Insider’s View: Senator Harriette Chandler, Senate President Emerita

chandlerI represent the First Worcester Senate District; which includes the towns of: Boylston, parts of Clinton, Holden, parts of Northborough, Princeton, West Boylston, and most of Worcester. I serve as Chair of the Committee on Steering and Policy and Vice Chair on Higher Education in addition to Co-Chairing several caucuses; including the Legislature’s Prevention for Health Caucus and Oral Health Caucus. During this current legislative session, I filed a bill establishing mid-level dental practitioners, similar to physician assistants in the medical field, while working in collaboration with a licensed dentist. Access to dental care would be expanded for the underserved; especially children, seniors, individuals with special needs, low-income families, and rural residents in Massachusetts. Continue reading

Insider’s View: Rep. Louis L. Kafka

kafkaI represent the 8th Norfolk District; which includes the town of Sharon and parts of Stoughton, Walpole and Mansfield. I am a member of the Speaker DeLeo’s Leadership team, serving as Floor Leader of the Fourth Division. In addition, I serve as a member of the Rules Committee and the Personnel and Administration Committee. This year marks my 28th year serving in the MA legislature and during this time, we have championed many issues to help make the state more responsive to the needs of our constituents. Great changes in areas of mental health, education and developmental disabilities have offered hope to individuals and families who struggle daily to improve their lives. Continue reading

Insider’s View: Senator Karen E. Spilka, Senate President

spilkaI’m the Senate President and my Senate District (Second Middlesex and Norfolk) represent seven MetroWest towns. I have fought constantly for tools, support and services for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. I have a background in social work and labor law, and I also have a deeply personal awareness of the need for these resources for our loved ones. This year, we passed several important new laws to help people with disabilities. The legislature, the Arc and other groups in Massachusetts are doing critical work to make sure everyone has access to the resources and opportunities they need to overcome challenges, realize their abilities and thrive in their communities. As we begin a new legislative session in January, I look forward to continuing the work to improve the lives of all residents across the Commonwealth.

Insider’s View: Representative Michael Seamus Day

DayMy district is the Thirty First Middlesex; which includes the towns of Stoneham and Winchester. In the Legislature, I am a member of the following committees: Vice Chair – House Committee on Personnel and Administration; Judiciary; Financial Services; Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery; Post Audit and Oversight. As a lawyer, I have always had a strong interest in advocating for civil rights and civil liberties. The basis for that belief can be traced to my own family who taught me, from an early age, that every person is unique and special and everyone deserves equal treatment and opportunity in life. Continue reading

Insider’s View: Senator Michael Moore

michael mooreI represent the Second Worcester Senate District, which includes my home town of Millbury, as well as the towns of Auburn, Grafton, Leicester, Shrewsbury, Upton, sections of Northbridge, and parts of the City of Worcester. I currently serve as the Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Higher Education, and Chair of the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security. In addition, I’m a member of six other legislative committees; including the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, which reviews all legislation involving state financing. Continue reading

Insider’s View: Representative Liz Malia

liz maliaCurrently, I represent the 11th Suffolk District in Boston which includes some neighborhoods in Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, Dorchester and Roslindale. As the Assistant Vice Chair of the Ways and Means Committee we review a number of bills, some of which affect those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Committee considers matters related to behavioral health, including substance abuse, homelessness, mental illness and mental health services, and Department of Mental Health oversight. In addition I serve on the Labor and Workforce Development Committee and the Public Service Committee. Continue reading