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15 Days of Advocacy: Advocate for Social Work & Social Justice Before Legislative Session Ends!

Wednesday, July 22, 2020  
Posted by: Jamie Klufts
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15 Days of Advocacy

Advocate for Social Work & Social Justice Before Legislative Session Ends!

The formal legislative session in Massachusetts ends July 31, 2020. On July 17, we began our #15DaysofAdvocacy campaign, a countdown to the end of formal session. Each day we are sharing advocacy opportunities you can take to get NASW-MA priority bills over the finish line.

We had a record number of legislative wins so far this session, including:

πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆ Banning LGBTQ conversion therapy
🧒 Repealing the family welfare cap ("cap on kids")
🐾 Limiting clawbacks on mental health providers
πŸ‘» Eliminating insurance company "ghost networks"
🍎 Securing $1M in funding to close the "SNAP gap"
🏘 Establishing a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures during the COVID-19 emergency
πŸ—³ Expanding voting options in response to COVID-19

Help us keep the momentum going by taking action with us every day through the end of July:

6. Expand Telehealth. As the House gets ready to consider telehealth legislation, we must ensure equitable access to mental and behavioral telehealth services beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. Legislation must be passed that requires health insurance companies to reimburse providers for telehealth services at the same rate as if the services were provided in-person, allow telehealth coverage for audio-only telephone services, and remove limitations on the specific video platform used to deliver services, provided it is HIPAA compliant. Contact your state representative today:

5. Pass Comprehensive Police Reform (SB2820/HB4860). The House has the opportunity to pass comprehensive legislation that strengthens police accountability and advances racial justice. The final bill must limit qualified immunity, ban the use of dangerous weapons and tactics, and more. Email your state representative now to ask them to support several key amendments:

4. Close the β€œSNAP Gap” (SB678/1173). This legislation will create a common application to close the "SNAP Gap," which refers to the nearly 700,000 MassHealth recipients who are likely eligible for SNAP but are not receiving these important benefits. As food insecurity continues to rise as a result of COVID-19, we must do everything we can to get food into people's hands. Ask your state legislators to advance this legislation here:

3. Pass the Safe Communities Act (SB1401/HB3573). Help ensure basic civil rights for immigrant communities by ending the entanglement of police and courts in immigration enforcement. In a pandemic, everyone needs to feel safe seeking help or medical care! Build on recent momentum for this bill by signing up to phone bank here:

2. Pass the ROE Act (SB1209/HB330). While abortion may be safe and legal in MA, it is not fully accessible. Current restrictions are harmful and racist, pushing care out of reach for Black and brown communities that already face systemic barriers to care. This bill would remove discriminatory barriers to safe, legal abortion in MA. Sign-up to phone bank in support of the bill here:

1. Lift Our Kids Out of Deep Poverty (SB36/HB102). Cash assistance (welfare) is intended to meet families' basic needs, but grants have lost half their value since 1988 due to inflation, while the cost of diapers and other necessities has risen. The COVID-19 pandemic has made the need to address our inadequate safety net even more acute. Contact your legislators today:

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