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Recap: CLM's Testimony at Hearing from Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities

June 22, 2023
June 22, 2023

On Tuesday, June 13th, CLM and our members presented public testimony and submitted written testimony at a hearing conducted by the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities regarding three key bills from CLM's policy agenda:

  1. An Act to eliminate disproportionality and inequities for at-risk children (H.153/S.120)
  2. An Act relative to a livable wage for human services workers (S.84 / H.191)
  3. An act establishing an education loan repayment program for human services workers (H.214/S.77).

Rachel Gwaltney, CLM's Executive Director presented public testimony on An Act to eliminate disproportionality and inequities for at-risk children. With the passage of this bill, CLM hopes to drastically improve our state's ability to use data to target and dismantle policies and practices across all child-serving state agencies in Massachusetts that perpetuate disproportionality, systemic racism, and discrimination in the sector. Gwaltney stated, "Children and families are rarely served by just one agency. Despite some efforts in a few places, the Commonwealth is missing opportunities to use data across child-serving agencies not only to identify these serious disparities, but then to do the hard work to dismantle the disproportionately poor outcomes for specific demographic groups of children."

Lydia Todd, Executive Director of NFI Massachusetts presented testimony regarding An Act relative to a livable wage for human services workers. This bill would eliminate the pay disparity that exists between the salaries of human services workers employed by community-based human service providers and state employees holding similar job titles who perform similar work. Passing this legislation would ensure nonprofits are able to "remain competitive with similar positions and fill vacancies, while encouraging ... current staff to stay, providing more continuity for clients, reducing the economic burden on non-profit agencies, and allowing staff to truly develop their skills," explained Todd.

JRI also presented testimony regarding An act establishing an education loan repayment program for human services workers. This bill would help human service organizations recruit and retain a stronger, more qualified workforce.

**To view a recording of the hearing, click here.**


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