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The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

FY 2020 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 2020 Budget Web Site. On this site you will find information and documents related to the House Ways and Means Budget, the full text of all Amendments offered by Representatives to the budget document, and the action taken by the House on those amendments.  You can access this information by clicking here.

 

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Local Aid

The House Committee on Ways and Means budget proposal invests significantly in aid to cities and towns across the Commonwealth. For FY 2020, the Committee proposes increasing the Unrestricted General Government Aid by $29.7M to $1.129B. The Committee also proposes funding Chapter 70 aid to school districts at $5.125B, a $218 M increase over the FY19 GAA. Acknowledging the significant costs that districts face, the Committee invests $73.8M for regional school transportation, and also increases district aid for charter school payments to $113M, a $23M increase over FY19 GAA, while modernizing the funding formula to better align dollars with need.

  • Provides $1.129B for UGGA
  • Provides $5.125B for Chapter 70 aid
  • Provides $329M for Circuit Breaker Special Education reimbursement
  • Provides $73.9M for Regional School Transportation reimbursement
  • Provides $113M for Charter School reimbursement

Early Education and Care

The Department of Early Education and Care provides services for the youngest members of the Commonwealth. This includes subsidized child care services for some of the most vulnerable children, including those referred by the Department of Children and Families and the Department of Transitional Assistance, as well as eligible low-income families. The Committee is proud to strengthen our commitment to the early education provider workforce with significant investments in the child care accounts, as well as investing an additional $20M in a salary rate reserve for providers.

  • Provides $276M to fund child care for children involved with the Department of Children and Families and the Department of Transitional Assistance
  • Provides $276.5M for child care for children from income-eligible families in the Commonwealth
  • Provides $20M for a salary reserve to increase rates for center-based early education providers
  • Provides $5M for professional development opportunities for child care providers
  • Provides $2.5M for the Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Grant

Elementary and Secondary Education

Massachusetts continues to lead the nation in educational achievement, due in no small part to the important core state investment and services provided at the K-12 level. The House Committee on Ways and Means budget continues this work by funding key grant programs at the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, while also investing in programs that are working to close achievement gaps and provide key services for students statewide, such as mentoring grants, after school programming and literacy programming.

  • Provides $23.6M for METCO programs
  • Provides $32.6M for adult basic education services
  • Provides $2.8M for English Language Acquisition programs
  • Provides $4.5M for school-to-work connecting grants
  • Provides $3.6M for after school and out of school grants
  • Provides $1M for Mentoring Grants

Higher Education

The House Committee of Ways and Means budget recognizes the importance of quality, affordable public higher education as the propellant for a successful future for all Massachusetts students. The Committee budget makes important investments in supporting the state share of cost across the 15 community colleges, 9 state universities and 5 UMASS campuses. Additionally, the budget funds important grant programs that support the campuses in achieving student retention and graduation, powering STEM expansion and connecting students with workforce opportunities. Finally, the budget includes $105M for state-funded scholarships, to help all students achieve a higher education degree.

  • Provides $558M for the University of Massachusetts system
  • Provides $292M for community colleges
  • Provides $270M for state universities
  • Provides $105M for the State Scholarship program

Judiciary

The Judiciary is responsible for upholding the Massachusetts General Laws as well as laws put in place by the Constitution of the United States. The House Committee on Ways and Means budget aims to ensure that every citizen has equal access to justice through the court system. The Committee’s proposal continues to support this mission by including a $1.6M increase over the FY19 GAA appropriation to fund civil legal aid programs that provide vital support for the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable individuals and their families.

  • Provides $734.5M for the Trial Court
  • Provides $251.6M for the Committee for Public Counsel Services
  • Provides $135.6M for the District Attorneys’ Offices of the Commonwealth
  • Provides $22.5M for Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation
  • Provides $4.5M for Community Based Re-entry Programs

Veterans’ Affairs

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs provides veterans with access to programs and services throughout the Commonwealth. The Department provides educational opportunities, outreach centers, service benefits, as well as personal care services through the Soldiers’ Homes located in Chelsea and Holyoke.

  • Provides $72.1M for Veterans’ Benefit Payments
  • Provides $55.1M for the Soldiers’ Homes in Chelsea and Holyoke
  • Provides $5.3M for Veterans’ Outreach Centers
  • Provides $5.9M for assistance to homeless veterans

Health and Human Services

The Executive Office of Health and Human Services plays a crucial role in providing residents of the Commonwealth in need with access to services and supports. These services, including access to healthcare, food, and temporary assistance, are vital sources of relief for Massachusetts children, families, veterans, seniors, and those with disabilities. The House Committee on Ways and Means FY 2020 budget proposal supports this mission by ensuring investments that protect the needs and safety of our state’s most vulnerable populations.

MassHealth

MassHealth covers 1.86 million lives, providing healthcare and long term care services with the goals of improving the physical, behavioral and social determinants of health, to support quality of life for its members. The House Committee on Ways and Means budget proposal includes $16.57B for MassHealth programmatic spending including expanded eligibility for low-income seniors served in the Medicare Savings Program and increased funding to nursing homes. This budget proposal invests in the growing elder population and sustained effort in the newly restructured MassHealth program. These measures will protect the viability of MassHealth as the guarantor of quality health care coverage to those residents in need.

  • Provides $395M for MassHealth Nursing Home Supplemental Rates
  • Provides $50M for expanded substance use disorder treatment
  • Provides $13M for High Public Payer Hospitals Supplemental Funding
  • Provides $30M for Medicare Savings Program enhanced eligibility for 40,000 seniors

Department of Developmental Services

The Department of Developmental Services (DDS) empowers children and adults with developmental disabilities to become fully engaged members of their communities. The House Committee on Ways and Means budget reflects the Commonwealth’s commitment to supporting both individuals with developmental disabilities and their families to become active members in their communities through day and employment programs, as well as residential and respite services. The Committee’s recommendation fully funds the Turning 22 class, annualizes the costs of the Turning 22 population, and invests in programs to support consumers and their families.

  • Provides $1.28B for Community Based Residential Placements
  • Provides $236.3M for Community Day and Employment Programs
  • Provides $70.1M for Family Respite Services
  • Provides $27.5M for Autism Omnibus Services

Department of Children and Families

The Department of Children and Families strives to protect the children of the Commonwealth from abuse and neglect by providing family support services, family stabilization services, as well as foster care and adoptive services. For FY 2020, the House Committee on Ways and Means’ proposal continues the trend of increasing support for this critical mission.

Investments over the past few years have enabled the agency to hire more licensed social workers with the goal of reining in caseload ratios. The FY 2020 recommendation builds upon this momentum with an increase of $38.9M in overall departmental funding compared to the prior fiscal year. This funding is necessary to annualize and increase staffing levels and programs designed to produce strong families and keep children safe.

  • Provides $255.4M for Social Workers
  • Provides $307.7M for Services for Children and Families
  • Provides $293.4M for Congregate Care Services
  • Provides $109.8M for Clinical Support Services and Operations

Department of Youth Services

The Department of Youth Services is charged with rehabilitating youthful offenders through a continuum model of services and supervision. The House Committee on Ways and Means budget proposal highlights the importance of instilling positive change through education and skill development for the youths in the Department’s care. The Department will continue to operate effective programs by partnering with all available organizations to reduce recidivism, promote positive change, and protect the public.

  • Provides $115.8M for Committed Residential Youth
  • Provides $28.2M for the Detained Population
  • Provides $24.8M for the Non-Residential Services for Committed Population

Department of Transitional Assistance

The Department of Transitional Assistance works to meet the basic needs and improve the quality of life for low-income residents of the Commonwealth. Assistance programs administered by the department are a critical step toward self-sufficiency and independence for many in Massachusetts. The House Committee on Ways and Means remains committed to protecting these vital services for the Commonwealth’s most economically disadvantaged populations.

The Committee expands eligibility of the largest state run programs on behalf of the Commonwealth’s underserved population. In addition, the House Ways and Means budget proposal allocates funds that will increase the purchasing power of SNAP recipients while also having the added benefit of stimulating the economy by allocating funds to be spent specifically on the state’s local retail and farming industries.

  • Provides $215.8M for State Supplemental Security Income
  • Provides $204.5M for the Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children
  • Provides $4M for the Healthy Incentives Program

Department of Public Health

The Department of Public Health aims to ensure that all people of the Commonwealth remain healthy by promoting wellness, establishing and enforcing health and safety rules and regulations and working to prevent injury, illness, and premature death within the state. DPH focuses on addressing social determinants of health and strives to eliminate health disparities within the Commonwealth. The House Committee on Ways and Means budget proposal includes increased funding to combat the opioid epidemic and support the department’s prevention efforts by funding new syringe service programs and the state laboratory.

  • Provides $143.9M for the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services
  • Provides $32.3M for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Treatment
  • Provides $15M for the State Lab and Communicable Disease Control

Department of Mental Health

As the State Mental Health Authority, the Department of Mental Health (DMH) provides community-based and continuing care inpatient services for approximately 21,000 individuals throughout the Commonwealth. The department serves the severely, persistently mentally ill with the goal of enabling as many individuals to live, work, and participate within their communities. The House Committee on Ways and Means budget continues supports for community-based care and redirecting clients to proper services and support.

  • Provides $489.4M for Adult Mental Health and Support Services
  • Provides $93.4M for continued long-term support for children under DMH care
  • Provides $3M for DMH’s Crisis Intervention/Jail Diversion Grant Program

Elder Affairs

The Department of Elder Affairs provides services that promote independence and sustain a high quality of life for elders with support to their families and caregivers. These services range from community-based services and supports as well as nutrition programs, protective services, and housing, which are provided through a network of Aging Service Access Points and Councils on Aging Across the state. The House Committee on Ways and Means funding level of $555M ensure these important services continue while recognizing the unprecedented continued growth in the elder population and desire to age in the community.

  • Provides $179M for Elder Home Care Purchased Services
  • Provides $32.7M for Elder Protective Services
  • Provides $16.5M for Grants to Councils on Aging ($12/elder)
  • Provides $9M for Nutrition Services Program serves additional 290,000 meals
  • Provides $500K for the Geriatric Mental Health Services Program

Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development

With Massachusetts’ economic output continuously outperforming the national average, the House Committee on Ways and Means recognizes the importance of a robust business climate to helping the state maintain its economic competitiveness. To achieve that goal, the Office of Business Development provides Massachusetts companies with the tools to grow and develop in the modern high tech economy. Whether through strengthening the profile of the state’s knowledge-based industries, or continued assistance to Massachusetts’ manufacturing companies, this budget helps further the state’s multifaceted approach to creating a strong and stable business environment.

  • Provides $3M for Small Business Technical Assistance Grants
  • Provides $2M for Urban Agenda Economic Development Grants
  • Provides $2M for the Massachusetts Commission for the Success of Restaurants in the Commonwealth to improve the vitality of the state’s restaurant industry
  • Provides $1.5M for the MassTech Collaborative
  • Provides $500K for the Big Data Innovation and Workforce Fund

Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development

The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development’s mission is to help the citizens of the Commonwealth enter and adapt to the labor market by offering workforce training, education, and unemployment benefits. This budget continues to support the Office’s work in assisting individuals with their job search and ensuring that all residents of the Commonwealth are provided with a safe, healthy, and fair working environment.

  • Provides $14M for Summer Jobs for At-Risk-Youth
  • Provides $4M for One Stop Career Centers
  • Provides $2M for the Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership
  • Provides $1.4M for the Massachusetts Service Alliance
  • Provides $1M for a workforce development program for individuals transitioning from houses of correction

Department of Housing and Community Development

Although there are many encouraging signs relative to the Commonwealth’s economic growth, obtaining affordable housing remains difficult for the thousands of individuals and families throughout the state struggling with homelessness. The Department of Housing and Community Development has taken substantial strides toward the prevention of homelessness for at-risk households and achieving more sustainable housing solutions for those families and individuals within the state’s shelter systems.

A safe housing environment provides a solid foundation from which families and individuals can lead stable, successful lives. As such, the House Committee on Ways and Means budget recommendation preserves or expands all eligibility criteria for the emergency homeless assistance programs, while also recognizing the importance of sustainable independent living by making substantial investments in homelessness prevention and rapid rehousing for both families and individuals.

  • Provides $165.7M for the Emergency Assistance Family Shelter Program
  • Provides $110M for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP)
  • Provides $53.4M for Homeless Individuals Assistance
  • Provides $25.8M for the HomeBASE Program
  • Provides $20M for the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) Program
  • Provides $7.2M for the Alternative Voucher Housing Program (AVHP)
  • Provides $5M for Rapid Re-Housing Programs for Homeless Individuals
  • Provides $3.5M for Housing Consumer Education Centers

Public Safety and Security

The House Committee of Ways and Means’ budget recommendation provides funding for the Executive Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security and the fourteen sheriff’s departments, allowing the Commonwealth to continue to develop and implement programming that ensures the safety and security of residents. The FY 2020 budget recommendation provides targeted increases to carry on with this important endeavor. Moreover, this budget incorporates investments related to criminal justice reform that impact an array of state functions, from the development of core infrastructure and technology to the provision of vital clinical care and reentry services. Services provided by the agencies of Public Safety include, but are not limited to: enforcing statewide laws, protecting the state against fire and other emergency situations, and all other correctional related programs.

  • Provides $728M for the Department of Corrections
  • Provides $598M for the Commonwealth’s 14 sheriffs’ offices
  • Provides $447M for the Department of State Police including $4.5M for a new State Police class
  • Provides $41M for the Executive Office of Public Safety
  • Provides $27M for the Department of Fire Services

Transportation

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) works to provide a safe and reliable transportation network across the Commonwealth. Maintaining infrastructure from roads to rails, MassDOT supports a growing economy and improves the quality of life for residents, while investing in innovative solutions to meet the transportation needs of both today and tomorrow. The House Committee on Ways and Means budget supports the complex demands of our dynamic transportation network. The Committee’s recommendation enables the Department, the MBTA and the Regional Transit Authorities to meet the increasing demand for public transportation and actively maintain core services.

  • Provides $344M for MassDOT
  • Provides $127M for the MBTA
  • Provides $86M for the Regional Transit Authorities

Energy and Environment

From the Berkshires to Cape Cod, Massachusetts has a diverse landscape of open spaces and natural resources that improve quality of life and support our economy. The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs preserves and protects our land, water, and air for future generations to come with a commitment to clean energy and climate change mitigation in communities across the state. The Office also provides opportunities for outdoor recreation at our parks and beaches while supporting a sustainable food system. The House Committee on Ways and Means budget invests in these invaluable services to ensure the wellbeing of the Commonwealth’s residents today and in the future.

  • Provides $100.2M for the Department of Conservation and Recreation
  • Provides $61M for the Department of Environmental Protection
  • Provides $31.7M for the Department of Fish and Game