State Rep. Dan Ryan has been moving lots of legislation and negotiations through his Beacon Hill office over the past few weeks as the State Budget and end of session scramble has been in overdrive.
The formal session for the Legislature ends July 31, and the State Budget compromise is expected to break later this week.
Of particular note has been a battle over school funding that Ryan has been fighting for on behalf of the City of Boston and Mayor Martin Walsh. The crux of Ryan’s amendment has been to re-configure how the state funds schools, particularly in Boston. The Foundation Budget – which is the formula the state uses to distribute money to schools in cities and towns – hasn’t been touched in 25 years, and Ryan’s amendment called for Boston to be able to use new funding sources.
Ryan said the City and his district in Boston are looking to be treated more equitably in the funding formula so that students can see improvements in facilities and conditions in the schools.
The amendment is supported by the City Council, which passed a resolution of support last week, but Ryan said there is only measurable support for the matter now. The dust hasn’t settled on it all, but he said he continues to fight for equitable school funding in Charlestown and Chelsea.
‘We know the State formula is 25 years old,” he said. “Our cities and neighborhoods have changed dramatically over that time. I’ve been working with Mayor Walsh, with some success, to get more state money in the budget at different intervals. There will be other chances down the road for a more complete overhaul. Until then I’ll keep working with Boston and Chelsea to fill gaps the best we can.”
Also on the board has been the Opiate Legislation, a committee that Ryan serves on and holds some sway over. The House has passed their version of the major bill – which was proposed earlier this year by Gov. Charlie Baker. Ryan said there is now a hangup in the Senate’s version of the bill. The Senate has inserted a provision allowing Safe Injection Sites (SIFs) in the state, something that is very controversial and will be the focus of discussion when both houses try to compromise on a final product.