Boston – After a late-night budget session, the Massachusetts House of Representatives concluded debate on the Fiscal Year 2020 budget in the early hours of last Thursday morning, unanimously passing the chamber’s budget.
The House Budget prioritizes the most pressing needs of Massachusetts residents, making key investments in food, housing and legal assistance programs, while also investing in the Commonwealth’s long-term educational, economic, and environmental health by:
· increasing funding for the RAFT (Rental Assistance for Families in Transition) program to $22 million to help families struggling to pay their rent;
· funding the Mass Legal Assistance Corporation at $35 million to provide legal aid to low-income residents across the Commonwealth;
· providing $750,000 in support for Meals on Wheels, to ensure that seniors struggling with food don’t go without a meal;
· funding the Student Opportunity Act at 1/6 implementation to ensure we reach full implementation by 2027 and give students all the resources they need to prepare themselves for successful, fulfilling lives;
· creating a $40 million reserve fund to assist schools with enrollment impacted by COVID-19;
· and establishing a new fund to support the training of workers wishing to enter the Commonwealth’s green economy.
"This budget not only provides for the immediate needs of the Commonwealth's most vulnerable residents, but also maintains focus on long-term state-wide needs and provides important resources to support the Malden community," said Representative Steve Ultrino (D - Malden). "I'm grateful to Speaker Mariano, Chair Michlewitz, the Malden delegation, and all my colleagues for meeting this moment by providing the resources our communities need to emerge even stronger from these difficult times."
"I'm incredibly proud of my colleagues for coming together to pass this impressive budget unanimously. At a time when many in Massachusetts are struggling, this budget provides the resources they need in both the short-term and lays the foundation to support those needs for the years to come," noted
Representative Paul J. Donato (D - Medford). "I'm grateful to House Leadership and all my colleagues for their dedicated work this week to reach this impressive proposal."
“I’m proud to vote in favor of the House’s FY22 budget bill, which reflects the tremendous efforts of Speaker Mariano, Chair Michlewitz, and my colleagues,” said State Representative Kate Lipper-Garabedian (D – Melrose). “This budget bill strategically invests in state priorities to support individuals and their families across the Commonwealth and to address our challenges. I’m thrilled that the bill also includes sizeable support for City of Malden departments and critical community partners. I’m pleased to have worked closely with Representatives Ultrino and Donato to ensure that the important work happening in Malden has been reflected in the House’s budget bill.”
This budget also includes a number of significant local investments which Malden’s House delegation successfully advocated for in partnership with local advocates and community members. These investments prioritize public health and safety, housing and homelessness, cultural appreciation, and community green space by:
· providing $160,000 to Housing Families Inc. for their Homeless Children program to connect homeless children in and around Malden with housing and other necessary resources
· dedicating $50,000 to the Malden Fire Department for new ice rescue equipment, and a surveillance drone for the Middlesex Fells Reserve, so the department can continue efficient winter rescues, such as those Malden saw this winter
· expending $50,000 to the Malden Police Department for mental and behavioral health and substance abuse training, and ongoing consultation with mental health professionals to ensure those with mental health and/or substance abuse issues are given the help they need
· contributing $50,000 to the Greater Malden Asian American Community Coalition for the establishment of an Asian Community Center to celebrate Asian culture and heritage in Malden
· supplying $50,000 to Action for Boston Community Development for their Mobile Homeless Outreach Team serving Malden, and surrounding communities to help homeless individuals in Malden find and maintain a place to live
· and committing $25,000 to the City of Malden to commission Master Plan to revitalize Fellsmere Park and ensure ongoing access to the green space it offers for generations to come.