O’Connor is one of six lawmakers responsible for producing the final version of the budget
BOSTON – The House and Senate each passed their own version of a $47.7 billion budget in April and May respectively. A Conference Committee consisting of three members from the House and three members from the Senate has been established in order to produce a compromise budget that sorts out differences between the respective budgets.
Minority Leader, Senator Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester) appointed Senator Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth) as one of the six legislators responsible for carrying out the duties of the Conference Committee.
“Senator O'Connor is diligent and focused, and his attention to the details of the budget will make a real difference in keeping negotiations centered around key spending priorities and necessary fiscal discipline,” said Tarr. “I am confident his practical approach will contribute significantly to the deliberations of the conference committee.”
“We had our first meeting last week and I’m hopeful that we will continue to have positive discussions as we seek to address policies and investments that will make our state stronger and improve the quality of life for everyone that calls Massachusetts home,” O’Connor said. “Our main focus should be producing a budget that will guide Massachusetts in our recovery from COVID-19.”
"The Conference Committee has an immense task in front of it, so I am glad to have someone like Senator O'Connor, who is an exemplary advocate and tireless worker, as a collaborator," said Senator Michael J. Rodrigues (D-Westport), Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. "As the Conference Committee's work continues, I look forward to working with Senator O'Connor and my fellow Committee members to produce a budget that will help the Commonwealth along its path to an equitable recovery and toward our new normal."
O’Connor noted that in addition to local education and general aid for the towns he represents, that he will also be pushing for the inclusion of targeted funding which he previously secured in the Senate version of the budget. Those investments included:
- $350,000 for the Talking Information Center to support their programming
- $150,000 for the Massachusetts Marine Trades Association to increase workforce development training opportunities and technical education in schools for careers in the marine trades
- $100,000 for Marshfield Public Schools to further design and implement their mental health education programs
- $80,000 to the Norwell Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice to support their telehealth program
- $50,000 for South Shore Peer Recovery to support operations and programming for those in addiction recovery
- $50,000 to empowerHER, a non-profit organization in Norwell, which provides guidance and mentorship services to young women who have lost their mothers.
- $50,000 to the North River Commission to fund the North River Commission, pursuant to the Legislature’s 1978 Scenic Protective Order
- $40,000 for South Shore Special Needs Athletic Partnership (SNAP) to support their operations and programming
- $25,000 to Free. (pronounced “Free Period”), a program offered by $25,000 to Hingham's St. John the Evangelist Church providing free feminine hygiene products to those in need
- $22,000 for Wellspring Multi-Service Center’s wrap-around services
- $20,000 to The Company Theatre to support their operations and programming as they recover from COVID-19 impacts
- $20,000 to support the Community of Resources for Special Education (CORSE) Foundation
- $20,000 for Drug Story Theater to expand efforts to educate youth on the dangers of substance abuse
- $20,000 to the North Weymouth Civic Association to support the furtherance of local initiatives
- $10,000 to the Scituate Visitors Center to support the launch of their virtual presence
- $10,000 to the Town of Scituate to support their portion of the South Shore Irish Heritage Trail
“As I’ve said many times before, we have so many well-deserving local nonprofit organizations on the South Shore, and their work will be vital in our ability to ensure no one – children, families, our seniors, and small businesses – gets left behind in our recovery efforts,” said O’Connor.
Joining O’Connor on the conference committee are Representatives Aaron Michlewitz, Ann-Margaret Ferrante, and Todd Smola, and Senators Michael Rodrigues, and Cindy Friedman.
Senator Patrick O’Connor represents the Plymouth and Norfolk district, which includes the towns of Cohasset, Duxbury, Hingham, Hull, Marshfield, Norwell, Scituate, and Weymouth. Sen. O’Connor and his staff may be reached at the State House via telephone at 617-722-1646 or by email at Patrick.O’[email protected]
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