The Caring Force Blog Quarterly Policy Update: January 2018

| Christine Batista

One of our New Year’s resolutions here at the Caring Force is to keep all 25,000-plus members up to date on what is happening on Beacon Hill.

Beginning in 2018, the Caring Force will send out quarterly policy updates providing members with the most current information on the state budget and Providers’ Council legislative agenda.

And although we are only one month into 2018, there is already so much to share!

Earlier this week the Governor proposed his $40.905 billion budget for fiscal year 2019. The budget included mostly level-funded line items with a few modest increases. Some noteworthy increases include:

  • A $20 million increase in funding for the Department of Children and Families to continue improvements and increase staffing;
  • $93.2 million in new funding for DMH, including $84 million for community-based services for adults;
  • An overall $13.6 million increase in funding for the Department of Transitional Assistance, including a proposed $14.2 million for the Employment Services Program; and
  • An increase of $500,000 for domestic violence services.

The House and Senate Ways and Means Committees will review the Governor’s budget and release their own versions of the state budget in April and May. In the meantime, you can click here to see a list of line items that the Providers’ Council has historically tracked.

As for the Providers’ Council legislative agenda, a few updates include:

  • Our student loan repayment bill, (H. 116) (S. 42), had a hearing on July 31st with two direct care workers, a human services executive and Providers’ Council staff testifying in favor of the bill. The bill’s sponsor, Representative Jeff Roy, also testified in support of the legislation.
  • Our fair pay for comparable work bill, (H. 3150) (S. 47), had a hearing on October 10th. Multiple Council member executives testified in front of the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities in favor of the legislation.

Both bills are currently waiting to be reported out of committee, which will happen on or before February 6, 2018. The Council hopes for favorable reports on both.

We are in for an exciting next few months! The Caring Force will keep you updated, and in the meantime, please contact me at if you have any questions.

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