For immediate release: July 7, 2017

BOSTON – Representative Mark J. Cusack (D-Braintree) joined his colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives to pass a $40.2 billion FY18 Budget which represents a commitment to fiscal responsibility. The Senate subsequently passed the budget. The spending bill protects vulnerable residents through investments in early education and care, substance addiction initiatives, homelessness programs, and funding to help individuals with developmental disabilities. Within the FY18 Budget Braintree will see nearly $23 million in local aid as well as $150,000 for Braintree’s Community Partnership on Substance Abuse and $100,000 for public safety improvements.

This budget takes comprehensive action to promote sustained economic health in Massachusetts as we face uncertainty on the national level. For the fourth year in a row, the House budget reduces Massachusetts’ reliance on one-time revenue. It includes a $100 million deposit to the stabilization fund which will result in projected balance of more than $1.4 billion and help preserve the state’s AA+ bond rating, the highest in the Commonwealth’s history.

The budget passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate includes nearly $23 million in direct aid to Braintree.  The town will see a 3.9% increase in unrestricted local aid.  The $214,577 increase will bring Braintree’s total to $5,716,544 for FY18.  Braintree Public Schools will see an increase of 5.9% in Chapter 70 education funding.  This nearly $1,000,000 increase will bring Braintree’s total state education funding to $17,201,085.  In addition, the FY18 budget fully funds the Special Education Circuit Breaker which will further help the town manage increasing special education costs.

“I would like to thank Speaker DeLeo and House Ways & Means Chairman Dempsey for their efforts with the Conference Committee and hard work on the FY18 Budget,” said Representative Cusack.

“I’m happy to report that the funds allocated to Braintree did not change during Conference Committee from the original House budget to the final budget passed by the House and Senate,” said Representative Cusack. “We fought for this money to be included within the FY18 Budget in order to help create a safer place for all the residents of Braintree and to fight against this ever-growing epidemic.”

“The increase in local aid will help the town fully fund education, public safety, veterans’ services, our public works operation and many other areas that are crucial to continuing to improve our quality of life in Braintree,” said Representative Cusack.  “The nearly $1,000,000 increase in education funding will assist the schools in providing the education and resources our students, teachers and staff need to excel.”

Representative Cusack was successful in securing an amendment of $150,000 to be put towards Braintree’s Community Partnership on Substance Use.  The money will be used to help the Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator and the lead stakeholders continue their work in educating the community on prevention and treatment for substance abuse. Last year, Representative Cusack was able to secure funding in the budget that established this position and office. Cusack was also able to secure $100,000 to increase public safety in Braintree.

The budget will now be sent to Governor Baker’s office where he must decide whether or not to approve what the House and Senate have agreed upon.