News Mass. Attorney General thanks Council members, calls human services work ‘profoundly important’

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey offered sincere thanks to Providers’ Council members for their ongoing commitment to improving the lives of others at the Council’s Annual Leadership Forum at Suffolk University Law School on Wednesday.

“Your work is profoundly important and profoundly moving,” she said to the crowd of nearly 80 human services leaders. “The need is great, now more than ever.”

Healey spoke about her office’s advocacy on several topics of importance to the human services sector, including student loan debt relief, immigration, fair labor, human trafficking and opioid abuse prevention.

She spoke of the current difficult political atmosphere in Washington, explaining her office’s recent decision to join more than a dozen other states in suing the Trump administration recent proposal  to restrict access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), an effort that could affect 700,000 Americans.

“These rules will prevent people from getting food they need and force many to make incredibly difficult financial choices,” she said of the lawsuit. “We are suing to protect our residents and prevent these cruel restrictions from going into effect.”

Despite the current challenges, Healey said she was “heartened” by progressive social movements for racial and economic equity, women’s rights and climate change awareness, especially efforts led by young people.  “I hope we continue to find ways to support them. I am optimistic about the future.”

Healey has been a longtime supporter of the sector, said Council President & CEO Michael Weekes in his introductory remarks. “She is the peoples’ lawyer who operates the peoples’ law firm. We are thrilled she is involved with the issues we care about.”

A day after the forum, Healey’s Civil Rights Division announced a grant program for non-profit and charitable service provider organizations to provide job training, skill development, and/or career placement programs for individuals with developmental and/or other disabilities.  Applications are being accepted through February 21.  More details on how to apply are here.

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