Tag Archives: Massachusetts

Pilot Plan Begins in MA to Rate Addiction-Treatment Centers

Pilot Plan Begins in MA to Rate Addiction-Treatment Centers

Massachusetts will be the first state to participate in a new, national system to rate addiction-treatment programs. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has approved being part of a pilot program developed by Shatterproof, a national nonprofit organization. Substance-use treatment programs will work with the health department and other state agencies on the pilot, which

Massachusetts has highest increase in homeless population in the country

The homeless population of Massachusetts has increased by 14 percent in the last year, according to a recent report from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. According to the report, there are 20,068 homeless persons in the Commonwealth this year, up from 17,565 in 2017. This was the highest increase in the country

Most Mass. communities fall short of state affordable housing goal

The Comprehensive Permit Act, usually called 40B, set a goal for Massachusetts towns and cities nearly five decades ago: develop at least 10 percent of local housing to be affordable in the long term for low or middle income residents. As of a late 2017 Department of Housing and Community Development report, just 67 of

Mass. Bill Pushes Back Against Implementation of Video Only Prison Visits

Maintaining contact with family is important to the wellbeing of people who are incarcerated, and a bill in Massachusetts’ state legislature would ensure that in-person visits are protected. The visitation provision is part of a much larger criminal justice reform bill. According to Lucius Couloute, policy analyst with the Prison Policy Initiative, some sheriffs’ departments

Treat Homelessness Like the Health Issue It Is

Last spring a group of students, led by their Professor Dr. Debra Harkins, came up with  Bill H.3933, which is based on an idea out of Hawaii that says homelessness should be treated as a medical condition; this could allow doctors to write prescriptions for housing. I know, it sounds far fetched, but when you

Cambridge Opioid Working Group’s Report Proposes Solutions to Crisis

In late November the Cambridge Opioid Working Group released a report detailing the impact of the opioid epidemic on the city and offering local solutions to the crisis. The report, titled “Addressing the Opioid Epidemic in Cambridge,” also recommended nine steps for local leadership to follow, highlighting a need to reduce stigma, reduce harm and

Bay State Takes a Step Toward Single Payer

State senators have approved an amendment to a bill that could help pave the way to a single-payer health-care system in Massachusetts. The amendment, now attached to a larger health-care reform bill in the legislature, directs the state’s nonpartisan Health Policy Commission to compare three years of actual health care costs in the state to

Protesters ‘Take a Knee’ One Year After Fatal Shooting by Boston Police

On Saturday, Oct. 29, protesters knelt in front of the State House calling on State Attorney Maura Healy to reopen the cases of police brutality in Massachusetts. “We’re demanding that Attorney General Maura Healy reopen the cases,” said Brock Satter of  Mass Action Against Police Brutality, the group that organized the Boston Takes a Knee

Rule Aims to Protect Mass. Residents From Payday Loan Abuses

Consumer advocates are praising a new rule issued on Thursday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that requires payday lenders to start verifying a borrower’s ability to repay the loan before rolling it over into a new loan. The rule aims to stop lenders from taking advantage of desperate people who want to borrow more

Mass. Lawmakers Consider $15 Minimum Wage

Cheers and jeers filled the State House on Tuesday, Sept. 19  as supporters and opponents alike packed the Garner Auditorium to voice their opinions on a bill proposing a $15 hourly minimum wage at a hearing held by the Joint Force Committee of Labor and Development. The current minimum wage in Massachusetts is $11 an

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