State Legislature Passes Balanced Budget With Targeted Investments in Housing

Last week Rep. Joe McGonagle along with his colleagues in the Massachusetts Legislature announced that they passed its Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) budget, which invests in programs and services across the Commonwealth. Funded at $43.1 billion, this budget makes major investments in education, housing, substance use disorder services, health care, and other areas while projecting a more than $476 million deposit into the Stabilization Fund – bringing the fund’s balance to more than $3 billion to safeguard the future of vital programs and services.

Working collaboratively with Sen. Sal DiDomenico, Rep. McGonagle is proud to report that the City of Everett is set to receive a total of $83,487,833. Of the $83 million, Everett will receive $75,001,709 in Chapter 70 local education aid – an increase of $6 million from last year. It will also receive $7,336,124 in unrestricted general government aid – an increase of $192,868 from last year.

Rep. McGonagle and Sen. DiDomenico also secured $1.15 million in earmarks for specific programs related to senior services, mental health initiatives, homelessness prevention, and music and technology activities within the Everett Public Schools.

“A big thank you to Chair Michlewitz, Chair Rodrigues, and their staff who worked very hard to deliver a budget that is both fiscally responsible and also invests in the Commonwealth’s top priorities of education, housing, and job creation. As the Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Housing, I am thrilled that this budget starts to tackle our housing crisis by drastically investing in housing and homelessness programs,” remarked McGonagle.

The FY20 budget includes the following McGonagle earmarks:  

 $25,000 to pay for the installation of more signage on major thoroughfares. These signs will help maintain safety and efficiency with the increase of visitors to Everett due to Encore Boston Harbor.

 $50,000 to create a new position in the City of Everett for a mental health clinician to assist with substance abuse, mental health, and gambling addiction.

 $100,000 to fund the renovation of the Connolly Center to expand senior services.

With regards to McGonagle’s leadership role as the Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Housing, he advocated for the following housing investments:

$116 million for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP);

$72 million for Public Housing Subsidies;

$8 million for Alternative Housing Voucher Program; and

$53.4 million for Homeless individual shelters.

“I am proud that this year’s state budget makes important investments in housing programs. The housing crisis that exists in Massachusetts today has widespread and adverse implications on our seniors, young people, and families. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues and the administration to reduce housing costs in the metro Boston area and to increase the supply of housing options,” McGonagle stated.

Having been passed by the House and Senate, the legislation now goes to Governor Baker for his signature. Rep. McGonagle is in his third term as State Representative for the 28th Middlesex District. He serves as the Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Housing and sits on the Joint Committees on Transportation and Health Care Financing. McGonagle may be reached at Joseph.McG[email protected].

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