from Betsy McCarthy, Chair of the Massachusetts Legislative Task Force:
Please read below for bills regarding hearing aids and ASL interpreters – just four of the many bills filed in this new legislative session. A new Legislative Session has begun in Massachusetts and co-sponsors for bills are due by the end of this week, Friday February 3, 2017.
Representative Scibak has re-filed his hearing aid bills. Links to the brief description are listed below. Text is not yet available but a list of Rep. Scibak’s bills is found at https://malegislature.gov/Legislators/Profile/JWS1/190/Bills/Sponsored
- HD567 provides coverage for hearing aids
- HD596 would provide a tax credit
Senator Welch has re-filed two ASL interpreter related bills: SD1439 and SD1668. Please note these are docket numbers; they will receive an official bill number after being assigned to committee. Links to the current text and brief description are listed below.
- SD1439: clarifies the definition of a qualified interpreter. https://malegislature.gov/Bills/190/SD1439
- SD1668: establishes licensing of interpreters by MCDHH. https://malegislature.gov/Bills/190/SD1668
You can find your legislators and their contact information at https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator. When you call to ask them to sponsor one of the bills listed above, we strongly suggest you use that time to request an appointment to meet them in person on the afternoon of March 13th following the annual Deaf and Hard of Hearing Constituents Day, scheduled from 10am-noon (I’ll send information about that event in a separate email).
A comprehensive summary of “bills of interest” to the D/HH community will be prepared once assigned to committee. The bills listed above are of particular interest and focus for the Legislative Task Force. We will also update the Hearing Aid bill Fact Sheet.
Additionally, if you want to look for other bills, only those filed by Senators are searchable by keyword whereas bills filed in the House have to be looked up on the page of the representative who filed it or has signed on as a co-sponsor. https://malegislature.gov/Bills/Search.
If you have any questions, please contact Betsy McCarthy, Chair of the Legislative Task Force, at email@example.com.