bullet Joint Committee on Human Services and Elderly Affairs
bullet Executive Office of Health and Human Services
bullet Division of Medical Assistance
bullet Department of Mental Health
bullet Department of Mental Retardation
bullet Department of Public Health
bullet Department of Social Services
bullet Department of Transitional Assistance
bullet Department of Youth Services
bullet Massachusetts Commission for the Blind
bullet Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
bullet Massachusetts Office for Refugees and Immigrants
bullet Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission
bullet Massachusetts Office of Child Care Services
bullet Soldiers' Home-Chelsea
bullet Soldiers' Home-Holyoke




"It is the responsibility of our society to make sure that fellow residents are not left behind due to medical, mental, or financial setbacks."
 image of a child on a swing laughing
-Speaker Tom Finneran
Speaker Finneran knows that the Commonwealth provides the last safety net to its most needy residents. Massachusetts has an enviable network of health and social support services, ranging from health services for the indigent, to foster care programs for children, to retraining and education for welfare parents.

Tom Finneran has been a particularly vocal and long-time supporter of much of the Commonwealth's health and social support network. As Speaker, he oversaw the creation of the Children's Trust Fund in 1998. It has since emerged as the state's focal point for prevention policy and program development in helping the families of young children. Of the programs run by the Children's Trust Fund, Tom Finneran is a particularly strong supporter of Healthy Families, a voluntary home visiting program to support first-time parents who are under the age of 20. Home visiting has proven to reduce child abuse, improve educational and economic outcomes for parents, improve health outcomes for children, and reduce subsequent pregnancies among teenage mothers. To date, over 6,000 families throughout the Commonwealth have been served.

While he was Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, Tom Finneran helped to pass a law which helps young adults with severe disabilities who are still in need of services transition into the Commonwealth's adult human services program. Known as the Turning 22 Law, it provides for a two-year transitional process for those young adults who will lose their entitlement to special education upon graduation or reaching the age of 22, and it creates a single point of entry into the adult human services system by developing an Individual Transition Plan for every person with a severe disability who is found eligible.

Speaker Finneran has also worked with the Department of Social Services to increase adoption advertising efforts and to increase the amount of money given to foster parents to care for the children that the state entrusts to them.

In addition, he has worked alongside the Department of Mental Health to reduce the number of "stuck kids" in Massachusetts. Although these children are not sufficiently ill, they are stuck in psychiatric beds in hospitals instead of being cared for in group homes or as outpatients because the non-hospital programs have an insufficient number of open spaces. The Legislature has recently taken steps to increase non-hospital treatment options, creating better conditions for the affected children and saving money for the Commonwealth.

Speaker Finneran will continue his commitment to the people on the margins of society by supporting human services to the greatest extent allowed by our fiscal situation.

Voter Record: Human Services
Support Oppose Bill # and Explanation Date
 #   H. 5100. This amendment to the fiscal year 2003 budget funded substance abuse programs and other health education programs and services. House accepted amendment. (Y154 N0) 5/13/02
 #   H. 5100. This amendment to the fiscal year 2003 budget funded various family services such as foster care, family stabilization/reunification, and shelter and support services for women in domestically violent relationships. House passed. (Y154 N0) 5/13/02
 #   H. 5100. This amendment to the fiscal year 2003 budget funded programs for people with disabilities. House passed. (Y151 N0) 5/09/02
 #   H. 5100. This amendment to the fiscal year 2003 budget provided funding for elder service protections programs. House passed. (Y150 N0) 5/09/02
 #   H. 5100. This amendment to the fiscal year 2003 budget funded child and adolescent services such as foster care, health care, mental health care and adult support services such as mental health services and workman's compensation. 5/08/02
 #   H. 5100. This amendment to the fiscal year 2003 budget funded certain mental health care activities. House passed. (Y153 N0) 5/08/02
 #   This override of the Governor's veto of item 1599-6898 of section 2 of the fiscal year 2000 budget restored funds for human service providers. House passed. (Y154 N4) 11/17/99
 #   This override of the Governor's veto of item 4800-0018 of section 2 of the fiscal year 2000 budget restored funds for the family stabilization program. House passed. (Y134 N24) 11/17/99
 #   This override of the Governor's veto of section 285 of the fiscal year 2000 budget made allocations for welfare education and training. House passed. (Y135 N23) 11/17/99
 #   H. 1500. This bill made major changes in the state's welfare reform laws including adding a requirement that recipients with school-aged children find a job within 60 days or perform 20 hours per week in community service, a two-year limit on benefits for able-bodied recipients (later changed to allow recipients who are enrolled and an educational program to remain on the rolls longer), a 2.75 percent cut in benefits, and a ban on additional welfare benefits for welfare mothers who have additional children while on welfare. (Y133 N21) 2/9/95