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.
Today is one of those good days. Yesterday afternoon, we celebrated the positive news from the State House’s Conference Committee led by Chairs Jeffrey Sanchez and Karen Spilka. The conferees gave us the highest funding possible from the two versions of the budget released earlier this session. At 7:57 pm last night, Mike Moore’s office gave us word that the Senate had passed Nicky’s Law – a registry bill which will prevent staff who have abused adults in the Dept. of Developmental Services (DDS) program or service to work in another DDS setting.
The Arc of Massachusetts celebrates the release of the Massachusetts Conference Committee Budget. We are grateful to the members of the Conference Committee who not only recognized the importance of the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) Family Support and Day and Employment Services, but also funded the higher numbers in the line items for Transportation and the Autism Children’s Waiver. In each DDS line item included in conference, the committee funded the higher amount.
On Wednesday, May 16, the Health Care Finance Committee passed Operation House Call. Now on to hopefully its final stop at Ways and Means before becoming law! Thank you to everyone who advocates for this program, the emails and phone calls are so important to moving legislation. Stay tuned as we get closer to the finish line.
In March, we talked about “what will it take” to achieve an inclusive society. Maybe the word inclusive is not concrete enough. How about these?
On Tuesday, May 1, The Arc of Massachusetts Executive Director Leo Sarkissian spoke with Boston Herald Radio about the serious problem of direct care workers who have abused individuals with I/DD being allowed to take on new positions. Leo discusses the importance of the current bill S 2213/H 4026, aka Nicky’s Law, and what a significant impact it would have on our community.