News — State Legislature
We are happy to share with our members and supporters that the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing reported two Providers' Council bills favorably out of committee on Thursday, April 26
Even though the Salary Reserve amendment received broad, bipartisan support from nearly 100 state representatives, the House declined to include the Salary Reserve in its budget proposal for FY '13.
Nearly 100 representatives have stood with human services workers and co-sponsored a budget amendment that would create a $28 million Salary Reserve for the 31,500 employees making $40,000 and under.
Since our last update, even more legislators have signed on to support an amendment filed by Representative David Linsky's, the Human Services Salary Reserve (Amendment #259!).
After revieweing the latest numbers, we're blown away. You drafted e-mails. You made phone calls. You visited Beacon Hill. You sent tweets, wrote messages on Facebook walls and used other forms of social networking. And when the Salary Reserve amendment was filed by State Rep. David Linsky at 1 p.m. on Friday, April 13, 73 representatives were listed with him.
Your phone calls, e-mails and contacts with representatives are already making a difference. As of 5 p.m. on April 12, 52 representatives have agreed to co-sponsor Representative David Linsky's Salary Reserve amendment. The amendment, the full text of which is below, would provide a $28 million Salary Reserve for human services workers making $40,000 and under.
The House Ways & Means Committee released its FY '13 budget proposal on April 11, and the spending plan did not include a Salary Reserve for low-paid human service providers. The Council had made a Salary Reserve for the 31,000 low-paid human services workers one of its two main budget priorities for FY '13.
The House Ways & Means Committee will unveil its FY 2013 budget proposal on Wednesday, April 11. The budget is expected to be released mid-day.
On April 2, members of the Providers' Council and The Caring Force sent a resounding message to our lawmakers: invest in human service programs and workers now. Blowing away all expectations, more than 1,000 Council and Caring Force members flooded the State House, actually forcing security to shut down the building for a short period due to capacity limits. Even more took to the internet to amplify our message through our virtual rally. And lawmakers heard the message.
Governor Deval Patrick signed a bill on Thursday, March 22 that will allow employees at small nonprofit organizations to join a retirement plan managed by the state treasurer and receiver general.
There were numerous bills filed in the legislature this year that had the potential to seek payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) from tax-exempt nonprofit organizations. But these bills were sent to study by the Joint Committee on Revenue and will not be advancing this year.
This morning Governor Deval Patrick released his FY '13 budget proposal. The Council is continuing to analyze the line items that affect our members; however, based on an early review, we are pleased to report that your continued advocacy has resulted in level or increased funding for many programs across EOHHS.
On October 27, Governor Patrick signed the supplemental spending bill that includes a one-time, $10 million Salary Reserve for human services workers earning less than $40,000 per year. The payment of the Salary Reserve is contingent on the state's tax revenue as of January 15, 2012.
A bill that would allow nonprofits to access retirement savings plans managed by the state passed the House on Wednesday, October 27, clearing another hurdle in becoming a law.
The Providers' Council and two member organizations presented testimony on Tuesday, October 25 on House Bill 1191, An Act Relative to Access to Health Insurance for Human Service Providers and their Employees.
Providers' Council President and CEO Michael Weekes had a letter to the editor in the Boston Herald on Thursday, October 20, defending the human services sector. A former public official, in a Herald story on Monday, October 17, claimed it is "very difficult to get information" from the human services sector.
Please call Governor Deval Patrick's staff at 617.725.4005 and let them know you want the Governor to sign the Supplemental Budget Bill with Section 95 -- the Human Services Salary Reserve -- not reduced.
On Friday, October 14, the Providers' Council delivered the following testimony to the Division of Health Care Finance and Policy regarding 114.4 CMR 15.00 -- Rates for Community-Based Day Support Services.
In its coverage of the supplemental spending bill recently passed by the Massachusetts House of Representatives, the Associated Press included a mention of the $10 million Salary Reserve for low-paid human service workers and included a quote from Providers' Council President/CEO Michael Weekes.
On Tuesday, October 3, Providers' Council President/CEO Michael Weekes and HMEA President/CEO Michael Moloney (a Council member) testified in favor of two bills that could enable human service workers to access more affordable health care.