Join NASW   |   NASW Store   |   Print Page   |   Sign In
Legislative Agenda
Share |

 NASW-MA Legislative Agenda for 2017-18

The Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW-MA) is the largest professional social work organization in the state with 7,000 members representing every Senate and House district across the Commonwealth. Our members work in a broad range of settings including hospitals and health care settings, community agencies, jails and courts, government, academia, nursing homes, schools, and private practice. The proposed agenda of priority and supported bills represents the diverse and varied social work and social justice concerns among our members.


Recent Legislative Wins:

  • S2104-H3659 Protection for Pregnant Workers (Sen. Lovely/Rep. Rogers) - Signed 7/27/17

  • S499-H536 ACCESS: Birth control with no co-pay (Sen. Chandler/Rep. Haddad) - Signed 11/20/17

Join our Legislative Alert Network to receive advocacy-related action alerts and e-updates:



  1. SB62-HB1190 LGBTQ Conversion Therapy Ban: Ban sexual orientation and gender identity conversion therapy by licensed professionals for under 18. (Sen. Mark Montigny; Rep. Kay Khan)
  2. SB683-HB643 Social Work Loan Forgiveness: Act establishing education loan repayment program for social workers in areas of need: Would establish $1.2 million education loan repayment pilot program for social workers in areas of need, to forgive loans for social workers in underserved communities or jobs. (Rep. Smitty Pignatelli, Sen. Jamie Eldridge)
  3. SB549-HB578 TeleMed Parity: Assures equal reimbursement for independent mental health practitioners who conduct therapy sessions via phone/skype across all insurers. (Sen. Jason Lewis, Rep. John Scibak)
  4. SB582-HB2974 ClawbackProhibits insurance companies from going back further than 6 months to recoup money for mental health services approved and provided. (Sen. Michael Rodrigues, Rep. James O’Day)



  1.  SB1305-HB3269 Safe Communities: Act to protect the civil rights and safety of all MA residentsProhibits participation in any Muslim registry; ensures that police do not support immigration enforcement efforts (acting as ICE agents). (Sen. Jamie Eldridge; Rep. Juana Matias)
  2. SB1225-HB1194 End of Life Options: Allows terminally ill people with less than 6 months to live to end their lives with medical support. (Sen. Barbara L’Italien, Rep. Louis Kafka)
  3.  SB832-HB773 Rape Survivors Rights: Gives women the right to end custody and visitation when a child is conceived through rape and prohibits the perpetrator to seek custody of said child. (Sen. Sal DiDomenico; Reps. Carmine Gentile, Michelle DuBois)
  4. SB1306-HB2248 Solitary Confinement: Act promoting humane conditions of confinement & enable safe reentry: Limits use of solitary confinement and ensures step down from solitary to release. (This bill was filed as an amendment to the SB2170 Criminal Justice Omnibus bill. Original sponsors: Sen. Jamie Eldridge; Rep. Ruth Balser)


  1. SB1048-HB2172 Paid Family/Medical Leave Act: Act establishing a family & medical leave insurance program: Establishes a family & medical leave insurance program where employers pay into a disability insurance fund. (Sen. Karen Spilka; Rep. Ken Gordon)
  2. SB1004-HB2365 Fight for $15: Raises the minimum wage $1 per year over the course of three years, where it will be $15 by 2021. (Sen. Cindy Friedman)
  3.  SB34-HB85 Lift the Family Welfare Cap: $100/month welfare benefit is currently denied to children born while or after their parents first receive TAFDC benefits. (Sen. Sal DiDomenico; Rep. Marjorie Decker)
  4. SB2170-HB2308 An Act Relative to Criminal Justice Reform: End mandatory minimums for non-violent drug convictions; raise felony-larceny threshold from $250 to $1500; lower probation and parole fees; CORI reform; improve in-jail education & job training; increase re-entry services, medical release of terminally ill. (Rep. Mary Keefe; Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz)


  1. SB612-HB101 SNAP Gap: Act improving public health through a common application for core food, health and safety-net programs: Creates a single application for benefits including food, health and other safety-net programs to make it easier for individuals to access these services. (Sen. Sal DiDomenico; Rep. Jay Livingstone)
  2. SB591-HB4256 PATCH: Ensures confidentiality for patients who are not the insurance holder, important for domestic violence victims and young adults covered by their parents. (Sen. Karen Spilka; Rep. Kate Hogan)
  3.  SB552-HB484 Continuity of Mental Health Care: Clients can continue with the same mental health provider if their insurance changes. (Sen. Barbara L’Italien, Reps. Ruth Balser and Tricia Farley-Bouvier)
  4. SB1103 Addiction Treatment: Act providing access to full spectrum addiction treatment services: Would require commercial insurance to expand coverage from 14 to 30 days of treatment at a cost of only 5 cents per insured member per month. (Sen. John Keenan)
  5. SB610-HB596 Single Payer Healthcare: Would create a study of single payer healthcare to see if it would benefit the commonwealth. (Sen. Julian Cyr, Rep. Benson)


Supported Bills List: While these are not our priority, we do support and follow these bills.




  • SB614 Antitrust Immunity for Private Practitioners: Allows LICSWs to negotiate with insurers around rates, determination of medical necessity, and other issues.
  • SB346-HB2892 LGBTQ Awareness Training for Aging Services Providers: Creates a curriculum for aging services providers to avoid discrimination when treating clients who identify as part of the LGBTQ community. (Sen. Jehlen, Rep. Malia)



  • SB544-HB482 Prohibit gender discrimination in disability policies: Ending the current policy of women paying more for disability, accident or sickness insurance policies. (Sen. Jason Lewis, Rep. Ruth Balser)



  • SB342-HB337 Nursing Home Personal Needs Allowance: Raise the monthly allowance for nursing home residents to $100/month. (Sen. Pat Jehlen, Rep. Jen Benson)



  • SB33-HB607 Healthcare for DCF Youth: Ensure continuous healthcare coverage until age 26 for youth who have aged-out of DCF. (Sen. Sal DiDomenico; Rep. Danielle Gregoire)
  • SB2113-HB3704 Healthy Youth: Requires school districts to create a comprehensive, age-appropriate, and LGBT-inclusive sex education plan. (Sen. Sal DiDomenico, Rep. Jim O’Day)
  • HB3649 Parental Consent for Abortion: Repeal the current law requiring a parent or a judge’s consent for an abortion if under age 18. This would remove all state limitation on abortion rights. (Rep. Mike Connolly)
  • SB354 Nursing Home Bed Hold: Ensure residents return to the same nursing home, room, and bed after an inpatient stay or other leave of absence. (Sen. Mark Montigny)
  • SB1169-HB2474 Expand Dental Care: Establish a mid-level dental provider, between a hygienist and a DDS. (Rep. Smitty Pignatelli)
more Featured Events

Private Practice Meeting (Fall River)

Private Practice Meeting (Worcester)

Southeast Regional Council

National Association of Social Workers - Massachusetts Chapter
11 Beacon Street, Suite 510, Boston MA 02108
tel: (617)227-9635 fax: (617)227-9877 email:
Copyright 2017, NASW-MA. All rights reserved.

Membership Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal