State Rep. Joe McGonagle of the 28th Middlesex District joined his colleagues in the Legislature to enact a $41.88 billion Massachusetts state budget for FY19.
The budget features no new taxes or fees and directs a $367 million deposit into the Stabilization Fund to ensure our state’s fiscal health and protect Massachusetts’ future. It also prioritizes our cities and towns, education and those most in need of help.
“It was an honor to join my colleagues in the House for the passing of the Massachusetts State Budget.” said McGonagle. “This budget makes significant investments in housing, healthcare, education, local aid, transportation and seniors. I was proud to vote for this budget because I know it will provide necessary resources for our City.”
Representative McGonagle secured nearly $900,000 in funding for the City of Everett for Workforce Development and Waterfront Public Access Improvements.
As part of an ongoing effort to ensure access to safe and affordable housing for the most vulnerable Massachusetts residents, the budget provides $100 million for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP), $32 million for the HomeBASE program, $20 million for the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) Program and establishes a $5 million rapid homeless rehousing program.
To address the ongoing opioid epidemic, the budget includes $142 million for the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services to create five recovery centers in Massachusetts. The budget features $5 million to support community-based treatment program, $4.9 million for step-down recovery services and $1 million to provide increased access to Narcan to first responders.
In recognition of the state’s strong support for education, the Legislature approved an unprecedented $4.9 billion in Chapter 70 education funding, which represents an increase of 3.4 percent over the previous fiscal year and increases funding for teacher health care costs by $3 million. Education funding also features $319.4 million to fund the Special Education Circuit Breaker, $90 million for Charter School Reimbursement, $68.9 million for Regional School Transportation and $5 million to fund the Preschool Partnership Initiative.
The budget reflects the Legislature’s commitment to ensuring the wellbeing of children and families by providing $2.5 million for continued support for early childhood mental health consultation services and $20 million to support high-quality Early Education and Care (EEC) programs. The budget also provides $10 million to create an EEC workforce development initiative to tie professional development and higher education opportunities more closely to our community colleges.
The budget ensures that cities and towns, large and small, are empowered to effectively manage their regional transit systems to ensure reliable service and fiscal responsibility. Regional Transit Authorities across Massachusetts are allocated $88 million to assure that our residents have access to reliable and affordable transportation.