Originally proposed as part of an omnibus bill to address immediate COVID-19 recovery needs last fall, the commission will provide recommendations to the Legislature to help address barriers to the delivery of equitable and affordable behavioral health care and services. Legislators will use these recommendations to determine how to best prioritize expenditures from the Behavioral Health Trust Fund, which was created along with the advisory commission through Chapter 77of the Acts of 2022.
“Matt has extensive experience in the human services sector, and his first-hand knowledge will serve him well as a member of the advisory commission,” said Representative Jones. “I am confident he will do everything he can to see to it that the Behavioral Health Trust Fund is used effectively and efficiently to deliver quality behavioral health care to the residents of Massachusetts.”
“I am honored and grateful to Leader Jones for appointing me to the Behavioral Health Advisory Commission,” said Representative Muratore. “We have made some strides this session to improve behavioral health access, services, and affordability and I’m hopeful this Commission’s recommendations will lead to further improvements.”
As part of its directive, the advisory commission will work to identify and assess existing challenges facing the behavioral health workforce, and to consider the feasibility of providing grant, scholarship, and other pipeline development programs to mitigate the financial burden faced by individuals entering the field. In addition to exploring ways to promote the recruitment and retention of behavioral health workers, the advisory commission will also look at economic barriers to treatment as well as access to early intervention services and community-based services, to ensure “the delivery of an equitable, culturally-competent, affordable and clinically-appropriate continuum of behavioral health care and services.”
Representative Muratore is one of 22 members serving on the advisory commission, which is being chaired by Representative Adrian Madaro (D-Boston) and Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro), who also currently serve as co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery. Additional members include Representative Bud Williams (D-Springfield) and Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-Boston), who currently serve as the co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Racial Equity, Civil Rights and Inclusion, and Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders.
Also serving on the advisory commission are representatives from the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health, Inc.; the Association for Behavioral Healthcare, Inc.; the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Massachusetts, Inc.; the Massachusetts Association of Behavioral Health Systems, Inc.; the Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery, Inc.; the Massachusetts chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, Inc.; and the Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association, Inc. Governor Charlie Baker has two appointees to the advisory commission, one of whom must have expertise in developing behavioral health workforce training education and one of whom must have expertise in addressing disparities in access to mental and behavioral health care for populations disproportionately experiencing barriers to care.
Representative Muratore is currently in his fourth term representing the First Plymouth District. A member of the House Ways and Means Committee, he also serves as the Assistant Ranking Minority Member of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing; the Ranking Minority Member of the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government; and the Ranking Minority Member of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development.