Page 2 THE EVERETT ADVOCATE – WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2020 Rep. McGonagle, House pass balanced budget with targeted investments in housing, economic development and food security S tate Representative Joseph McGonagle along with his colleagues in the House of Representatives passed its Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) budget, which invests in programs and services across the Commonwealth. Funded at $46 billion, the House budget aims to address the sweeping effects of the global pandemic by making targeted investments in housing, food security, substance use addiction services, and domestic violence, sexual assault treatment and prevention programs. The budget also invests in programs that provide COVID-19-related supports for students and increases funding for developmental services. Aside from Chapter 70 and Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA), Everett received an additional $75,000 to help combat housing instability. “I am extremely pleased with how Everett made out in such a difficult and strange budget process,” said McGonagle. “Being able to afford rent or mortgages is a big concern in our community so having these new funds is tremendously helpful. I’m thankful for my close relationships with House leadership that helped us get this money. I’d especially like to thank Speaker DeLeo and Chair Michlewitz for their hard work in these tumultuous times.” The House continues to further its commitment to cities and towns by investing $1.1 billion in UGGA and providing $5.3 billion in Chapter 70 education funding. The House budget education allocations include: ● $53 million (M) in COVID-19-related student supports ● $340M for Circuit Breaker Special Education reimbursement ● $117M for Charter School reimbursement ● $82M for Regional School Transportation reimbursement Due to the pandemic, access to safe and affordable For Advertising with Results, call The Advocate Newspapers at 617-387-2200 or Info@advocatenews.net housing for many families across the Commonwealth is threatened. The House budget represents its ongoing commitment to housing and homelessness funding. This year the House makes targeted investments into rental and housing assistance to combat the eviction crisis by providing: ● $2.5M in Urban Agenda Grants ● $1.4M for small business development The House budget continues its ongoing commitment to high-quality early education and care (EEC) and supporting the EEC workforce. The budget invests in those who work with children by increasing rates for early education providers by $20M and supporting continuing education opportunities with community colleges. The House budget also includes the following EEC investments and initiatives: ● $15M for Head Start grants ● $10M for sliding scale fee Joseph McGonagle State Representative ● $50M for the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition Program (RAFT) ● $135M for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP) ● $80M for public housing subsidies ● $56M for homeless individual shelters ● $13M for homeless student transportation ● $11M for the Department of Mental Health Rental Subsidy Program ● $8M for unaccompanied homeless youths Keeping in mind the widespread economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the House makes specific investments in labor and economic development programs that provide opportunities for the Commonwealth’s workers and its businesses. The House maintains its support for the Massachusetts Manufacturing Partnership with an investment of $2M – funding which has helped many Massachusetts manufacturers retrofit their businesses into the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) market. Other investments include: ● $50M for economic development, including $15M for local Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), $15M for community development financial institutions, $10M for matching grants for capital investments by small businesses and $6M for small business technical assistance grants ● $46M for Adult Basic Education Services ● $19M for summer jobs for at-risk youths ● $7M for the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund reserve for childcare subsidies ● $10M for EEC Workforce Higher Education Opportunities ● $2.5M in early childhood mental health grants ● $11M for child care resource and referral agencies ● Establishes the Early Education And Care Economic Review Commission to review childcare funding and make recommendations on policy changes to expand access The House budget continues to dedicate substantial resources toward supporting public higher education and increases scholarship funding for students. These investments include: ● $284M for state universities ● $305M for community colleges ● $560M for the University of Massachusetts system ● $120M in scholarship funding ● $4.8M for the STEM Starter Academy, to support underrepresented students in STEM fields at community colleges MassHealth – this fiscal year funded at $19 billion – is the largest investment the Commonwealth makes in its most vulnerable residents, including the working poor and the homeless. In response to the threats to reproductive rights for women on the national level, the House also voted to remove barriers to women’s reproductive health options and protect the concepts enshrined in Roe v. Wade. The budget also invests in critical health and human services agencies and providers, including: ● $307M for the Department of Children and Families for social workers, family support and stabilization, BUDGET | SEE PAGE 4

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