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The 192nd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

FY 2023 Budget Senate Ways & Means Budget

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The Senate Committee on Ways and Means examines both the Governor's proposal and the House proposal and releases its own recommendations for the annual budget for deliberation by the Senate.

Photo of  Brian S. Dempsey
Senate Ways and Means Chair

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Welcome to the Massachusetts Senate Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Web Site. On this site, you will find information and documents related to the Senate Ways and Means 2023 Budget and full text of all Amendments offered by Senators to the Fiscal Year 2023 budget, and the action taken by the Senate on those amendments.

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Senate Committee on Ways and Means
Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Recommendations


Seal of the Commonwealth

Executive Summary

The Senate Committee on Ways and Means Fiscal Year 2023 budget recommendations reflect the advocacy of each Senator as we move forward together to support a post-pandemic future for our Commonwealth that equitably benefits all.
Focused on shared priorities, the Committee’s budget – like our Fiscal Year 2022 budget - is a forward-looking and fiscally responsible plan that shapes a post-pandemic future for Massachusetts. It solidifies our support for an equitable recovery in all corners of the Commonwealth, striving to meet the everyday needs of our communities and our people. It provides critical support to our cities and towns as they adjust and chart a new normal for their residents and neighborhoods. It centers students, families, and educators as a critical element to our state’s long-term economic health and success, ensures the continued well-being of our most vulnerable, prioritizes support for vital workforce development and housing stability programs and makes several targeted investments in key sectors to strengthen our Commonwealth’s economic foundation in preparation for an uncertain future. 
Safeguarding our fiscal health, while positioning us to readily confront the challenges of tomorrow, the Committee’s budget spends responsibly and maximizes state and federal revenue opportunities, recommending a total of $49.68 billion in spending, a $2.07 billion increase over the Fiscal Year 2022 General Appropriations Act. This spending recommendation is based on a tax revenue estimate of $36.915 billion for FY 2022, representing 2.7 per cent growth, as previously agreed upon during the Consensus Revenue process in January.
As tax revenue collections continue to exceed expectations and perform better than benchmark, the Committee’s FY 2023 budget employs a responsible and sensible approach to maintain fiscal stability, avoiding the utilization of one-time revenue sources and ensuring we continue to maintain healthy reserves that will allow our Commonwealth to weather future uncertainty and respond quickly to immediate needs.  

Education

Supporting and expanding equitable access to high-quality education opportunities for students of all ages is just as important to our economic foundation as supporting improvements to local roads and bridges that get people to and from work. As we continue our recovery from the pandemic, the Committee’s budget strives to make targeted investments in each education sector and ensures supports for students, families and educators remain a key Senate priority critical to shaping our post-pandemic future and driving our economy forward.

Early Education and Care

Throughout the pandemic, the Senate has prioritized investments in the early education and care sector that stabilize providers, support the early educator workforce, and maintain access to care for children and families. As we continue to recover, the Committee’s budget seeks to build upon the funding commitments made in prior years and begin implementation of the immediate recommendations of the Special Legislative Early Education and Care Economic Review Commission.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee budget invests $1.13 billion overall, including $300M in new investments to support the early educator workforce and improve the accessibility and affordability of our high-quality early education and care programs. This forward-looking funding lays the groundwork for additional reforms of the early education and care system to ensure the long-term success and economic well-being of children, families, and the Commonwealth.

  • $368.1 million for Income-Eligible Childcare and $325.5 million for Supportive and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Childcare, providing critical services for families eligible for subsidized care. Additionally, the Senate budget requires payments to providers to be based on enrollment versus attendance to help ensure financial stability.
  • $250 million for the Commonwealth Cares for Children (C3) Stabilization Grants, which have proven successful at stabilizing the early education and care sector by supporting critical operational and workforce needs.
  • $25 million for a new Early Education & Care Infrastructure and Policy Reform Reserve to bolster the statewide system of care and assist families in navigating the early education landscape.
  • $25 million for the Center-Based Childcare Rate Reserve to increase reimbursement rates for subsidized care.
  • $17.5 million for the Healthy Families program, administered by the Children’s Trust Fund, to provide family support and coaching for young, first-time parents.
  • $16.5 million for grants to Head Start programs to maintain access to early education services for low-income families.
  • $15 million for the Commonwealth Preschool Partnership Initiative to expand access to pre-kindergarten and preschool opportunities in underserved areas.
  • $12 million for Childcare Resource and Referral Centers to assist parents, childcare providers, employers, and community groups in navigating the state’s early education and care landscape.
  • $3.5 million for grants to early education and care providers for childhood mental health consultation services. 

Elementary and Secondary Education

This budget continues the Senate’s strong commitment to students and makes meaningful investments in elementary and secondary education, providing additional resources to help school districts across the state – urban, suburban, regional, vocational–technical, or rural – address the unique needs of their student populations.

Chapter 70/Implementation of the Student Opportunity Act. Consistent with our approach in the FY 2022 budget,the Senate once again steps up its commitment to fully implement the Student Opportunity Act (SOA). To that end, the Committee’s budget fully funds the second year of the SOA to ensure we remain on schedule for full implementation by FY 2027.

With this budget, we fund Chapter 70 at its highest level ever at $6 billion, an increase of $495 million over FY 2022. This increased level of investment represents 2/6th implementation of SOA rates and maintains adequate support for school districts across the Commonwealth.

School District Reimbursements. The Committee’s budget makes additional investments to support school districts with the costs of special education, charter school tuition, and regional school transportation. The Committee’s budget provides $435 million for the Special Education Circuit Breaker, reimbursing school districts for the high cost of educating students with disabilities at the statutorily required 75 per cent reimbursement rate and meeting the SOA obligation to begin reimbursing districts for the costs associated with out-of-district student transportation. This budget also includes $243.8 million to reimburse school districts at 100 per cent for costs incurred when students leave to attend charter schools, and $82.2 million for regional school transportation, representing an 85 per cent reimbursement rate.

  • $55 million for Adult Basic Education.
  • $27.9 million for the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO) program.
  • $10 million for Early College Programs and $9 million for Dual Enrollment, to provide high school students with the opportunity to take college courses prior to graduation.
  • $6 million for Social Emotional Learning Grants to help K-12 schools bolster social emotional learning supports for students, and $1 million for the continuation of a pilot program to provide universal mental health screenings for K-12 students.
  • $5 million for the 21st Century Education Trust Fund.
  • $4.8 million for Innovation Pathways to continue to connect students to trainings and post-secondary opportunities in the industry sector with a focus on STEM fields. This expansion of the program emphasizes the Committees priority to create equitable pathways for post-secondary opportunities for students across the Commonwealth.
  • $4 million for Rural School Aid.
  • $1.5 million for the Genocide Education Trust Fund to educate middle and high school students on the history of genocide and support implementation efforts of Chapter 98 of the Acts of 2021 (An Act Concerning Genocide Education).

Higher Education

As a pillar of our Commonwealth’s economic foundation, our public higher education institutions continue to recover, confront new challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and build anew. To that end, this budget provides $1.55 billion in investments to support for our state colleges and universities and provide quality, affordable public higher education for all.

  • $648 million for the University of Massachusetts, our world-class public research university system, including $4M to increase student mental and behavioral health supports.
  • $335.9 million for the fifteen community colleges, including $2 million for mental and behavioral health supports.
  • $326.8 million for the nine state universities, including $2 million for mental and behavioral health support.
  • $175 million for the Scholarship Reserve, including an additional $37.5 million for the MassGrant and MassGrant Plus programs and $5 million for the Early Childhood Educators Scholarship.
  • $2.5 million for grants offered through the Massachusetts Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Initiative to support high school students with intellectual disabilities ages 18–22 with access to higher education opportunities and $1.5 million for the new Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Initiative Trust Fund to support our public higher education institutions with implementing and providing access to inclusive learning opportunities for this diverse student population.

            Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment

The Committee’s budget recognizes that for far too long, public higher education opportunities for students with disabilities, who deserve access to the same high-quality education as their peers, has been limited. As such, the Committee’s budget centers equity in our public higher education system by expanding access to inclusive education opportunities for young adults with disabilities through the removal of existing barriers, codifying the Massachusetts Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment grant program, and dedicating additional resources for our partners in the public higher education system to implement and support inclusive learning options for this diverse student population.

Local and Regional Aid

From Boston to North Adams, Framingham to Fall River, and everywhere in between, our Commonwealth consists of 351 unique cities and towns, all woven into the economic, social, and cultural fabric of our state. As such, the Committee’s budget – in addition to the historic investment in traditional Chapter 70 education aid – provides significant resources, reflecting our unwavering commitment to strengthening the state-local partnership that touches all regions of our state.

Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA). The Committee’s budget strengthens the state-local partnership and provides certainty and predictability for cities and towns. It funds UGGA at $1.23 billion, an increase of $63 million over FY 2022. This increased level of investment provides our communities with needed local aid resources to deliver essential services that our constituents rely on and pursue a post-pandemic future for their residents.

PILOT. In addition to traditional sources of local aid like Chapter 70 and UGGA, the Committee’s budget increases payments in lieu of taxes (PILOT) for state-owned land to $45 million, a $10 million increase over FY 2022. As a key sources of local aid, these increased investments recommended by the Committee maximize taxpayer support and provide timely assistance for our communities working to provide essential public services, ensure safe streets and neighborhoods, support local small businesses, and maintain local infrastructure.

  • $96.5 million for Regional Transit Authorities (RTAs) to uphold regional public transportation systems as a public good necessary to promoting productivity and opportunity among commuters, students, seniors, and people with disabilities and facilitating economic mobility. This includes $2.5 million for the implementation of pilot programs for innovative fare reduction initiatives across the Commonwealth.
  • $36 million for libraries, including $14.5 million for regional library local aid, $16 million for municipal libraries and $4.7 million for technology and automated resource networks.
  • $22 million for the Massachusetts Cultural Council to support local arts, culture, and creative economy initiatives.

Health & Human Services

Access to health care and the programs that keep our citizens safe is one of the most important components of the Commonwealth’s ongoing recovery and critical to supporting and building a post-pandemic future that equitably benefits all. To that end, this budget makes targeted investments to strengthen our state’s safety net and provides resources to ensure equitable access to health care services essential to the overall well-being of our individuals, families, and most vulnerable populations.

MassHealth

The Committee’s budget funds MassHealth at a total of $18.56 billion ($7.19 billion net), providing over 2.1 million of our Commonwealth’s children, seniors, and low-income residents access to comprehensive health care coverage.

  • $267.8 million for the Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative, supporting a community-based system of care, guaranteeing that children with MassHealth coverage receive the behavioral health services they need for success at home, in school and throughout life.
  • $75 million for nursing facility direct care staff and patient quality supports to continue investments for the nursing home industry.
  • $73.2 million to expand the Medicare Savings Program to 225 per cent of the federal poverty line.
  • Annualizes the costs of fully restoring dental coverage for adults, which was originally included in the FY 2021 GAA.

Mental Health 

The Committee’s budget recognizes that the last year has had a wide impact on mental health and prioritizes mental and behavioral health by investing nearly $1 billion in mental health services and prevention programs, with a focus on ensuring continued access to comprehensive services and supports for adults and children.

  • $514.3 million for Adult Support Services, including assisted outpatient programming and comprehensive care coordination among health care providers.
  • $274.8 million for DMH hospital and community-based services, including a $5 million contract for an additional 30 continuing care beds at a third-party facility.
  • $111.8 million for children’s mental health services, including $3.9 million for the Massachusetts Child Psychiatric Access Program (MCPAP) and MCPAP for Moms to address mental health needs of pregnant and postpartum women.
  • $20 million to recapitalize the Behavioral Health, Access, Outreach and Support Trust Fund to support targeted behavioral health initiatives. 
  • $12.7 million for the Forensic Services Program, which increases funds for mental health assessments and consultations in juvenile court clinics by $1.5 million.
  • $12.5 million in the Department of Housing and Community Development and $7 million in DMH line items for housing vouchers for DMH clients to transition into housing and community-based services. 
  • $10 million for emergency department diversion initiatives for children, adolescents, and adults.
  • $8 million for student behavioral health services at the University of Massachusetts, state universities and community colleges.
  • $7 million to expand jail diversion initiatives to divert individuals with mental illness and substance use disorders from the criminal justice system and connect them with appropriate treatment.  
  • $1 million investment to expand Safe Haven housing to end chronic homelessness for people with mental health conditions.  

Public Health 

Ensuring and maintaining access to high quality public health services continues to be central to our state’s ongoing recovery and integral to our long-term economic health and post-pandemic future. To that end, the Committee’s budget invests $876 million in public health programs and services, further reinforcing the Senate’s efforts to support access to quality care essential to overall well-being of our citizens.

  • $56 million for domestic violence prevention services.  
  • $40.4 million for early intervention services, to ensure supports are accessible and available to infants and young toddlers with developmental delays and disabilities, including funds to support health equity initiatives.
  • $35.2 million for HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention. 
  • $190 million in DPH hospital operations to meet higher staffing costs and ensure sick individuals receive the care they require.
  • $19.8 million for school-based health programming and services. 
  • $18 million for family and adolescent health, including $7.8 million for comprehensive family planning services and $6.7 million to enhance federal Title X family planning funding.
  • $14.7 million for family health services, including sexual and reproductive health counseling, education and clinical services for low-income adolescents and adults. 
  • $15 million for grants to support local and regional boards of health. 
  • $10 million for the Safe and Successful Youth Initiative, $6.5 million for Youth At-Risk matching grants and $2 million for youth violence prevention grants. 
  • $8.3 million for maternal and child health, including pediatric palliative care services for terminally ill children and their families. 
  • $7.9 million for the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) and pediatric SANE programs, providing safe and integrated services to protect children from abuse. 
  • $7.9 million for suicide prevention and intervention, including $650,000 for Samaritans Inc. and $200,000 for the Call2Talk suicide prevention hotline. 
  • $2.7 million for the Childhood Lead Poisoning and Prevention Trust Fund. 
  • $2 million for grants for improvements in reproductive health access, infrastructure, and safety.

Substance Use Disorder Treatment 

In every corner of the Commonwealth, the scourge of substance abuse remains prevalent impacting families and their loved ones without prejudice. To continue our efforts to preserve access to care and services at this critical time, the Committee’s budget invests $209.3 million to support these individuals and their families through the continuum of substance use disorder treatment and intervention services.

  • $10 million for the expansion of low threshold housing to support homeless individuals affected by substance use disorder. 
  • $10 million for additional family supportive housing programs in the Commonwealth to ensure families struggling with opioid use disorder have the shelter and care they need.
  • $7 million for ten new recovery centers to enhance geographic access to services. 
  • $7 million for investments to address shortages in the addiction treatment workforce through outreach and recruitment efforts and support for continuing education.
  • $5 million for investments in the substance use disorder workforce, including training on medication management, medication-assisted treatment, and treatment of co-occurring disorders. 
  • $3 million for the Massachusetts Access to Recovery to help individuals with opioid use disorder reenter the workforce.
  • $3 million for multi-disciplinary, team-based substance use treatment.
  • $3 million for technical assistance to providers working in communities of color to support equitable access to recovery in Massachusetts.
  • $2 million for case management and residential rehabilitation services to help individuals transition between levels of treatment and find support through each step of recovery. 
  • $2 million for workforce recruitment in collaboration with educational institutions and vocational-technical high schools. 
  • $1.5 million to ensure deaf and hard of hearing individuals and deaf-blind individuals have access to tailored substance use disorder services. 
  • $100,000 to improve early intervention programming and care for newborns diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome.

People with Disabilities 

The Committee’s budget invests over $2.38 billion across a range of services and programs that assist and support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This ensures equal and fair access to opportunities for these individuals, who meaningfully contribute to our Commonwealth.

  • More than $260 million for the DDS Community Day and Work Program, which includes a $7.4 million increase over the FY 2022 GAA and the balancing forward of FY 2022 funds to support staffing recovery.
  • $90.6 million for DDS to support respite and family services.  
  • $84 million to fully fund Turning 22 services to help young people with disabilities transition to adulthood. 
  • $42.3 million for specialized services for adults with autism, which will provide services to an additional 300 adults in FY 2023. 
  • $27.1 million for DDS Transportation services to ensure individuals can access services despite ongoing staffing shortages. 
  • $27 million for the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind services.
  • $24.9 million for head injury treatment services.
  • $22.6 million for head injury treatment services. 
  • $10.5 million for the Disabled Persons Protection Commission, including funding to support the caregiver abuse registry mandated by Nicky’s Law.
  • $8.6 million for the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. 
  • $8.4 million for services for children with autism.
  • $8 million for the 11 independent living centers across the state providing networks of support to help individuals of all abilities access opportunities and build community. 

Elder Affairs

As we recover and build anew in our Commonwealth, we must continue to do all that we can to protect our senior population. To that end, the Committee’s budget dedicates resources to support several programs and services that focus on ensuring our elders receive the necessary supports and home care to support their overall health and wellness.

  • $278.7 million in total for the elder home care program and case management, providing critical health and social services to help seniors remain in their homes.
  • $78.4 million for home care case management services to assist ASAPs in providing services to elders.
  • $42.8 million for the Protective Services Program to prevent elder abuse and neglect.
  • $22.4 million for grants to local Councils on Aging.
  • $12 million for Meals on Wheels and other nutrition programs for seniors.
  • $11 million in housing related programs for older adults receiving benefits through the Elder Homeless Placement, Congregate Housing and Supportive Housing programs.
  • $2.5 million for Geriatric Mental Health Services.
  • $1 million for the Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone (SHINE) Program to assist all residents on Medicare with insurance information and counseling.

Veterans

Reflective of our tireless commitment for veterans, the Committee’s budget once again prioritizes our support for the brave men and women who have served valiantly to protect our way of life. As such, this budget makes investments to maintain our Commonwealth’s leadership in veteran affairs, aiding those who deserve it and promoting access to quality services to meet the changing needs of our veteran population.

  • $68.2 million for veterans’ benefits provided by municipalities, including cash, fuel and rent assistance, employment training and placement and health benefits.
  • $48.7 million for the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home, including funds to finalize preparations of the new Community Living Center.
  • $28.4 million for the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home.
  • $9.1 million for Veterans’ Outreach Centers providing peer counseling, employment skills building and job search assistance, substance use disorder counseling and other services.
  • $2 million for veterans’ mental and behavioral health services through the Home Base program.
  • $626,490 for outreach and services targeted to women veterans. 

Support for Children and Working Families

As we move forward together and work to support the health and wellbeing of our communities, we know that our children and families have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure we do not lost sight of this, the Committee’s budget commits to continuing our long-standing support for this vulnerable population as we work to recover and build a post-pandemic future for our Commonwealth that lifts our children and working families in need during this uncertain time.
TAFDC/EAEDC Benefits

The Committee budget recognizes the importance of ensuring that public assistance levels are not undermined by inflation. To that end, the Committee’s budget recommends continuing efforts to tackle “deep poverty” by providing a 10 per cent increase to Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) and Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled and Children (EAEDC) benefit levels compared to Fiscal Year 2022, ensuring families receive the economic supports they need to live, work, and provide stability for their children. Combined with the employment supports provided by the Department of Transitional Assistance, these rate increases will boost economic mobility and equip the Commonwealth with a better-trained workforce as we recover from the 2019 novel coronavirus.      
School Clothing Allowance
The Committee acknowledges the high cost of living for working families with children in school. In response, the Committee’s budget provides a $400 per child clothing allowance for families receiving TAFDC benefits, a $50 increase over the FY 2022 level. This benefit is dispensed in September and helps alleviate the financial burden of back-to-school costs on working families, while also ensuring that all students have new, weather-appropriate clothing heading into the fall and winter.

  • $356.6 million for Transitional Assistance to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) and $140.7 million for Emergency Aid to Elderly, Disabled and Children (EAEDC) to provide the necessary support as caseloads increase, and continue the Deep Poverty increases.
  • $286.2 million for DCF Social Workers, supporting the Department’s ongoing efforts to reduce caseloads for social workers.
  • $72.8 million for DCF family support and stabilization services.
  • $30.5 million for Emergency Food Assistance to ensure that citizens in need can navigate the historic levels of food insecurity caused by COVID-19.
  • $28.3 million for Family Resource Centers to grow and improve the mental health resources and programming available to families, including $2.3 million for the Juvenile Court Mental Health Advocacy Project administered by Health Law Advocates, Inc.
  • $20 million for the Healthy Incentives Program, including $8 million in funds carried forward from FY 2022, to ensure continued access to healthy food options for 90,000 SNAP households and support for local farmers.
  • $15.6 million for the DTA Employment Services Program to help low-income people move toward economic independence, including $1.3 million for programs operated by the Office of Refugees and Immigrants and $200,000 for the DTA Works Internship Program.
  • $14 million in grants to rest homes caring for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and EAEDC recipients.
  • $9.5 million for DCF Lead Agencies to connect children with community-based services.
  • $5 million for the Secure Jobs Connect program, providing job placement resources and assistance for homeless individuals.
  • $4.4 million for the Office of the Child Advocate, including $300,000 for the Transition Age Youth Pilot to provide housing support for children aging out of DCF care.
  • $3.5 million for the Center on Child Wellbeing and Trauma, providing trauma-informed training to professionals and organizations that work with children
  • $3 million for Children Advocacy Centers, including $950,000 for the Massachusetts Children’s Alliance and $325,000 for the Department of Public Health to allocate among the centers to improve the critical supports available to children that have been neglected or sexually abused.
  • $3 million for the annual child’s clothing allowance, which provides TAFDC families with $400 per child to purchase clothes for the upcoming school year.
  • $1.6 million for Project Bread to support the Child Nutrition Outreach Program (CNOP) and the FoodSource Hotline.
  • $750,000 for the Foster Care Parents Campaign to recruit and support foster families.
  • $500,000 in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Employment and Training Transportation program, providing $80 per month to cover transportation costs of SNAP clients participating in job training programs.

Housing

Workers need housing and access to housing helps families seeking economic stability and security. Understanding that the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted many over these last two years, the Committee’s budget invests over $850 million, increasing support for housing stability and homelessness assistance programs and maintaining critical relief for families and individuals in need.

  • $213.2 million for Emergency Assistance Family Shelters.
  • $210 million for Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT), including $60M carried over from the March supplemental budget. To avoid a “Cliff Effect” and provide households with a transition from the federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), this budget recommends upholding the emergency level maximum amount of rental assistance that a household can receive of $10,000 and allow eligible households facing a housing crisis to access both RAFT and HomeBASE.
  • $175 million for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP), including $20.7 million in funds carried forward from FY 2022, and recommend structural program changes that, starting January 1, 2023, will allow households to pay no more than 30% of their income for rent to receive rental vouchers for up to 110% of fair market value. 
  • $92 million for assistance to local housing authorities.
  • $83.3 million for assistance for homeless individuals.
  • $56.9 million for the HomeBASE diversion and rapid re-housing programs, bolstering assistance under this program to 2 years with a per household maximum benefit of $20,000.
  • $19.3 million for the Alternative Housing Voucher Program (AHVP) providing rental assistance to people with disabilities, including $5.6 million in funds carried forward from FY 2022 and $2.5 million for grants to improve or create accessible affordable housing units.
  • $8.5 million for assistance for unaccompanied homeless youth.
  • $8.2 million for the Housing Consumer Education Centers (HCECs).
  • $5 million for Resident Service Coordinators at local housing authorities.
  • $5 million for sponsored-based supportive permanent housing.
  • $3.9 million for the Home and Healthy for Good re-housing and supportive services program, including $250,000 for homeless LGBTQQ youth.
  • $2.5 million for the Office of Public Collaboration to support housing dispute mediation efforts across the Commonwealth.
  • $1.8 million for the Tenancy Preservation Program. 

Economic Development and Workforce Training

The economic and workforce development needs of every community, every region and every employer have been impacted by this pandemic, which has spared no one. As such, working to support the long-term economic health of our Commonwealth and shape a post-pandemic future that equitably benefits all people is a top priority on our to-do list. Playing to our strengths, the Committee’s budget supports our workers, our economy and relies on the ingenuity and work ethic of the people who call Massachusetts home.

  • $24 million for summer jobs and work-readiness training for at-risk youth through the YouthWorks program.
  • $20 million to invest in businesses in socially and economically disadvantaged communities, particularly those disproportionately impacted by the criminal justice system. This includes $5 million in direct grants to businesses that focus on reaching markets made up of members of these communities.
  • $17 million for the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund to connect unemployed and under-employed workers with higher paying jobs.
  • $15.4 million for Career Technical Institutes to increase our skilled worker population and provide residents access to career technical training opportunities.
  • $10 million for One-Stop Career Centers.
  • $7.5 million for grants to community foundations to provide emergency economic relief to historically underserved populations across the Commonwealth.
  • $7 million for Small Business Technical Assistance grants.
  • $2.5 million for the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative Innovation Institute.
  • $2.5 million for the Advanced Manufacturing Program.
  • $2.5 million for the Massachusetts Cybersecurity Innovation Fund, including $1.5 million to continue partnerships with community colleges and state universities to provide cybersecurity workforce training to students and cybersecurity services to municipalities, non-profits, and small businesses.
  • $2 million for the Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership.
  • $2 million for Regional Economic Development Organizations.
  • $1.3 million for microlending grants to support small businesses
  • $1 million for employment programs for young adults with disabilities.  

Environment

Fighting the omnipresent threat of climate change, preserving our environment, protecting clean air and water, conserving our natural resources, and securing our clean energy future continue to be a hallmark priority for the Senate and for the continued well-being of our Commonwealth. To that end, the Committee’s budget invests $362.4 million to protect our public lands, parks, and environmental resources.

  • $124.6 million for the Department of Conservation and Recreation to support the Commonwealth’s state parks system and the need for socially distant outdoor leisure.
  • $76.5 million for the Department of Environmental Protection to steward the Commonwealth’s air, land, and waterways.
  • $40.6 million for the Department of Agricultural Resources to promote the Commonwealth’s food security and local food economy.
  • $21 million for the Department of Public Utilities to ensure proper pipeline and utility safety.
  • $5 million for climate change adaptation and preparedness programs to enhance resilience and to address the mounting threat of climate change.
  • $4 million for the Division of Ecological Restoration to protect the Commonwealth’s rivers, wetlands, and watersheds.
  • $600,000 to hire personnel across the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs to continue implementation of An Act Creating a Next-Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy (Chapter 8 of the Acts of 2021).

Judiciary – Racial Justice and Reinvestment

Judiciary

The Committee’s budget recognizes that fair and equal treatment under the law is a bedrock principle of our democracy and strives to make investments to advance systemic change within the Commonwealth’s justice system. It supports and invests in programs that aim to support the underpinnings of equal justice and fair treatment, while ensuring individuals are provided opportunities to access pathways to transition back into the community as socially responsible, law-abiding citizens.

  • $836.7 million for the Trial Court system, including $1.3 million for an Alternative Dispute Resolution and online dispute resolution program, $12.1 million for the Housing Court to serve all residents of the Commonwealth, $1.1 million for Mental Health Clinicians within the Trial Court, and funding for other critical initiatives improving access to justice.
  • $316.7 million for the Committee for Public Counsel Services. This appropriation level provides full funding to fulfill implementation of increase compensation rates of private bar advocates, ensuring that access to quality legal representation across the Commonwealth.
  • $177.5 million for the Office of Probation.
  • $40 million for the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation.
  • $2.6 million for Prisoners’ Legal Services.
  • $2.5 million for the Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee. 

Justice Reinvestment and Recidivism Reduction

Whether it has been reforming our state’s criminal justice system or increasing accountability and transparency in law enforcement, the Committee’s budget invests over $217 million in resources across judicial, economic development, public health, and public safety agencies to support communities disproportionately impacted by the criminal justice system.

  • $157.8 million for District Attorney’s offices across the state.
  • $15 million for the provision of medication-assisted treatment for people incarcerated at DOC facilities and houses of correction with opioid use disorder.
  • $13.1 million for a grant program to provide community-based residential re-entry services.
  • $6 million for the continuation of an emerging adult reentry program to help reduce recidivism among our younger resident populations.
  • $5.1 million to expand a pilot collaboration between MassHealth, the Judiciary, DOC, and the Sheriffs to provide behavioral health support to justice-involved individuals in their communities.
  • $5 million for the POST Commission, four other small police reform related commissions, and a police reform reserve.
  • $4.8 million for expanded behavioral health treatment at DOC facilities.
  • $2.8 million for DOC’s recidivism reduction programming.
  • $2.5 million for a matching funds grant program to assist communities making public health-oriented adjustments to their public safety systems, including targeted reforms such as jail diversion programs, de-escalation training, and hiring behavioral health staff.
  • $2.3 million to expand a transitional youth early intervention probation pilot to provide recidivism reduction programming to high-risk or high-need youth.
  • $2 million to support the Ralph Gants Reentry Services Program.
  • $1.5 million for the Massachusetts Offender Recidivism Reduction Program.
  • $499,950 for diversion programs in the district attorneys’ offices.
  • $345,000 to expand behavioral health programs at houses of correction.
  • $238,000 for the Massachusetts Community Justice Project to enhance collaboration among local partners and divert individuals living with mental health or addiction from the criminal justice system.

Public Safety

Our first responders, local police and fire departments have difficult jobs that require them to go above and beyond to serve our communities, while putting their lives on the line every time they go to work. To that end, the Committee’s budget makes targeted investments to support those who serve our communities and place the public’s safety first and foremost across our Commonwealth.

  • $690.1 million for the Sheriffs’ offices across the state.
  • $441.7 million for the State Police.
  • $34.9 million for the Department of Fire Services, including $2 million for the Student Awareness Fire Education program and $500,000 for Critical Incident Stress Management programs.
  • $21.9 million for the Massachusetts Alcohol and Substance Abuse Center to provide education, treatment and re-entry planning for people who are incarcerated and civilly committed males.
  • $12.3 million for the Shannon Grants gang violence prevention and intervention program.
  • $11.6 million for the Municipal Police Training Committee, including new funding to support training for part-time or reserve officers.
  • $5 million for Municipal Public Safety Staffing grants
  • $1.5 million for the Non-Profit Security Grants.