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Joanne Susi

"I lost consciousness in the helicopter and I remember thinking I was dead, and that this was the end…then nothing,” Jim has no memory of his time in the hospital during his stroke, but came out the other side dedicated to fight his way back. And fight he did!
Read Jim's story.

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Effort to increase the FY'18 MRC SHIP Budget (line item 4120-6000)

Final FY ’18 budget                                                                                                  
The Senate Ways and Means Committee released the FY ’18 budget on May 16, 2017.  Senator Harriette Chandler filed an amendment to increase the funding by $150,000.  The increase was to broadly fund additional services for SHIP.  The Senate approved Senator Chandler’s amendment. Click here for the FY’18 Ask Flyer

The budget then went before the Conference Committee to report a final compromise bill between the House and Senate for a vote of acceptance in each branch.  However, the Conference Committee agreed to $733 million in budget fixes, including $400 million in direct cuts from bills approved by the House and Senate, including the increase to fund SHIP.  The budget reflected a new forecast of fiscal 2018 tax revenues that is roughly $700 million below the projection the House and Senate used to build their budget this spring, 

Governor Baker signed a $39.4 billion spending bill for fiscal 2018, striking $42 million in local earmarks and revising revenue projections downward by $749 million, below the mark legislators had agreed would be a sufficient considering sluggish growth - 1.4 percent - over the past year.

The final number for the SHIP budget is an increase of $284,705 over the FY ’17 budget, with most of the increase to help offset costs being level funded for several years. 

House Ways and Means FY’18 budget
On Monday, April 10th, the House Ways and Means Committee unveiled the FY'18 budget. The House budget followed the Governor’s recommendation of increasing the funding by $284,705.  Representative Kimberly Ferguson filed an amendment to increase the amount by $1,715,295.  The increase was to fund a Care Navigation Program, a community outreach program to assist with brain injury after hospital discharge.   Fifty Representatives co-sponsored the Amendment but it was consolidated and not adopted.

Funding for the Statewide Head Injury Program
On January 25, 2017, Governor Charlie Baker released the Fiscal Year ‘18 budget proposal (H.1 budget).  The H.1 budget funds the Executive Office of Health & Human Services (EOHHS) at $23.026 billion.  EOHHS departments comprise approximately 57% of the total state budget, and represent 67% of the growth from FY ‘17 into FY ‘18. The FY ’18 budget increased funding for the Statewide Head Injury Program (SHIP) to $16,183,512, an increase of $284,705 over FY ’17.

BIA-MA’s Advocacy Effort
BIA-MA is advocating for an FY’18 Ask of $17,898,807 (an additional $2 million dollars over the FY’17 budget of $15.8 million). This additional funding would establish a Care Navigation program, a community outreach program to assist individuals with brain injury after hospital discharge.

Care Navigation will enable individuals to make informed choices for services and supports in meeting their needs after hospital discharge. This will help individual’s find services and/or resources needed to increase independence, quality of life and get back to school or work.
BIA-MA has begun meeting with members of the Joint Committee of Ways and Means to advocate for increasing funding for SHIP.  The Joint Ways and Means Committee considers all matters relating to the finances of the Commonwealth.   

Click here to Find my Legislator

For more information about Advocacy at BIA-MA, contact Kelly Buttiglieri at 508-475-0032 or