An Act relative to the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (SD539) which puts Massachusetts in uniformity with the rest of the County and provides for continuing exclusive jurisdiction in Massachusetts while protecting those who flee from the Commonwealth because of domestic violence
Act Preserving Special Needs Trusts for Disabled Seniors (SD1400/HD769) This bill would enable disabled seniors to continue to use special needs pooled trusts without penalty to pay for important services and care not covered by MassHealth. On the death of the disabled beneficiary, trust assets are to reimburse the State for MassHealth benefits paid (with a small amount paid to the non-profit administering the pooled trust); more than $8 million dollars reimbursed last year.
An Act Supporting Parents Running for Public Office (SD304/HD530) would allow the use of campaign funds for childcare while the candidate is “performing work or attending events directly related to the candidates campaign.”
An Act to Protect Access to Confidential Healthcare (SD1174/HD3059) would establish mechanisms to ensure that, when multiple people re on the same insurance plan, confidential health care information (Explanation of Benefits-EOBs) is not shared with anyone other than the patient to protect victims of domestic violence or young adults or minors seeking medical or counseling care.
An Act Relative to Healthy Youth (SD579/HD827) which, for schools providing sexuality education, requires a age-appropriate, medically accurate sexual health curriculum, including making healthy decisions about relationships and sexuality.
The WBA/MBA/BBA-drafted bill (SD509) modernizes property rights of surviving spouses; under current law a spouse has stronger rights to marital property if s/he divorces rather than stays married. The bill provides safeguards against evasion, notice, right to know the decedent’s assets and procedural rules absent from current law.
The WBA opposes bills that purport to increase health safety, imposes medically unnecessary and burdensome licensing requirements that are intended to make it harder for women to access an abortion if and when one is needed.
An Act to Reduce Deep Poverty Among Kids (SD1328/HD2367) by setting a floor for welfare benefits at 50% of federal poverty level. “Deep poverty” is income below half the federal poverty level – $889 a month for a family of three. But the maximum grant (TAFDC) for families’ basic needs of a family of three is only $593 a month. The bills increase TAFDC by 10% a year until grants reach 50% of the federal poverty level.