See Press Release Below
BOSTON – This week, Senator Nick Collins and Representative David Biele joined their colleagues in the Massachusetts State Legislature in voting to pass the state budget for fiscal year 2020. Funded at $43.1 billion, the state budget makes major investments in education, treatment and recovery services, health care, youth services, senior programming, and public safety.
With treatment and recovery programming a top priority, Sen. Collins and Rep. Biele secured funding for the Gavin Foundation and the South Boston Joseph Nee Collaborative Center to provide critical prevention, diversion and recovery services to those in need.
Sen. Collins and Rep. Biele also secured funding to support and foster workforce development opportunities within South Boston. Specifically, the state budget includes funding for the Tierney Center at Old Colony for workforce training initiatives. The budget also allocates funding to Julie’s Family Learning Center to provide support and educational services to help low-income mothers break the cycle of poverty for their children and families.
Recognizing the need for programming to support youth and seniors in South Boston, Sen. Collins and Rep. Biele secured funding for several institutions. The state budget includes investments for senior programming at the South Boston Neighborhood House, youth programming at the Harry McDonough Sailing Center, and counseling services at the Labouré Center to support youth and families affected by addiction.
“As our community continues to grow, it is important not to lose sight of the critical social services, public health programs, and educational opportunities that improve outcomes for our residents” said Senator Collins. “Working together with Rep. Biele and the entire Boston Delegation, I was proud to help craft an annual spending package that reflects the needs of the South Boston community and the entire First Suffolk District.”
With access to local, quality health-care another key budget priority, Sen. Collins and Rep. Biele secured funding for the South Boston Community Health Center to support family medicine and care.
Also, understanding the need for quality public safety resources, Sen. Collins and Rep. Biele secured investments for state police patrols along Day Boulevard, Carson Beach, and Castle Island, and crucial investments in the Boston Fire Department Training Academy and hazardous material response teams.
“Nothing in the state budget is ever guaranteed,” said Rep. Biele. “It requires team work and strong advocacy in the State House to secure financial resources for our community. I was proud to work with Senator Collins and my colleagues in the Legislature to deliver a budget that makes crucial investments in programs and services that will help residents, youth, and seniors throughout South Boston.”
In addition to supporting local programs, the state budget allocates over $221 million in Chapter 70 education funding for the City of Boston, with an additional $201 million in Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) for the City of Boston. These investments represent increases in both Chapter 70 and UGGA funding from last fiscal year.
In addition to local investments, the state budget also makes crucial allocations in high-quality early education and care (EEC) by investing in early education providers while supporting Head Start grants and quality improvement measures in core EEC programming.
To further aid in the Commonwealth’s efforts to fight the opioid epidemic, the state budget includes $150.2 million for the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services, which will help create five new recovery centers across Massachusetts and support substance use disorder workforce initiatives.
The budget also calls for crucial investments in the state’s parks and environmental protections programs, including $47.25 million for State Parks and Recreation and $61 million for the Department of Environmental Protection.
The state budget also increases the Commonwealth’s investment into the Community Preservation Act, which will ensure that over $36 million more will be distributed to projects and investments in open space, affordable housing and historic preservation.
Having been passed by the House and Senate, the legislation now goes to Governor Baker for his signature.