Legislative Priorities

Current Priorities: 2021 – 2022 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.

Download PDF summary.

Questions? email advocacy@namimass.org

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Access to Care

NAMI members and families are often on the front lines of dealing with our mental health system and encountering the barriers to accessing mental health services.

  • S.646/H.1062 An Act for supportive care for serious mental illness
    Sponsors:
    Sen Cronin, Rep Decker
    Requires health insurers to cover Coordinated Specialty Care and Assertive Community Treatment as a benefit reducing the overall cost burden on insurers, while having a much better outcome for the individual, addressing barriers to accessing care

Download the Fact Sheet

Assigned to Joint Committee on Financial Services

Hearing completed, watch the replay.

Read our testimony on this priority bill and several additional parity bills from the same hearing.

 


 

  • S.1274/H.2081 An Act to better coordinate suicide prevention services, behavioral health crisis care and emergency services through 988 implementation
    Sponsors: Sen. Cyr,
    Rep. Decker
    This bill will create a 988 infrastructure that coordinates several parts of a cohesive behavioral health crisis response system. It creates a commission to review the behavioral health crisis care recommendations developed by Crisis Now, study barriers and opportunities for 988 implementation in Massachusetts, and recommend a structure that utilizes this new resource to better coordinate suicide prevention, behavioral health crisis care, and emergency services to divert individuals from law enforcement interactions and get them the behavioral health care and supports they need.

Download the Fact Sheet

Assigned to Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery

Hearing completed, watch the replay.

Read our testimony – Monica & Tim.

Housing

The lack of appropriate and affordable housing is a top concern for NAMI Massachusetts members.  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.

  • S.874/H.1436 An Act promoting housing stability and homelessness prevention in Massachusetts
    Sponsors:Sen DiDomenico, Reps Rogers & Day
    Ensure access to the right assistance to prevent families and individuals from the trauma of eviction and displacement, while creating a path to housing stability.

Download the Fact Sheet

Assigned to the Joint Committee on Housing

No hearing scheduled yet.

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.

  • S.1283/H.2089 An Act to ensure the constitutional rights and human dignity of prisoners on mental health watch
    Sponsors:
    Sen Eldridge, Rep. Fluker Oakley
    Address the conditions for confinement for prisoners on mental health watch.

Download the Fact Sheet

Assigned to Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery

Hearing completed, Mon, June 28. Watch the replay

Read our testimony.

Read the Commonwealth Magazine article.

 


 

  • H. 2519/S.1552 An Act To Create Alternatives For Community Emergency Services (Aces)
    Sponsors: Rep Sabadosa, Sen Chang-Diaz
    Would establish a grant program to provide an additional option beyond law enforcement, such as social workers, peer support specialists, and other community members, for community-based emergency responses.

Download the Fact Sheet

Assigned to Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security

Hearing completed on Wed, July 14. Watch the replay.  Quick tip: choose the second video and fast forward 1 hour. NAMI Mass panel starts at 1:38!

Read our testimony Monica & Tim.

Funding for Mental Health services

NAMI Mass commits to advocating for additional funding for vital services including budget increases for supported housing and children’s mental health.