Action Alert

Earlier this week, the House Ways & Means Committee released its 2018 state budget proposal for the fiscal year that will begin on July 1stThe House Ways & Means (HWM) budget includes recommendations for funding for programs and services provided by the state, including many that affect youth, our schools, and the courts.

Unfortunately, some of the House Ways & Means Committee’s recommendations do not provide sufficient funding for several programs that Massachusetts Appleseed supports.

Representatives are filing amendments to the budget this week seeking increased funding for these and other programs. YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE by contacting your state representative and asking them to co-sponsor the budget amendments listed below:

  • Homeless Youth
    The HWM budget proposes eliminating line item 4000-0007, which currently provides $2 million for housing and services for unaccompanied youth and young adults. As a member of the Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Commission, Massachusetts Appleseed is supporting a budget amendment that would provide $4 million in funding for this line item in the fiscal year 2018 budget, as well as explicit language and funding in line item 4000-0003 for the work of the Commission on Unaccompanied Homeless Youth and the annual Massachusetts Youth Count. Representative Jim O’Day of West Boylston plans to file two youth homelessness amendments. You can find out more about funding for unaccompanied homeless youth here.
  • Safe and Supportive Schools
    With a recommended appropriation of only $200,000, the proposed budget cuts funding in half for the Safe and Supportive Schools line item (7061-9612).  Representative Ruth Balser of Newton is filing a budget amendment to fund this line item at $400,000. This will restore critical funding for these programs. You can find out more about funding for Safe and Supportive Schools here.
  • Housing Court Expansion
    While the Governor included $1 million to provide for statewide Housing Court in his FY18 budget, the House Ways & Means Committee did not include anyfunding for Housing Court expansion in its proposed budget. Representative Chris Walsh of Framingham will be filing amendments seeking $1.2 million and the authorization to start housing court expansion in January 2018.  Click here for a fact sheet with more information about the importance of statewide Housing Court.
  • Legal Aid Programs
    While the HWM budget would provide an increase in funding for theMassachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (“MLAC”), which funds civil legal aid programs in Massachusetts, the total would be $3.5 million less than requested. Civil legal aid programs already turn away 64% of eligible cases due to lack of funding. This means that more than 54,000 eligible people are turned away each year — over 33,000 in the areas of housing and family law alone. And state funding for civil legal aid is more important now than ever since the President has proposed eliminating funding for legal aid at the federal level.Representative Ruth Balser of Newton will be filing an amendment seeing an additional $1.5 million in funding for civil legal aid. Read more about the need for increased funding for legal aid here.

You can reach your state representative by calling the State House switchboard at 617-722-2000 or by emailing them using the email address found here.

Not sure who your representative is? No problem!  Just enter your address here to find out!

Eager to learn more about the state budget process? Go to our website for an easy-to-understand explanation!

Representatives have only a limited time to co-sponsor budget amendments, so please contact your state representative TODAY!

Thank you for your continued support.

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For Immediate Release

Jonathan Chiel Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Fidelity Investments

Jonathan Chiel
Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Fidelity Investments

Fidelity Investments General Counsel Jonathan Chiel is Honored

Boston, MA – “As a true steward of justice and one of the most respected members of the New England legal community, we could not think of a better recipient for the Tenth Annual Good Apple Award than Jonathan,” said Martha Mazzone, chair of the Board of Directors of Mass Appleseed.

Jonathan Chiel is Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Fidelity Investments, and also has responsibility for Fidelity’s Public Affairs and Policy Group. Prior to joining Fidelity, Mr. Chiel was general counsel at John Hancock Financial Services, the United States division of Manulife Financial, and was a member of the Manulife Management Committee. Before joining Hancock, Mr. Chiel was a partner with Choate, Hall and Stewart in Boston, serving as chair of the firm’s Government Enforcement Practice Group. Earlier in his career, he was an assistant U.S. attorney in the Boston office, and served first as the Chief of the New England Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, then as Chief of the Public Corruption Unit and finally as Chief of the Criminal Division. Mr. Chiel is a director on the boards of the Boston Bar Foundation, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center and Maimonides School. Mr. Chiel received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University and J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Recent past recipients of the Good Apple award include Paul Dacier, General Counsel of EMC Corporation, Susan Alexander, Chief Legal Officer of Biogen Idec, Stephanie S. Lovell, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, and Jeffrey N. Carp, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of State Street Corporation.

About the Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice

Massachusetts Appleseed’s mission is to promote equal rights and opportunities for Massachusetts’ residents by developing and advocating for systemic solutions to social justice issues.

At Massachusetts Appleseed, we dedicate ourselves to remedying social injustices for at-risk and underserved children, youth, and adults. Working with volunteer lawyers, community partners, and others, we identify and address gaps in services and opportunities in areas such as education, homelessness, and the court system. Through in-depth research, consensus building, and community problem solving, we develop powerful solutions for reforming the systems and structures responsible.Our work seeks to level the playing field and transform communities.

Our friends at the Greater Boston Legal Services School to Prison Pipeline Intervention Project have created these helpful fact sheets to guide students and parents of students who have been subjected to school discipline. Please note that these are for information purposes only and do not constitute legal advice or establish an attorney client relationship between Massachusetts Appleseed and any visitor to our website. Note also that there are two “know your rights” fact sheets below – one that applies only to Boston Public Schools students and the other that applies to students at all other public school districts. Additionally, the statewide know your rights fact sheets apply to district schools and charter schools, but they do NOT apply to parochial or other private schools. Finally, a student who is accused of possessing drugs, possessing weapons, or assaulting educational staff, will be subject to rules that are slightly different than presented on these sheets. If a student is accused of any of those offenses or charged with a felony, they should seek legal help.

Fact Sheets