Senator Michael O. Moore (D-Millbury) announced that on Thursday, the Senate passed a $341.7 million supplemental budget to address outstanding Fiscal Year 2015 obligations and to fund new and ongoing initiatives. The supplemental budget closes the fiscal year in balance and ensures a stable fiscal position for fiscal year 2016.
“The supplemental budget provides significant investments to support substance abuse treatment and prevention, criminal justice reform, homelessness prevention and services for children and families,” said Sen. Moore. “I am pleased that the Senate included a $120 million deposit to the state’s Rainy Day Fund to help ensure financial security for our Commonwealth moving forward.”
Building on legislation the Senate passed last week to address the opiate crisis in Massachusetts, the supplemental budget includes a total of $27.8 million for substance abuse treatment and prevention programs. This funding includes $1.2 million for the SBIRT substance abuse screening program in schools and $3.8 million for substance abuse counselors.
The bill also includes $5.8 million to support a new program at Taunton State Hospital for civilly committed women who would otherwise receive treatment at MCI-Framingham and language to prohibit women from being committed to MCI-Framingham for rehabilitative services beginning January 1, 2017.
The bill includes $250,000 for a grant program for municipal police departments to purchase body cameras and $300,000 for a pilot program to identify and address gaps in the criminal justice system for individuals with mental health and substance abuse disorders.
In addition, the bill provides $5 million for homelessness diversion, prevention and housing stabilization programs and supports the Department of Children and Families, with an additional $2.5 million to address immediate training and staffing needs and $1 million for training for adoptive and foster families.
Last week, the House of Representatives passed a similar supplemental spending bill. The Senate and House will now develop a compromise bill for final passage and the Governor’s signature.