Meet Tricia Farley-Bouvier
Tricia Farley-Bouvier was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in a special election on October 18, 2011, and began serving as Pittsfield's State Representative a short three weeks later. As of January 2013, the 3rd Berkshire District includes all of Pittsfield except Ward 1B, which borders Lanesborough and Dalton.
Tricia was born and raised in Pittsfield. She attended Pittsfield High School and went on to receive her Bachelor's Degree in Special and Elementary Education from Salve Regina University and her Master's Degree in Education from the University of Connecticut.
In the legislature I am an active leader in two caucuses, the Progressive Caucus and the Gateway City Caucus. In the Progressive Caucus, we learn from each other and work together to advance legislation that promotes economic, social, and environmental justice. In the Gateway Cities Caucus, legislators from 26 post-industrial cities across the Commonwealth work together to promote legislation and funding to bring economic development to our communities. Special Funding for the Transformative Development Initiative (TDI), English Language Learning, and the Gateway Cities park program are examples of such work.
I serve on two legislative committees. The Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse has given me the opportunity to learn firsthand from the many stakeholders in this public health crisis. From those in recovery, to families of addicts and those who lost their loved ones, to physicians, to law enforcement, to recovery coaches, to those suffering from chronic pain—all of these voices are critical to finding solutions. I am proud to be part of a team that has made progress in the fight against opioid addiction—from requiring insurance companies to pay for a minimum of 14 days of detox treatment, to limiting first-time prescriptions to a seven-day supply, to a stewardship program requiring Pharma to pay for takeback programs—all of these are policy tools to help our community combat the scourge. We also have worked with the Department of Public Health to fund more treatment beds in Berkshire County.
My work with the Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities has given me an opportunity to take a deep dive into the work of DCF. Often, the only time public officials pay attention to DCF is when there is a tragedy. I am working with my colleagues in a special subcommittee that is gathering information from stakeholders, many long-ignored, in order to form an action plan for improvement.