Program could halt ‘revolving door’ of jail facing those with mental illness Newburyport News

BOSTON – Looking for an exit from the “revolving door” of people with mental health disorders going back and forth from emergency rooms to the streets or jail, advocates asked lawmakers on Tuesday to help create a “restoration center” in Middlesex County.

The center would be a facility that provides treatment, including detox and beds, and offers police a place to bring those suffering from mental illness, according to June Binney, director of criminal justice diversion for the National Alliance on Mental Illness Massachusetts.

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Hundreds attend Arlington solidarity gathering wake of Charlottesville Arlington Advocate

Naomi Greenfield, the Arlington Human Rights Committee member who organized the event, stood next to State Senator Cindy Friedman, D-Arlington, microphone in hand, and addressed the crowd of over 200 in front of her. She introduced the night’s action items: writing postcards to elected officials, writing letters to residents of Charlottesville, Virginia in the wake of a deadly white supremacist rally last weekend, signing a “Commitment to Change” poster that will hang in the Robbins Library and creating posters for a counter-protest planned in response to an Aug. 19 “free speech rally” that some people fear is actually a white nationalist rally similar to the one in Virginia.

Friedman spoke at the beginning of the gathering, before everyone dispersed to action stations. She described her own sadness about the events that occurred in Charlottesville and called for action after the gathering ended.

“We move forward only to find ourselves coming back to the same issues,” Friedman said. “We are responsible for being voices of tolerance and understanding. We all need to expand tonight’s actions and we’ll need to put ourselves out there.”

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Unity and Empowerment at Inaugural Women in the Workforce Breakfast Restaurant Opportunities Center United

This week, ROC United and ROC-Boston held the Inaugural Women in the Workplace Breakfast. The event offered a unique opportunity to learn how to get involved in the growing movement for dignity and fairness for women in the workforce, particularly in Massachusetts’ restaurant industry.

Attendees heard powerful and insightful remarks and reflections from an all-women panel of speakers including ROC & National League for Nursing members-leaders Rachael Collins and Marie Billiel, Executive Chef & Co-Owner of Bon Me, Ali Fong, Executive Director & CEO of the National Women’s Law Center, Fatima Goss Graves, Massachusetts Senator Cindy F. Friedman, and Director of the Harvard Labor & Worklife Program, Sharon Block.

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Informal sessions on Beacon Hill scheduled for August 22 News

Formal sessions, where the full legislature meets typically to debate or vote on legislation, are not scheduled this month. However, lawmakers can still meet in informal sessions, which helps keep bills moving along in the process.The legislature can schedule informal sessions where they usually take up non-controversial legislation and help ensure bills are moving along in the process.

“If we didn’t meet, they would just come to a halt,” State Sen. Cindy Friedman explained. “So the informal sessions allow us to continue with housekeeping.”

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State’s tax revenue for July larger than initially estimated 22 News

BOSTON (WWLP) – The state is starting off the new fiscal year slightly above benchmark in revenue collections, after experiencing a revenue shortfall last fiscal year.Revenue collections for the month of July totaled about $1.8 billion, according to the state’s Department of Revenue. This puts the state $6 million above July’s expectations.

Arlington State Senator Cindy Friedman told 22News she hopes that the legislature restores spending in areas including criminal justice, mental health and substance abuse treatment programs.

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Friedman assigned chair of Senate Public Service Committee Your Arlington

“Cindy is a true public servant and community leader, and I know she will carry on the legacy of our late colleague, Senator Ken Donnelly, by standing up for working families and creating legislation that will make a lasting impact in their lives,” Rosenberg said in a news release. “I look forward to working with Cindy and her staff in the weeks ahead to build on the legacy of Senator Donnelly and work tirelessly on behalf of those without a voice.”

Friedman said: “I’m humbled and honored to be elected the new state senator for the 4th Middlesex district and am incredibly grateful to the voters that put their faith in me to succeed my good friend and late colleague, Ken Donnelly.”

“Now more than ever, state government and public engagement matters. I’m eager to work with my constituents and Senate colleagues to preserve all of the work we have done and ensure that, moving forward, everyone in our Commonwealth has access to equal economic opportunities, affordable healthcare, and quality education that will allow them to succeed.”

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Legislature rejects Baker’s MassHealth plan Lowell Sun

GOV. BAKER’S MASSHEALTH CHANGES (H.3822) — House 41-116, Senate 32-6 rejected Gov. Charlie Baker’s proposal to make some major changes to MassHealth, the state’s Medicaid program that provides health care for approximately 1.4 million qualified low-income and disabled persons.

Supporters said Baker’s plan is a humane and responsible approach and argued that under the changes, not a single person would lose coverage, and low-income families would continue to have access to zero-premium health plans.

Opponents said the Legislature just a few days ago held a hearing on these changes and argued more time is needed to consider strategies to control cost growth in MassHealth and the entire health care system. Others said changes will kick 100,000 working parents off MassHealth in favor of more expensive insurance with less coverage.

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