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Friday, May 15, 2015

Important Legislative Action Alert from MAC: Please Write to Your State Senator Today!

From Mass. Advocates for Children (MAC)

May 15, 2015 

Find your legislators at www.wheredoivotema.com


Dear friends,

We need your help!

We are asking you to take action on three (3) Senate Ways and Means budget items:
  • Funding for Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment grant program;

BUDGET ITEM #1: ICE BUDGET AMENDMENT

The Senate budget was released today, and allocates $1 million for the Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment (ICE) program, which provides support for students with intellectual disabilities and autism to achieve their educational and career goals in a college. As you know, we have been advocating for sufficient funding for ICE to maintain and expand this important program into more communities.

Now is the time to contact members of the Senate, asking them to support Senator Creem’s ICE budget amendment for a $500,000 increase.

Please call or email your own Senator and pass this alert on to others so they can call as well. It is best if calls and e-mails are made by Friday, May 15th, as the Senate will vote the following week.

For talking points and more information about the alert, please visit http://massadvocates.org/advocacy-alert-2015-budget-fund-ice/.

Please personalize the template at the bottom of this advocacy alert below, and copy and paste it into an email to your legislator. Please share this alert with your friends, family, and colleagues. Your calls and emails have a real impact!

BUDGET ITEM #2: SAFE AND SUPPORTIVE SCHOOLS

Unfortunately, funding for Safe and Supportive Schools (line item 7061-9612) was eliminated in the Senate Ways and Means budget! Thankfully, Senator Anthony Petruccelli will be filing a budget amendment to fund this line item at $750,000.

Therefore, just as we did for the House budget, we are writing with an URGENT request to please email your Senator and ask him or her to co-sponsor Senator Petruccelli's amendment. You can easily send an email to your Senator by clicking here.

(If your browser does not allow clickable links, copy and paste this url to send an email: http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/50824/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=16735)

Your budget advocacy was successful in the House, where Representative Balser’s budget amendment for Safe and Supportive Schools got 68 co-sponsors and was included in the final House budget at $300,000. This is living proof: emailing your legislators really does make a difference!

Please email your Senator right away so that we can demonstrate a strong showing of support for Senator Petruccelli's amendment. And note: customizing your email makes it much more effective! Take just a few extra seconds to tell your Senator why you care about Safe and Supportive Schools.

As always, feel free to forward this request broadly, and encourage others to email their Senators to support Senator Petruccelli's amendment.

BUDGET ITEM #3: CIVIL LEGAL AID

We are at a critical moment for civil legal aid. Yesterday, the Senate Ways & Means Committee released its budget recommendations for Fiscal Year 2016, allocating only $15 million for civil legal aid.

That's significantly less than the amount requested by Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC), and falls far short of the amount needed to ensure that more low-income individuals and families can access vital legal advice and representation.

Contact your senator NOW and ask him/her to co-sponsor Senator Brownsberger's amendment to increase the appropriation for civil legal aid by $5 million. Every voice counts. Please act today.

By taking this simple action, you will help us get closer to the promise of equal justice for all in the Commonwealth.

Thank you for your continued support and advocacy.

Thanks!

Jerry

Jerry Mogul
Executive Director
Mass. Advocates for Children

..................................................................

Legislative Letter Template

Subject: ICE budget 7009-9600

[Date]

Dear Senator_____,

I am writing to you at this time in hopes that you will support Senator Creem’s budget amendment increase of $500,000 in funding for the Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment (ICE) Initiative (Line Item 7009-9600). As you may know, this initiative supports existing and new partnerships between high schools and institutes of higher education to provide students with intellectual disabilities and with autism the opportunity to participate in college courses with supports and services they may need to be successful with their peers. This initiative increases school and work success for the youth and helps them to be successful when they exit special education at age 22.

[You can add personal information here (i.e if you are a parent of a child with a disability, educator, relative, neighbor, etc.) ]

Thank you so much for considering this request.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

[Your Name]
[Your Address]

Find your legislators at www.wheredoivotema.com

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