MNA Approved Bills 2013-2014

A new legislative session began on January 2, 2013.  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.

2013-2014 MNA Legislative Agenda

An Act Relative to Patient Safety 
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.. 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. Full Text of the Patient Safety Act, Our New Bill to Require Safe Patient Limits for All Areas of the Hospital.

An Act Requiring Health Care Employers to Develop and Implement Programs to Prevent Workplace Violence 
Sponsors: Sen. Jim Timilty (D-Walpole)/Rep. Mike Brady (D-Brockton)
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 Relating to Liability Protection for Disaster Volunteers
Sponsors: Representative Sean Garballey (D-Arlington)
This bill would grant licensed registered nurses, serving as volunteers in emergency or disaster declared periods, protections related to licensure board discipline, civil and/or criminal liability and/or prosecution for injury or harm caused to a patient cared for or to themselves while serving as a volunteer.

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 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 Giving Patients and the Community Fair and Reasonable Notification of Closure of Hospital Services
Sponsors: Sen. Jennifer Flanagan (D-Leominster)

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: Rep. Ed Coppinger (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. Aaron Vega (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. Claire Cronin (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.