Join NASW   |   NASW Store   |   Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   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



  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: Pilot program, cost $1.2 million, to forgive loans for social workers in underserved communities or jobs. (Sponsors: Rep. Smitty Pignatelli, Sen. Jamie Eldridge)
  3. SB549-HB578 TeleMed Parity: Assures equal reimbursement for phone or skype appointments, includes all insurers, and covers mental health. (Sen. Jason Lewis, Rep. John Scibak)
  4. SB582-HB2193 Clawback: Act to limit retroactive denials of health insurance claims for behavioral health and substance abuse services: Prohibits insurance companies from going back further than 6 months to renege on prior approval and payment for mental health treatment. (Sponsor: Sen. Michael Rodrigues, Rep. James O’Day)



  1.  SB1305-HB3269 Safe Communities: Act to protect the civil rights and safety of all MA residents: Prohibits participation in Muslim registry; ensures that police do not support immigration enforcement efforts. (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 (Sen. Sal DiDomenico; Reps. Carmine Gentile, Michelle DuBois)
  4. SB1306-HB2248 Solitary Confinement: Act promoting humane conditions of confinement & enable safe reentry: Limit use of solitary confinement; ensure step down from solitary to release. (Sen. Jamie Eldridge; Rep. Ruth Balser)


  1. SB1048-HB2172 PFMLA: Act establishing a family & medical leave insurance program: Employers pay into a disability insurance fund to enable paid family medical leave. (Sen. Karen Spilka; Rep. Ken Gordon)
  2. SB1004-HB2365 Fight for $15: Raise the minimum wage to $15/hour over a period of time. (Sen. Ken Donnelly, Rep. Dan Donahue)
  3.  SB34-HB85 Lift the Family Welfare Cap: $100/month welfare benefit is currently denied to children born while or after their mothers first receive TAFDC. (Sen. Sal DiDomenico; Rep. Marjorie Decker)
  4. HB2185 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: Create a single application for benefits. (Sen. Sal DiDomenico; Rep. Jay Livingstone)
  2. SB591-HB2175 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: 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 An Act to Ensure Effective Health Care Cost Control: Single payer healthcare for the commonwealth.


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: Currently women pay 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)



  • SB499-HB536 Free Birth Control: (ACCESS): Requires insurance carriers to provide all contraceptive methods without a co-pay; a provision in ACA that will likely be overturned. (Sen. Harriet Chandler; Rep. Patricia Haddad)
  • 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)
  • 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 Shared Interest Group (Westford)

Private Practice Meeting (Nashoba Valley)

Central Regional Council

Political Action for Candidate Election Committee

National Association of Social Workers - Massachusetts Chapter
14 Beacon Street, Suite 409, 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