News Legislative update: Joint Committee reports out Providers’ Council bills favorably

After The Caring Force rallied at the State House and half a dozen human services workers testified about student loan repayment earlier this year, the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities gave favorable reports to two Providers’ Council bills and reported them out of committee this month.

The committee gave initial approval to the Council’s Fair Pay for Comparable Work and Student Loan Repayment legislation, sending the House and Senate bills to their respective Clerk’s offices to be assigned to their next committee. The Council will notify members as soon as bills are assigned.

“On behalf of the nearly 28,000 members of The Caring Force, among the many things we’re thankful this holiday season for are the the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities realizing the importance of these two pro-workforce initiatives to the human services community,” said Providers’ Council President & CEO Michael Weekes. “Ensuring fair pay for comparable work and creating a student loan repayment program would help recruitment and retention in our sector where we are experiencing a workforce crisis.”

The House version of the Council’s loan repayment legislation has been sent to the House Committee on Ways & Means; the new bill number will be House Bill 4233. The other bills will be sent to committees in the near future.

Complete bill numbers, sponsors and titles for the Council’s pro-workforce legislation is as follows:

An act relative to fair pay for comparable work is Senate Bill 1077 and House Bill 138. The sponsors are Sen. Cindy Friedman and Rep. Kay Khan.

An act establishing a loan repayment program for direct care human service workers is Senate Bill 56 and House Bill 4233. The sponsors are Sen. Eric Lesser and Rep. Jeffrey Roy.

For more information about providing testimony or supporting these bills, please contact Bill Yelenak at 508.599.2258 or bill@providers.org.

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