For immediate release: October 17, 2019
BOSTON – On Wednesday Representative Mark J. Cusack (D-Braintree) joined his colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives to pass a supplemental budget allowing the Commonwealth to increase the balance of its “Rainy Day Fund” to $3.2 billion, invest in local infrastructure projects, and continue to fight the opioid crisis. Rep. Mark Cusack was able to secure $200,000 for traffic mitigation in Braintree as part of this supplemental budget. This funding is in addition to the $100,000 Rep. Cusack was able to secure in the FY20 budget for traffic and parking improvements in Braintree.
“Alleviating traffic in Braintree and improving our infrastructure is crucial to protecting the quality of life in our town. I’m proud to have secured an additional $200,000 in the State’s supplemental budget to improve our traffic flow and decrease congestion,” said Representative Cusack. “This supplemental budget ensures that investments are being made in our communities, while ensuring that our Rainy Day Fund is properly funded so we can continue to support our constituents under any circumstance.”
In order to further fortify Massachusetts’ financial resiliency, the Legislature dedicated $400 million to the Commonwealth’s stabilization fund, bringing the Rainy Day Fund’s total balance to an unprecedented $3.2 billion, the first time the fund has reached that amount in its history.
“This budget reflects the House’s key priorities ranging from strengthening the Commonwealth’s long-term fiscal outlook, protecting public health and safety, and investing in our most vulnerable residents,” said House Speaker Robert. A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop). “These investments will make communities safer, improve municipal infrastructure and provide protections for those most in need.”
As part of the House’s priority to protect the environment, the supplemental budget makes a $24 million investment for the testing of potential per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination of water supplies and for grants to support treatment and remediation of affected public drinking water systems, and $35 million for the Clean Water Trust Fund.
In addition, the supplemental budget reaffirms the House’s strong partnership with cities and towns by providing $60 million to invest in local roads and bridges projects. Furthering the House’s commitment to clean energy, the budget also features a $32 million investment in the state’s electric vehicle rebate program.
In addition, the supplemental budget:
- Recognizes the need for increased investment in the MBTA by providing $50 million for additional staffing and contract costs to support capital project delivery, inspection and maintenance activities, and service diversions necessary to accelerate capital projects;
- Works to support the Commonwealth’s public higher education institutions by investing $20 million in a program that encourages private fundraising with matching state dollars;
- Keeps with the House’s priority to promote gun safety by including $10 million for gun violence prevention programs;
- Supports low-income households at the risk of eviction or facing foreclosure by investing $7 million for a rental and mortgage arrearage assistance pilot program;
- Continues the House’s leadership on the Commonwealth’s early education efforts by including $3 million for grants for early educator scholarships for school paraprofessionals;
- Provides $3 million in disaster relief funding to Cape Cod communities affected by the tornados on July 23, 2019;
- Designates the state primary date for Sept. 1, 2020 and invests funding to establish early voting for the 2020 presidential election;
- Support the House’s priority of supporting Massachusetts’ most vulnerable youth by investing $5 million in a program to expand access for students to community-based mental and behavioral health services in schools; and
- Includes $10 million reserve for salary increases for home health aides and personnel providing homemaker and personal care homemaker services.
The supplemental budget will now go to the Senate.