March 29, 2016
By Ned Holstein, MD, MS, Founder and Acting Executive Director, National Parents Organization
Massachusetts members of National Parents Organization flexed their muscles and the Legislature responded. Members in other states should take note. Meanwhile, here is the update.
About 10 days ago, we informed our Massachusetts members that SB834, a bill that encourages shared parenting as well as other useful reforms, had been torpedoed in the Judiciary Committee by the bar associations. We asked members to tell their legislators that we now had to switch position and oppose the bill. They responded with a deluge of phone calls and emails to their reps and senators.
And it worked. Within days, we received word that the Judiciary Committee wanted to meet with us again. I and others had such a meeting last week.
To the credit of the Judiciary Committee, they expressed flexibility and the desire to work with us to fix the bill. More discussions will follow. During these discussions, confidentiality is requested, and we will honor that request.
We will probably know within a week or two whether the bill can be fixed enough for us to again support it. At that point we will let you know whether we recommend to support, oppose, or abstain. We will be most effective if we stick together as a disciplined group.
Until these discussions are done, we should give the legislators a break and hold off on more calls or emails.
But within the next few weeks, we may need members to spring into action again, for or against, depending on the outcome of the talks. If so, we should take pride that we lit up the State House switchboard, that the legislators heard and responded, and that we can do it again!