Saturday, April 30, 2016

MassBudget: The House Budget explained

MassBudget  Information.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center  Democracy.
We've made it easy to zoom into Wednesday's House budget proposal, and compare it to current funding and earlier proposals from the Governor and House Ways and Means Committee. The new House Budget Monitor for Fiscal Year 2017 enables you to quickly check the major programs you're most concerned about.

The House Budget changes the overall budget picture very little, but proposes a few significant changes for the next budget year. After three days of debate to consider 1307 amendments, the House changed the bottom line of the budget proposed by the House Ways and Means Committee by less than one fifth of one percent. Overall, the House added about $90 million in new spending, partially offset by $31 million in reduced spending as a result of reduced enrollment forecast at the state's Group Insurance Commission.

While many of the House changes were small earmarks for specific local projects, a number of the additions aim to address broader challenges. These include an additional $5 million to more adequately pay early childhood educators. Several of the larger increases approved by the House would actually just restore - or partially restore - funding that the Ways and Means Committee had proposed cutting. For example, the House adopted amendments that would add:
  • $7 million to provide employment and training for low-income parents receiving transitional assistance to help them enter the workforce successfully. The proposal still falls $1 million below current funding levels.
  • $1 million to the Shannon Grant program for anti-gang and youth violence prevention efforts. Including this increase, the House Budget proposal remains $1 million below the current funding level.
  • $7 million for the Office of Travel and Tourism, leaving total spending more than $2 million below the current funding level.
This Budget Monitor describes the amendments adopted in each major section of the state budget and offers comparisons to current and historic funding levels and the Governor's proposals for this year. To read it, click (here) or jump directly to a particular section below:

Overview page 1
Child Welfare page 10
Disability Services page 11
Early Education and Care page 1
Economic Development page 13
Elder Services page 11
Environment and Recreation page 5
General Local Aid page 15
K-12 Education page 2
Higher Education page 3
Housing page 9
Juvenile Justice page 12
Law and Public Safety page 16
MassHealth (Medicaid) and Health Reform page 6
Mental Health page 7
Other Human Services page 13
Other Local Aid page 15
Pensions page 18
Public Health page 7
State Employee Health Insurance page 8
Transitional Assistance page 12
Transportation page 15
Revenue page 19

The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) produces policy research, analysis, and data-driven recommendations focused on improving the lives of low- and middle-income children and adults, strengthening our state's economy, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts.

BOSTON, MA 02108

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