Moran Secures $1.8 Million for Plymouth & Barnstable District Priorities in FY24 Senate Budget
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 26th, 2023
CONTACT: Ben Kaplan, Communications Director Office of Senator Susan L. Moran Benjamin.Kaplan@masenate.gov
Senator Moran Secures $1.8 Million for Plymouth and Barnstable District priorities in FY24 Senate Budget
Final Senate Budget Proposal prioritizes investments in the blue economy, regional equity, veteran resources, and climate resiliency.
(5/26/23 - BOSTON) On Thursday night/Friday morning, the Senate passed a $55.9 billion Fiscal Year 2024 budget proposal. As part of this proposal, Senator Susan Moran (D – Falmouth) secured nearly $1.8 million in appropriations for initiatives and organizations that directly benefit the Plymouth and Barnstable district.
“Our communities should have access to the same prosperity and opportunities as every other town in the Commonwealth” Moran said. “These investments provide regional equity, foster vibrant communities, promote affordable housing options, and enhance quality of life for our residents.”
Moran championed an additional $56 million for the operating budgets of Regional Transit Authorities (RTAs), marking the highest-ever funding level, totaling $150 million in operating funds for FY24. This increased investment will provide the crucial funding needed to expand services across the state, including evening and weekend operations, various route expansions and other service improvements. Separately, Moran secured $170,000 for an Inter-Campus Transit Program based out of Cape Cod Community College with service to Bridgewater State University, the town of Plymouth, and the Hyannis ferry terminal. The program will ensure that students and staff from across the region can access the campus directly without relying on private transportation, which has been shown to be a major roadblock to accessing higher education in the region.
"Living outside of Boston should not mean living without equitable public transportation,” Moran said. “Public transit provides a less expensive, and more environmentally friendly option to get to work, visit family and friends, and access healthcare or education, but it only works if RTAs have the resources to provide a high level of service that makes them a viable option for riders.”
The Senate included a total of $5 million to be distributed to the state’s Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs). Moran was proud to stand up for this crucial funding that goes directly to our CACs. They are uniquely positioned to offer a trauma informed, streamlined response to child victims of sexual assault, including those who are commercially sexually exploited. This additional funding will allow several CACs, including Children’s Cove on Cape Cod and South Shore CAC, to hire clinicians to conduct evidence based mental health treatment to child victims.
Moran also championed $2.2 million for the Massachusetts Service Alliance (MSA). A long-time proponent of the MSA, Moran advocated throughout the budget process for this funding to support the organization’s integral work to expand volunteerism and service throughout the Commonwealth, including partnerships with AmeriCorps, Commonwealth Corps, and other service organizations.
Moran partnered with her Cape Cod colleague, Senator Julian Cyr, to support an amendment that would allocate an additional $250,000 to the region’s District Attorney operating budget for FY24. This funding will go directly towards initiatives to better serve the community including an unsolved homicide unit to tackle the nine unsolved homicide cases on the Cape, a mental health court which the Cape does not have despite presence throughout the rest of the state, a veterans court which the Cape does not have despite the largest number of veterans in all of the counties across the state, stronger diversion and rehabilitation programs, a website to better access the office online, community outreach and engagement, and community college internships.
Additionally, Moran successfully secured the following local allocations:
Protecting our Communities from Radioactive Discharge
A key win for the region was the inclusion of an amendment introduced by Moran that establishes a special commission tasked with examining the environmental and economic impacts of discharging spent fuel pool water from decommissioned nuclear power plants. As a result of this amendment, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will be prohibited from approving any surface water discharge permit applications, necessary to dump spent fuel pool water into the waters of the Commonwealth, until 30 days after the submission of the commission's report, due in November of 2025.
This measure was filed in response to the ongoing issues surrounding Holtec International's handling of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant decommissioning. The Senator worked with the Attorney General and DEP to strengthen the language vetoed by Governor Baker last year.
“We only have one chance to get this right” Moran said. “Our residents deserve to know with 100% certainty that the seafood they’re eating is healthy, the water they drink is clean, and the beaches they visit are safe from potential radioactive contaminants.”
Local Infrastructure & Community Resources
· $50,000 for water infrastructure improvement projects in the Town of Plympton, including a much-needed water filtration system at the Plympton police station and the construction of a new well at the Town Center campus.
· $25,000 for coastal stormwater mitigation in the Town of Kingston, to provide safe access points and prevent coastal erosion.
· $46,000 for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Plymouth to support the purchase of housing property and facilitate a new housing redevelopment, helping address the pressing need for increased affordable and accessible housing in the Greater Plymouth community.
· $70,000 for the Town of Plymouth’s Master Plan to guide the future development and growth of the town.
· $100,000 for the Fire Chiefs Association of Plymouth County for regional emergency communications systems and mass casualty incident planning.
· $25,000 for the Town of Pembroke for repairs and improvements to the water management system for the Herring Fisheries Waterways.
·$25,000 for Sport Court resurfacing in recreation areas in the Town of Sandwich including local public playgrounds and fields.
·$75,000 for the STEM Education program at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole. This program engages and inspires local high school students, nurturing their interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
·$90,000 for the Falmouth Community Veterans Center for the installation of solar panels on the roof.
·$25,000 for a library feasibility study in the Town of Bourne to ensure all residents are served by the Town’s library system.
Regional and Statewide:
·$300,000 for the Massachusetts Military Support Foundation to support food and clothing distribution to veterans in need in Barnstable, Bristol, and Hampden counties.
· $450,000 for the Drug Story Theater troupe to support substance abuse education performances at middle and high schools throughout the state, facilitating peer to peer education about the risks and dangers of substance abuse.
· $100,000 for the Cranberry Health Research Center at UMass Dartmouth to support ongoing research initiatives focused on the myriad health benefits of cranberries and the historic cranberry industry in Southeastern Massachusetts.
·$55,000 for the Massachusetts Maritime Academy for equipment upgrades to their blue economy research vessel. MMA’s Schooner, Ernestina-Morrissey, will be outfitted with the latest technology to help researchers and students engage in blue economy education courses with strong emphasis on ocean research and observation.
“These strategic investments will pave the way for accelerated economic growth, improved public health initiatives, and strengthened community development throughout the state,” Moran said. “I am honored to have had the opportunity to advocate for the residents of the Plymouth and Barnstable District, and I extend my gratitude to Senate President Spilka and Ways & Means Chair Rodrigues for their astute leadership throughout this process.”
A conference committee will be appointed to reconcile the differences between the Senate and House budget proposals before the final FY24 budget proposal from the Legislature is approved and sent to the Governor.