2021 – 2022 Legislative Platform

Please find The Arc of Massachusetts 2021-2022 Legislative Platform. Our bills advance areas such as healthcare, housing, protection, education and family support for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities including autism.

If you have any questions on any of the legislation, please contact Maura Sullivan at sullivan@arcmass.org.

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DPPC Language H218 S117

— An Act updating terminology and investigative processes related to the protection of persons with disabilities Representative Sean Garballey and Senator John Keenan

The bill would amend the current Disabled Person’s Protection Commission’s (DPPC) enabling statute to enhance protections and respect. This bill needs no appropriations yet will strengthen the DPPC’s mission and align with Nicky’s Law.

Abuse Registry Expansion S137

— An Act to allow MassHealth Day Habilitation providers to use abuse registry Senator Mike Moore

This bill will expand the abuse registry to MassHealth day program providers to ensure individuals substantiated of abuse will not be hired in other DDS day or residential programs or MassHealth day programs.

Hospital Training H219 S1469

— An Act to enhance hospital care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism through training, standards of care and certification requirements.

Representative Sean Garballey and Senator Jason Lewis

This bill will expand current hospital based medical providers’ knowledge about autism and I/DD, in order to improve the treatment individuals receive in hospital settings.

Cueing and Supervision for PCA Program H260 S129

— An Act relative to cueing and supervision in the PCA program

Representative James O’Day and Senator Joan Lovely

This bill amends Ch. 7 of the general law to allow the PCA program to include cueing and prompting as a covered services for those eligible members who need it.

An Act Relative to Persons with Disabilities H261 S122

— An Act relative to persons with developmental disabilities

Representative James O’Day and 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.

Autism Police Training Expansion H2531 S1628

— An Act relative to police training in appropriate interactions with persons on the autism spectrum and other intellectual and developmental disabilities

Representatives Paul Tucker and Kay Khan and Senator Mike Moore

This bill will require training of law enforcement officers and correction officers in the Commonwealth in appropriate and safe interactions with persons on the autism spectrum.

ABA MassHealth for Adults H184 S115

— An Act relative to applied behavior analysis services

Representative Christine Barber and Senator John Keenan

This bill will require MassHealth to cover medically necessary Applied Behavior Analysis services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, also includes language for AT coverage.

Tommy's Law H265 S140

— An Act to increase the safety of individuals with disabilities relying on life-support equipment.

Representative Dave Rogers and Senator Patrick O’Connor

This bill will require appropriate discharge plan review with residential facility nursing staff and increase the accountability for medical equipment monitoring.

Accessory Housing H1370 S908

— An Act relative to accessory dwelling units

Representative Christine Barber and Senator Bruce Tarr

This bill would allow the development and preservation of affordable housing for persons with disabilities and the elderly. It is designed to encourage creation accessory dwelling units in the form of 2 bedroom accessory apartments for people with disabilities and the elderly.

Supported Decision Making H272 S124

— An Act relative to supported decision-making agreements for certain adults with disabilities

Representatives Paul Tucker and Senator Joan 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.

Operation House Call H2279 S1466

— An Act improving healthcare for patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities including autism.

Representative Carolyn Dykema and Senator Jason Lewis

This bill established an accredited certification program for medical professionals focusing on best practices in healthcare for individuals with autism and intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Dental Health Therapists H1308 S743

— An Act to improve oral health for all Massachusetts residents

Representatives Smitty Pignatelli and Kate Hogan and Senator Harriette Chandler

This bill would establish the position of licensed dental therapist and require training about best practices for people with autism and I/DD.

Loan Repayment (MCHSP) H266 S120

— An Act relative to a loan repayment program for human service workers

Representatives Jeff Roy and Smitty Pignatelli and Senator Eric Lesser

This bill encourages direct care workers to enter and continue working in community-based human services programs through loan reimbursement opportunities.

Prohibiting Discrimination against Parents with Disabilities H1711 S1083

— An Act prohibiting discrimination against adults with disabilities in family and juvenile court proceedings

Representative Kay Khan and Senator Joan Lovely

This bill will require courts to determine if a parent’s disability causes actual harm to their child by requiring written findings when a parent’s disability is relied on as a negative factor in a custody or parenting time determination.

An Act Relative to Fair Pay for Comparable Work (MCHSP) H237 S105

Representative Kay Khan and Senator Cindy Friedman

This bill seeks to have staff at private providers be paid the same as those in state-operated programs in the same fields. Providers would be given higher reimbursements to address the salary disparity while allowing the elderly and those individuals with disabilities, to maintain their rights, dignity, and independence by choosing their support staff.

Higher Education Opportunities H1331 S846

— An Act creating higher education opportunities for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities and autism.

Representative Sean Garballey and Senator Joan Lovely

This bill allows persons with I/DD or autism to access the state’s colleges and universities to gain skills necessary to work and live as independently as possible.

Disability Commission on History of State Institutions H2090 S1257

— An Act establishing special commission to study and report on the history of state institutions for people with intellectual and developmental and mental health in the Commonwealth.

Representative Sean Garballey and Senator Mike Barrett

This bill will establish a commission that will present a human rights framework for public recognition of citizens who lived in institutions, including recommendations for memorialization and public education.

Katie's Law H240 S114

— An Act relative to individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities

Representative Kay Khan and Senator Patricia Jehlen

This bill (Katie’s Law) would strike out certain phrases/words and outdated language (mentally retarded, handicap)

Impact of Pandemic on Black and Latinx People with Autism H477 S1472

— An Act Addressing the Inequitable Impact of the Pandemic on Black and Latinx Individuals with Autism

Representative Christine Barber and Senator Joan Lovely

This legislation ensures that the Massachusetts Autism Commission addresses the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black and Latinx individuals with autism.

Turning 22 During COVID-19 H601 S282

— An Act Addressing the Needs of Students with Disabilities Turning 22 During the COVID-19 Emergency

Representative Carmine Gentile and Senator Mike Barrett

This legislation helps to address the needs of students with disabilities who turn 22 during the pandemic and require compensatory special education services to address their regression or lack of progress due to the disruption in IEP services caused by the state of emergency.

Banning Aversive Therapy H225

— An Act regarding the use of aversive therapy

Representative Danielle Gregoire

The bill would ban the use on any person with physical, intellectual, or developmental disability any procedure which causes obvious signs of physical pain, including but not limited to hitting, pinching, and electric shock for the purpose of changing the behavior of the person.