Legislative Priorities for the 191st General Court Session

2019-2020 Legislative Session

For each two-year legislative session, NAMI Massachusetts works with state-wide affiliates and advocacy partners to determine our legislative priorities for the upcoming session. This is a combination of consensus around specific concerns and opportunity for making change.

These priorities can be shared with your legislator. Download this summary sheet.

Housing

The lack of appropriate and affordable housing is a top concern for NAMI Massachusetts members based on responses to our “Dream Big Together” activities.  We commit to supporting legislation and budgetary initiatives that expand access to affordable housing, increase funding for DMH housing, and address homelessness in the Commonwealth.

NAMI Mass is working closely with the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health (MAMH) on line item 5046-0000. The governor level funded this item in support of the DMH Rental Housing Subsidy, MAMH is hoping for an additional $1M in the budget this year which would provided for new housing subsidy vouchers for approximately 80 people.  Read the Fact Sheet to learn more.

Mental Health Parity

Many of the issues facing NAMI Mass members, such as access to services and workforce concerns, could be addressed by strengthening mental health parity in Massachusetts.

  • H. 910/ S.588 An Act relative to mental health parity implementation: Rep. Balser/Sen. Friedman
    Read the Fact Sheet to learn more.
  • H. 909 / S.590 An Act to require health care coverage for the emergency psychiatric services: Rep. Balser/Sen. Friedman
    Read the Fact Sheet to learn more.
Criminal Justice Reform

NAMI Mass supports efforts to reduce unnecessary arrest and incarceration of people diagnosed with mental health conditions and the humane treatment of all people in the criminal justice system.

  • H. 1698/ S.1135 An Act to transfer Bridgewater State Hospital from the Department of Corrections to the Department of Mental Health: Rep. Balser/Sen. Creem
    Read the Fact Sheet to learn more.
Children's Mental Health Care

NAMI Mass will support legislation and budgetary initiatives that will improve the quality and availability of mental health services for children and young adults. We are partnering with the Children’s Mental Health Campaign on

  • H. 1736/ S.1154 An Act to protect children’s mental health services: Rep. Malia/Sen. Keenan 

    Read the Fact Sheet to learn more.

Funding for the Department of Mental Health

NAMI Mass commits to advocating for additional funding for vital DMH services including budget increases for supported housing.