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Action Alert: Senate Budget Amendments

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Call to Action:
FY22 House Ways and Means Budget

Last month, the Massachusetts House completed debate on the FY22 budget, H.4001. It includes a number of wins for cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth.

The bill isnow up for deliberation in the Senate. We are urging the Senate to support several amendments to the Senate Ways and Means budget proposal that we believe will strengthen supports for those most in need, and ensure that municipalities are able to weather the fiscal challenges of FY22.

Please act today: Take two minutes to email your Senator to urge them to support the priorities below.

Budget Priorities

#882: District Local Technical Assistance: DLTA is critical to supporting municipal needs in our region and across the Commonwealth. Senator Jamie Eldridge's amendment restores $3 million in funding for the DLTA program, which was not included in the Senate Ways and Means proposal. This funding helps cities and towns throughout the state expand what they can do, enabling them to take on planning projects they don’t have the capacity to complete on their own. DLTA dollars have helped cities and towns meet challenges during the pandemic and will be key to ensuring that, as federal funds become available, there are shovel ready and shovel worthy projects to invest in. Read more about DLTA.

#643: The Shannon Community Safety Initiative: We are grateful that the Senate Ways and Means proposal includes funding for the Senator Charles E. Shannon Community Grant and we strongly support Senator Joseph Boncore's amendment that increases funding for the program to $13.3 million. This program is nationally recognized for deterring youth violence, gang violence and substance abuse. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the program has offered much-needed support and connection for youth at risk. Read more about Shannon Grants.

#373: Increasing Local Public Health Capacity: The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the tremendous responsibility we place on our local public health system and the important work local public health officials undertake each day. Last year, the Massachusetts Senate allocated $10 million to local public health in line item 4512-2022. Senator Joanne Comerford's amendment increases funding to $13 million to provide critical resources for our communities.


In addition to these top priorities, we're also asking Senators to support several items related to housing, transportation, and collaboration:

Housing Programs: The state was already facing a housing crisis before the Governor declared a state of emergency in response to COVID-19 over a year ago. The challenges are not abating. The Legislature has an opportunity to help close this gap for residents experiencing housing insecurity:

  • #444: Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP) Filed by Senator Joseph Keenan
  • #756: Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) Filed by Senator Brendan Crighton
  • #835: Improvements to HomeBASE Filed by Senator Patricia Jehlen
  • #837: Tenancy Preservation Program Filed by Senator Adam Hinds
  • #121: Reducing Community Preservation Act Recording Fees for Affordable Housing Filed by Senator Sal DiDomenico

Transportation

  • #4: Regional Transit Agency (RTA) Funding Filed by Senator Harriette Chandler

Collaboration

  • #36: Community Compacts Filed by Senator Bruce Tarr

Questions? Contact Leah Robins at lrobins@mapc.org.