House Passes FY20 Budget; Cusack Secures $400,000 in improvements for Braintree

For immediate release: April 30, 2019

BOSTON – Representative Mark J. Cusack (D-Braintree) joined his colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives to pass a $42.7 billion FY20 budget. The FY20 House budget makes major investments in education, housing, substance use disorder services, health care, and other areas while projecting a more than $200 million deposit into the Stabilization Fund – bringing the fund’s balance to more than $2.5 billion to safeguard the future of vital programs and services. Within the 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 House continues to further its commitment to cities and towns increasing Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) by nearly $30 million and providing $5.1 billion in Chapter 70 education funding as part of a $236 million increase for investments in schools over Fiscal Year 2019.  The FY20 budget included 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 House budget added additional funds to the Special Education Circuit Breaker to $328,887,071 which will further help the town manage increasing special education costs.

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

The budget continues the Legislature’s commitment to fight the opioid epidemic – a public health crisis that has touched nearly every household across the Commonwealth. To help those in need, the House budget gives all EMS and ambulance companies access to discounted naloxone, making it more available for use in the field. In addition, the budget includes:

  • $143.9 million for the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services, which will help create five new recovery centers across Massachusetts;
  • $49.4 million for the Substance Use Disorder Trust Fund; and
  • $1.5 million increases for Massachusetts Access to Recovery Services.

Representative Cusack was successful in securing an amendment of $150,000 to combat substance abuse in Braintree.  The money will help in the continued funding for the Braintree Community Partnership on Substance Abuse, including funding of programs and events to promote public awareness, research best practices and work to secure grants in combating this growing problem in the town and the state. This is the fourth consecutive year Rep. Cusack was able to secure this important funding for the Partnership, totaling $600,000.

“I am extremely thankful that we, as a House, were able to include this funding in the FY20 budget to continue to help against this public health crisis,” said Representative Cusack.  “It is vital that we as a society provide the resources and support to those individuals suffering from addiction and the loved ones trying to help them recover.”

Additionally, Cusack was able to secure $150,000 towards improvements of public safety in Braintree. Rep. Cusack has secured funding for public safety every year he has been in elected office totaling $800,000.

“Every day our men and women serving in our public safety departments are doing an exemplary job in ensuring that Braintree stays a safe community.  With the help of Mayor Sullivan, Police Chief Shastany, and Fire Chief O’Brien, we will work together to find the best use of these funds for the benefit of our town and residents,” said Representative Cusack.

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.

“As Braintree continues to flourish as an emerging community in Massachusetts, with an increase in population, businesses and housing, there is a dire need to deal collaboratively with the growing issues of increased traffic and dwindling available municipal parking.” said Cusack. “I look forward to working with Mayor Sullivan in improving these parking and traffic issues within our town.”

For the first time in nearly 20 years, the budget will be increasing 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 will help raise the state’s match up to 30 percent for investments in open space, affordable housing and historic preservation. Braintree has and now will continue to benefit from being a CPA community through current and future projects with using these new funds.

The House budget now moves to the Senate who will take it up in a few weeks.  Once the House and Senate work out the differences between the two budgets, the budget will be sent to the Governor to be signed.

“I will be working with my colleagues in the Senate, including Sen. Keenan and Sen. Timilty, to make sure these crucial funds are included in their budget as well as communicating with Governor Baker and his administration to emphasize the importance of this funding for Braintree,” added Representative Cusack.

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