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logo for the CHIP Network features multi-colored interlocking gears beside the words Franklin County & North Quabbin Community Health Improvement PlanThe Steering Committee for the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) Network has finalized our list of initial legislative priorities for the 193rd Session of the Massachusetts Legislature, which runs from January 2023 to December 2024.  Below are the priorities we have chosen to follow and report on regularly.

These priorities were selected because they:

  • address urgent health needs in our region
  • have active coalitions working for their passage
  • and are priorities of CHIP Network members

The CHIP Steering Committee sent letters to all of our local legislators encouraging them to co-sponsor these bills, and we are following them closely for opportunities to testify, submit letters of support, write letters to the editor, and more. If you’d like to get alerts about opportunities to advocate for these priorities, please sign yourself up for the CHIP Network’s new Advocacy Updates email list!

  1. Improving Our Regional Transit Authorities:

    Bill Name: An Act to increase regional transit accessibility in the Commonwealth 
    Sponsors: Senator Susan Moran, Representative Natalie Blais

Summary: This bill addresses many of the challenges faced by regional transit authorities in the Commonwealth. It ensures adequate funding and adjustments for inflation, dedicates 50% of Uber/Lyft fees paid to the Commonwealth to support regional transit, improves the state Regional Transit Authority Council by adding seats for riders and requiring annual reporting, and eliminates profitability as a performance metric for transit agencies.
How you can be involved: Join the RTA Advocates’ Coalition:, share their Factsheet on the bill and this op-ed from Commonwealth Magazine.

  1. Transforming Our Local Public Health System:

    Bill Name: An Act relative to accelerating improvements to the local and regional public health system to address disparities in the delivery of public health services (AKA SAPHE 2.0 Bill) 
    Sponsors: Senator Jo Comerford, Representatives Hannah Kane and Denise Garlick.

Summary:  This bill, which passed the House and Senate unanimously last session, builds on the lessons from the pandemic about the need for better, more equitable public health protections across the state. It will create regional equity by: (1) establishing state standards for local public health performance, guaranteeing everyone the same protection, regardless of zip code; (2) creating state workforce credentialing standards; (3) Increasing capacity at the local level by encouraging sharing of local public health services through state funding; and (4) Improving data collection and sharing through a uniform data collection and reporting system.
How you can be involved: Join the SAPHE Coalition by emailing Oami Amarasingham. Share the Factsheet on this Bill

  1. Allowing Spouses to be Compensated as Caregivers:

    Bill Name: An Act Allowing Spouses to Serve as Caregivers: 
    Sponsors: Senator Jo Comerford, Representatives Adam Scanlon, Norman Orrall

Summary:  Addresses the urgent home health care crisis by allowing spouses to be compensated for caregiving through programs administered by Mass Health. Currently other family members are allowed to receive payment for caregiving, but not spouses.
How you can be involved: Contact Diane Robie of LifePath at [email protected]

  1. Providing High Quality Early Education:

    Bill Name: An Act providing affordable and accessible high quality early education and care to promote child development and well-being and support the economy in the Commonwealth. (SD667/HD2794)
    Sponsors: Senator Jason Lewis, Representatives Kenneth Gordon & Adrian Madaro

Summary:  This bill is part of a larger set of priorities known as the Common Start Agenda. It would provide financial support for families to access early childhood education, create a permanent mechanism to provide operating support for early childhood education providers, and improve the quality of early childhood education.
How you can be involved:  Join the Common Start Coalition:

  1. Improving Access to Affordable Housing

There are a number of CHIP affordable housing priorities this session; some are bills and others are changes to how the Commonwealth administers and funds housing programs.  We appreciate our legislators’ efforts to make sure that rural and smaller town interests are represented in the new administration’s exciting work on addressing the housing crisis through creation of a new Secretariat, programs, regulations, funding.

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