On Monday, November 22, The Arc of Massachusetts Government Affairs team took part in hearings in support of some of The Arc’s priority bills, including Tommy’s Bill and Supported Decision-Making.
Maura Sullivan, The Arc’s Director of Government Affairs, testified in front of the Joint Committee on Children, Families, and Persons with Disabilities for The Arc’s priority legislation called Tommy’s Bill, S140/H265.
This bill will ensure safeguards for discharge planning and medical equipment monitoring in group homes. Senator Patrick O’Connor, Maureen Reilly (Tommy’s mom), and Doreen Brids provided powerful testimony.
Ellen Taverna, The Arc’s Director of Public Policy, testified in support of H272/S124, which are bills that would codify Supported Decision Making arrangements in Massachusetts.
Ellen testified on a panel alongside several members of the Massachusetts Advocates for Supported Decision-Making Coalition led by Anna Krieger of the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council.
These bills would legally recognize the practice of Supported Decision-Making (SDM) in the Commonwealth, which has proven to be an important alternative to guardianship for certain individuals with intellectual, developmental, and other disabilities as well as elderly individuals who need assistance in decisions about finances, health, and other issues.