Saturday, November 22, 2014

Holiday Craft Fair - Nov 22 - Franklin VFW

Please visit the Craft fair at the VFW Post - 1034 Pond Street, Franklin, MA. 
The Friars Floral's will have a booth with silk floral arrangements to sell as a fund raiser for our ministry thanks to the generosity of the VFW auxiliary and members, in addition there will be multiple vendor tables offering homemade items including honey, wooden toys, knit and crochet clothing and accessories, handmade quilts, holiday decorations, snowmen, and stained glass. 
A Farmers Market area will be available and a physical therapist will offer massages starting at noon time. 
Please visit us Saturday November 22, 2014 9 AM to 4 PM:
Franklin VFW Post1034 Pond Street in Franklin, MA 
The profits from the Friars Florals sales will benefit Mission Saints Sergius & Bacchus/ Franciscans of Divine Mercy

Franklin VFW Post 1034 Pond Street
Franklin VFW Post - 1034 Pond Street

Pax et Bonum
Peace & All God's Goodness be with you
Rev. Fr. Bob Johnnene OFD
Mission Saints Sergius & Bacchus
Divine Mercy Old Catholic Parish
Independent Catholic Church of the Americas
Link to Fr. Bob's Weekly TV show
Our Facebook page:
Mission Web Site
Franciscan Web Site
ICCA Seminary Link
Diocese Office:

Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School and the Franklin School for the Performing Arts Collaborate to Offer Expanded Arts Curriculum

The Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School and the Franklin School for the Performing Arts have worked in collaboration to offer students in grades six through eight access to classes in Dance and Introduction to French Melodie, musical theater and opera. Both programs are offered to students on site at the Franklin School for the Performing Arts during the school’s Classical Arts Block period.

The Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School’s Arts Block offers students a choice of 33 programs throughout the year, each of which has been designed to provide students with opportunity to gain exposure and experience with a specialized topic. The French Melodie class at FSPA builds upon students existing knowledge of the French language, culture and history, gained through French instruction, which commences in Kindergarten at BFCCPS. Dance is a beginner/intermediate jazz class that introduces basic dance vocabulary, technique and combinations; no prior dance experience is required for students to participate in the program.

Students will have the opportunity showcase the techniques that they have learned this trimester in a short morning program to be held at 11am on November 24, 2014 at THE BLACK BOX, the newly opened home of the Franklin Performing Arts Company.

“We are incredibly fortunate to be able to offer these classes to our students thanks to the generous support of the staff at the Franklin School for the Performing Arts,” says Heather Zolnowski Head of School at the Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School. “The staff at FSPA share our vision and dedication to provide classical arts and character education. This is a remarkable opportunity for our students.”

The Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School has been in operation since 1995 and will celebrate its twentieth anniversary this spring. The school provides a well-rounded, rigorous academic program designed to educate the whole child. BFCCPS’s educational philosophy, which is centered around strong core academic subjects, as well as yearlong courses in art, music, languages, technology, and physical education, integrated character education and community service, and strong parent partnerships, has lead to local, state and national recognition.

If you'd like learn more about the educational mission of the Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School, or if you have enrollment related questions please contact the school’s Marketing Coordinator, Joanne Basile at or 508-541-3434 x140. For more details
about the Franklin School for the Performing Arts, please contact Jackie Evans, Marketing and Public Relations at 508-528-8668 or

Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School

About the Benjamin Franklin Charter School

The Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School’s mission is to assist parents in their role as primary educators of their children by providing students with a classical academic education coupled with sound character development and community service. Our mission is supported by four distinct, yet interconnected pillars that provide for a collaborative, rigorous education for all students. These pillars guide, direct and define the school in all it does.


About the Franklin School for the Performing Arts

Since 1985, the Franklin School for the Performing Arts has been dedicated to the enjoyment of music, dance and drama for all ages and to the artistic growth and development of young people. Founded by Director Raye Lynn Mercer and built upon the notion that arts experiences are an integral part of a wellrounded education, FSPA provides a nurturing environment where students grow skills for the stage – and for life. With a distinguished faculty of Boston-area artists, expansive roster of classes and extensive calendar of wide-ranging performance opportunities, FSPA serves students of all ages and levels of ability, whether for recreational enjoyment or serious study.

City & Town - November 20th, 2014

The formatting of the newsletter gets 'funky' in places but the section on "Post-Great Recession General Fund Spending" is worth reviewing.

City &Town - November 20th, 2014
Local Officials Directory
City & Town is published by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue's Division of Local Services (DLS) and is designed to address matters of interest to local officials.

Editor: Dan Bertrand

Editorial Board: Joe McDermott, Robert Bliss, Zack Blake, Tony Rassias, Tom Dawley, Linda Bradley and Patricia Hunt
In this Issue:
Welcome, Joe McDermott
Division of Local Services

The Division of Local Services would like to welcome Joe McDermott as its interim Deputy Commissioner of Local Services and Director of Municipal Affairs.

Joe has been with the Department of Revenue for 29 years, holding a number of critical leadership positions in several divisions including Taxpayer Advocate, the Collections Bureau and the Problem Resolution Office. He most recently served as Deputy Commissioner of Audit.

Joe also has a deep local government background and currently serves as Vice Chair of the Town of Walpole's Finance Committee. He also previously held positions on the town's zoning board and as an elected town meeting member. We welcome Joe aboard and wish him all the best going forward.

Local Aid Impacts of 9C Reductions

Using his authority under MGL c. 29, s. 9C, Governor Patrick has reduced various state appropriations to executive department agencies, including some minor reductions to cherry sheet appropriations. The Division of Local Services has reviewed these reductions and concluded that they will not impact previous cherry sheet estimates materially given the magnitude of the reductions and the normal variation in some of these accounts during the course of the year. Therefore, DLS will not be revising cherry sheet estimates as a result and does not anticipate that these reductions will impact the ongoing municipal tax rate setting process.

The Governor has also filed legislation seeking permission to reduce Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) by $25.5 million. This reduction will not take effect until it is approved by the Legislature.

For additional information regarding these reductions and related actions, click here.

By the Numbers

In order to provide an update on the progress of the ongoing tax rate and certification season, below please find an overview of the ongoing process. The following information is accurate as of close of business on Tuesday, November 18th, 2014:

Preliminary Certifications: 82 Communities Approved (97 Submitted)

Final Certification: 48 Communities

La4/ New Growth: 214 Approved (271 Submitted)

Tax Rates: 80 Approved

Balance Sheets: 225 Approved

Aggregate Free Cash Approved Total: $833,725,918


This month's Ask DLS is a follow-up question on excess levy capacity. Please let us know if you have other areas of interest or send a question to We would like to hear from you.

I just read the City & Town publication titled "Will Fiscal Prudence Grow with Excess Levy Capacity?" It was very interesting. I have been researching excess levy and am trying to determine the pros/cons of excess levy and how much (if any) is too much. I understand that not having any levy capacity is not good because a town cannot handle sudden budget increases without an override but I was wondering the opposite. Does having too much excess levy negatively impact a town? Would a town get less state aid? Does it affect the awarding of grants?

There are several issues that might influence decisions about building excess levy capacity as a fiscal strategy. Among the factors that should be considered are the community's particular financial needs, the array of revenue sources available to fund services and the existence of accumulated reserve balances such as free cash and stabilization funds. Excess levy capacity can be particularly useful when budgets increase since it represents a recurring revenue source that can be tapped in subsequent years as well. However, if an unexpected expense occurs after the annual tax rate is set, there is no way to access excess levy capacity and the community must rely on reserves on hand such as free cash and stabilization funds. Though excess levy capacity affords a community additional fiscal flexibility, it is best viewed within the context of a more comprehensive reserve policy. In situations where reserves are healthy and can be replenished each year, a strategy to lower property taxes and build excess levy may be more achievable. Despite general interest in reducing property taxes though, close to 60 percent of cities and towns have found this to be difficult to achieve given ongoing spending pressure and finite revenue.

You also ask whether substantial amounts of excess levy capacity will have a negative effect on a town's state aid or grant funding. In general, excess levy capacity has no impact on the amount of local aid received by a community since distribution formulas rely on property wealth and resident incomes. For example, the Chapter 70 education aid formula, which constitutes about 76 percent of all municipal cherry sheet aid, uses total property values and resident income levels to calculate a municipality's ability to pay for education and determine the corresponding amount of state aid. The equalized property values adjust for differences in local assessing practices and are produced every even numbered year by the Division of Local Services.

The other major local aid distribution is Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA). Together with Chapter 70 aid, these two programs account for about 95 percent of total municipal cherry sheet aid. Although funds have not been added to the UGGA account by formula since its creation in FY2010, previous reductions have been restored proportionately subject to the availability of funds. Much of the funding for the UGGA account was from the old lottery local aid account. The lottery formula used equalized property valuations and population to award new funds. So while there is no current distribution formula for UGGA, a formula that uses equalized value, population and perhaps income appear to be the most likely future formula options. Most of the remaining cherry sheet accounts reimburse municipalities for costs previously incurred such as property tax exemptions, veterans' benefits and foregone taxes on state-owned property. None of these payments are influenced by a community's excess levy capacity. We are also not aware of any grant funds that may be impacted negatively by excess levy capacity.

A Look at Post-Great Recession General Fund Spending

Tony Rassias - Deputy Director of Accounts

Nationally, from 2009 to 2013, Moody's has had a negative outlook on the U.S. local government sector. Even as municipal finance officers reported that the fiscal condition of cities in 2013 was improving, Moody's continued its negative outlook "due to revenue constraints and expenditure demands." In early 2013, one Moody's senior analyst said, "Overall, the economic recovery remains sluggish despite some bright spots, and looming federal spending cuts may exacerbate weak growth rates."

In recent years, a national concern has been the increased number of bankruptcy filings and debt payment defaults. During 2013, Detroit, Michigan became the largest city in the country's history to file for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 9.


This article will report on General Fund municipal spending(1) by Massachusetts cities and towns from FY2009 to FY2013, the end of the post-Great Recession period to date. The General Fund is the largest of the municipal funds, accounts for the majority of municipal spending and represents outlays derived from the property tax levy, state aid and other locally generated revenue sources.

The data is compiled from Schedule A(2), the annual report of revenues and expenditures submitted by municipal accounting officials to the Bureau of Accounts.

Total General Fund Spending

Chart 1 shows that total General Fund spending began this period at $17.6 billion, remained about steady in FY2010 and then began a climb through FY2013.

Total General Fund Spending by Function

Table 1 shows General Fund spending in millions of dollars by function from FY2009 to FY2013. The table further shows that spending for Education remained the greatest in dollars through this period, followed by spending for Fixed Costs. Spending for Police which was third greatest in spending from FY2009 to FY2011, fell fourth to Debt Service in FY2012, but returned to third place in FY2013.

The greatest percentage increase from FY2009 to FY2013 was in Fixed Costs, followed by Intergovernmental then Education. The percentage for Other Expenditures was the only function category that decreased during this time period.

A review of the data behind the statistics reveals that Public Works, although neither the greatest dollar nor percentage change during this time period, had the greatest percentage changes between each fiscal year shown (down 19% from FY2009 to FY2010, up 9% from FY2010 to FY2011, down 13% from FY2011 to FY2012, up 32% from FY2012 to FY2013).

Fixed Costs include court judgments and employee benefits such as health insurance, retirement, unemployment comp and workers comp. Other Expenditures include expenditures which cannot be properly categorized into one of the specified functions.

Intergovernmental costs include any federal, state or other governmental assessments and charges. The high percentage increase in this category was mostly due to cherry sheet assessments for school choice and charter school sending tuition.

Percentages of Spending by Function

Table 2
shows that as a percentage of total spending per fiscal year, both Education and Fixed Costs spent the greatest for the fiscal years shown. It is interesting to note that most percentages for these function categories remained about steady despite increases in total spending shown in Table 1. The exceptions appear in Public Works, Debt Service and Fixed Costs.

Spending Per Capita(3) and by Function

Table 3
shows that total General Fund spending per capita increased from $2,729 in FY2009 to $2,961 in FY2013. The only reduction in spending per capita was between FY2009 and FY2010.

By function, the Table shows that each category except Other Expenditures increased from FY2009 to FY2013. Eight function categories, however, had a decrease in per capita spending at least once during this time period.

General Fund Spending Per Capita and by Population

Table 4
shows that total General Fund spending per capita and by population increased from FY2009 to FY2013. Three population categories, however, had a decrease in spending per capita in at least one fiscal year during this time period.
It shows that spending was consistently greatest in the 2,000 to less than 5,000 population category. Spending in the other categories during this time period only reached $3,000 per capita in FY2013 for the 10,000 to <20,000 population category.

A review of the data behind these results reveals that several communities in the 2,000 to less than 5,000 population category have exceptionally high spending per capita amounts and are located on Cape Cod and the Islands.


Additional Note

In December of 2013, Moody's revised its outlook for the U.S. local government sector from negative to stable meaning that conditions are not getting worse and that credit risks are more "visible and predictable."

General Fund spending does not include appropriations transferred out of the General Fund for expenditure by another fund.

The report includes Schedule A data from 350 communities only between FY2010 and FY2013.

Per capita spending applies the population data used in the particular fiscal years to distribute cherry sheet aid.
. .
November Municipal Calendar
November 1 Taxpayer
Semi-Annual Tax Bill - Deadline for First Payment

According to MGL Ch. 59, Sec. 57, this is the deadline for receipt of the first half semi-annual tax bills or the optional preliminary tax bills without interest, unless bills were mailed after October 1, in which case they are due 30 days after mailing.
November 1 Taxpayer Semi-Annual Tax Bills - Application Deadline for Property Tax Abatement

According to M.G.L. Ch. 59, Sec. 59, applications for abatements are due on the same date as the first actual tax installment for the year.
November 1 Taxpayer Quarterly Tax Bills Deadline for Paying 2nd Quarterly Tax Bill Without Interest 
November 1 Treasurer Deadline for Payment of First Half of County Tax 
November 15 DESE Notify Communities/Districts of Any Prior Year School Spending Deficiencies

By this date, or within 30 days of a complete End of Year Report (see September 30), DESE notifies communities/districts in writing of any additional school spending requirements.
November 30 Selectmen/Mayor Review Budgets Submitted by Department Heads

This date will vary depending on dates of town meeting.
Final Day of Each Month State Treasurer Notification of monthly local aid distribution.

Click to view distribution breakdown.
To unsubscribe to City & Town and all other DLS Alerts, please click here.

In the News: accountant charged

A Franklin accountant has been charged with defrauding three unwitting families out of thousands of dollars, depositing their tax returns into his own bank accounts, according to authorities. 
Charles Delfino, 59, electronically filed tax returns for three families earlier this year, stole their refunds and dodged their worried inquiries, court documents on file at Wrentham District Court show. 
Delfino, who ran for a Town Council seat last year and for constable in 2011, also faces larceny charges in connection with check fraud after allegedly bouncing several checks, totaling $1,567, to the Big Y supermarket on East Central Street.
Continue reading the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Senator Spilka Announces Framingham Office Hours

Senator Spilka Announces Framingham Office Hours

Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland) or representatives from her staff will be available for district office hours in Framingham on Wednesday, December 3rd. Constituents are invited to share their concerns, questions and policy priorities and hear updates on the latest news and events from the State House and in the district.

Framingham Office Hours

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Nevins Conference Room
Framingham Town Hall
150 Concord Street, Framingham

Residents who are unable to attend or are interested in scheduling an appointment should contact Senator Spilka's office at (617) 722-1640 at any time.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Upcoming Events in Franklin, MA Area: FRI 11/21/14 - THU 11/27/14

FRI 11/21   6:30pm   Art Night Uncorked at Franklin Art Center
FRI 11/21   7:30pm   The Black Box: Diaries of Adam and Eve

SAT 11/22   9am-4pm   Fall Craft Fair at the Franklin VFW, raffle to benefit VFW
SAT 11/22   9am   Downtown Partnership Winter Beautification, meet at Hillside Nurseries
SAT 11/22   10am   Turkey Shoot at Franklin Rod and Gun Club
SAT 11/22   1:00 - 4:00pm Affordable Housing Trust Open House 136 Chestnut St
SAT 11/22   7:30pm   The Black Box: Diaries of Adam and Eve
SAT 11/22   8pm   Circle of Friends Coffeehouse: The Stray Bords with Jordie Lane

SUN 11/23   9am   Downtown Partnership Winter Beautification: meet at the center island downtown
SUN 11/23   3pm   The Black Box: Diaries of Adam and Eve

TUE 11/25   7pm   FPAC’s Open Auditions for “Arsenic and the Old Lace” at The Black Box

THU 11/27   7:30am   4th Annual Medway Turkey Trot at Medway HS
THU 11/27   8am   3rd Annual Turkey Trot to benefit Franklin Food Pantry at 91 Jordan Road.


For all the Town of Franklin Public Meetings click HERE.

For event details click HERE.

*If you have any suggestions or events for the calendar, please email

136 Chestnut St - Open House for Affordable Housing Lottery

Take a look at the house that is available for the Affordable Housing Lottery scheduled for December. There is an open house scheduled for Saturday,Nov 22 from 1:00 to 4:00 PM

Zillow image of 136 Chestnut st
Zillow image of 136 Chestnut st
Additional details on the open house can be found in this flyer:

What is the Affordable Housing Lottery?

We Buy Them, Fix Them Up and We Resell Them

Lottery: Saturday, December 13, 2014 10:00 AM

Applications due by Tuesday, 
December 9, 2014, 4:00 PM

Lottery Location: Franklin Municipal Building,
Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, 355 East Central Street, Franklin, Massachusetts

For Information, contact Maxine Kinhart at 508-520-4949

Additional details on the Affordable Trust Lottery can be found here

MassBudget: The Governor's 9C Cuts and Context

MassBudget  Information.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center  Democracy.

The Governor's 9C Cuts and Context 
Yesterday (Wednesday) Governor Patrick announced a series of actions to bring the current year budget into balance. The need for mid-year budget solutions highlights two realities that have shaped Massachusetts budget debates for years: our national economy is still recovering from the worst recession since the Great Depression and we continue to have substantially reduced revenues because the state adopted over $3 billion of income tax cuts during an economic bubble in the late 1990s (described HERE). Those tax cuts led to deep cuts in funding for local aid, education, public health, and other investments that can strengthen our economy, expand opportunity and improve the quality of life in our communities. In addition to forcing painful cuts, the loss of $3 billion in revenue has caused ongoing fiscal instability.

These long-term challenges are now compounded by a few short-term ones: a coming automatic reduction in the personal income tax rate, non-tax revenue collections that are below projections, and additional economic development spending commitments that were made with the expectation that there would be more revenue available than is currently projected. The administration estimates that combined these have created a $329 million gap for the rest of FY 2015. To close this gap, the Governor yesterday announced $198 million in cuts to executive branch agencies as authorized by Chapter 9C of the General Laws (explained in What are 9C Cuts?). The Governor also proposed additional solutions in areas beyond executive branch agencies -- including to local aid -- that can only be implemented with legislative approval.

The $198 million in 9C cuts to programs within the executive branch include:
  • $45.4 million by delaying the implementation of rate increases for providers in MassHealth. Net savings to the state, however, will only be about half this amount, since these cuts will lead to reduced federal reimbursements (for more detail please click HERE).
  • $18.7 million to Regional School Transportation, bringing funding down to FY 2014 levels.
  • $10.0 million to Pathways to Self Sufficiency, bringing funding down to $1.0 million for FY 2015. This job training program was newly created as part of last year's welfare law.
  • $7.1 million to the Municipal Regionalization and Efficiencies grant program.
  • $5 million from mental health services for children and adolescents, likely resulting in the delayed implementation of the Caring Together initiative for children in residential care.
  • $3.1 million to State Parks and Recreation.
  • $2.4 million in cuts to elderly support programs, decreasing the number of people able to receive in-home care, which keeps them out of nursing homes. This cut may result in wait lists for these services.
  • $1.0 million to Extended Learning Time Grants.
Additional proposed cuts to non-executive branch agencies, which the Governor cannot implement on his own, include:
  • $25.5 million in cuts to Unrestricted General Government Aid, which would bring general local aid down to FY 2014 levels.
  • $21.8 million in cuts to most other non-executive agencies (e.g. the attorney general's office), mostly the result of across-the-board 1.5 percent cuts.
  • $10.0 million in cuts and savings within the Department of Transportation.
  • $73.6 million in other solutions, including commitments from some quasi-public agencies to return a portion of funding received from a recent economic development bill. This total also includes some additional federal and departmental revenues.
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

Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center | 15 Court Square | Suite 700 | Boston | MA | 02108

Circle of Friends Coffeehouse: The Stray Birds

The next show
Saturday, November 22
8:00 PM (doors open at 7:30)

The Stray Birds

with Jordie Lane $20

Reverb Nation photo of The Stray Birds
Reverb Nation photo of The Stray Birds
The Circle of Friends Coffeehouse is located at the First Universalist Society of Franklin on 262 Chestnut St. The intimate setting (up to 300 capacity) is acoustically great.

Circle of Friends Coffeehouse calendar for 2014-2015 season
Circle of Friends Coffeehouse calendar for 2014-2015 season

  • Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul and Mary) is scheduled for Jan 24, 2015.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit their webpage here

Find them on Facebook here

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Town Council reorganizes, sort of

Reorg - sort of

The first order of business at the Town Council was to re-organize or elect their officers for the new year. The process is for opening nominations, closing nominations, and then voting on the nomination for each position. The Council successfully did that for the Vice Chair and Clerk but only opened and closed the nominations for Chair. They never officially voted for their Chair to remain Bob Vallee. There was no change in Vice Chair as Matt Kelly retained that position. Judith Pond Pfeffer retains the Clerk position.

This action was not intentional. It happened when the nominations for Chair closed with a vote, Padula nominated Pfeffer for Clerk which was not in the pre-determined order of events. They put that aside, took the nominations for Vice Chair and voted properly but 'forgot' to actually vote on the nomination of Vallee for Chair. It is likely the Council will need to re-do this at their December meeting. I don't believe it made a material difference to any of the proceedings. 

FHS - grass to turf field

The School Building Committee represented by Chairman Tom Mercer provided some key updates at the meeting. Among them:
  • the building has a punch listing of items being worked by the contractor in off school hours
  • the new Panther Way connector should open on Monday (Nov 24)
  • site and ball fields will be worked to a sub-grade condition before the deep frost hits
The Committee also sought a 'sense of the Council' on an item where they proposed changing one field from grass to turf. They can do so within the budget as previously outlined and still turn 'savings' back to the Town. The field which was targeted for a practice field as grass could be used year round as a competitive field if turf. 

New FHS layout, green section in front left position along Oak St is where the practice fields would be that are now going to be a turf field that will be regulation sized and available for games
New FHS layout, green section in front left position along Oak St is where the practice fields would be that are now going to be a turf field that will be regulation sized and available for games

The Committee has the authority to do so but due to the nature and discussion around the change wanted to bring it forward to gain some feedback before proceeding. 

Note: If they really wanted to gain some public input on this item, they could have brought it out more fully. Clearly they had enough time to do so as representatives from the High School sports, Recreation dept and many of the major youth leagues were present at the meeting.

Tax rate set

The tax classification hearing was the shortest and briefest in my time reporting on Town Council meetings. The Council respectfully has an opportunity for preparing for the hearing and apparently prepared very well as there were very few questions. The opportunity to walk through the process to share how the calculation is made was 'lost'.

Effectively, the rate increases 39 cents from $14.45 to $14.84. Of note, if the bond increases for the new high school had not been coming online, the tax rate would actually have decreased. One of the key bright spots among the wealth of data shared was that residential property values have increased. Commercial /Industrial valuations are still lagging behind.

My full set of notes from the meeting can be found here

MassBudget: Understanding the Actual Cost of MassHealth to the State

MassBudget  Information.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center  Democracy.

Understanding the Actual Cost of MassHealth to the State
MassBudget, in partnership with the Massachusetts Medicaid Policy Institute, is releasing a new budget brief, Understanding the Actual Cost of MassHealth to the State. This brief describes the "net" cost of MassHealth, providing a much clearer picture of the impact of MassHealth on the state budget rather than looking at gross state budget totals alone. The FY2015 budget includes approximately $14.7 billion allocated for MassHealth and health reform programs, amounting to 37 percent of the total budget. This total includes $13.7 billion for the MassHealth program (35 percent of the total budget), and an additional $1 billion for health care finance and other health spending (2 percent of the total budget). However, taking into account the very substantial amount of federal revenue that comes into the Commonwealth to offset a large share of these costs, projected to be $7.7 billion in FY2015, the net cost of MassHealth and health reform is only 23 percent of the state's net budget dollars.
This is a supplement to a series of FY 2015 budget briefs produced by MassBudget  in partnership with the Massachusetts Medicaid Policy Institute, a program of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation.
Click here to read the budget brief.
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

Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center | 15 Court Square | Suite 700 | Boston | MA | 02108