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Legislation Supported by JRI

Massachusetts    Rhode Island     Connecticut     Federal

 

Massachusetts

You can find contact info for your state legislator here: And then call or email to ask that they support legislation.

Additionally, here are the committee assignments for the House and Senate in Massachusetts. 

General Social Justice

  • An Act Relative to Accountability For Vulnerable Children and Families (H.239, Khan) and (S.32, Lovely) This bill would require DCF to include data on sexual orientation and gender identity in their demographics to provide better support for LGBTQ+ youth. Learn more information here, provided by Citizens for Juvenile Justice and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD).
  • Lift Kids Out of Deep Poverty, (H.199, Decker) and (S.96, DiDomenico).  These bills will raise cash assistance grants in Massachusetts by 10% per year until they reach 50% of the federal poverty level.  Current grant levels are woefully inadequate - for example, the maximum for a family of 3 is only $593 per month.  This leaves families struggling to meet their children's most basic needs, like housing, food and diapers.
  • Check out the list of legislative priorities put out by the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health here!
  • Contact your legislators and ask them to support using ARPA funds to help strengthen the Human Services workforce that is shrinking daily!
  • An Act Providing Affordable and Accessible High Quality Early Education and Care (H.605Gordon & Madaro) and (S.362, Lewis & Moran). Read more here!
  • An Act Relative to Language Access and Inclusion (H.3199, Madaro & Gonzalez) and (S.2040, DiDomenico).
  • An Act to ensure positive transition plans to prevent youth homelessness (H.248, S.85)
  • An Act Expanding Access to Adoption (H.243, S.123): This bill passed the Senate on January 13th. Expecting rapid approval by the House.
  • An Act To Provide Identification to Youth and Adults Experiencing Homelessness (S.2612) This bill passed the Senate on January 13th.  Bill has broad support in the House and we anticipate rapid approval.

Juvenile Justice

  • An Act Improving Juvenile Justice Data Collection (H.1795, Miranda) and (S.1558, Creem)
  • An Act Relative to Judicial Supervision to Promote Child Well-Being (H.1569, Oakley) and (S.984, Creem)
  • An Act Clarifying Consent Laws for Adolescents (H.1726, Lewis & Fernandes) and (S.1126, Rausch)
  • An Act Relative to Safer Schools (H.648, Khan) and (S.286, Chandler)
  • An Act to Prioritize Violence Prevention and Social Emotional Health in School Support Staff Hiring (S.290, Chang-Diaz)
  • An Act Relative to the Location of School Resource Officers (H.694, Sabadosa)
  • An Act to Promote the Education Success of Court Involved Children (H.664, Meschino) and (S.344, Jehlen)
  • An Act to Promote Public Safety and Better Outcomes for Young Adults (H.1826, O'Day & Khan) and (S.920, Boncore)
  • An Act Relative to Expungement of Juvenile and Young Adult Records (H.1531, Decker & Khan) and (S.980, Creem)
  • An Act Relative to Juveniles Accused of Sex Offenses (S.933, Brownsberger)
  • An Act to Prevent the Imposition of mandatory Minimum Sentences Based on Juvenile Adjudications (H.1794, Miranda) and (S.1022, Eldridge)
  • Raise the Age of Youthful Offender and Adult Prosecution from 14 to 16
  • "Second Look" for Youth Sentenced for Offenses Committed Before Age 18
  • Limit Maximum Length of Pre-Trial Detention for Youth Held Under A Dangerousness Hearing
  • An Act Protecting Youth During Custodial Interrogations (S.90, Creem)
  • An Act Providing Easier and Greater Access to Record Sealing (S.1037, Friedman)
  • An Act Providing for Certificates of Rehabilitation, Second Chances, Increased Success, and Community Prosperity (S.932, Brownsberger)

Human Services Providers

  • An Act Establishing a Loan Repayment Program for Direct Care Human Service Workers (S.120, Lesser) and (H.266, Roy) - Take Action Above!
  • An Act Relative to Fair Pay for Comparable Work (S.105, Friedman) and (H.237, Khan) - Take Action Above!

Individuals with Disabilities

  • An Act Relative to Strengthening Background Checks (S.393)
  • An Act Relative to Assure Opportunities for All Students with Disabilities (H.611)
  • An Act Relative to Licensing Group Care Facilities Serving Students with Special Needs (H.647)
  • An Act to Create a Facilities Loan Program for Private Special education Schools (S.345)
  • Protect Disabled Parents' Rights (H.1711, S.1083). Also check out this informative poster for more details!

Ten point plan to combat systemic racism  Elected officials of color developed a 10 point plan to combat systemic racism in policing and police brutality.

Reform, Shift + Build Act, released by the Senate.  This race equity and policing bill expands the eligibility for expungement.  Here's more information on the expungement law.

Rhode Island

You can find contact info for your Rhode Island state legislator here: And then call or email to ask that they support legislation.

  • Judge McConnell orders Rhode Island to improve provider pay starting in FY2022. See the order here!
  • Check out the December news brief outlined by the Rhode Island Coalition for Children and Families here!
  • Want updates about advocacy for individuals with developmental disabilities? Check them out here

Connecticut

You can find contact info for your Connecticut state legislator here: And then call or email to ask that they support legislation.

  • Check out the Nonprofit Alliance news page:https://ctnonprofitalliance.org/news-media/ , for public policy notes that keep you up to date on all of the legislative updates in Connecticut!
  • Check out some legislative priorities addressing equity, inclusion, learning gaps, and much more in Connecticut! Read it in "The Day" here.

National Legislation

  • JRI fully supports the proposed George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021. Download the fact sheet to learn more about the proposed changes. This legislation is currently stuck in Congress and will likely be re-introduced in the next session.
  • Protecting kids at the point of arrest/entrance into the system, H.R. 2834, by Congressman Tony Cardenas.
  • Establishing a minimum juvenile and adult court age, H.R. 2908, by Congresswoman Karen Bass.
  • Reforming sentencing standards for children convicted as adults, H.R. 2858, by Congressman Bruce Westerman.
  • Ensure Medicaid access for vulnerable foster care children. Check out the full details and bill here.
  • JRI is a member of the Coalition for Juvenile Justice, advocating for juvenile justice reform at the federal level:https://www.juvjustice.org/

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Rachel has been a part of the JRI team since January, 2000. For over 20 years, Rachel has been working in the field of human services assisting families with accessing and navigating services. Rachel received her Bachelors degree in psychology and Masters Degree in Public Administration from Bridgewater State University. She was promoted in July 2005 to Family Networks Program Director where she closely worked with the Department of Children Families for 10 years ensuring that children and families received the highest quality of individualized services ranging from community based through residential care. Rachel is very dedicated to helping the individuals she works with and is committed to improving the lives of children and families. Rachel’s passion for creative service programming inspires her in her role as JRI Service Navigator.