Healey-Driscoll Administration Files A $734 million Supplemental Budget

By Tiffany Williams –

Friday at the Massachusetts State House in Boston, the Healey-Driscoll administration filed a $734 million supplemental budget “to provide additional funding for core programs and services, such as COVID-era workforce and public health programs, and to make other one-time priority investments,” said the Governor’s Office.

The Governor’s Office says that the funding proposed in this bill “Builds on the investments made in Governor Maura Healey and Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll’s proposed budget recommendation for Fiscal Year 2024, with additional support for the state’s universal school meals pilot program, clean energy and technology, and additional resources for the MBTA to better recruit and retain employees.” 

“In our Supplemental Budget, Lieutenant Governor Driscoll and I are proposing additional investments that will move us forward on our goals of increasing affordability, competitiveness and equity in Massachusetts,” said Governor Healey. “The universal school meals program has proven to be a success in expanding access to nutritious meals for all students, and it’s essential that we keep it running and evaluate our options for the future. We also know that workforce shortages are fueling the serious service issues at the MBTA, which is why we are proposing dedicated funding for hiring and retention. And this funding will play a key role in supporting our efforts to tackle the climate crisis and make Massachusetts a global leader in the clean energy economy.” 

“This supplemental budget will provide the funding needed to make sure critical programs that Massachusetts residents rely on are continued and expanded,” said Lieutenant Governor Driscoll. “We look forward to working with our partners in the Legislature to advance universal school meals, clean energy and technology, and hiring at the MBTA, as well as ensure we are adequately supporting our health care workforce as the COVID-19 public health emergency comes to an end.” 

The Governor’s Office says that this “This bill fulfills Governor Healey’s commitment to triple the operating budget of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center with an additional $35 million for the agency to keep Massachusetts on the cutting edge of clean technology and decarbonization efforts and to forge new partnerships with public higher education institutions and trades to grow the clean energy industry. This funding would be in addition to the new money proposed for MassCEC in the administration’s House 1 budget recommendation, and MassCEC would be authorized by this bill to establish the Salem Offshore Wind Terminal to further the creation of new green jobs.” 

Additionally, “This legislation requests an additional $171 million to extend state-funded universal free school meals through the 2023-2024 school year. It also directs the Executive Office of Education to report by early next year on options to reform, modify or extend this program in a way that promotes equity, maximizes federal revenue and improves predictability and sustainability of funding into the future. The Healey-Driscoll Administration previously requested additional funding to continue the program through the end of the 2022-2023 school year.”

“We are pleased to have the resources necessary to continue to support critical health services for our most vulnerable residents, to build new pipelines for residents to start and advance their careers, and to make record investments in areas like clean energy that will ensure the Massachusetts economy is well positioned to grow and thrive,” said Administration and Finance Secretary Matthew J. Gorzkowicz 

Other key investments recommended in this bill include:  

  • $75 million for Chapter 766 rate relief to assist school districts in managing extraordinary increases in tuition prices for approved special education placement programs 
  • $60 million to support caseworkers and staff at the Department of Transitional Assistance 
  • $20 million for a bridge to stabilize critical victim service programs throughout the Commonwealth and ensure continued access to trauma-informed services in light of decreased federal funding through the Victims of Crime Act 
  • $10 million to double the Cultural Facilities Fund for the Massachusetts Cultural Council 
  • $5 million for the Martin Richard Field House  
  • $3.5 million to support the redetermination process at MassHealth 
  • $2 million for the celebration of the 250th Anniversary of the American Revolution 
  • $100 million supplemental transfer to the pension fund, as agreed to with the House and Senate as part of the consensus revenue process to fully pay down pension liabilities attributable to the 2015 Early Retirement Incentive Program ahead of schedule.

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