Thursday, June 1, 2023

Rausch Report: FY ‘24 Senate Budget Roundup (May 2023)

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May is always a busy month in the Senate, and this year is no exception! Read on to find updates on our Fiscal Year 2024 Senate budget debate, including many wins for our values and our district, Memorial Day observances, town election results, details on upcoming office hours, and more. 

For real-time updates, please follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. If you are a constituent and need assistance, please don't hesitate to call me and my team at (617) 722-1555, email me at, or attend upcoming office hours. We are here to help.   

Yours in service,  

Senator Becca Rausch   

My opening remarks during the Senate Budget debates

Last week my Senate colleagues and I wrapped up our budget deliberations for Fiscal Year 2024, passing a $55.9 billion budget to support our Commonwealth's families and communities. I am so proud that our budget makes critical investments in early education and care, transportation, higher education, local senior centers, regional transportation, climate action infrastructure and resiliency, youth mental health, and security enhancements to organizations at risk for terrorist attacks and hate crimes. Check out some spotlighted investments below! 

SPOTLIGHT: Youth Mental Health 

Continuing the life-saving work started back in 2021 in collaboration with young people in our district, the Senate FY24 budget fully funds Samaritans and Hey Sam, the Commonwealth's first ever state-sponsored youth mental health support text line with a $1.4 million investment. What started as a conversation with students in my district is now a Senate-wide supported program to continue addressing the youth mental health crisis and save young lives every day.  

SPOTLIGHT: Climate Investments 

As the Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, I am proud of the significant investments made in our Senate budget to comprehensively address climate change, environmental justice, and environmental protection:  

  • $148.7 million for the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), which will support our state parks 

  • $8.8 million for the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Environmental Justice Program, which ensures that those most impacted by climate change are centered in climate change solutions 

  • $83.5 million for the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to protect and care for our air, land, and waterways 

  • $47.8 million to the Department of Agricultural Resources to promote food security and support the local food economy 

  • $10 million for climate change adaptation and preparedness plans 

  • $5 million to the Division of Ecological Restoration (DOER) to protect our rivers, wetlands and watersheds 

  • $8.3 million to the Environmental Health Bureau to address the effects of climate change on public health 

SPOTLIGHT: Early Education and Care 

As a mom of younger children in the state with the most expensive childcare in the nation, I am particularly aware of the need to uplift families and children in the Commonwealth. Our Senate budget makes the most significant investments in early education and care in Massachusetts history -- $1.5 billion -- demonstrating our collective commitment to our children, our families, and the economic health and security of the Commonwealth.  

SPOTLIGHT: Nonprofit Security Grants 

The Senate Budget also included $4 million to provide target hardening and security enhancements to organizations at risk for terrorist attacks or hate crimes. I've spoken openly about the antisemitism my family and I have experienced; this grant funding supports all marginalized communities at a critical moment when hate is on the rise, including targeted harassment and violence because of our identities. This investment sends a message that we will confront and combat hatred in all its forms. 

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