July 20, 2022
Senator Pacheco Announces Legislature Passes Final FY23 Budget, Includes Critical Support For Vulnerable Seniors, Working Families, & Children In District
BOSTON – Dean of the Massachusetts Senate Marc R. Pacheco (D-Taunton) has announced that the State Senate approved the Massachusetts Legislature’s finalized Fiscal Year 2023 conference committee state budget on Monday. In addition to making a historic $1.46 billion deposit in the Commonwealth’s ‘Rainy Day’ Stabilization Fund, the legislature’s annual appropriations bill for FY23 (link) prioritizes critical investments in senior services, housing stability, early education and childcare workforce, substance abuse recovery and treatment programming, and nursing home workforce shortages.
“I am very pleased the Senate voted in favor of a balanced and responsible bipartisan Fiscal Year 2023 budget Monday, which will now proceed to the Governor’s desk,” said Senator Pacheco. “This year’s annual legislative budget will increase our state ‘Rainy Day’ fund to a historic $7.35 billion while increasing levels for Chapter 70 local education funding by $494.94 million and unrestricted local aid by $63.07 million compared to the previous fiscal year – critical support for working families, vulnerable seniors, and local residents throughout Massachusetts.”
Under the state legislature’s FY23 budget, Massachusetts cities, towns, and school districts will receive $5.998 billion in Chapter 70 funding and $1.231 billion in Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA). For local communities and schools in the First Plymouth & Bristol District, the FY23 appropriations bill specifically allocates $192.8 million in Chapter 70 funding and $23.9 million in UGGA (see below).
“From Chapter 70 and UGGA combined, this year’s state budget establishes a total increase of over $21 million in local aid for the district I represent compared to last year,” added Senator Pacheco. “These enhanced state resources will empower crucial local investments and provide valuable sources of funding to serve a wide variety of community needs. Many thanks to my colleagues in the legislature – especially Representative Carol Doherty, Representative Pat Haddad, and Representative Norman Orrall – for supporting the inclusion of additional funds that will benefit local communities in First Plymouth & Bristol District and all throughout the Commonwealth.”
The FY23 conference committee budget, which also comes on the heels of a comprehensive tax relief package updated by the legislature last week, provides critical support for working and low-income families struggling to afford the basics in the face of mounting costs with much-needed assistance for parents, children, elders, and persons with disabilities. The FY23 conference report includes significant resources for housing stability programs to keep individuals and working families in their homes including: $219.4 million for Emergency Assistance Family Shelters, $210 million for Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT), $175 million for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP), and $92 million for assistance to local housing authorities.
“With so many working families throughout the Commonwealth struggling to make ends meet, the bipartisan budget approved today will provide critical safeguards for housing stability to reduce costs and a keep a roof over their heads,” said Senator Pacheco. “The FY23 budget also invests $250 million in our early education and care workforce and $175 million in High-Quality Education and Care Affordability Fund to support long-term accessibility, affordability, and stability. These new resources for early education and childcare options are specifically designed to help families balance conflicting workplace and childcare responsibilities.”
The state legislature’s FY23 budget additionally invests $218.2 million for substance use disorder and intervention services provided by the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services, $113 million for children’s mental health services, $28.3 million for Family Resource Centers to grow and improve the mental health resources and programming available to families, $20 million for the Behavioral Health, Access, Outreach and Support Trust Fund to support targeted behavioral health initiatives, and $15 million for emergency department diversion initiatives for children, adolescents, and adults.
Senator Pacheco also sponsored and supported specific language that was successfully incorporated in the final budget, for example, an amendment to provide $300,000 for resources supporting vulnerable seniors throughout select communities in the district he represents. The final legislative budget also includes language Senator Pacheco sponsored to ensure that manufactured homes will be eligible for resources from the state’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
“I am very pleased several amendments I sponsored securing resources for the local communities I represent were successfully adopted in the final legislative budget for Fiscal Year 2023 – including $300,000 for local senior services,” said Senator Pacheco. “Overall, the budget amendments I sponsored and supported will help ensure vulnerable seniors, working families, and children in the First Plymouth & Bristol district have better access to the critical resources and services they need. I am especially proud language I filed ensuring manufactured homes are eligible for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund was included in the final bill, which will help these residents avoid experiencing unjust increases in associated housing costs.”
The Massachusetts Legislature’s Fiscal Year 2023 Budget also includes language sponsored by Senator Pacheco maintaining existing levels of beds and services at Taunton State Hospital - one of two remaining publicly-run long-term mental health facilities in the Commonwealth. This annual budget item also requires the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) to develop a comprehensive long-term use master plan for the campus and allows for a pilot program alleviating the boarding of patients requiring mental health services at local hospitals until an appropriate placement can be found.
“With the Commonwealth struggling to provide adequate mental health services for patients, this language is designed to help relieve overcrowding in hospital emergency room settings,” added Senator Pacheco. “While placements remain in short supply throughout the state, utilizing existing programs and services at Taunton State Hospital to their maximum potential remains a critically important priority. Many thanks to my colleagues in the legislature and my fellow Taunton delegates Representative Carol Doherty, Representative Pat Haddad, and Representative Norman Orrall for supporting these critical local budget items.”
With the Massachusetts Legislature’s conference committee budget for now passed by both the Senate and House of Representatives, the Fiscal Year 2023 budget now proceeds to the Governor’s desk for final executive approval.
LOCAL AID – FISCAL YEAR 2023 LEGISLATIVE BUDGET
City / Town
Change From FY22
Change From FY22
$0 (see Regional)
$0 (see Regional)
First Plymouth & Bristol