Senator Moran Secures $1.6 Million in Investments for the Plymouth & Barnstable District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 27, 2022
Ben Kaplan, Communications Director
Office of Senator Susan L. Moran
Senator Moran Secures $1.6 Million in Investments for the Plymouth & Barnstable District
Senator Moran Successfully Advocated for Stronger Economic Growth, Security, and Environmental Safety
(05/27/2022 - BOSTON) Following deliberation on 1178 amendments, the Massachusetts State Senate completed debate on the $50 billion Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) budget. In particular, Senator Moran secured $1.6 million in funding to benefit the Plymouth & Barnstable District addressing food security for veterans and seniors, law enforcement mental health response, emergency preparedness, housing costs, tourism, workforce training, and nuclear safety.
“With this year’s budget, we will set the foundation for the Commonwealth to thrive. Most importantly, the millions of dollars that will go to the Plymouth & Barnstable District will ensure that our communities are better supported and prepared for the coming year and generations to come. The towns in my district will get help keeping the power on during storms. Police and fire departments will be able to incorporate new technology and better response practices. Housing Authorities will be able to make immediate repairs to maintain or reopen affordable housing units. In the long term, the budget that my colleagues and I created continues to build towards more affordable childcare, better access to healthcare, a protected environment, and a guarantee that every family has a roof over their head and food on the table.”
Building a Stronger Economy through Housing, Childcare, Tourism, and Job Training:
-Senator Moran worked to create a budget that reflected her priority of ensuring a well-supported workforce with greater access to housing, high quality childcare and improving training opportunities.
To facilitate closing the housing gap and growing the district’s housing stock, the Senator successfully secured $350,000 for Falmouth Housing Authority and $150,000 for Plymouth Housing Authority for repairs and renovations in existing units. With this funding, Housing Authorities will be able to maintain or reopen units. In addition, the budget directs an additional $100,000 to Falmouth Housing Corporation for new affordable housing projects. Reflecting Senator Moran’s push for greater investment in workforce and affordable housing, the budget will also direct over $900 million to keep people across the Commonwealth in their homes or help them find permanent housing that they can afford.
With many families making difficult choices about paying their rent or mortgage, returning to work, and enrolling their child in early education, Senator Moran advocated strongly for substantial investment in early education. The FY23 Budget includes over $1 billion in funding for early education and childcare initiatives; including $250 million for the Commonwealth Cares for Children (C3) Stabilization Grants to ensure child care providers can stay open, improve quality, and better compensate teachers and $25 million for a new infrastructure and policy reform reserve to bolster the statewide system of care and assist families in navigating the early education system.
The Senator also filed two amendments that were not included in the final budget but that she plans to continue to advocate for in Conference and in future child care policy conversations. The first amendment would ensure that, with increases in reimbursement rates for subsidized childcare, childcare tuition rates will not rise; providers in all regions of the state are compensated equitably; and family child care providers are also better reimbursed. A second amendment would allow for child care providers to discount tuition rates for teachers who they employ even if the provider accepts subsidies. Though the Senator’s amendments were ultimately not included in the final language, the Senator looks forward to the continued work in building a higher quality, more affordable childcare system.
In addition, Senator Moran prioritized a key economic sector in the Plymouth & Barnstable District: tourism. Senator Moran successfully secured $90,000 for See Plymouth’s Waterfront Welcome Center and cosponsored an amendment filed by Senator Kennedy that will allow Regional Tourism Councils better access to their state funding.
Finally, The Senator successfully advocated for the inclusion of $100,000 for UMASS Dartmouth to study training, funding, and technological advancement opportunities for the Commonwealth’s cranberry growers, which will ensure greater job opportunities and a workforce trained in technological developments in the agricultural sector, and $20,000 for the public schools of Bourne to participate in STEM-related professional development workshops operated by the Museum of Science.
Protecting Cape Cod Bay from Nuclear Contaminants and Responding to Climate Change:
In response to Holtec Nuclear Facilities announcement that they would dump 1 million gallons of radioactive waste into Cape Cod Bay and concerns regarding the ability for the Department of Public Health (DPH) to provide ongoing monitoring and oversight, Senator Moran filed two amendments to ensure the district and regions surrounding Holtec are better protected. The first amendment, ultimately included in the budget, diverts the cost of nuclear facility safety oversight and management from the DPH to the owners and operators of the facilities as a way to ensure accountability for their role in upholding the public health of the communities they reside in. With this change, appropriate oversight of current and decommissioned nuclear facilities will no longer fall on taxpayers.
The second amendment would require that any nuclear owner or operator of a current or decommissioned nuclear facility seeking to discharge radioactive material in Cape Cod Bay to submit the material and a plan of discharge to a third party designated by DPH. The third party would test the material, review the plan, and review the potential impacts of the discharge. The plan would be posted publicly, and the cost for testing would fall to the nuclear facility owner or operator. While this amendment was not included in the final budget, Senator Moran looks forward to continuing to advocate for the safety of the Plymouth & Barnstable District through her legislation, S.2791, An Act relative to preventing the discharge of radioactive materials, which is currently before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary.
Through this budget, the Senate continues its dedication to growing the clean energy economy and recommending aggressive policy action to mitigate our carbon footprint while creating jobs for residents across the Commonwealth. The Senator recognizes the need for strong opportunities on the local level to advance our energy, public health and workforce goals, and secured an amendment that would facilitate access to solar panels, energy storage, and heat pumps for low-and moderate-income residents on the Cape.
Finally, the Senator secured several amendments that will ensure municipalities are better prepared for storms increasing in intensity due to climate change, including $25,000 for a generator at the fire station in Kingston and $40,000 for storm response equipment in Sandwich.
Improving Emergency Response through Investment in Fire and Police Departments:
Senator Moran prioritized and secured several amendments that will ensure the Plymouth & Barnstable District’s police and fire departments are best prepared and supported as they put themselves at risk to support constituents’ safety and security. Understanding the improved safety outcomes for officers and constituents when law enforcement and mental health providers coordinate, Senator Moran secured $80,000 for Bourne Police Department to coordinate police and mental health co-responders in supporting entry into mental health programs and $35,000 for Sandwich Police Department for mental health response, management, and education. This is in addition to $100,000 that Senator Moran previously secured for Bourne, Falmouth, and Sandwich to implement a pilot program to train mental health clinicians to support law enforcement response to mental health incidents.
In addition, Senator Moran secured $10,000 for an unmanned aerial vehicle program at Sandwich Fire Department and $41,000 for Plymouth Fire Department’s Operation Center Smartboard program. Both programs will provide improved response and coordination in emergency incidents.
Senator Moran also secured several amendments that will:
· $10,000 for the Pembroke Council on Aging to cover the cost of supplies for nutritional services programs for seniors and emergency management scenarios
· $20,000 for a feasibility and architectural design study for a senior wellness center in Plymouth
Ensure Improved Assistance for Veterans:
· $300,000 for the Mass Military Support Foundation to support the distribution of food to veterans in Barnstable County
· $40,000 to support the work of the Nathan Hale Veterans Outreach Center in Plymouth
Strengthen Local Infrastructure:
· $37,500 to Kingston for ADA compliant updates to the town’s community center
· $35,000 for the Pembroke Library to support mold and termite related repairs.
The Senate outline will now move to Conference Committee before being sent to the Governor’s desk for final approval.
Senator Susan L. Moran represents the Plymouth & Barnstable District, comprised of Bourne, Falmouth, Kingston, Pembroke, Plymouth, and Sandwich. Senator Moran serves as the Chair of the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure and Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Advanced Information Technology, the Internet and Cybersecurity and the Joint Committee on Public Health.