As the FY2016 Budget Conference Committee meets in an effort to compromise both the House and Senate budget proposals for the upcoming fiscal year, there is a flurry of activity under the golden dome at the State House with a host of public hearings going before various standing committees. Below is a list of some of the bills we have been following and information on past and upcoming hearings.
This legislative cycle is working a bit differently than in years past. Historically, bills are generally assigned to one and the same committee through both the House and Senate. However, this year bills filed are being assigned to one committee in the House and another in the Senate. This is an opportunity to be heard by the Legislature on important matters twice.
As always, we encourage you and the families that you work with to attend and present testimony on issues that matter to you and your community. Written testimony is also accepted. If you are interested, HFF staff is willing and able to help you prepare testimony for these hearings. Just give us a call or shoot us an email. We will continue to keep you posted as more hearing dates are assigned.
|Bill No.||Lead Sponsor(s)||Bill Title and Brief Description||Hearing Date|
|S901H1656||Sen. SpilkaRep. Walsh||An Act Relative to the Geographical Jurisdiction of the Housing Court – this bill would allow the Housing Court that currently serves 80% of communities across the state to the 20% who do not have access to the benefits and services of this successful model.||May 27th (past). Read an article about the hearing here.|
|S29H429||Sen. MontignyRep. Livingstone||An Act Relative to Ensuring the Wellbeing of all Children in MA – this comprehensive bill would do much to improve the lives of children, but our particular interest in the bill as it is heard before the Education Committee is to extend access to childcare to families for up to six months after exiting shelter.||June 3rd (past). Click here to view a summary of the entire bill.|
|H1698||Rep. Decker||An Act to Promote Employment – this bill would help unemployed parents on TAFDC receive the education and training needed to obtain and maintain employment by requiring DTA to provide timely information and referrals, appropriate assessment and allow parents 24 months to complete basic education or vocational services.||June 9th at 11:00MA State House, Rm. A1|
|S676H1066||Sen. MooreRep. Sannicandro||An Act to Break Generational Cycles of Poverty – this bill would coordinate work, school and wrap-around services for low income parents who are full-time students enrolled in community college, helping students with career planning, financial aid, work study and other supports such as childcare and transportation coordination.||June 17th at 11:00MA State House, Rm. A2|