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Joanne Susi

"I was suddenly unable to do the things I once enjoyed, struggling to come to terms with my injury, frustrated and angry”

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FY'20 Ask for the Statewide Head Injury Program Budget (line item 4120-6000)

Effort to Increase the FY ’20 MRC SHIP Budget
The Statewide Head Injury Program (SHIP) is funded each year through a line item in the state budget (4120-6000) and through the Head Injury Treatment Services Trust Fund (HITS) (4120-6002).

HITS has decreased dramatically due to low traffic citations in Massachusetts.  In 2016, there was a 35% drop in traffic violations compared to 2009 for the state while in Boston there was a 54% drop in traffic violations between 2010 and 2015.*

View the FY'20 Budget Ask flyer for SHIP.

Source: Rocheleau, Matt and Wallack, Todd, “Mass. Police issuing fewer traffic violation”, Boston Globe, June 20, 2017.

It is estimated that funding for the HITS fund will run out within the next two years.
Governor Charlie Baker submitted the FY ’20 budget proposal of $42.7 billion on January 23, 2019.  The budget overall would increase spending by 1.5 percent over the current fiscal year.  The budget would fund SHIP at $17,877,125 or an increase of $1,098,587. 

BIA-MA advocated for an additional $2.5 million dollars over the Governor’s budget.  The additional funding will fund transitional support services and to supplement the decrease in the HITS fund.  The transitional support services will allow a distinct re-entry point for individuals that experience a sudden need for services, since brain injury symptoms are often unpredictable and can change during one’s life.

The House further increased funding for SHIP to $18,977,126, or $2.2 million over its current funding.  Unfortunately, the Senate funded SHIP at $17,877,125, the same amount as the Governor’s budget. 

The Conference Committee is now working out the differences between the House and Senate budgets.  BIA-MA is advocating for the Committee to adopt the House’s budget.

Please ask your legislators to help offset the decrease in the HITS fund by urging their respective conference members to support the House version to fund SHIP at $18,977,126.

Click here to find my Legislator 

Also, if one of your legislators is a Conference Committee member, please reach out to them and directly discuss this priority.  Members of the Conference Committee:

Senator Michael Rodrigues of Westport              Representative Aaron Michlewitz of Boston
Michael.Rodrigues@masenate.gov                Aaron.M.Michlewitz@mahouse.gov

Senator Cindy Friedman of Arlington                    Representative Denise Garlick of Needham
Cindy.Friedman@masenate.gov                      Denise.Garlick@mahouse.gov

Senator Vinny deMacedo of Plymouth                 Representative Todd Smola of Warren
Vinny.deMacedo@masenate.gov                    Todd.Smola@mahouse.gov

Script:                 

  • Please support the House budget to fund the Statewide Head Injury Program (SHIP)
  • Budget line Item #4120-6000
  • The House funded SHIP at $18,977,126

For more information about Advocacy at BIA-MA, contact Kelly Buttiglieri at 508-475-0032 or kbuttiglieri@biama.org