Thursday, March 17, 2016

Update on House Bill #1164: Stalled - To Be Refiled in 8 Months

While HB 1164 is Sent to Study, Legislative Director Sean Costello Says It will be Refiled Next Session

It is with some dismay that I convey House Bill #1164 has been sent to study. In essence, the Bill has been tabled.

I am disappointed by this development, but I certainly haven’t lost my fight. And Mr. Costello assures me the Bill will be re-filed.

This Bill would prosecute assault on a health care worker as a felony, rather than a misdemeanor as laws are currently written.

The news was communicated to me on 3/16/16 in an email from Legislative Director Sean Costello of Rep. Ayers’ office:
"I just spoke with the committee staffers and they have informed me that the bill has unfortunately been sent to study.

Well what does this mean?

Per Mass Legal Services: “Study orders seek to authorize the Committee to sit during recess and study this measure and similar ones and file a narrative report of its findings. Due to budgetary and staff constraints, though, study orders are seldom approved. The vast majority of bills sent to a study order do not progress any further in the legislative process.

I am disappointed by this development; however, I haven’t lost my fight.

Mr. Costello also wrote
"While the legislative process can often be drawn-out and confusing, I'm confident that we will get this bill to where it needs to be.
"However, as I said on the phone, this outcome does not mean our efforts have stopped; we will certainly be re-filing this in 8 months’ time…"

Mr. Costello and I will be meeting in April to plan on our next steps.

Stop Healthcare Violence will continue its campaign for healthcare worker safety, and we continue to invite your thoughts, feedback and support. 

I wish to thank everyone who has supported this fight for our healthcare safety.

Please keep this in the forefront; there is no reason why healthcare workers need to be assaulted. We have all seen the negative results   on our coworkers who have been attacked, and we need to continue fighting for our safety and that of our colleagues.

And as always, any thoughts or ideas on how to continue spreading the word and keeping the issue in the forefront, please let me know.

Sheila Wilson R.N. BSN MPH
Stop Healthcare Violence

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