Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Bill Passes State House

Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Bill Passes State House

News from the Mass Coalition for the Homeless:

Dear Concerned Advocates: 

We are very excited to share with you some great news: this morning (Dec. 11), the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed the unaccompanied youth homelessness bill, House Bill 4517. Now the bill will move on for a vote by the State Senate!
Today's vote came after the House Committee on Bills in the Third Reading made minor changes to the bill and gave its approval. On the floor of the House, the bill was further amended when a proposal by House Minority Leader Brad Jones was adopted. The bill, as amended, was passed to be engrossed. We are hopeful that the Senate will take up the bill when they reconvene for an informal session next week.
Here are next steps in helping to ensure that the bill crosses the finish line and is signed into law by the Governor.

Your relentless advocacy for this bill has been tremendous! Thank you to everyone who has been advocating with us for passage of this bill, and its predecessor bills, since the start of the 2011-2012 legislative session. We are so close now, but we need to keep up the momentum.  Please take a few minutes to reach out to your legislators at the State House. 
Please call:
  1. Your State Senator, asking her or him to weigh in with Senate Leadership and vote in support of the unaccompanied youth homelessness bill, House Bill 4517. The current bill language is here and the fact sheet is here.
  2. Your State Representative, thanking her or him for supporting the youth homelessness bill.
To find out who your elected officials are, please go to www.wheredoivote.com. The State House switchboard number is 617-722-2000.
Special thanks to these Representatives in particular:
  • House Speaker Robert DeLeo of Winthrop
  • Representative Brian Dempsey of Haverhill, Chair of the House Committee on Ways and Means
  • Representative Jim O'Day of West Boylston, the bill's main sponsor and member of the Special Commission on Unaccompanied Homeless Youth
  • Representative Ted Speliotis of Danvers, Chair of the House Committee on Bills in the Third Reading 
  • Representative Kay Khan of Newton, House Chair of the Joint Committee on Children, Families, and Persons with Disabilities and member of the Special Commission on Unaccompanied Homeless Youth
Please stay tuned in the week ahead for further updates and opportunities for advocacy. 
Thank you for your continued support and solidarity!

With gratitude,
Kelly Turley
Director of Legislative Advocacy
781-595-7570 x17   

Endorsed by the Homelessness Task Team of the MACUCC


Sister Linda Bessom

Linda Bessom, SND, is the Senior Community Organizer for the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless. She represents the Coalition on the MACUCC's Task Force to End Homelessness.

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