Substance Use
H.2006 – An Act to Establish a Sharps Stewardship Program  
(Filed on behalf of Mayor Walsh, Senate version filed by Senator Nick Collins)
Requires manufacturers of hypodermic needles, lancets, or other sharps products to create collection kiosks in mainstream retail locations convenient to the public like those currently available to people returning medications.

Status: Referred to Joint Committee on Public Heath

H.1748 – An Act to Expand Access to Patient Centered Care for Opioid Use Disorder (Senate version filed by Senator Michael Moore)
Creates an educational campaign to expand MAT options alongside counseling and other support services. Faculty can receive 2 professional development points for engaging in training related to assessment, toxicology screening, treatment planning, detox, care coordination, length of treatment, and relapse prevention. This bill also creates a peer mentoring program with trainings, materials, and team support delivered by highly qualified, well-credentialed, and licensed mentors that prioritizes geographic areas determined by DPH to have limited access to MAT. A grant program to incentivize expanded offerings of MAT options is established and an inventory of providers who utilize MAT would be created.

Status: Referred to Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use, and Recovery

H.1749 – An Act establishing a commission to study the availability of a continuum of care for persons with substance use disorder
(Senate version filed by Senator John Keenan)
Establishes a commission to study the availability of detoxification, stabilization, transitional support, reentry services, and medically assisted treatment options. Currently, there exists a misalignment of services regarding the availability of addiction recovery care services such that people who enter the continuum of care have difficulty transitioning to the next step due to a bottleneck of services. The commission must recommend an appropriate level of care and capacity for each level of care, reassessing its recommendations annually.

Status: Referred to Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use, and Recovery

H.1732 – Act providing access to full spectrum addiction treatment services (jointly filed with Representative Elizabeth Malia)
This bill includes a previously exempted definition for Transitional Support Services which includes short-term residential support during recovery until transition to outpatient or other next step addiction recovery care. The bill also requires a minimum of 30 days insurance coverage without need for preauthorization for active or retired employees of the Commonwealth insured under the GIC. The carrier cannot interfere with acute care unless the patient has engaged in more than 30 consecutive days of care, including medically necessary transitional support services.

Status: Referred to Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use, and Recovery

H.1043 – Assist Dual Diagnosis Patients in Psychiatric Hospitals (jointly filed with Representative Elizabeth Malia)
This bill expands Acute Treatment Services to include individuals who have been dual diagnosed with both mental illness and substance abuse.

Status: Hearing rescheduled to 06/06/2019 from 11:00 AM-03:00 PM in 222

Health Care
H.1686 – An Act relative to physician assistant non-competes
(Senate version filed by Senator Harriet Chandler)
This bill would expand the prohibition on non-competes for physicians to also include physician assistants.

Status: Hearing scheduled for 04/09/2019 from 01:00 PM-05:00 PM in A-2

H.164 – Improving Front-line Service Coordinators Quality of Care
This legislation sets a caseload ratio of 55 cases per front-line coordinator within DDS. Front-line service coordinators provide crucial case management, safety monitoring, and teaching assistance for physically and mentally challenged citizens in our communities. As DDS endures a rapid decline in Front-line service coordinators, the community DDS serves has increased by 10,000 people. Setting a caseload of 55 cases per provider will ensure the highest quality of care.

Status: Hearing scheduled for 05/28/2019 from 10:00 AM-01:00 PM in B-1

H.2529 – An Act to promote healthy alternatives to sugary drinks (jointly filed with Representative Khan)
This bill creates a tax on sugary drinks using a “tiered” system relative to the concentration of sugar per drink with similar tax on syrups and powders is also included. This tax would fund the newly created Children’s Health Promotional Fund for implementation, administration, and enforcement relative to Mass in Motion, Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund, fluoridation of public water, nutritional programs, educational programs, water fountain improvement, and other evidence based methods of health improvement.

Status: Hearing scheduled for 05/07/2019 from 01:00 PM-05:00 PM in B-2

H.1947 – An Act to protect youth from the health risks of sugary drinks (jointly filed with Representative Khan)
This bill eliminates the sale, serving, or advertising of sugary drinks on school campuses and prohibits sponsorship of school events and activities by corporate brands. Section II requires all advertisements to include a warning label detailing the health effects of sugary drinks, with DPU promulgating regulations relative to the label and providing exemptions for specific packaging and restaurant purposes. Section III prohibits children’s meals sold by chain restaurants from including sugary drinks punishable by a fine of $100-$500. The final section creates a commission to study the health benefits and options for expanding access to public drinking water by looking at current scientific evidence, current data on water consumption, current laws and regulations, and current obstacles to create policy recommendations.

Status: Hearing scheduled for 05/28/2019 from 01:00 PM-05:00 PM in A-2

Gun Violence Prevention
H.2005 – An Act to Prevent Gun Violence
(Filed on behalf of Mayor Walsh)
This legislation requires medical professionals to ask patients about the presence of guns in their homes. The goal is to identify red flags that could indicate risks related to suicide, domestic violence, or child access to guns.

Status: Referred to Joint Committee on Public Health

Criminal Justice
H.2127 – An Act relative to education programming for the incarcerated
(Senate version filed by Senator Creem)
Ensures that prisoners have access to educational programming relative to education training and employment, as well as rehabilitation, healthcare, and substance abuse for at least one hour a day, five days a week. Also restricts maximum time in a cell to 16 hours daily. Finally, ensures that those committed for over 6 months have access to programming resulting in a GED.

Status: Referred to Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security