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May 26, 2024

Fiscal year 2023 budget passes Massachusetts House, next goes to Senate

The Massachusetts House of Representatives’ fiscal year 2023 budget proposal is headed to the Senate for consideration.

The legislative body approved the $49.73 billion budget document on Thursday, which focuses on investments in health care, education, housing, and workforce development, while maintaining focus on the state’s cities and towns.

House Speaker Ronald J. Mariano, D-Quincy, said the budget addresses the current state of Massachusetts.

“The House budget responds to the economic challenges currently facing Massachusetts residents by balancing a focus on immediate needs such as workforce development, with a focus on long-term investments that are designed to grow our economy in a sustainable way,” Mariano said in the release.

Rep. Aaron Michlewitz, D-Boston, who serves as chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, said the fiscal document “builds off the successes of the last few years.”

“By reinvesting in the people of the Commonwealth we will continue to assist those recovering from this pandemic while making our economy stronger and more equitable for years to come,” Michlewitz said.

According to the release, the House budget will expand services to residents in the state without raising taxes. This is because strong revenue collection and increased federal dollars have led to a $6.55 billion balance in the Stabilization Fund.

The budget, according to the release, would invest $912 million for early education and care, while also earmarking $70 million for rate increases for subsidized child-care providers in the state, a $50 million increase from last year. The document also contains $10 million for early educators to use for child care.

According to the release, the budget also would put $1.199 billion in Unrestricted General Government Aid and $5.88 billion in education. The education budget features a $494 million increase from the previous budget.

The House budget, according to the release, also features investments in workforce development and job training. For adult education, the budget would spend $60 million for adult education to support English Language Learners, $28.3 million to Youthworks, and $20.4 million for Career Technical Institutes to close skills gaps for jobs across the state.

The budget would also spend $17 million for the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund and another $15 million in One Stop Career Centers.

Included in the budget document, according to the release, is $20 million in loan forgiveness for the Department of Mental Health for its employees, $15 million to support teachers of color, and $10 million for loan repayment for employees of homeless shelters.

Pertaining to health care, the budget, according to the release, would fully fund MassHealth’s caseload.

Included in the document is $150 million for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program, $140 million for Residential Assistance for Families in Transition, and another $100 million for the homeless.

This article was originally posted on Fiscal year 2023 budget passes Massachusetts House, next goes to Senate

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