Massachusetts Legislature

House, Senate health care bills fall short

House, Senate health care bills fall short

Don't address price variation, could actually boost costs

THE GREATER BOSTON INTERFAITH ORGANIZATION is a community organization representing about 50 primarily religious congregations who come together to advance social justice, including issues related to access, cost, and quality of health care. The GBIO and its member congregations have been engaged in the health care social justice struggle for almost 15 years. We worked alongside(...)

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Mass. must lead on climate change

Mass. must lead on climate change

Price, or fee, on carbon pollution is the key

ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL IMAGES from last winter’s 100-year storms was the photograph of General Electric’s future Boston home submerged under water. It served as a strong warning of the consequences if we fail to act boldly in the fight against climate change. In this final month of the state Legislature’s formal session, our(...)

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Law needed to expand access to midwives

Law needed to expand access to midwives

Would make it easier to have births at home in Massachusetts

THE UNITED STATES IS EXPERIENCING a nationwide maternal health crisis with the worst maternal and infant mortality in the developed world. It is imperative that we do all we can to improve outcomes in all birth settings and remove barriers to high quality care for the prenatal, birth, and postpartum periods. The countries with the(...)

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Sanchez, Spilka drop immigration issue from budget

Sanchez, Spilka drop immigration issue from budget

DeLeo: 'There's really been no consensus in the House'

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE THE INABILITY OF HOUSE AND SENATE budget negotiators to reach a consensus over immigration law enforcement doomed a budget measure that would have restricted local police from acting as immigration agents, the House’s lead negotiator said. The negotiator, Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez of Jamaica Plain, and his counterpart in the Senate, Karen(...)

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Lawmakers going off-the-books for police training

Lawmakers going off-the-books for police training

$2 fee on rental cars follows pattern of fire training

THE LEGISLATURE APPEARS POISED to shift the cost of municipal police training on to people renting cars in Massachusetts, adopting a funding philosophy for law enforcement that was pioneered decades ago for firefighters and which some believe has spiraled out of control. The Senate and House moved on Wednesday to pass legislation assessing a $2(...)

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Treat substance use disorder like disease it is

Treat substance use disorder like disease it is

A top priority should be increasing access to medications

MASSACHUSETTS CONTINUES TO LOOK for new answers to the opioid crisis. Despite changes to state law to require insurance coverage for inpatient substance use disorder treatment, despite the increased availability of the overdose-reversing drug naloxone (Narcan), and despite significant investments in substance use prevention programs in our communities, this disease continues to claim lives and(...)

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Charter school funding formula is broken

Charter school funding formula is broken

The current system is wreaking havoc with municipal finances

ONE DOESN’T HAVE to choose sides in the long debate over charter schools in order to raise legitimate questions about the approach being taken in Massachusetts. I count myself among those who have adopted a nuanced view—one that is philosophically supportive of a range of ambitious K-12 education reforms, including charters, but that also recognizes(...)

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Business groups raise concerns about health bills

Business groups raise concerns about health bills

Say assessments will hike costs, not address underlying problems

MASSACHUSETTS BUSINESS LEADERS on Thursday raised concerns about legislative efforts to provide financial support to struggling community hospitals, saying the measures will drive up costs and could destabilize the state’s health care industry. A letter from seven groups, including Associated Industries of Massachusetts and the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, indicated businesses were growing tired of(...)

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Disability insurers discriminate against women

Disability insurers discriminate against women

Legislation would put an end to higher prices for individual policies

WHILE MASSACHUSETTS HAS ENACTED the strongest laws in the country to ensure equitable pay for women, the reality is that there is still significant work to be done to ensure that women in the Commonwealth have the same advantages and stand on equal financial ground with their male counterparts. It is high time that we(...)

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Beyond the hashtag

Beyond the hashtag

State needs to act on protecting survivors in absence of federal support

OVER THE PAST YEAR, thousands of people from across the country have come forward to voice their experiences with sexual assault, abuse, and harassment as part of the #MeToo movement. Now, more than six months after Time magazine named “The Silence Breakers” the Person of the Year for 2017, we have to ask ourselves: what has(...)

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