of disability services to come. I’m heartened by stories, uplifting ones about individuals who have succeeded in their journey. Their drive and skills were supported by family and good staff along the way.
At The Arc, we continually think about what we need to do on behalf of or share with our constituency – which is YOU! The past several days were no different as we tried to re-boot the passage of Nicky’s Law, which would establish an Abuse Registry, during the legislature’s informal session. Thank goodness for stakeholders who are passionate about this essential bill to protect people with disabilities. I’m glad to see an ongoing dialogue regarding passage of this bill and we hope that the House will join the Senate shortly in its passage. The administration continues to signal its full support.
The formal legislative session (190th) ended Tuesday (7/31/18) at midnight. Though we had luck with the passage of S2606, the abuse registry bill (“Nicky’s Law”) in the Senate, we were not as fortunate with the House. Given the volume of bills, the veto override actions and the short amount of time, “Nicky’s Law” (H4026) did not get out of the House Ways and Means Committee to be placed before the full House for a vote. There were a number of larger bills that demanded much time like healthcare, economic development, energy, opioids, education, and housing.