• Ben Kaplan

Senate Passes $1.65 Billion Supplemental Budget

Updated: May 2





FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:

Ben Kaplan, Communications Director Office Of Senator Susan L. Moran



Senate Passes $1.65 Billion Supplemental Budget

Bill addresses COVID-19 response, housing assistance, restaurant supports, and help for Ukrainian refugees

(BOSTON – 03/28/2022) The Massachusetts State Senate on Thursday passed a $1.65 billion supplemental budget for Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22). The legislation makes targeted investments in healthcare, housing, education, and transportation at a time when residents are facing the impacts of a still-present public health crisis and an unbalanced global economy.


A top priority of the Senate continues to be the state’s long-term COVID-19 response. To mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and ensure robust preparation in the event of a future variant outbreak, the bill invests $700 million for the state’s COVID-19 response; including $433 million for testing, $45.45 million for expanding vaccine accessibility, and $125 million to strengthen the healthcare workforce and provide resources for frontline workers. This funding would ensure the continued no-cost availability of crucial services offered to residents during the pandemic.


Moran co-sponsored and supported initiatives aimed at addressing staffing shortages in schools; providing support for home and community-based services; fund winter road improvements; extending outdoor dining services as well as beer, wine and cocktails to-go, and providing for the resettlement of Ukrainian refugees in Massachusetts. Notably, the bill also would divest the state pension fund from Russian assets in response to the Russian war in Ukraine.


Other funding items of note include:


· $100 million for a new Winter Road Recovery Assistance Program for cities and towns to repair potholes and roads and bridges worn down by adverse weather conditions.

· $20 million for Victim of Crime Act (VOCA) funding which supports no-cost counseling, advocacy, and intervention services to victims of crime, thereby covering the immediate needs of the Victim and Witness Assistance Board as they are experiencing a shortage of federal funding

· $10 million for Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled and Children (EAEDC)

· $8.4 million for Department of Children and Families foster family rates

· $8 million for Early Intervention staff stabilization supports

· $5 million for state election costs

· $5 million for the Department of Mental Health to expand clientele housing supports

· $1.8 million for mental health services for international evacuees resettled in the Commonwealth

· $1.7 million for state park investments, including water safety initiatives

· $609,000 for additional staffing to implement the Next Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy legislation, which was passed early in the session

· $500,000 to expand the capacity of the Commission on the Status of Women


“These funds will go far in revitalizing our recovery efforts, providing immediate economic relief to our most vulnerable individuals, while simultaneously paving the way for concrete economic development that will leave our communities in stronger standing than even before the pandemic,” said State Senator Susan Moran.


A version of this legislation having previously passed the House of Representatives, a conference committee will be appointed to work out differences in language before advancing to the Governor’s desk.


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