Senate Unanimously Passes the Mental Health 'ABC' Act

Bill expands access to mental health care, boosts workforce, and strengthens quality of coverage

On February 14, 2020 the Massachusetts Senate unanimously passed the Mental Health ABC Act, comprehensive legislation aimed at reforming the mental health care system in Massachusetts. Senate Bill 2519, An Act Addressing Barriers to Care for Mental Health, serves as the first step toward developing a more integrated system of mental health care delivery to better meet the needs of individuals and families.

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Senate Unveils Mental Health ABC Act: Addressing Barriers to Care

On February 6, 2020, the Massachusetts Senate unveiled Senate Bill 2519An Act Addressing Barriers to Care for Mental Health, a comprehensive mental health care reform bill. This legislation is the first step toward putting the Commonwealth on a pathway to developing a more integrated system of mental health care delivery to better meet the needs of patients. The Mental Health ABC Act removes barriers to timely quality care, provides the state with more effective tools to enforce existing mental health parity laws, and invests in the mental and behavioral health workforce pipeline. The legislation builds on progress made through state mental health parity laws passed in 2000 and 2008, and the ‘Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008’ at the federal level. 

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The Massachusetts State Senate on Thursday, January 30, 2020 advanced three bills that boldly tackle the contributing factors of climate change, chart one of the most aggressive courses of action against global warming in the country, and pave the way for a clean energy future for all of its residents.

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A recap of recently passed legislation

The legislature passed five important bills on November 20, 2019 - the last day of formal sessions for the House and Senate in 2019. The Governor has now signed all five bills into law. I voted for all five. Here's a recap.

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Senate Passes Pharmaceutical Access, Costs and Transparency (PACT) Act

Bill will reduce prescription drug costs, promote transparency, and increase patient access

On November 14th, the Massachusetts Senate passed An Act relative to Pharmaceutical Access, Costs and Transparency (PACT Act), comprehensive pharmaceutical cost control legislation aimed at addressing the high and rapidly increasing costs of prescription drugs. By connecting the need for greater drug price transparency with policies to improve oversight over the pharmaceutical industry, the legislation will put Massachusetts at the forefront of the state’s efforts to tackle increasing drug costs. It will also reduce drug costs to patients and lower health care costs overall.

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Bill will invest $1.5 billion in public schools, update statewide education policy, and support effective approaches to closing opportunity gaps for students throughout the Commonwealth.


On October 3rd, the Massachusetts Senate unanimously passed the Student Opportunity Act, Senate Bill 2350, an unprecedented $1.5 billion new investment in Massachusetts K-12 public education. This legislation ensures public schools have adequate resources to provide high-quality education to students across the state, regardless of zip code or income level. Assuming inflation, over time the bill could provide an estimated $2.2 billion.

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Final FY20 Budget Approved: Senator Cyr secures $7.34 million of budget appropriations

Budget appropriations will fund programs to stem the opioid epidemic, housing, critical public safety programs, economic development, and environmental safeguards

(BOSTON, MA) — State Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro) successfully secured appropriations totaling $7.34 million in the FY2020 budget for district and statewide programs. Cyr will deliver $740,000 in local initiatives to help Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket and $6.6 million in statewide priorities. A majority of the spending will go to programs that provide housing, shelter, and mental health services for seniors and our most vulnerable citizens; fight the opioid crisis via funding evidence-based prevention and harm reduction programs; support critical public safety programs to help veterans, children, as well as victims and witnesses to violent crimes; promote economic development through employee ownership of small businesses and job training; and safeguard the environment.

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