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Human service advocates applaud Senate spending plan

Contact: Bill Yelenak
Email: byelenak@providers.org
Phone: 617-428-3637 x122 (office) | 860-919-0369 (cell)

BOSTON – Providers' Council President and CEO Michael Weekes, the head of the Commonwealth's largest association of human service providers, issued the following statement after the passage of the Senate budget proposal late Thursday.

“I applaud the Senate for demonstrating their commitment to Massachusetts most vulnerable residents and the dedicated, low-paid workers who provide them with support and empowerment in their communities every day.

“The Senate budget provides a historic investment of about $200 million to adjust contracts for services that haven't been increased for decades – providing needed support for human service programs and wages – as well as an $8 million annualized Salary Reserve that would provide a modest raise for workers who aren't yet covered by new contracts. These funds are critical to a workforce that is 80 percent female and earns on average only $12 per hour.

“I would like to especially thank Senate President Therese Murray, Ways & Means Chairman Stephen Brewer, and Senator Karen Spilka for their tireless support for Massachusetts human service programs and workers. Thanks to Sen. Spilka's leadership and the support of thousands of advocates across Massachusetts, nearly 60 percent of the chamber signed on a budget amendment for the Salary Reserve, making that funding possible. We appreciate Senate President Murray and Chairman Brewer giving it their support, and we thank the entire body for its unanimous roll call vote that added the Salary Reserve to the final budget.”

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The Providers’ Council, also known as the Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers, Inc., is the largest statewide membership association for community-based organizations providing social, rehabilitation, education and health care services.

The Providers' Council, also known as the Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers, Inc., is the largest statewide membership association for community-based organizations providing social, rehabilitation, education and health care services.