ACTION ALERT from the Mass. Coalition for the Homeless:
Please help us push the Massachusetts House of Representatives to ease access to Mass IDs for people experiencing homelessness by signing and sharing our latest call to action to House Speaker Robert DeLeo and House Ways and Means Chair Jeffrey Sánchez. The one-minute online action asks them to strongly support passage of Senate Bill 2568, An Act to provide identification to homeless youth and families. The legislation would eliminate the $25 fee and reduce verification barriers to accessing Massachusetts identification cards by people experiencing homelessness.
The bill unanimously was passed by the Senate on June 28th and was assigned to the House Committee on Ways and Means on July 2nd. The Legislature is scheduled to end formal sessions on July 31st, so your swift action is vital. (The House version of the bill, House Bill 2737, also is awaiting action by the House Ways and Means.)
Why is passing this bill important? Obtaining a state identification card is a critical first step for youth and adults experiencing homelessness to accomplish typical life tasks and access opportunities. ID is required for a broad range of life activities, such as:
· Applying for jobs
· Enrolling in education programs
· Getting a library card
· Picking up a package from the post office
· Opening financial accounts
· Entering certain government buildings
· Accessing services
· Interacting with law enforcement
The bill calls on the Registry of Motor Vehicles to waive the $25 fee for Mass IDs for applicants who are experiencing homelessness, and to accept alternative verifications of Massachusetts residency from state agencies and social service agencies.
Special thanks to the lead legislative sponsors, Senate President Harriette Chandler of Worcester and Representative Kay Khan of Newton.
To read more about the #EveryoneNeedsID campaign, please go to www.mahomeless.org/
As the Conference Committee budget also has not been released yet, our budget action from earlier this week still is active. See below for more details or click here.
Thank you for your collaboration.