Saturday, February 8, 2020

Franklin Residents: Job Opportunities with Senior Center, DPW, Facilities, Fire Dept

Job Opportunities

To apply for a vacant position, please submit a resume and cover letter to  Please put the job title in the subject line of your email.  
  • Senior Center Director
  • Motor Equipment Repair Person (Mechanic) - Department of Public Works
  • ON CALL SNOW SHOVELERS - Come work on an on call basis for the DPW and help us keep school and town sidewalks clean!
  • Part-Time and Substitute Custodian positions - Facilities Department
  • Firefighter/Paramedics - The Town of Franklin's Fire Department is in the Massachusetts Civil Service system. 
    • If you are currently a Firefighter/Paramedic in a Civil Service community and are interested in working for Franklin, send a resume and cover letter to
    • Please note: new hires must have and maintain a paramedic certification and complete an Associate's Degree within 5 years of the date they are hired.   
If you do not have a resume, you may send a completed Application for Employment instead.
To receive notifications of all job opportunities in the Town of Franklin, subscribe here

Franklin Residents: Job Opportunities with Senior Center, DPW, Facilities, Fire Dept
Franklin Residents: Job Opportunities with Senior Center, DPW, Facilities, Fire Dept

MA Republican State Committeewoman, Patricia Saint Aubin, Supports Republican Contender Matt Kelly

Patricia Saint Aubin of Norfolk, the incumbent Massachusetts Republican State Committeewoman, joined dozens of other activists this evening for the formal announcement by Matt Kelly of his intention to reclaim the Norfolk, Bristol, & Middlesex Senate District for the Republican party. Saint Aubin represents the district within the state GOP.

Kelly, a Franklin businessman and long-time member of the Franklin Town Council, promised to make sure everyone in the district is fully represented in the legislature and that the needs of local communities, faced with rising costs and government mandates, are considered when new legislation is proposed. 

Matt Kelly, center, has announced his candidacy for State Senate. His wife, Lesley is shown to the left and GOP State Committeewoman Patricia Saint Aubin is to the right
Matt Kelly, center, has announced his candidacy for State Senate. His wife, Lesley is shown to the left and GOP State Committeewoman Patricia Saint Aubin is to the right

Saint Aubin, who is looking to extend her term of service to the district on March 3, when party elections coincide with primary day, was enthusiastic about Kelly’s decision to run against first-term Senator, Democrat Rebecca Rausch of Needham. “Matt has shown his long-term commitment to tackling tough local issues and I’m sure he will make a big impact on Beacon Hill,” she said.

“I am a life-long Republican and I regularly attend nearly 100 percent of the Republican Town Committee meetings in my 11-town and one city district,” which includes Attleboro, North Attleboro, Plainville, Wrentham, Norfolk, Franklin, Millis, Sherborn, Natick, Wellesley, Needham and Wayland, says Saint Aubin. She is also a member of the Republican Town Committee in Norfolk. “In addition, I have missed only one State Committee meeting since I was elected in 2012,” she says.

Saint Aubin has worked for the campaigns of numerous Republican presidential, senatorial, and congressional candidates and many, many campaigns for state Representative and Senate within the Bay State. Saint Aubin herself was a candidate for the office of State Auditor in 2014 and was endorsed by the Boston Globe.

The Massachusetts Republican State Committee is the governing body of the Republican Party in Massachusetts. Members of the State Committee play a key role in building the Republican Party in their districts: they recruit candidates, help with fundraising, register new voters, and grow the local Republican City and Town Committees in the district. One state committeeman and one state committeewoman are elected from each state senate district every four years. 

 This year’s State Committee election will be held in conjunction with the Presidential Primary on March 3, 2020. “I encourage all Republican voters to make their voice heard on March 3; I hope to be Re-Elected in order to continue to help Republican candidates such as Matt Kelly for State Senate,” adds Saint Aubin.

FHS girls basketball post win vs. Taunton

Via and Twitter, we share the results of FHS winter sports action on Friday

Boys Basketball = Taunton, 62 @ Franklin, 48 – Final
– A tight battle for three quarters, Taunton clamped down defensively in the fourth to limit the Panthers to a pair of field goals and five total points and pull out the win. Taunton’s offense got off to a good start and led 21-14 after a quarter before Franklin tightened things up, trailing 33-31 at halftime and 47-43 heading into the fourth. The Tigers had five players scored in the final quarter to secure the win with sophomore Tristan Herry (career-high 19 points) and junior Josh Lopes (15 points) each scoring four while sophomore Trent Santos, junior Tyler Stewart (13 points), and sophomore Faisal Mass (eight points) each had two. Lopes hit three three-pointers in the opening quarter and had 11 of his 15 points while Herry had a pair of first half three-pointers. Nigel Choate also had a three for Taunton, who had all six of its threes in the first half. Franklin senior Brayden Sullivan had a team-high 17 points, junior Andrew Byfield added 11 points, and senior Chris Edgehill added 10 points.

Girls Basketball = Franklin, 79 @ Taunton, 36 – Final
– Franklin came out of the gates swinging, surging to a big lead early and never looked back to beat Taunton. Ali Brigham had a game-high 25 points, Olivia Quinn added 18 points and Megan O’Connell added 13 points. Taunton freshman Kameron St. Pierre scored a team-high 14 points and Sonya Fernandez added six points for the Tigers, who had a much better second half.

Girls Gymnastics = Franklin @ Norton – Postponed

For other results around the Hockomock League

FHS girls basketball post win vs. Taunton
FHS girls basketball post win vs. Taunton

FPS Music Event: MICCA Showcase Concerts Mar 10 and Mar 12


Each year, the Franklin Public School performance ensembles participate in the Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductors Association music festival. 
 "It is the purpose of the Massachusetts Instrumental & Choral Conductor's Association to encourage and support high-performance standards by high school, middle school, and elementary school musical organizations. MICCA Concert Festivals encourage the improvement of a group's musical standards by providing musical adjudication by highly qualified adjudicators. Attendance at a festival also allows organizations to hear performances by other groups and experience the presentation of a wide variety of musical literature."
The Franklin Music Department is pleased to invite you to come to celebrate over 500 student musicians as they perform this year's MICCA programs for the public. We will hold two concerts:

  • On Tuesday, March 10 we will feature our Chorus and Orchestra students 
  • On Thursday, March 12 we will feature all of our bands. 

Both concerts will be held and Franklin High School and begin at 6:00 PM

A $5 donation is requested at the door. Refreshments will be sold.

Prior year Symphony Band at MICCA
Prior year Symphony Band at MICCA

In the News: Kelly sets sights on state Senate

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
With 12 years of town elective office under his belt, Franklin Town Councilor Matthew Kelly is ready to take on a bigger role. With an eye toward Beacon Hill, he is mounting a campaign for the Norfolk, Bristol & Middlesex state Senate district.

Presently held by freshman Sen. Rebecca Rausch, D-Needham, who took office in January 2019, the seat represents Attleboro, Franklin, Millis, Natick, Needham, Norfolk, North Attleborough, Plainville, Sherborn, Wayland, Wellesley and Wrentham.

Kelly, who officially announced his candidacy this week, asserts that many voters in the district “are fed up with narrow agendas and a lack of concern for the bread-and-butter issues that each of our communities face.”

“The citizens within the district have expressed concerns to me about the lack of focus and aid for our struggling city and town budgets, dilapidated roads, unreliable train service and ever increasing traffic,” he said. “As state senator, it will be my objective to work with each and every community to find ways for the state to support them through local aid and to ensure that legislation incorporates their concerns. My door will always be open, as it has been during over 12 years in local government.”
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Franklin Line - MBTA - Reminder: shuttle bus service on weekends through March 2020

South Station – Forge Park/495

Weekends through March

Shuttle buses will replace Franklin Line service between Forge Park/495 and Readville Stations while we upgrade the signal system as part of Positive Train Control (PTC) work. Also during this work, connecting train service between Readville and South Station will be on the Fairmount Line. There will be no Franklin Line service at Ruggles or Back Bay.

Learn about Positive Train Control

See all Franklin Line service changes

MBTA - Franklin Line - Reminder: shuttle bus service on weekends through March 2020
MBTA - Franklin Line - Reminder: shuttle bus service on weekends through March 2020

MassBudget: Taxing The GILTI

In our latest tax series report, Taxing the GILTI, the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) highlights the impacts of corporate tax avoidance, and solutions to help bring this needed revenue back to the Bay State.
"Aggressive tax avoidance is a tactic often employed by large, multinational corporations and it's hurting our communities," said Marie-Frances Rivera, president of MassBudget. "At a time when there are calls for increased revenue to fund education and fix our broken transportation system, we can't afford to forfeit these dollars. Future generations are depending on us to do what's right."

Recognizing the scope and scale of this problem, federal lawmakers established a process for identifying some of this shifted income and then taxing a portion of it. The Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income (GILTI) provision allows the federal government and the states to recoup some of the tax dollars lost to aggressive corporate income shifting. "Currently, Massachusetts is not making full use of this powerful tool," said Kurt Wise, senior policy analyst and author of the report. 

"Recoupling to the GILTI provision would level the playing field for corporate taxpayers and would allow the Commonwealth to collect millions in tax dollars now lost to sophisticated accounting tricks."
Key findings in this report include:
  • The federal government has created a tax provision, GILTI, to combat this abusive tax planning;
  • Massachusetts lawmakers decoupled from this federal provision in 2018. Instead of taxing 50 percent of GILTI, as the federal provision does, Massachusetts now taxes only five percent;
  • If lawmakers now choose to recouple to the federal provision, the Commonwealth stands to gain up to $450 million in additional revenue each year;
  • Fourteen states - including ME, VT, NH and RI - have adopted the federal GILTI provision, taxing 50 percent of GILTI; and,
  • States are on solid constitutional footing when taxing the GILTI, backed by multiple rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court dating back to the 19th Century.
To learn more about how the Commonwealth can combat abusive income shifting by large, multinational corporations, read the full Taxing the GILTI report here

For the full infographic

For other resources, like our Gas Tax: What Is It and Who Pays fact sheet and more, visit our tax homepage here

The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) produces policy research, analysis, and data-driven recommendations focused on improving the lives of low- and middle-income children and adults, strengthening our state's economy, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts.

What is GILTI?
"The Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income (GILTI) provision was created to combat corporate tax avoidance. Many large, profitable U.S. multinational corporations go to great lengths to reduce their taxes."
MassBudget: Taxing The GILTI
MassBudget: Taxing The GILTI

Friday, February 7, 2020

Upcoming Events in Franklin, MA: FRI - Feb 7 to THU - Feb 13

Friday, February 7
 Knitting Group
 Library-Happy Feet!-Ages 2-4
 Library-Storytime S.T.E.A.M.-Grades K-5
 Library - Chess Club for Kids! - Ages 8-13
 Jazz Cafe
 Shabbat Shirah
Saturday, February 8
 Franklin Historical Museum (Always free)
 Library - Adults - Tech Help with Nerds to Go
 Library- Tape Town!- Whole Family
 Library- Girls Who Code!- Ages 6th-8th Grade
 Author Talk with Wayne Miller
 Small Potatoes: Circle of Friends Coffeehouse
Sunday, February 9
 All You Can Eat Breakfast
 Franklin Historical Museum (always free)
 Second Sunday Speaker Series
 Library - Adults - Acrylic Pour Workshop
 Irina Fainkichen and Irina Kotlyar
Monday, February 10
 Library-Move Along- Ages 0-5
 Library- D&D for Kids- Ages 7-13
Tuesday, February 11
 Kindergarten Registration
 Library- Cool Cruisers- 8mo-18mo
 Library-Get Ready for Kindergarten- 3-5yrs
 Library-Toe-Tapping Tuesdays-Ages 2-4!
 Library - Adults - Drop-In ESL Conversation Class
 Renaissance V Brass Valentine's Concert
 Concert Hour
 FCD: Partners Meeting
 Yankee Quilters: The history of Redwork quilts
 Franklin Bellingham Rail Trail Committee Public Meeting
 Let's Laugh Today
Wednesday, February 12
 Library- Terrific Toddlers- Ages 18mo-3yrs
 Kindergarten Registration
 Library- Creation Station!- Ages 4+
 Grandparents Raising Grandchildren
 Library-Teen Advisory Board-Teens (13+)
Thursday, February 13
 Library- Tummy Time- Ages 0-12mo (pre-walkers)
 Library-Story Xplorers- Ages 0-5
 Library- Bookworm Bounce Storytime!- Ages 0-5
 Library-Tales for Tails-Grades 2+
 2/6 Concert Hour Snow Date
 adam connie sr.

For the interactive version, please visit
For the Town of Franklin Public Meeting Calendar

Submit an event for the Community Calendar, please use this link

Upcoming Events in Franklin, MA: FRI - Feb  7 to THU - Feb 13
Upcoming Events in Franklin, MA: FRI - Feb  7 to THU - Feb 13


at OCC Coffeehouse on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2 PM (Note the afternoon time)

This is a reminder that this concert is a little more than a week away. Don't miss it! Get your tickets either online or in the church office.

Since 2016, brothers Zachary and Dylan Zmed, along with their partner and drummer Burleigh Drummond, have celebrated the pivotal music and history of The Everly Brothers legacy with enthusiastic crowds all across the US and overseas in prestigious venues. 
They say, “The music of the 50's and 60's are nostalgic for us, our parents raised us all on it, and we feel that the Everly's contribution is greatly overlooked, especially by younger generations. Our aim is not to impersonate but to do our best in honoring the aesthetics of their iconic sound and in honoring the important role they played in pioneering the rock n' roll movement, all while having a little fun sharing our own personal story,” 
and they do just that. The Zmed Brothers continuously strive to pay homage to their personal roots by always infusing an instinctual blend of entertainment (a la Smothers Brothers) and contextual education in their performance.

The Everly Brothers' career lasted over half a century, they recorded 21 studio albums, sold more than 60 million records world wide, had over 30 billboard top-100 singles, which still to this day is the record for most billboard charting hits of any sibling rock duo ever. They received numerous accolades in their later career, and influenced countless legendary artist that came after them, including 
The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, The Bee Gees, Neil Young..and the list goes on. 

THE ZMED BROTHERS are absolutely thrilled to be able to contribute to a cause that supports the recognition and preservation of the intimate and singular origins of America's greatest Rock n' Roll singing sibling duo.

Tickets for the concert are $35, available at the church office, 508-384-3110, or at The event will be in the sanctuary of the church with entry from the side door. Parking is available behind the church and in the lot across the street. For more information and to be added to the mailing list, visit the website or contact Ken Graves, 508-384-8084,


We have noticed that occasionally people like to gather their friends or fellow group members to attend one of our concerts as a group. As a way to encourage that, we will give you 2 free tickets for every 10 tickets you purchase. For instance, if you buy 10 tickets, you will get 12. Buying 20 tickets gets you a total of 24. Give it a try! More people to share the fun with!

Absentee Ballots now available for March 3 Presidential Primary

ABSENTEE BALLOTS are now Available
for the Presidential Primary
at the Town Clerk’s Office

Absentee Ballot Information: 
Absentee ballots are now available in the Town Clerk’s office. A registered voter who will be unable to vote at the polls on Election Day due to the following reasons may vote absentee in the Town Clerk’s Office up to 12:00 noon Monday, March 2nd.

(1) absence from your city or town during normal polling hours; or
(2) physical disability preventing you from going to the polling place; or
(3) Religious belief.

To request an Absentee Ballot:
(1) Email: ( to request an absentee ballot form
(2) Visit the Town Clerk’s website at ( to print out an Absentee Ballot request form and either email to ( or fax (508)520-4913.

EARLY VOTING: Monday, February 24
thru Friday, February 28
During Regular Business Hours Only!!

MON: 8:00 – 400 PM
TUE: 8:00 – 400 PM
WED: 8:00 – 6:00 PM
THU: 8:00 – 400 PM
FRI: 8:00 – 1:00 PM 

If you have any questions, please contact:
(508)520-4900 or 
Email Teresa M. Burr at (



Absentee Ballots now available for March 3 Presidential Primary
Absentee Ballots now available for March 3 Presidential Primary

FPS Music Department: 3 Concert Hours - Feb 11 (1) and Feb 13 (2)


The Franklin Public Schools Music Department will be presenting two nights of chamber music. "Concert Hour" is a showcase of small musical ensembles from the middle schools and high school. 

These recitals will take place on Tuesday, February 11 at 7:00 PM and Thursday, February 13 at 6:00 PM and 7:00 PM in the Franklin High School auditorium. 

Come hear our talented student musicians from grades 6-12 perform solo and small ensemble repertoire. The recital is open to the public.

A $5 donation is requested at the door.

For more about the Music Boosters, visit their page

FPS Music Department: Concert Hour - Feb 11 and Feb 13
FPS Music Department: Concert Hour - Feb 11 and Feb 13

Senate Unveils Mental Health ABC Act: Addressing Barriers to Care

Senate Unveils Mental Health ABC Act: 
Addressing Barriers to Care

Bill will expand access to mental health care, boost workforce, and strengthen quality of coverage

Today (02/05/2020), the Massachusetts Senate unveiled An Act Addressing Barriers to Care for Mental Health, a comprehensive mental health care reform bill. This legislation is the first step toward putting the Commonwealth on a pathway to developing a more integrated system of mental health care delivery to better meet the needs of patients. The Mental Health ABC Act removes barriers to timely quality care, provides the state with more effective tools to enforce existing mental health parity laws, and invests in the mental and behavioral health workforce pipeline.

The legislation builds on progress made through state mental health parity laws passed in 2000 and 2008, and the 'Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008' at the federal level.

"In Massachusetts, we believe that mental health care is for everyone," stated Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). "There is no area of our economic, civic and personal lives that is not touched by the need for mental and behavioral health and wellness, and the whole Commonwealth will be adversely affected if we do not take concrete steps to ensure that quality mental health care is available to all of our residents, and eventually integrated into our health care system as a seamless continuum of care. My father struggled with mental illness, and our whole family was affected. This legislation is a major step forward towards helping every resident touched by the need for quality mental health care in some way."

"Simply put, too many people in Massachusetts struggle to access the mental health services they desperately need and deserve," said Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro), co-chair of the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery. "The reasons are many and complicated: mental health care is treated differently than physical health, it is often not covered by insurance, it is difficult to access, and it is hard to talk about. With this bill, the Massachusetts Senate is living up to our promise to begin to transform how the Commonwealth addresses mental health. I am grateful to Senate President Karen Spilka for her leadership and example, and to Senators Rodrigues and Friedman for their partnership in this endeavor."

"For far too long, mental health has been a forgotten component of our healthcare system despite our statutory parity mandate that calls for equitable coverage between medical and surgical treatment and mental health treatment," said Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington), co-chair of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing. "This bill serves as a first step forward in addressing the persisting inequities in our delivery of mental health services that keep patients from accessing the care they need, and will provide a framework for the state to better enforce our mental health parity laws. I want to thank Senate President Spilka, Chair Rodrigues, and Senator Cyr for their thoughtful collaboration on this initiative and shared commitment to reforming our mental health care system so it is accessible, affordable, and equitable for all."

"This bill builds off of the Senate's work this session to comprehensively address barriers to mental health care and improve access to care," said Michael J. Rodrigues (D-Westport), Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. "I applaud Senate President Spilka for her long-standing leadership on the issue of mental health parity and Senators Cyr and Friedman for their diligent work to reform the state's mental health care delivery system to ensure it works for everyone."

Currently, access to mental health care in Massachusetts is inadequate by nearly any measure. Patients who need to access these services are often unable to find a provider who takes their insurance and face significant wait times before they receive care. A 2019 report by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Massachusetts found that 54.6% of a representative sample of fully-insured adults who sought mental health care services reported difficulty finding services.

The Senate's Mental Health ABC Act: Addressing Barriers to Care (ABC) is comprehensive legislation to begin to reform mental health care in Massachusetts. This legislation is the first step towards putting the Commonwealth on a pathway to developing a more integrated system of mental health care delivery so Massachusetts residents can access the care they need and deserve. The Mental Health ABC Act removes barriers to timely quality care, provides the state with more effective tools to enforce existing mental health parity laws, and invests in the mental and behavioral health workforce pipeline.

This legislation is driven by the recognition that mental health is as important as physical health for every resident of the Commonwealth, and should be treated as such. The Senate has prioritized efforts in the 2019–2020 legislative session to improve the delivery of mental health services in the Commonwealth in the following ways: appropriating record funding levels for mental health services in the FY20 budget; creating and funding a $10 million Behavioral Health Outreach, Access and Support Trust Fund; ensuring that health insurer's provider network directories are accurate and up-to-date by eliminating so-called 'ghost networks'; and protecting clinicians from unreasonable retroactive claims denials, or 'clawbacks' of payments for services, from insurance providers.

Despite these achievements, there is a lot more to do. The Mental Health ABC Act builds on the Senate's work towards reforming mental health care so it functions better for everyone by addressing issues related to mental health parity, workforce needs, and access to care.

Included in the bill:


Enforcing Mental Health Parity Laws. Mental health parity as a concept is simple: insurance coverage for mental health care should be equal to insurance coverage for any other medical condition. This concept has been codified in federal and state law for decades, but enforcement of the law has been challenging. As a result, inequities persist and patients are often denied coverage for mental health treatment that is every bit as critical to managing their health as treatment for conditions such as diabetes or heart disease. This bill provides the state with better tools to implement and enforce our parity laws, including quicker evaluation and resolution of parity complaints, greater reporting and oversight of insurance carriers' processes and policies related to mental health care coverage, and reasonable penalties and alternative remedies for when an insurance company does not comply with the law.

Reforming Medical Necessity and Prior Authorization Requirements. Every day throughout the Commonwealth, adults and children arrive in emergency departments in the throes of acute mental health crises requiring immediate treatment in an appropriate setting. These clinical determinations should be made by the treating clinician, but in practice insurance carriers impose too many restrictions on providers' clinical judgement in terms of prior approval and concurrent review requirements for mental health services.

This results in barriers to, and delays in, treatment for patients who need immediate care, creating a dysfunctional system that allows insurance companies to have more leverage in determining a patient's course of treatment than health care providers.

This bill mandates coverage and eliminates prior authorization for mental health acute treatment for adults and children experiencing acute mental health crises, effectively placing treatment decisions in the hands of the treating clinician in consultation with the patient rather than an insurance company.

This bill also establishes a special commission to bring all stakeholders to the table to study and make recommendations on the creation of a common set of medical necessity criteria to be used by health care providers and insurance carriers for mental health services.

Reimbursing Mental Health Providers Equitably. Mental health and primary care providers are reimbursed at different rates for the same service. The bill seeks to level the playing field for reimbursement to mental health providers by requiring an equitable rate floor for evaluation and management services that is consistent with primary care.

Reviewing the Role of Behavioral Health Managers. Most insurance companies have subcontracted mental health benefits to specialty utilization management companies for years with mixed results. The bill directs the Health Policy Commission, in consultation with the Division of Insurance, to study and provide updated data on the use of contracted mental health benefit managers by insurance carriers, often referred to as "carve-outs."


Studying Access to Cultural Competent Care. The bill calls for an academic study conducted by the Office of Health Equity to review the availability of culturally competent mental health care providers within networks of both public and private health care payers, as well as to identify potential barriers to care for underserved cultural, ethnic and linguistic populations and the LGBTQ community. The bill further directs an interagency health equity team under the Office of Health Equity to improve access to, and the quality of, culturally competent mental health services.

Standardizing Credentialing Forms. The bill requires all insurance carriers to use one standard credentialing form for health care providers. It also requires a quicker turnaround time for approval of a completed credentialing request. This will be enormously beneficially to patients, providers, and health systems, as it will speed up the time it takes for new hires to be approved for inclusion in an insurance network.

Moving Licensing Boards under DPH. The bill moves the licensing boards for social workers, psychologists, and allied mental health professionals from the Division of Professional Licensure, where they currently operate alongside other licensing boards, including landscape architects, plumbers, and accountants, to the Department of Public Health (DPH). This will leverage DPH's health care experience and expertise to streamline the licensing process for these critically important health care professionals.

Allowing Interim Licensure for Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHC). The bill creates an interim licensure program for LMHCs so that they can be reimbursed by insurance for their services and be eligible for state and federal grant and loan forgiveness programs, increasing the number of licensed providers able to serve patients.

Creating a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Fellowship Pilot Program. The bill authorizes a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Fellowship Pilot Program in community health centers to offer additional support and training to psychiatric nurse practitioners who agree to work in community settings with underserved populations. The program will be designed to encourage these professionals to continue working in a community setting where mental health providers are sorely needed.

Creating a Mental Health Workforce Pipeline. The bill authorizes a pilot program through the Department of Higher Education, in consultation with the Department of Mental Health, aimed at creating a workforce pipeline to encourage and support individuals from diverse backgrounds to work towards careers in mental health. With this initiative we hope to send a message to young people that this is valued and important work.


Requiring Coverage for Same Day Care. This bill makes critical changes around how providers are allowed to bill for services. Specifically, the bill prohibits insurers from denying coverage for mental health services and primary care services solely because they were delivered on the same day in the same facility. This will remove a significant financial barrier to the integration of primary care and mental health.

Ensuring Capacity in Emergency Departments. The bill requires emergency departments to have the capacity to evaluate and stabilize a person admitted with a mental health presentation at all times, and to refer them to appropriate treatment or inpatient admission. The bill directs the Department of Public Health to issue regulations for an expedited process for individuals under 22 years old.

Requiring Coverage for Psychiatric Emergency Service Programs. The bill requires commercial insurance carriers to cover community-based services for individuals experiencing a psychiatric emergency. Currently, these services are only paid for by MassHealth.

Tracking and Analyzing Mental and Behavioral Health Expenditures. The bill directs the Center for Health Information and Analysis (CHIA) to define and collect data on the delivery of mental health services to establish a baseline of current spending, and further directs the Health Policy Commission (HPC) to begin tracking mental health care expenditures as part of its annual cost trends hearings. This is a fundamental, critical first step to future efforts to incentivize greater investments in mental health care within the analysis of statewide health care cost growth.

Creating a Tele-behavioral Health Pilot Program. This bill authorizes the Department of Public Health, the Department of Mental Health, and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to collaborate on authorizing three pilots for tele-behavioral health services in public high schools in the Commonwealth. This pilot is based on an existing and successful model between a hospital and several school districts in western Massachusetts.

Increasing Access to Care in Geographically Isolated Areas. The bill directs the Department of Mental Health to consider factors that may present barriers to care – such as travel distance and access to transportation – when contracting for services in geographically isolated and rural communities.

The Senate is scheduled to debate the Mental Health ABC Act next week.

Download a copy of this press release

Download a copy of the ABC Fact Sheet

Link to the Senate Legislation proposal

Senate Unveils Mental Health ABC Act: Addressing Barriers to Care
Senate Unveils Mental Health ABC Act: Addressing Barriers to Care