Government Affairs Committee

Government Affairs Committee

Massachusetts State House

Mission

To support the mission of The Arc of Massachusetts by advocating for legislation and other governmental policies and practices on a state and federal level to assure a full array of quality services and supports and the protection of human rights of persons who have intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.

The mission of The Arc of Massachusetts is to enhance the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism, and their families. We fulfill this through advocacy for community supports and services that foster social inclusion, self-determination, and equity across all aspects of society. Through advocacy and collaboration with others, The Arc of Massachusetts has helped to establish and maintain significant legislation and funding on both the state and federal levels.

Membership

All interested individuals. Each chapter of The Arc should send a representative. Encourage human service agencies, other organizations and individuals to participate. Please contact Charlie Fiske for more information.

Meeting Schedule

The first Monday of the month, 10:00am to 11:30am

Calendar

Responsibilities

  • Develop strategies which attempt to effect the legislative process and regulatory entities;
  • Work toward adequate funding and availability of all services, particularly through the state Budget;
  • Promote the provision of quality services and advancement of human rights for all;
  • Present legislative priorities and platform in writing to The Arc Mass Board Steering Committee for approval in writing.

Goals

  • Select priority issues each year;
  • Select supported issues each year;
  • Maintain and expand list of statewide legislative contacts to provide means for promoting the Committee’s agenda with elected officials;
  • Advocate for changes in services to increase consumer driven supports;
  • Be knowledgeable about and respond in concert with The Arc, when appropriate, to federal governmental issues;
  • Expand the GA Committee, encouraging chapters of The Arc to send a representative.

Activities

  • Develop strategies and material to influence legislators;
  • Organize visits to the State House;
  • Visit chapters of The Arcs to encourage their participation in legislative advocacy;
  • Insure that all important information about legislation, state budgets, plans and policy changes of the administration, DDS and other state agencies is discussed, evaluated and shared with The Arc Mass Board of Directors, chapters of The Arcs, human service providers and interested members of the public
  • Plan and participate with the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council in the Annual Legislative Reception;
  • Sponsor bills when needed.
  • Offer regional advocacy training sessions
  • Annually the Government Affairs Committee will host a special meeting with the Board to discuss policy priorities and past accomplishment and invite chapters, human services sponsors, state partners and other interested parties to attend.

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