Action Alert: Senate Budget Advocacy This Week!

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This week, until Friday 12 noon, is the time to contact our senators to request their co-sponsorship of Senate budget amendments.  Your call or email as an agency and your call as a constituent matter greatly.
A sample email or calling script is below for your convenience. 

Find your State Senator’s contact information.

Western MA Network to End Homelessness’ Priority Senate Budget Amendments:

#715 – Mass. Rental Voucher Program (MRVP), filed by Senator Brendan Crighton with Senator Jim Welchto fund MRVP at $130 million
#797 – RAFT, filed by Senator Patricia Jehlen with Senator Jim Welch to increase funding to $27 million to create a rent arrearage pilot program to prevent evictions
#860 – Homeless Individuals Assistance, filed by Senator Joseph Boncore to fund individual emergency shelters at $53.35 million, especially critical to keep Western MA shelters sufficiently funded
#831 – Housing Consumer Education Centers (HCECs), filed by Senator Brendan Crighton to fund HCECs at $4 million
#1136 – Regional Transit Authorities, filed by Senator Harriet Chandler with Senator Jim Welch to provide $90.5 million in base funding, the level recommended in the RTA Task Force Report 
#840  – Mass Hire One Stop Career Centers, filed by Senator Donald Humason to fund Career Centers at $6.5 million
#464 – Mass ID Access, filed by Senator Harriet Chandler with Senator Jim Welch to allow people experiencing homelessness to obtain a Mass ID through provider verification and without a fee
#815 – Berkshire Winter Overflow Shelter, filed bySenator Adam Hinds to provide $150,000 in emergency winter shelter funds for Berkshire County  
#731- Western MA Network to End Homelessness, filed by Senator Jo Comerford with Senators Gobi, Humason, Lesser and Welch, to fund the Network at $75,000

Sample email/call scriptDear Senator [insert name] [if calling: Hi, my name is ___ and I’m calling from ___ (city/town) from the Senator’s district – talking to whoever answers the phone is fine!]
First, thank you for your support to prevent and end homelessness in Western MA.  Your support is greatly appreciated!
I am writing now to ask you to co-sponsor the following amendments to the Senate budget [copy and insert the Amendment list above or read over the phone].

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please note if you are writing one of the Senators already supportive of the amendment, e.g., Senator Jim Welch from Springfield who has already signed on to many amendments, ideally you would adapt your email to say “thanks so much for your support of so many of these Amendments.”  Note also where Senator Humason supports Career Centers and almost all our Senators support the Network funding amendment.  Just add a quick note of thanks to the relevant amendments, depending on who you are writing or calling.

Legislator contact makes a HUGE difference.  Please take 5 minutes to make our collective Network voices heard.

To learn more about other important statewide advocacy efforts, please see:
CHAPA update
Mass Coalition for the Homeless Update

The Senate will begin debate on its budget early the week of May 20. Please contact your senator this week and we’ll be in touch next week.

Thanks for your partnership!