FUNDING FOR AVON, CANTON, AND STOUGHTON

Representative Galvin recently helped to secure funding for the following projects:

  • $2.5 Million for the Metropolis Rink Project in Canton 

  • $30+ Million for the Dedham Street Project

  • $1+ million for the reconstruction of Harrison Boulevard in Avon

  • $250,000 for the redevelopment of Stoughton Center

  • $5 Million to redesign canton Junction Station

  • $300 Million to redesign the I-95/I-93 interchange in Canton

  • $500 for heaters at the MBTA stations to Canton and Stoughton

  • $1.6 Million for road improvements in Avon

  • $15 Million to improve 139 in Stoughton

  • $125,000 to rehab the Stoughton Train Depot

  • $250,000+ to rehab the Stoughton Theatre 

  • $2 million to repair the Reservoir Dam and the Shepard Pond Dam in Canton

  • $5 million to clean up the Canton Airport to build the Farnham-Connolly Park

  • Helped secure funding for the construction of the new Stoughton library and Stoughton High School

  • $100,000 for the preservation of the Tilden House

  • $100,000 economic development grant for the Town of Avon 

​During the annual state budget debate, Representative Galvin works to ensure programs that benefit the residents of Avon, Canton, and Stoughton are funded.  Priority items for Representative Galvin include:

  • Libraries

  • Early Education and Early Intervention Programs for children

  • Youth Programs (Horizons for Homeless Children Play Spaces, YMCA programing, youth jobs)

  • Programs that help the elderly (Council on Aging, Meals on Wheels)

  • Programs that assist families caring for a developmentally disabled child

  • Housing vouchers and programs that aid low-income families

  • Environmental items (Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Conservation and Recreation)

  • SPED Circuit Breaker

  • Funding for food banks

  • CPA funding 

  • Legal Aid

  • Healthy Incentives Program (HIP)

  • Heating assistance for low-income residents

 

LEGISLATURE APPROVES FY23 BUDGET

July 2022

BOSTON – Representative Bill Galvin joined members of the Massachusetts Legislature recently unanimously passed a $52.7 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23). This budget upholds fiscal responsibility and makes targeted investments to strengthen the state’s economic foundation, protect the most vulnerable residents and support the everyday needs of communities and families in the Commonwealth.


“I am proud that we as a Legislature have enacted a fiscally prudent budget which includes funding for valuable programs that serve the people of the Sixth Norfolk District and the entire Commonwealth,” said Representative Bill Galvin (D-Canton).  “This budget reflects investments in state services and programs that will enhance the quality of life for all Massachusetts residents. In addition to local earmarks, I am pleased that this budget places targeted investments in education, children and families, health care, and services for vulnerable populations, like the elderly and disabled, among others.”


Local highlights in the FY23 budget which Representative Galvin (and Senator Timilty) were able to secure include:


  • $50,000 for the Paul Revere Heritage Park

  • 120 beds and $150,000 for the Pappas Hospital for Children

  • $75,000 for the Blue Hills Weather Observatory

  • $20,000 for a Canton Alliance Against Substance Abuse

  • $20,000 for a Stoughton Substance Abuse program

  • $20,000 for the Avon Coalition for Every Student

  • $20,000 for Stoughton Fire Department Inservice training

  • $1,000,000 for the Blue Hills Trailside Museum

  • $75,000 for the Holbrook Regional Emergency Communications Center


Taking into consideration historic tax revenue performance in Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22), the final FY23 conference report increases revenue projections by $2.66 billion over the December consensus for a projection of $39.575 billion. The FY23 budget transfers funds into the Stabilization Fund, projecting an estimated historic balance of approximately $7.35 billion for this crucial ‘rainy day’ fund at the end of the fiscal year.


Notably, the Legislature provides significant funds in the FY23 budget to invest in the Commonwealth’s long-term future obligations. Prioritizing funding for education, this budget includes $175 million in a newly created High-Quality Early Education and Care Affordability Trust Fund to be utilized in the coming years to support the implementation of the recommendations made by the Early Education and Care Economic Review Commission. Additionally, a supplemental payment of $150 million is included to the Student Opportunity Act (SOA) Investment fund, bringing its balance up to $500 million, ensuring resources will be utilized in the future to support equitable funding for our most vulnerable students.


The budget strongly reflects the Legislature’s commitment to support cities and towns and provides a significant amount of local and regional aid to ensure communities can provide essential services to the public while rebuilding from a once-in-a-generation pandemic. This includes $1.231 billion in funding for Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA), an increase of $63 million over FY22, and $45 million in payments in lieu of taxes (PILOT) for state-owned land, an increase of $10 million over FY22, providing supplemental local aid payments to cities and towns working to improve access to essential services and programs.


The FY23 budget includes $187 million to fund the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) as well as $226.2 million for a safety and workforce reserve to address ongoing safety concerns identified by the Federal Transit Administration’s Safety Management Inspection.


As a cornerstone of the Commonwealth’s economic foundation, the FY23 budget expands access to educational opportunity and strongly supports students, families, educators, and institutions. Delivering on the Legislature’s promise to fully fund and implement the SOA by FY27, this budget invests $6 billion in Chapter 70 funding, an increase of $495 million over FY22, and doubles minimum Chapter 70 aid from $30 to $60 per pupil. This historic level of investment ensures the state remains on schedule to fully implement the law, provides school districts with resources to provide high quality educational opportunities, and addresses rising costs and administrative challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The FY23 budget also includes $110 million for a year-long extension of universal school meals, providing immediate relief to working families by saving them up to $1,200 every year from reduced grocery expenditures, according to The Feed Kids Coalition.


The budget also reflects a strong to commitment to early education and care, investing $1.18 billion into this sector, including $365 million in new resources to begin implementation of recommendations made by the Early Education and Care Economic Review Commission. These investments will help to stabilize providers, support the early educator workforce with rate increases and higher education opportunities, and provide access to affordable care for children and families.


The budget invests in higher education, allocating $670 million for the University of Massachusetts system, $352 million for community colleges, and $328 million for state universities. The budget also includes $175 million in scholarship funding and funds the community colleges SUCCESS Fund at $14 million and the STEM Starter Academy at $4.75 million. The budget also expands access to inclusive education opportunities for young adults with disabilities by removing existing barriers, codifies the Massachusetts Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Initiative (MAICEI) grant program and dedicates $4 million in flexible resources for the public higher education system to support inclusive learning options for this diverse student population.


Other education investments include:


  • $441 million for the Special Education Circuit Breaker, reimbursing school districts for the high cost of educating students with disabilities at the statutorily required 75 per cent reimbursement rate

  • $244 million for reimbursing school districts at 75 per cent for costs incurred when students leave to attend charter schools

  • $82.2 million for regional school transportation

  • $23 million for homeless student transportation

  • $16.5 million for grants to the Head Start program to maintain access to early education services for low-income families 

  • $15 million for the Commonwealth Preschool Partnership Initiative to expand access to pre-kindergarten and preschool opportunities in underserved areas 

  • $6 million for Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Grants to help K-12 schools bolster SEL supports for students, including $1 million for a new pilot program to provide mental health screenings for K-12 students

  • $1.5 million for the Genocide Education Trust Fund, fulfilling our commitment to fund efforts to educate middle and high school students on the history of genocide and support implementation efforts in accordance with Chapter 98 of the Acts of 2021, An Act Concerning Genocide Education, passed by the Legislature in 2021 


Recognizing that health care makes up more than 40 percent of our annual state budget, the Legislature’s FY23 budget sustains support for the state’s safety net by funding MassHealth at a total of $19.48 billion, ensuring over 2.1 million people with continued access to comprehensive health care services. The budget prepares for the transition of individuals from MassHealth to the Health Connector when the federal public health emergency ends by providing $50 million for a Connector Care Pilot Program, which utilizes savings from the American Rescue Plan to fund subsidized health insurance plans for members that are between 300%-500% of the federal poverty level (FPL) for two years. It also invests $73 million to expand eligibility for the Medicare Savings Program to 225% FPL.


The FY23 budget invests in the human services workforce who provide services to the state’s most vulnerable residents, including $230 million for Chapter 257 rates for health and human service workers, $40 million to continue higher rate add-ons and ensure a smaller wage cliff between FY22 and FY23 for home health aides and homemakers, and $1 million for the Nursing and Allied Health Workforce Development program. Additional investments include funding for programming such as the Elder Mental Health Outreach Teams, the Safe and Successful Youth Initiative Expansion, nine Elder Supportive Housing Sites, and the SHINE Program.


Funding a range of services to help those struggling and in need, the FY23 budget invests $218.2 for substance use disorder and intervention services provided by the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services and more importantly, addresses the mental health crisis in Massachusetts by creating the Behavioral Health Access and Crisis Intervention Trust Fund, which will fund crisis supports and a new behavioral health crisis hotline.


It also invests $20 million to recapitalize the Behavioral Health, Access, Outreach and Support Trust Fund to support targeted behavioral health initiatives, $15 million for emergency department diversion initiatives for children, adolescents, and adults and $8.2 million to support student behavioral health services at the University of Massachusetts, state universities and community colleges.


Sending a strong and unequivocal message that reproductive and gender affirming health care will be protected in Massachusetts in the face of growing legal uncertainty across the United States after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the FY23 budget invests $2 million in grants for improvements to reproductive health access, infrastructure, and safety.


Finally, recognizing that stroke is a leading cause of long-term disability and death in the United States and Massachusetts, the FY23 budget includes provisions establishing a comprehensive system of stroke response and care to ensure patients receive the appropriate urgent care quickly. With this system of care in place, a person experiencing a stroke will be transported to the nearest trauma center, improving long-term health outcomes and rates of survival.


Other health care and public health investments include:


  • $113.1 million for children’s mental health services 

  • $28.3 million for Family Resource Centers to grow and improve the mental health resources and programming available to families 

  • $75.3 million for sexual assault and domestic violence prevention services

  • $48.8 million for early intervention services, to ensure increased supports for families with infants and young toddlers with developmental delays and disabilities

  • $15 million for grants to support local and regional boards of health, continuing our efforts to build upon the successful State Action for Public Health Excellence (SAPHE) Program 


Building on the foundation of last year’s efforts to tackle deep poverty, the FY23 budget supports working families struggling with the economic toll associated with rising costs and includes a record investment in the annual child’s clothing allowance, providing $400 per child for eligible families to buy clothes for the upcoming school year. The budget also includes a 10 percent increase to Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) and Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled and Children (EAEDC) benefit levels compared to June 2022 to ensure the economic supports necessary to provide stability to families across the state.


Other children and family investments include:


  • $30.6 million for Emergency Food Assistance to ensure that citizens in need can navigate the historic levels of food insecurity caused by COVID-19

  • $28.5 million for the YouthWorks jobs program to fund over 6,000 summer and year-round jobs for youth in low-wage-earning and fixed-income families

  • $20 million in Healthy Incentives Programs to maintain access to healthy food options for households in need 

  • $7.5 million for grants to community foundations to support communities disproportionately impacted by the pandemic

  • $3.5 million for the Massachusetts Center on Child Wellbeing & Trauma 

  • $4.1 million for Children Advocacy Centers to improve the resources available to children who have been neglected or sexually abused 


Also included in the budget is a provision which bans child marriage in Massachusetts by setting the minimum age for marriage at 18.  Up until passage of this ban, in statute, anyone under the age of 18 was allowed to get married with parental consent.  Representative Galvin had been an original co-sponsor of the underlying legislation to end the practice.


The FY23 budget provides resources to help with housing stability to keep individuals and families in their homes, including $219.4 million for Emergency Assistance Family Shelters, more than $200 million for Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT), $175 million for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP) and $92 million for assistance to local housing authorities. The budget also upholds the emergency-level maximum amount of rental assistance that a household can receive at $10,000 and requires the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) to study and report on the execution of no-fault evictions between 2019 and 2022.


The budget funds the Department of Developmental Services at $2.44 billion, aimed to support individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. It includes $278.5 million for Community Day and Work Programs, $90.6 million for respite services, $42.3 million in autism supports and services, $33.9 million in transportation services, $13.9 million for the autism division, and $1.8 million for supportive technology for individuals.



For the first time ever, the FY23 budget removes barriers to communication services for incarcerated persons and their loved ones, requiring the Department of Correction (DOC) and sheriffs to provide phone calls free of charge to those receiving and initiating phone calls and other services such as video or electronic communications. It also establishes a new requirement that commissary items in correctional facilities shall not be sold at more than 3 per cent over the purchase cost. Both changes ensure that correctional facilities do not unjustly profit off the basic needs of incarcerated persons. The budget also eliminates probation and parole fees, reducing the burden on individuals during their re-entry process. Currently, individuals pay $50 per month for administrative supervised probation fees, $65 per month for probation supervision fees, and $80 per month in parole fees.


To meet the needs of our Commonwealth’s post-pandemic recovery, the FY23 budget invests more than $100 million to bolster job training programs, help connect unemployed and under-employed people with higher paying jobs and support career services that help students gain skills to apply for future jobs. The budget includes $20 million for Career Technical Institutes to increase the skilled worker population’s access to career technical training opportunities, a $17 million transfer to the Workforce Competitiveness Trust fund, and $15 million for one-stop career centers to support economic recovery. The budget also includes a $1 million investment in Learn to Earn and $1 million for the 1199 SEIU Training and Upgrading Fund.


Other investments in economic and workforce development include:


  • $60 million for Adult Basic Education

  • $20 million for the Community Empowerment and Reinvestment Grant Program

  • $20 million for a loan forgiveness program within the Department of Mental Health to support their workforce

  • $15 million to support teachers of color, including $7.5 million for Tomorrow’s Teachers program to provide scholarships to people committed to teaching in public schools and $7.5 million for loan repayment for teachers of color

  • $10 million for loan repayment and bonuses for the homeless shelter workforce that continue to provide critical services to the most vulnerable

  • $4.8 million for the Innovation Pathways program to continue to connect students to trainings and post-secondary opportunities in the industry sector with a focus on STEM fields

  • $2.5 million for the Massachusetts Cybersecurity Innovation Fund, including $1.5 million to continue partnerships with community colleges and state universities to provide cybersecurity workforce training to students and cybersecurity services to municipalities, non-profits, and small businesses


The budget also continues the Legislature’s focus on environmental and climate protection by investing $375.2 million for environmental services, which include funding increases for state parks, environmental protection, and fisheries and wildlife. Additional measures include promoting electric vehicles and funding for environmental justice and climate adaptation and preparedness.


The FY23 budget also establishes a veteran equality review board to ensure that veterans dishonorably discharged under ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ receive state-based veterans’ benefits.


Having been passed by the House and Senate, the legislation now goes to Governor Baker for his signature.

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LEGISLATURE APPROVES FY22 BUDGET

July 9, 2021

BOSTON –  The Massachusetts State Legislature unanimously passed a $48.07 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22). This budget increases funding for education, local aid, economic development, and environmental protection initiatives, while also depositing funds into the state’s ‘rainy day’ account.


“The last year and half has been a real challenge, and I am pleased that we were able to produce a budget that will help in the recovery effort and positions the state for stability in the future,” said Representative Bill Galvin (D-Canton). “Despite the uncertainty created by the pandemic, this budget fully funds vital programs, while also increasing funds and creating new programs in the areas of education, job training, environmental protection, and assistance for low-income residents. It is vital that the state provides a variety of assistance programs that are accessible and effective to allow families to rebound from the effects of the pandemic.”


Representative Galvin filed the following successful amendments:

  • $150,000 for the Pappas Rehabilitation Hospital’s summer program in Canton

  • $50,000 for the Norfolk County Regional Fire and Rescue Dispatch Center

  • $50,000 for the Blue Hills Weather Observatory

  • $25,000 for the restoration of the Tilden House

  • $50,000 for repairs of the Redman House (located on Ponky Golf Course and owned by the state, but home to the Neponset River Watershed Association).

Representative Galvin supported numerous local amendments including:

  • $250,000 for the Trailside Museum

  • $40,000 for renovating the Stoughton Train Depot

  • $30,000 for hockey boards in Stoughton

  • $20,000 for OASIS in Stoughton

  •  $20,000 for the Canton Alliance Against Substance Abuse

  • $20,000 for the Avon Coalition for Every Student

  • $36,000 for the Canton Fire Department to conduct trainings

Additionally-

  • Avon schools will receive $2.4 million and the Town of Avon will receive $761,741

  • Canton schools will receive $6.6 million and the Town of Canton will receive $2.3 million

  • Stoughton schools will receive $17.2 million and the Town of Stoughton will receive $3.5 million


The FY22 budget prioritizes funding for education by depositing $350 million into the new Student Opportunity Act Investment fund to be utilized in the coming years for the implementation of the state’s landmark Student Opportunity Act (SOA). The SOA increased the state’s level of investment to guarantee that school districts across the Commonwealth have adequate and equitable resources to provide high quality educational opportunities for all students. The FY22 budget also includes a $40 million reserve to provide additional aid to districts experiencing increases in student enrollment compared to October 2020.



To help families get back to work, the FY22 conference report includes $820 million for the early education sector, including $20 million to increase rates for early education providers, $15 million for Massachusetts Head Start programs, $10 million for the Commonwealth Preschool Partnership Initiative to expand public preschool, and $9 million to cover the cost of fees for parents receiving subsidized early education in calendar year 2021. The budget funds early intervention services at $40.8 million to ensure supports are accessible and available to infants and young toddlers with developmental delays and disabilities, including funds to support health equity initiatives.


A number of “Green Budget” priorities were incorporated, including record funding levels for the state’s Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program, funding for the Department of Ecological Restoration to address flooding concerns, and $13 million for a workforce development program for wind. The budget also boosted spending for the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s funding for state parks to $50 million.


This budget aims to address the increasing costs of caregiving by converting the existing tax deductions for young children, elderly or disabled dependents and business-related dependent care expenses into refundable tax credits. These tax credits will benefit low-income families who have little or no personal income tax liability and cannot claim the full value of the existing deductions. The conversion to a refundable tax credit will provide an additional $16 million to over 85,000 families each year. The budget also includes $30.5 million for Emergency Food Assistance, $7.5 million for grants to Community Foundations to support communities disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, and $5 million for the Secure Jobs Connect program, providing job placement resources and assistance for homeless individuals.


The FY22 budget builds on the success of last year’s efforts to tackle ‘deep poverty’ with a 20 per cent increase to Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) and Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled and Children (EAEDC) benefits over December 2020 levels, ensuring families receive the economic supports they need to live, work and provide stability for their children. The budget also provides resources to help with housing instability, including $150 million for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program to expand access to affordable housing, $85 million for grants to local housing authorities, $22M for the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition Program and $8 million for Housing Consumer Education Centers to help administer nearly $1 billion in federal housing relief.


The budget makes the state’s film tax credit permanent and requires an increase in the percentage of production expenses or principal photography days in the Commonwealth from 50 per cent to 75 per cent. The film tax credit was set to expire in January 2023. The budget also includes a disability employment tax credit for employers that hire employees with a disability.


The FY22 budget repeals three ineffective tax expenditures as recommended by the Tax Expenditure Review Commission (TERC), namely the exemption of income from the sale of certain patents, the medical device tax credit, and the harbor maintenance tax credit, effective January 1, 2022. The TERC found that these tax expenditures are either obsolete, fail to provide a meaningful incentive, or fail to justify their cost to the Commonwealth. The TERC was created as part of a Senate budget initiative in Fiscal Year 2019.



Understanding that the pandemic has been a stressor on mental and behavioral health, the FY22 budget invests $175.6 million for substance use disorder and intervention services provided by the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services. It also invests $12.5 million to support a student telebehavioral health pilot, public awareness campaigns, loan forgiveness for mental health clinicians, and initiatives to mitigate emergency department boardings for individuals in need of behavioral health support, as well as $10 million for Programs of Assertive Community Treatment (PACT) grants to provide intensive, community-based behavioral health services for adolescents.


The budget includes $56.1 million for domestic violence prevention services, $6 million for Social Emotional Learning Grants to K- 12 schools to bolster social emotional learning supports for students, and $15 million to support local and regional boards of health as they continue to work on the front lines against the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Investments in economic and workforce development include a $17 million transfer to the Workforce Competitiveness Trust fund, $15.4 million for Career Technical Institutes, and $9.5 million for one-stop career centers to support economic recovery. $15 million will go to the Community Empowerment and Reinvestment Grant Program, $6 million for Regional Economic Development Organizations to support economic growth in all regions of the state, and $2.5 million for the Massachusetts Cybersecurity Innovation Fund, including $1.5 million for new regional security operation centers, which will partner with community colleges and state universities to provide cybersecurity workforce training to students and cybersecurity services to municipalities, non-profits, and small businesses


To protect residents of the Commonwealth, the FY22 budget codifies and expands the existing Governor’s task force on hate crimes to advise on issues relating to hate crimes, ways to prevent hate crimes and how best to support victims of hate crimes. The conference report makes the task force permanent and expands its membership to include members of the Legislature and an appointee from the Attorney General. The conference report also contains a provision that supports immigrants who are victims of criminal activity or human trafficking.



Having been passed by the House and Senate, the legislation now goes to Governor Baker for his signature.


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HOUSE PASSES BALANCED BUDGET WITH TARGETED INVESTMENTS
IN HOUSING, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, AND FOOD SECURITY

November 20, 2020

BOSTON – State Representative Bill Galvin (D-Canton), joined his colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives to approve a Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) budget, which invests in programs and services across the Commonwealth. Funded at $46 billion, the House budget aims to address the sweeping effects of the global pandemic by making targeted investments in housing, food security, economic development, substance use addiction services, and establishes a grant program to assist victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. The budget also invests in programs that provide COVID-related supports for students and increases funding for developmental services.  


Through the amendment process, Representative Galvin was able to secure additional funding for local organizations. The Pappas Rehabilitation Hospital for Children, which is based in Canton and educates children with physical disabilities, would receive $75,000 for the school’s summer program from a Galvin amendment. Representative Galvin’s second successful amendment would provide $50,000 for the operation of the Norfolk County Regional Fire and Rescue Dispatch Center. The Representative’s final amendment would provide $50,000 for the operation of the Blue Hill Weather Observatory, which is the oldest weather observatory in the country.  


“This was a particularly difficult budget, but it is a balanced budget that provides the maximum funding possible to crucial programs that residents rely on, including programs that provide assistance to residents who are facing housing and food insecurity. Despite a funding shortfall, this budget does not include drastic cuts, while maintaining local aid to communities and increasing funding for our schools,” said Representative Galvin.  

The budget provides $1.1 billion for local aid for municipalities and invests $5.3 billion in public schools through Chapter 70.  The Town of Canton will receive $2.2 in local aid funding and Canton schools will receive $6.5 million, which is a slight increase over last year. In addition to the $5.3 billion in Chapter 70 funding, the House budget provides $53 million for COVID-related student supports, $340 million for the Circuit Breaker Special Education reimbursement, $117 million for Charter School Reimbursement, and $82 million for Regional School Transportation reimbursement.  


The House budget also funds Early Education and Care (EEC) and Higher Education. The budget invests in those who work with children by increasing rates for early education providers by $20 million and supports continuing education opportunities with community colleges. The House budget also includes $15 million for Head Start grants, $10 million for sliding fee scale reserve for childcare subsidies, $10 million for EEC Workforce Higher Education Opportunities, $2.5 million in early childhood mental health grants, $11 million for child care resource and referral agencies, and establishes the Early Education and care Economic review commission to review childcare funding and make recommendations on policy changes to expand access.    


The budget supports public higher education institutions and increases scholarship funding for students. These investments include $284 million for state universities, $305 million for community colleges, $560 million for the University of Massachusetts system, $120 million in scholarship funding, and $4.8 million for the STEM Starter Academy, to support underrepresented students in STEM fields at community colleges. 


 In an effort to assist residents who may be struggling with housing insecurity during the pandemic, the House is providing additional funding for rental and housing assistance to combat the eviction crisis. This includes $50 million for the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition Program (RAFT), $135 million for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP), $80 million for public housing subsidies, $56 million for homeless individual shelters, $13 million for homeless student transportation, $11 million for Department of Mental Health Rental Subsidy Program, and $8 million for unaccompanied homeless youth. 


Due to the widespread economic effects of the COVID crisis, the House makes specific investments in labor and economic development programs that provide opportunities for the Commonwealth’s workers and locally-owned businesses.  The House maintains its support for the Massachusetts Manufacturing Partnership with an investment of $2 million, which will continue to help Massachusetts manufactures retrofit their businesses for the PPE market. Other investments include $15 million for a local Paycheck Protection Program,  $6 million for small business technical assistance grants, $1.4 million for small business development, $2.5 million in Urban Agenda Grants, and $19 million for summer jobs for at-risk youth. 


Funded this fiscal year $19 billion, MassHealth is the largest investment the Commonwealth makes in its most vulnerable residents. The budget also invests in critical health and human services agencies and providers including $30 million in emergency food assistance and $13 million for the Healthy Incentives Program, which helps low-income families and local farmers by providing funds for families to purchase locally produced food at farmers markets and stands. An additional $307 million will be provided to the Department of Children and Families for social workers, family support and stabilization, and foster care and adopted fee waivers.  


In order to support programs for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, the House budget increases funding for developmental services to $2.1 billion and includes $264 million for community day and work programs across the Commonwealth. The House budget also includes $236 million for state-operated residential services, $78 million for family respite services, and $39 million for autism omnibus services. 


The budget furthers the House’s ongoing commitment to fight the opioid epidemic. To provide assistance to those who are battling substance addiction, the budget increased funding for the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services to $162 million while offering continued support for step-down recovery services, jail diversion programs, and expansion of access to life-saving medication.  


The House budget includes funding for the judiciary and ongoing criminal justice reform, including a $761 million investment in the trial court and $20 million for criminal justice reform implementation. The budget also includes $29 million for civil legal aid to provide representation for low-income individuals via the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation, $9.6 million for a new community-based re-entry program, and $4 million for a pre and post-release services grant program. 


The House calls for $302 million in spending for environmental programs, which aim protect the Commonwealth’s natural resources. These investments include $50 million for state parks and recreation, $40 million for the Department of Environmental Protection, $16 million for fisheries and wildlife protection, $8.1 million for agricultural resources, $2.1 million for ecological restoration, and $500,000 for the Commonwealth’s endangered specials program. 

 
Bill Train Station.jpeg

HOUSE PASSES BALANCED 2020 BUDGET WITH FOCUS ON LOCAL AID, EDUCATION, HOUSING, AND THE ENVIRONMENT

May 3, 2019

BOSTON – The Massachusetts House of Representatives passed their version of the FY20 budget, which makes targeted investments across the Commonwealth in education, housing, environmental protection, substance use disorder services, and local aid. 


The budget also deposits $200 million into the State’s Stabilization Fund. The fund, also called the “rainy day fund”, will total $2.5 billion to safeguard the state if there is a future economic downturn.


The FY20 Budget provides an unprecedented $5.1 billion in Chapter 70 local education funding, which is a billion dollar increase since 2011.  Additional statewide educational investments include $238 million for Circuit Breaker Special Education and $73.8 million for Regional School Transportation. The budget also invests in early education by adding additional funding for Head Start grants and increasing rates for early education providers by $20 million.


“This is a sound budget that increases aid for municipalities and education, funds critical state programs, and saves money for a rainy day,” stated Representative Bill Galvin (D-Canton).


Representative Galvin filed several successful amendments to the budget, including $500,000 for Canton’s Metropolis Rink project, $100,000 for the operation of the Blue Hill Observatory and Science Center, $100,000 for the Norfolk County Fire and Rescue Dispatch, $50,000 to renovate the Stoughton Train Depot, and $150,000 for the Pappas Rehabilitation Hospital for Children’s Summer Program. 


The budget continues the Legislature’s commitment to fight the opioid epidemic – a public health crisis that has touched nearly every household across the Commonwealth. To help those in need, the House budget provides all EMS and ambulance companies access to discounted naloxone. In addition, the budget includes $143.9 million for the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services to create five new recovery centers across Massachusetts and $49.4 million for the Substance Use Disorder Trust Fund.


Access to safe, adequate, and affordable housing provides the foundation from which families and individuals can lead successful lives. To this end, the House has made investments in permanent housing solutions and efforts to eliminate homelessness. Since 2013, shelter caseloads have declined dramatically and the number of families living in hotels and motels has decreased to nearly zero. This year, the House included $110 million for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP), $72 million for Public Housing Subsidies, $7.2 million for Alternative Housing Voucher Program, and $53.4 million for shelters.


The House calls for over $282 million in spending for environmental programs, which will ensure that the state keeps up with the needs of its parks and environmental protection programs. These investments include $46 million for State Parks and Recreation, $61 million for the Department of Environmental Protection, and $1.5 million for Watershed Protection.


This budget ensures funding for crucial health and human services agencies and providers, including $17.9 million towards the Councils on Aging to help senior citizens and $109.8 million to continue reforms that protect children at the Department of Children and Families.  In an effort to assist nursing homes and their residents, the budget contains a $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.


For the first time in nearly 20 years, the budget will be increasing the Commonwealth’s contribution into the Community Preservation Act.  $36 million more will be distributed to projects across the Commonwealth in FY20. This will help raise the state’s match up to 30 percent for investments in open space, affordable housing, and historic preservation.