Massachusetts Families Organizing for Change supports the following new Bills filed in Legislation:
H4167 - The Real Lives Bill
The Real Lives Bill expands the ability of people to direct their own public funds. It requires no new funding. It requires that the administration implement certain new goals and strategies so as to allow public funds to be used as flexibly as possible by the individual or family even if it requires a new federal waiver or state plan amendment.
HB985 Bridges to Success
"Bridges to Success" expands transition (Turning 22) services and supports to students with disabilities "without adult service agency ties" (688 process). It also updates and expands the types of "habilitative services" that must be provided under the 688 process. It assigns to EOHHS the obligation to monitor and collect data on the extent to which needed 688 services are not being provided, because of shortfalls in appropriations.
Sponsor: Rep. Tom Sannicandro & others
"Passage to Independence" focuses on adequate funding for Turning 22 during the transition from high school to adult life. It includes some monies for those on the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) wait list. It also includes a setaside for employment funding and includes some other positive components including two revenue sections. Turning 22 dollars are allocated for DDS and the Mass. Rehab. Commission (MRC).
Rep. James O'Day
Bans aversive therapy in Massachusetts. Prohibits the use of corporeal punishment, including shocking and pinching, for the purpose of changing the behavior of persons with physical or mental disabilities by any program funded, operated, licensed or approved by the Commonwealth.
Rep. Tom Sannicandro
Requires national background checks for all individuals who apply for work with DDS or its vendor agencies. Currently, DDS and vendor agencies are required to conduct statewide CORI checks, but no national check, which means applicant's criminal record outside Massachusetts may not be identified.
Rep. Martin Walsh
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