On April 30, the Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities held its first hearing of the session which focused mainly on bills related to the Department of Developmental Services (DDS). Four bills of concern to The Arc were heard with Nicky’s Law (joined with Dana’s Law, and otherwise known as the Abuse Registry Bill) being first on the panel’s list.
Late in the informal session, the Committee on Public Counsel Services (CPCS) threw doubt on the due process components of Nicky’s Law. CPCS presented their concerns to leadership at the House of Representatives. The Arc worked swiftly with the Disability Law Center to formulate and share our response.
Today, it became clear that Nicky’s law, Senate 2606 would not pass the House of Representatives during the informal session. Bill sponsors informed The Arc that some legislators would oppose the bill on the floor given concerns generated regarding protections for employees by the Committee on Public Counsel Services (CPCS). It takes only one legislator to stop a bill during the informal session period which began in August.
On Thursday, November 15, The Arc of Massachusetts participated in a vigil at the Massachusetts State House in support of the Abuse Registry Bill, also known as Nicky’s Law. Advocates came out in droves to show their support for the passage of this vital protections bill. But as The Arc has previously stated, our work is not yet done. We will be continuing to partake in these vigils for Nicky’s Law in the days and weeks to come. Here is the first round of information on the dates we will be participating at the State House.