Now is the time to act to make sure that essential public health funding is included in the FY20 budget. House Ways and Means (HWM) released its $42.7 billion FY20 budget proposal on Wednesday, April 10th. Read MPHA’s preliminary analysis, here.
The House will debate its budget the week of April 22nd. Legislators can co-sponsor budget amendments up to Friday, April 19th.
Please contact your Representative 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.Read More
House Ways and Means (HWM) released its $42.7 billion FY20 budget proposal on Wednesday, April 10th. The HWM budget proposal level funds the Department of Public Health core infrastructure and community programs at $437 million (with a total department budget of $666.25 million, including the public health hospital accounts).
Amendments to the proposal are due Friday, April 12th. The House will debate the proposal on the week of April 22nd.Read More
Transportation is a critical issue for health equity. Not only does access to reliable, safe, and affordable transportation connect people and communities to the resources needed to be healthy, the transportation sector is a driving factor of climate change and air pollution, both of which disproportionately impact low-income and communities of color, causing greater health inequity.
MPHA has two transportation policy priorities for the 2019-2020 legislative session:
From the Berkshires to Cape Ann, the Commonwealth’s 15 RTAs link residents outside the metro-Boston area to jobs, education, and social and health services. To meet the needs of their communities, RTAs need additional funding, as well as modernization in service delivery.
In FY19, MPHA and our partners successfully advocated for higher funding for RTAs in the state budget. Co-leading the new RTA Advocates Coalition (RTAAC) with Transportation for Massachusetts, MPHA is again leading the charge to increase RTA funding in the FY20 state budget.
To help improve support and accountability of all RTAs and MassDOT, MPHA and our partners have been working closely with the RTA Task Force; which intends to release its draft report on March 15, 2019. MassDOT will hold public comment meetings in late March (as of 3/8/19, dates/locations unknown), and together with the RTAAC, MPHA will encourage advocates throughout the state to attend or submit written comments.
2. Equitable implementation of the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI)
The Transportation and Climate Initiative is an agreement and collaboration between 12 states (including Massachusetts) and Washington, DC to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector. TCI would also raise funds that could be invested in public transit and other cleaner transportation options.
Quick action to slow climate change and reduce air pollution is essential to protect the health of our communities. In order to be successful, TCI must be implemented in a way that addresses inequities facing communities of color and low-income communities. MPHA is joining environmental justice and transportation leaders to discuss shared goals including advocating for equitable participation in the development of TCI initiatives and analysis of the racial equity impact of TCI policies.
MPHA is prioritizing these efforts because a strong a transportation system supports health by:
The transportation sector adversely impacts health by:Read More
On Wednesday, January 23, Governor Baker announced his budget proposal for fiscal year 2020. Governor Baker’s budget proposal includes a 1.5% increase in funding over FY19 spending. It level funds the Department of Public Health with an overall budget of $423 million.Read More
Now is a critical time to take action for health equity in the Commonwealth. It is the start of a new legislative session and by January 18, 2019, Massachusetts legislators filed more than 5,000 new bills that will be considered over the next two years.
Please take a few minutes this week to reach out to your Representative and Senator by phone, email, or in person and ask them to co-sponsor these five bills that will improve public health in your community.
To find your representatives’ contact information or to find out who your representatives are, click here.
Please let us know that you took action by emailing MPHA Field Director Andrea Freeman at: email@example.com. The deadline to call about co-sponsorship is Thursday, January 31st.
Click here to download the one-page list of MPHA’s 2019 priority bills.
Last month, MPHA’s Board voted to endorse the “Yes on 3” ballot campaign, which will be before Massachusetts voters on November 6th. A “Yes” vote on Question 3 will maintain civil rights protections for transgender individuals voted into law in Massachusetts in 2016.
MPHA grounds its support for the Yes on 3 campaign in the understanding that maintaining civil rights for transgender residents and visitors to our state is essential realizing MPHA’s mission to advance health equity and social justice in the Commonwealth.
Research shows that transgender people are far more likely to face violence than non-transgender people, including higher rates of murder, sexual assault, and suicide. These statistics are especially troubling for trans people of color and trans youth, two communities that experience heightened violence and discrimination. The continued trauma that transgender people would face when trying to navigate public spaces without the civil rights protections already codified in Massachusetts law will have lifelong impacts on their health and their communities.
Opponents of transgender rights have long used scare tactics to deny basic rights and freedom to transgender children and adults. They continue to use these scare tactics even though they have been proven false. But let’s be clear, it is discrimination against transgender individuals that is a threat to public health and safety. Acknowledging transgender people’s rights and protecting these rights increases public health and safety for all.
Massachusetts cannot fall backward in our fight against discrimination. The results of ballot question 3 will have long-term impacts on social justice in the Commonwealth and beyond. We hope our members and supporters will join us in supporting current law and civil rights protections by voting Yes on 3 in November.
Visit Freedom for All Massachusetts for more information.