BOSTON – Senator Michael O. Moore (D-Millbury) and Representative Paul K. Frost (R-Auburn) announced that the Legislature recently passed the Fiscal Year 2020 state budget, which invests in programs and services across the Commonwealth.
Funded at $43.1 billion, the budget makes major investments in education, housing, substance use disorder services, health care, and other areas while projecting a more than $476 million deposit into the Stabilization Fund – bringing the fund’s balance to more than $3 billion to safeguard the future of vital programs and services.
“I take pride in advocating for the needs of our neighbors, and prioritizing funding that will help strengthen our region,” said Senator Moore. “No state budget is ever perfect, but there are many important investments in this Senate budget that will help our communities grow and thrive. I am particularly proud of the strong investments in public education achieved through the passage of this legislation.”
“Though the state budget for Fiscal Year 2020 was late, I’m glad to have voted for its final passage in the state Legislature as it did much for local aid and education including increased funding for the Special Education Circuit Breaker and local priorities important to communities in the district,” said Representative Frost. “Successfully introducing and advocating for these local priorities in a bipartisan partnership with the Senator in this budget will help our shared communities address a number of issues.”
The budget advances local priorities including $50,000 to update lighting, banners and signage in Drury Square within the Town of Auburn. An additional $15,000 was allocated within the budget to purchase and install automated external defibrillators at athletic fields, playgrounds, and town-owned facilities. Moreover, Auburn Youth and Family Services is set to receive $10,000 to address needs in the community including counseling, after-school and summer programs, and a food pantry.
The budget increases unrestricted general government aid by nearly $30 million and provides $5.17 billion in Chapter 70 education funding as part of a $268 million increase for investments in schools over Fiscal Year 2019. Additional education allocations include $345 million for special education reimbursement and $75.8 million for regional school transportation reimbursement.
Auburn will receive $11,851,108 in Chapter 70 funding, which is an increase of $784,149 over Fiscal Year 2019, and $1,818,556 in Unrestricted General Government Aid, an increase of $47,810.
The budget builds on the Legislature’s commitment to ensuring children have access to high-quality early education and care. The budget invests in those who work with children by increasing rates for early education providers by $20 million and supporting continuing education opportunities with community colleges.
The budget calls for more than $283 million in spending for environmental programs. These funding levels will ensure that state keeps up with the needs of its parks and environmental protections programs. Notably, the budget includes $47.25 million for state parks and recreational facilities.
In the area of labor and economic development, the budget invests in programs that provide job opportunities for residents to participate in the Commonwealth’s thriving economy. These investments include $90.5 million for regional transit authorities and $2 million to establish a program to promote and support the Massachusetts restaurant industry.
For the first time in nearly 20 years, the budget will increase the Commonwealth’s contribution into the Community Preservation Act, which will ensure that over $36 million more will be distributed to projects all across the Commonwealth and help raise the state’s match up to 30 percent for investments in open space, affordable housing and historic preservation.
Having been passed by the House and Senate, the legislation now goes to Governor Baker for his signature. To continue tracking the budget bill, H.4000, visit the Legislature’s website, www.malegislature.gov.