Saturday, November 20, 2021

Mental Health Care Reform, Our 'Back to Better' Agenda, Veteran's Day

Updates from Beacon Hill & MetroWest
The Senate is working hard for you this fall.
This fall has been a busy time, and the Massachusetts State Senate has been working very hard on its top priorities. We acted to comprehensively broaden access to mental and behavioral healthcare. We acted to build an inclusive and equitable recovery for all residents of the Commonwealth by investing funds from the American Rescue Plan in sectors and groups hardest by COVID-19. We ensured that everyone's voice will continue to be heard in the State House through a transparent and open redistricting process. And we have acted to make voting in our elections easier for all who are legally allowed to vote.
I will continue to press ahead with further legislation to address the needs of our MetroWest and Massachusetts communities, as well as by advocating for the above priorities to be finally signed into law.
As always, my office is available if you need assistance or wish to share your opinion. You can email me at or call 617-722-1500. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Warm regards,
The Mental Health ABC Act 2.0
This week, the Massachusetts Senate passed one of my top priorities, the Mental Health ABC Act 2.0: Addressing Barriers to Care, comprehensive legislation to continue the process of reforming the way mental health care is delivered in Massachusetts, with the goal of ensuring that people get the mental health care they need when they need it.

This legislation comes at a time when the Massachusetts State Senate is making landmark investments in mental and behavioral health, including $400 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to transform the behavioral health sector, with $122 million dedicated to recruiting and retaining nearly 2,000 behavioral professionals.
The Mental Health ABC Act 2.0 is driven by the recognition that mental health is as important as physical health for every residents of the Commonwealth and should be treated as such. The bill proposes a wide variety of reforms, including an annual mental wellness exam. Ultimately, the bill seeks to ensure equitable access to mental health care while removing barriers to care by supporting the behavioral health workforce.
You can learn more about the Mental Health ABC Act 2.0 here.

I was proud to join my colleague Julian Cyr, the Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery, to speak with Sera Congi of WCVB about this important bill. You can watch here.

Read a Boston Globe editorial on the bill here.

Read a Newsweek piece on the legislation here.
Going 'Back to Better' with the American Rescue Plan
Recently, the Senate unanimously passed a $3.82 billion spending package that directs federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to assist the Commonwealth's ongoing recovery, with a particular focus on making equitable investments and ensuring that communities disproportionately impact by the COVID-19 pandemic are prioritized.

The Senate plan addresses immediate and critical needs in mental health care access, food security, the struggles of small businesses, and access to housing. It also builds up and supports our public health system, including by investing in our local boards of health. You can learn more here.

The Senate continues to work with the House in earnest to craft a final bill that we can send to the Governor's desk soon that takes advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity before us to ensure those hit the hardest by COVID-19—families, essential workers and small businesses—are being helped the most.

This newsletter was shortened for publication here. There is not yet an archive of newsletters to link to. In the meantime, you can check the updates page for other noted articles

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