Targeted Investments in Substance Use Treatment, Education, Housing, & Other Initiatives
Rep. David Biele (D-Boston) joined his colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives to pass its budget for fiscal year 2020. Funded at $42.7 billion, the House budget makes major investments in education, housing, and substance use services.
To fight the opioid epidemic, the House budget invest $143.9 million for the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services, which will help create five new recovery centers across Massachusetts, and allocates $49.4 million for the Substance Use Disorder Trust Fund.
In terms of education, the House budget provides $5.1 billion in Chapter 70 funding for public education while increasing Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) by $30 million. For the City of Boston, the House budget allocates over $221 million in Chapter 70 funding for education and over $201 million in UGGA, both increases from last fiscal year.
The FY20 House budget makes key investments in housing by providing $117 million for rental voucher programs, including $110 million for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program, and $53.4 million for homeless shelters.
Locally, the House budget also included an amendment filed by Rep. Biele that allocates $500,000 for the Boston Fire Department Training Academy.
Other initiatives in the House budget include allocations of $46 million for state parks and recreation and $500,000 to create a specialized unit in the Attorney General’s office to investigate and enforce prevailing wage law violations on construction projects.
“This year’s House budget balances the need for crucial investments in recovery, local aid, education, housing, and emergency services,” said Rep. Biele. “These funds will support individuals and families impacted by the opioid crisis, enhance our children’s education, and maintain programs and services that residents rely on every day.”
The FY20 budget was approved by a vote of 154-1 in the House and now heads to the Senate for consideration.