The bill's sponsor is Sen. Cathy Breen, D-Falmouth. She said her aim is to have the proposed 14-member group meet in between the two legislative sessions and return in January with recommendations for the legislature.
Breen said the group would be made up of stakeholders, including healthcare professionals, law enforcement and those running homeless shelters.
According to the Falmouth senator, the work group would be proactive, not reactive.
"We wait until people are in crisis and then we are filling up emergency rooms, jails, prisons, homeless shelters, and I think that's a bad use of limited resources," Breen said.
Wednesday's public hearing on the bill was held a little differently, with four policy committees coming together to talk about the idea.