Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility Joint Rule 10: Updates on the Status of Bills from The Arc's Priority Platform - The Arc of Massachusetts Skip to main content

The Arc’s Government Affairs team is happy to share that 23 of our bills are still under consideration for possible passage this session. We are encouraged to see so many bills move forward and these bills will have a chance to positively impact the lives of people with autism and IDD and their families.

Joint Rule 10 is an important day for advocacy organizations. February 7, 2024 was the day the Legislature’s Joint Committees took action on their bills.

The bills can move forward with a favorable report or they can be granted an extension of the reporting date to give the committee more time to review them. The bills can also be sent to study, which means they are not ready this session and are discharged. There has been a tremendous amount of work so far this session to support this legislative platform. We appreciate the calls, letters, and testimonies from our community, and the support of our dedicated sponsors and cosponsors.

Unfortunately, our DDS/MassHealth Workforce bill was sent to study. As you know, this bill would bring workforce rates up to match the 75th percentile of the Bureau of Labor Statistics for similar jobs. The Arc still strongly believes we need to increase rates to closer to $24 an hour. With the current investment in the workforce through the Governor’s budget, we will see a jump from just under $17 to a minimum of $20 per hour. Our workforce rate advocacy will continue, so please stay tuned.

The other bill that was sent to study was Banning Aversives. Despite dedicated advocacy from the disability community, this will not be the session that we see change.

Our top priority bill to allow family members to be paid caregivers is in front of Healthcare Finance and has until March to be voted on. Advocacy is still needed with that committee.

Out of the 23 bills, eight bills were given an extension, so the committees will continue to review them and possibly make changes. 14 other bills are in a position to pass, but will need continued strong advocacy, and one bill is still waiting for vote in the Healthcare Finance committee (family members as paid caregivers).

See below for specifics on the bills.

Bills passed:

  • Expanding Nicky’s Law/Dana’s Law
  • Community College for DSPs
  • Hospital Training
  • Tommy’s Bill
  • Universal Changing Tables (passed with language changes)
  • Katie’s Law
  • Prompting and Cueing (passed)
  • Transportation Bills (Two)
  • DPPC Language/Supporting Nicky’s Law

Bills given extensions:

  • ABA for Adults
  • Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU)
  • Definition of DD
  • Supported Decision-Making
  • Expand Police Training
  • Architectural Access

Bills that have passed prior to Joint Rule 10 and are already in Ways and Means include:

  • Wheelchair Access
  • Blue Envelope
  • Medically Fragile Children
  • Historical Records

Please follow up with Maura at or Jose at with any questions.

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