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The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

FY 2013 Budget House Ways & Means Budget

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The House Committee on Ways and Means examines the Governor's Proposal and releases its own recommmendations for the annual budget for deliberation by the House of Representatives. Prior to release of the House Ways and Means Budget, Joint Ways and Means Committee budget hearings are held across the state.

Photo of  Brian S. Dempsey
House Ways and Means Chair

Dear Visitor:

Welcome to the Massachusetts House of Representatives Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Web Site. On this page you will find information and documents related to the House Ways and Means Budget and full text of all Amendments offered by Representatives to the budget document. You can access this information by clicking on the associated links below. Thank you for visiting this page, and please check back often!

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

Financial Overview

 

The House Committee on Ways and Means recommends for the Commonwealth’s fiscal year 2013 operating budget direct appropriations totaling $32.295B. These expenditures are based on a tax revenue estimate of $21.950B for Fiscal Year 2013, representing growth of $940M above projected current year collections. In addition to tax revenue, the Committee’s budget recommendation makes use of $13.03B of departmental revenues, federal reimbursements and operating transfers. The Commonwealth continues to emerge from the 2009 recession slowly but ahead of many other states across the country, and the Committee is proud to present this balanced financial plan for the next fiscal year.  Thanks to our diligence as a national leader in state finance management this operating budget recommendation is able to protect the vital programs and services that the people of Massachusetts rely on every day, even in the face of today’s limited economic resources. 

 

FY11 Tax

Collections

FY12 Estimated

Collections

FY13 Consensus

Revenue

Total Tax Estimate

$20,516

$21,010

$21,950

Dedicated Tax Revenue*

$2,864

$2,941

$3,058

Total Taxes Available

$17,653

$18,069

$19,046

*Transfers to the MBTA, SMART, and PRIT Funds

This budget proposal is both an acknowledgement of the importance of maintaining critical, yet sometimes expensive programs, and the fiscal discipline required to stay within our means.  The Committee budget proposal does not propose any new taxes or fees on the people living, working, and doing business in Massachusetts, and makes responsible use of one time revenue sources such as the Stabilization fund.

 

The funding allocated to programs in this budget addresses areas of mandatory growth, provides services for the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable citizens through various health and human services programs, supports education, public safety, economic development, and provides funding to address the pressing homelessness situation that families across Massachusetts are struggling to deal with every day. The budget proposal contained in this document provides a path for the Commonwealth to grow sustainably while pushing to more effectively use finite resources to provide residents of Massachusetts with core government services.

 

Local Aid

The House Ways and Means Committee values the critical role that local government plays in the lives of the citizens of the Commonwealth. Local aid funding is vital to municipalities’ operations and their ability to provide basic services to their residents.  This year the committee is proud to prioritize this responsibility to our local governments by fully funding our capacity for Unrestricted General Government Aid to support municipalities and signal our commitment to helping them plan budgets with dependable revenues.

This budget also provides a $163M increase to Chapter 70 funding by committing $4.15B to local, regional, and vocational school districts. This increase provides enough funding to help all districts meet foundation aid and to also realize an increase in funds over state fiscal year 2012.

In addition to Unrestricted General Government Aid and Chapter 70 education funding, this budget proposal makes other significant investments in local aid.  The committee recommends an $8.4M increase in Special Education Circuit Breaker funding, a $2M increase in Regional School Transportation reimbursements, and for the first time confronts the unfunded McKinney-Vento federal mandate for the transportation of school districts homeless student population with an $11.3M appropriation.

·         Increases Chapter 70 to $4.15B.

·         Fully funds Unrestricted General Government Aid without relying on potential, one time, funding sources: $898M.

·         Funds homeless student transportation for the first time in state history: $11.3M.

·         Increases funding for regional school transportation by $2M.

Board of Library Commissioners

The House Ways and Means Committee recognizes that local libraries are an important hub of information, arts and civic life for communities in the Commonwealth. This budget increases the administrative line item of the Board of Library Commissioners for the first time since FY 2008, and the Committee budget recommends that the Talking Book Library in Watertown receive a significant increase to its budget for services provided to the vision impared.

 

·         Increases the Talking Book Watertown to $2.4M.

·         Level funds Aid to Regional Public Libraries at $9.1M.

·         Level funds Aid to Municipal Public Libraries at $6.8M.

·         Level funds IT Resource sharing at $1.9M.

 

K-12 Education

 

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education works to close the proficiency gap in underperforming schools and ensures that students who graduate from high school are ready for college, careers and citizenship. The Ways and Means Committee budget is committed to providing a world class education to all children of the Commonwealth.

 

In addition to Chapter 70 education funding, the state Department of Education is funded with increased commitments to special education, English as a Second Language programs, and new opportunities for our best and brightest students to challenge themselves outside of opportunities that may not currently be available at underprivileged schools.  The Committee also prioritizes funding for adult basic education, kindergarten expansion grants, and creates a new program for financial literacy education to fill a void in the current curriculum in some districts.

 

·         Increases Chapter 70 funding by $163M.

·         Increases Special Education Circuit Breaker by $8.4M.

·         Increases kindergarten expansion grants by $2M.

·         Increased adult basic education by $1.4M.

·         Creates a new Financial Literacy program at $250K.

·         Creates a new AP Programs initiative at $1M.

 

Early Education and Care

 

The Department of Early Education and Care ensures access to affordable child care throughout the Commonwealth.  The Ways and Means Committee budget provides full funding for child care for children with open abuse and neglect cases in the Department of Children and Families, as well as for families who receive or recently received transitional assistance.

 

This budget proposal supports a variety of services ranging from one-on-one tutoring programs to mental health services that ensure all children, regardless of circumstance, have an equal opportunity for success. Also included is support for the Children’s Trust Fund which leads the state in child abuse prevention. The investments made in these child care programs provide a foundation that supports all children in their development.

 

·         Fully funds child care for children with open abuse cases with DCF at $77.3M.

·         Fully funds child care for children who receive or recently received transitional assistance at $125M.

·         Level funds Universal Pre-Kindergarten at $7.5M.

·         Level funds grants to Head Start programs at $7.5M.

 

Higher Education

 

It is the mission of the Department of Higher Education to ensure that Massachusetts residents have the opportunity to benefit from a higher education system that enriches lives and advances contributions to the civic life, economic development, and social progress of the Commonwealth. In the current economic climate skills training at the post-secondary level is more important than ever.  Public higher education ensures that quality options are available and affordable for citizens of the commonwealth.

 

The Ways and Means Committee budget makes an investment in workforce development by adding funds to Performance Management Set Aside, a competitive grant program for State Colleges and Universities to develop programs to connect students with post graduate employment. The Committee proposes that all of the state school line items remain level funded and that the state support its new obligation to pay $43.5M in Collective Bargaining reserves for UMass, State Universities and the Community Colleges.

 

·         Increases Performance Management Set Aside by $5M.

·         Level funds for UMass, State Universities and Community Colleges.

·         Level funds Community College Workforce Development grants at $1.5M.

·         Increases Foster and Adopted Child Fee Waivers, by $281K.

·         Increases STEM Pipeline Fund by $1M.

 

Judiciary

 

It is the mission of the judicial branch to maintain a fair and efficient judicial system that provides equal access to justice for every citizen of the Commonwealth.  As the need for legal assistance in this difficult economic climate continues to increase, the Committee’s budget provides the necessary funding by investing in programs aimed at those most in need.  The Committee’s budget recognizes the importance of bestowing justice to all and continues to support the state’s constitutional obligation to provide counsel for indigent clients as well as civil legal aid for adults and children with mental disabilities.

 

·         Increases funding for the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation to $11M.

·         Provides $162.6M for Committee for Public Counsel Services and continues reforms to provide indigent representation in a more cost-effective manner by being less reliant on private bar advocates.

·         Provides $7.6M for the Supreme Judicial Court.

·         Provides $10.9M for the Appeals Court.

·         Provides $527.6M for the Trial Court.

 

Lottery

 

The Massachusetts State Lottery continues to serve as an essential component in the provision of local services to citizens throughout the Commonwealth.  With revenue generated from the Lottery’s sales, each city and town is able to provide teachers for their schools and emergency response personnel to help keep their communities safe. The Committee believes in a strong and effective lottery, and has produced a budget that allows the lottery to expand its operations while continuing to provide the highest payout ratio in the country. By providing the Lottery with the resources to strengthen and expand its operations the State expects to see a stronger, more profitable outcome in fiscal year 2013.

 

·         Provides $78.6M for the Lottery’s operations, allowing the continued expansion of Player Activated Terminals and raffle games.

·         Provides $3.2M for the Lottery’s operations of monitor games, providing for the design and introduction of a new monitor game.

·         Provides $5M in the Lottery’s advertising budget.

 

State Administration

 

The Commonwealth’s administrative offices are charged with providing health insurance for municipal and state employees, overseeing revenues, maintaining the Commonwealth’s cash-flow, providing maintenance and upkeep for state property, and representing the Commonwealth’s legal interests.  In developing its budget recommendations the House Ways and Means Committee carefully examined each line item in detail to identify savings opportunities while enhancing services and programs provided by these offices.  Investments have been made in areas such as the Commonwealth Performance Accountability and Transparency Office, ensuring that Massachusetts government is open and efficient.  

 

·         Adds a dependent verification audit of the Group Insurance Commission’s premium plans.

·         Consolidates the former Bureau of State Office Buildings within the Division of Capital Asset Management.

·         Provides $1.5M for the opening of the Springfield Data Center.

·         Provides $500K for the Commonwealth Performance Accountability and Transparency Office.

 

Transportation

 

The House Ways and Means budget authorizes a $349M transfer to provide additional funding for transportation services including the Highway and Aeronautics Divisions, the RMV, the MBTA, and the State’s regional transit authorities. The Committee recognizes the importance of public transportation in facilitating economic development and making travel easier and more accessible for consumers. Knowing that the these decisions affect all citizens of the Commonwealth, this budget provides Mass DOT with the resources necessary to adequately maintain the quality of the State’s transportation infrastructure. Along with the Massachusetts Transportation Trust Fund transfer, this budget fully funds the contract assistance on vital transportation maintenance and repair projects such as the State’s Accelerated Bridge Program.

 

·         Provides $165M to Mass DOT.

·         Provides $160M to the MBTA.

·         Provides $15M to the Regional Transit Authorities.

·         Fully funds contract assistance payments for the accelerated bridge program, and the central artery and Route 3 projects.

 

Energy and Environment

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a national leader in the protection of natural resources.  The Committee budget invests in the vitality of the state’s ecological resources, maintains the operation of a robust network of municipal facilities, and works to secure a clean energy future. The Committee recognizes that in this difficult fiscal climate it is critical to protect the natural resources and public health of the Commonwealth, while ensuring services that citizens have come to depend on are provided. This budget makes a specific effort to maintain services at seasonal recreational facilities, and to preserve the funding to the Massachusetts Emergency Food Assistance Program. Funding has been maintained for essential programs in each of the departments of the secretariat to ensure that the Commonwealth is maintaining its rich, diverse ecosystem.

 

·         Provides $5.8M for the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs for guidance and oversight of the Commonwealth’s natural resources.

·         Consolidates all Retained Revenue accounts at the Department of Conservation and Recreation to allow the Department greater control over how to best provide services to the citizens of the Commonwealth.

·         Includes language to ensure all facilities that were open in Fiscal Year 2012 will be open in Fiscal Year 2013, and that municipal pools will open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

·         Provides $8.6M for the Office of Environmental Law Enforcement to safeguard our coasts and forests.

·         Provides $13.2M for the Hazardous Waste Cleanup Program to maintain its 24/7 emergency response program to clean up hazardous spills as soon as they occur.

 

Health and Human Services

 

The agencies within the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) provide for a number of diverse services to a large number of the Commonwealth’s 6 million residents. EOHHS services include transitional assistance for needy families, support for veterans, care for vulnerable populations, protection for youth, health services for the poor and services for the elderly. The committee’s budget recommendations aim to balance sustainable budgeting while preserving the values reflected in the services provided by EOHHS.

 

MassHealth

 

Massachusetts is outpacing the nation in our ability to continue providing healthcare to every resident without access to employer sponsored insurance in anticipation of the Affordable Care Act becoming effective in 2014.  Despite growth in healthcare costs rates that are sustainable over the long term, the committee’s budget continues our commitment to health services for 1.3M MassHealth enrollees and 208K Commonwealth Care members. The Committee’s budget recommendation recognizes that new delivery systems are in the works and looks to ensure that these delivery systems can provide quality care to MassHealth and Commonwealth Care members.

 

·         Provides $10.9B for MassHealth programs and a 2.8% increase in enrollment for FY13.

·         Provides $186M for Delivery System Transformation Initiative (DSTI) to help safety net hospitals throughout the State transition to future payment models.

·         Provides $801M for Commonwealth Care and $156M for re-integration of Aliens with Special Status (AWSS) into Commonwealth Care as a result of the Finch ruling by the Supreme Judicial Court.

 

Department of Youth Services

 

The Department of Youth Services (DYS) strives to instill confidence and promote positive change for troubled youth, and values the importance of programs that encourage community involvement.  This budget proposal supports the department’s efforts to advance education and skill development by investing in counseling services, safe living environments, and enhanced salaries for teachers within DYS.  As the juvenile justice agency in Massachusetts, DYS will continue to operate effective programs to protect the public and discourage youth crime.  This Committee has made investments in programs aimed towards inspiring the youth to become meaningful members of their community. 

 

·         Provides $22.4M for community-based services for youth in nonresidential care.

·         Provides $20.8M for pre-trial programs for youth awaiting trial.

·         Provides$102.6M for secure facilities to keep troubled youth off the streets.

·         Increases teacher enhanced salaries by $310K, to bring their salaries more in line with their public school counterparts.

·         Creates a line item for $2.1M for the Department of Youth Services Alternative Lockup Program that is for the operation of secure facilities to detain arrested youth prior to arraignment.

 

 

Department of Children and Families

 

The Department of Children and Families is charged with protecting children from abuse and neglect and strengthening families in the Commonwealth.  The House Ways and Means Committee acknowledges the importance of investing in residential, adoption, foster care and guardianship services, as well as family support and stabilization services. This budget recognizes the significance of this mission through the designation of $248.1M in funding for services of children and families for stabilization, reunification, foster care, and permanency services. The goal of the Committee through the Department is to provide a safe living environment for children whether at home with their families or in alternative care placements within the community. 

 

·         Provides $2.9M for foster care review services so each out-of-home placement is reviewed every six months.

·         Provides $44.6M for family support and stabilization to serve families and children in the home when suitable.

·         Provides $197.7M for congregate care services for children receiving residential treatment.

·         Maintains funding for social workers and case management, totaling $166.2M.

·         Provides level funding for the Sexual Abuse Intervention Network at $697.5K.

 

Transitional Assistance

 

The Committee remains committed to protecting vital services for the State’s most vulnerable populations by maintaining eligibility and benefits for cash assistance, food assistance, and employment training services.  Benefit programs administered by the Department of Transitional Assistance are a critical step towards self-sufficiency and independence for many Massachusetts residents.  This budget preserves these important programs on behalf of the Commonwealth’s underserved population and stimulates the economy by bringing more federal dollars in to the State’s retail and non-profit industries.

 

The House Ways and Means Committee budget makes a special effort to preserve funding for educational supports for young parents and other recipients of state benefit programs with the greatest need for assistance.  In Fiscal Year 2013 the Commonwealth will continue to fund the cash benefit programs for families, children, the elderly, disabled, and other populations who are in need of support.  In addition to the standard monthly cash benefit, the House Ways and Means Committee also provides funds for a back to school clothing allowance for children of families in need of assistance. 

 

·         Provides $783M to the Department of Transitional Assistance.

·         Provides $333M for TAFDC Grant Payments.

·         Provides $88M for emergency aid to the elderly, disabled and children.

·         Fully funded the Young Parents Program which provides educational support and parenting training to young parents across Massachusetts.

·         Appropriates $3M for job training and placement services to all clients.

 

Department of Mental Health

 

Massachusetts is a nationally respected leader in mental health treatment and services. The Department of Mental Health provides residential, clinical, vocational and rehabilitation services to members of the community and in an effort to maintain the exemplary level of services, this Committee makes a significant investment in addressing these needs. The House Ways and Means Committee budget is dedicated to providing funding for community-based services, so that those suffering from mental illness have the opportunity to benefit from these positive programs.  The Fiscal Year 2013 House Ways and Means budget appropriates approximately $664M to the Department of Mental Health.

 

·         Provides over $77.6M in funding for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

·         Provides over $343M in funding for Adult Community Mental Health Services.

·         Funds State Psychiatric Hospitals and Community Mental Health Centers at $153M, a $6.3M increase.

 

Department of Developmental Services

 

The Department of Developmental Services is committed to improving the lives of those with intellectual disabilities by giving them the opportunity to become meaningful and valued members of the community.  The House Ways and Means Committee is especially dedicated to supporting the department’s efforts to administer daily activity and employment services, transportation, and family respite support to help keep individuals in the home while being actively engaged in the community. This committee has invested funding in these programs in order to serve individuals with intellectual disabilities to the best of the Commonwealth’s abilities. 

 

·         Provides $51M for adult family supports.

·         Provides $13.6M for transportation to and from the day and work programs.

·         Provides $132.5M for the community based adult day and work programs that allows for skill building and supported employment.

·         Provides $6M in funding for the FY‘13 turning-22 class.

 

Department of Public Health

 

The mission of the Department of Public Health is to protect, preserve, and improve the health of all the Commonwealth's residents, with a particular focus on the health concerns of those most in need. In this proposal the Committee upholds its commitment to support disease prevention and health education services for the people of Massachusetts, and makes a particular investment for underserved residents in the areas of dental health services and teenage pregnancy prevention. The department is dedicated to empowering residents and accomplishing quality health care for all individuals, particularly those who have diverse and challenging health problems.  This proposal continues the Committee’s investment in the health of residents and in programs from community health centers to domestic violence, and from universal immunization to the critical services provided by public health hospitals.

 

·         Provides $3.2M for sexual assault nurse examiners and pediatric SANE programs, which provide specialized care for both adult and child victims of sexual violence.

·         Provides $3.8M for suicide prevention and intervention programs, which serve Massachusetts residents, including youth and veterans.

·         Provides $31.6M for HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and services to prevent the spread of HIV and develop health and support services needed to help individuals with HIV/AIDS live longer, healthier lives

·         Provides $76.5M for substance abuse services for community programs to support low-income individuals who would not otherwise receive treatment.

·         Provides $5.5M for domestic violence and sexual assault prevention and treatment, including rape crisis centers, refugee and immigrant programs, crisis hotlines, and GLBT outreach.

 

Department of Elder Affairs

 

Massachusetts has 1.3 million elders living in the state and it is our goal to ensure that they have the support they need to age safely and comfortably.  The Executive Office of Elder Affairs has various programs aimed at assisting our elderly including Aging Service Access Points, Councils on Aging and senior centers.  These programs provide services throughout the state, so that every elder has access to the necessary resources to maintain an independent living.  The mission of the Office is to promote integrity, right, and independence of all seniors and their caregivers.  This Committee has upheld this mission with strong investments in Protective Services, the Nutrition Program, and the Enhanced Home Care Services Program. 

 

·         Fully funds the Department of Elder Affairs at $240M.

·         Fully funds the Elder Enhanced Home Care Services Program at $47.3M.

·         Level funds the Elder home Care Purchased Services at $97.8M.

·         Level funds the Elder Nutrition Program at $6.3M.

·         Provides $17.25M for Elder Protective Services

 

Housing

 

The effects of the economic recession are still being dramatically felt by many families living in our cities and towns. From the Berkshires to Cape Cod, families are struggling with homelessness. The Committee has made a strong commitment towards creating prevention and re-housing programs and is moving away from relying solely on shelter a model. The Committee budget focuses on investing money into programs that are proven to work including the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition and Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program.

 

The Committee has dedicated a new line item to the hotel/motel costs in this budget proposal to increase transparency in the shelter system, making the emergency assistance line item responsible for funding only emergency assistance in shelters.  This effort will help the state identify and track our homeless families living in hotels/motels as the state focuses on reducing this population.  Funding has been preserved at FY12 GAA levels for the following items: DHCD administration, the housing consumer education centers, the Tenancy Preservation Program, service coordinator programs, subsidies to public housing authorities, and the alternative housing voucher program.  In addition to these funding levels, the Committee also dedicated resources to the following:

 

·         Provides $38M to individual homeless shelters.

·         Provides $88M to family homeless shelters.

·         Provides $16M to house family shelter overflow in hotels/motels.

·         Provides $84M to the HomeBASE program.

·         Provides $46M to the Massachusetts rental voucher program, which will provide no less than 928 vouchers which will be targeted to homeless families who entered motels before January 1, 2012.

·         Provides $4.5M for rental subsidies to DMH clients.

·         Provides $8.7M to a reengineered RAFT program to offer prevention to extremely low-income families.

 

Labor

 

Although the Commonwealth’s unemployment rate is lower than the national average, Massachusetts still faces the reality that a significant number of its residents are without work. The Committee recognizes the challenges the labor market faces and works closely with the Office of Labor and Workforce Development to show continued support for both individuals and companies within the state. Investments have been made to provide the residents of Massachusetts with the benefits, support and training necessary to help maintain economic sustainability and improve the potential of securing a stable career. The House Ways Means Committee maintains its commitment towards building a strong workforce through training and career development programs.  The budget also provides various departments with the resources necessary to ensure safe working conditions, to oversee the state’s workers’ compensation system and administer the state’s collective bargaining statues.

 

·         Provides $4.5M to the One Stop Career Centers.

·         Provides $500K for Mass Service Alliance Grants.

·         Provides $6.9M to Summer Jobs for At-Risk Youth.

 

Economic Development

 

With the Massachusetts economy continuing to outpace national growth in calendar year 2012, the Committee recognizes the importance of a strong business climate in maintaining the State’s ongoing economic recovery. The Office of Housing and Economic Development helps provide companies with resources to grow and develop, and promotes the Commonwealth as a business and tourist destination. While continuing to strengthen the profile of the State’s knowledge based industries, this budget also provides significant assistance to Massachusetts’s manufacturing base. This Committee provides the resources to attract businesses from around the world, and gives them the support to grow and expand. For the tourism industry, this budget lends strong support to the State’s ongoing marketing strategy. With this support, the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism will help in-state and out-of-state residents discover and explore all of the Commonwealth’s historic, cultural, and scenic attractions.

 

§         Provides $1.7M for the Massachusetts Office of Business Development.

§         Provides $1.2M for the Small Business Development Center at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

§         Provides $1.8M for the Mass Office of Travel and Tourism.

§         Provides $4M for local tourist councils throughout the Commonwealth.

§         Provides $110K for the Massachusetts International Trade Council.

 

Business Regulation

 

In order to maintain a fair and competitive business environment the Committee recognizes the significance of maintaining the standards administered by the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. Through the office’s various divisions, the State ensures that the goods and services essential to the daily lives of every resident of the Commonwealth are provided in a manner that is both reasonably priced and safe for consumers. To continue providing strong consumer protections this budget funds a variety of programs aimed at informing consumers both to the risks they may face, and the resources available to help protect themselves.

 

·         Provides $781K for the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation.

·         Provides $2.4M for the Division of Professional Licensure.

·         Provides $13.8M for the Division of Banks.

·         Provides $12.2M for the Division of Insurance.

 

Veterans’ Affairs

 

Long recognized for some of the best veterans’ benefits in the country, Massachusetts continues to provide outstanding and unwavering support for the men and women who have served in our armed forces. The Committee recognizes the tremendous sacrifice our veterans have made in their duty of ensuring the protection of this country and its citizens. This budget continues to provide strong support to the State’s veterans through sustained funding of disabled annuity payments, Chapter 115 benefits, outreach centers and homeless shelters. The Committee has also taken significant steps to help the Department of Veterans’ Services enhance many of its core programs. 

 

·         Provides $21.4M for disabled veteran annuity payments.

·         Provides a combined $48.3M for Soldiers’ Homes in Holyoke and Chelsea.

·         Provides $2.0M for veterans’ outreach programs.

·         Provides $4.6M for veterans’ homeless shelters.

·         Eliminates the practice of pro-rating veterans’ annuities, which establishes an easier and more equitable standard.

·         Provides $1.3M for the state veterans’ cemeteries in Agawam and Winchendon.

·         Provides $44M for Chapter 115 veterans’ benefits payments.

 

Public Safety & Security

 

The Committee recognizes the importance of ensuring the safety and security of every citizen of the Commonwealth, doing so by maintaining the fundamental operations of the individual agencies while addressing the pressing issues for future continuance.  The Committee’s recommendation provides funding for all Executive Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security agencies as well as the fourteen independent Sheriff Departments.  Together these agencies provide a wide array of services to the Commonwealth, including but not limited to, management of the Massachusetts’ National Guard and the Department of State Police, coordination of statewide victim service initiatives, and maintenance of all correctional facilities.  The Committee’s recommendation strikes the delicate balance between the difficult economic climate and Commonwealth’s public safety objectives.

 

·         Provides $276.2M in funding for the Department of State Police, which includes the costs associated with the 208 graduates from the 80th Recruit Training Troop.

·         Provides $543.1M in funding for the Department of Correction.

·         Creates a line item for the Department of Criminal Justice Information Systems to earn revenue through Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) requests.

·         Provides $14.9M in funding for the Military Division.

·         Consolidates two Department of Public Health facilities and one District Attorney Drug Testing facility into the State Police Crime Lab for increased efficiency and stream-lined services.

·         Provides $3.68M in funding for the Sex Offender Registry.

·         Level funds the Municipal Police Training Committee.

·         Provides $487.6M in funding for the fourteen County Sheriff’s Department.