MNA Approved Bills 2011-2012

A new legislative session began on January 5, 2011.  Below is a list of bills filed by the MNA, along with their key sponsors.  These bills are still being entered by the House and Senate Clerks and do not yet have numbers assigned.  This information will be updated as it becomes available.

2011-2012 MNA Legislative Agenda

An Act Relative to Patient Safety
Download Flyer
Sponsors: Sen. Marc Pacheco (D-Taunton)/Rep. Christine Canavan, RN (D-Brockton)

This bill would require the Department of Public Health to set a limit on the number of hospital patients a nurse is forced to care for at one time, and ban the practice of Mandatory Overtime. In addition, the bill includes language that would require hospitals, nursing homes, clinics etc. to report various kinds of nursing-related data to the state to enable purchasers of group health insurance policies and health care services and the general public to make meaningful quality-of-care comparisons.

An Act Protecting Patients from Preventable Medical Errors by Prohibiting Mandatory Overtime 
Download Flyer
Sponsors: Sen. Jack Hart (D-Boston)/Rep. Jim O’Day (D-W. Boylston)

This legislation would eliminate the dangerous and increasingly common practice of mandatory overtime in hospitals. Evidence-based research clearly demonstrates that when bedside RNs work too many exhaustive continuous hours, mistakes, complications and medical errors become more common. This costs the health care system more money and harms patients.

An Act Requiring Health Care Employers to Develop and Implement Programs to Prevent Workplace Violence
Download Flyer
Sponsors: Sen. Jim Timilty (D-Walpole)/Rep. Mike Costello (D-Newburyport)

This bill would require health care employers to annually perform a risk assessment and, based on those findings, develop and implement programs to minimize the danger of workplace violence to employees and to patients.

An Act Relative to Creating a Difficult to Manage Unit within the Department of Mental Health
Sponsors: Rep. Pat Haddad (D-Somerset)

This legislation would create a "Difficult to Manage" unit for women within the Department of Mental Health and reinstate the "Difficult to Manage" unit for men.

An Act Providing for Safe Patient Handling
Sponsors: Sen. Harriette Chandler (D-Worcester)/Rep. Denise Garlick (D-Needham)

This bill would set acceptable standards for the lifting and handling of patients to curb the high rate of injuries incurred by RNs doing such activities.

An Act Giving Patients and the Community Fair and Reasonable Notification of Closure of Hospital Services
Sponsors: Sen. Jennifer Flanagan (D-Leominster)/Rep. Steve DiNatale (D-Fitchburg)

This legislation would increase the amount of notice a hospital has to give the general public if they plan on closing services or the facility itself from 90 days to 6 months. This will help give the community and patients a more reasonable timeframe in which to try to save the services and/or the hospital, or to be sure adequate alternatives are in place.

An Act to Ensure Safe Medication Administration
Sponsor: Sen. Marc Pacheco (D-Taunton)

This legislation would prohibit unlicensed personnel from distributing medications.

An Act Relative to Improvements in Private Duty Nursing Care for Developmentally Disabled Children
Sponsor: Sen. Steve Tolman (D-Boston)

This legislation would provide expert nursing care to all developmentally disabled children eligible to receive private duty nursing care.

An Act Relative to Group 2 Employees
Sponsor: Rep. Michael Kane (D-Holyoke)

This legislation would include in group 2, for purposes of retirement, state employees who care for the mentally ill, mentally retarded, chronically psychologically impaired or those with chronic infectious disease.

An Act to Include Certain Municipal Employees of the Commonwealth in Group 2 of the Contributory Retirement System for Public Employees
Sponsor: Rep. Tim Toomey (D-Cambridge)

This legislation would entail classifying licensed nursing care employees of cities and towns in group 2 of the Public Employees Retirement System.

An Act Relative to Interest Arbitration for Health Care Professionals
Sponsor: Sen. Tom McGee (D-Lynn)

This legislation would make arbitration for a bargaining unit employed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts binding, provided that the scope is limited to wages, hours and conditions of employment.

An Act Relative to Creditable Service for School Nurses
Sponsor: Rep. Geraldine Creedon (D-Brockton)

This legislation would allow a school nurse to purchase up to 3 years of service for any period or periods of work experience in the nursing field.