L’ITALIEN SECURES FUNDING FOR STUDENTS WITH DYSLEXIA, ALZHEIMER’S AWARENESS, MEDICALLY NEEDY CHILDREN, AND MORE IN SENATE BUDGET

BOSTON, MA: The Massachusetts State Senate today passed the state budget, which included several amendments sponsored by 2nd Essex and Middlesex Senator Barbara L’Italien, D-Andover.

After three long days of debating budget amendments, the upper legislative chamber settled on a document to pass on to conference committee with the House. Among those amendments adopted into the budget were Amendment 199 – Improving Literacy Programs, Amendment 505 – Alzheimer’s Public Awareness, and 513 – Children with Complex Medical Needs II, all sponsored by State Senator L’Italien.

Senator L’Italien also secured funding in the Senate budget for several programs in the 2nd Essex and Middlesex District.

“I’m proud of the amendments I passed and the taxpayer money I was able to return to the communities in my district,” said L’Italien. “I’m thankful to my Senate colleagues for supporting my efforts to allocate much-needed funding for programs that do so much good in these communities, from economic development to public safety improvements. ”

Amendment 199 ensures that literacy and early literacy programs in public schools meet the need of children who have dyslexia or are at-risk for dyslexia.

“Dyslexia is one of the most common learning disorders, and so I am glad to help ensure that children with dyslexia get the services they need at school, starting at a young age,” said L’Italien.

Amendment 505 increases funding for the statewide Alzheimer’s Disease public awareness and education campaign. As recommended by the CDC, the campaign is designed to educate the public about early warning signs of the disease, access to patient services, the importance of early diagnosis, and the importance of family caregiver education and support.

“Dyslexia is one of the most common learning disorders, and so I am glad to help ensure that children with dyslexia get the services they need at school, starting at a young age,” said L’Italien.

Amendment 513 enables the Commonwealth to examine the costs associated with providing care for children whose comprehensive needs require constant 24-hour care.  The study will be completed by April 2018 and will help the commonwealth in determining how we can best care for these children at the lowest cost to MassHealth.

“Many families of the most medically needy children in Massachusetts, who require constant care, aren’t able to fill their hours of approved nursing,” said L’Italien. “Hopefully, we will be able to fill these hours, and allow these highly-skilled nurses to continue their profession, with adequate pay.”