On Thursday, April 29, Charlestown State Rep. Dan Ryan joined his House of Representatives colleagues in passing their Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) budget. After three full days of deliberation a responsible budget was passed that responds to the needs of residents and makes investments that will set the Commonwealth on a path toward economic recovery as it continues to work through the COVID-19 pandemic. The House budget continues its strong commitment to cities and towns, and includes significant investments in education, supportive services for vulnerable populations, and workforce and economic development, among other priorities.
“I want to thank Speaker Mariano and Chair Michlewitz for their steady guidance over the past year. Our economy has thus far weathered the storm of COVID-19 and we are now set on a path of recovery. This budget protects those people, programs and institutions most effected by the pandemic while making good on legislative promises made before our national economic shutdown,” said Rep. Ryan in a statement following deliberations.
“This budget meets the needs of our residents who have endured an unprecedented level of health and economic challenges over the past year. The House continues to support the services and programs that have proven to be essential for so many, while making targeted investments to grow the Massachusetts economy,” said Speaker of the House Ronald J. Mariano (D-Quincy). “I thank Chair Michlewitz for his leadership and guidance, the members of the Committee on Ways & Means, and all my colleagues in the House for their advocacy and hard work in shaping the final product.”
“This budget is the product of tireless work over the past few months that focuses on the challenges our constituents face in the midst of this difficult time,” said Rep. Aaron Michlewitz, Chair of the House Committee on Ways & Means (D-North End). “In times of need, people rely on the services that government provides. Vital areas like housing stability, food security, education funding, and combating the growing concerns surrounding domestic violence and substance addiction, are all areas we prioritize in this budget.”
Aside from advocating for larger stateside priorities that are critical to the recovery, such as setting-up reserve education funding to fill enrollment gaps, fully funding the increased MassHealth caseload and enhancing supportive services for the developmentally disabled, Ryan was also able to secure some local line items for areas in the Town feeling additional stress from the past year.
•The NEWHealth Health Center on Tufts Street, which has been instrumental in delivering COVID testing and vaccinations throughout the pandemic was awarded $200,000 to continue services into next fiscal year.
•Also, The Kennedy Center, Charlestown’s anti-poverty agency, located adjacent to the Bunker Hill Housing Development received $100,000 for programming costs incurred from helping families through COVID-19 and other adjustments from the changes underway in the housing development.
•Ryan was also able to secure the ongoing maintenance for the Massachusetts Korean War Memorial located in the Charlestown Navy Yard at $20,000.
The House FY22 budget does not cut services nor does it raise taxes, and is made possible due to strong revenue collections, increased federal reimbursement, and by leveraging funds from the state’s Stabilization Fund. The budget does not appropriate anticipated American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds. As the House Ways & Means and Federal Stimulus committees await the issuance of spending parameters by the federal government, they have begun a process to better understand the needs of Massachusetts communities and analyze past expenditures of federal funds, particularly those received from the CARES Act. Speaker Mariano and the House Ways & Means Committee introduced their FY22 budget on April 14, 2021, following a review of the Governor’s proposal and a series of budget hearings. After three days of debate and over a thousand proposed amendments, the budget passed by the House of Representatives 160-0 and now goes to the Senate