Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Senate President Karen Spilka: The FY22 Budget is On Its Way to the Governor's Desk

Update on the State Budget for Fiscal Year 2022
Building 'Back to Better'
I am pleased to announce that the Massachusetts State Legislature on Friday unanimously passed a $48.07 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22), an increase of $326 million over the Senate FY22 budget. This budget maintains fiscal responsibility and recommends targeted investments to address emerging needs, safeguard the health and wellness of the Commonwealth's most vulnerable populations and ensure that residents will benefit equitably as the state recovers from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Taking into consideration strong tax revenue performance in Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21), the final FY22 conference report increases revenue assumptions by $4.2 billion over the December consensus revenue projection for a new tax revenue projection of $34.35 billion. The FY22 budget does not make a withdrawal from the Stabilization Fund and projects an estimated balance of approximately $5.8 billion for this crucial 'rainy day' fund at the end of the fiscal year.
Student Opportunity Act
Notably, the Legislature provides substantial funds in the FY22 budget to meet the Commonwealth's long-term obligations. The new Student Opportunity Act Investment fund was funded at $350 million to be utilized in the coming years for the implementation of the state's landmark Student Opportunity Act (SOA). Additionally, a supplemental payment of $250 million was transferred to the Pension Liability Fund to reduce the Commonwealth's pension liability.
early education & Child care
As a cornerstone of the Commonwealth's equitable recovery, the FY22 budget protects access to educational opportunity and charts a path forward for students, families, educators, and institutions. The budget maintains the Legislature's commitment to implementing the Student Opportunity Act (SOA) by FY 2027. The conference report proposal funds the SOA consistent with the $5.503 billion local aid agreement reached in March, amounting to an increase of $220 million over FY21. Despite the uncertainty created by the pandemic, this increased level of investment represents a 1/6th implementation of SOA rates and ensures that school districts across the Commonwealth have adequate and equitable resources to provide high quality educational opportunities for all students.
mental & behavioral health
The FY22 budget also includes a $40 million reserve to provide additional aid to districts experiencing increases in student enrollment compared to October 2020, as well as $387.9 million for the Special Education Circuit Breaker, which reimburses school districts for the high cost of educating students with disabilities at the statutorily required 75% reimbursement rate. Additionally, the conference report includes $154.6 million for reimbursing school districts at 75% for costs incurred when students leave to attend charter schools.
Finally, I am proud to say that my personal priority of including $6 million for Social Emotional Learning (SEL) grants to help K-12 schools bolster SEL supports for students—including $1 million for a new pilot program to provide mental health screenings for K-12 students—made it into the final budget.
economic development
For further information about the budget, please see here  (

The budget now moves to the Governor for consideration. As always, if you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact my office at 617-722-1500 or


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