State Budget Heads to Conference Committee

Header: FY 2020 Budget

Please Advocate for MAPC’s Budget Priorities!

The Massachusetts House of Representatives finalized their version of the FY2020 state budget on Thursday, April 25 and the Senate finalized their version on Thursday, May 23. The state budget now has to be reconciled between both chambers and sent to the Governor’s desk for approval by June 30.

Last week, the Legislature named the members to the Budget Conference Committee, tasked with finalizing the state budget. The Conferees include House Ways & Means Chair Aaron Michlewitz, Representative Denise Garlick, Representative Todd Smola, Senate Ways & Means Chair Michael Rodrigues, Senator Cindy Friedman, and Senator Vinny DeMacedo.

As the Conference Committee deliberates on what to fund in the budget, MAPC will continue to advocate for our top two budget priorities: District Local Technical Assistance and the Shannon Grant.

DLTA: The District Local Technical Assistance program (DTLA), which provides technical assistance to cities and towns, was funded at $2.8 million in FY19, and the House proposed FY20 budget would fund DLTA at $3 million. MAPC had been seeking an increase to $3.4 million.

Shannon Community Safety Initiative: The Shannon Grant, which provides funds for municipalities to address youth gang violence prevention, thankfully saw an increase in both chambers’ budgets: the House proposed $10 million and the Senate proposed $11 million for this program. These funds are critical in supporting municipal needs in our region and across the Commonwealth.

Both the House and Senate budgets also include, for the first time, an increase to the Community Preservation Act Trust Fund state match by increasing the surcharge on deeds recording fees. Both budgets call for a $50 recording fee for most documents up from $20 and $25 for municipal lien certificates up from $10. It's estimated that those increased fees will generate an additional $36 million for the CPA Trust Fund. If passed, this would be the first update to the funding mechanism since 2000.

Unfortunately, both the Community Compact program and the Efficiency & Regionalization Grant are in jeopardy of not being funded in the FY2020 budget. The House budget included language for these programs but provided nominal funding, while the Senate budget did not include any funding or language. MAPC is requesting that these programs be funded at $2 million each. We will continue to work with the Administration to ensure that these meaningful programs can be maintained and be an important resource for municipalities.

MAPC thanks House Ways and Means Chair Aaron Michlewitz, Senate Ways and Means Chair Michael Rodrigues, and all of our House and Senate budget sponsors for their commitment to these important resources in our communities.

Please make sure to contact your State Representative and State Senator and ask them to weigh in with the Conferees in support of MAPC’s budget priorities. You can find your state legislators here:

More information on how MAPC's smart growth and regional planning priorities fared in both the House and Senate proposal is available below:

Line Item Program MAPC's FY2020 Request House Budget Senate Budget
1599-0026 District Local Technical Assistance (DLTA) $3.4 million $3 million $0
Community Compact $2 million No dedicated funding included $0
Efficiency and Regionalization $2 million No dedicated funding included $0
8100-0111 Shannon Grant $10 million $10 million $11 million
1595-6370 Regional Transit Authorities $90.5 million as recommended in RTA Task Force Report $87 million $90.5 million
Outside Section CPA Funding Support Increase in the deeds fee to provide higher state match Increase in the deeds fee to provide higher state match
7004-9024 Mass. Rental Voucher Program Support increase to $130 million $110 million $110 million
NEW Housing Choice Support Not included Not included
2200-0100 Department of Environmental Protection Support increase to $31.5 million $31.8 million $31.9 million