Senate Restores Funding for Education, Public Health, Other Statewide Services

BOSTON – The Senate today restored $24.9M to the Fiscal Year 2018 budget, overriding 26 of Governor Baker’s line item vetoes, which totaled $320.6M. These veto overrides bolster valuable programs for children, families and vulnerable residents across the Commonwealth.

“These programs and services provide critical resources for people across the state – from housing support for young people and families, to mental health services for children to basic education and skills training for low income adults,” said Senator Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland), Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “The Senate has carefully reviewed vetoes in the context of our difficult fiscal situation and ongoing efforts on health care cost containment. I am confident that the budget remains in balance and cautiously optimistic about revenue collections and potential savings moving forward.”

“The Senate’s analysis shows that these critical services are necessary and affordable and will go a long way toward supporting working families across the Commonwealth,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst). “These investments will ensure that the right resources are in place to educate and promote the wellbeing of tomorrow’s learners and leaders, while also taking care of our most needy.”

“The Senate took a stand today to secure resources that are vital to the well-being of our residents in the Commonwealth,” said Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington). “We’ve made a commitment as legislators to advocate for the needs and interests of our most vulnerable residents in the towns and cities we represent. I’m proud to vote for these additional investments to help ensure that more children and families have access to the resources they need to thrive in Massachusetts.”

The Senate restored funding for several programs that focus on high quality education for everyone, from children at birth to adults making midlife career transitions. Overrides include $200K for the Commonwealth Preschool Partnership Initiative and $850K for adult basic education.

The Senate reaffirmed its commitment to combating the opioid epidemic and advancing public health across the state, restoring $1.3M for early childhood mental health clinicians, $5M for MassHealth Senior Care and $800K to eliminate the waiting list for pediatric palliative care. In recognition of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, the Senate restored $200K for Samaritans Inc. suicide prevention, intervention, education and outreach services.

Other overrides include:

  • $1.9M for the Massachusetts Cultural Council
  • $675K for Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Services
  • $250K to expand the Housing Court to serve all residents across the state