SWM Executive Summary
Senate Committee on Ways and Means Fiscal Year 2022 budget recommendations ensure continued fiscal stability and build a more inclusive and resilient Commonwealth as we work to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic stronger than before.
As a forward-looking plan, this budget reflects our commitment to remain laser-focused on our post-pandemic future and to support building an equitable and just recovery for all. To that end, our fiscally responsible budget provides certainty and predictability for our cities and towns and protects essential services and programs that provide innumerable benefits for our residents and our communities. It supports our students and our schools, safeguards the health and wellness of our most vulnerable populations, and makes a number of targeted investments to address the emerging and evolving needs of our Commonwealth as we recover from the lasting impacts of this pandemic.
Ensuring our Commonwealth remains in sound fiscal health, the Committee’s budget spends responsibly and maximizes state and federal revenue opportunities, recommending a total of $47.6 billion in spending, a $1.2 billion increase over the Fiscal Year 2021 General Appropriations Act. This spending recommendation is based on a tax revenue estimate of $30.12 billion for FY 2022, representing 3.5 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 2022 budget employs a sensible approach to maintain stability and includes $1.55 billion from the Stabilization Fund, ensuring that our Commonwealth maintains healthy reserves for years beyond the pandemic. Additionally, this budget excludes the use of federal American Rescue Plan funding as we await federal guidance that will help to inform the development of a responsive and thoughtful plan to support the needs of our communities, recover from the pandemic and build a more inclusive and resilient Commonwealth.
Maintaining and expanding access to affordable, high quality education is a cornerstone of the Commonwealth’s recovery efforts as we emerge from the pandemic and chart a path forward for students, families and educators. The Committee’s budget makes targeted investments in each education sector and ensures that equitable access to educational opportunities remains a key Senate priority during this challenging time.
Early Education and Care
The Senate remains committed to prioritizing early education and care programs serving at-risk children and their families, and to supporting the early educator workforce. As such, the Committee’s budget seeks to sustain support for our early education and care providers and maintain a resilient system of care for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and their families during this pandemic. It invests $788.6 million, in addition to more than $535 million in new federal aid, to support our early educator workforce and provide high quality early childhood education opportunities for families across the Commonwealth.
- $298.7 milion for Income-Eligible Childcare and $358.9 million for Supportive and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Childcare, providing critical services for low-income families.
- $9 million for a reserve to cover parent fees for families receiving subsidized childcare through the end of calendar year 2021.
- $16.4 million for the Healthy Families program, administered by the Children’s Trust Fund, to provide family support and coaching for young, first-time parents.
- $15 million for grants to Head Start programs to maintain access to early education services for low-income families.
- $10.1 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.
- $10 million for the Commonwealth Preschool Partnership Initiative to expand access to pre-kindergarten and preschool opportunities in underserved areas.
- $2.5 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 builds off the more than $2.6 billion in available federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds through the inclusion of a number of meaningful investments in elementary and secondary education. It provides additional resources to help school districts across the state – urban, suburban, regional, vocational–technical, or rural – address the unique needs of their student populations, prepare for the return to full-time in-classroom instruction, and close persistent opportunity and achievement gaps.
Chapter 70/Implementation of the Student Opportunity Act. The Senate remains committed to fully implementing the Student Opportunity Act (SOA). Consistent with the local aid funding agreement reached in March with the House Committee on Ways and Means, the Committee’s budget fully funds the first year of the SOA to ensure we get back on schedule for full implementation by FY 2027.
With this budget, we fund Chapter 70 at its highest level ever at $5.503 billion, an increase of $220 million over FY 2021. This increased level of investment represents a 1/6th implementation of SOA rates and ensures that school districts across the Commonwealth have adequate and equitable resources to provide high quality educational opportunities for all students.
COVID-19 Enrollment Reserve. Recognizing that many school districts across the state have experienced fluctuations in student enrollment related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Committee’s budget also creates a $40 million reserve to provide additional aid to districts experiencing increases in student enrollment compared to October 2020. This funding, which is consistent with the local aid funding agreement, will help stabilize school districts in a flexible way as more kids return to in-person classroom learning.
School District Reimbursements. The Committee’s budget makes additional targeted investments to support school districts with the costs of special education, charter school tuition, and regional school transportation. Including prior year funding carried forward into FY 2022, the Committee’s budget provides $387.9 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 $149.1 million to reimburse school districts at 75 per cent for costs incurred when students leave to attend charter schools, and $78.6 million for regional school transportation, representing a 90 per cent reimbursement rate.
- $50 million for Adult Basic Education.
- $26.6 million for the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO) program.
- $5 million for Social Emotional Learning Grants to help K-12 schools bolster social emotional learning supports for students, and $1 million for a new pilot program to provide universal mental health screenings for K-12 students.
- $5 million for Early College Programs and $6 million for Dual Enrollment, to provide high school students with the opportunity to take college courses prior to graduation.
- $3 million for Rural School Aid.
As a pillar of our Commonwealth’s economic foundation, our public higher education institutions continue to adjust and recover from the fiscal distresses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Building upon federal assistance provided to stabilize our public institutions of higher learning, this budget provides $1.182 billion in investments to maintain support for our state colleges and universities and provide quality, affordable public higher education for all.
- $571.2 million for the University of Massachusetts, our world-class public research university system, including $4M to increase student mental and behavioral health supports.
- $321.7 million for the fifteen community colleges.
- $298.1 million for the nine state universities.
- $125.4 million for the Scholarship Reserve, including an additional $12 million for the MassGrant and MassGrant Plus programs and $3.6 million for the Early Childhood Educators Scholarship.
- $7.3 million for fee waivers and $1.5 million for financial aid to expand access to higher education opportunities for young people involved with the foster care system.
- $2 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.
Local and Regional Aid
From the beaches of the South Coast to the shores of Cape Ann, and Boston to North Adams, and everywhere in between, our Commonwealth consists of 351 unique cities and towns, which all have had their share of challenges brought upon them by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This budget reflects our unwavering support for our cities and towns and provides a significant amount of local and regional aid to ensure our communities can continue to provide essential services that the public continues to rely on, while addressing local impacts caused by the pandemic.
Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA). Consistent with the local aid funding agreement reached in March, the Committee’s budget provides predictability for cities and towns. It funds UGGA at $1.168 billion, an increase of $39.5 million over FY 2021. This increased level of investment will provides additional local aid support to our communities as they recover from the impacts of this pandemic.
PILOT. In addition to traditional sources of local aid, the Committee’s budget increases payments in lieu of taxes (PILOT) for state-owned land to $35 million, a $4 million increase over FY 2021. PILOT funding has always been a vital source of local aid for cities and towns and this additional funding provides supplemental aid to many communities working to protect and improve access to essential services and programs during recovery from the pandemic.
- $94M million for Regional Transit Authorities (RTAs) to support regional public transportation system as a public good necessary to helping commuters, students, seniors and people with disabilities and supporting economic mobility.
- $36 million for libraries, including $13.5 million for regional library local aid, $13 million for municipal libraries and $4.5 million for technology and automated resource networks.
- $20 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 most vulnerable residents safe is one of the most important components of the Commonwealth’s response to COVID-19 and will continue to be a vital part of our recovery. To that end, this budget makes targeted investments to strengthen these resources to ensure we provide equitable access to care and stay the course without leaving anyone behind.
The Committee’s budget funds MassHealth at a total of $18.984 billion ($6.847 billion net), providing over 2 million of our Commonwealth’s children, seniors, and low-income residents access to comprehensive health care coverage. As part of the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government has provided states with enhanced federal reimbursements (or eFMAP) of 6.2 per cent above historical federal match rates for spend on state Medicaid programs.
In order to receive this fiscal relief, states are required to pause re-determinations, leading to a significant increase in caseload. These provisions are tied to the federal Public Health Emergency, which the Biden Administration has expressed will remain in effect until the end of calendar year 2021. As a result, MassHealth caseload is expected to increase by more than 10 per cent through the end of the year, leading to a large increase in programmatic spending. However, MassHealth will be aided with the enhanced federal fiscal relief to replace state spending through the end of the quarter in which the Public Health Emergency expires.
Our Committee budget assumes an additional $516 million in enhanced FMAP, meaning federal assistance will more than cover costs associated with increased caseload. This budget responds to the continued public health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and provides continued access to health care for our most vulnerable residents as we begin to recover.
Additionally, recognizing the devastating impact the pandemic has had on our nursing home industry, the Committee’s budget provides critical investments to ensure nursing homes have the tools they need to provide quality care and supports for their residents. This budget reflects our commitment to ensure Massachusetts supports our health care system in providing quality care to our residents.
- $27 million towards updating Nursing Facility base rates to continue expanding on our investments for the nursing home industry.
- $15 million for additional rate add-ons for nursing facilities with a high share of Medicaid residents in order to improve outcomes and quality of care.
- $84 million for reforms to expand access to outpatient and urgent behavioral health services.
- $266.8 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.
- $3 million in supplemental rate payments to support MassHealth children in pediatric chronic and rehabilitation long-term care hospitals and acute care pediatric hospitals and pediatric specialty units.
- Annualizes the costs of fully restoring dental coverage for adults, which was originally included in the FY 2021 GAA.
- $13 million for acute care hospitals with a large share of Medicaid patients in order to continue to strengthen our most vulnerable hospitals as we recover from COVID-19 pandemic.
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.
- $507.5 million for Adult Support Services, including assisted outpatient programming and comprehensive care coordination among health care providers.
- $97.1 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.
- $10 million to recapitalize the Behavioral Health, Access, Outreach and Support Trust Fund to support targeted behavioral health initiatives, including a student telebehavioral health pilot, enhancing the mental health workforce pipeline, public awareness campaigns, and loan forgiveness for mental health clinicians, focused on child and adolescent psychiatrists.
- $10 million for new grants to create Programs of Assertive Community Treatment (PACT) in each region of the six executive office of health and human services regions of the Commonwealth to provide intensive community-based wraparound services to children and adolescents with serious mental and behavioral health needs.
- $12.5 million in the Department of Housing and Community Development and $7M in DMH line items for housing vouchers for DMH clients to transition into housing and community-based services.
- $11 million for the Forensic Services Program, which funds mental health assessments and consultations in juvenile court clinics.
- $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.
- $150,000 to support the Children’s Behavioral Health Council’s work in evaluating and analyzing the impacts of the pandemic on the behavioral health continuum of care children.
COVID-19 Impacts on Children’s Behavioral Health
Recognizing that children and youth have been incredibly impacted by this public health crisis, it is clear to the Senate that the COVID-19 pandemic has created and exacerbated a growing behavioral health crisis that requires immediate action. The Committee’s budget engages the existing Children’s Behavioral Health Advisory Council, established in 2008, and charges the Council to evaluate the impacts of the pandemic on the behavioral health continuum of care for children in the Commonwealth.
Made up of child-serving agencies, parents and professionals with expertise in children’s mental health issues, the Council will analyze and evaluate the impacts of the pandemic across the current continuum of care, convene regionally diverse listening sessions to directly hear from impacted children and families, and address workforce challenges and needs. The Council is required to submit an interim report to the Legislature by November 15, 2021 and a final report by March 15, 2022.
Ensuring access to high quality public health services has been, and will continue to be, crucial to our state’s recovery. The Committee’s budget invests $765 million in public health programs and services that will build on the Senate’s priority of reinforcing the Commonwealth’s heath infrastructure and providing more access to quality care for vulnerable populations.
- $50.3 million for domestic violence prevention services.
- $38 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.
- $30.3 million for HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention.
- $14 million for school-based health programming and services.
- $13.7 million for family health services, including sexual and reproductive health counseling, education and clinical services for low-income adolescents and adults.
- $10 million for grants to support local and regional boards of health to combat COVID-19.
- $10 million for the Safe and Successful Youth Initiative, $6 million for Youth At-Risk matching grants and $2 million for youth violence prevention grants.
- $5.3 million for the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) and pediatric SANE programs, providing safe and integrated services to protect children from abuse.
- $7.7 million for pediatric palliative care services for terminally ill children and their families.
- $7 million for suicide prevention and intervention, including $400,000 for Samaritans Inc. and $200K for the Call2Talk suicide prevention hotline.
- $2.7 million for the Childhood Lead Poisoning and Prevention Trust Fund.
- $500,000 for the STOP Stroke Program.
Substance Use Disorder Treatment
In every corner of the Commonwealth, there are people struggling with addiction. For many, this pandemic has only exacerbated their situation. Recognizing the need to help, the Committee’s budget invests $175.3 million for a complete range of substance use disorder treatment and intervention services to support these individuals and their families.
- $10 million for new low threshold housing to support homeless individuals affected by substance use disorder.
- $3.5 million for five new recovery centers to enhance geographic access to services.
- $3 million for investments in the substance use disorder workforce, including training on medication management, medication-assisted treatment and treatment of co-occurring disorders.
- $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 $2.39 billion in a variety of services and programs that assist people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This ensures fair access to opportunities for these individuals, who meaningfully contribute to our Commonwealth.
- $220 million for the DDS Community Day and Work program providing employment support, education and training.
- $84.9 million for DDS to support respite and family services.
- $79.9 million to fully fund Turning 22 services to help young people with disabilities transition to adulthood.
- $36.6 million for specialized services for adults with autism.
- $27.1 million for DDS Transportation services to ensure individuals can access services during recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
- $25.6 million for the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind services.
- $22.6 million for head injury treatment services.
- $7.1 million for the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
- $7.9 million for the Disabled Persons Protection Commission, including funding for the caregiver abuse registry mandated by Nicky’s Law.
- $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.
Seniors remain the most vulnerable population in our Commonwealth as we continue to recover from the COVID-19 global pandemic. The Committee budget invests in programs that ensure elders have access to necessary home care, nutrition and health services that will promote their wellness as we adjust to a new normal.
- $64.4 million for home care case management services to assist ASAPs in providing services to elders.
- $1 mllion 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.
- $250.6 million in total for the elder home care program, providing critical health and social services to help seniors remain in their homes.
- $35.6 million for the Protective Services Program to prevent elder abuse and neglect.
- $17.1 million for grants to local Councils on Aging.
- $10.5 million for Meals on Wheels and other nutrition programs for seniors.
- $9.9 million in housing related programs for older adults receiving benefits through the Elder Homeless Placement, Congregate Housing and Supportive Housing programs.
The Committee’s budget prioritizes the wellbeing of the brave men and women who fought to protect our freedom by making investments to ensure they get the benefits they have earned. This budget reflects Massachusetts’ leadership in veterans’ affairs by supporting several key programs that provide assistance to these distinguished individuals and their families.
- $72.2 million for veterans’ benefits provided by municipalities, including cash, fuel and rent assistance, employment training and placement and health benefits.
- $26.8 million for the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home.
- $35.5 million for the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home.
- $8.7 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.
- $116,000 for outreach and services targeted to women veterans.
Support for Children and Working Families
The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on many households, deepened income inequality and further exposed poverty as a major barrier in our efforts to support children and ensure working families can open doors of opportunity. As we work to build a more inclusive and resilient Commonwealth, the Committee’s budget takes a number of critical steps to strengthen supports, provide relief and lift up working families with economic opportunities.
Child Tax Credit
The Senate recognizes that COVID-19 pandemic has had a disparate impact on families struggling to break through the cycle of poverty. To confront this challenge, the Committee’s budget addresses the increasing costs of caregiving for low-income families by converting existing tax deductions for children under 12, dependent adults and business-related dependent care expenses into refundable tax credits.
Coupled with the expanded Child Tax Credit and the Child and Dependent Care tax credits under the federal American Rescue Plan Act, the Committee’s child tax credit will help 85,000 families and support low-income working parents.
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 20 per cent increase to Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) and Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled and Children (EAEDC) benefit level compared to December 2020, 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.
Removal of the TAFDC and EAEDC Asset limit caps
Not only does the Committee’s budget increase existing benefit levels, but it also expands eligibility by eliminating the asset limits for both the TAFDC and EAEDC programs. Currently, the asset limits for TAFDC and EAEDC are $5,000 and $250, respectively. This step will allow families in need to receive economic assistance without having to spend down crucial savings, while improving administrative efficiency by simplifying the application review process.
Special Commission on Poverty
Finally, the Committee’s budget acknowledges that the prevalence of poverty in the Commonwealth is an ongoing problem that requires sustained long-term solutions. As of 2019, there were 673,467 people in Massachusetts living below the poverty line. To begin the work of how tackle and reduce poverty, the Committee’s budget creates a special commission on poverty to study historical rates of poverty, the efficacy of existing poverty programs, the underlying causes of poverty, and the existence of demographic disparities. The commission will subsequently make recommendations on how we can significantly reduce the rate of poverty in the Commonwealth within the next 10 years.
Additionally, the Committee’s budget demonstrates the importance of supporting children and families across the continuum of state services.
- $265.3 million for DCF Social Workers, supporting the Department’s ongoing efforts to reduce caseloads for social workers.
- $70.1 million for DCF family support and stabilization services.
- $30 million for Emergency Food Assistance to ensure that citizens in need can navigate the historic levels of food insecurity caused by COVID-19.
- $23 million for Family Resource Centers to grow and improve the mental health resources and programming available to families, including $1.5 million for the Juvenile Court Mental Health Advocacy Project administered by Health Law Advocates, Inc.
- $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.
- $18 million for the Healthy Incentives Program, including $5 million in unexpended funds carried forward from FY 2021, to ensure continued access to healthy food options for 90,000 SNAP households and support for local farmers.
- $9 million for DCF Lead Agencies to connect children with community-based services.
- $4 million for the Secure Jobs Connect program, providing job placement resources and assistance for homeless individuals.
- $2.5 million for Children Advocacy Centers, including $950,000 for the Massachusetts Children’s Alliance and $325,000 for the Department of Children and Families to allocate among the centers to improve the critical supports available to children that have been neglected or sexually abused.
- $1.2 million for Project Bread to support the Child Nutrition Outreach Program (CNOP) and the FoodSource Hotline.
- $250,000 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.
- $3.9 million for the Office of the Child Advocate, including $1 million for the establishment and operation of a state center on child wellness and trauma.
- $750,000 for the Foster Care Parents Campaign to recruit and support foster families.
Over a year into the pandemic, the role that access to affordable housing will play in our economic recovery is clearer than ever. Housing is linked to economic security and ultimately public health. Recognizing this, the Committee’s budget reflects the Senate’s commitment to affordable housing by investing $572 million in housing and homelessness services, while supporting housing stability. In addition to the more than $800 million in federal resources made available to support housing stability efforts, these investments will help to keep families in their homes.
- $195.9 million for Emergency Assistance Family Shelters, including funds to create an independent ombudsman’s office to act as a mediator and advocate for households applying to or residing in family shelters.
- $150 million for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP), including $20 million in unspent funds carried forward from FY 2021, and recommend changes to the program to cap the share of a household’s income paid towards rent at 30 per cent.
- $85 million for assistance to local housing authorities.
- $16.3 million for Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT), in addition to $350 million in federal emergency rental assistance and including emergency changes to the RAFT program to increase the maximum amount of rental assistance that a household can receive from $4,000 to $10,000 and allow eligible households facing a housing crisis to access both RAFT and HomeBASE.
- $56.4 million for assistance for homeless individuals.
- $26 million for the HomeBASE diversion and rapid re-housing programs.
- $14.2 million for the Alternative Housing Voucher Program (AHVP) providing rental assistance to people with disabilities, including $5.5M in unspent funds carried forward from FY 2021, and $2.5 million for grants to improve or create accessible affordable housing units.
- $8 million for the Housing Consumer Education Centers (HCECs).
- $8 million for assistance for unaccompanied homeless youth.
- $3.9 million for the Home and Healthy for Good re-housing and supportive services program, including $250,000 for homeless LGBTQQ youth.
- $3 million for Resident Service Coordinators at local housing authorities.
- $2.5 million for the Office of Public Collaboration to support housing dispute mediation efforts across the Commonwealth.
- $1.5 million for the Tenancy Preservation Program.
Economic Development and Workforce Training
The pandemic had an historic impact on Massachusetts’ workers and our economy. Rebuilding our workforce and providing opportunities for workers to grow are among our most important tasks as our recovery moves forward. The Committee’s budget continues our commitment to our workforce by investing in training programs that will ensure the Commonwealth’s economic competitiveness.
- $23 million for summer jobs and work-readiness training for at-risk youth through the YouthWorks program.
- $10 million for the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund to connect unemployed and under-employed workers with higher paying jobs.
- $7.5 million for One-Stop Career Centers.
- $6 million for Regional Economic Development Organizations to support economic growth in every region.
- $6 million for Career Technical Institutes to increase our skilled worker population and provide residents access to career technical training opportunities.
- $5 million for Small Business Technical Assistance grants.
- $5 million for grants to community foundations to provide emergency economic relief to historically underserved populations across the Commonwealth.
- $2.5 million for the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative Innovation Institute.
- $2.5 million for the Precision Manufacturing Program.
- $2.5 million for the Massachusetts Cybersecurity Innovation Fund, including $1.5 million for new regional security operation centers, which will partner 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.
- $1 million for employment programs for young adults with disabilities.
- $1 million for microlending grants to support small businesses.
Environmental preservation and the omnipresent threat of climate change are among the most serious issues facing us today. Recognizing the urgency of the moment, the Committee’s budget supports the Commonwealth’s position as a national leader on these subjects by investing $310 million to protect and enhance our state’s environmental resources.
- $105.8 million for the Department of Conservation and Recreation to support the Commonwealth’s state parks system and the need for socially distant outdoor leisure.
- $69.4 million, including $6.9 million in unexpended funds from FY 2021, for the Department of Environmental Protection to steward the Commonwealth’s air, land and waterways.
- $39.9 million for the Department of Agricultural Resources to promote the Commonwealth’s food security and local food economy.
- $20.9 million for the Department of Public Utilities to ensure proper pipeline and utility safety.
- $3.3 million for the Division of Ecological Restoration to protect the Commonwealth’s rivers, wetlands and watersheds.
- $2.2 million for climate change adaptation and preparedness programs to enhance resilience and to address the mounting threat of climate change.
- $480,000 to hire personnel across the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs to begin 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
Fair and equal treatment under the law is the bedrock of our democracy. The Committee’s budget continues the hard work of striving toward equal justice by supporting and investing in programs that will help ensure fair treatment for all within the Commonwealth’s justice system.
- $775.8 million for the Trial Court system, including $1.3 million for an Alternative Dispute Resolution and online dispute resolution program, $13.2 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.
- $286.2 million for the Committee for Public Counsel Services, which includes $21 million in unexpended funds carried forward from FY 2021. This appropriation level provides full funding to raise the compensation rates of private bar advocates, to ensure that everyone throughout the Commonwealth has access to quality legal representation.
- $164.5 million for the Office of Probation.
- $35 million for the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation.
- $2.4 million for Prisoners’ Legal Services.
- $2.3 million for the Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee.
Justice Reinvestment and Recidivism Reduction
The Committee’s budget invests over $61.9 million n programs across judicial, economic development, public health and public safety agencies targeted towards reinvestment in communities disproportionately impacted by the criminal justice system. This will help maintain availability of health care services for people incarcerated in prisons, jails, and houses of correction, which is an essential part of our state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. It also targets a reduction in recidivism, helping individuals successfully reenter the community.
- $143.6 million for District Attorney’s offices across the state.
- $15 million, including $7.5 million in unexpended funds carried forward from FY 2021, for a new Community Empowerment and Reinvestment grant program to provide supports to communities disproportionately impacted by the criminal justice system.
- $15 million for the provision of medication-assisted treatment for people incarcerated at DOC facilities and houses of correction with opioid use disorder.
- $4.8 million for expanded behavioral health treatment at DOC facilities.
- $4 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.
- $1 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.
- $11.1 million, including $1.5 million in unexpended funds carried forward from FY 2021, for a grant program to provide community-based residential re-entry services.
- $999,000 for the Massachusetts Offender Recidivism Reduction Program.
- $1.6 million to expand a transitional youth early intervention probation pilot to provide recidivism reduction programming to high-risk or high-need youth.
- $1.5 million for DOC’s recidivism reduction programming.
- $500,000 for diversion programs in the district attorneys’ offices.
- $345,000 to expand behavioral health programs at houses of correction.
- $183,000 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.
Local police and fire departments have been on the front lines of our fight against COVID-19 for over a year. The Committee’s budget makes targeted investments to support our first responders so they can continue to protect and serve our communities.
- $649.6 million for the Sheriffs’ offices across the state.
- $407.2 million for the State Police, including $2 million to support a new State Police class of 100 recruits.
- $31.6 million for the Department of Fire Services, including $2 million for the Student Awareness Fire Education program and $900,000 for Critical Incident Stress Management programs.
- $20.5 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.
- $11.3 million for the Shannon Grants gang violence prevention and intervention program.
- $4.6 million for the Municipal Police Training Committee, including new funding to support training for part-time or reserve officers.
- $1 million for the Non-Profit Security Grants.