Senator Secures Funding for Local Priorities and Statewide Initiatives
BOSTON – After three full days of debate, Senator Michael O. Moore (D-Millbury) announced that the Senate passed a $40.3B state budget for Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18). The budget makes targeted investments in education and workforce development, and includes provisions to address local funding priorities.
The budget includes significant increases in local aid to assist municipalities and school districts with providing important services to area residents. The eight communities within the Second Worcester District will receive more than $319M in education aid, and about $57M in unrestricted general aid to support local initiatives and operations.
“I know how hard people in Central Massachusetts work to make ends meet and to support their families,” said Senator Moore. “I also know the importance of programs supported through the state budget and its impact on helping families who are struggling. While no budget is ever perfect, I am proud of the hard work that the Senate has put into crafting a budget that addresses many critical areas including education.”
As part of the budget process, the Senate debated more than one thousand amendments ranging from funding items to policy goals. Importantly, the Senate adopted an amendment to overhaul the education funding formula as recommended by the Foundation Budget Review Commission. Several Moore-sponsored amendments were adopted as part of the Senate budget package including:
- $35K to establish a formal partnership between seven area manufacturers and eleven high schools within the Blackstone Valley to educate students and staff about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) career opportunities with a focus on advanced manufacturing.
- $50K to support a substance abuse treatment clinic in Shrewsbury for veterans. The clinic is operated by Veterans, Inc. and will be staffed by licensed mental health providers.
- $40K for public safety improvements in the Town of Auburn. This includes funding to install a surveillance system at the Auburn Housing Authority to protect elderly and disabled residents.
- $27K to replace outdated defibrillators in emergency vehicles within the Town of Upton. This funding will enable the Town to replace the 13 devices, as well as to purchase one training unit to conduct the re-certification training in-house.
- $54K to help the Millbury High School purchase a multi-function activity bus to support transportation of students to academic and athletic events.
- $9K to support the renovation of the emergency dispatch center in the Town of Northbridge.
- $75K to support public safety operations in the City of Worcester including funding for a canine unit.
- $50K to support the Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders at UMass Medical School.
- $150K to support the Bottom Line program which helps low-income and first-generation college students get into as well as through college.
- $100K for a comprehensive statewide study relative to the Commonwealth’s early education and care workforce.
- $80K to assist the Children’s Advocacy Center of Worcester County which strives to reduce the trauma to young people who may be victims of physical and/or sexual abuse.
- $40K to support the South Worcester Neighborhood Improvement Corporation which provides important programs to underserved members of the community including parent skill building, leadership development, job creation, planning and youth programs.
- $60K to support a joint proposal for UMass Memorial EMS to provide tactical EMS support to the Massachusetts State Police STOP Team.
The FY18 state budget now goes before a Conference Committee comprised of six legislators to resolve differences between the versions of the budget passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate. Online access to budget documents is available on the Legislature’s website, www.malegislature.gov. The new fiscal year begins July 1, 2017.