For immediate release: July 23, 2019
BOSTON – Representative Mark J. Cusack (D-Braintree) along with his colleagues in the Massachusetts Legislature passed its Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) budget, which invests in programs and services across the Commonwealth. Funded at $43.1 billion, the budget makes major investments in education, housing, substance use disorder services, health care, and other areas while projecting a more than $476 million deposit into the Stabilization Fund – bringing the fund’s balance to more than $3 billion to safeguard the future of vital programs and services. Within the FY20 Budget, Braintree will see over $24 million in local aid as well as $150,000 dedicated to public safety improvements, $150,000 dedicated to the Community Partnership on Substance Abuse and $100,000 dedicated to parking and traffic improvements.
The budget passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate includes over $24 million in direct aid to Braintree. The town will see a 2.7% increase in unrestricted local aid. A $159,749 increase will bring Braintree’s total to $6,076,372 for FY20. Braintree Public Schools will also see an increase of 2.7% in Chapter 70 education funding. This increase will bring Braintree’s total state education funding to $18,297,651. In addition, the FY20 budget funds the Special Education Circuit Breaker at $345 million which will further help the town manage increasing special education costs.
“I would like to thank Speaker DeLeo and House Ways & Means Chairman Michlewitz for their efforts with the Conference Committee and hard work on the FY20 Budget,” said Representative Cusack.
“I’m proud 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 FY20 Budget in order to help create a safer place for all the residents of Braintree.”
“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,” continued Cusack. “The critical funding for our public safety personnel and the partnership on substance abuse being back in the budget again this coming year is key in continuing to keep the safety of the people of Braintree one of my top priorities”
The budget continues to make investments in the Commonwealth’s efforts to fight the opioid epidemic – a public health crisis that has touched nearly every household across the Commonwealth. To help those in need, the budget gives all EMS and ambulance companies access to discounted naloxone, making it more available for use in the field. Rep. Cusack was once again 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. This is the fourth year in a row that this money has been secured in order to help combat this epidemic in Braintree.
The budget includes funding for public safety and the judiciary, including investments to implement last session’s criminal justice reform law. Within the public safety monies designated in the budget, Rep. Cusack was able to secure $150,000 dedicated to public safety improvements in the town of Braintree.
Representative Cusack secured a third earmark new for Braintree for FY20 in the amount of $100,000 for improvements to parking and traffic in Braintree.
For the first time in nearly 20 years, the budget will increase the Commonwealth’s contribution into the Community Preservation Act, which will ensure that over $36 million more will be distributed to projects all across the Commonwealth and help raise the state’s match up to 30 percent for investments in open space, affordable housing and historic preservation.
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.