Gov. Baker Holds Bill Signing for Patient First Health Care Bill
Gov. Charles Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito joined Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders to participate in a ceremonial signing of S.2984, An Act Promoting a Resilient Health Care System That Puts Patients First.
Baker and Polito were also joined by Sen. Cindy Friedman, Sen. Julian Cyr, and Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr to participate in the ceremonial signing. Baker also acknowledged the work of Speaker of the House Ronald Mariano, Senate President Karen Spilka, and other legislators for their work in advancing this comprehensive health care legislation.
The new law increases insurance coverage for telehealth services, expands the scope of practice for nurse practitioners, other specialized nurses, and optometrists, and takes steps to protect consumers from surprise medical bills. Recognizing the continuing impacts of COVID-19, the law also extends requirements for all insurance carriers in Massachusetts to cover COVID-19 testing and treatment. In addition, the legislation takes several steps to increase MassHealth member access to urgent care sites, including eliminating referral requirements before urgent care visits and requirements for care coordination with the member’s primary care physician.
Gov. Baker Signs Police Reform Bill
Gov. Charles Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito joined legislators and public safety officials to participate in a ceremonial signing of S.2963, An Act Relative to Justice, Equity and Accountability in Law Enforcement in the Commonwealth.
Baker and Polito were also joined by Senate President Karen Spilka, Speaker of the House Ronald Mariano, Sen. William Brownsberger, Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz, Rep. Claire Cronin, Rep. Russell Holmes, Rep. Chynah Tyler, MA Chiefs of Police Association President Ed Dunne, and former MA Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers President Larry Ellison to participate in the ceremonial signing.
The legislation will create a mandatory certification process for police officers, increases accountability and transparency in law enforcement and gives police departments a greater ability to hire or promote only qualified applicants. The new law also identifies the general circumstances under which police officers can use physical force, and places strict limits on the use of so-called ‘no-knock warrants.’ In addition, the legislation requires law enforcement to seek a court order when conducting a facial recognition search except in emergency situations.