Showing posts with label chap 70. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chap 70. Show all posts

Monday, March 15, 2021

Watch "Massachusetts school funding primer" on YouTube

Take 10 minutes to get the insights into the MA school funding primer. This is timely. The budget season is upon us. The first pass at the school budget was previewed at the School Committee meeting Mar 9. The School Committee budget subcommittee is scheduled to meet again Tuesday, Mar 16 at 4:30.

This brief video will help with some of the basic terminology for the budget.

Video link =

School Committee meeting budget segment:

Budget book for FPS FY 2022 as previewed during the Mar 9 meeting

Monday, January 25, 2021

MMA: Gov Baker, Lt Gov Polito provide updates on forthcoming MA budget

Gov Baker spoke to the MMA meeting on Friday, Lt Gov Polito spoke on Thursday. Highlights of their remarks including insights on the State budget to be released on Wednesday as shared here:

"During the MMA Annual Business Meeting this afternoon, Gov. Charlie Baker thanked hundreds of local officials for their “invaluable” partnership during the COVID-19 pandemic and announced that he would be filing legislation next week to authorize $200 million for the Chapter 90 local road and bridge program.

The governor highlighted a number of programs and recently signed laws intended to help give an economic boost to main streets and downtowns that have suffered during the pandemic, particularly a $626 million economic development bond, $16.5 billion transportation bond and a new small business relief initiative that has distributed $232 million thus far to more than 4,000 small businesses. The multi-year transportation bond law includes funding for the popular Complete Streets and Municipal Small Bridge grant programs, as well as new Municipal Pavement Partnership and Local Bottleneck Reduction grant programs. "

Continue reading the article online 
"Speaking to more than 800 local leaders from across the state during the MMA Annual Meeting & Trade Show this morning, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito announced that the administration’s state budget plan for fiscal 2022, set to be released next Wednesday, will increase general municipal aid by 3.5%.

This meets the administration’s commitment to increase the Unrestricted General Government Aid account at the same rate as the projected growth in state revenues. The consensus projection of 3.5% was announced by legislative and administration budget writers late last week."
Continue reading the article online 

Thursday, December 17, 2020

MMA: "New video highlights link between taxes and essential services"

From the Massachusetts Municipal Association (MMA)

"The leaders of Lawrence and Arlington share their views on the property tax and local services in a new video from the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy that highlights the connection between taxes and the ability of communities to control their own destinies.

Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera and Arlington Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine are interviewed in the nine-minute video, “Property Tax 101: Why the Property Tax,” which explains the importance of the property tax and the value of local government.

“I think about local government as the most important form of government,” Rivera says in the video. “It’s the closest to people. Let me tell you something: if one mayor falls down on the job, if one city council falls down on the job, you feel it immediately. And so local government and the way we fund local government is very, very important.”
Continue reading the article online
Visit the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy online

Direct link to video "Property Tax 101: Why the Property Tax" on YouTube =>

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Representative Roy's letter to "correct erroneous comments"

Continue reading the full letter with the embedded PDF copy (below) or download the PDF to read on your device


Thomas Mercer, Chair
Franklin Town Council
355 East Central Street
Franklin, MA 02038

RE: November 18, 2020 Town Council Meeting

Dear Chair Mercer:

I am writing to correct erroneous public comments aired at the Franklin Town Council meeting on November 18, 2020. Specifically, I am referring to comments from Councilor Kelly who called into question the work of Franklin’s legislative delegation. I know that Councilor Kelly attempted to clarify his remarks later in the meeting, but I feel it is important to correct the record so that the citizens of Franklin have a clear understanding of the delegation’s commitment to the community.
Let me begin with a discussion of Franklin’s receipt of state aid over the years. Contrary to the assertions made, the state has not decreased aid to Franklin. In fact, Chapter 70 aid, the largest component of state aid to Franklin, has increased annually despite precipitous drops in student enrollment over the last 10 years. The spreadsheet and charts included below show that since 2009, Franklin student enrollment has gone from 6,254 students to 5,236 in 2019 (a drop of over 1,000 students). During the same period of time, Chapter 70 showed drops following the
recession in 2009, but increases in every year from 2012 on. The impact of the drop in student enrollment as compared with the increase in Chapter 70 funds is shown most clearly by the increase in per-pupil expenditure from 2008 through 2019. That is, in 2008, Franklin spent $9,146.71 per student and in 2019 that figure was at $14,276.06. That represents a 56% percent attributable to the advocacy of your legislative delegation. "


Audio and notes of the Town Council meeting of Nov 18, 2020 can be found here
Town Council chair Tom Mercer opens the meeting
Town Council chair Tom Mercer opens the meeting



Thursday, October 15, 2020

The rainy day fund, pandemic spending, deceptive framing all in one MA FY 21 budget

Pulling together multiple sources today.

"Despite the pandemic-related recession and high unemployment rates, and an expected drop in state tax revenues, Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday released a budget proposal for the current fiscal year that is actually higher than the budget he proposed in January.

Baker, a Republican, is recommending a fiscal 2021 budget of $45.5 billion, or 3.8 percent more than was spent in fiscal 2020. The budget he released in January would have spent $44.6 billion, or 2.3 percent more than in the prior fiscal year.

The high budget is largely driven by excessive spending in MassHealth, the state’s Medicaid program. It would be paid for with an influx of federal money as well as a $1.3 billion draw from the state’s $3.5 billion rainy day fund.

“The rainy day fund is there to support services when it’s raining, and I think most people would agree it’s raining,” Baker said at a State House press conference."

"The revised budget is built on a projection that state tax revenues will be $3.6 billion lower than originally estimated, due to the economic slowdown caused by the pandemic. Overall, the updated budget would be balanced through a blend of increased federal assistance, a drawdown of $1.35 billion from the state’s $3.5 billion stabilization fund (preserving $2.1 billion for future needs), and changes to a range of appropriation recommendations.

The Division of Local Services released revised Cherry Sheet amounts for each city and town today based on the new budget recommendation. The DLS update includes receipt and assessment items for municipalities and regional school districts. (Link to updated Cherry Sheets for regional school districts.)

The governor said that he hoped the Legislature would return a final budget to him by Thanksgiving."

"Today, Governor Baker filed his FY21 budget with you. While I had hoped for better than the inflation-only increase that was passed in July, I to some degree was also resigned to it. However, to hear the Governor repeat the deceptive framing posed by Secretary Peyser yesterday, that the funding to schools this year surpasses that laid out by the Student Opportunity Act, is infuriating. I have had reason to wonder if the Governor has any understanding of the school funding formula before this, but this statement has confirmed that he either does not or chooses willfully to ignore the principle upon which it is based.
Pandemic funding is precisely that: it is funding for an EMERGENCY. To have that funding then touted as filling the gaping hole in our basic needs is simply wrong; having to spend money to repair my car does not take away my need for gas money.
Moreover, the funding for the pandemic has been flat: it is distributed regardless of student need, regardless of community need. Every student in every district, whatever its wealth, received that emergency funding. The state's funding formula, on quite the other hand, is progressive: it recognizes that greater need requires greater resources to meet.  "

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Tracy Novick explains MA school funding for Worcester

Tracy Novick works as a field director for the Massachusetts Association of School Committees (MASC), and as a parent and resident of Worcester, MA, she was recently re-elected to the Worcester School Committee. She tries to explain the MA school funding formula/process in less than 10 minutes and comes close.

As you listen to this, substitute "Franklin" for "Worcester". We have one charter school, they have several. We have some Title 1 students, they have far more than we do. 

I'd share the school budget numbers to plug in to replace the Worcester numbers but those are influx this year given the circumstances of the pandemic.  You can find the 'current' and prior school budget info on the School Committee page:

Video link =

Tracy writes about the Worcester schools
For more about MASC  visit

Friday, July 31, 2020

Senate President Spilka Announces Local Aid and Chapter 70 Funding Commitment for Fiscal Year 2021

Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland) announced today that the Senate, House and Administration agreed to an unrestricted local aid and chapter 70 funding commitment that provides a baseline amount for Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21). This commitment will provide certainty and critical support for municipalities and school districts as they finalize their budgets.

"The Senate actively pushed for this joint agreement so that our cities and towns can be clear-eyed about their fiscal situations as we all navigate very uncertain times," stated Senate President Spilka. "Our cities and towns make up the fabric of our communities, and our schools are the foundation of the future success of our children and our Commonwealth. We must do all we can to provide certainty, stability and support to these critical components of our state, and so I am very pleased that we were able to come to an agreement on this funding."

For FY21, the Administration and leaders in the House and Senate have committed to no less than the FY20 level of funding for unrestricted general government aid (UGGA) and chapter 70 education aid. Additionally, there is a commitment to Chapter 70 increases for inflation and enrollment that will keep all school districts at foundation, under the law as it existed for FY20, providing an additional $107M in aid over FY20.

This increase comes in addition to approximately $450M in new federal supports for K-12 schools to assist with educating students during the pandemic. These funds include:
  • $194M for Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Grants through the Title I formula;
  • $16M for ESSER Discretionary Funds;
  • $25M for Remote Learning Technology Grants;
  • $202M for School Reopening Funds;
  • Up to $15M for Competitive Federal Funds.
Information on local aid and Chapter 70 amounts for each municipality can be found at this link (Opens an Excel file =

Despite the almost unprecedented fiscal climate, the amount of state and federal aid allocated thus far ensures the Senate, House and Administration can continue prioritizing significant investments in Massachusetts students.

Senate President Spilka, along with her counterparts in the Administration and House, remains committed to implementing the Student Opportunity Act. As state leaders work towards finalizing an FY21 budget, the ability to provide increased investments for school districts and municipalities will be evaluated. 

  • Chapter 70 = 28,416,161
  • Unrestricted Local Aid = 2,623,839
Senate President Spilka Announces Local Aid and Chapter 70 Funding Commitment for Fiscal Year 2021
Senate President Spilka Announces Local Aid and Chapter 70 Funding Commitment for Fiscal Year 2021

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Message

If you are reluctant to read the PDF copy, a good portion of the Budget Message is shared here. The link to the Full PDF copy is at the end.

Executive Summary FY 2020 Budget

While fiscal challenges remain, our resolve to overcome them is relentless.

The FY 20 proposed budget will be balanced with use of approximately $390,000 from our
Budget Stabilization Fund (Rainy Day account), which will bring the balance of that account to zero. Further, both the School Department and the Town will cut budgets to make ends meet While this will work for one year the FY 21 budget will require policy decisions on how to handle the budget shortfall. The fiscal forecast suggest a shortfall of approximately $4,000,000 +/-

We continue to face challenges in properly funding the annual operating budget, Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) and roads. We should continue to maintain the capital plan and debt capacity in the annual operating budget to fund capital improvements.

The Town’s property tax revenue (not including debt exclusions) will increase by 2½ % plus new growth, or about $2.7 million. Local receipts, which include the excise tax and permit and license fees, etc. will increase $240,000, mostly due to increased motor vehicle commitments. Net State Aid (based on the House budget) will decrease $861,500. The FY 20 “net” revenue increase is estimated at about $2.5 million dollars. The final amount will not be known until the state has adopted a FY 20 budget

Proposed FY 20 Highlights

Town Administrator - The office will be reconfigured with the recent retirement of the Town Administrator. The staff will include the Town Administrator, Assistant to the Town Administrator and the Administrative Assistant/Marketing Coordinator. This will save money and help the town to continue to expand its communication and marketing efforts.

Police – The police have added five positions through the collective bargaining process while saving money from the new schedule change and the employees of the PD and Command staff should be commended for their innovative outside the box approach.

Regional Dispatch – The dispatch center opened in May 2019.

Franklin Schools – The recommended School budget is far short of the School Committees request by over $2 million dollars. The proposed FY 20 State Aid is about $900,000 less than in FY19. The reduction is related to the lack of proper funding for Charter Schools. We are working with our elected officials to try and mitigate the problem.

The Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter School – The school is relocating to its new location on Washington Street in 2019. The increase enrollment from Franklin diverts funds from the Franklin Public Schools to the Charter School. This is a flaw in the funding formula (see above)
in state law.

Library – The Library will continue to meet the Minimum Appropriation Requirement of the State
Library Commissioners.

Historic Museum - The part time archivist wages have been moved from the Town Administrators budget to this budget into a separate line item for the Museum.

Employee Wages/Benefits – All collective bargaining expire on June 30, 2019. The town is currently in negotiations with the Unions, Pension costs increased by about 10% or about $540,000, OPEB is funded at $600,000 and health insurance continues to be a challenge. Thanks once again to the employees for working together to constrain health insurance increases. This is critical to maintaining staffing levels.

Budget Overview

In compliance with Article Six, Sections 6-3-1 through 6-5-2 of the Franklin Town Charter, I am submitting the proposed FY 20 budget to the Town Council and Finance Committee.

Each department is required to submit a proposed budget to the Town Administrator. The Town Administrator, the Comptroller, and the individual Department Heads review their budget request.

The Town Administrator also reviews the highlights of the Town’s fiscal plan with the budget subcommittee of the Town Council. Based on input and the meetings with the Department Head, the Town Administrator makes a budget recommendation to the Town Council and the Finance Committee. The Finance Committee reviews the Town Administrator’s proposed budget and forwards their recommendations to the Town Council. The Town Council holds two public hearings prior to adopting the budget.

Financial Policy Summary
While the budget process identifies issues and concerns that the Town will address on an annual basis, it also must do so based in a framework of sound financial management. The Town Council has adopted fiscal policies in the past and should continue to update and review them on a regular basis. The Finance Committee and Town Council reviewed and adopted new Financial policies in 2019. Below is a summary of current policies:

Balanced Budget
● Annual costs funded from current revenues.
● Do not defer current costs to future years.

Current status – Whenever possible we refrain from using one time funds to balance the budget. FY 20 is an exception due to extra challenges we face. We are all the funds left in the Budget Stabilization account, $390,000 to prevent further reductions in staff. We have not addressed our (post-retirement health insurance) although this year we have budgeted $600,000 to continue to fund the obligation of about $74 million (2018 actuarial study). (Editor's note: FY 2019 was also an exception as some of the Budget Stabilization Fund was used to balance the FY 2019 budget. The remainder of that fund is being used this year; hence two consecutive exceptions.)

Compensation and benefits
● Budget with current revenues
● Compensate at market rates

Current status – We have nine municipal unions. All unions have collective bargaining agreements through June 30, 2019.

● Estimate annual revenues in detail and project for the following five years.
● Maintain full and fair market value of property assessments.
● Ensure fees charged cover costs incurred.

Current status – Future revenue projections are included in the budget. New growth and local receipts have been adjusted to reflect the trends in actual collections. Included in the projections are the enterprise funds direct and indirect charges that pay back the general fund for costs attributable to those funds. Again this year we are charging the water and sewer enterprise accounts for their OPEB obligation.

Financial Reserves
● Adequately fund and maintain reserves (Stabilization, Free Cash, Overlay Surplus)
● Maintain Stabilization account at $6 million or 5% of recurring general fund revenue (less debt exclusions and SBA reimbursement).
● Short-term revenue surpluses shall fund non-recurring projects.
● Free Cash will be used to fund the capital budget and for unforeseen expenses.
● Overlay surplus will be used for capital budgets and non-recurring expenses.

Current status - the General Stabilization fund balance is just about $6 million, which is recommended by our auditors and

Long-Term Debt - Proposed
● Reserved for large capital projects.
● Net general fund debt service (not including debt exclusions) shall be targeted at not more than 3.5% of recurring general fund revenue. We are currently well below that number.

Read the full message online

Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Message
Fiscal Year 2020 Budget pie by category of budget expenses

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Charter School clarifications on Franklin FY 2020 budget impact

The Charter School provides some clarifications on the projected budget impact statements reported by the Town of Franklin and the Public Schools:
"As you may have seen recently in the local print and in social media, BFCCPS has been listed as the main driver of the budget deficit for the Franklin Public School system. Many current and former parents and faculty have shown great support for BFCCPS on social media over the last few weeks. 
Please know that several pieces of information that have been reported are inaccurate. For example, while various articles report 258 new students attending our school next year; only 95 students from Franklin have accepted offers of enrollment for the 2019-2020 school year. As we have 31 grade eight students who will be attending Franklin High School next year, the true impact is only a net of 64 new students attending BFCCPS from the town of Franklin next year. Additionally, articles have repeatedly indicated that our expansion includes a High School offering. We have no plans to expand to grades 9-12. 
When we began our expansion process in 2012, we were intentional in designing our region to have a lessening impact on the town of Franklin. In fact, next year, even with expansion, we will enroll fewer children from the Town of Franklin than before we became a regional school in the 2015-2016 school year."
Continue reading the full write up on the Charter School page

The Town of Franklin has updated their memo that incorrectly reported the expansion would include grades 9-12.  The updated memo can be found online

Per the Charter School the enrollment increase projected for Franklin should be less than shown in the Dept of Local Service Cherry Sheet estimates but until the numbers flow through the State, the budget impact to Franklin is still a significant increase over prior years ('significant' is currently shown at $1M).

DLS Cherry Sheet estimates:

The 'cherry sheet' reflects the local aid coming to Franklin or assessed against Franklin. Chapter 70 is the school aid. There are also lines shown for the charter school ins and outs.

I have filtered on the DLS page to select Franklin and export to create the PDF shown here. You can view the info online

Bottom line: the school funding calculations provided by the State short change all Franklin students, period. There should not be a charter vs. public school debate. We should be united in getting a more realistic funding formula. Why? Whatever is allocated for the Franklin Public School students will flow to the charter school students, so if there is more for one there will be more for the other. If the public school budget is cut (as it will be this year), the Charter School student will ultimately see that (in some manner - I am not an expert on State funding flows, but from my experience that is what will likely happen).

Horace Mann statue in downtown Franklin, the father of public education
Horace Mann statue in downtown Franklin, the father of public education

Thursday, February 7, 2019

MassBudget: Analyzing the Governor's FY 2020 budget proposal

MassBudget  Information.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center  Democracy.
February 5, 2019

Analyzing the Governor's FY 2020 budget proposal
Proposal includes some new revenues, accompanied by modest plan to update education funding

The Governor's Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 budget proposal provides modest increases in funding for public education, human services, and several other important investments. This new funding does not, in many cases, reverse deep cuts imposed across the state budget after the tax cuts of the late 1990s and early 2000s - despite a decade of expansion in the economy. Lost revenue from tax cuts has limited the Commonwealth's ability to adequately fund education, infrastructure, and other building blocks of healthy communities and a strong economy.

While the Governor's proposal would increase year over year funding for several programs, it provides the same or less funding for programs such as Public Health, Local Aid, Juvenile Justice, Transitional Assistance, and others, according to an analysis by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget). The Governor's proposal recommends 16 percent less funding for Early Education and Care compared to FY 2001 (adjusting for inflation). Funding for Local Aid is similarly down 38 percent and Environment and Recreation programs remain 29 percent below 2001 levels. Making the necessary investments in our schools, transportation, housing, and other essential programs will require bold, new revenue sources.

Tax revenue growth was unusually strong in FY 2018 and may continue to be strong for most of FY 2019. The Department of Revenue expects that, without policy changes to increase revenue, overall revenue growth will slow markedly in FY 2020 - putting a strain on our capacity to support public programs and invest in infrastructure. While the Governor's FY 2020 budget proposal includes a variety of new and expanded taxes and other revenues, a number of previously-scheduled tax cuts and other revenue-losing policy changes will take a significant bite out of revenue totals in FY 2020 and beyond.

Much of the additional revenue proposed by the Governor would come from a variety of consumption taxes, which typically are regressive (meaning people with lower incomes contribute a larger share of their household incomes toward these taxes than do people with higher incomes). Meanwhile, the tax revenue reductions mostly come from progressive revenue sources. Therefore, these proposals do not help turn Massachusetts' upside-down tax system right-side up.

The Governor's proposal is accompanied by a plan to overhaul Massachusetts' school funding formula that could help ensure that all schools, especially those in low-income districts, are adequately funded. The plan makes some progress, over a seven-year timeline, to implement the 2015 Foundation Budget Review Commission (FBRC) recommendations related to health insurance, special education, and greater support for low-income and English Language Learner students. However, without substantial, new revenues the Commonwealth can only adopt a moderate plan to implement the FBRC recommendations.

The budget proposal includes other notable initiatives. For instance, the Governor proposes creating a trust fund to prevent childhood lead exposure and increasing the "Real Estate Transfer Tax" to invest in climate change adaptation. Further, the Governor proposes new systems for negotiating the cost of drugs used under MassHealth and expands eligibility for low-income elders to qualify for the Medicare Savings Plan.

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

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screen grab of the MassBudget - Budget Browser
screen grab of the MassBudget - Budget Browser

Thursday, January 24, 2019

MassBudget: Video and Op-ed: Updating Education Funding and Helping Schools Better Serve All Children

  MASSBudget     Kids Count
January 23, 2018

Updating Education Funding and Helping Schools Better Serve All Children: Video Summary and Op-ed

Students have the best chance of succeeding when their schools have the resources to educate them effectively. As Massachusetts lawmakers gear up for the Fiscal Year 2020 budget debate, many are working to overhaul the state's school funding formula - known as Chapter 70 - which determines how much state funding our schools receive to support necessities like teachers, materials, and facilities.
When the formula falls short, communities with fewer resources are unable to make up the difference and their students' education suffers.
A comprehensive update of the school funding formula, after five years, could mean as much as $1.1 billion in additional aid per year for Massachusetts schools, according to a new video  from the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget). We further explore these ideas in an op-ed in Commonwealth Magazine.
"The outdated formula does not reflect what it currently costs to provide a high-quality education. This has left many lower-wealth school districts with chronic understaffing, a return of class sizes of over 30 students, and fewer opportunities for our students to learn," said Colin Jones, Senior Policy Analyst and author of the report on which the video is based.
In the video, Jones summarizes the findings of his report, Building an Education System that Works for Everyone, which explores some ways lawmakers could update the formula.
"Even though Massachusetts has the most educated workforce in the nation, these opportunities are not reaching all our children. If we want to continue leading the country, we need to help close these opportunity gaps so all children can reach their full potential," said Marie-Frances Rivera, Interim President of MassBudget.

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

Sent by in collaboration with
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Saturday, September 8, 2018

MassBudget: FY 2019 state budget provides modest increases to early education, local aid

MassBudget  Information.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center  Democracy.

Sept. 6, 2018

FY 2019 state budget provides modest increases to early education, local aid
And a chance to give your feedback on MassBudget's Budget Monitors, below
With the national economy in the ninth year of an economic recovery, budget writers in Massachusetts were able this year to provide modest increases in funding for early education, local aid, and several other important investments. This new funding does not, in many cases, reverse the budget cuts imposed after the tax cuts of the late 1990s and early 2000s. After accounting for increases in this year's budget (and inflation) state spending on early education and care is down 17 percent since 2001. Funding for Local Aid is down 40 percent. And funding for Environment and Recreation programs is down 30 percent. The cost of tax cuts and the long-term trend in health care costs have limited the Commonwealth's ability to make investments in education, infrastructure, and other building blocks of healthy communities and a strong economy.
The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center's latest Budget Monitor finds that the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Budget (officially called the General Appropriations Act or GAA for short) includes several new initiatives, including the following:
  • A restructuring and funding increase for adult mental health services. The reforms are aimed at providing more coordinated, standardized, and consistent treatment that will better align with health care systems, and will be more comprehensive, particularly for people who also have substance use disorders.
  • An increase in the state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), from 23 percent of the federal credit amount to 30 percent. Research has shown that - in addition to encouraging people to work and helping families to make ends meet - the EITC improves health outcomes for mothers and children, and boosts children's academic performance and lifelong earnings.
  • A new process to provide greater scrutiny and reporting on "tax expenditures," which are special tax exemptions, deductions, credits, or other rules that result in forgone revenue with the intention of advancing other policy goals. The state will begin to evaluate the administration, fiscal impact, and cost-effectiveness of the Commonwealth's tax expenditures on a rotating schedule. For procedural reasons this section was ultimately enacted separately from the budget.
While the Legislature overrode virtually all of the Governor's vetoes, one significant reform didn't survive the veto process: a proposal by the Legislature to remove a restriction that bars families from receiving Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) benefits for a child conceived while the family was receiving public assistance.

The Budget Monitor at this link describes the final funding levels and significant policy initiatives in each major section of the budget. Links from the Table of Contents below allow readers to jump to specific sections. Each section also provides links to our online budget tools including our
Budget Browser (which provides funding information for every line item in the state budget going back to FY 2001) and, where applicable, to our Children's Budget.
We want to hear from you

Our Budget Monitors provide extensive information on each budget proposal starting with the release of the Governor's budget in the winter through the entire legislative process until the final General Appropriations Act is signed into law in the summer. In order to make our Monitors useful to you, our readers, please fill out this short (one-minute) survey to let us know how you use our Monitor and how we might improve it. Thank you from the MassBudget Team.

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

Sent by in collaboration with
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Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center's latest Budget Monitor
Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center's latest Budget Monitor