Legislation

For a full list of bills I am filing in the current session, please visit my page the Massachusetts Legislature website at https://malegislature.gov/Legislators/Profile/PDJ0.

An Act establishing an educational mandate working group

Imposes a moratorium on new mandated education programs and expenses until July 1, 2018; establishes a 10 member Study Group, chaired by the chairpersons of the Joint Committee on Education, Arts and Humanities; directs the Study Group to compile a list of all mandates imposed on local schools and districts, determine their economic impact and file a report making recommendations relative to the streamlining, consolidation or elimination of said mandates with the legislature not later than 6 months after the Study Group's first meeting. No general or special law cited.
 

An act increasing the property tax deferral for seniors

This legislation proposes increasing the local option cap to $80,000. Certain homeowners 65 years of age and older currently have the option to defer paying their property taxes.  Under existing law, this is a local option that is capped at the maximum allowance under the senior circuit breaker for a single person who is not head of household ($57,000 for t/y 2016).  Given the high cost-of-living in MA, this is low & penalizes "house rich & cash poor” seniors living on fixed incomes which exceed the threshold.
 

An Act protecting senior citizens from third party tax collection

The legislation would protect senior homeowners by preventing the sale of their tax liens to third-party collectors.  Other tools remain for municipalities to collect property taxes but the use of third-party debt collectors often use tactics that confuse and intimidate elderly homeowners.
 

An Act protecting elders and persons with disabilities

Legislation would prevent caregivers from working the moment a criminal investigation is launched, and if they are found guilty or their cases are continued without a finding, the caregivers’ licenses would be permanently suspended.
 
They also would be barred from ever working with the elderly, children, and people with disabilities, even if their cases were continued without a finding, and would be fined if they tried to seek work as a caregiver with a suspended license.
 
Filed after WCVB Channel 5 investigative reports of elder abuse in which perpetrators could continue to work in a caregiving setting. http://www.wcvb.com/article/lawmaker-files-bill-to-curtail-elder-abuse/8233057
 

Resolve to examine cost trends and financial performance among nursing facilities

This asks the Center for Health Information and Analysis, in consultation with MassHealth, the Department of Elder Affairs, and the Health Policy Commission, to examine cost trends and financial performance among nursing facilities.

 

An act relative to small house nursing homes

Small house nursing homes (most notably the Green House modelTM) are an innovative model of care designed to create a more homelike environment for 10-14 individuals needing a nursing home level of care.  
 
This legislation would require the Department of Public Health to develop regulations specific to small houses and would incentivize development of them by establishing an add-on to the Medicaid reimbursement rate in recognition of the additional capital costs involved in design and construction.
 

An Act relative to rest homes

This legislation requires the Department of Public Health to separate regulations for Level IV rest homes (affordable, supportive housing for older adults and others who are unable to live independently but do not need intensive skilled services of nursing facilities) from the long term care licensing regulations.  Having separate regulations for these two types of long term care settings would ensure that regulations are consistent with updated care practices and reflect the unique needs of the population that live in rest homes. 
 
Inappropriate regulations for the rest home setting and inadequate rates threaten continued existence of rest homes.
 

An act preserving special needs trusts for disabled seniors

This bill would enable disabled older adults over 65 to continue to use special needs pooled trusts without penalty to pay for important services and care not covered by MassHealth.
 

An Act relative to LGBT awareness training for aging service providers

This bill would require the Executive Office of Elder Affairs to develop a curriculum and training program for delivery of accessible and appropriate services by caregivers and institutions to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender older adults and their caregivers.  The curriculum would focus on the prevention and elimination of discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression as well as on improving access to services.
 

An Act authorizing the option of providing basic commons sense health services for residents of assisted

This legislation authorizes assisted living residences to exercise an option to provide an expanded set of basic health services to its residents: providing injections, such as Insulin; managing oxygen; application of drops or ointments; and/or changing a dressing and managing wound care.  Before permitting nurses to provide direct care for one or more of these services, the assisted living residence would have to apply for authorization to do so through the Executive Office of Elder Affairs.