Action Alert: Call Your Senator Today About Key Programs in the Senate Budget

Next week the Senate will begin deliberations on the fiscal year 2018 Senate Ways and Means budget proposal. Now is the time to act to make sure that essential public health funding is included in the FY18 budget.

Please contact your Senator TODAY and urge him or her to co-sponsor the important amendments listed below. Don’t forget to mention why the program or programs you are calling about are important to you.

If you don’t know who your State Senator is, click here. For your Senator’s contact information, click here.

Let us know that you took action! Send a quick email to MPHA Field Director Andrea Freeman to let us know you took action for public health funding in the Senate budget.

Top MPHA Priorities

 Amendment #529 -Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund, by Senator Lewis. PWTF is the first program of its kind in the nation and a national model for connecting clinical and community services to address costly health conditions, including pediatric asthma, falls among older adults, hypertension, and tobacco use. PWTF has increased access to preventive services for nearly 1 million people across every region of the Commonwealth and could have an ever greater impact in the future. First established in 2012, funding for PWTF will sunset in June 2017 without action from the Legislature. Click here for the Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund Fact Sheet

 Amendment #593 – Massachusetts Food Trust Program,  by Senator Donoghue – $100,000 in 7007-0300 to maintain FY17 level funding. The Food Trust, established in law in 2014, will provide loans, grants, and technical assistance to support new and expanded food retailers and local food enterprises in low and moderate income communities to increase healthy food access and spur economic growth. $1m was included in the FY18 Capital Budget for grants and loans out of the Food Trust. This Amendment will support program operations, outreach, and technical assistance. Click here for the MA Food Trust Fact Sheet

Other MPHA Priorities

 Amendment #521 – Modernize Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, by Senator Cyr -. This amendment would modernize Massachusetts’ childhood lead poisoning prevention laws, bringing the Commonwealth’s definition of lead poisoning in line with approaches taken in neighboring New England states. It would also raise penalties for housing discrimination, and modestly increase fees that fund lead poisoning assessment and prevention, which have not increased since the early 1990s.

 Amendment #461 – Additional Substance Use Recovery Centers,  by Senator Lewis – $1m in 4512-0200. This amendment would fund two additional Recovery Centers under the Bureau for Substance Abuse Services. Recovery centers provide individuals, family members and loved ones in recovery a safe place to connect with peers who have been negatively impacted by addiction, allowing participants to learn new skills, mentor others, and value their lived experience

 Amendment #472  – Health Care Industry Plan Review Retained Revenue (supporting significant investments in the Community Health Initiative program), by Senator Welch – line item 4516-1039. This amendment will allow DPH to retain $400,000 that they collect in fees to support the Determination of Need (DON) Program, which reviews major hospital capital investment proposals. This increased capacity will facilitate quicker DON reviews, which include a commitment of significant health sector investments to address community health needs in the communities that they serve.

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