Despite the good news we shared about the state budget two weeks ago, we know that some people are struggling out there. Some people are worried and/or stressed, and some are just trying to make it through the day. Even if you or your family have services, you may worry. Today’s blog is aimed at those of you who are struggling each day.
As we exit the “dog days of summer,” it may be a good time to share the past fiscal year’s advocacy work prepared by our Government Affairs team. It’s a short digest and we invite you to dig deeper by looking at our website, including the Advocacy Page which includes the State Budget, Bill Priorities and Policy Issues.
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).
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.