For Immediate Release: 7-28-22
Contact: Peter Jasinski | firstname.lastname@example.org
Spending plan includes $130 million for the Norfolk & Plymouth District
BOSTON – Gov. Charlie Baker signed a $52.7 billion FY23 budget into law on Thursday, following a vote by members of the Senate and House approving the bill earlier this month. The spending plan invests millions of dollars in new statewide initiatives and allocates more than $130 million to Abington, Braintree, Holbrook, Quincy, and Rockland.
“With this budget now approved, we have a good understanding of the kind of progress we can make over the next 12 months. The municipalities that I represent will see an increase in state aid of more than 5 percent over last year and a nearly 11 percent increase in funding for public schools,” said Senator John F. Keenan. “Not only are we increasing our investments over what we budgeted last year, but we are expanding our scope of local and state-wide services to better help all residents of Massachusetts.”
The FY23 budget allocated a record total of $35,798,248 in unrestricted governmental aid and $93,840,454 in funding for public schools for the communities of Abington, Braintree, Holbrook, Quincy, and Rockland. Each community will receive the following amounts:
- UGGA $2,278,753
- Chap 70 School Aid $12,964,124
- UGGA $6,628,653
- Chap 70 School Aid $19,367,068
- UGGA $1,709,210
- Chap 70 School Aid $9,746,363
- UGGA $22,119,307
- Chap 70 School Aid $35,407,991
- UGGA $3,062,325
- Chap 70 School Aid $16,354,908
The budget passed by the Legislature earlier this month marked an increase of $5.1 billion or 10.7 percent over the $47.6 billion annual budget passed the previous year. Gov. Baker struck $475,000 in funds from the Legislature’s version of the budget.
In addition to governmental aid and school funding, Sen. Keenan successfully filed and advocated for a variety of budget line items specific to local public safety, health care, and education, including:
- $100,000 for the Fire Chiefs Association of Plymouth County to maintain and upgrade emergency communications systems, provide for mass casualty incident planning and training, and to enhance mutual aid operations.
- $75,000 for the Town of Abington for traffic and sidewalk improvements
- $75,000 for the Town of Rockland for traffic and sidewalk improvements
- $15,000 for the Holbrook Middle-High School Robotics STEM Program
- $28,500 for the Town of Abington for elder services programming
- $28,500 for the Town of Braintree for elder services programming
- $28,500 for the Town of Holbrook for elder services programming
- $28,500 for the Town of Rockland for elder services programming
- $50,000 for the Quincy Police Department to equip and outfit an accident reconstruction vehicle
- $10,000 for the Friends of the Thomas Crane Public Library for community programming
- $50,000 for the Quincy Fire Department to purchase firefighter safety equipment, including thermal-imaging units.
- $28,000 for behavioral health services for Quincy College students
- $25,000 for Hope & Comfort Inc. to address local hygiene insecurity
Sen. Keenan filed several amendments included in the final budget signed by the Governor that will benefit residents living across the Commonwealth, as well as those in the district, including $1 million dedicated to evidence-based contingency management programs, which utilize positive incentives to promote cessation or reduction of substance use and engagement in treatment. These programs were recommended by the Commonwealth’s Commission on Methamphetamine Use, which was established by an amendment that Sen. Keenan successfully included in the FY22 budget.
An amendment filed by Sen. Keenan increased the Commonwealth’s funding for smoking prevention and cessation programs to more than $6.1 million. The additional $500,000 in funds advocated for by Sen. Keenan will specifically address youth mental health issues exacerbated by nicotine use and help local boards of health with enforcement of tobacco regulations related to flavor ban laws, youth access, and secondhand smoke.
Sen. Keenan’s MRVP amendment improves access to the Commonwealth’s rental voucher program for working individuals and families by including utilities as part of tenant contribution for rent, which is capped in most instances at 30 percent of tenant income. The amendment also increased access for people with disabilities to rental housing.
The final budget also includes amendments filed by Sen. Keenan that:
- Provide additional time for the expenditure of funds for outpatient and mobile services for deaf/hard of hearing and/or blind individuals with substance use disorders;
- Increase the Department of Correction reporting requirements from yearly to quarterly in updating the delayed provision of Medication Assisted Treatment at its facilities; and
- Add the Joint Committee on Housing to the list of recipients of reports on various important aspects of homelessness.