State Budget On Governor’s Desk

August 7, 2023

On August 1st, Representative Denise Garlick posted a release announcing that the Massachusetts Legislature had approved the Massachusetts State Budget for the 2024 Fiscal Year. The final bill reconciles previous versions developed in both the Massachusetts House of Representatives and the Senate and would absorb the spending being done under the two temporary appropriations bills in effect since the end of FY’2023 on June 30th.

In her release, Representative Garlick revealed that the $56.2 billion budget incorporates $3.8 billion in new spending over the previous year, offset by $1 billion in new revenues generated by the “Fair Share Ballot Initative” passed by voters last November, adding a 4% tax surcharge on annual income over a million dollars. Included in the spending Garlick attributed to Fair Share funds was a program making public school meals free in Massachusetts, $50 million in support of free community college programs and $371 million in transportation projects.

If it is signed by the Governor, the new budget would allocate $2,086,917 in Unrestricted General Government Aid to Needham, and $13,312,456 in Chapter 70 (School) Funding. Three other line items target Needham specifically, including $50,000 for the Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Needham for behavioral health services, $75,000 to the Needham Housing Authority for upgrades to the Community Room at the Linden/Chambers development, and $50,000 in local economic development funds to go toward the town’s branding initiative, re-evaluating the use and accuracy of the town seal.

The reconciled bill passed the House, 156-2, and garnered unanimous support in the Senate, 39-0. Final action by Governor Healy is expected by Thursday, August 10th.

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