the health and safety of residents is an essential building block of a strong
Commonwealth. Michael is dedicated to keeping our communities safe and
addressing crime, and he has always been proud to support our public safety
agencies. Michael is also committed to making sure that each and every
Massachusetts resident seeking treatment for medical issues, mental health
problems, and substance abuse can access the resources they need to get well.
· For the fourth year in
a row, Michael worked to ensure a $4.25 million appropriation for public safety
Fall River has
received a total of $1,428,758 over the last three fiscal years (FY12, FY13 and
FY14) in public safety staffing grants to support the hiring and retaining of
police officers in Fall River.
· Working closely with
his SouthCoast Legislative Delegation colleagues, Michael has long advocated for
increased funding for Shannon Grants, which supports communities in their
collective efforts to combat gang violence.
Fall River has
received a total of $1,243,450 over the last three fiscal years (FY12, FY13 and
FY14) in Shannon Grant funding.
· For the third budget
cycle in a row, Michael, Representative Pat Haddad and the SouthCoast
Legislative Delegation successfully secured a $250,000 appropriation for the
Children’s Advocacy Center of Bristol County in the FY15 budget, which supports
critical public safety and public health services to child victims from Bristol
County suffering from sexual abuse and severe physical abuse.
Center of Bristol County has received $650,000 over the last three fiscal years
(FY13, FY14, and FY15).
· Working with the
SouthCoast Legislative Delegation, Michael has been a proponent of the Safe and
Successful Youth Initiative (SSYI), which bolsters community-wide efforts in
select communities to reduce youth violence and keep neighborhoods safe.
As part of the SSYI
program, Fall River was awarded $ 1,027,832 in FY12 to address youth violence,
engage community stakeholders in identification and outreach, and deliver needed
services to the proven at-risk youth population.
· As the chief sponsor
of common-sense legislation to protect front-line health care workers, Michael
led the way in 2010 to ensure that violence against nurses and other health care
professionals will not be tolerated with the passing of Chapter 151 of the Acts
of 2010 – An Act Relative to Assault and Battery on Health Care Providers -
which increased penalties against individuals who attempt to harm doctors,
nurses, social workers, or EMT and ambulance personnel.
· Michael recognizes the
devastating impact that substance abuse can have on individuals, families, and
communities. As such, he was proud to support and advocate for the Substance
Abuse Recovery Bill, which increases opportunities for long-term treatment and
recovery by supporting a continuum of care and removing barriers that stand in
the way of effective treatment.
Increases the quality
of and access to treatment by removing multiple prior authorization requirements
Requires all insurance
carriers to reimburse for substance abuse treatment services delivered by a
Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor
coverage of up to 14 days in an inpatient setting
by requiring a comprehensive list of interchangeable abuse-deterrent
prescriptions and requires coverage of these alternative
· In 2012, Michael
fought alongside Representative Pat Haddad and the entire SouthCoast Legislative
Delegation in their successful efforts to maintain 45 inpatient public mental
health beds at Taunton State Hospital by overriding the Governor’s veto, which
would have eliminated access to long term mental health services for
· Michael stood up for
community-based mental health providers like Stanley Street Treatment and
Resources (SSTAR) as they struggled to deal with the shortage of federal and
state reimbursement dollars. Michael led the charge in restructuring the way
Medicaid reimburses behavioral health companies providing mental health services
in a non-hospital setting.
Increased access to
outpatient mental health treatment for those dependent on these services, while
also ensuring providers are reimbursed appropriately and fairly so they can
continue serving those in need.
· Long committed to reining in the rising cost of prescription drugs, Michael led
efforts in 2012 to secure passage of a law providing patients access to co-pay
assistance and prescription discount programs to help reduce out-of-pocket costs
on prescriptions drugs and improve their quality of life. Since 2003,
Massachusetts had been the only state preventing patients from accessing co-pay
assistance and prescription discount programs.