Statewide Funding:

On April 25, 2019 the House passed its FY20 budget funded at $42.7 while projecting a more than $200 million deposit into the Stabilization Fund – bringing the fund’s balance to more than $2.5 billion to safeguard the future of vital programs and services. As the Assistant Vice Chair of the Committee on Ways and Means, I am grateful to Speaker DeLeo, Chair Michlewitz and Vice Chair Garlick for their vision and leadership and I am proud of the major investments that this budget makes in our shared values around education, housing, substance use disorder services, public safety, the environment, and other important areas.

 

Education:

  • $16.5 million new reserve for low-income students while the Joint Committee on Education continues its work on the foundation budget formula recommendations;

  • $328 million for Circuit Breaker Special Education reimbursement, a $9.7 million increase over FY19;

  • $113 million for Charter School Reimbursement, a $23 million increase over FY19;

  • Increases rates for early education providers by $20 million; makes additional investments into Head Start grants and quality improvement measures in core early education and care programming;

  • $23.6 million for METCO, a $1.46 million increase over FY19;

  • $38.2 million for Adult Basic Education, a $4.9 million increase over FY19;

  • $5.1 billion in Ch.70 education funding, a $236 million increase for investments in schools over FY19; and

  • $3.1 million for our 5 Recovery High Schools, which serve young people in recovery from substance use disorder.

 

Housing:

  • $110 million for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP), a $10 million increase over FY19;

  • $72 million for Public Housing Subsidies, a 10% increase over FY19 that supports more than 45,000 state public housing units;

  • $7.5 million for Alternative Housing Voucher Program, a $1.3 million over FY19 to provide rental assistance vouchers to non-elders residents with disabilities; and

  • $53.4 million for Homeless individual shelters, a $5.2 million increase over FY19.

 

Behavioral Health Services:

  • $143.9 million for the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services, which will help create 5 new recovery centers across MA and training for certified sober home operators;

  • $49.4 million for the Substance Use Disorder Trust Fund;

  • $489.6 million for adult mental health services, $3 million for jail diversion and police efforts of which $500,000 for start-up costs for the Center for Police Training in Crisis Intervention.

  • $1.5 million increase for Massachusetts Access to Recovery Services; and

  • Gives all EMS and ambulance companies access to discounted naloxone, making it more available for use in the field.

 

Public Safety and Judiciary:

  • $8.8 million for new community-based re-entry programs – increased EOLWD re-entry line from $500K to $1M, the EOPSS DOC re-entry line from $500K to $800K, so total funding is: $7M for Community Re-entry, $1M for EOLWD, and $800K for DOC, for a total of $8.8M (read Globe op-ed I recently coauthored on this issue!)

  • $1.5 million for Recidivism Reduction for Youth and Young Adults, a new line item for non-profit programs to reduce recidivism by providing additional pre- and post-release services;

  • $250,000 in a new line item for the reintroduction of community policing grants and a pilot program in Boston;

  • $24 million for civil legal aid to provide representation for low-income individuals, a $2.1 million increase over FY19;

  • $10 million for Shannon Grants, a competitive grant program to individual municipalities to address heightened levels of gang violence, a $2 million dollar increase over FY19;

  • $22.9 million for Court-Appointed Special Advocates, a $1.2 million increase over FY19, $200,000 of which will go to the City of Boston; and

 

Environment:

  • Over $282 million in total spending for environmental programs:

  • $46 million for State Parks and Recreation, a $4.5 million increase over FY19;

  • $61 million for the Department of Environmental Protection; and

  • $1.5 million for Watershed Protection.

 

Labor and Economic Development:

  • $500,000 to establish a specialized prevailing wage and construction investigatory and enforcement unit within the Attorney General’s office;

  • $14.5 million for summer jobs for at-risk youth; and

  • $4.8 million for the STEM Starter Academy, to support underperforming students at community colleges interested in pursuing STEM subjects.

 

Health and Human Services:

  • Language changes made (via amendment I filed) within the home care services for the elderly line item to include LGBTQ training for home care and home health providers, councils on aging, skilled nursing facilities and adult day health programs. This change was needed to make the line item read more consistently with the statutory mandate (MGL Ch 19A, Sec 43), which covers a broader range of providers.

  • $109.8 million to continue reforms that protect children at the Department of Children and Families;

  • $35 million increase in the supplemental rates for nursing homes across the Commonwealth and an emergency task force aimed at helping to bring stability to the industry;

  • $17.9 million towards the Councils on Aging to help senior citizens;

  • $150,000 for dental health services program at Forsyth Institute's Center for Children's Oral Health;

  • Fully funds the Lift the Cap on Kids initiative that removes barriers that prevent families from receiving Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) benefits for certain children.

 

For the first time in nearly 20 years, the budget will be increasing the Commonwealth’s contribution into the Community Preservation Act, which will ensure that over $36 million more will be distributed to projects all across the Commonwealth and will help raise the state’s match up to 30% for investments in open space, affordable housing and historic preservation.

Local Funding Items 

 

Thanks to my colleagues, constituents, and House leadership, I'm grateful the final FY20 budget includes more than $640,000 million targeted to bolster invaluable programs in the 11th Suffolk district.

 

$200K for Project RIGHT’s substance misuse/trauma prevention initiative in the Grove Hall neighborhood.

 

$200K for operation of The Dimock Center’s Behavioral Health continuum of substance use care to provide comprehensive treatment for individuals suffering from substance use disorder and other behavioral health challenges.

 

$150K for Community Servings to provide medically tailored meals to persons battling chronic illnesses, workforce training programs to those recovering from addiction.

 

$100K for the Alliance for Inclusion and Prevention’s training and workforce development. AIP provides in-school counseling to youth struggling with trauma, many of whom are unable to see a provider outside of school.

 

$4.75M for operation of the Commonwealth Zoological Corporation to serve as a catalyst for urban economic development and job opportunities for local residents in Roxbury/Dorchester/Jamaica Plain and the Walter D. Stone Memorial Zoo in Stoneham.

 

$200K for Horizons for Homeless Children Statewide Playspace Program that partners with 94 congregate family shelters throughout the commonwealth to create safe, supportive environments to engage young children living in shelters in critical early learning and quality play opportunities.

 

$150K for Self Esteem Boston’s direct service and provider training programs to help build women's confidence and essential life skills as a foundation for building healthy relationships and job readiness.

 

$175K for a grant to the Union of Minority Neighborhoods, Inc. within the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development’s Department of Career Services youth-at-risk program targeted at reducing juvenile delinquency in high-risk areas.