Health Care

  • Fought for legislation that helped make Massachusetts No. 1 in health care coverage.
  • Supported legislation to prevent prescription drug abuse deaths by strengthening the state's Prescription Monitoring Program and improving prevention programs.
  • Supported legislation to improve substance abuse treatment and recovery in Massachusetts by setting forth a continuum of care and eliminating barriers in the system that prevent long-term treatment.
  • Fought to strengthen mental health parity in Massachusetts and to enforce state and federal parity laws.
  • Fought to keep Taunton State Hospital open and to reposition the facility as a national hospital focused on mental health care education.
  • Supported increases to the Department of Mental Health budget and the Bureau of Substance Abuse budgets.
  • Supported legislation to bolster domestic violence prevention in the Commonwealth, to elevate penalties for criminal offenses and to support victims in recovery.
  • Supported “Real Lives” legislation allowing Department of Development Services-eligible individuals to participate in self-determined and person-centered plans.
  • Supported uniform guardianship legislation that clarifies a family caregiver’s ability to provide care across state lines.
  • Supported the expansion of health care access for Massachusetts residents.
  • Supported funding to increase rates paid to Disproportionate Share Hospitals to help struggling hospitals with modernization assistance and funding payment reform.
  • Chief sponsor of patient safety legislation that sets standards for nurse to patient ratios in hospital intensive care units across the Commonwealth.
  • Supported legislation that protects a woman’s right to access reproductive health care facilities in the Commonwealth while promoting public safety.
  • Supported legislation to improve regulatory oversight of compounding pharmacies in the Commonwealth.
  • Supported legislation to expand treatment and support for individuals with autism or a developmental disability.
  • Fought to support research into treatment and care for spinal cord injury patients in Massachusetts through chief sponsorship of legislation to reinvigorate the state spinal cord injury trust fund. 
  • Fought to establish a board of registration in naturopathy in Massachusetts and to set licensing procedures that protect doctors and patients.
  • Fought to establish mandatory baseline concussion testing for all high-school aged student athletes in the Commonwealth.
  • Fought for the safe collection and disposal of home-generate sharps waste in the Commonwealth.
  • Fought against the closure of Morton Hospital’s pediatric unit.
  • Received NAMI Greater Fall River’s 2013 “Hero in the Fight” award for his nearly three decades of public service raising awareness and advocating for the mental health community in Massachusetts.
  • Secured a $600,000 Community Development Block Grant from the Office of Housing and Community Development for construction of a new senior center in Lakeville.
  • Secured a combination of Council on Aging Grants for First Plymouth and Bristol District.
  • Secured funding for a public health study to be conducted for the Town of Middleborough to determine if the there is an underlying environmental cause for the cases of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.
  • Cosponsored Legislation mandating that all agencies that serve individuals with disabilities to prepare an annual report detailing the agency's proposed plan to coordinate, enhance and expand services to people with disabilities (Ch. 171 of the Acts of 2002)
  • Cosponsored legislation to protect the privacy of seniors by exempting personal information in the possession of local Councils on Aging from public records law (Ch. 41 of the Acts of 2002)
  • Sponsored legislation extending enhanced 911 services to cellular phones (Ch. 61 of the Acts of 2002)
  • Supported legislation requiring license requirements for certain drug and alcohol counselors (Ch. 60 of the Acts of 2002)
  • Supported legislation to prevent school districts from prohibiting the possession of prescription asthma inhalers by students (Ch. 258 of the Acts of 2002)
  • Supported Health and Human Service reforms in the FY04 budget in order to consolidate and streamline state offices and make better use of resources.
  • Fought the Romney Administration’s attempts to cut Prescription Advantage by fully funding the program in the FY04 Senate budget and supporting the implementation of a bulk purchasing program to help bring down costs to taxpayers.
  • Saved funding in the FY04 Budget for the Taunton Nursing Home by calling for an override of Governor Romney’s veto
  • Cosponsored legislation that established a Spinal Cord Injury Trust Fund which will help raise money for spinal cord research (Ch. 276 of the Acts of 2004)
  • Received the 2004 Legislator of the Year Award from the Mass Nurses Association.
  • Supported legislation to prohibit smoking in the workplace (Ch. 137 of the Acts of 2004)
  • Supported legislation to require college students to be immunized against meningitis (Ch 229 of the Acts of 2004)
  • Supported legislation to prevent school districts from prohibiting the possession of glucose monitoring devices and insulin delivery devices by students with diabetes (Ch 465 of the Acts of 2004)
  • Supported increased funding for MassHealth in the FY06 Budget, including funding for breast and cervical cancer programs, HIV programs, stroke awareness and prostrate screening initiatives.
  • Secured $44 million in subsidies to small businesses for health insurance costs and $47 million for substance abuse prevention in the FY06 Budget.
  • Secured funding for the Taunton Oral Health Clinic in the FY06 Budget.
  • Ensured that the Prescription Advantage program remained fully funded for FY06.
  • Secured $300,000 in additional funding for Morton Hospital in the FY06 Budget.
  • Supported “Nicole’s Law” which requires carbon monoxide in all residential buildings that contain fossil fuel burning equipment as well as other measures to help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. (Ch. 123 of the Acts of 2005)
  • Supported Stem Cell research legislation to ensure that research is conducted within a structured regulatory framework. (Ch 27 of the Acts of 2005)
  • Supported the Commonwealth’s landmark Health Care Reform legislation that extends health care access to approximately hundreds of thousands of uninsured individuals. (Ch 58 of the Acts of 2006)
  • Supported the restoration of dental and vision benefits to Masshealth recipients in the FY07 budget.
  • Secured $151,340 in grants for Local Councils on Aging.
  • Supported legislation in the Senate to allows individuals with clinical eligibility with income and resources insufficient to meet the cost of their care who seek admission to long-term care facilities to be given the choice of care setting that is the least restrictive and most appropriate to meet their needs. (Ch 211 of the Acts of 2006)
  • Supported legislation to implement a comprehensive, statewide plan to reduce deaths and injuries due to shaken baby syndrome. (Ch. 356 of the Acts of 2006)
  • Supported legislation requiring Automatic External Defibrillators (AED) at local health clubs. (Ch 420 of the Acts of 2006)
  • Sponsored legislation to create a Personal Care Attendant Quality Home Care Workforce Council aimed at helping seniors and people with disabilities to determine for themselves the care that best meets their needs. (Ch 268 of the Acts of 2006)
  • Supported legislation to license genetic counselors. (Ch 170 of the Acts of 2006)
  • Supported legislation expanding the buffer zones around reproductive health clinics to 35 feet. (Ch. 155 of the Acts of 2007)
  • Supported legislation to create a task force to move medical records to an electronic format. (Ch 130 of the Acts of 2007)
  • Supported technical changes to the Health Care Reform law in order to address disparities and strengthen the Health Care Quality and Cost Council. (Ch 205 of the Acts of 2007)
  • Supported legislation to extend confidentiality protections enjoyed by patients of psychiatrists and psychologists to the clients of mental health counselors. (Ch 142 of the Acts of 2007)
  • Supported legislation to give cities and towns the local option of purchasing health insurance for employees through the Group Insurance Commission. (Ch. 67 of the Acts of 2007)
  • Supported legislation to repeal the sunset provision for the 2004 law regarding the placement of newborns (Ch 86 of the Acts of 2007)
  • Sponsored an amendment to the FY08 Budget to create a Kidney Disease Task Force.
  • Sponsored an amendment to the FY08 Budget to secure $100,000 for a renal disease program administered by the National Kidney Foundation of Massachusetts.
  • Supported legislation protecting mothers who breastfeed in public from criminal charges (Ch 466 of the Acts of 2008).
  • As Vice Chair of Health Care Financing, worked to pass the Senate President’s Health Care Cost Containment package; Promotes the modernization of the health care system to reduce waste and inefficiencies; includes the adoption of electronic health records and uniform billing standards (Ch 305 of the Acts of 2008).
  • Supported Senate passage of a Human Service Provider rate adjustment (Ch 257 of the Acts of 2008).
  • Supported Senate passage of mental health parity legislation to include nine additional biologically based disorders into the State’s mental health parity laws (Ch 256 of the Acts of 2008).
  • Supported legislation to improve mental health services for children through increased screening and earlier identification of mental illnesses (Ch 321 of the Acts of 2008).
  • Secured a $300,000 grant from the state’s Essential Community Provider Trust Fund for Morton Hospital.
  • Supported legislation to prohibit a health care facility from charging a patient for services that resulted from a hospital acquired infection or other serious reportable event (Ch 58 of the Acts of 2009).
  • Supported legislation to improve access to oral health care by allowing dental hygienists to practice in public health settings, such as schools and nursing homes under dentists' supervision (Ch 70 of the Acts of 2009).
  • Sponsored legislation to allow for the licensure of volunteer dentists in order to improve access to dental services in low income or underserved areas (Ch 265 of the Acts of 2010).
  • Supported legislation to increase penalties for individuals that commit assault and battery on certain health care providers (Ch 151 of the Acts of 2010).
  • Supported legislation establishing an organ and tissue donor registration fund to facilitate the registration of residents as organ and tissue donors (Ch 190 of the Acts of 2010).
  • Supported legislation requiring the licensing of Nurse anesthetists by the Board of Registration in Nursing (Ch 191 of the Acts of 2010).
  • Supported legislation to protect nursing home residents by requiring that long term care facilities distribute to all residents, or their health care proxy, an informational document about the laws and regulations that govern nursing homes, rest homes and long-term care facilities (Ch 198 of the Acts of 2010).
  • Cosponsored legislation requiring insurance companies to cover evidence based treatments of Autism Spectrum Disorders (Ch 207 of the Acts of 2010).
  • Supported legislation to improve access to emergency mental health services by allowing licensed clinical social workers to apply for the emergency hospitalization of individuals that pose a danger to themselves or others (Ch 278 of the Acts of 2010).
  • Supported legislation to add additional safeguards to the Prescription Monitoring Program and furthering substance abuse education and prevention (Ch 238 of the Acts of 2010).
  • Supported legislation to allow relatives, doctors, or law enforcement officials to petition a court to have minors that abuse inhalants committed for up to 30 days of treatment in a state-approved rehabilitation facility (Ch 292 of the Acts of 2010).
  • Supported legislation to create a Silver Alert community response system to be used when an adult with serious memory impairment, such as Alzheimer's disease or other dementia is reported as a missing person to any police department in Massachusetts (Ch 300 of the Acts of 2010).
  • Supported a comprehensive legislative package aimed at stabilizing and controlling the health insurance costs for individuals and small businesses (Ch 288 of the Acts of 2010).