Healthy Youth Act

An Act relative to healthy youth - H.544 - S.268

  • Ensures that a comprehensive sex education curriculum is taught in public schools

  • Mandates education about consent, healthy relationships, and gender affirmation in sexual education curricula

The Healthy Youth Act is a common sense bill that reflects the consensus of the vast majority of MA residents. The bill's core provision is simple: it will require any public school that already chooses to teach sex ed to provide medically accurate, age-appropriate, comprehensive sexual health education. It rests on three key pillars:

  1. Sex ed should be accurate and age-appropriate. In every other subject, we require that our schools teach students factual information that matches their grade level. We don't expect kindergarteners to learn calculus - and we certainly don't teach them that one and one add up to three. Sex education should be no different.
  2. Sex ed should be consent-based. Given what we know about the rates of domestic violence and sexual assault among teenagers, it's critical we teach them the skills to advocate for themselves and recognize unhealthy patterns. When the first time a student learns about consent is college, we're reaching them far too late to prevent the epidemic of sexual assault on college campuses. That's why the bill requires that courses cover the "relationship and communication skills" necessary to "form healthy, respectful relationships free of violence, coercion, and intimidation and to make healthy decisions about relationships and sexuality, including, but not limited to, affirmative, conscious and voluntary consent."
  3. Sex ed should be LGBTQ+ inclusive.  When 81% of LGBTQ+ students in our state report that their schools' health classes did not cover the tools and information that they need to stay safe and healthy as LGBTQ+ people, we have to face the reality that we are simply failing these teens.  At best, most LGBTQ+ youth can expect health classes that teach them irrelevant information about the health risks or body parts involved in sex and overlook forms of protection they deserve to know about.  At worst, these students are often taught misleading, stigmatizing information about LGBTQ+ topics that can negatively impact both their mental and sexual health. That's why the bill will require health classes to cover "age-appropriate information about gender identity and sexual orientation for all students, including affirmative education that people have different sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions", as well as to provide students with information about LGBTQ+-friendly resources and support services.

the decision makers

Senate Committee on Ways and Means

Who on committee has co-sponsored:

state senators:

Michael Rodriguesred x
Michael Rodrigues (D)


Cindy Friedmangreen check
Cindy Friedman (D)


Joanne Comerfordgreen check
Joanne Comerford (D)
Michael Bradyred x
Michael Brady (D)
John Croninred x
John Cronin (D)
Lydia Edwardsgreen check
Lydia Edwards (D)
Paul Feeneygreen check
Paul Feeney (D)
Anne Gobired x
Anne Gobi (D)
Adam Gomezgreen check
Adam Gomez (D)
Patricia Jehlengreen check
Patricia Jehlen (D)
John Keenangreen check
John Keenan (D)
Jason Lewisgreen check
Jason Lewis (D)
Liz Mirandagreen check
Liz Miranda (D)
Michael Mooregreen check
Michael Moore (D)
Michael Rushred x
Michael Rush (D)
Patrick O'Connorred x
Patrick O'Connor (R)
Ryan Fattmanred x
Ryan Fattman (R)
Bruce Tarrred x
Bruce Tarr (R)

Who has co-sponsored:

History of the bill


Feb 2024

Redrafted as S.2686 and reported favorably by Senate Ways and Means Committee; Senate schedules a vote for 2/29/2024

Feb 2024

Bill reported favorably by committee and referred to the committee on Senate Ways and Means


Oct 2023

Hearing held by the Joint Committee on Education

Jan 2023

Bill reintroduced as H.544/S.268

Jan 2023

No further action taken by House Ways and Means

Feb 2023

Referred to the Joint Committee on Education


Sep 2021

Senate adopts S.2541 38-1

Sep 2021

Passes in the Senate as S.2495, referred to House Ways & Means

May 2021

Hearing held by Education Committee

Sep 2021

Referred to House Ways and Means

Sep 2021

Senate Ways and Means reported favorably with an amendment as S.2534 and referred to Senate Rules Committee

Mar 2021

Referred to House Committee on Education

Jul 2021

Re-drafted as S.2495, reported favorably by Education Committee and referred to Senate Ways and Means

Jan 2021

Bill filed again, as H.673

Jan 2021

Re-filed as H.673


Jan 2020

Passes in the Senate as S.2459, 33-2

Dec 2020

Sent to study


Jan 2019

Bill filed again, as H.410


Jul 2018

No further action taken by House Ways and Means

Jun 2018

Reported favorably by Health Care Financing committee, sent to House Ways & Means


Jan 2017

Bill filed again as H.2053

May 2017

Reported favorably by the Education Committee, sent to Committee on Health Care Financing


Sep 2016

Sent to study


Sep 2015

Education favorably reports, sends to Health Care Financing committee

Jan 2015

Filed again as H.448


Jul 2014

No further action taken by House Ways and Means


Nov 2013

Favorably reported from Education committee, referred to Ways & Means

Jan 2013

Bill filed again as H.450


May 2012

sent to study


Jan 2011

Bill filed as H.1063


Advocacy Organizations

Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts
Healthy Youth Act Coalition

Massachusetts Healthy Youth Consortium