For immediate release: May 3, 2021
BOSTON – Representative Mark J. Cusack (D-Braintree) joined his colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives to pass its Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) budget. This budget responsibly responds to the needs of residents and makes investments that set the state on a path toward economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic. Funded at $47.716 billion, the House’s FY22 budget continues its strong commitment to cities and towns, and includes significant investments in education, supportive services for vulnerable populations, and workforce and economic development, among other priorities.
During this week’s debate, Rep. Cusack was able to secure for the 5th Norfolk District (Braintree, Holbrook and Randolph) nearly $62 million in local aid and a combined $200,000 for public safety improvements. $150,000 was also secured for Braintree’s Community Partnership on Substance Abuse, as well as $200,000 for One Life at a Time located in Braintree.
The House FY22 budget does not cut services nor does it raise taxes, and is made possible due to strong revenue collections, increased federal reimbursement, and by leveraging funds from the state’s Stabilization Fund. The budget does not appropriate anticipated American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds. As the House Ways & Means and Federal Stimulus committees await the issuance of spending parameters by the federal government, they have begun a process to better understand the needs of Massachusetts communities and analyze past expenditures of federal funds, particularly those received from the CARES Act.
The FY22 House budget reflects the local aid commitment recently made by the House and Senate. It increases Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) by $39.5 million over FY21 for a total of $1.168 billion and Chapter 70 education funding by $219.6 million over FY21 for a total of $5.503 billion, fully funding the first year of a six-year implementation plan of the Student Opportunity Act (SOA). Enacted in 2019 to support equitable funding for our most vulnerable students, the Legislature’s funding schedule ensures the SOA remains on track to be fully implemented over the course of seven years as opposed to the Governor’s budget proposal.
The budget passed includes nearly $25 million in direct aid to Braintree, $26 million to Randolph and nearly $10 million directed to Holbrook. Each town will see an increase in unrestricted local aid. The $212,673 increase will bring Braintree’s total to $6,289,045. Randolph will see an increase of $193,183 bringing the total to $5,712,696. Holbrook’s total comes to $1,621,641, an increase of $54,838. Public schools in the district will see an increase in Chapter 70 funding through the SOA, seen by Braintree’s total state education funding increasing from the previous budget to $18,459,141 in FY22, Randolph’s to $20,664,953 and Holbrook’s to $8,776,288. The Special Needs Circuit Breaker is funded at $367 million for FY22, an almost $20 million increase from the previous FY21 budget.
“The increase in local aid will help each town 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 throughout these unprecedented times,” said Representative Cusack. “The increase in education funding will assist the schools in providing the education and resources our students, teachers and staff need to excel.”
Reflecting the Legislature’s strong commitment to providing access to care and treatment for individuals with a substance use disorder, the budget allocates $160 million for the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services, including support for the MA-Access to Recovery program and targeted investments in five additional recovery centers. The budget also provides funding for low-threshold housing for people experiencing homelessness, mental health disorders and at risk for HIV; outpatient and mobile services for persons with disabilities; and treatment at correctional facilities.
Representative Cusack was successful in securing an amendment of $150,000 to be put towards Braintree’s Community Partnership on Substance Abuse. The money will be used to help the Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator and the Lead Stakeholders continue their work in educating the community of Braintree on the dangers of substance abuse and how to prevent it. Furthering the fight against this ever-growing epidemic, Rep. Cusack was also able to secure $200,000 for One Life at a Time, Inc. located in Braintree. This money will help One Life at a Time continue their amazing work helping individuals throughout recovery and start new beginnings.
“The Community Partnership on Substance Abuse have been doing a tremendous job in our town to battle the epidemic that is substance abuse,” said Representative Cusack. “It is my hope that with this additional funding from the budget that the Partnership can reach even more citizens who need our help and additionally educate the youth of Braintree.”
Cusack was also able to secure $100,000 to increase public safety in Braintree, $50,000 to increase public safety in Randolph and $50,000 to increase public safety in Holbrook.
“I am extremely proud of the job that all the men and women serving in Braintree, Randolph and Holbrook’s public safety departments do on behalf of our citizens every day. I look forward to continue to work with each department to put this money to where it will be needed the most to protect our district and residents,” said Representative Cusack.
Speaker Mariano and the House Ways & Means Committee introduced their FY22 budget on April 14, 2021, following a review of the Governor’s proposal and a series of budget hearings. After three days of debate and over a thousand proposed amendments, the budget passed by the House of Representatives 160-0 and now goes to the Senate.