State Sen. Mike Barrett, a Lexington Democrat who also represents Waltham and other nearby communities, has been named to three committees specializing in health disparities, adoption costs, and early education access, according to a statement from his office.
“On the whole, people with disabilities smoke at a higher rate and have higher obesity numbers,” said Barrett, a healthcare IT specialist by profession, in his statement. “When you dig deeper, you’ll see this population also has a harder time seeing doctors due to high costs.”
Barrett has also been appointed to a newly-formed adoption task force which will recommend ways to reduce costs and delays in the adoption process. The task force, led by children and families department commissioner Olga Roche, will consult with chief justices of the probate and family and juvenile courts to come up with solutions.
Adoption expenses consist of home study and legal fees, among other costs, Barrett's office said.
Barrett will also serve on the recently-created Early Education and Care Commission, which will study early education's high costs and care services, and look at ways to expand access.
Citing the nonprofit Early Education for All, Barrett's office said 40 percent of pre-school aged children in Massachusetts are not enrolled in an early education program.
“Sixteen percent of kids who aren’t reading at a proficient level when they finish third grade end up not graduating from high school on time,” Barrett said. “We should be investing in their future from an early age.”
For more information, visit Barrett's legislative page.
Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org