Doesnt it seem that every time we turn on the TV or pick up The Globe that one politician or another is involved in some form of selfishness or similar lunacy? From the Bush administration sinking our foreign policy ship to our own Big Dig disaster, in the media, our elected officials seem hell bent on making our lives miserable. Is it not the purpose of our elected representatives to help those in need? Ah, but hope springs eternal. It turns out that there are those in office who have the best interests of their constituents at the very top of their priority list.
Last week, after unanimous passage by the House and Senate, the legislature sent the Equal Choice bill to the Governors desk and today it was signed into law. The Equal Choice law gives elders and the disabled the option to choose where they will receive long term care services in the most fitting and least restrictive setting available while also saving taxpayers money. This true win-win legislation championed by Rep. Mike Festa of Melrose/Wakefield is a ringing example of how thoughtful and committed elected officials can make a real difference in peoples lives.
In this morning signing and press conference Al Norman, Executive Director of Mass Home Care, said that the new law could be called Mikes Bill. Seven years ago Rep. Festa used his maiden speech to the House of Representatives to call for better options and better support for our seniors and to dedicate his efforts to that end. With the passage of the Equal Choice bill into law, Rep. Festa has shown that there are still genuinely good people in politics, people who arent just looking for the best headline or the best career move but who work day in and day out to make our state and our lives better.
Rep. Festa, his staff, the legislature, and the many advocates of this bill should be commended on a job well done. My hope is that all elected officials will see the standard set by the gentlemen from Melrose as an example of what real governing is all about and pick up the slack.