Current Advocacy Efforts
There are two current advocacy efforts BIA-MA needs help with:
- Effort to increase the FY'17 MRC SHIP Budget Ask (line item 4120-6000)
- Effort to support the Cognitive-Rehabilitation Bill
In the Fall of 2015, Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts (BIA-MA) and Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers (ADDP) will begin a collaborative, grass roots advocacy campaign seeking funding for the FY’17 Budget for Statewide Head Injury Program (SHIP).
In the past, BIA-MA began significantly advocating for the annual MRC SHIP Budget Ask (funded by Line Item 4120-6000) once the Governor has released the budget. This year, however, in order to provide the brain injury community with early and up-to-date information to advocate for the FY’17 Budget Ask, our grass roots campaign will start in the Fall of 2015 - the earliest and most inclusive start ever!
The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission’s (MRC) SHIP program provides a broad range of community-based services that support individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and their families. The SHIP program is part of the community Living Division at MRC. Services for eligible applicants include: Service coordination, regional service centers, residential services, case management, individual skills training, companion services, consultation for families, substance abuse services, and social and recreational programs. For more information visit http://www.mass.gov/mrc.
There are currently 4,318 individuals who have suffered a TBI and are eligible for SHIP services through MRC. In order to aid these individuals, the state would need to increase SHIP funding by an additional $24.9 million over the FY’16 budget of $15.8 million. Many of these individuals have waited for services for a number of years.
In order to work toward this goal, BIA-MA will be orchestrating this grass roots advocacy campaign. We will ask those interested to educate their elected officials through a large number of emails and/or phone calls at different points in the campaign. Elected legislators typically:
- Base most of their decisions on what they hear from their constituents
- Care about what their constituents think, especially those who communicate their views
- Need the votes of their constituents to get re-elected
The target audience will vary depending on timing. The key players include:
- Executive branch:
Governor Charlie Baker
Secretary of Administration and Finance Kristin LePore
Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders
MRC Commissioner Nicky Osborne
- Legislative branch:
Senate President Stanley Rosenberg
Senate Ways and Means Chair Karen Spilka
Speaker of the House of Representatives Robert DeLeo
House Ways and Means Chair Brian Dempsey
- Your individual State Senator and Representative
Find your legislators at: https://malegislature.gov/People/FindMyLegislator