Friday, June 3, 2022

Senator Rausch: MA Senate Budget Roundup

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Senator Rausch State House Briefing   
Part 2, Chapter 16 (May 31, 2022)   

May is always a busy month on Beacon Hill, and I am thrilled and proud to share fantastic news about how I am delivering real results for you and your community. 

In this newsletter, you will find updates on the fiscal year 2023 Senate Budget debate, my commitments to protect abortion care and prevent gun violence, Memorial Day observances, in-person Senior Coffees, and more.

For real-time updates, please follow me on Twitter and Facebook. If you are a constituent and need assistance, please don't hesitate to contact me and my team via phone (617-722-1555) or email ( We are here to help.   

I wish you and your loved ones strength, health, resilience, and joy.     

Yours in service,  
Senator Becca Rausch   

MA Senate Budget Roundup

What is the state budget and how does it work? Watch my explainer here! 

Last week my Senate colleagues and I wrapped up our budget deliberations for fiscal year 2023, allocating nearly $50 billion to support our Commonwealth's families and communities. My team and I worked diligently to elevate the needs of the cities and towns in our district, and we delivered massive results. Our communities received more than $1.6 million in state funding for local priorities like tuition-free full day kindergarten, public safety communications, senior centers, and water quality improvements. I also secured more than $1.5 million in statewide budget amendments, including $1,000,000 for youth mental health supports. 

These amendments built on the strong base budget that prioritizes you, the people who keep this Commonwealth moving forward. We made major investments in schools, childcare, workforce development, and housing while also boosting state aid to communities. 

Here are just a few components of the budget that will yield game-changing impacts for our Commonwealth: 

  • $1.23 billion in state aid to cities and towns (a $63 million increase) 
  • $6 billion in Chapter 70 state funding for public schools, in line with the landmark Student Opportunity Act 
  • Increasing our state's "rainy day" fund to $6.74 billion to ensure stability in times of economic hardship 
  • $250 million for pandemic-related grants to support early education and childcare providers 
  • Numerous boosts for environmental protection, consistent with the Green Budget, including increases for DCR, DEP, climate change adaptation and preparedness, the Ecological Restoration Program, and environmental justice initiatives. 

Through the amendment process, I secured several critically needed statewide funding and policy measures: 

  • $1,000,000 to fully fund Hey Sam,youth mental health support text line run by Samaritans, Inc. The original idea for the helpline came from my Students Speak Legislative Forum after hearing about my young constituents' firsthand experiences with mental illness. I am proud that my chamber and I delivered to help combat the ongoing youth mental health crisis.
  • $200,000 for a statewide car seat recycling pilot program to reduce landfill waste and support Massachusetts families. 
  • $92,000 to conduct survey research on COVID vaccinations for children in Massachusetts to determine barriers to access and strategy to close vaccination gaps. 
  • $300,000 for the MA Womens Suffrage Celebration Coalition of Massachusetts to enhance their educational programming about women's rights, women's suffrage, and women's history in our Commonwealth. 
  • I also co-sponsored an amendment and spoke on the floor about a policy measure to protect people in Massachusetts seeking, accessing, and providing reproductive and gender-affirming health care, consistent with our own state laws. This is critical if (when) the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. 
  • In the wake of increased gun violence and racist, antisemitic, Islamophobic, and anti-LGBTQ+ hate crimes, I co-sponsored an amendment that successfully secured $3,000,000 in security grants for community nonprofits and places of worship to protect vulnerable communities against domestic terrorism. Watch my floor speech about combating hate crimes here.  
My speech on the Senate Floor about the youth mental health crisis and the Hey Sam youth text line 

I also delivered for the towns and cities in my district, securing more than $1,600,000 in collaboration with my Senate colleagues for local projects and initiatives that will have real impact in our communities: 

  • $127,000 to fund and implement full-day kindergarten in Wrentham  
  • $110,000 for food pantries in Attleboro and Natick 
  • $125,000 for a feasibility study for a new council on aging facility in Attleboro 
  • $100,000 for economic development in West Natick 
  • $600,000 for urgent property repairs at Elm Bank Reservation in Dover 
  • $100,000 for electric vehicle charging stations in Wellesley 
  • $5,000 to fund anti-bias curriculum in Franklin Public Schools after an increase in local acts of racism, antisemitism, and homophobia 
  • $10,000 for the annual Franklin Cultural Festival 
  • $8,000 for historical preservation and safety upgrades to the Franklin State Forest  
  • $45,000 for facility upgrades for the Milford Senior Center  
  • $25,000 for backup power generators to ensure the resilience and reliability of the Millis Public Safety radio system 
  • $30,000 to replace the lighting management system at the Millis Public Library 
  • $50,000 for a feasibility study to improve transportation options in Needham 
  • $25,000 for technological upgrades to study water pollution mitigation and support community development in Norfolk 
  • $25,000 to repair and expand the Norfolk Council on Aging parking lot 
  • $25,000 for the operations of North Attleboro's WWII Memorial Pool 
  • $50,000 for a new water pumping and treatment station to access a new water source in Plainville 
  • $50,000 to study and improve the water quality of Sherborn's Farm Pond watershed 
  • $25,000 to upgrade lighting in the Wayland High School Fieldhouse 
  • $50,000 for AEDs at town parks in Medfield 
  • $25,000 for cardiac defibrillators for the North Attleboro Fire Department 
  • $25,000 for the Natick 180 Coalition to address addiction and substance use
  • $30,000 for the Veterans Oral History Project in Natick 
My speech on the impact of senseless acts of hate in our communities

It is the greatest honor of my life to serve the cities and towns of the Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex district, and I am grateful for the partnership of our local community members and municipalities to elevate their needs do a statewide level. When we work together, we succeed. 
The Senate FY '23 budget now heads to conference committee to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate versions before they head back to our chambers and over to the Governor's desk. Stay tuned!  

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