The Massachusetts Legislature unanimously passed a $52.7 billion budget for fiscal year 2023 (FY23). This budget supports fiscal responsibility and makes targeted investments to strengthen the economic foundations of the state, protect the most vulnerable residents and meet the daily needs of communities and families across the Commonwealth.
“I want to thank the leaders of the House and Senate for their help and support in securing multiple postings for Suffolk’s Sixteenth District,” said Rep. Jessica Ann Giannino (D-Revere). “State funding was so desperately needed by communities in my district, especially after emerging from the economic damage caused by the pandemic, so I am proud to report that I was able to secure the following budget items with the aid from Senator Lydia Edwards, which include: more than $1 million for State Police Troop A for directed patrols on Revere Beach, $50,000 for Robert Health and Wellness Center J. Haas, $50,000 for the City of Revere Food Systems Center and $25,000 for an ATV for the City of Saugus Fire Department I would also like to thank my colleagues, Reps Turco and Wong, for their hard work team spirit and their continued support.”
“In these rare years when the Commonwealth finds itself with surplus revenue and idle federal funds, adopting a comprehensive budget that allocates significant resources to cities and towns is of paramount importance. is exactly what the Legislature did in fiscal year 2023,” said Rep. Jeffrey Rosario Turco (D-Winthrop). aside for many important projects in both localities, including upgrading the Robert J. Haas Health and Wellness Center in Revere and introducing a child safety program in Winthrop. allocation is over, our job as legislators is to ensure that the plans set out in the budget are carried out. I look forward to working with constituents, local elected officials and my colleagues in the Legislative Assembly to bring this budget to life.
“I was proud to secure funding for so many vital community services, projects and events in the City of Revere, including $10,000 for the Revere Police Department, $50,000 for the Revere Sand Sculpting Festival , $50,000 for Revere Substance Abuse and Homeless Initiatives Office, $50,000 for Women Encouraging Empowerment, $50,000 for Belle Isle Marsh, as well as millions of dollars in bail,” said Senator Lydia Edwards (D- Boston). “This year the Commonwealth received a massive infusion of federal funds from ARPA and COVID relief, plus tax revenue was higher than expected. We must take full advantage of this surplus and reinvest in our communities.”
Notably, the Legislature provides significant funds in the FY23 budget to invest in future long-term Commonwealth obligations. Prioritizing funding for education, this budget includes $175 million in a new, high-quality trust fund for early education and accessible care, which will be used in future years to support implementation of recommendations made by the Economic Review Commission for Early Education and Care. Additionally, an additional $150 million payment is included in the Student Opportunity Act (SOA) Investment Fund, bringing its balance to $500 million, ensuring that the resources will be used in the future to support a fair funding for our most vulnerable students.
The budget strongly reflects the Legislative Assembly‘s commitment to supporting cities and towns and provides a significant amount of local and regional assistance to ensure communities can provide essential services to the public while rebuilding after a unique pandemic in a generation. This includes $1.231 billion in funding for Unrestricted General Government Assistance (UGGA), an increase of $63 million from FY22, and $45 million in payments in lieu of taxes (PILOT) for Crown-owned land, an increase of $10 million over FY22, providing additional local assistance payments to cities and towns working to improve access to services and essential 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 issues identified by the Federal Transit Administration’s Safety Management Inspection.
As a cornerstone of the economic foundation of the Commonwealth, the FY23 Budget expands access to educational opportunities and strongly supports students, families, educators and institutions. The budget also reflects a strong commitment to early childhood education and care, investing $1.18 billion in this area, including $365 million in new resources to begin implementing the recommendations made by the Commission on economic review of early childhood education and care.
The budget invests in higher education, allocating $670 million to the University of Massachusetts system, $352 million to community colleges, and $328 million to state universities.
Other investments in education include:
• $441 million for the special education circuit breaker
Recognizing that health care accounts for more than 40 percent of the state’s annual budget, the Legislature’s fiscal year 23 budget supports support for the state’s safety net by funding MassHealth for a total of 19 .48 billion, ensuring more than 2.1 million people have continued access to comprehensive health services. .
The FY23 budget invests in the social services workforce that provides services to the state’s most vulnerable residents, including $230 million for Section 257 tariffs for healthcare workers and Social Services, $40 million to continue to increase supplemental rates and ensure a smaller wage cliff between FY22 and FY23 for home health aides and housewives, and $1 million for the nursing and paramedical workforce development program. Additional investments include funding for programs such as the Seniors Mental Health Awareness Teams, expansion of the Safe and Successful Youth Initiative, nine supportive housing sites for seniors, and the SHINE.
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 Office of addiction and, most importantly, is tackling 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 crisis hotline. behavioral health crisis.
Building on last year’s efforts to address extreme poverty, the FY23 budget supports working families grappling with the economic toll associated with rising costs and includes a record investment in l Annual Child Clothing Allowance, providing $400 per child to eligible families to purchase clothing. for the next school year. The budget also includes a 10% increase in the benefit levels of Transitional Assistance for Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) and Emergency Assistance for the Elderly, Disabled and Children (EAEDC) compared to June. 2022 to provide the economic supports needed to provide stability to families across the state.
For the first time ever, the FY23 budget removes barriers to communication services for incarcerated people and their loved ones, requiring the Department of Correction (DOC) and sheriffs to provide free phone calls to those receiving and initiate telephone calls and other services such as video or electronic communications. It also establishes a new requirement that commissary items in correctional institutions must not be sold for more than three percent more than the purchase cost. These two amendments ensure that correctional institutions do not unfairly take advantage of the basic needs of incarcerated persons. The budget also eliminates probation and parole fees, reducing the burden on individuals during their reintegration process. Currently, individuals pay $50 per month for administrative supervision probation fees, $65 per month for probation supervision fees, and $80 per month for parole fees.
To meet the needs of our Commonwealth’s post-pandemic recovery, the FY23 Budget invests more than $100 million to strengthen skills training programs, help connect the unemployed and underemployed to better jobs paid and supporting career services that help students gain skills to apply. future jobs. The budget includes $20 million for Career Technical Institutes to increase the skilled worker population’s access to vocational technical training opportunities, a transfer of $17 million to the workforce 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 Development Fund.
The budget also maintains the Legislature’s focus on environmental and climate protection by investing $375.2 million for environmental services, which includes funding increases for state parks, environmental protection, fishing and wildlife. Additional measures include promoting electric vehicles and funding environmental justice and climate change adaptation and preparedness.
The FY23 budget also establishes a Veterans Equality Review Board to ensure veterans dishonorably discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” receive veterans benefits. state-based.
After being passed by the House and the Senate, the bill was forwarded to the Governor’s office where it was signed.