On Wednesday, March 13th 2019, the Massachusetts State House of Representatives passed legislation to ban conversion therapy on minors and legislation to expand access to public assistance for families. Both bills were priorities of mine this session (and past sessions) and I am excited vote for them to pass the House. More information about each can be found below.

Lifting the Cap on Kids

H. 104 – An Act to lift the cap on kids

  • This bill repeals a 1990’s punitive welfare reform that did not allow a family to receive additional welfare benefits for children born after the family started to receive benefits.
  • The current law means that parents have to split meager benefits meant for one child between two children. Parents typically receive $100 per month per child.
  • The bill directs that the Department of Transitional Assistance, which oversees the program, to implement the changes by 9/1/19 with aid retroactive to 1/1/2019.

Banning Conversion Therapy

H. 140 – An Act relative to abusive practices to change sexual orientation

  • Prohibits health care providers from advertising for or engaging in efforts that attempt or purport to impose change on the sexual orientation or gender identity of a patient less than 18 years of age.
  • The controversial conversion therapy that this legislation would ban has been used to try to “convert” someone who is LGBTQ to being heterosexual, treating a person’s sexuality as an illness rather than a part of who they are.


Frank L Gibson · March 17, 2019 at 7:12 am

Hi Jay — So far, these issues have not come up here on your island home, to my knowledge. In the welfare, because we have no state programs for welfare and only federal nutrition assistance program and medicaid. The government does seem to be continuously working to provide more benefits to more people. For the sex conversion, it does not appear to be happening here. The community seems more understanding and I emphasize it in my EEO/Sexual Harassment training.
I commend you for your stance on such matters.
When will you visit next?

    Jay Livingstone · March 27, 2019 at 3:03 pm

    Thanks Frank. Great to hear from you. I would love to visit with my family (there are now four of us), I am not sure when.

Alexandra harvey · March 25, 2019 at 8:33 am

Please change my email address to harvalexandra@gmail.com. My yahoo address was hacked.

    Jay Livingstone · March 27, 2019 at 3:03 pm

    Thanks, will do.

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