The Massachusetts Legislature unanimously passed a $52.7 billion budget for fiscal 2023. The budget, passed July 18, upholds fiscal responsibility and makes targeted investments to strengthen the state’s economic foundation, protect the most vulnerable residents and support the everyday needs of communities and families in the Commonwealth.
The budget went to Gov. Baker for his signature.
“The FY23 budget invests significantly in the Commonwealth, funding services and programs that will benefit all residents,” said Sen. Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington) in a July 25 release. “I’m especially proud of the historic investments we make in early education and care, and the work we’ve done to improve community-based mental health and substance use disorder services in our state. This budget reaffirms our commitment to supporting working families across Massachusetts, and includes funding for education, health care, food insecurity, and programs for our most vulnerable neighbors.”
"I am very pleased that as a delegation, we have secured funding for a number of important initiatives for the Town of Arlington and the Commonwealth," said Rep. Sean Garballey (D-Arlington).
"Each year it is a priority of mine that we pass a budget that reflects our values as a state. That is why I am so proud to see two pieces of my legislation included this year. Inclusive concurrent enrollment will remove barriers precluding persons with intellectual disabilities and autism from participating in state colleges and universities. In addition, a state commission will be created to ensure the unspoken story of the state’s historical institutional treatment of people with intellectual, developmental and mental health conditions is addressed for the first time."
“This was an extraordinary budget with big investments in a number of critical priorities,” said Rep. David M. Rogers (D-Cambridge). “I am especially pleased to see that several local and statewide initiatives I advocated for throughout the budget process are included in the final version. Aside from major statewide programs, the Legislature is also providing stable state funding and critical aid for Arlington.”
Budget invests in rainy-day fund, education
Taking into consideration historic tax-revenue performance in fiscal 2022, the final fiscal '23 conference report increases revenue projections by $2.66 billion over the December consensus for a projection of $39.575 billion. The fiscal '23 budget transfers funds into the Stabilization Fund, projecting an estimated historic balance of approximately $7.35 billion for this crucial "rainy-day" fund at the end of the fiscal year.
Notably, the Legislature provides significant funds in the FY23 budget to invest in the Commonwealth’s long-term future obligations. Prioritizing funding for education, this budget includes $175 million in a newly created High-Quality Early Education and Care Affordability Trust Fund to be used in the coming years to support implementing the recommendations made by the Early Education and Care Economic Review Commission.
Additionally, a supplemental payment of $150 million is included to the Student Opportunity Act Investment fund, bringing its balance up to $500 million, ensuring resources will be utilized in the future to support equitable funding for our most vulnerable students.
The budget strongly reflects the Legislature’s commitment to support cities and towns and provides a significant amount of local and regional aid to ensure communities can provide essential services to the public while rebuilding from a once-in-a-generation pandemic. This includes $1.231 billion in funding for Unrestricted General Government Aid, an increase of $63 million over fiscal '22, and $45 million in payments in lieu of taxes for state-owned land, an increase of $10 million over fiscal '22, providing supplemental local aid payments to cities and towns working to improve access to essential services and programs.
Arlington gets funding for schools, other priorities
The fiscal year 2023 budget funds these Arlington-specific projects:
- Arlington Unrestricted General Government Aid, $8,788,270;
- Arlington Chapter 70 Education Funding, $15,893,365;
- Middlesex County Restoration Center Commission, $1 million;
- Arlington Youth Counseling Center (Arlington), $175,000;
- Arlington Housing Authority Fire Alarm System Upgrade (Arlington), $155,000;
- Arlington Chamber of Commerce Tourism Initiative (Arlington), $100,000;
- Outdoor Water Bottle Filling Station Initiative (Arlington), $50,000;
- Alewife Brook Park Maintenance and Improvements (Arlington), $40,000; and
- Arlington Community Orchard (Arlington), $15,000.
This news announcement was published Monday, July 25, 2022. YourArlington volunteer Kim Haase prepared it for publication based on information from Stephen Acosta of Friedman's office.
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