Advocacy

Advocacy

Advocacy can mean many things both in regard to what and the how. The what for us is—working toward policies, funding, laws, regulations and other types of outcomes which advance the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families (see our mission here ). On a simple level, the “how” means encouraging, pleading, urging, and providing justification. But it gets more complex when you apply the “how” to “where”. There is the administration of the state or federal government, the legislature, the courts, school committees, etc.

The advancements of our present age didn’t come easily and require vigilance and yes, advocacy. Further advocacy for our cause requires people –anyone who cares about disabilities and wishes to build a good life in the community. Services cost dollars, rights require laws and regulations and understanding takes public education. Much has been done, but there continues to be work to do. The Advocacy pages share areas in which we are most involved and tools. Our priorities evolve over time. This page provides an index of the section and government affairs headlines.

Take Action- Alerts and Reaching Legislators Advocacy Tools- Helpful Guides and Fact Sheets
Policy Issues – A Variety of Key Issues Insider’s View – Comments from Policy Makers
State Budget – Tracking our Budget Process GA Committee Opportunity to Participate
Bill Priorities – Tracking Legislation – Laws

Headlines

Update Post Governor’s Budget Vetoes and Legislative Hearings –Shortfalls in Budget

On July 7, the Conference Committee lowered state budget line items– including DDS — due to the continued uncertainty of state revenues.  On July 17, Governor Charlie Baker vetoed an additional $320 million on top of the legislature’s reduction, including a cut of more than $7 million from the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) budget. The impact of these reductions means uncertainty for many people.  These decisions were also affected … Read More…

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New Fact Sheet From The Arc

Although we were relieved that the Senate decided NOT to vote for the changes in Medicaid and Health care. We will face other challenges. This new fact sheet from The Arc provides more background on Medicaid as you advocate in the future.

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Ways and Means and Health Care Finance Committee Hearing Testimony

At the Ways and Means and Health Care Finance Committee Hearing, Leo Sarkissian, Gillian Buckley and Herb Cabral provided testimony in support of the legislature rejecting the Governor’s Mass Health cuts and  to override the DDS line item vetos.

Pictured with Leo is Gillian Buckley, a 19 year old sibling of two brothers … Read More…

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MassHealth Reform Debate Continues

On Tuesday, the US Senate passed a bill to continue the health care debate, threatening major changes in Medicaid as attempted in the Senate earlier this year and passed in the US House.

 

Meanwhile on Beacon Hill, the Joint Committees on Ways and Means and Health Care Financing held a hearing on Governor Charlie Baker’s MassHealth Reform Package. Chief of Staff Kristin Lepore, Secretary of Health and Human Services … Read More…

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