Health and Safety  [< Go back]

Ensuring 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 staffing grants.

o  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.

o  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.

o  Children’s Advocacy 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.

o  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.

o  Increases the quality of and access to treatment by removing multiple prior authorization requirements

o  Requires all insurance carriers to reimburse for substance abuse treatment services delivered by a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor

o  Guarantees health coverage of up to 14 days in an inpatient setting

o  Encourages prevention 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 Southeastern Massachusetts.

·    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.

o  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.


































Somerset Town Hall
140 Wood Street
Somerset, MA 02726
(508) 673-8408
Fall River Government Center
1 Gov't Center Fall River, MA 02723
Room 235
(508) 646-0650
Boston State House
Room 213-B
Boston, MA 02133
(617) 722-1114


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