January 24, 2019

Greetings!

As January flies by, we wanted to share with you some updates and requests from our public policy team on bill cosponsorship, Legislative Action Day, and the Governor's budget recommendations for fiscal year 2020. See below for more details, and please reach out to your State Representative and Senator in support of key bills to promote housing stability, economic supports, and human rights.

Thank you for your partnership and interest!
  
With gratitude,

Kelly Turley
Associate Director

Help Us Secure Cosponsors for Key Bills for the
New Legislative Session
This past Friday was the deadline for state legislators to file "timely filed" bills for the 2019-2020 legislative session. We have been working with numerous key legislators to file and refile critical legislation related to homelessness, housing, and benefits. ( See the list at this link and a partial list below).

From now until 4:59 p.m. next Friday, February 1st, both Representatives and Senators can sign on as cosponsors to bills filed in either chamber. (After that date, only Senators will be able to sign on to Senate filed bills; Representatives will not be able to newly cosponsor bills from either the House or Senate.)

Please reach out to your State Representative and Senator's offices as soon as possible to ask them to cosponsor the bills listed below and here . You can find their contact information by going to www.wheredoivotema.com or malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator . You also can call the State House switchboard and ask to be connected with their offices: 617-722-2000.

Top Bill Priority Campaigns

- Re-establish a statewide rental arrearage program to help households (families, youth, elders, people with disabilities, et al.) avoid homelessness by providing back rent assistance



- Ensure that families experiencing homelessness do not have to stay in a place not meant for human habitation before being eligible for Emergency Assistance (EA) family shelter and services 



- Ease access to standard Massachusetts ID cards for people experiencing homelessness by eliminating the $25 fee and allowing alternative ways to verify Massachusetts residency without requiring a permanent address



- Improve the Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled, and Children program (EAEDC) 

- Establish a bill of rights for people experiencing homelessness



- Promote the safety, dignity, and civil rights of people experiencing homelessness




Register Today to Be Part of
Legislative Action Day 2019

Please register today for Legislative Action Day 2019, taking place at the Massachusetts State House on Thursday, February 28th. Look forward to hearing from inspiring speakers, learning how to advocate with legislators, and meeting with your state legislators and legislative staff to talk about issues and policy recommendations to address homelessness in Massachusetts.

This year's event will be hosted by State Representative Jim O'Day in the Great Hall (second floor). Registration and light breakfast will begin at 9 a.m., and the formal agenda will run from 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. In the afternoon, participants will meet with legislative offices. Just indicate on your registration form if you need help setting up meetings with your legislators, and we will work to set up appointments for you.

Registration is quick, easy, and free: Register now.

If you would like to be an event-day volunteer , please sign up here .

If you are interested in being a speaker and sharing your personal testimony at the event, or helping the Coalition identify speakers, please contact Kelly .

Thank you!
Governor Baker Has Released His Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Recommendations
Yesterday, Governor Charlie Baker released his fiscal year 2020 budget recommendations. His $42.7 billion budget will be reviewed by the Legislature in the months ahead, as the House and Senate prepare for the next fiscal year, which will begin on July 1st.

Here is our preliminary FY'20 budget chart comparing current appropriations, the Coalition's requests, and the proposed funding and language advanced by the Governor.

Here is general coverage of the Governor's budget proposals from WBUR and the Boston Globe .