Act Preserving Special Needs Trusts for Disabled Seniors (S629/H2074) This bill would enable disabled seniors to continue to use special needs pooled trusts without penalty to pay for important services and care not covered by MassHealth. On the death of the disabled beneficiary, trust assets are to reimburse the State for MassHealth benefits paid (with a small amount paid to the non-profit administering the pooled trust); $8 million dollars reimbursed last year.
The WBA supports Act Relative to Determining the Best Interest of Children In Probate and Family Court (S775/H3045) which would provide judges guidance that is child friendly factors.
The WBA opposes Act Relative to Child-Centered Family law (Shared Parenting) which would harm children because it would usurp and override the Court's practice of using the "best interest of the child" standard when deciding child custody.
An Act to Protect Access to Confidential Healthcare (SD1174/HD3059) would establish mechanisms to ensure that, when multiple people re on the same insurance plan, confidential health care information (Explanation of Benefits-EOBs) is not shared with anyone other than the patient to protect victims of domestic violence or young adults or minors seeking medical or counseling care.
An Act Relative to Healthy Youth (SD912/HD2653) which, for schools providing sexuality education, requires a age-appropriate, medically accurate sexual health curriculum, including making healthy decisions about relationships and sexuality.
Act to Reduce Sexual Exploitation of Victims of Human Trafficking (S906/H766) affords a human trafficking survivor the ability to file a motion vacating conviction for any misdemeanor crime. The burden is on the survivor to prove that there is a "reasonable probability" that the offense was the result of being a victim.
An Act Relative to Elective Share of Surviving Spouses - The WBA/MBA/BBA-drafted bill (S809) modernizes property rights of surviving spouses; under current law a spouse has stronger rights to marital property if s/he divorces rather than stays married. The bill provides safeguards against evasion, notice, right to know the decedent's assets and procedural rules absent from current law.
The WBA supports an Act to Improve Healthcare for Young Women (S754/H893) to allow minors' abortion choice with counseling alone rather than parental consent and which would reduce the age to which 12S applies to sixteen.
An Act to Promote Employment (S35/H3139) would help unemployed parents receiving welfare to get the education and training they need to get and keep a job by requiring DTA to inform of and screen for existing appropriate programs and allow 24 months for basic education and vocational programs (already allowed for college programs).